"Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Should I be worried? When I'm parked or stopped at a light/stop, all I hear is "tic tic tic" from ...
  1. #1
    ronronsls is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Should I be worried? When I'm parked or stopped at a light/stop, all I hear is "tic tic tic" from the engine, seems like every time there's a revolution...
    Curious to why this happens & why when the car is moving I don't hear it, I would think it would even louder or "tic" even faster...

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Go to a Walgreen and buy a cheap stethoscope. Replace the chest diaphragm with a length of vacuum hose from the "Help!" racks at a parts store.

    Use the rig to localize the Tick. Could be mechanical, vacuum, or exhaust.

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Follow Sub's advice. We need a lot more to go on than that.

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    jcresciSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Could it be a lifter?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    No lifters. Roller cam followers adjusted by static hydraulic cylinders. 2000 and up.

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    Tonkin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Had the same thing on my 2002 DHS at 50,000 miles. Drove me crazy and the dealer too. Only at idle and a tic, tic,tic sound. Just before the warranty ran out one of the younger mechanics looked at it and said it was piston slap. I didn't believe him till he tore the engine apart and showed me. Cadillac has a tech bulletin about this. TSB 03-06-01-025. The problem is caused by the oil rings not doing their job and the carbon build up from using gas that is not tier 1 and no WOT from time to time. They replace the Pistons that have the new style oil rings and the pistons themself have a teflon skirt pad on two sides of the piston to also quiet any piston noise at idle. (all this done free under extended warranty) Oil consumption between oil changes went from 1 quart to almost nothing. Also only use tier 1 gas now! (no Arco ) I think he said 2005 and up had the new pistons and Rings. I Have pictures but they are too big to upload to this site. Have to reduce them to 800 by 800 somehow.

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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Is it a tick-tick-tick or more like a tock-tock-tock...more like a hollow sound? My father bought a 2000 DTS when they first came out - in 1/2000, and his car always had that tock sound at idle, but you wouldn't hear it when driving, unless you were driving slowly past a building that would reflect the sound waves back at you. Anyway, he complained and complained and complained to Cadillac, and they wouldn't do anything for him; they said it was normal, that the "new" engines with aluminum blocks do sound different than the cast iron engines of the olden days - bunch of BS! Anyway, one day maybe around 2 years after he bought the car, I saw a few drops of coolant on his garage floor, and I told him to take the car in to the dealer and get it checked out. Well, they checked it out and said it was case porosity and the entire engine had to be replaced, under warranty, at no charge. Well, that solved the tock-tock-tock sound, never to return, and now the car has 77,000 mile on it and runs fine. Now it's my car - my father bought a 2008 DTS and gave me the 2000. Oh, and he made sure the 2008 didn't make any funny sounds BEFORE he accepted and paid for it.

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    JSTS02 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    funny enough after readin this post... i have a ticking sound too!!! mine is slow when idle but speeds up with rpm's... sometimes is louder than others... sometimes i cant even hear it at idle... it sound like it's coming from the passenger side wheel well...sounds almost like a straw stuck in a fan...

    I just had my gasket job done a few weeks ago... but it was fine then... what could it be? how can i tell if its something major?

  10. #9
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Mine has always had a ticking noise, but it never bothered me enough to worry about it. It tends to be more noticeable when I'm a quart low on oil around 2k after my oil change... add a quart and it goes away. Motor was redone last year so it's not a big concern to me, just something I've always noticed.

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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Don't time bombs make the same sound?

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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Destroyer you do have a point

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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    I don't know much about northstars, I've never owned one. I spend all of my time in the pushrod sections

    However, I have witnessed a mistake many times that this thread reminds me of. Lots of people here claim to have rhythmic ticking. Many people will go nuts trying to track a problem like this down under the hood, only to find later on that it was the start of an exhaust leak the whole time. Make sure you don't have a simple cracked exhaust manifold or leaking donut gasket at the cat...? Usually an exhaust leak will be loudest on cold start and quiet as the engine warms and the exhaust expands. Could explain why, in JSTS02's case, sometimes it's louder than others.

    Sorry if this is way off, but I figure I'd add it as random as this thread was.

  14. #13
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Nah, modern timebombs have electronic timers so they're dead quiet .

    Drew, The 2000+ Seville line has a front rectangular 4-bolt cat flange and gasket which is pretty leakproof, BUT there is also a s/s flex link there at the manifold Y and that springs a spitty leak once in a while. The OEM exhaust on these is one piece from the cat flange to the tips - to install a CORSA (or any cat-back) you measure and cut downstream of the cat.

    Don't forget that a Northstar has 32 valves, either flat tappet or roller cam followers, 4 cams, 3 cam chains, and 4 engine-driven accessories plus 3 tension/idler pulleys. Any one or more of these mechanical objects may develop some sort of tick, hum, whirr, or hiss. You will go bananas trying to track down some of those...........if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and don't start dumping goose grease in the oil to try and quiet things down.

  15. #14
    jcresciSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    I have the same problem as JSTS02. I've had a tick since I bought the car but didn't worry about, hell I still don't. I have noticed it's gotten a bit louder but sometimes its not even there, also it gets louder as the rpms go up.

  16. #15
    Destroyer's Avatar
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    Re: "Tic Tic Tic" sound on 02 SLS

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    Nah, modern timebombs have electronic timers so they're dead quiet .
    True. My N* didn't make much noise while it was f'ing me over.

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