Question about 1997 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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Sporadic clicking noise 4.6 L left valve cover

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There are several moving parts which can create your problem. Lifters which dirty or weak will cause extra play in the valvetrain when the lifter does not pump up fully. A dirty oil passage to a lifter will starve it for oil. A valve stem can be sticking or even a weak valve spring can create extra clearance in the same area.

The fuel injectors also have moving parts. They normally click as they work. If one is clogged up it can make more noise than usual. All the injectors on one bank can make more noise if your onboard computer senses a "lean" condition and opens them wider. The O2 sensor on the left bank may not be keeping a steady mixture and you are hearing that bank of injectors open up to enrich the fuel mix.

Sometimes a spark leak will sound like a click. It can be at random and the voltage has to be right for the spark to jump.

You would need more than a cheap handheld scanner to diagnose some of the conditions I mentioned. You can try Autozone or Oreillys for a free handheld scan, but I believe you need a bigger computer to monitor your problem.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010


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