Asked by Dec 21, 2015 at 10:36 AM about the 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Makes a ticking noise when i start it

8 Answers


Have you checked your oil level? When was the last time you changed the oil filter? How many miles are on the engine? Loud ticking? Does the ticking come from the front of the engine/timing chain cover, or the sides/valve cover area? Does the ticking match the engine RPM? Or half the speed of the engine RPM? There are all sorts of ticking, the more info you have the better we can assist you.

I just had a oil change it has 159338 miles on it. It olny does it when i start it on a hill and yes it does come from the front of the engine

Timing chain cover

Its not a loud noise


That location would indicate a timing chain, the timing chain tensioner, or the water pump. You may want to scan for any trouble codes, and see if you are throwing timing related codes. Does the tick go away after a while (specifically, after you have built up oil pressure?) Oil drains back to the pan after the engine has been off so there will always be some 'oil starvation' at startup that can cause a tick in high-mileage motors that disappears after the motor has built up oil pressure. If the timing chain has never been replaced, it's due wth 160K on that motor.

Ok thanks

So what if the ticking noise never stops, and the oil level is ok? Is this something serious?

My does the same thing too...mine is loud noise (knocking) my local mechanic says I may need a new motor

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