Car Sounds
Ford Explorer Limited
Noise Pollution

What causes a tapping noise when starting the engine?

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2008-12-25 03:38:53

The tapping noise while warming up in the Grand Am GT's is

nothing to worry about. These vehicles have the 3.4 Liter V6 engine

and due to the design of these engines, it is simply oil entering

the engine that causes this sound. If you noticed once it is warm

the tapping ceases. Like I said need not to worry because this is


I would not be driving this vehicle for a couple of reasons. If

you are loosing coolant on a continual basis, regardless of how

much is lost, it has to go somewhere. If you do not see any pooling

under the vehicle, then it is leaking inside the engine. If the

latter is true, then coolant in the engine will dilute the oil, and

create a cloudy oil residue, or if you are getting oil into the

coolant, you will see a 'rainbow' on top of the coolant in the

radiator or overflow. The tapping, I think, from the limited

information, is the Valves not getting the Oil due to low oil

pressure. Once the engine warms up, and the Oil pump starts to flow

the oil, the tapping stops. Many vehicles, especially GM and Chevy

do this. I would not be overly concerned about the tapping, but I

would be concerned about the coolant leak. An easy way to see if

you have an external leak is to go to a local parts store, and

purchase a leak test kit, which usually is a dye, which can be seen

with a blacklight. Kids love helping at night with this! Good Luck

it might be your water punp you need a stronger one. or nr oil too

the head Adding to answer: Take vehicle to repair facility and have

a Carbon Block Test done,it will also determine if Carbon Gases are

entering the coolant system.As far as the tapping, switch to

synthetic oil,it costs about twice as much but is well worth the


answer does the noise go away shortly after starting? if so the

tapping noise is caused by cold and insuufient oil in the lifters

on your tappets as the engine stands, not running, the oil that was

circulating while running, goes to oil pan on starting, the oil

needs to be circulated back to all parts, try an oli change with

correct viscosity oil sometimes a good oil additive such as LUCAS

ENGINE OIL ADDITIVE will stop this rattle all cars will have same

problem as they get older

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