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When you start the car with cold engine the oil light indicator is on even after the engine started?
If the sound comes from the engine itself you could check the oil level with cold engine before start.
If oil level is ok ( between low and maximum marks on the dipstick ) then could be 3 posible causes:
1. Bad oil
2. Faulty oil pump
3. Worn camshaft bearing, worn crankshaft bearing, or faulty piston bolt.
It may help if you bring on some more details like since when is making that noise, in what circumstances appeared and so on.
Ticking is usually a sign of improper oil level or exhaust leaks often have a ticking sound. Try to listen to see if its in time with the normal exhaust sounds. If the oil level is fine and it doesnt sound like the exhaust, its probably a small mechanical issue. Get it checked out by a mechanic before the ticking object breaks and becomes worse.
It's pretty tough for one of us to diagnose from afar without actually hearing it, but here are your possibilities:
Lifter noise - low oil, worn - noise comes from upper engine
Bearings (main & rod) - again low oil, worn - normally loud from lower engine
Exhaust leak - exhaust manifold and/or gasket - tick from side of engine, gets worse with engine RPMs
I'd have a competent shop look at it for you to get exact fault.
No I would not chase to the pistons, these vehicle were very comon in creating HLA noise hydraulic lash adjusting valves, meaning the valves pump up with oil as the oil gets thinner they dont pump up as fast and create a very loud ticking noise, I would not express a great concern over simplicity, dodge was famous for this, they really were.
the ticking noise when cold is an exhaust leak.If it is the exhaust manifold gaskets,depending on the vehicle they can be very difficult to replace.in some cases you must remove many other parts even to see the manifolds.make sure when manifolds are off that they are checked for warpage,this is a simple test needing only a straight edge and feeler gague.ask your tech if he can see any broken manifold studs/bolts and if quote covers time for removing broken manifold studs/bolts,because if any are broken,this can take quite some time to extract the broken studs/bolts.
A small exhaust leak can sound like a ticking noise during acceleration and can get better or worse as the system heats up. I had a similar problem when the engine was cold that was solved with a new exhaust manifold gasket.
Coolant that goes down, but is not leaking visibly (check for puddles after parking), is probably a head gasket problem. Have u been checking the oil level? Is it going up, or not using as much as before? This is usually an indication of a bad head gasket, which allows the coolant to leak into the oil. The ticking noise can actually be the head gasket also. As the vehicle warms up, things expand, and any leak in the head gasket will close up and the ticking noise will not be noticeable. As time goes on, the 'ticking' will last longer, and get worse. Have u noticed if this ticking is lasting longer than when u 1st heard it? Let me know how u make out. countrycurt0