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Old 10-07-08, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine ticking noise. Valve lifter?

Just had my timing belt and water pump changed for the second time. I just passed 187K miles so I figured now's the time. I noticed a clicking noise in the engine now and the mechanic says he thinks it is a noisy valve lifter. He said the oil was black so the lifter might be dirty. I'm smelling something fishy. I was running 10-40 before the work. The mechanic put 5-30 in the car. Can I quite the lifter? What else could it be?
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Old 10-07-08, 02:41 PM   #2
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i have the same problem and it started around 70-80K, and i have always used mobil 1 10w-30. the clicking noise happens under heavy acceleration or acceleration on a climb. it sounded to me like the engine was knocking. i have also notice that right after an oil change, the noise is not there but about 500-1000 miles after an oil change the sound would come back. i have since switched to penzoil platium 10w-30(due to good reviews on bobistheoilguy.com forum) and the noise pretty much has been gone. i would recommend you to switch to something a bit thicker than 5w-30. also mobil1 oils always seem to be a bit thinner than other oil brand at the same weight.

i read somewhere that the rl has automatic valve adjuster and you wont probably need to adjust the valves.

btw, after two timing belt changes, what was the condition of the two old belts?
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Old 10-10-08, 01:05 AM   #3
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I didn't ask to see the old belts (stupidly) I guess I didn't care as I am going to keep my RL for the next 50K or so and then sell her. I bought some Mobil 1 today but after what you said, maybe I won't use it. Also, today, I put in some sea foam engine cleaner. I was going to let it work for a few days and then change the oil an put in the Mobil 1. Now I don't know what to do. Hmmmm
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Old 10-16-08, 07:08 AM   #4
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Well guess what? I have the same problem on a 2000. Been trying to diagnose it for a while. Like a dummy I used an old Fram filter I had sitting around and that's when the problem started. Swapped out the filter and still no change, Sea Foam - no change. Now it sounds like the culprit may be the Mobil1 Synthetic from what I'm reading. I know the lifter has to be dirty. My next step is to change to a thicker oil and away from Mobil1.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:33 AM   #5
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do not use too thin Mobil oils on the RL. the RL engine is kind of old-school and does not need to be fed by an expensive full synthetic oil. just stay with some 10W40 Mobil and you'll be fine.
the ticking sound often comes from wrong engine oil, but also the valve lifters give up after some period of time. if the ticking does not go away after change to another oil brand, you'll need to replace them.
they are not too expensive and changing them can be done in front of your home.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:28 AM   #6
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i would recommend staying with 10w-30, but away from mobil1. mobil1 is now a group III oil and according to some, its not "real" synthetic oil. mobil1 has always been thinner compare to other oils at the same wight. if you go with higher weight oil like 10w-40, you will lose some fuel efficiency. i highly recommend penzoil platium, its highly rave over at Bob Is The Oil Guy forum and it is a group IV oil.

i also agree with luke that you dont need expensive synthetic oil because conventional dino oil are very good now and can go 6k-7k between oil change no problem. i change my oil every 8k-10k so i stay with synthetic, and conventional oil prices have been creeping up. saving between synthetic and conventional oil isnt that much anymore.

bpddaddy and mike, let us know if changing to a different oil will help eliminate the ticking noise.
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Old 10-31-08, 07:42 PM   #7
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UPDATE

I ran sea foam for 3 days and changed the oil with Chevron Supreme 10-40 (That's what was for sale at CostCo). The ticking is gone! I'm not sure if it was the sea foam or the thicker oil. I'm thinking it was the oil. I've got 189k on the engine so I figure a slightly thicker oil is a good idea. Although, I'm only getting 18-20 MPG so maybe I should lighten up.
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Old 11-09-08, 12:45 AM   #8
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As an "old timer" I was taught the older the engine the thicker the oil...this served serveral purposes:
1. Quieted nosiy lifters
2. Help kept the engine from burning too much oil.
3. Also help those leaky valves

The only I was ever advised about putting in thicker oil was in the winter time..thats when you wanted to go lighter weight for easier starts then switch again to thinner weights when summer came. Dont know if that still holds true.

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Old 11-09-08, 01:11 PM   #9
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My ticking is still there after going to Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30. It seemed to have quieted somewhat, so I'll drive it for 1000 miles and see what I get.
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Old 11-09-08, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OEM Bob View Post
As an "old timer" I was taught the older the engine the thicker the oil...
that is only true for low quality engines, like volkswagen or audi. japanese engines are manufactured with higher quality so you don't need to use thicker oils.
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Old 11-19-08, 04:38 AM   #11
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Located and repaired the source of my ticking valve. I had a bad spark plug on #5. Replaced them all with NGK iX iridium and all's quiet again - and smoother response.

Now I have to sell ole girl. Looking to get a used MDX.
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Old 12-06-08, 12:31 PM   #12
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i read somewhere someone eolved a engine cloicking noise wit new spark plugs and coil packs supposidly it was a misfiring cylinder i have the same problem i wilbe hcanging plugs soon il let u kknow
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Old 12-18-08, 10:55 PM   #13
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10w30/40?! Doesn't Honda/Acura recommend 5w30? Why all this talk of 10w30 and 10w40? The oil passages and such in the engine were designed for 5w oil...if you put 10w the oil flow through those passages will be slightly less than what it was designed for. I would think if anything, you would want to stick with the "recommended" oil thickness on an older engine...especially with carbon and gunk possibly closing up those critical oil passages. I don't know that I've met an oil leak that stopped leaking with a switch up to one weight heavier oil...might slow the leak down, but it really wouldn't have that much of an effect.

My personal experience with a Maxima with lifters, I used to use one weight heavier oil because I thought the engine "needed" it because I drove it hard. Eventually I started hearing a "ticking" which happened to be oil starved lifters. Switched to the "recommended" oil after doing a little research and within a 100 miles or so of switching back the ticking was gone. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-20-08, 06:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rower4VT View Post
10w30/40?! Doesn't Honda/Acura recommend 5w30? Why all this talk of 10w30 and 10w40? The oil passages and such in the engine were designed for 5w oil...if you put 10w the oil flow through those passages will be slightly less than what it was designed for. I would think if anything, you would want to stick with the "recommended" oil thickness on an older engine...especially with carbon and gunk possibly closing up those critical oil passages. I don't know that I've met an oil leak that stopped leaking with a switch up to one weight heavier oil...might slow the leak down, but it really wouldn't have that much of an effect.

My personal experience with a Maxima with lifters, I used to use one weight heavier oil because I thought the engine "needed" it because I drove it hard. Eventually I started hearing a "ticking" which happened to be oil starved lifters. Switched to the "recommended" oil after doing a little research and within a 100 miles or so of switching back the ticking was gone. Just my two cents.

where does it says that the engine oil passages were designed for a 5w oil? are you pulling this out of the air somewhere? if you notice, 5w-30 meaning that the oil is a thin 5w at room temperature and the oil thicken up to a 30w oil when operating at engine temperature. you must be smoking something bad if you believe the engine was designed for 5w oil. if you actually read the manual, acura also recommend a 10w-30 oil for folks who do not live in cold area that do not see sub zero temperature.
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Old 07-13-09, 01:57 PM   #15
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I live in Winiipeg, Canada. A very cold climate in winter.The manual for my 3.2 TL recommends 5W-20 for all seasons.It states that 5W-30 can be used if the 20 is not available. However, it should be changed back to 5W-20 at the following oil change. I have the ticking lifter sound as well. I will try the Pennzoil oil and a plug change to start with.
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