Replace clutch? Valve job? 2002 Tacoma

Hi, my 2002 Tacoma 4wd 5 spd manual, 125,000 miles makes a “ticking” noise when i start it on cold mornings. The noise gets quieter or goes away as the truck warms up. It makes the noise as soon as the clutch is engaged (pedal out) noise goes away if the clutch is out but engine still running. Local mechanic heard two noises, took the clutch plate off and found lots of dust, said I need a new clutch (throw-out bearing?) and a valve job (ticking noise). Called the local Toyota dealer and they said that you almost never have to do valve jobs on the newer Toyotas, and clutch sounds ok to him (it passes all of his tests for clutch failure) --I don’t have any symptoms of clutch failure…Wouldn’t the ticking noise persist regardless of whether the clutch was engaged or not if it was a valve? Thoughts? Also think i need a second opinion, looking for a good mechanic in Mt Vernon WA or Bellingham WA.

Little confused with what you’re saying…

It makes a noise ONLY when the clutch is engaged (pedal pressed in)???

If so then it’s the clutch/throw-out bearing.

I have to ask: If a mechanic had your clutch plate off, why didn’t he put in a new clutch friction disk, T.O. bearing and clutch pressure plate if needed?

Noises are difficult or impossible to diagnose without hearing them. Valve train and piston slap noise can diminish or go away with warmup and if that is the case, they are harmless.

No valve repair needed. There is lots of brake dust at 125,000.

Duh–pedal in = clutch engaged. You’re right. Only makes the noise when the peddle is out, clutch NOT engaged. Push the peddle in and the noise goes away. I don’t get any “slipping” on hills or when towing the little fishing boat for work, not hard to shift, rpms don’t jump suddenly… it just ticks on cold mornings until it warms up, ticks get faster as I drive faster and then disappear. The colder the morning, the louder the ticking sound.

Picked it up tonight and talked to the guy who worked on it instead of the guy who owns the shop, he thought the throwout bearing is definitely going but I probably have 20,000 miles or so before need a new clutch. (The owner had me thinking the clutch was about to fail and wanted to put in a new clutch on the spot, $1000, plus a valve job and tune up for $950–which seems high?-- so I was a bit panicked). The mechanic didn’t mention the valves except to say that a valve adjustment is part of the 125,000 mile tuneup. They didn’t test drive it, just took the clutch plate off and looked inside, changed the oil, and charged me $200. I’m not impressed.

thanks for the tip about replacing clutch parts–if i do that does that prolong the life of the clutch and is therefore better/more cost effective than replacing the whole clutch? I’ll look into that. Have a recommendation for another mechanic who’s not nearby but is supposed to be good…former master mechanic for a big toyota dealer in Seattle area, now has his own shop out in the boonies.

Thanks a ton for the ideas and advice. it’s much appreciated!

…Wouldn’t the ticking noise persist regardless of whether the clutch was engaged or not if it was a valve?

Yes it would. I suspect that your ticking noise that goes away during warm up is the valve lifters (cam followers). Sometimes it takes a minute for the oil to thouroughly circulate and for heat expansion to close up clearances, and valve noise is a pretty common result.
I’m guessing you think the noise goes away when you let the clutch out, but I believe the noise is still there and you are not hearing because of the additional noise of driveing is covering it up. Slight lifter noise during warm up is acceptable, but if you still hear it when engine is warmed up and idleing, then you should have it addressed. (raise the hood and listen to the engine after it is warmed up)

Re: clutch problem; I agree with Toyota that your truck had no clutch failure “tells” but if your truck never had one replaced in 125,000 miles, then it is probably a good time to replace the clutch disc (friction disc) since your mechanic has ALREADY pulled the transmission and you don’t want to pay for another R&I in 20 k.

I just re-read your post and realized the mechanic has NOT pulled your trans. so DISREGARD my advice re: replaceing clutch “while it is out” :slight_smile: