Mechanics

CLICKING / TICKING NOISE?

2000 Mitsubishi Galant • 124,892 miles

My car is making a "clicking" or "ticking" sound that seems to increase along with the engine speed. The clicking sounds much like an electronic barbecue starter, and clicks for about 15-30 seconds, and then starts to click less often, before starting again. I have an audio sample of it if you want me to send it.
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A.ringhiser
November 27, 2010.



From the symptom description, I believe the noise is from the valve lifters. Mitsubishi engines tends to have this problem after some time and the only way to resolve it is to service or replace the lifters. It is only required to service/replace the lifters concerned to rectify.

KHLow2008
Nov 27, 2010.
Ok, thanks! How much would that repair cost me? Is this considered a major repair, or will it be fine to just leave it for a while before it is repaired? Thanks!

Alec

Tiny
A.ringhiser
Nov 27, 2010.
Cost would depend on how many lifters have to be replaced and the engine you have.

You can use the vehicle without any problem and if you can live with it, just ignore it until it becomes consistent. I believe presently the noise intermittently disappears after warming up and might be on and off.

One of the most common cause of this problem is use of additives and lack of oil change.

KHLow2008
Nov 28, 2010.
I have the 2.4 liter I4 engine, and I actually AM using an additive. I am using Auto-Rx, and would that possibly be the cause? Im about 500 miles into the 3,000 mile cleaning cycle, is it possible that the sound will disappear as the engine is cleaned more? There was a large build-up of varnish / sludge before, so my friend (a mechanic of sorts) recommended I use Auto-Rx. Are you saying that Auto-Rx caused the lifter to become damaged? Let me know, because if that is so Auto-Rx will be hearing from me X<

Thanks!

Alec

Tiny
A.ringhiser
Nov 28, 2010.
There is a possibility the noise would lessen gradually.

When additives are used, they tend to build up sludge which is the primary cause of the lifters malfunctioning. When engine flush or cleaners are introduced, the cleaning process might be incomplete and under such circumstances, noises would appear. You can't really put the blame on them as the noise could appear anytime, even after a normal oil change as the condition of the lifters were already bad when sludge buildup had occurred long ago.

For this engine, when sludge builds up, it is a matter of time before the problem occurs. Those that uses additives regularly would tend o accelerate the process, especially if the oil change interval is prolonged and vehicle is not of very high mileage.

Sorry I am not familiar with Auto-RX so is not able to make any comments on that.

KHLow2008
Nov 28, 2010.
Ok, thanks though. So over time, the sound could go away because the sludge that made them quieter would be removed, and replaced with oil? My hopes are that when the 3,000 mile cleaning phase is done, and the 3,000 mile rinse phase is also completed, the car will be returned to normal? Their website says that a layer of varnish / sludge being removed can cause sounds because there is metal-on-oil contact, rather than the sludge being between the metal parts. Does that sound right? The main concern that I have is that my engine will be damaged. At this point, would you be concerned if this was your vehicle? Let me know!

Thanks very much for your help so far!

Alec

Tiny
A.ringhiser
Nov 28, 2010.
This is not going to damage the engine. Just some performance related irritating noise.

The noise occurs when the lifters leaks internally resulting in them not maintaining their desired height and after the cleaning phase, the noise might still be there. I have dealt with many such cases and seems most of them even if new lifters were replaced, noise would still come back, just a matter of time. I would put it as a design and wear and tear problem.

I am irritated by abnormal noises and if it is my vehicle, I would wait for the cleaning pahase to be over and if noise does not improve, I would remove the lifters to service them first and check for abnormal wear on the lifters.

Being a 4 cyl engine, the job is not too difficult.

KHLow2008
Nov 28, 2010.
Ok, thanks! I will definitely wait for the cleaning/ rinse cycle, and then go from there. I too do not like annoying noises coming from my car, brakes and belt squeaks are the worst! Anyways, I am glad to hear that this will not cause any damage to my vehicle.

My second question is about the Mitsubishi 2.4L I4 engines. Are you familiar with these? How long do they typically last? I am concerned that I may end up pumping a ton of money into an engine well into it's lifespan (it has about 125, xxx miles). If it lasts for another even 60k miles, I would be impressed.

Thanks again for your help in eliminating my concerns about this rather annoying sound my car has decided to make.

Alec

Tiny
A.ringhiser
Nov 28, 2010.
With regular oil change and no coolant losses or overheating issues, doubling the mileage is not a problem. The only thing that can occur would be worn valve seals resulting in oil consumption and smoke emission.
The seals can be replaced with appropriate tools, without removing the head and if the job is done, you are good to go beyond 300 k miles.

Engines nowadays are built to last and seldom fail with proper maintenance.

KHLow2008
Nov 28, 2010.
I believe the seals have already been replaced (if they are round, about the size of a half-dollar, and typically orange?) By the same STUPID mechanic that put my timing belt tensioner on upside down or something and caused it to slip TWO teeth, causing major grinding / popping sounds. Basically, it cost $750 to save my engine. But if the seals are small and orange, then they were replaced at around 100k miles. My transaxle and engine are both running Auto-Rx, so after they are flushed out, I will be getting my drivetrain inspected by my local Mitsubishi Dealership, which has a "Diamond Chapter Of Excellence Award", a high mark in some sort of dealership rating system they have. Are inspections by dealers critical for having the engine and transaxle last longer?

Alec

Tiny
A.ringhiser
Nov 28, 2010.
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