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2002 Kia Rio 4dr. 2002 Honda Civic. 1987 Toyota Pickup
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 2002 Kia Rio and I have an engine noise I've got that is starting to not only annoy but worry me. It is sort of like a clicking or tapping noise that is coming from the top of the motor and not sure what it is. The car runs and drives fine despite the noise. I'm thinking it is a valve from the valve train that is either misadjusted or something. Any ideas on how to determine what it is without having to spend a fortune on a inspection? Or is that probably my best option to have it looked at?
 

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2012 Kia Soul+, Kia Sportage SX FWD
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How many miles on the engine? Some clicking is to be expected, and often can be remedied by changing the oil. It only holds about 3 and a half quarts, so I would try using a lighter blend...say 5W20 (assuming you're using 5or10W30). Clicking/tapping can be worn lifters(tappets) or sticking tappets or valves, or simply wear and tear on the valvetrain. I have seen engines show a huge noise improvement just by changing the oil and adding a bottle of Rislone oil treatment. Sludge and dirt buildup in the system can aggravate the valvetrain causing ticking, tapping, noises. You want to find an oil treatment that is designed for the valvetrain, NOT the lower end like the old STP ring treatment stuff. One type works to clean up and free up the valve train, and the other works to thicken oil and swell seals to reduce oil burning or loss. Just changing the oil to a lighter type might serve the same purpose as the Rislone. 5W20 will not hurt your Rio by any means. You might also check your timing belt and make sure it isn't loose/missing teeth, and causing the valvetrain to be slightly off. It isn't that hard to pull the valve cover off the Rio and physically look into the camshaft area. See if it looks dirty, sludgy....and see if there is anything odd there (probably not that you would see, but WTH?). I believe there is a ring screwed to the exhaust cam that the cam sensor reads , that can come loose, but this typically causes driveability probs and a check engine light.
Just change the oil/filter and see if it improves. Next step is additive....and after that if the noise remains the same or gets worse, you may need to consider head work.
Also remember that the fuel injectors can make clicking noises but they are not nearly as loud and obvious as the valves.
 

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I second the oil change idea, make sure they use the correct 5w30 or whatever your manual specifies, if you had a service do your last change they may have just put in "whatever" for oil instead of what is specified.
Does your oil light stay on longer than the other lights on the dash when you start the engine?
I had tried running 10w30 oil in mine since I figured the bearing clearances would have worn enough by 100k miles to possibly benefit from the added viscosity but I was wrong, I had valve noise and an oil light for about 2 seconds every time I started the car, I changed back to 5w30 and no lingering light and no more noise at startup.

I would be very very careful about using an oil additive, I've heard many a horror story about them. If your oil passages are full of gunk and it frees too much at once they may clog and deprive whole areas of your engine of any oil at all. (and yes I speak from experience! RIP '85 Caprice :( )

Oh, and make sure you/they use a good filter too, I also had valve noise when I used a weird brand once but I can't remember what brand it was. (Fram sucks too).

If that doesn't fix her I'd take it to a pro and see if they can help you out, but be wary of the line "you need to replace [insert random expensive car part here]." That's always their favorite diagnosis.
 

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2002 Kia Rio 4dr. 2002 Honda Civic. 1987 Toyota Pickup
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ill see what I can find out. I'm pretty sure I am due for an oil and filter change. I do however just now recall that I heard this similar noise before, ran some top end lub/cleaner and the noise went away for some time. Car has 110,000+ miles on it. Ill change the oil and probably run some of that lucas top end lub/cleaner for valve seals and injectors and see what it does and ill let you guys know the results, just wasn't thinking that more than likely its dirty injectors or a "crud filled" up top end.Thanks a bunch.
 
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