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Engine Making Ticking Noise While Running

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An engine making a ticking noise while running. There is a slight tapping noise from the engine while the engine is running.

The reason why the engine making a ticking noise


(1) The oil level is low.
(2) Loose valve.
(3) The exhaust manifold is leaking.

The Level of Engine Oil is Low

Engine making ticking noise while running is usually an indication of a poorly lubricated engine. The reason for this is that there is not enough oil inside the engine or simply the engine lacks engine oil.

Now, the first thing to do is to check the level of the engine oil inside the engine, open the hood of the car and locate the dipstick for the engine oil. Then remove the dipstick, wipe the end of the dipstick with a clean cloth, and put the dipstick back to the original location in the engine. Pull the dipstick again and check the reading. Refer to the car owner’s manual for the standard reading of the oil for the car. If the engine oil is below the required level it means that the engine is poorly lubricated and this causes the ticking sound coming from the engine.

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Engine oil serves as a barrier between every part of the engine that rubs each other if there is not enough oil inside the engine those parts will have direct contact with each other and noise will produce.

Add some oil to the engine. When adding some oil, make sure that the right type of oil is used. Refer to the car owner’s manual for the correct type of oil to be used.

If the oil light located on the instrument panel is on while the ticking noise is heard then this is an indication of low oil pressure inside the engine. To keep the engine running smoothly, proper lubrication is necessary also the lubrication serves to dampen the noise resulted from the contact between components inside the engine and proper lubrication depends on the oil pressure.

When the oil pressure is low, certain components of the engine such as the valve stems and the rocker arms are not lubricated fully. Since those parts do not receive enough lubrication, eventually they will produce a ticking sound during operation.

What causes the oil pressure to become low? When the oil pressure is low the problem is either the oil pump is bad or the oil pan screen is clogged. But usually, the oil pump is bad that is why the engine does not receive enough lubrication which in turn causes the ticking sound. Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to check the oil pump. Having change oil in your car will remove any clogged on the oil pan screen. It is necessary to repair this problem to prolong the life of the engine.

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If the valve is loose or the exhaust manifold is leaking


Having a loose valve or leaking exhaust manifold will create a ticking sound or tapping sound coming from the engine while the engine is running. However, it can be noticed that the ticking sound will go faster as the engine revs up. As the engine runs the loose valve will slap against the rocker arm and creates a ticking sound.

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Same as when the exhaust manifold is leaking, when the gas leaks out from the manifold it will create a ticking sound. Bring the car to a shop and ask the mechanic to analyze the engine and repair it if necessary. If the engine valve is adjustable valves just tightened the valve to eliminate the ticking sound. About the leaking exhaust manifold, it may only be the manifold bolts that are loose and need to re-tighten.


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