Does Your Car Make A Ticking Noise When Accelerating? Here’s The Fix

If you car make a ticking noise when accelerating? Don't worry, this guide helps you identify the problem and explains how to fix it.

A car enthusiast will tell you that one of the best things about driving a car is the sound of the engine roaring. Unfortunately, sometimes that “roar” may be a ticking noise that should not be there.

If your vehicle produces a ticking noise when accelerating, a fault in either of the following components may be present:

  • Oil pressure
  • Exhaust leaks
  • Valvetrain
  • Spark plugs

All these potential problems will be discussed with tips on how to diagnose the problem and potentially fix it.

Table of ContentsShow

Oil pressure

car engine oil fill port open

One of the most important things as a car owner is to make sure that your car has access to adequate amounts of oil to lubricate all the moving parts of the engine.

Low oil pressure can be devastating to your engine as metal parts in the engine will touch each other with great friction leading to irreversible damage.

As the metal parts move into each other a ticking sound may be heard. The noise may be heard when the car is still but be exacerbated when accelerating as the engine parts move faster.

How To Fix

Firstly, make sure to fill up your car with engine oil. If you recently replenished the oil, make sure that there are no leaks present, making your oil deplete at a faster than normal rate.

Make sure that the oil filter is changed after every oil change which should be done in determined intervals. A low oil pressure can be due to a clogged oil filter, leaks, or simply an inadequate amount of engine oil present.

Exhaust Leaks

exhaust leaks

When the fuel has combusted, it has to be expelled in a controlled manner. If there is a leak in the exhaust manifold, a ticking noise can be produced.

An exhaust leak can occur anywhere in the exhaust system, however, if the leak is in the exhaust manifold it may present as a ticking noise from the engine compartment.

How To Fix

It might sound serious to have an exhaust leak, but it is a fairly simple procedure to fix.

The leak can simply be “patched up” by a mechanic. If it turns out that the exhaust manifold gasket is leaking, it may be replaced for a relatively cheap cost.  


valvetrain or valve train

The engine consists of many valves that are a part of the synchronous mechanisms of the engine. The valvetrain controls the intake and exhaust valves.

If the valvetrain or the valves themselves are faulty, a ticking noise can be heard as the valves are not correctly adjusted. The engine will be prone to misfires, and you may experience decreased power when accelerating.

This problem occurs mostly in high mileage cars or cars that have not been serviced properly.

How To Fix

Adjusting the valvetrain is not a very complicated job and can be done as a DIY project if you have the tools and patience. If you decide to let a professional fix it, it will cost you about $80 to $150.

Spark Plugs

two spark plugs

Spark plugs that do not work properly, will just like misaligned valves, cause the engine to misfire.

If you have recently changed your spark plugs and hear a ticking sound, there is a possibility that the spark plugs were incorrectly installed.

Regardless of the cause, spark plugs seal each respective cylinder. If a spark plug is loosely fitted or cracked, the combustion and exhaust gases can bypass leading to a ticking noise.

In a worst-case scenario, the spark plugs may have damaged the cylinder head threads which would require a replacement.

How To Fix

If the spark plugs are shown to be bad, a simple replacement will do the trick. Sometimes, the only problem is that they are loosely fitted. In that case, it would be enough to tighten them.

If it turns out that the spark plug has damaged the cylinder head threads, it must be either replaced or repaired which unfortunately can turn into an expensive story.


accelerating black car

A ticking noise when accelerating can be caused by many things. It is important to find the cause of the problem as there is a risk that the engine will be damaged, making the repair bill greater than it initially was.

In most cases the cause is either due to oil pressure, exhaust leaks, spark plugs, or the valvetrain. All these problems arise when accelerating as the sounds are amplified when the engine RPM’s increase.

Fixing these issues are most often in the cheaper spectrum, but make sure to figure out the problem as soon as possible.

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Bajro Muric
Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.