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If you hear a clicking noise when you’re driving, your vehicle may be having a problem with its engine. Depending on the type of clicking noise, the problem may involve the engine’s lubrication, exhaust components, drivetrain, or engine head. In order to narrow down the possible causes, try to determine when the problem happens. If the problem only occurs on occasion, your car’s lubrication may be a contributing factor.
Low or dirty engine oil
A clicking noise in your vehicle could be a sign of low or dirty engine oil. This will lead to parts in your engine not being lubricated and will cause the noise. Checking the engine oil level is easy and will allow you to determine if the problem lies elsewhere. In the case of low oil levels, you may need to add more oil. Dirty or worn spark plugs can also contribute to this noise.
The noise can also be caused by a dirty or clogged oil filter. Replace the filter if it has become dirty. In severe cases, a dirty oil filter can block the engine oil filter, causing the engine to tick. Also, if the noise occurs at high RPMs, the engine might have a knocked rod or a space between the main bearing cap and the engine block.
An engine ticking noise can occur while driving, starting or idling. In some cases, the noise may also occur while accelerating the engine. Low or dirty engine oil can also lead to loss of power in the engine. It is important to check the engine oil level regularly, as low engine oil can starve various components of the engine of the necessary lubrication. If you notice the noise persists, top off the oil and check for any leaks.
Loosened nuts on the rims
One of the most common causes of a clicking noise when driving is loose lug nuts. These nuts hold your car’s wheels to the axle and brake rotor. If they are loose, your car’s wheels will slide off your car. In order to prevent this problem, you should check your lug nuts with a torque wrench or breaker bar. Make sure that they are tightened to a torque of 80 to 90 foot pounds. If they are loose, you may risk damaging your wheels or the axles.
Damage to the CV joint
If you experience damage to the CV joint while driving, you may want to get it repaired as soon as possible. If left untreated, a bad joint will continue to deteriorate over time and could cause a car accident. If you notice a crack or flaw, it’s best to stop driving right away. Even a small amount of damage can cause problems, such as a jerky steering wheel, and you should never try to drive with a damaged joint.
If you start hearing excessive clunking noises while driving, there’s a good chance that your CV joint is damaged. This is an early warning sign of the need to replace your CV joint. These vibrations become more severe as you accelerate, affecting your vehicle’s handling and safety.
Another common warning sign of a damaged CV joint is a leaking boot. The boot of the CV joint contains grease, and if it gets soiled or breaks, it will leak out and lubricate the joints. However, unlike other leaks of fluid, CV joint grease does not form puddles below the leak.
Refilling transmission fluid to stop clicking noise
The clicking noise that you hear while driving can be a result of low transmission fluid. These noises are usually louder in manual transmissions but can also occur in automatic transmissions. If you notice this noise, you should immediately stop driving and take your car to a transmission service shop.
Refilling transmission fluid can solve your problem. Low fluid levels can cause the transmission to overheat and may also contribute to the clicking noise. Make sure you use the recommended fluid. Dirt and contaminants can impair the transmission fluid’s ability to move. Also, check your gears for worn teeth. If you find a worn-out or broken gear, it may also be causing the noise.
If your transmission fluid is dirty, you may need to replace it. A ten-ounce bottle of synthetic fluid costs about $20. Prices can vary widely, so be sure to check with various sellers before purchasing. A mechanic can also replace your old fluid. Keeping these tips in mind can prevent a hazardous situation from arising.