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Today, I noticed a relatively loud clicking sound coming from my engine. It is something I haven't heard before.

 

At idle rpm, it clicks at a rate of about 6 or 7 times per second, and increases with engine rpm. I cannot localize it to any particular area of the engine, but I will try again later today.

 

I checked the oil, and it is 1/2 qt above the full mark.

 

The engine runs fine, no loss of power or other symptoms, just the noise. It is audible inside the car, even with the air vents on medium.

 

Could having the engine overfilled with oil cause this symptom? It sounds like a valve problem to me, but I don't have a lot of experience in that area.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Matt

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My 1995 Legacy used to click. It stopped one day when I was jumping a friends car and reved my engine to 6000 RPM for a few seconds. It never came back.

 

Most people said it was some gunk in the valves or that the valves needed adjusting.

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I have the 2.2L engine, if that helps.

 

 

From searching the database, it looks like the most likely culprit is a valve lifter. I am going to try the seafoam treatment in the oil and do an oil change soon.

 

I'll also research the work involved to replace the valve lifters.

 

Matt D

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I had the exact same problem recently, except it did not go away when it warmed up. I thought it might be a belt, but I took it to my mechanic and he said it was about 1 quart over filled and that might be the problem. He drained some oil, but that didn't change the sound right away. Then about a day or two later it went away as suddenly as it came. Maybe you should get the oil level down to the right level and see what happens.

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I had this happen but it never went away. I dont know if this is what people on the board call the tick of death but it might be worth doing a search on. Mine never went away. I got it quiter by throwing in some Motor Honey but it nearly seized my Engine. I am serious, it was almost gone. Use that stuff at your own risk. But of course this is before I heard of Seafoam. I stand by that stuff. It is never a waste of Money putting in Seafoam. Worth a shot even if it does not make the Click go away. Thanks

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I put some seafoam in, and drove around a while. Changed oil and filter, added seafoam to new oil. Still ticking. I am going to drive it around a few more days, and if the ticking doesn't stop, I'm going to remove the valve cover and inspect the rocker arm assembly for clogged oil passages or stuck hydraulic lash adjusters.

 

I resealed the oil pump in January when I changed the timing belt. I am wondering if some gasket compound got into the oil and plugged up one of those tiny oil passages.

 

Especially since the problem started suddenly the other day.

 

Matt D

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Could be a sticking tappet. Try putting it in neutral and holding the RPMs at redline for 10 seconds or so. If that doesn't work, try again a couple of times. The limiter should keep it from going above redline.

 

 

 

I put some seafoam in, and drove around a while. Changed oil and filter, added seafoam to new oil. Still ticking. I am going to drive it around a few more days, and if the ticking doesn't stop, I'm going to remove the valve cover and inspect the rocker arm assembly for clogged oil passages or stuck hydraulic lash adjusters.

 

I resealed the oil pump in January when I changed the timing belt. I am wondering if some gasket compound got into the oil and plugged up one of those tiny oil passages.

 

Especially since the problem started suddenly the other day.

 

Matt D

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What oil are you running on? Chances are that you are right in thinking it's in the valve train. I would suggest that you start running Mobil 1 as I have seen it clear up this exact problem. Be patient though as it may take a couple of oil changes depending on how much gunk is built up!

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To all:

 

I got a chance to do some work on the car today, this is what happened:

 

I localized the loud ticking sound to the driver's side of the engine.

 

I removed the battery, washer reservoir, and valve cover on that side.

 

I removed the 8 bolts that hold the rocker arm assembly to the cylinder head and removed the assembly for inspection.

 

On inspection, I found that all four of the hydraulic lash adjusters (HLA's, lifters, tappets?) on the upper side of the rocker arm assembly were out of oil and depressing fully, without resistance. This was causing the loud tapping sound and causing the valves to incompletely open.

 

I removed the faulty HLA's and refilled them with oil per the Haynes manual and Subaru manual, and put them back on the rocker arms.

 

After I reassembled the engine, there was no ticking!!!

 

(For about five minutes.)

 

Then the ticking began again. I did some research into the lubrication system, and decided that something must be keeping oil from getting to the upper HLA's on one side of the engine only. I went back to work.

 

This time, after I disassembled the rocker arm assembly, I also got a piece of copper wire and tried to clean out any oil passages I saw. They all appeared to be open. Then, as I was cleaning the main oil passage into the rocker arm shaft, I found that I could not easily clean it, due to the configuration of the passage.

 

I removed the end of the rocker arm so I could get to the oil passage. That's when I found the culprit. A small piece of gasket sealant had worked its way into the oil passage, partially obstructing it.

 

There must have been enough oil getting past it to supply the lower HLA's, but not enough pressure to force oil up and into the upper ones.

 

I drove the car for a while and have had zero ticking.

 

The piece of gasket was from when I re-sealed the oil pump in January.

I must have gotten a little messy with the goop.

 

The moral of this story is: Be careful not to apply too much RTV gasket sealant the next time you re-seal your oil pump!

 

Matt

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Way to go, Matt! Good detective work. I can imagine the smile on your face now as you start down the street--without the clicking!

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Well done! Glad you found the culprit. It's always better when you have a problem and solve it with full knowledge of the source. Having the sound just dissappear by itself wouldn't have been quite as satisfying.

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Wow ... This sounds eeerily familiar! I am getting a ticking that sounds exactly like my Acura (hydraulic lifters) had ... and I just happened to have re-sealed the motor (in January) ...

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