Ticking when I first start driving

When I first start my vehicle in the morning, I usually hear a "clicking" or "ticking" noise coming from the engine. I don't think I've heard this before in my older vehicles. Once the engine warms up, the noise seems to disappear. Is this something to be concerned about? What could cause the noise?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
If you feel this is a concern then have a mechanic listen to the noise to see if it may be normal or not. Some newer vehicles have emission control devices that may make noise when first started and then go away till it is restarted again. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can inspect the source of the noise at your home or office.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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Sometimes an engine will tick when it`s first starting due to a lack of lubrication on top of the motor. The ticking sound is commonly caused by opening and closing valves or rocking arms. This could mean the car is low on oil or there is a problem with the oil delivery system that needs to be repaired.
It might be a battery or alternator problem.

Perhaps your battery`s dead, or your alternator, which charges the battery, isn`t working correctly. If the source of the clicking is electrical, the starter (a small motor energized by the battery that gets the engine running) doesn`t have enough juice to stay powered.

The most common reasons a Toyota Highlander engine makes a ticking noise are low oil level or pressure, an issue with the ignition system, or an exhaust leak.
An engine with low oil or low oil pressure can make a ticking noise due to a lack of lubrication. If you are low on oil, it may indicate either oil consumption or an oil leak, both of which should be addressed as soon as possible. If you have low oil pressure, you will likely get a warning on the dash.
A distinct clicking or ticking noise emanates from the high pressure fuel pump that can be very noisy during cold starts and quietens following engine warm-up. The sound is more noticeable when standing outside the vehicle, with the hood up, or when the vehicle is next to a building such as a drive-through.
Lifter Ticking

Often, a lifter tick will be most prevalent as soon as you start the engine, and may get quieter or disappear completely as the engine warms up. You may also notice the sound is more prevalent at idle.

Most commonly, its caused by a fuel pump that`s not working. The fuel pump fuse may have blown, or the fuel pump itself will need to be replaced. Alternatively, this problem could be caused by a leak in the fuel lines, clogged fuel injectors or a bad fuel pressure regulator.
The most common cause of engine ticking noise is low oil pressure. This is an indication that vital engine components are not getting adequate lubrication. Your engine may be low on oil or there could be a problem inside the engine causing the low oil pressure.
When the timing belt starts to wear out, it may create a ticking sound inside the motor. This warning sign may also be an indication of low oil pressure or the engine not having the proper amount of lubrication.
Most Jeeps that have a ticking sound coming from the engine bay will be internal and related to the valve train. The valve train will include the camshaft, rocker arms, lifters, push rods, and other cylinder head components.
The most common reasons a Toyota Corolla engine makes a ticking noise are low oil level or pressure, an issue with the ignition system, or an exhaust leak.
Dirty Oil Deposits

This is the number two reason for lifter tick sounds coming from the top half of the engine and one that has the least economical impact to correct.

It is strongly advised to only drive with faulty lifters for a short distance ranging a maximum of 100 miles, and that should be exclusively to reach an experienced mechanic who can address the issue. Attempting any more mileage than this could put you at risk of further damage and costly potential repair bills.
Failure rates are low for the first 75,000 miles or so, but after that, the rate of failure increases dramatically, with the majority occurring around the 125,000-mile mark.
Bad Sensors

One common culprit for this problem is the crankshaft position sensor, which measures the position and speed of the crankshaft. The computer uses the information from this sensor to know when to fire the spark plugs. If the sensor isn`t working, the spark plugs won`t fire, keeping the engine from starting.

There is a rattling sound. A lax timing chain, or worse, a broken timing chain with loose parts within the engine, will produce a rattling sound when your car is idling. This rattling sound is typically most prominent while the engine heats up and disappears after some time.
Low oil pressure might be the cause of those ticking sounds. When vital engine components don`t get adequate lubrication, it might cause other problems, and the engine starts to make these noises. A broken valve train component, such as lifters or cam followers, can also cause ticking, tapping, or clicking sounds.
You should hear steady, consistent clicking as the injector cycles, indicating proper function. No noise, intermittent clicking, or a difference with other cylinders likely means you have a bad fuel injector that needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced.
Adding more oil will make the noise go away, but it won`t solve the underlying cause of the noisy engine – the oil leak.
The cost of a lifter replacement including parts and labor can often be steep, ranging in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. However, this price will vary depending on your car`s make, model, and year and the rates of the shop you use.
Does synthetic oil cause engine noise?” No. It simply makes the engine noise more apparent. When you use the conventional oil, it will tend to stick to your pistons more completely.
Wrong Oil Filter

Replacing the filter with the wrong one can decrease and sometimes increase the oil pressures through the pump which can cause abnormalities in the engine performance. A decreased oil pressure however is what primarily causes the engine components to make the ticking noise.

Tick increases speed with increase of rpm.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.

Hi I have an 2001 Infiniti i30 and when I put it in drive it starts to shake and when I start driving it starts shaking and rumbl
ANSWER : Hi there. There are many sources that cause vibration, and if a single component designed to dampen that fails, you’ll feel it. Motor mounts, transmission mounts, suspension bushings are just a few of the things that are designed to minimize vibration. However, damage to fuel system components like a mass air flow sensor can also cause this type of problem. The best way to narrow the causes down is to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a car shakes and vibrates inspection.

Vehicle won’t start, once it’s jump started it only stays running until you turn it off, then it work start again without jumping.
ANSWER : Hi there. There could be two problems here. It is possible that your battery is bad and will not take a charge from your alternator while driving. In that case every time you shut your car off you will not have enough juice to start it again. Inspect your battery – it should have at least 12.5 to 13 volts to start your car, if it doesn’t you will need to replace the battery. The second problem could be that your alternator is bad and not charging your battery, in this case you will need to replace your alternator. Both the battery and the alternator can be tested in your car. If you would like to have the car checked for you, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and proceed with repairs.

When I shut off my vehicle after driving it for an hour or more it won’t immediately start back up. At first, it will just click a
ANSWER : The intermittent no start condition you are describing will not damage the car. Obviously, though, an intermittent no start condition such as this can cause great inconvenience. If the symptom is no starter motor operation at all, it relatively easy to pin this down. The next time you experience no starter motor operation, hold the key in the start position and have an assistant use a voltmeter to check for battery voltage at the starter solenoid. If there is battery voltage to the solenoid, and yet no starter motor operation, you probably have a starter that has an intermittent fault. Sometimes, in these cases, if you strike the starter motor body sharply with a rubber mallet the starter will then work when you try the key. If striking with a rubber mallet works, that typically means there is a bad spot on the armature. The vibration from striking the motor simply moves the armature just enough to get it off the bad spot. Obviously, the solution is to drive around with a rubber mallet in your trunk. All kidding aside, you have some sort of intermittent fault and it will be discoverable if you request a no start diagnostic. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

My car stutter starts, but only after driving it for a few minutes.
ANSWER : Hey there. This may also be caused by what is called the fuel pressure regulator. This is a unit that helps to maintain the fuel pressure at the proper level. When this is not working properly, the fuel pump may be pumping properly, but the fuel may not arrive at the fuel injectors at the proper psi. When this happens, this can cause a lean fuel condition which may cause the car to hesitate, misfire, or stall. If you would like to have an expert pinpoint the issue, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the hard start problem and confirm which repairs are needed.

My truck died while driving. Now will start, but dies when I push brake. If I start in neutral, I can put in drive and go but dies – 2003 Ford F250
ANSWER : Hello – your symptoms suggest that once your cold start features are no longer needed – engine warming up – there is an air "leak" that ruins low speed running. Causes could be a leaking exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, or leak in the air intake. A failing fuel pump relay (burned contacts) could cause similar behavior, contacts become hot, then won’t pass enough current to run the pump. Failing pump can also act this way – gets hot and fails. I recommend a starts, then dies inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Why does my car struggle to start every 4th to 5th time?
ANSWER : It sounds like your starting issues may be linked to a problem with air metering or fuel delivery. A clogged or malfunctioning idle air control valve may show some of the same symptoms you are describing. The idle air control valve can be stuck in a cold start position which may work well if the car has been sitting a few hours, but as the engine warms up there must be a regulation in airflow. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out for a closer look at your hard start situation and offer a more personal diagnosis.

Van starts right up with first try on cold start, but cranks hard when warm.
ANSWER : This may be a sign of a faulty ignition coil. Ignition coils are coated with a varnish-like insulation that becomes brittle over time after being stretched then contracted repeatedly. The insulation develops small fractures that open when heated and close when cooled. When open, they allow shorting of coil windings and decrease or eliminate the coil’s ability to function. This type of temperature cycling happens because every time you shut the engine off, the fan stops running, the coolant stops flowing and the temperature under the hood rises. Every time you start the engine again the coolant flows, the fans turn on, and the temperature drops. When this heat dissipates and is absorbed under the hood, it is trapped causing this cycling effect. Other components that contain heat sensitive materials include parts like fuel injectors, igniters, and some sensors. Any of these may be potentially subject to this same kind of heat cycling problem which can be very difficult to trace. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle.