My car started making a ticking noise. When I opened the hood, I thought something might be rubbing. It turns out that after I removed the cap where you add oil, the ticking got significantly louder and very consistent. I added some oil to the engine, and the ticking quieted down. When the ticking happens, it's almost unnoticeable, until you take off the oil cap, and the car seems to be running just fine. However, since my last oil change, I smell faint burning oil occasionally, and it seems like I've been burning a lot more oil lately in general. What causes the ticking, and is it linked to burning oil?
There are several items that can tick under the hood of the vehicle. Fuel injectors click when they turn on and off, and the engine valve train can make a clicking noise when it becomes worn or the oil level is low. The fact that adding oil quiets the ticking leads me to believe that the most likely cause is the upper end of the engine ticking. When vehicles begin to burn oil, the oil level must be watched carefully as engine damage can result from low oil levels. A qualified technician, like one from YourMechanic, will be able to diagnose the noise and make the needed repairs for your car.
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