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The Dreaded Sound Of Engine Ticking

So, you’ve cranked up your car and heard a ticking sound. Like an old standing clock, or someone tapping their fingernail against a countertop. It’s rhythmic, it’s new, and it’s causing all sorts of horrible thoughts to turn through your mind. That can’t be a good sign, ticking from beneath the hood of your BMW.


It’s a noise that creates a great deal of heartache and stress, but is also a relatively easy thing to diagnose for many ASE-certified technicians. Ever heard of a hydraulic valve lifter? Most people haven’t, and that’s okay. Ruling out a possible faulty oil pump plunger that could be the culprit of the ticking, it could also be that your BMW hydraulic lift valves are in need of replacement. In a BMW, if you’re idling while under load and hear that ticking coming from the front part of your engine, then that means the lifter is loose.


Simply put: the hydraulic valve lifters in your BMW control the opening of your vehicle’s exhaust valves as your engine runs. When they become loose in some way, when they open they’ll tap on the camshaft, which is what’s making that insane ticking sound that you can’t get out of your head. See, when these mechanisms become worn out due to wear and tear, or simply old age, they don’t open and close the way they need to any longer. The seal gets broken, or the valve itself becomes warped, and because of that these little valves require regular servicing just like every other major part of your BMW. However, that little ticking sound isn’t the only symptom of this hydraulic valve leak.


If you have an oil leak toward the front of your engine that is leaving little spots behind on your driveway or in your garage, then that could signal a faulty lifter. If the hole the valve is creating is near the oil return, then it’s possible that leaking oil could be another sign of something deeper going on in your engine. Low oil pressure will go hand-in-hand with this as well. But, there’s another symptom to look for that has underlying symptoms of its own, and that’s low–or zero–engine compression. If your BMW is doing things like cutting off after you strike up the engine, or you smell something like oil burning. You may even see a bit of smoke coming from beneath the hood of your car without your vehicle overheating. Those are all signs of low engine compression, which can be caused by leaking hydraulic valves as well.

So, how do you get that incessant ticking sound fixed? By taking your car to Eurofed Automotive. With ASE-certified expert technicians on staff at each of our 13 installations, we can handle all of your BMW repair needs. Whether the fix is as quick as changing the oil pump plunger, or whether it’s as difficult as swapping out your entire engine, we’ve got you covered. We guarantee the use of warrantied, BMW-manufactured parts that are not only covered by their warranty, but ours as well. With auto repair shop locations scattered across Georgia in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Buckhead, Decatur, Duluth, and Snellville, along with locations in Austin, Texas; Charlotte, NC; and Jacksonville, FL, you can rest easy knowing that the southern U.S. trusts us with their BMW repairs. Give us a call at or come visit us at any of our locations to have a certified expert handle the repairing of that ticking sound beneath the hood of your BMW. We promise that when you leave our auto repair shops, you’ll leave safer, happier, and ready to tackle the road in front of you.

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