Originally, it was the tappets or lifters attached to the camshaft that makes the noise. This happens when they are worn out or the lubrication is not done properly. Inappropriate grade of oil and low oil pressure are some of the main reasons you might find the tapping noise coming from your camshaft.
If you care about your powertrain, you will need to promptly make a decision. Fortunately, these unwanted rattles have some easy fixes for you to try out. This article will show you exactly those.
Why Is My Camshaft Making Noise?
If you think that it is your engine’s camshaft that is making the noise, you are probably confused. Most likely, it is an issue with the tappets or lifters attached to the pushrods or the rocker’s arms. This tappet noise can be fairly annoying and could compromise the performance of a healthy V8 engine.
What is a Tappet and Its Relation to Noise?
A tappet is a small component with a cylindrical shape that is attached to the end of the pushrod in the case of overhead valve engines. Usually, this kind of noise is associated with the “tapping” sound coming from the tappets specifically.
However, such a problem may also be rooted in the camshaft, rocker arms, or valves. Besides, it can be a lubrication problem as well. You will hear a ticking, tapping, or clicking from the top of the engine if the lifter goes bad. Often this situation is found on one side of the engine.
As time passes, engine oil starts to accumulate dirt, and as a result, the viscosity increases. In such a condition, the interaction between the lifters and the camshaft wears down the components. When the camshaft spins and the tappets are lifted and down continuously, audible noise can be heard. This is known as a “Tappety” engine.
The lifters are hydraulically activated and the oil pressure pumps them up. The lesser the oil pressure, the lesser the lifter will stay pumped up. This will result in excessive clearance. This creates a continuous tapping noise that you may have been facing.
Furthermore, if there is a lack of engine oil in the system, it will cause the rocker arms or pushrods, and the valves to suffer from oil starvation. As a consequence, the valvetrain will be affected and the valves will be clang around.
Worn Out Tappets
Worn-out tappets are often a result of infrequent or missed oil and filter changes. To add to that, incorrect grade of engine oil can also cause oil starvation to the top of the engine and sludging of the oil ways of the cylinder head.
If the ticking sound is happening at half-engine RPM, it could be the valve lash noise. That means the valves need adjustment. This is why most engines require valve last adjustments more often to avoid this issue.
How to Fix the Camshaft Noise
Generally, the treatment of the problem involving the camshaft noise depends on the severity of each case. The fixes you can try out to reduce the camshaft noise include:
Replacing the Oil Filter
You can replace the oil with the correct grade of oil and change its filter. This will clear the oilways and ensure smooth operation.
Replacing the Worn-Out Tappets
Another option for you to try out is to identify the faulty tappets and replace them. Replacing all the tappets and rocker arms will supposedly solve the issue.
Regular Maintenance of the Valves
Often the tappet noises result from the valves getting misplaced at half-engine RPM. Simple adjustments of the valves can solve this particular issue.
What Are the Symptoms of a Faulty Camshaft
A faulty camshaft shows many different symptoms and they are pretty distinct. First, the check engine light will glow up and the car will stall. Your car will have poor acceleration and the fuel mileage will worsen. If you see any of these symptoms, your engine’s camshaft position sensor may be failing.
Can Camshaft Cause a Knocking Sound
You may mistake a knocking sound from the tappets with a camshaft. Generally, these ticking noises come from the top of the engine where the camshaft is located. If the lobes of the camshaft are worn out, you may hear tapping or ticking noises coming from the upper engine.
Most likely, it is an issue with the lifters or tappets connected to the rocket arms. They may be worn out or the lubrication is not good enough. Poor oil grade and low oil pressure are also some of the main reasons why such noises occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can noisy tappets damage an engine?
Noisy tappets can be very annoying and usually, they ruin the performance of a healthy engine. Generally, these tappets are worn out. If this is apparent, they can damage the camshaft in the worst-case scenario.
What does a worn camshaft sound like?
A worn camshaft usually makes loud tapping noises. If your engine’s camshaft starts failing, you will notice odd tapping sounds from the vehicle’s valvetrain.
Normally, you would identify the sound coming from the upper engine as the camshaft making noise. But in reality, your car would need to undergo a proper diagnosis to determine what you are hearing. Once diagnosed, you may need to replace internal engine parts or replace the complete engine as there is no easy fix.