Hmm. I can't imagine how deep water would affect something inside the engine. If it is indeed a lifter / lash adjuster, you might be able to hear it louder if you listen near the removed oil cap, but watch for spraying oil. If the noise is coming from the valve train it will be perfectly steady and in rhythm with engine rotation and speed. There could also be wear and slop in the timing belt or a balance shaft chain and it is hitting the guide shoes or cover. That will usually sound more like marbles rolling around. If you have an overhead cam that uses hydraulic lash adjusters instead of lifters, they can develop tiny holes where they ride on the valve stems and let oil pressure leak down. That will cause a pretty loud but harmless click at idle and will often go away at higher engine speeds. That tick can get pretty loud. In my case it makes people in parking lots look and get out of the way for fear of falling parts, but it's been doing that for over ten years. Don't overlook the possibility of a sound shield or seal that got knocked off by the high water. Sometimes they are used just to keep normal noise from the passenger compartment.
Sunday, March 20th, 2011 AT 10:13 PM