Help with ticking noise...

Recommended Posts

** Edited links because videos had no sound **

I started up the wagon the other day and noticed a sudden and pronounced ticking noise that has not gone away. I added some ATF to try and clean up the engine a bit and changed to a thicker viscosity oil just as a test. I’ve only driven around the block since changing but so far no significant change in sound. Seems like it’s coming from the top of the engine- can’t really tell which end though.

From what I’ve read plenty of higher mileage P80’s have a tick, but this was overnight- one day no tick the next day a pretty loud one. no change to drivability/performance. Any thoughts on how I could troubleshoot further?

98 V70 T5 manual, 156,568 miles. Engine has never been opened up/rebuilt. 

Lifter tick before oil change

Lifter tick after trying thicker oil


Thanks all!

Edited by tighe
Edited links because videos had no sound
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Use a mechanics stethoscope to pinpoint where the noise is coming from.  First isolate between top or bottom ends, then try to identify which cylinder, etc.

Even cheap $10 ones work quite well:

A long screwdriver can work in a pinch, but (of course) be very careful when prodding a running engine.  Stay away from the serpentine belt!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestion and the info! I ultimately posted on Facebook VS and got quite a bit of feedback about troubleshooting. I did try a stethoscope and it sounds loudest just above the intake manifold on the PS of the engine. So potentially lifters. I’m not sure how to link directly to that thread on FB VS but I attached a screenshot for reference.

I’ve tried quite a few additives and different weight oils, and have since parked it until I can diagnose further. A local mechanic here suggested it could be piston slap, although that seems exceedingly rare. But I suppose it’s possible. It’s not knock, thankfully. 




Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, don't do FB.

Sounds like you changed the oil since this started?   Did you filter it through a cloth when draining to catch any metallic debris?  Oil filter too?

If you're sure noise is coming from the cam area then it probably is a lifter.  Try a clean oil change with 10-30w oil with about a quart (or a bit more) of it consisting of MM oil.  If that doesn't free up the lifter, nothing will.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info- that tracks pretty much with my process. I’ve tried ATF, MMO, and even dedicated hydraulic lifters quieter. Each time with a clean oil change- I have varied the oil weight just to test them to see if it made a difference. Clean 10W-30 is in there now, and that has always been my go to. 

I’ve had a magnetic drain plug for the last 50k miles or so and have never noticed any meta at all, including these recent oil changes. 

my mechanic has already ordered new lifters. Hopefully that’s the extent of it! 😭 😭 😭 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.