2000 Mitsubishi Galant clicking / ticking noise?

Tiny
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  • 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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Saturday, November 27th, 2010 AT 2:46 AM

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Tiny
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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.

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Saturday, November 27th, 2010 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
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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

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Saturday, November 27th, 2010 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
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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.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 2:20 AM
Tiny
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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

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 3:38 AM
Tiny
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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.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 3:57 AM
Tiny
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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

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 4:04 AM
Tiny
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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.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 4:14 AM
Tiny
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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

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 4:21 AM
Tiny
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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.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 4:37 AM
Tiny
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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

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 4:44 AM
Tiny
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Inspections would not count for anything if maintenance are poor. As regards to transmission, they don't seem as reliable as would be preferred. They are rather fragile and not built for robust usage. If you are not a hard driver, it would last longer.

The first sign of erratic shifting would be an indication something is going wrong. It might fail early but sometimes it can last quite long as well depending on the situation. The correct specification transmission fluid for Mitsubishi is very critical. Incorrect use would cause premature failure.

I believe the orange seals you mentioned are the valve seals because when repairs are carried out on the valve trains, they would have to be replaced. OEM would be metal color instead of others.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 6:47 AM
Tiny
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Glad to hear that guy did SOMETHING to help my car. Mostly, he took my money and left me with a car that was perfectly fine before he fixed it, and about to break after! So the seals are done, and the engine is getting de-sludged. My transaxle was doing fine before I added Auto-Rx, I simply had to change my transaxle fluid soon so I gave it a try. I don't know how it did it, but it feels almost like it doesn't shift, thats how smooth it has become! You would't happen to condone or not suggest usage of additives in cars, would you? Let me know of your opinion. Thanks for your help!

Alec

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
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I don't recommend using additives as I have seen many engine failures due to them. The sludge buildup due to additives are higher and more dangerous than anything else and can clog oil passages or the oil strainer in oil sump.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 9:22 AM
Tiny
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If I have already started this oil additive, what should I do? There are many customer testimonials that say it is good, but obviously the company would't put negative ones up. I think this is a relatively safe product to use, as it breaks down sludge over a 3,000 mile period, with a filter change at 1,500 miles. I am not trying to endorse this product at all, but people on their forum have used this in Bentleys and Land Rovers and lots of other old and new luxury vehicles. Do oil strainers get clogged typically? The clogging must be what causes the clicking in my vehicle, correct?

As long as the sludge is dissolved rather than removed in chunks, my engine would be safe, correct? This is what I got out of what you are saying. The sludge that is removed by the additives just gets moved somewhere else where it can cause even more damage by clogging a major oil route throughout the engine?

Great, now that my valve noise concern has been eliminated, I have another one haha. Let me know what you think, your opinion is really helping me with these decisions!

Alec

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 9:40 AM
Tiny
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The job of good engine oils are to remove sludges from the engine and during regular oil change it is always recommended to drain the oil when engine has just been shut off.

The lesser sludge buildup the cleaner the engine will be and the longer it will last. Shorter oil change intervals would keep the engine clean as the longer oil stays in the engine, the more sludge it is going to collect.

I change my engine oil every 3000 miles with regular grade engine oil and at 100 k miles, you can see the valve trains are as good as new. The drained oil would only look slightly brown.

How do you know the additive is compatible with the oil you are using?
How would you know the additive is dissolving the sludge and not pulling them down in chunks?

When sludge build up, they would stick anywhere in laters which would thicken over time. Any external factor can trigger these to collapse and be drained into the oil sump. If they can be dissolved, it would not clog the oil strainer. If they are sucked up by the strainer in a clump, oil volume to the oil pump would be ruduced resulting in oil pressure loss.

Oil strainers would not get clogged if they are not subjected to accumulation of sludge. The ckicking noise from your engine is not from the clogged strainer. It is the hydraulic lifters which are not getting sufficient or leaking oil pressure. It cannot be fully be attributed to the oil as some could be due to wear over time.

Those who produce additives would tell you the advantages of their product but would they ever tell you the disadvantages? Do you still remember how the tobacco companies were sued for their product?

In theory their product might be good but in practice, it might be another story.

There are poeple who recommends you to use additives and then comes along someone with a product to clean the engine because of sludge buildup. That is life cycle, everybody is out to make something out of nothing.

Sporadic use of additive is ok but continued use is where the problem lies. A one time use of additive would not result in much accumulation of sludge.

These are all my personal thoughts and I have only my experience and word to back me up so they should not be used as an argument.

The saying goes, " A glass of wine is good for health" If you try too many glasses, it is not a good ida.

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
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That is a very good point, and I can see why you would say that. With all those manufacturers claiming that their product is the best for cleaning that, making this perform better, and all of that stuff, the whole thing is really just in your head and the products can be damaging the vehicle.

Hopefully Auto-Rx is going to clean my engine out pretty well, so that I will not have to use an oil additive again. That is a great tip with checking the color of oil to see how clean an engine is, that makes a lot of sense, and seems like a pretty good indicator.

At least I know my strainer is not clogged, is that located in the oil pan? Is there any way to check on the status of the oil strainer? And with the valve lifters, are those located under the valve cover? I know that my car is a single overhead camshaft, with 16 valves, aluminum cylinder head, and cast-iron engine block. Are you saying that potentially that clicking noise can just be the part wearing out / not getting enough oil, and that when the oil returns, or the part that is clicking wears a little more, that it will gradually disappear or become quieter?

Like you said, the use of additives isn't necessarily bad, but it's not too good of an idea. I will definitely be checking in on my engine's level of cleanliness throughout the entire phase, and make sure that it is performing like it says to. Thanks again for your insight to my question, I really appreciate it!

Alec

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 6:43 AM
Tiny
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The strainer is located in the oil pan anf it it is parially clogged, you might not notice it unlesss you have a oil pressure gauge which might drop in pressure at high speed. If it is badly clogged, the oil pressure indicator lamp should turn on or flicker.

To check on the status, the oil pan would have to come off.

The valve lifters are located under the valve cover. Refer to Fig 21 & 21a. Items 14 & 17 are the hydraulic lash adjusters. They are moving components under stress so wear can occur resulting in emission of noise. However if it is due to wear, the noise would be rather consistent and not fade away intermittently.

When there is sufficient oil pressure and lubrication, there would be minimal noise.

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
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Thanks! I will check the valve clearances / lash <-- (?) On my car when I look for the valve lifters. How much do valve lifters cost, typically? I will be buying all of the parts, and paying for labor at my local repair facility (the Mitsubishi dealerships cost a fortune, and are really ghetto-looking anyways. The closest dealership to me has a separate industrial shed with a garage door, with the words "Mitsubishi Service" painted over it.) Valve gaskets are cheap (<$25 for a Beck/Arnley branded one), and a oil pan gasket is about the same price, but I do not know where to find any lifters. Every Google search I do brings up the V6 engine lifters, which I unfortunately do not have. Let me know if you could possibly point me in the direction to finding one? And if one has or is in the act of collapsing, can you just replace that one, or is it better to replace all of them?

What do valve lifters look like, and how much do they cost is my current question, and what is an estimate on how many hours of labor there is involved? Oh wait, I found lifters :) They are $16.99 each at O'Reilly Auto Parts, and I would need 8 if I was getting all new ones for my engine. How much time is required to replace one lifter, and how about all 8? Are you confident that my engine will last a long time after this repair?

Are the valves in my vehicle hydraulically operated? I do not think that the valve lash have ever been adjusted in this car, so could that possibly have caused the lifter to wear out and become disguised by the amount of sludge in the engine / oil? I wouldn't say there is a TON of sludge, but perhaps there was enough to keep it from clicking until I added Auto-Rx to the engine?

Let me know, I really appreciate your help!

Alec

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 6:50 AM
Tiny
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Valve lashes are hydraulically operated so are non adjustable.

Replacement time for the valve lifters is 2 hours. They are under the rocker arm and that would have to be removed so they would come off together.

After removal of the lifters, any that cn be compressed without releasing the pressure hae to be serviced or replaced. When replacing, it is best to replace all.

There should be 12 lifters.

How long the engine would last would depend on other factors as well but generally an engine that has been well maintined and does not have overheating issues would almost last forever.

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 7:16 AM
Tiny
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Ok, so the valve lash thing was not true. Haha, how embarrassing!

I will call around and see what the labor charges are in my area. Is there any way that the repair facility changing the lifters would be able to tell which ones of the 12 need to be replaced? Lifters are not that expensive, so I may just do all, but it would depend on how many were close to wearing out, you know?

Melling - Lifters
Part Number: JB2250
Line: MEL
1 Year Limited Warranty
SOHC
86.5mm Bore
16 Valve
Quantity Per Vehicle: 8

That is the information that O'Reilly gave me. I will be sure to purchase 12, if necessary.

I am glad that you think my engine will be able to last a long time, it has never had any real issues. My Mitsubishi has been very dependable, and I hope that it stays that way for another 180k miles (300,000 mile mark!) :)

Thanks!

Alec

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 7:33 AM

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