2006 Nissan Frontier ticking noise when cold (automatic transmission)

I’ve heard about stuck valves or lifters causing the ticking noise, I try to drive slow until it warms up, but what would a better treatment for this issue?

Also, the anti freeze got contaminated with the transmission fluid, so I’m out $$$ to replace all that. Now there are days when it doesn’t shift into reverse (hesitates). The dealer doesn’t fix “intermittent”, but the transmission and radiator were replaced (see $$$), so I’m not pleased with their rejecting to investigate.

A stuck valve will cause a miss, a shaky idle, and a louder tapping than I would describe as a “ticking noise.” You may need to have your valve clearances adjusted.

As fare as the Transmission. Did they do a flush on it. I normally wouldn’t advise one, but there may still be a little coolant that interferes with the shifting.
Maybe another poster can advise, but there is also a way that they pump new fluid in as they remove the old stuff. This would probably allow more of the contaminated fluid out.
I think it’s done with an “Exchange Machine”.

Skip the Dealer…the car is already 9years old and there is no reason to keep all the work at the dealer. Find a good independent Transmission shop and they should have the best advise. Stay away from the national chains…all they want is to replace the tranny.


WHEN was the transmission and radiator replaced ? If it is still under warrantee, take it back to the dealer and insist they repair it.

@BillRussell The truck is 9 years old . . . personally, I think it’s long out of warranty. And the parts probably also failed long after warranty expired

That’s how I see it

The valvetrain noise . . . if that’s what it is . . . is probably unrelated to the other issues

Another possibility is an exhaust leak, which somewhat seals up, as the engine warms up

This is usually a cracked exhaust manifold, broken exhaust manifold bolts/studs, or simply a leaking gasket

But I’m leaning towards valvetrain

Another common cause for this symptom is a loose spark plug. If so, it will do it at idle, you don’t need to be moving. And the noise may go away as you accelerate, or when the engine warms up. Is any of that the case?

@GeorgeSanJose I actually had this happen to me, many years ago