After new belts and tensioners, I'm still hearing a "tick-tick-tick".

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1995 Chevy Cavalier with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine and a three-speed transmission. It makes a loud ticking noise--a fast "tick, tick, tick, tick." The dealer has replaced belts and lifters. It doesn't make the noise constantly, but the dealer has heard it. Any advice you have for me would be helpful.--Betty

RAY: ANY advice? OK, why not try a new hair style, Betty?

TOM: She wants CAR advice, you moron. Betty, I'd ask the dealer to try replacing your oil pump. If the oil pump is weak, and isn't producing enough pressure, that could cause your lifters to collapse. And collapsed lifters would make a ticking noise, even if they're brand-new.

RAY: If it is an oil-pressure problem, it will be more likely to happen when the engine is hot, rather than first thing in the morning. So if that's the case, I'd have to (reluctantly) agree with my brother that the oil pump is the next thing to try.

TOM: And if a new oil pump doesn't stop the noise, Betty, you might suggest to them that the next course of action would be to order you a new engine. They won't like that--but tough! Good luck to you.

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