Voyager Engine Tick

2000 Chrysler Voyager, 140000 mi, with a very quiet engine tick in the mornings for about the past two months. Sounds almost like the valve clatter my 95 Miata gets when the oil is low. Frequency of the tick corresponds to RPM, not speed and can’t be heard (inside the car) until 1500 RPM. I rarely hear it except on the first trip of the day (15-20 minutes to work or church), and can’t hear it at all if the radio or heater fan is on (I know…just keep the radio or heater on). Used engine flush and refilled w/10W-30+Slick50 two weeks ago, but no improvement. Added injector cleaner to the tank at the same time. Seafoamed back in the summer. Any ideas where I should start looking (besides the new car lot)? I’m an adequate do-it-yourselfer, but usually don’t go deeper into the engine than valve covers or water pumps.

Try one of those “miracle” tappet noise additives.

It could be due to a worn valve lash adjuster. If this is the case then no additive will cure the problem.
Worn adjusters are usually caused by extended oil change intervals which in turn may cause the hardened surface of the adjuster to wear through a bit. This leads to pitting and beating down the domed contact surface of the adjuster.

The only way of knowing is to remove the valve cover and adjusters for a visual inspection. If this is the case then odds are that other adjusters will need to be replaced also.

True…but that little tick could be there when it runs perfectly to the salvage yard 5 years from now with little left to the rusted out body (exaggeration of course)…A little tick is rather normal and nothing to worry about. I wouldn’t try to remedy it at all unless it was a severe tick…which is it? Is it real bad or just a light tap sound…if its light dont touch it…more trouble than its worth…the lite tap wont hurt the engine or you. Unless it has adjustment on the rockers…if it does its a simple operation…but many these days do NOT have a provision for easy adjustment.

As usual OK4450 is right on the money with his valve cover removal procedure…but what if its the valve cover next to the firewall? What a bitch that would be…

Thanks for the ideas!. It’s a very minor tick. I’ll try to use a screwdriver/stethoscope to see if it’s the front or back. I’m certainly up to taking off the front valve cover and having a look, but may not want to tackle the full inspection/repair until I’m really feeling adventurous, the weather is beautiful, and I have nothing else to do for the weekend. In other words, the next time Halleys comet swings by.

Thanks again,

LOL…that’s the spirit…a small valve tick is dare a I say rather normal? I’m sure half the experienced wrenches on this site know of an inline 6 or so that lightly tapped its entire life with no detrimental issues… A large or very loud tap is harmful…but not a small one…not at all

Honestly, with a very light tick that happens only in the mornings on a Voyager with 140,000 miles I’d follow Honda’s advice. I have absolutely no doubt that OK4450’s diagnosis is correct, especially since you’ve already tried a flush (reducing the likelihood of a licky stifter). But I don’t think it’s be worth opening the valvecover to work on. Unless, of course, you have a weekend with nothing better to do. I myself often do things that are actually unnecessary just because I feel like doing something on a given weekend. I’d bet most of us on this site do.

Honda’s right, half the engines in the boneyard probably ticked for years before the vehicles “gave up the ghost” and the engine’s would probably still run.

Dodge uses several different engines in the Caravan so it would help to know which engine you have.