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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Long time lurker here and finally decided to take the dive in.

My truck started making a ticking noise that isn’t too loud when idling if at all present but when I accelerate it picks up. It’s very noticeable and so far the only remedy is to turn on the radio. The truck came from the salt belt and does need some parts replaced. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated before I spend A lot of money at the dealership. Perhaps a loose part, rod knock, or lifter tick?

I uploaded a video to YouTube here:
 

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2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum
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16 Posts
It sounds like lifter tick to me (I just dealt with lifter tick myself a few months back). However, a broken exhaust manifold stud can cause a similar sound.

Your best bet is to pull the valve covers. If you have a stuck lifter, at least one of your valve rockers will be extremely loose to the point that you can easily wiggle it with your finger. If you determine it is a stuck lifter, don't keep running the motor - doing so will eventually cause damage to the camshaft, assuming it's not already damaged if you've been running it this way for a long period of time.

If this issue just started, you've probably caught the issue in time and just need to free the lifter. I'm also assuming your Escalade has AFM/Active Fuel Management, which is a common culprit for stuck lifters. If that's true, you'll also want to disable AFM as you'll continue to get stuck lifters.
 

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2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum
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Sorry, quick edit. I saw after-the-fact that you have a 2009, so I don't believe you have AFM. Everything else in my above post would still stand.
 

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Sounds just like mine.

Does it go away when it gets warm?

Check your exhaust manifold bolts. The back two on my '10 were broken.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sounds like lifter tick to me (I just dealt with lifter tick myself a few months back). However, a broken exhaust manifold stud can cause a similar sound.

Your best bet is to pull the valve covers. If you have a stuck lifter, at least one of your valve rockers will be extremely loose to the point that you can easily wiggle it with your finger. If you determine it is a stuck lifter, don't keep running the motor - doing so will eventually cause damage to the camshaft, assuming it's not already damaged if you've been running it this way for a long period of time.

If this issue just started, you've probably caught the issue in time and just need to free the lifter. I'm also assuming your Escalade has AFM/Active Fuel Management, which is a common culprit for stuck lifters. If that's true, you'll also want to disable AFM as you'll continue to get stuck lifters.
Thank you for taking the time to watch the video and read my post. I’m going to drop it off at the Cadillac dealership tomorrow. I’ve been driving it for a week now but have only owned it for 2 weeks. It does have a warranty through a 3rd party that I think will cover it.

I’m pretty handy and have fixed lots on our 2004 EXT but I’m honestly scared to mess with the engine. I’ll keep you updated and fingers crossed it’s nothing too bad.
Thank you again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds just like mine.

Does it go away when it gets warm?

Check your exhaust manifold bolts. The back two on my '10 were broken.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Thank you for looking at my post/video. It doesn’t go away at all, cold or warm.
I know it’s missing one of the bolts.
 

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I’m going to take a picture tomorrow, where one of the exhaust manifold bolts has rusted off and is missing. Any ideas how to drill the old rusted bolt out? Hopefully this is an easy fix.
 

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Thank you for looking at my post/video. It doesn’t go away at all, cold or warm.
I know it’s missing one of the bolts.
Bingo!

It is possible that it might not go away.

The proper fix is to have the exhaust manifolds removed, the old bolts extracted and new ones installed. I would go with ARP studs if you did that.

I fixed mine with the Exhaust Manifold repair kit from Kral Auto. https://kralautoparts.com/

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The "propper" fix according to my local stealership was in the $600-2500 range. I have both rear bolts broken off.

I was able to get the one on the passenger side easy. Drivers is a different story. I'm going to tackle again when it's cooler here (we live in Georgia).

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I’m going to take a picture tomorrow, where one of the exhaust manifold bolts has rusted off and is missing. Any ideas how to drill the old rusted bolt out? Hopefully this is an easy fix.
If you know someone that's an expert welder familiar with automotive you might be able to get it fixed cheap.

There was a guy in here that used a welder to weld on some metal that allowed them to extract the bolt and insert a new one.

The Dealership was so expensive because they were going to remove the whole exhaust manifold on both sides. If they were not able to get at the bolt with those off, they would have removed the head to get at them.

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2007 ESV
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I did mine with an $89 Harbor Freight MIG welder. It was the rear passenger side bolt, broke off flush to the head. You take the plastic inner fender liner off to get access to the manifold, take the manifold off, then you can do the extraction(s). Here is how:
 

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2008 Escalade EXT
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Yup broke rear driver side exhaust manifold bolt. My 2008 EXT does the same, bolt head missing. Mine stops making the sound when it warms up.
 
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