Reasons for a Ticking Noise from Your BMW’s Lifter

If you own a BMW with an N52 engine, you may begin to hear a ticking noise. The dreaded lifter ticking issue is a major concern for drivers, but some are still confused as to what it is. If you are experiencing a ticking noise and your BMW was manufactured between 20042015, the problem is probably due to the hydraulic valve lifter. Let’s take a closer look in the article below.

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The N52 Engine

The N52 engine was ahead of its time. It had great reviews and was highly sought out by drivers and car enthusiasts, but after a while, it started showing signs of defects. It wasn’t long before BMW drivers started hearing ticking and rattling noises. The engine became noisy in certain situations. The irritating sounds were more common in vehicles with over 50,000 miles. They were also more noticeable during short drives and in colder weather.

Many drivers hoped with proper routine maintenance, they would not experience the problem. Unfortunately, the issue didn’t seem to revolve around the proper maintenance of their BMW. Even the best-kept vehicles experienced the aggravating ticking noises. Drivers became extremely concerned and wanted to know what they could do to fix the problem.

Cause of the BMW Engine Tick

For years, the ticking issue couldn’t be diagnosed. It wasn’t identified until recently, even though the issue itself was well-known and documented. After considerable research and diagnostics, they figured the problem out: The ticking noise was caused by a faulty hydraulic valve lifter.

The hydraulic valve lifter is made up of several different parts. There is the body, plunger, socket, and check ball mechanism. The function of the hydraulic valve lifter is to create space. Space is needed so other parts in the engine can expand and contract.

Symptoms of a Faulty Hydraulic Valve Lifter

The ticking noise it the main symptom of a defective hydraulic valve lifter. The lack of adequate lubrication causes this annoying sound. When the temperature outside is low, the noise is often worse because the lubrication needs to be heated up to function properly.

Fixing a Hydraulic Valve Lifter

BMW initially offered a remedy. This involved changing the existing cylinder heads with newer models. It was presumed that this would correct the lubrication problem. But, in most cases, the fix was ineffective. Another temporary fix was discovered in repair shops. It was found that using a lighter weight oil helped relieve the symptoms.

Ticking Issues and Safety Concerns

If the ticking noises are coming from the N52 hydraulic valve lifter issue, you can continue to drive your car. There aren’t any known safety issues that result from the problem, but we do not recommend that you continue to drive your BMW without proper diagnosis since the sounds could indicate other engine issues. You should have the ticking noises diagnosed by a certified mechanic since continuing to drive your car with engine problems can result in costly repairs down the line.

We Can Help

BMW used to help drivers by switching the cylinder heads. This is no longer the case. At Ultimate Bimmer Service, we will work with you to help resolve the ticking issue. We have found that the best approach is to:

  • Only use the correct replacement parts
  • Parts should have a warranty
  • Stay up-to-date on regular maintenance

The ticking issue can happen to anyone with an N52 engine. By keeping current on scheduled maintenance and taking necessary precautions, you can help protect your BMW so that is can last for many more years.

BMW Engine Tick Inspection

Schedule Your Service Today

At Ultimate Bimmer Service, our technicians are ASE Certified Master Technicians. We have the knowledge needed to fix your car properly on your first visit. As for customer service, we aim to impress. We go above and beyond to make sure that you receive the service that you deserve. We know that having your car serviced is an inconvenience, and we want to make it as stress-free as possible. Contact us today at (972) 418-1800 or come see us at our locations in the communities of Carrollton and Dallas, TX. Our experts at Ultimate Bimmer Service look forward to becoming your BMW service center.

* BMW Logo image credit goes to: andreonegin.

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