#8 1998 Plymouth Neon Problem

This is a problem I have noticed, and maybe someone can help me with this, there is a type of clicking sound when I start the car and it has been sitting over night. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this before. The clicking sounds like it is originating from inside the engine itself, perhaps the valves or the pistons. I hope someone can help me with this problem. Could it be the engine, or is it the belt?

It may be time to bail on this vehicle.

Assuming there are no operating problems, it’s probably simply the parts expanding as they warm up.

First idea: The dimensions of every part in the exhaust system will expand considerably as it heats up on the first start in the AM, and that can cause a clicking sound as one part expands and rubs past another. The exhaust hangers are designed to minimize this, so next time the car is put on a lift ask the shop to check the exhaust system for missing or broken hangers.

Second idea: You know how the Car Talk brothers are sometimes called the “Tappet Brothers”? “Click and Clack”? That’s b/c the valve train can make a clicking noise, often most evident when the engine is cold. That can be normal, or the oil level is low, or the valves are out of adjustment. Check the engine oil level.

If the engine has lots of miles on it (and what 1998 Neon doesn’t?) it may be the worn pistons tapping until the engine warms up. Don’t worry about it, if the engine blows up, just drag it to the scrapyard. You should be able to buy another '98 Neon, if you really want another. Should set you back $200 or so.

Well Mustangman, it has 85000 miles on it