When it comes to speed, the glory of every car is to respond accordingly as you depress the gas pedal. No driver ever wants his car to stall or drag when he is about to turn the car into a road beast. But we see that happen oftentimes.
If your car stalls or drags with a ticking noise when you depress the gas pedal before taking off as it should, that’s an indication that something is wrong with the vehicle. Most drivers think the ticking is a fuel injector noise when accelerating. While fuel injectors can make a ticking noise, it usually means issues with the combustion or poor ignition timing.
What causes fuel injector noise when accelerating
Fuel injectors can make a ticking noise in the engine—no doubt about that. But the ticking noises are not loud enough to hear when accelerating your car. Soundproof materials in most modern cars and other car noises will make it almost impossible to hear the fuel injector noise when accelerating.
However, dirty fuel injectors can cause a ticking sound from engine. A dirty fuel injector will cause engine misfires, generating a ticking noise when idling or accelerating. Misfires happen when improper air-fuel mixtures in the combustion chamber fail to ignite or burn evenly.
Fuel injectors are designed to spray fuel into the combustion chamber. So, if they accumulate dirt over time, they may not spray fuel evenly or at the correct time, which can lead to engine misfire.
Dirty fuel injectors can also cause poor gas mileage, rough idling, and reduced engine power. Though you can hear fuel injector noise when accelerating at low speeds, the fuel injector ticking noise is more noticeable at idle. It will disappear or become almost impossible to notice when accelerating at high speeds.
What can make ticking noise in engine when accelerating
As I explained earlier, fuel injectors make a ticking noise when they accumulate dirt or become bad. However, these noises are not loud enough for you to hear them when accelerating or driving at high speeds.
Here are other things that could be causing a ticking sound from engine when accelerating that you are confusing as fuel injector noise.
- Low or dirty engine — Low or dirty engine oil will cause improper lubrication within the engine. Invariably causing excessive friction, wear, and tear in the engine, which will lead to strange noise from the engine.
- Worn or sticky valve lifters — If valve lifters wear out or become clogged with age and mileage, it will create a rhythmic ticking noise.
- Faulty spark plugs — If you own a high-mileage car, a faulty spark plug could be the root cause of the ticking noise.
- Exhaust leak — Your car engine is a closed circuit, meaning nothing can go in or out of it unless something is wrong. That’s why leaks in the exhaust system, especially closer or on the manifold, will cause an annoying ticking noise from the engine.
- Rod Knock — The connecting rods and the crankshafts are connected using a soft metal bearing to prevent them from rubbing against each other. If the metal bearing becomes bad, it’ll leave a large space, causing the rods to knock against the crankshaft.
These are the most common reasons for the ticking noise in engine when on idle and accelerating. Hence, when you hear ticking or any strange noise in the engine, pay attention to these problems when diagnosing the vehicle. While some of these reasons are minor and won’t cause issues in the short term, others are major problems that could cause catastrophic engine breakdowns in the shortest time.
Why do bad or dirty injectors tick
Under perfect working conditions, the fuel injectors do not have any unique sound. But when they accumulate dirt over time or become bad, they start making strange noises, such as a ticking noise.
The strange noise from the fuel injectors is an indication that they should be replaced. If any of the injectors fail, the car will experience engine misfires, reduced engine power, or poor gas mileage, and the check engine light will illuminate on the dashboard.
Fuel injectors have a simple design. But the working procedure is a bit complex. A fuel injector is an electronic mechanism that receives instructions from the ECU — when to open and when to close. If the injector is bad and fails to open when the ECU ask it to, it will make a ticking or other strange noise. But this noise is almost impossible to hear when driving.
What should you do if you hear the engine ticking noise when accelerating?
Whether you should keep driving or pull over when you hear a ticking noise from a car engine depends on when you hear the noise. If the noise only occurs when you step on the gas pedal, you should continue driving until you reach your destination. However, drive gently and avoid rapid acceleration. Arrange a visit to a mechanic shop afterward.
But if you hear the ticking noise every time you start the engine, hear grinding or whining noise, the check engine light pops up on the dash, or the RPM needle starts jumping up and down, something crazy is happening in the engine. If you keep driving in this situation, it may cause a total engine breakdown. Stop driving and tow the vehicle to a nearby mechanic before you cause catastrophic damage.
I have explained what causes noisy fuel injectors, but it is important to note that it is almost impossible to hear a fuel injector noise when accelerating. Fuel injector noises are noticeable when idling or slowly revving the engine in a parked position. If you hear any noise when accelerating and suspect it is from the fuel injectors, contact your mechanic to run a diagnosis before drawing to a conclusion.