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Q: Clicking noise when engine is running and no audio from radio

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My car has dealt with some heavy rain and flooding (ankle to mid calf) and this morning it started fine except the car radio was not working. Thankfully it was sunny so no rain and it was able to dry. However when I finished work 8 hours later, the car developed a clicking noise when idling and running (rpms did not increase just sounded like a cat purr but clicking) as well as still no audio and a weird mild electrical smell. is my car still safe for commutes, hour long trips or should this issue be repaired ASAP?

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. The clicking sound may simply be the hydraulic lifters in the engine clicking. Given your higher mileage, and the timing, recent flooding is just coincidence. Make sure your engine oil is at the correct level, but don’t worry about this unless it gets worse. The electrical smell, on the other hand, sounds like a short in the wiring. Disconnect the fuse for the radio now, to see if the "electrical smell" goes away. If it does, wait for a week or two of dry weather before putting any removed fuse back in the car. If the smell persists, have a professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, check out the electrical system for wiring problems. Here at YourMechanic, we can have a technician come to your home or office to inspect your electrical system for you.

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