Q: The engine ticking on a '95 Lexus LS 400

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I've got a '95 Lexus LS 400, with 390,000 miles and recently I've started hearing a ticking sound from the engine and the ticking is faster if I put my foot on the gas. Any thoughts about what it could be?

The first thing you’d want to do is get someone to check the valve lash--it may need the valves adjusted. Those things have pretty bullet-proof engines but they do have the valve adjustments on them that are little, stainless steel shims.

The little stainless steel shims, when they wear out and it starts clicking, are a really tough job, because not only do you have to take a lot of the engine apart to get the shims out, but then you have to measure in first to see how much off they are and then take the shims out, measure them and buy shims that are so much bigger or larger so that it works.

That’s something you really should pay a professional mechanic to do. You can have a technician from YourMechanic adjust your valve so that you don’t have to do it for yourself. Let’s say that the valves were all adjusted correctly and it wasn’t that, they’ll check the things like the fuel injectors. Sometimes they wear and they click. They will have a little stethoscope to listen the fuel injectors and diagnose exactly what is causing the ticking noise.

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