When drivers hear unusual or excessive noise coming from under the hoods of their vehicles, it may be indicative of an engine problem.
If a clicking or tapping noise is heard that gets louder as the engine is revved, it may be an upper valve train ("tappet") noise caused by
- low oil pressure
- excessive valve lash
- worn or damaged parts
This should prompt a check of the dipstick to see if the engine oil is low. If it is, oil should be added.
If the engine is still noisy, a worn or damaged oil pump, a clogged oil pump pickup screen, or a plugged oil filter may be preventing normal oil pressure from reaching the upper valve train components.
TIP: Using motor oil with too thick a viscosity during cold weather can also slow down the flow of oil to the upper valve train, causing noise and wear.
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