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Hey, finally got our Promaster after many months of waiting. Have a few hundred miles so far. We're noticing an intermittent ticking from the gas engine, both while driving and idling. Anybody else having the same problem?:(
 

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I have heard an occasional ticking. Kinda sounds like a lifter isn't getting oil. I only hear it when it's really cold out; like 10f or below. I can also hear the injectors more when it's cold. I can only hear it at idle. Soon as I'm moving it goes away or is masked by all the other noises.
 

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I really hope it's not the lifters or anything to do with engine.
But there's a good chance that could be it.
Have you spoke to your dealer about it as yet?
 

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Hey, finally got our Promaster after many months of waiting. Have a few hundred miles so far. We're noticing an intermittent ticking from the gas engine, both while driving and idling. Anybody else having the same problem?:(
I've been contemplating starting a thread myself about this. I was afraid you'd all think I was imagining things. Mine also only appears when its very cold outside. Very soon after a cold start @ 10 degrees F or below. My first thought was a valve lifter because it sounds exactly like that. It is a very pronounced slow ticking or tapping noise when at idle or driving just above idle. I looked under the hood the other day when it was occurring and I couldn't pin point it. It does sound like its coming more from the drivers side of the engine compartment. If you are sitting in the drivers seat it sounds like its directly behind the instrument cluster. I have played with it though and it doesn't seem to speed up as much as I would expect valve noise to, when the engine is revved. It is definitely intermittent. I have never heard it once the van is warmed up to running temperature. I'll add it to the punch list of things to get looked at when in for my first free oil change in the next couple weeks.
 

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Sounds familiar. The oil recommended for these vans is 5/20. I can guarantee you the thinner oil causes some of this. I know it's a winter weight of 5 and so on. I have always used Royal Purple synthetic oil in all of my vehicles since 1990. No, I am not a RP dealer, but I can tell you it's the best synthetic oil available. I get/use the HPS oil only available on line and some auto parts stores. HPS is the high performance street oil not API certified because it contains high zinc/phosphorous levels the the EPA is doing away with. I used it in my Nissan Titan and my Transit Connect no more ticking. UOA,s show extremely low wear levels even at 10k miles with enough "good stuff" to go another 5K. Try it, I bet your ticking will go away.
 

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I hear that ticking too, noticed it for the first time last week when it got really cold.
 

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Sounds familiar. The oil recommended for these vans is 5/20. I can guarantee you the thinner oil causes some of this. I know it's a winter weight of 5 and so on. I have always used Royal Purple synthetic oil in all of my vehicles since 1990. No, I am not a RP dealer, but I can tell you it's the best synthetic oil available. I get/use the HPS oil only available on line and some auto parts stores. HPS is the high performance street oil not API certified because it contains high zinc/phosphorous levels the the EPA is doing away with. I used it in my Nissan Titan and my Transit Connect no more ticking. UOA,s show extremely low wear levels even at 10k miles with enough "good stuff" to go another 5K. Try it, I bet your ticking will go away.
I just got back from picking up my daughter at high school and then to pick up a carry out pizza. I started the PM cold at home. It's 8 degrees F outside. The PM wasn't driven all day while I was at work. The ticking started a couple blocks from home. If it was valve noise, I think it would be heard immediately upon start up. I drove the 3/4 mile to the high school and parked and let it idle about 3 minutes while waiting for my daughter to come out. The ticking continued while idling. If revved, the ticking doesn't seem to climb as fast as the RPMs, if at all. Then it was off to Pizza Hut about another 3/4 mile away. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the ticking was gone. I got out to run in and grab the pizza. Upon slamming the door the ticking resumed. My daughter stayed in the van and said it seemed to be caused by the door slam. It was still ticking when we headed for home, but after the 3/4 mile drive back home, the noise was gone again. As much as this initially sounds like a single valve lifter ticking, I really don't think that's what it is. Not sure what it is, and I know if I bring it up with the dealer, it'll be "customer concern not duplicated" because they aren't going to have it for a cold start.
 

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I just got back from picking up my daughter at high school and then to pick up a carry out pizza. I started the PM cold at home. It's 8 degrees F outside. The PM wasn't driven all day while I was at work. The ticking started a couple blocks from home. If it was valve noise, I think it would be heard immediately upon start up. I drove the 3/4 mile to the high school and parked and let it idle about 3 minutes while waiting for my daughter to come out. The ticking continued while idling. If revved, the ticking doesn't seem to climb as fast as the RPMs, if at all. Then it was off to Pizza Hut about another 3/4 mile away. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the ticking was gone. I got out to run in and grab the pizza. Upon slamming the door the ticking resumed. My daughter stayed in the van and said it seemed to be caused by the door slam. It was still ticking when we headed for home, but after the 3/4 mile drive back home, the noise was gone again. As much as this initially sounds like a single valve lifter ticking, I really don't think that's what it is. Not sure what it is, and I know if I bring it up with the dealer, it'll be "customer concern not duplicated" because they aren't going to have it for a cold start.
Pizza Hut is also my favorite take home!!!!
BTW.. i havent. Noticed the ticking.. maybe my heater fan blowing on high is drowning out the noise.
 

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Guys remember these 3.6's are dual overhead cam engines, 4 cams, I don't think they have valve lifters per se. Cam followers would be a more apt description.
My feeling is it's somehow tied to the fuel injectors or something in that system up there.

It's my feeling and it's worth what you paid for it....:)
 

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Here is a very remote possibility for the ticking: Sprinters have electrical supplemental cabin heat when very cold. It starts very soon after start as soon as the alternator has refilled the battery and runs until engine coolant is warmed up. What kind of heating system does the PM have when very cold? Could a relay be involved to pulse electrical current or to do something else involving heating when things are very cold? Perhaps the ticking has nothing to do with the engine itself.

If you think the noise is from the engine you might locate it as follows when the engine is at idle: Use a very long steel blade flat screwdriver with a plastic handle. Put the blade against the engine at a possible location and your ear against the end of the handle. Moving to different locations should produce a louder response when near the source of the noise. A doctor's stethoscope can also work.
 

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Harbor Freight mechanics stethoscope is about $3.50 when on sale.
 

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Can't say I've ever heard this ticking, but I can say that my PM is a somewhat noisy or course engine. What's weird is that I only hear it from inside the vehicle. Get under the hood and it's not noisy at all. What I hear sounds like injectors - almost sounds like a very faint diesel engine noise. Dunno. Don't really care because the van has been flawless and I just went out of warranty this week - past the point of no return!
 

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I was hearing what sounded like a heat shield vibrating in strong crosswinds. I crawled under Van and found a shield over the fuel tank filler hose loose and rattling. It's held by sheet metal nuts. Worthless fasteners. I fixed it.
 

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I think many of you are talking about an entirely different set of noises. Yes there is some injector and valve racket from the engine. And yes this seems to get slightly worse when its extremely cold outside, maybe because of the type of oil and other factors. These noises seem to be normal for this engine. The 3.6 isn't smooth as silk in this application. But this is a cargo van, not a luxury car, does it really need to be? The noise that I think this thread was written to describe is very different from those noises. When it occurs shortly after a cold start, it is an obvious and very annoying tapping sound. And as some of the others and I have said, it sounds like a valve lifter that isn't getting oil, plain and simple. If you had an old pushrod V-8 that had a collapsed lifter or a single sticking valve and you were sitting there listening to it idle, that is what this sounds like. I doubt that this is actually what it is though, and here is why. First, as was previously stated, this engine doesn't have that type of valve train construction. I'm sure it would be possible to have a single valve failure in the 3.6, but if you did, it would increase frequency when the RPMs are raised. The noise in question remains at the same frequency no matter what the RPMs are. It always sounds like a single valve tick in a pushrod V-8 that is at idle. Once the van is thoroughly warmed up, the noise goes away and you won't hear it again until the next cold start. Hope this helps to further describe what apparently only a few of us are actually experiencing in our PMs.
 

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Could it be in the HVAC system. Fan could be hitting something or a blend door may not be opening or closing as it should and clicking. Put a paper towel tube to your ear and scan the inside of the van and in the engine compartment for the noise.
 

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Haven't got my Promaster yet so my opinion isn't that valuable, but I have a theory. Could it be the alternator pulley clutch or the A/C clutch engaging and disengaging?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for your many suggestions regarding ProMaster ticking sounds. I haven't been able to make a connection at this point, as the problem is intermittent, with no clear connection in my mind to the outside temperature, whether the van is cold or warmed up, or whether it's idling or driving. One time, the ticking actually went away after turning off the lights! I just hope that if the sounds become consistent there will be someone who can actually get rid of them. I'll keep you posted.:|
 

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One time, the ticking actually went away after turning off the lights!

This may be a key. Alternators are now often regulated by the computer in new ways; Sprinter is a leader in this. The idea is that a micro amount of fuel can be saved when the alternator is off as it needs not run if battery voltage is up and electrical load light. Perhaps a relay is, under computer control, turning the field current or clutch of the alternator off and on. When on the edge pulsing on and off is noticeable. Otherwise relay action at separated random times may not be noticeably heard. Anyway just an idea.
 
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