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2009 G6 GT motor making "ticking" noise


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Greetings,


Over the past two months, my car has been making this "ticking" noise. 06joegt from G6performance had posted a similar thread and included this video that he shot of his motor making the same noise:





I took my car into my mechanic and had him check it out. He said right off the bat, that it sounded like it could be the lifters. He spoke with a machinist friend and a few other wrench heads and they all agreed that it sounded like the lifters. However, they also all agreed that my car should not be making that noise with the amount of miles I had on it (73k) and that I keep up with my oil changes per the onboard computer. He told me that replacing the lifters would be a gamble because he couldn't say that they were the problem 100%. I decided to roll the dice and change out the lifters. Unfortunately, that gamble did not pay off as the ticking noise is still there. My mechanic said that he could start tearing the motor down and testing everything to find out what the problem is, but that it would be pretty expensive to do. He said if I were going to tear the motor down to find out the problem, I might as well just buy a new motor and do a swap for the amount of time and money it would cost me to have someone do it. I told him I would take some time to think things over and investigate a bit more before making any decision as to what I do next.



A couple weeks back, I did my scheduled oil change, but went with 5w30 Synthetic, which was suggested by someone who had the same ticking noise in their car. They found that if they used non-synthetic oil in their car, the engine made the ticking noise. As soon as they put in Synthetic, it stopped. I figured what the hell and gave it a shot. Unfortunately, new lifters and synthetic oil mad no difference. It is not better or worse, it is just still there.



The ticking started off pretty quiet and I only really noticed it when I was driving with the windows down and could hear the motor noise echo/bounce off something like a car next to me or wall, etc. Early on if I had the car in park and just idling, the ticking sound was very quiet. Over time, it grew louder and more noticeable at idle. If I rev the motor up, you can hear the ticking and it ticks faster as the RPMS go up and slower when it goes down. From a standstill, if I put the car in drive and get up to 35mph and give it constant gas to keep the speed, you can hear it tick. If I accelerate, you dont hear the ticking noise much until I let off the gas enough to keep a constant speed and the ticking becomes constant with the motor. I can feather the gas a tiny bit over or under a constant speed and the ticking disappears. But as soon as I hit a constant speed or let off the gas completely, the ticking comes right back. If I accelerate and then let off the gas completely, the ticking noise speeds down with the motor. There are no noticeable performance differences to the car. The car does not backfire, stutter, there is no lack of power or anything negative performance wise from the day I bought it to now. It just seems to be making this ticking sound that is driving me crazy.



I don't know what to do at this point. My dad and I are going to spend next weekend looking at the car to see if we can find anythign that the mechanic might have missed (my dad has been building hot rods, working on cars and racing them since he was 12). But as this is a new motor with all the electronics and other shit in the way, we may not be able to find out much ourselves. I am all ears for any ideas outside of lifters and oil as those two avenues have been tried and failed. Does anyone have any ideas, theories, ghost stories, etc?



Any help at this point is appreciated. I'm getting so damn annoyed with this ticking that I am starting to talk myself into buying a motor and just swapping the damn ticker out for one that does not tick.


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A 60*V6 with a lifter tick? :lol: It's no big deal. Most have this issue and it never surpasses past a noise if kept up on oil changes.

As for oil weight, don't use 10W30. These engines have tight clearances and that oil will inhibit lubrication flow for the top end, especially in cold weather.

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Spent some time today listening to the motor with a diagnostic stethoscope. Once I put it on the fuel rail you could really hear the ticking a lot more than on any other part of the motor. Did some quick searches online with my dad and found out that many other folks are having the same issue and most of them all point to the injectors being the culprit. I am going to focus on the rail and injectors for now and see where that takes me. Ill keep you all posted.


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Here are my two cents worth of opinion - things to keep an eye on. Piston slap is a definite possibility but it isn't the only one. Since you replaced the lifters and I assumed they are torqued to spec, then it is possible that you have a small exhaust manifold gasket leak. From what you describe, it sounds like the noise gets loader as the motor decelerates rather than accelerates. This is consistent with a exhaust leak.



If you have dirty or clogged injectors that might be causing this, then:



1. replace your fuel filter unless it has been recently replaced.


2. get a quality fuel injector cleaner from someone like Lucas Oil or STP or some other top quality product you trust and put it with a complete fill up of a tank of gas


3. fill the gas tank with premium 92-94 octane gas from Shell or Mobil. You want a full tank of premuim!



The reason I am suggesting Shell or Mobil versus other brands is because I know these 2 premium gasolines have 2 different detergent additives in the them to help clean the injectors and the intake valves. I don't know enough about other gas companies detergents to know if they have them as well. I run a tank of this regularly (about once a quarter) in my Avalanche and Trans Am. Seafoam is another product I know people really like to use too to clean their fuel injectors.



I agree with Chaos about the oil. Use whatever weight of oil the owners manual recommends - also note if it recommends synthetic or if non-synthetic oils are ok. High end LS motors like the Camaro and Corvette only want synthetic oil. Most cars these days take 5W30. I run 10W30 in my Lemans because that is what the engine was built for back in '72 and that is what my engine builder recommends for it. The '04 Avalanche gets 5W30.



Also, "in the old days", if we havd noisy lifters, a couple of products we use to try to quiet them with would be Marvel's Mystery Oil, or Castite Motor Honey. Again Seafoam oil additive might also another alternative.


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I spent the day today replacing all 6 injectors on the car with new ones. Took most of the day as this was the first time I have popped the upper intake manifold off and checked out the injectors and fuel rails. Learned a lot about how to do it and feel that I could now do this in about half the time.



Anyway, replaced the injectors and the car still makes the ticking noise.



I am not arguing that it could be piston slap, but from what I understand and what I have been told is that if it were piston slap, it would get a bit more quiet as the engine warmed up, however with my issue, the noise is very queit when I start the car but gets louder as the engine warms up.



Replacing the fuel filter is a small job and since I have put in all this work already, what is a little more?



May also look into replacing the exhaust manifold gaskets as well, just to rule out that possibility.



The car is still under the factory 5 year 100,000 drive train warranty and since this is an engine issue, I may end up taking it down to the dealership and see what they have to say.



Right now, I am feeling really defeated as I put a lot of hope into it being the injectors. But, I learned a lot about taking the upper part of the engine apart and you cant really be mad when you learn something useful that may help you out down the road. I am going to take a few days to relax, lick my wounds and come up with plan C. As I make progress, I will keep you updated.



Who knows, maybe Ill figure it out and this journey will help someone else fix the same issue, if they have it, without spending as much time and money as I have/am.



B)


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A couple of ways to find an exhaust leak:



1. Use a can of Seafoam and a vacuum hose and connect it to your engine. Spray some of the Seafoam into the engine, Do not let the engine stall out on the Seafoam. If you have an exhaust leak, you should see moisture rise from the leak area.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li2lQj1rHlo



2. Another trick is to take a spray bottle of soap and water. With the engine cold, spray soapy water around the exhaust manifolds, start the engine, and look for soap bubbles.



3. Use a rag in the tail pipe and it puts more pressure on the rest of the system and look for black soot.




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Frosty- I really appreciate all your suggestions you are posting. I will look into both of the suggestions that you have posted above. I will also try to get my GoPro out and film a bit while driving so folks can hear the actual noise and how it sounds while I am driving.



I will keep you posted as to what I find out as I keep trying to locate and fix this "tick."


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As I was watching the first video again, it really does sound very similar to the ticking noise that I hear on my car. I wish the guy had rev'd up his motor a couple times, but I think tomorrow I am going to start with the Seafoam trick and if that does not produce anything, I will try the rag trick from the other video. If anything, this will either show me the problem is an exhaust leak, or rule that out.



Keep you posted.


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Frosty- I really appreciate all your suggestions you are posting. I will look into both of the suggestions that you have posted above. I will also try to get my GoPro out and film a bit while driving so folks can hear the actual noise and how it sounds while I am driving.

I will keep you posted as to what I find out as I keep trying to locate and fix this "tick."

I'm glad you found it informative. I would like to eliminate the possibility of an exhaust leak too. However, I have been down this road before and I've made the mistake of thinking an exhaust leak is really a loose or noisy lifter.

Do you know if anything in the exhaust system has been replaced, like a new cat-back system? It would bother me that an '09 has an exhaust leak already unless it has been tampered with or worked on previously by another mechanic.

Definitely keep us posted. As Red Green says "we're all in this together!"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's the final update. Talked to my brother-in-law who was a sales manager at a Cheverolet dealership in Vegas. He mentioned the 5 year, 100,000 drive train warranty and that it might be worth the trip down to the dealership to have them look at it. So I decided to roll the dice once more and took it into the dealership. Now, 3 weeks later, I just got back from picking up my car. They had to pull the motor and tear it apart, but the did find that the crank bearings were worn and one of them was actually broken. They replaced the bearings, put Ginny back together and it cost me nothing out of my pocket. They even took care of my rental car cost for the past two weeks. I forgot how much I loved this car, but was quickly reminded once I hopped on the freeway and gave her some gas. Hearing the intake roar to life and feel my body get pulled into the seat a tad was amazing. Of course, it could be because I was driving a gutless Chevy Malibu the past two weeks....but who cares! I got my car back, she is running and most importantly, she is not ticking anymore.



Thank you to everyone who chimed in and gave me some advice, suggestions, etc. It's great to know that while I may not be a top 10 poster here, everyone is quick to try and help regardless!


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Well that is spectacular news. So you got a mild rebuild out of the deal! Cudos to GM for stepping up and doing the right thing. Sweet!!! I am sure it bothers you, as it does me, that at 73K miles that a crank bearings would wear and even break in one instance. Someone obviously abuse Ginny before you. Try to keep your foot out of it for a few miles - just long enough for a proper engine break-in, then go have fun.


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