Page updated on 05-27-2018

Clicking noise coming from engine??

06-03-2008, 06:13 PM
Hey Guys,

A couple days ago i started my car and heard a clicking noise. I wasnt in the position to get out and take a look so I kept on driving, and after a few minutes the clicking noise went away. Now everytime i start my car when it is cold it makes the clicking noise for a few minutes and then stops. If anyone can tell me if its natural or if something is wrong that would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

06-03-2008, 07:47 PM
first off, what motor is in your car with how many miles?

Almost sounds like a lifter....

06-03-2008, 10:20 PM
sorry my bad i forgot to put that in there. It's a 02 grand prix GT with 50,000

06-03-2008, 10:28 PM
hmmmm, If it were a 3100, a slight lifter noise is pretty common.

On 3800's its not. You stayed up on all the oil changes right?

Does the noise sound like its coming from inside to motor, or around the accessory belt area?

06-04-2008, 12:10 PM
yes i always keep up on the oil changes, i changed it about a month ago. And I still havent been able to take a look yet. It does sound like it is coming from the right side of the engine when i am in the drivers seat, so i guess you could say its by the accesory belt area.

06-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Why not remove the belt and start the car when its cold, see if the noise is there.

You could also spin each accessory and pulley by hand to feel for roughness.

06-04-2008, 08:39 PM
Hey, i finally got to pop the hood and take a look at the engine today. When i was looking at it it sounded like the noise was coming from inside the engine, on the left side. I have no clue, what the deal is, the noise seemed somewhat louder today but after 5 minutes the click totally went away?

06-04-2008, 10:06 PM
Hows the oil level? Over full?

Sometimes noisy lifters are a tell tale sign of coolant getting into the oil.

06-05-2008, 07:45 AM
I checked the oil level and it is good. I am not sure about coolant getting into the oil? I think it possibly could just be a lifter sticking or something. B/c once the oil heats up and the metal expands the noise goes away. I think this weekend i am gonna do a engine flush and change the oil, as my first steps to fix this.

06-05-2008, 12:50 PM
I think that would be a wise decision. What brand filter are you running?

I read somewhere that frams and all the other cheapos aren't capable of filtering enough on cold startup due to the thickness of the oil. Thus starving the top end of the motor for oil. When the car warms, the oil thins, and its just fine.

I always stick to AC-Delco PF47 or else once in a while I run a wix 51040. BTW, wally World now sells delco filters. One stop shop for both my valvoline 10w30 and my ac delco filter.

Engine Oil Filter Study.....very interesting Stuff, the guy did a great job!

06-05-2008, 02:45 PM
I usually purchase the napa gold filters. I dont know how good they are in terms of quality, but thats usually what i get.

And i think i am gonna switch to a thinner oil, i was thinking a 5w-30 since it is summer now.

But while i was driving to school this morning my low coolant light came on, so idk if i am just low on coolant, or maybe it could be mixing with the oil like you said earlier. But when i checked the oil it was clean. Doesnt oil turn white or some color like that when it mixes with coolant, or am i wrong??

06-05-2008, 03:13 PM
...And i think i am gonna switch to a thinner oil, i was thinking a 5w-30 since it is summer now.

Not sure if I'd switch to thinner oil for warmer weather....

But while i was driving to school this morning my low coolant light came on, so idk if i am just low on coolant, or maybe it could be mixing with the oil like you said earlier. But when i checked the oil it was clean. Doesnt oil turn white or some color like that when it mixes with coolant, or am i wrong??

It usually only turns colors (cholocate milk) of there is a major coolant leak into the oil. How does the underside of your oil fill cap look? Does it have like light brown thick gunk on it? How about the radiator? Is it full? When you go to drain your oil, make sure you watch oil drain right as you remove the drain plug. Coolant is heavier than oil and will sinc to the bottom of the pan, so its the first to come out.

If I were you, I'd be carefull driving it untill you are 100% sure that no coolant is getting into your oil. Coolant wasn't meant to lubricate, and if enough of it is getting in to make your lifters noicy, you risk wiping a crankshaft bearing.

How many miles did you say you have on it?

You might be due for a new Upper Intake Manifold, and while your there, I'd replace the Lower Intake manifold gaskets with the new GM redesigned metal ones.

If Rich sees this, he can provide you with partnumbers, I believe most of the ASE tech moderators here recommend replacing the UIM with a Doorman rather than the GM delco one.

Check the tech procedures/maintenance subforum, I'm sure Bob has a writup in there detailing LIM gaskets on the 3800. Its not hard really, just time consuming and you have to make sure that you torque EVERYTHING correctly with a torque wrench.

Again, If I were you, I would really be carefull driving it. If the UIM is cracked, it could fill the combustion chamber and hydrolock your motor. Causeing it to sieze up and possably bending a couple puchrods or works....

Just not worth it for such an easy repair...

06-05-2008, 03:41 PM
Ok thank you, i am about to go change the oil and start checking things out in about an hour, so i will be able to get back to you maybe later tonight what the outcome to everything was, talk to you then, thanks, and it has 51,000 miles on it

06-05-2008, 04:40 PM
Good Luck!

06-05-2008, 05:06 PM
Take your Napy Gold filter # and put a 5 in front of it....instant Wix. Cool huh? I wonder which one costs more?

06-05-2008, 05:56 PM
So good news!! I flushed the engine and changed the oil. The oil had no signs at all of any coolant getting into it, it was a good color, and i looked to see what the first thing that came out when i pulled the plug, and it definatley wasnt coolant, or oil mixed with coolant

So i think the low coolant light might have just been a coincidence. So i filled that up, and all i can do is wait.

Unless u kno of anything else to do??

06-05-2008, 10:04 PM
How did the oil cap look? Any sludge on it?

06-05-2008, 11:34 PM
No, the oil cap was fine no sludge

06-06-2008, 01:12 AM
since you had the oil changed, has the ticking occured?

I hope you stuck with 10w30 in it

06-06-2008, 10:10 PM
I still have some clicking but it definatley went away much faster then it use to, and that was with a cold start first thing in the morning. So hopefully thats a good sign.

And i went with the 5w-30, why do u think i should have gone with the 10w-30??

06-06-2008, 11:11 PM
That is what is recommended or preferred as the proper oil viscosity for the SII 3800 engine. 5W-30 can be used but only if the temperatures do not ever get over 60 degrees F but it is your decision. 10W-30 is better for warm/hot weather.

Do you get the clicking sound when the engine is properly warmed up and doing a restart or only when it is cold. Although it is not impossible piston slap is abnormal for this particular engine.

06-07-2008, 12:55 AM
Like Bob said, I would switch back to 10-w30 immediatly. That might take care of your lifter problem.

GM recommends 10-w30 in all 3800's and I've used it all year around even it winter with no problmes.

06-08-2008, 11:40 AM
well i kept the 5w-30 in, and i havent had any clicking, it's gone, even in the morning with cold starts.

06-08-2008, 10:36 PM
well good!

I would be just worried about the 5w30 being a little too thin in the summer heat and possibly wiping a crank bearing or something....

06-09-2008, 04:48 PM
well i am not to worried about it, if something happens to the car its my dads fault b/c he told me to put that in there. So he can pay for the repairs not me, hahaha, jk. But i dont think i am gonna have that oil in there that long anyway. I was probably gonna change the oil out sooner then usual just to make sure everything is cleared up, and to make sure everything is clean and i dont have anymore gunk and sludge. It was no wonder my lifter was sticking. I took the oil i had just taken out of my car and went dumped it out at auto zone, and when i emptied the can, alot of sludge and stuff came out at the end. So whoever owned that car before me didnt keep up on oil changes or something.

06-09-2008, 08:38 PM
That sounds about right. What brand of oil did you use in it? Hopefully not the cheapo kind....

06-09-2008, 10:12 PM
I used Castrol GTX 5w-30 oil. I kinda wanted to go Mobile 1 b/c i kno they have good stuff but it was alittle to expensive for me. And i am not to sure if paying the extra money for a synthetic oil is really worth it compared to a good petrolueum based oil like the Castrol I used. Any thoughts on that??

Add your comment to this topic!