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Q: My 2000 Honda Civic is making a ticking noise

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My baby (A 2000 Honda Civic Si), is making a ticking noise when it warms up. I only notice it if my foot is on the gas. It is hard to describe, but it definitely doesn't sound like an exhaust problem. If I'm listening to music, I won't even hear it. I used to only notice it when I was going uphill or giving it a lot of gas, but now I notice it more. If I'm at a stop light, or giving it a little gas at idle, I don't hear the noise. Does the valve need to be adjusted? All the scheduled maintenance has been done recently (timing belt, water pump, my clutch, the ignition system, and so forth). The problem is hard to describe, but I don't have any check engine lights. Should I go in for a valve adjustment?

The symptoms you described are textbook symptoms of a car in need of a valve adjustment. Most Japanese cars of this era used mechanical lifters, as opposed to hydraulic lifters found in many European cars. The upside of mechanical lifters is better long term reliability and better high rpm performance; the downside is increased maintenance. The good news is that you don’t have to bring your car in for this service, the valve clearance adjustment can come to you by choosing to have one of the many professional technicians available through YourMechanic come to your home or work.

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