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I hear a ticking sound that sounds like it's coming from the engine. Sometimes it gets loud and sometimes it gets quiet. I would like to know what that could possibly be.

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  • brdgtrmbrt Jul 13, 2010

    Thank you very much. I really appreciate your thorough answer and taking the time to do so to assist me. Very much appreciated.

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I dont see a model number to give you a specific answer on your engine type, but the problem will be most likely be the hydraulic lifters.........in the older engines, they used to have adjustable valve clearances, where you took the rocker cover off the top of the motor and with feeler gauges, adjusted the tappets clearance, but you would have to do this every year or sometimes, as they wore down, 2-5 times a year. costly and time-consuming.
Then, they started making hydraulic lifters, which are oil pressurised. As soon as you start your engine, the oil pump pressurises the engine oil to the top of the motor, and into these valves which then constantly provide a variable clearance take-up between the valve and the camshaft lobe that operates it.

The problem is, the tolerances (or spaces) where the oil fits into is small, and if you DONT service the oil regularly, at the recommended intervals, then the oil can become too thick as it collects carbon from the cylinder walls, and other sediments along the way (which is part of its job), then the hydraulic valves are not filled with oil being like a spring, and end up being noisy. You will tend to notice this more when the engine is cold, and when the oil warms up, and more "runny", then the valves will fill up and do their job.

Worst case scenario - they will need replacing but they can be costly.

If its happening on and off, you still have a chance, change the engine oil and filter immediately, and add an aftermarket product like Lifter Free from Nulon or similar product. This will increase the engine oil's efficiency to lubricate.

I hope this helps clear things up.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

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