Q: Makes a clicking sound

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The car started making a clicking/ticking sound and lost horse power all of a sudden while driving it on the highway. It still runs just doesn't feel like the gears are going through at all.

My car has 114400 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A clicking or ticking sound can be coming from lots of components. Lack of engine oil, low oil level, or poor oil pressure can cause the engine to make a loud clicking or ticking sound. If it were the engine sounding like that, it’s possible that the power is also reduced. Also, failed components within the transmission can give off the same types of noises and also not transmit engine power to the ground.

From previous experience, 1998-2008 Audi A4 and VW Passat equipped with the 1.8T engine had engine oiling issues. The heat produced by the small engine and turbo charger is very hard on engine oil. There was a large number of these engines failing due to oil sludging - oil would deteriorate to the point that it would become very thick and dirty, which reduces it’s ability to lubricate all the tiny clearances and gaps between engine parts. When this happens, engine damage occurs. Bearings, valve lifters, pistons, and even the turbo charger are damaged internally, eventually to the point of failure.

A certified technician can diagnose the noise and lack of power to determine if the oiling system or other components are the cause of your problems.

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