Engine ticking, possible to quiet it down?

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Hi everyone!

Our Envoy has this Engine tick that still exists even after the engine is warmed up from a cold start. My parents bought our 02 Envoy with 42,000 miles back in 04 and now its creeping up on 142K, and it has always had this engine tick which sounds exactly the same as gmcman's Envoy (http://gmtnation.com/f25/cold-start-tick-1678/). I've been driving it to work and school will be starting in the next few weeks so I'd like to see if anything could be done to help quiet it down or get it to stop ticking all together. Since the weather is starting to warm up around here I'd figure it would be a good time to do an oil change and a gain a little power back from a good throttle body cleaning :biggrin:

I was planning on switching over to 10W-30 to see if it helps quiet it down and maybe some STP oil treatment? I'm not expecting miracles but it doesn't hurt to try right?
 

fadyasha

Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Oil change could do the job yeh! My ticking was a bad fan clutch. Make sure u exclude that first :wink:
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
New clutch fan was installed last May. The ticking sounds like its coming from the upper part of the engine.
 

fadyasha

Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Mike534x said:
New clutch fan was installed last May. The ticking sounds like its coming from the upper part of the engine.

Mine was changed past summer and failed me last month. If the ticking is coming from somewhere else then probably not it. I'm using castrol magnetic in my engine, it's pretty heavy and no ticking.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Sorry I don't mean to bump this thread I made almost a year ago!

With the weather warming up the trucks back to giving me the "low oil pressure" routine which seems to happen only when the RPM drops to a little under 500 before picking back up, my dad will be taking it in a few weeks to have it looked at (not a dealership), so before we take it in and cash out I wanted to see what your opinions are by having a listen to this video I took (excuse the poor camera skills). Its hard to tell where its exactly coming from so I tried to bring the phone closer but it didn't work out as effective as I hoped. Any thoughts or opinions would be welcomed! If it's normal then great because I've been wanting to get the PCM reflashed and tuned but this slight annoyance keeps blocking it from happening (along with some other mods)


[video=youtube;G4BOGGeYlw8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G4BOGGeYlw8[/video]
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
I completely missed this thread. :bonk: That almost sounds like an exhaust leak. Can you get a vid on the other side of the motor? Hard to say but it sounds like more than just a mechanical "tick".
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
gmcman said:
I completely missed this thread. :bonk: That almost sounds like an exhaust leak. Can you get a vid on the other side of the motor? Hard to say but it sounds like more than just a mechanical "tick".

Sure, I took another including inside the wheel well.

[video=youtube;uRMLKRLQXmM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRMLKRLQXmM[/video]
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Hard to say but I'm leaning towards an exhaust leak and if so I would suspect a cracked manifold based on the frequency. Another option is in the valve train but it sounds more like a spit than a tap.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Can you hook up a vacuum gauge and give us the results?

Steady needle or fluctuating?

Vacuum reading, should be 17or more (in.Hg)
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
gmcman said:
Can you hook up a vacuum gauge and give us the results?

Steady needle or fluctuating?

Vacuum reading, should be 17or more (in.Hg)

I'll try stopping by one of the auto stores and pick up a gauge. Is there a specific location on where I should hook it up ?
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
I'll try stopping by one of the auto stores and pick up a gauge. Is there a specific location on where I should hook it up ?

Sears has a good one, (Actron?) that's where I picked mine up but others sell some decent ones.

Right next to the fuel pressure regulator there is a port facing the PASS side, probably has a rubber cap on it.
Only reason to get the gauge is well, you actually need one to be a DIY'er, and to ensure you don't have a valve hanging...rock-steady needle is a good sign the valves are closing.

Is the ticking more pronounced under load in the cabin and when cold?

Gauge at sears:
 

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Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
gmcman said:
Sears has a good one, (Actron?) that's where I picked mine up but others sell some decent ones.

Right next to the fuel pressure regulator there is a port facing the PASS side, probably has a rubber cap on it.
Only reason to get the gauge is well, you actually need one to be a DIY'er, and to ensure you don't have a valve hanging...rock-steady needle is a good sign the valves are closing.

Is the ticking more pronounced under load in the cabin and when cold?

Gauge at sears:

My neighbor's got one I believe, I'm going to run across the way to grab it from him. The tick is always there no matter if its cold or warm and from what I'm hearing it doesn't get louder or lower but it does speed up depending on the engine's RPM.

I would say if your in the cabin, its not very audible unless the radio is muted and the heat or A/C is off but even then you kind of have to concentrate to hear it.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Just got in from testing the vacuum. The needle was holding steady at a little over 20.
 

MikesTB

Member
Mar 2, 2013
24
I had an engine tick and found out one of the bolts on the back side of the exhaust manifold was broken and pushed part of the gasket out just the head of the bolt snapped off it sounds a lot like yours
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
Just got in from testing the vacuum. The needle was holding steady at a little over 20.

That's a good sign, I would now focus on the exhaust manifold. Again, hard to say without being there but sure sounds like an exhaust manifold based on the frequency of the noise.

Being as loud as it is, you could probably pull the heat shield and see some discoloration around one of the ports.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
MikesTB said:
I had an engine tick and found out one of the bolts on the back side of the exhaust manifold was broken and pushed part of the gasket out just the head of the bolt snapped off it sounds a lot like yours

We thought it was possibly an exhaust leak until we kept getting mixed opinions from mechanics that looked it over, so now we're hoping we're on the right track. When it was in the dealer a few months ago, one of the guys we know running the service desk got them to do a free inspection (and reflashed the pcm with the latest updates supposedly) and they came back "claiming" that the issue was valve or piston related. I'm probably going off topic but the mechanic that looked it over was the same guy that wouldn't hook up a pressure gauge to check the oil pressure because the one on the dash is a "legit reading".

gmcman said:
That's a good sign, I would now focus on the exhaust manifold. Again, hard to say without being there but sure sounds like an exhaust manifold based on the frequency of the noise.

Being as loud as it is, you could probably pull the heat shield and see some discoloration around one of the ports.


Is the heat shield a pain to remove? I'm hoping that maybe the issue is related to bolts coming lose/breaking and its just a simple matter of replacing/tightening them.

This bit is off topic but whats the oil pressure rated at on these engines? :confused: I'm having a hard time finding it so I know what I should expect when I hook up a guage to it once it gets warmer out.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Spray the heat shield bolts with some PB blaster and let soak. Remove the air intake tube to gain access and likely the O2 sensor but the harness should fit through the opening.

I'm going to say it's a far cry from a piston and the valvetrain theory holds water but it surely doesn't sound that way. The heatshield isn't a pain at all to remove, just spray the bolts.

Please don't take it back to the dealer, sounds like they are slightly off base.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
I'll try and give it a go next sunday when it's a bit warmer out.

I stopped taking it there after they tried to tell me that the truck had no repair value with the mileage it has (141K) and the misdiagnosis they gave a few times before this.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Thought I'd post an update, we found the source of the tick it turns out coil #6 (one at the very back) was shot. We took it out (reeked of gas) and swapped it with coil #4, started it up and voila it was gone.

We got the idea from the mechanic that works at the shop down the street (Levin Tire) when we dropped the Envoy off to have new stabilizer links put in. What baffles us is that there were no codes or the CEL coming on (it felt like it was misfiring when we touched the coil) and it seemed smooth at idle, we're not sure why but now I'm glad knowing that it's taken care of. :biggrin:
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
We took it out (reeked of gas) and swapped it with coil #4, started it up and voila it was gone.

That doesn't sound right....glad you found the source but why did the coil wreak of fuel? Was the plug not tightened fully?
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,053
Brighton, CO
I would be interested in seeing what the plug looks like. It sounds like you have had this TB for a long time, and it should have had a tune up in the last 142k miles. Which means that the tick would have been corrected at that time.

So either that coil is bad, or, swapping the coils is just hiding it somehow, but I will be damned if I can figure out how..
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
gmcman said:
That doesn't sound right....glad you found the source but why did the coil wreak of fuel? Was the plug not tightened fully?

It might have been, it did seem to be just a tad bit loose so we tightened it and checked the others (they were fine) we'll still keep an eye on it and see if it happens again.

TollKeeper said:
I would be interested in seeing what the plug looks like. It sounds like you have had this TB for a long time, and it should have had a tune up in the last 142k miles. Which means that the tick would have been corrected at that time.

So either that coil is bad, or, swapping the coils is just hiding it somehow, but I will be damned if I can figure out how..

We're at a loss as well lol. We've had it since 04 (got it when the odometer read 49K) and it was probably 06-07 when the tune up was done and the plugs were replaced with AC-Delco Platinums. The only coil pack we've had to replace was #4 because it was misfiring, I think that was common on these trucks?

But from what I remember, the tick wasn't present until 3 1/2 years ago.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Sorry I don't mean to keep bumping this, just thought I'd post another update on what else we found. We took the coil off of #6 and the plug was not even hand tight in the cylinder when we went to pull it.

This is what we were greeted to:

 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
Sorry I don't mean to keep bumping this, just thought I'd post another update on what else we found. We took the coil off of #6 and the plug was not even hand tight in the cylinder when we went to pull it.

This is what we were greeted to:


That's crazy..:crazy:

I would get a tube of anti seize, small tube of dielectric grease, and replace all plugs with the 41-103 iridiums.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
I would also run a few cans of BG44K through your tank afterwards to clean up that cylinder.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
I plan on it :thumbsup:

Replaced each one with a set of Iridium's and it feels like an entirely new truck. It still puzzles me as to why there were no codes or a CEL with #6 being as loose as it was :confused:
 

ElAviator72

Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Mike534x said:
Sorry I don't mean to keep bumping this, just thought I'd post another update on what else we found. We took the coil off of #6 and the plug was not even hand tight in the cylinder when we went to pull it.

Check the plug hole for cross threading. It is incredibly easy to cross thread the spark plug holes in an aluminum cylinder head. That is why you are only supposed to change plugs on an engine with an aluminum head when the engine is cold. I wouldn't be suprised if whoever did your last plug change got a little careless when they got around to cylinder #6 :frown:
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
ElAviator72 said:
Check the plug hole for cross threading. It is incredibly easy to cross thread the spark plug holes in an aluminum cylinder head. That is why you are only supposed to change plugs on an engine with an aluminum head when the engine is cold. I wouldn't be suprised if whoever did your last plug change got a little careless when they got around to cylinder #6 :frown:

My neighbor's friend did them for us as a favor....my guess is he hand tightened them and put the coil over it and it eventually worked its way loose over time.


I do seem to have another issue on my hands, it looks like the head is rounded out on the oil pressure switch (from when the Envoy was at the dealer a while back)....how on earth am I suppose to get it free? :confused:
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Mike534x said:
I do seem to have another issue on my hands, it looks like the head is rounded out on the oil pressure switch (from when the Envoy was at the dealer a while back)....how on earth am I suppose to get it free? :confused:

Well the corners come a little rounded and usually needs a special socket. But if you want too you could use either locking or adjustable pliers to remove it. Take care to install the new one as crushing the outer shell could render it useless, hence the use of the special socket. A little strap wrench would work well too.

Mike534x said:
My neighbor's friend did them for us as a favor...


Your neighboors friend must have ADD to forget #6. lol J/K Make sure the plugs are torqued to 13 ft/lbs.

Mike534x said:
With the weather warming up the trucks back to giving me the "low oil pressure" routine which seems to happen only when the RPM drops to a little under 500 before picking back up

Normal operating RPM is 500-700 rpm. If it's dropping below 500 there could be a problem with the fuel or air metering. Have you cleaned and reset the throttle body?
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
CaptainXL said:
Well the corners come a little rounded and usually needs a special socket. But if you want too you could use either locking or adjustable pliers to remove it. Take care to install the new one as crushing the outer shell could render it useless, hence the use of the special socket. A little strap wrench would work well too.



Your neighboors friend must have ADD to forget #6. lol J/K Make sure the plugs are torqued to 13 ft/lbs.


Normal operating RPM is 500-700 rpm. If it's dropping below 500 there could be a problem with the fuel or air metering. Have you cleaned and reset the throttle body?


We do have that special socket but still can't get it free, it slowly turns but I've got a feeling its stripped inside the hole (I'm hoping its not). I'm thinking the guys down at the dealer got a little too crazy tightening it when they swapped the sensor a few months back (the guy we know at the service desk gave it to us as a freebie).

And you'd be surprised at how many people truly believe he does lol, it probably didn't help that he insisted on drinking while doing the work.

The lowest it got was 550 before the dummy light came on, though there were times when the idle would drop to 300 just by turning the steering wheel. Oddly enough, the truck never shuts down when the warning appears. I took some electronic cleaner to the wiring harness and plug to clear out any dirt that may have been messing with the connection. One of the codes we did get every now and then was a P0120.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
I plan on it :thumbsup:

Replaced each one with a set of Iridium's and it feels like an entirely new truck. It still puzzles me as to why there were no codes or a CEL with #6 being as loose as it was :confused:

Probably no code because the coil was working, the plug was firing, and any unburnt fuel from the low compression would be offset by the other 5 cylinders and the upstream O2 sensor would compensate.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
gmcman said:
Probably no code because the coil was working, the plug was firing, and any unburnt fuel from the low compression would be offset by the other 5 cylinders and the upstream O2 sensor would compensate.

Ahh well that explains the lack of misfire codes, I did see a noticeable increase in my MPG's after everything was taken care of, Before I was averaging 8 MPG (city) and now its around 12-13 MPG. Still debating if my 02 sensor needs changing, its the original and hasn't thrown a code yet though I haven't checked torque to see if it's operating the way it should.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Mike534x said:
Still debating if my 02 sensor needs changing, its the original and hasn't thrown a code yet though I haven't checked torque to see if it's operating the way it should.

I just replaced mine at 180K and it was the original...no codes. My MPG at least on the DIC has gone from 15.5 ish to 18 mixed hwy/cty.

I would absolutely change it. They are generally good for about 80K then get lazy, I wasn't aware that they need to be real lazy to throw a code.

AC Delco only.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Here is a good article about oxygen sensors , how they work and why they become sluggish and fail.

Oxygen Sensors & Emissions - Facts & Repair Advice

Typically, this is when you should change O2 sensors as part of any scheduled maintenance.

- Unheated oxygen sensors on 1976 to early 1990s vehicles

Every 30,000 - 50,000 miles

- Heated (1st generation) oxygen sensors on mid-1980s to mid-1990s vehicles

Every 60,000 miles

- Heated (2nd generation) oxygen sensors on mid-1990s and newer vehicles ( generally OBD2 equipped vehicles)

Every 100,000 miles
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
Well its been almost a month and everything was smooth. Got out of work today and was greeted with another noise coming from the engine when I got home. I cannot tell if its a pulley or its the clutch fan going bad (again). Sorry for the wind noise, weathers been pretty crappy up here.

[video=youtube;G_R_Ruy-xKs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_R_Ruy-xKs&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
That's the water pump! GMCman and I just got done with a fella with the same issue. It's the typical sound for it. we thought it could be a bad bearing inside the engine but it isn't.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
CaptainXL said:
That's the water pump! GMCman and I just got done with a fella with the same issue. It's the typical sound for it. we thought it could be a bad bearing inside the engine but it isn't.

Thank god....I was worried it was something serious again lol. Looks like I'll be on my second water pump if thats the case.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Mike534x said:
Thank god....I was worried it was something serious again lol. Looks like I'll be on my second water pump if thats the case.

Some water pumps are made better than others. I think it's safe to say ...stay away from the stamped steel ones. I would go with acdelco or remy. Also double check you have the correct belt length and that the tensioner is working well. Usually they need to be replaced around 80-120K miles. You don't want too much or too little belt tension. Things will start failing or worse start flying apart.
 

Mike534x

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
931
CaptainXL said:
Some water pumps are made better than others. I think it's safe to say ...stay away from the stamped steel ones. I would go with acdelco or remy. Also double check you have the correct belt length and that the tensioner is working well. Usually they need to be replaced around 80-120K miles. You don't want too much or too little belt tension. Things will start failing or worse start flying apart.

Ah alright. I'll try going over to the body shop and see if they can get a Delco one swapped in under the warranty (if its still covered). I want to say the water pump was from Car Quest but I have no idea what brand they carry.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
CaptainXL said:
That's the water pump! GMCman and I just got done with a fella with the same issue. It's the typical sound for it. we thought it could be a bad bearing inside the engine but it isn't.


Mine is making that exact same tap.... Sounds identical, and yea, the water pump is sloppy and you can watch the belt/pulley wobble ever so slightly when it is running. Sounds like a collapsed lash adjuster and low oil pressure at times lol. Scares the hell outta some mechanics I know. :rotfl:
 

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