Clicking noise underneath engine? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Clicking noise underneath engine?


November 10, 2009
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City, State
Daytona Beach, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
03 XLT
A few times I have started my 03 explorer and a loud clicking noise is heard which sounds like it comes from underneath the engine. My father use to work on cars and from what I described he said it was the oil and that it might be sticking or low, It's not low but after a few minutes it went away.
Then today I started it and the clicking noise was on so I just popped the hood and looked at it, when I accelerate the clicking goes faster. I then turned off the car restarted it and it was still clicking BUT since I was already late for work I decided to drive anyways. Once I shifted into reverse the noise stopped...Anyone have some ideas about what this could possibly be?


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Give some stat's. What motor, how many miles, year and so on. Just shooting from the hip with no other information I'm purely speculating a rod knock. In my limited experience I've found in other situations when you hear a ticking sound coming from the engine and it changes with engine RPM, you can almost bet it's internal. I'm no mechanic, well maybe the shade tree type, but it's kind of hard to guess without more info.

2003 xlt, 4.0.
Has about 75,000.
The explorer sat out in a driveway for a little over a year.
But ever since I took it over it has been fine and I have changed out the oil, transmission flush.
I just did not know what this noise was and i've only heard it twice while driving it for a year.

Hopefully someone chimes in. There are some great mechanics on here. You might want to take a look at the heat shields. When I had my trans rebuilt there was a screw in a heat shield slightly loose, but it was enough to allow it vibrate and it sounded like tick coming from the underside.

If vehicle sits for a long period of time it'll get the tick because all the oil is in the pan. Start it up and it'll tick until oil is circulated. I had that on my 92 Explore 4.0 when it sat for 2 weeks. Keep in mid that the oil is thin (5-20W) and it's runny. Sounds like you should be OK especially since you changed oil and hopefully your filter. Happy motoring!

yea my dad said fromt he way i described the sound it had to do witht he oil. The wierd thing is that when I first started it up after sitting for a year it didn't do this. I've only seen this happen twice in the last month and I had the oil done about 2 months ago. Maybe the oil is a little thin? is there a something I can do for that?

Not really, just stick with recommended oil 5-20W Synthetic-blend. I wouldn't worry much since it's only once in awhile.