Engine Tick

Anthony Alaniz

Asked by Anthony Mar 01, 2009 at 11:12 AM about the 2004 Ford Mustang

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Recently, within the last month, i have noticed a constant tick-tick-tick coming from the engine bay.  I already replaced the spark plugs, so it is not those.  It sounds like a valve is ticking from where i can locate it at.  Any ideas?  It is a 2004 3.8L manual.

19 Answers

Chase Sutherland

lifters could be clicking if the vehicle is low on oil. if thats not the problem you could have an exhaust manifold leak.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Anthony Alaniz

the oil is good and was recently changed...how can i tell if its a manifold leak?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chase Sutherland

does it sound just like a "tick" or more like a bit of "whisper"? if its a really light kind of whisper sounding noise its an exhaust manifold leak. i dont really know how to test for it but i know what it sounds like

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Anthony Alaniz

it is definitely a tick...no ifs and or buts about it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chase Sutherland

i dont know what to tell you then man. im not a big ford guy so i dont want to give wrong information to you. just remember though thats shop usually quote for free so you could always take it in and jsut have them lsiten and see what they think about it

Anthony Alaniz

thanks man ill check it out

Alex King

hey its probabally your lifters... there are ways to test it and to delay the inevitable... eventually your gonna have to have the top end taken apart and have it repaired but in the meantime some people say that adding some power steering fluid to your oil (will 'thicken' it and coat them better) this however is not a practice that ive officially used but i know it has corrected the ticking noise... but its only a temporary fix right... id just get it fixed...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Noe Santamaria

Yeah like everyone else said, it sounds like your lifters are ticking from lack of oil. Check the oil level again. I had this same problem on my 1991 LX.

Anthony Alaniz

kk will do. i have to get under the hood anyway. theres something wrong with transmission now. never fails right lol.

A Facebook user

change the valve maybe...

Alex King

thats vague... and im sure if hees gonna do the work to get to the point where he can replace the lifters heed do the valves and possibly have a look at the complete valvetrain while hees at it...

Brad Weber

Hey man. I had the same problem with my 02 3.8. What i did was added a quart of auto trans fluid ran for a little while and changed the oil afterwards. Havnt had a problem since. I got that from my shop foreman that did that to his blazer.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
A Facebook user

change oil might help...what's your car's mileage anyway?

Brad Fairhurst

hey, it's most likely a sticky lifter, try adding some stp oil additive, or try a different viscocity oil (I went from 10W30 to 5W30), or you can replace the lifters and cam.

Tan Tidwell

It could be your timing chain. Does the Ticks get faster when you rev higher? If so its the timing chain and if you dont fix it soon it will break and go threw your lifters and maybe even crack your head. I have a 2007 Mustang 4.0L and that happened and I had the dealership put in a new engine. So just go get that checked out. Good Luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jacob Fraser

lifter noise increases with with engine rpm as well...

Brian Wainscott

More then likely a exhaust leak. I know certain model years of the V6 have a issue with the AC drain leaking directly onto the header flange, which over time can cause a leak/crack due to cold liquid hitting the hot exhaust. Could also be a issue with the lifters but if the correct oil level is maintained and your mileage is fairly low they shouldn't be a issue.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Justen Pautzke

i have a 2000 v6 mustang and its very common for the exhaust manifolds to not only leak but to crack. For me i found out that the flange connecting the cylinder closest to the driver seat on the driver side of the motor actually was fully cracked away from the manifold piping. I saw the full extent of the cracking when i went to replace it with some bbk headers. i hear water drips on the passenger side one from the a/c unit and i dont know why mine went on the driverside. But if it is decently loud that would be my guess. I am noticing more and more on ford motors that the manifolds seem to go bad decently quick.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Chris Souhlaris

Sounds like a rod... Junk it.. Mine went tick tick tick and it got louder with engine Rpms going up tol

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