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  1. #1

    Unhappy Tahoe with a ticking noise

    I have a 99 Tahoe with over 180,000 miles. Kept up with oil changes pretty well and I am using a synthetic 10/30 oil for high mileage. After driving on the highway at a constant 70 on the way home at the first stop light my truck nearly stalled out. RPMs were down and had a bad vibration at idle.

    The next 10 miles home were at 45 mph with no stops, I heard no noise, had normal acceleration with no smells or high temps. The oil pressure was holding steady around 30. When I pulled into my garage I could hear a faint ticking at idle, the RPM drop from before did not occur at home in part of drive with normal Idle.

    The check engine light was flashing after the low idle time, codes for p0300 (random misfire) and P0304 (cylinder 4 misfire) were thrown.

    After cool down my restarts are rough and a ticking noise is evident on the passenger side of the engine, after a short test drive the ticking noise was no longer evident.

    My online research leads me to anything from plugs to push rods. Anyone have inisght into the best options to follow?

    Thank you.

  2. #2


    I would try new plug and wires 1st if it reads misfire as well as cap and rotar

  3. #3


    I just did plugs last weekend and wires last year around this time. Can the electrical system cuase the ticking?

  4. #4


    Ok.. I took my truck over to a mechanic to see if I could get some advice. My truck started loud with a constant ticking, about half way to the mechanic all noise stopped. I left the car off for 45 minutes to see if it would cool down enough to cause the issues again but no luck. Perfect run. Needless to say my mechanic things I am making things up.

    I let her sit for about 2 hours in the garage, came out to start her up and the noise is back. I let her heat up some with no difference on the noise. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  5. #5


    The solution still eludes me.

    I hooked my truck up to my code reader and cleared the codes, nothing new showed up while the ticking was ongoing. I pulled the air intake pipe that goes to the valve cover, I could hear no difference in the ticking (louder or softer). I cralwed under the truck and was louder from the bottom than the top.

    While at a constant idle (never driven) while checking other codes the ticking just stopped. that was about 15 minutes into the run from a cold start.

    Can this be an exhaust leak? What would that sound like and would it go away?

    When driving I have no performance loss.

  6. #6


    Sounds like a bad plug wire. They can come and go, sometimes when they heat up it quits ticking, sometimes just move it right and the ticking starts again. Check them again when it gets a little dark outside, look for the arcing when you hear the ticking.

    An exhaust leak usually doesn't go away, they just get louder.

  7. #7


    I tried this last night. I could not see any arching from the top or bottom.. just that annoying ping/tapping. Still from the bottom it is much louder I can not tell exactly where the sound is coming from.

  8. #8


    Guess you could try the screwdriver to the ear and try to track down the exact spot of the noise. Just be careful of your hair, fingers, and clothes when the engine is running and your probing around it.

  9. #9


    i had a small tic in my motor and i didnt do anything about it and it got worse
    at the end i spun a bearing
    but i would take it to someone to have it checked

  10. #10
    Jr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Midlothian, TX


    You could also try checking your ignition coil or ignition module.

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