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Q: Worried about a noise in the engine

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My 2011 Hyundai Elantra has had a little ticking sound coming from the engine for the last 20,000 miles or so. It started around 65,000 miles and now it is very noticeable. It gets worse the faster the car goes. I am worried that something could be really wrong with the engine. I did not expect this from such a new car! What could be causing this?

A: Having an engine noise can be annoying and ...

Having an engine noise can be annoying and damaging over time. Did the noises start after having the oil and filter changed? I ask because there are some aftermarket oil filters which will cause pressure variations in the engine, creating noise. If this is the case, the repair is quite simple: have another oil change performed and use a genuine Hyundai oil filter as per Technical Services Bulletin (TSB 05-20-002).

If you've been going to the dealer or know that a genuine Hyundai oil filter has been used, the following will apply. When you say the noise gets worse as the car goes faster, are you referring to the speed of the noise as the car goes faster, or does the noise volume go up and down with engine speed? Knowing that difference will help in the diagnostic process. If the noise changes with engine speed, (like revving the engine in park), it's an engine issue. If the noise is with speed while driving, then it's a transmission or driveline issue. Noises, being a hands on diagnosis, will require a technician to listen for the noise and determine what the source is. It is best if you can reproduce the noise when meeting with a technician as replicating the noise will assist the technician with diagnosis, shortening repair time. Hyundai has a 10 year, 100,000 mile power-train warranty and if your vehicle meets warranty criteria, a trip to the dealer may be necessary. Please call your dealer with your VIN number to find out if your car is covered under this warranty.

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