Q: Clicking noise in the engine, been going on for a while

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There is a loud ticking or clicking sounds coming from the engine of my 2010 Dodge Ram. This problem started at around 20,000 miles and has gotten worse as time went on (at 24,000 miles now). Clicking is the worst when the truck first starts and when it is first put in gear (automatic transmission). It usually goes away (mostly) after the truck is warm. How serious is this problem? I want to use this truck for a long time (longer than 24,000 miles at least), so I want to fix this problem and not have it pop up again.

Your truck most likely has an internal engine issue that is just starting to present itself. Abnormal noises, whether from your refrigerator, engine or even your plumbing can be an indication that repairs are needed. In the case of your truck’s engine, there can be several causes. Since the noise is loudest after sitting overnight, it may be caused by a valve lifter bleeding off. These lifters ride on the camshaft and are pumped up to the correct position by oil pressure. If this pressure is not retained, the lifter is not as tall as normal, allowing some movement which is heard as a clicking noise. When oil pressure fills the lifter back up, the noise goes away. Another issue may be caused by the timing chain or its hydraulic tensioner. The same principal applies to the tensioner because it operates the same way as valve lifter. No matter what, it is recommended to have it checked by a qualified technician.

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