If I hear a strange ticking noise, is that a problem?

Question:

How can I figure out which engine noises need immediate attention?

Answer:

Prior to making a reservation for repair, one of the first things a customer might tell us over the phone is,

“I hear a strange noise … “ There are many different sounds that a malfunctioning vehicle might make during various stages of operation, and we can’t discuss them all here. But let’s talk about the ticking noise that many of you have heard:

  • If it’s strictly a ticking noise, at a relatively rapid, steady pace, with no rattles or slaps, then you might have a problem with your valve lifters.
  • Check to see whether the sound is coming from the hood, and whether it seems to go away after a bit of driving, when the car has warmed up. If so, check your oil level – the problem might be that simple!
  • If the ticking doesn’t go away, you might need to adjust the small clearance between your valve and the rocker. This can be a somewhat complicated procedure, where you need our help at Lake Arbor Automotive.

Bottom line:   A ticking sound or other strange noise is just an indication of a possible problem, and it usually requires further investigation for a proper diagnosis

Silver Alarm Clock