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Engine ticking noises and squeaks-resolved

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Just wanted to share a resolution/experience I just had with my 2000 996. A few months ago, I started hearing a rhythmic ticking noise and it was pretty obvious that it was coming from the driver side. About the same time, I had the car in to have the LN IMS bearing mod done and the mechanic wasn't quite sure what it was and thought it might be a lifter.

With that in mind, I gave some Swepco oil additive a try without success. Actually, the ticking noise became more consistent as time went by.

In my research for lifter issue, I saw recommendations to first try changing the exhaust gaskets and set out to do that as it seemed pretty simple. However, I read a lot about stuck/broken bolts so I got the car lifted and soaked the bolts with PB Blaster for a few days prior to when I was going to start. A day or so before, I checked each bolt to see if I could move them and they all seemed to move. Unfortunately, the movement on the most aft driver side manifold bolt just seemed loose and sheared off. It really did feel like it was loose initially but sure enough, it snapped. The rest of the bolts came out ok and I set out to extract the stuck bolt. I tried more PB Blaster, a small butane torch, a nice stud extractor from JEGS. I even got a dremel up in there and cut a slot in the top of the bolt for a screwdriver, but no luck. What made it really difficult is that the thermostat housing is directly below the bolt so it was hard to try and get a straight shot at it. Anyway, I buttoned it back up (minus one bolt) and took it to my mechanic. He spent a few hours on it and ended up drilling it out and put in some thread repair coils. Since the thermostat housing was off, I had him change the thermostat as well.

He mentioned that the ticking was still there so it wasn't an exhaust gasket issue. He still thought it might be a lifter.

When I got the car in the garage, I could still hear the ticking but if I gave it a little gas at idle, I heard a little bit of a squeak as well. I was thinking maybe I did something to the exhaust hangers or maybe an engine mount. After some googling, I guess folks had found that squeaking can be caused by loose spark plugs. I went ahead and pulled the coils (first time doing that...not bad, but not trivial...) and sure enough, the middle spark plug on the driver side was loose. I took a closer look at coil tube and you could see where exhaust had blown by. I wiped it off and it didn't look there was any damage so I tightened the spark plugs and re-installed. Thankfully, the squeaking was gone and as a bonus, so was the ticking.

Glad to have the car back on the road and hope this experience will help someone in the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for jumping in here...

But any chance the squeaking sounded a bit like this ?


I get this sound when the car gets warm.

When idle, it gives a clearer single "squeak". Sometimes a few in a row, but with 1-2 sec apart.

When revving it goes "bip-bip-bip-bip-...".

Also I've noticed some ticking, though someone ment I should not worry too much about that ticking.


Took a video showing where the ticking seems to origin from, even though the squeak/bip didn't appear now I believe it comes from about the same area.


Edited by oysti82
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