My 2002 Focus (with 2.0 liter SOHC engine) makes clicking/ticking sounds
during acceleration. The car has only 20k miles so far. The noise isn't
very loud but it is noticable and persistent. It's not as loud when the
engine has warmed up completely. The sound is similar to what you might
hear from preignition or worn valve train or piston slap. I've ruled out
preignition as the source. I want to try changing to higher viscosity oil,
maybe higher viscosity synthetic oil. If piston slap is the problem I figure
the thicker oil will quiet the noise. It's an experiment. If it works then
I would like to continue to use the thicker oil for the long term. The
normal oil for the car is 5W20. Can anybody tell me what thicker viscosity
oil would be OK on a long term basis. Maybe you shouldn't use thicker oil
in modern small engines like this one. I don't know. The weather here in
Seattle, WA is not extremely hot or cold. Just middle of the road weather.
Also I would like to know if anybody has gotten these clicking/ticking
noises during acceleration in their Focus, or in a car with a similar
Thanks for your help.
You're under warranty, right? Dont do that yet.
What are your driving habits? Be specific!
How long is your typical trip once car is started.
What brand oil do you use?
Have you done your oil changes per the manual?
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -
The oil passages are so small & tolerances so tight in these modern
engines that a higher viscosity oil (on a cold start) could blow out a
seal or two - Ford has issued TSBs on that very thing for several of its
engines. I had a 2.0 Pinto many years ago that did that ticking under
hard acceleration; it turned out to be a carboned-up engine caused by (I
suppose) too much idling & city driving..
Bill Schaible wrote:
The only Ford TSB regarding problems realted to the use of thicker oil was
in reference to using 10W40 or thicker in certain 4.6L Modular engines
(94-1-17). Becasue of the releif valve design, the thicker viscosity oil
could lead to an over pressure condition that could swell up the oil filter
can and lead to a leak. The relief vavle design was changed to prevent this
condition in 1994. During cold start-up 5W20 and 5W30 oil have similar
viscosities, and in all cases the cold start-up viscosity is much higher
than the operating temperature viscosity of even 50 weight oil. There were
no internal changes to engines when Ford changed the recommendation from
5W30 and/or 10W30 oil to 5W20 oil. Ford has issued a couple of TSB
recommending the use of first 5W30 and then 5W20 in older engines, but these
did not warn against the use of 5W30 in "newer" engines. Even the language
in the operator's guides is wishy washy. Mine says
"SAE 5W-20 engine oil is recommended.
Only use oils "Certified For Gasoline Engines" by the American Petroleum
Institute (API). Use Motorcraft or an equivalent oil meeting Ford
specification WSS-M2C153-H. SAE 5W-20 oil provides optimum fuel economy and
durability performance meeting all requirements for your vehicle's engine."
As far as I know, only 5W20 and 0W20 oils meet specification WSS-M2C153-H,
but I am not sure of that.
Ford does & says interesting things, but I really don't see anything
wishy-washy about the statement, "SAE 5W-20 engine oil is recommended".
The 4.6L engine is not unique in the filter can bursting & can gasket
leaking, but the oil filter adapter plate gasket on the 4.6L is a very
weak design and for that reason alone, one shouldn't use anything
heavier than 5W30; my '94 Mark VIII's oil filler cap states that 5W30
oil is to be used in the engine, so it isn't as if people aren't being
told what weight oil to use, even people that are "too busy" to read the
owner's manual. Another consideration about oil viscosity in (all) OHC
engines: On a cold start, it takes longer for a heavier (say 20W50) oil
to be pushed up to the cam area, and the cam(s) are running the valve
train longer "dry" than if the proper weight 5W30 (or 5W20) oil is being
used. Mark VIII cars at 100K+ miles are now beginning to lose valves &
break valve springs for this very reason; owners that use
heavier-than-recommended oil in these engines. Of course, it's all
Ford's fault. :>)
"C. E. White" wrote:
The 2300 Pinto/Mustang engines had problems in the south with
accelerated camshaft wear when they first started recommending 5W30
oil. Really serious stuff. Finally, in desparation, Ford took the
advice of a dealership mechanic to run 10W40 oil in moderate
temperatures and 20W50 in the hot southern summers - and the problem
Perhaps Ford has improved the metalurgy of their cams, or the design
of their engines, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I'm running 10W40 in
my 2.5 Mystique. It's off warranty, and if it goes bad I pay for it -
and I'm betting on the heavier oil. If Ford wants to pay for it I'll
use what they ask for.
This is a new one on me. We are in North Carolina and had a '79 with the
2.3L Engine. We got a letter from Ford specifically warning against the use
of certain 10W40 oils (anything that was rated CC in addition to the spark
rating as a I recall). We never got any sort of recommendation for using
20W50. We also never had any problems with our engine. I looked through all
the Ford TSBs back as far as I could, and never found one that made these
recommendations. Do you have a source for this claim?
I too doubt there was ever such a recall, TSB, advisory, or whatever.
From late 1970 to around 1980, I had FIVE Pintos and never had actual
engine trouble with any of them. In any event, comparing engine oils of
the 1970s with what's available today is absurd. A tech paper on oil:
"C. E. White" wrote:
The article was an interesting opinion piece, but it includes a number of
obvious errors. No engine I have every worked on requires 5 minutes to
provide enough pressure to the overhead to lubricate the valves and cam.
Castrol Syntec is a highly refined Group III oil, not a Group II oil. I have
a very hard time believing that changing from 20W50 oil to Mobil 1 could
increase a Mustang's mileage from 10-11 mpg to 17-18 mpg. I might have
believed a 3% to 5% increase, but no way will I believe a greater than 50%
I agree with some of what he says and think some of the rest is just an
opinion I don't share. I particularly think his break-in recommendations are
ridiculous. But then that is my opinion.
I'd check for an exhaust leak - propably in the area of the manifold to head
interface or possible at the flex joint.
Thicker oil is not likely to fix piston slap, and besides your description
doesn't sound like piston slap.
If you really want to try thicker oil, I'd go no thicker than 5W30.
Gee..i thought it was just me!
I did a long empirical study with Q.S. in the late sixties and swore I would
never use another brand with a keystone state reference.
I ALMOST quit using Valvoline a couple years ago, because they were
advertising a lot, and I figured they had gone the same direction. as PZ, QS
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -
On Fri, 18 Feb 2005 03:49:28 GMT, Backyard Mechanic
Well, back in the late sixties/early seventies, I thought I would give
my car the "best" and used Quaker State Supreme. I had the occaision
to open up the engine to do a valve job and found the entire interior
of the engine coated in a waxy deposit like cosmoline. When I
reassembled the engine I flushed it well with kerosene and refilled
with Havoline.(I worked at a Texaco garage at the time) Have not used
Quaker state sinse.
About 15 years ago I was on a trip with the company Grand Caravan
delivering some computers about 200 miles away. The boss had just had
an oil change done (Penzoil). Less than 60 miles from home the oil
light started to blink on at speed. Went out at idle. I checked the
oil level, and it was fine, but appeared to be the consistency of #2
I took it into a garage and had the oil changed - got rid of the
Penzoil and put in Shell Rotella 10W40. No more problems.
I've had other experiences where the Penzoil foamed excessively, and
air does not make good oil pressure. Had the same problem with some
cheap ESSO 10W30 (green can from a lube shop that I could not buy at
the local ESSO station) in customer's cars.
Valvoline still seems to be half decent oil, but I'm back to Havoline
again. I was using Castrol but the rep gave my brother too much grief,
so he switched his shop to Havoline, and since I do my oil changes at
little brother's shop, using the Havoline made sense - and it IS good
Interesting thread. I thought the problems my old car had with pennzoil was
a fluke. 89 park ave, did a few oil changes with pennzoil and the oil
pressure went down like a sonofabitch (the idiot light would come on at
idle, or under any light engine load), switched to valvoline (same grade)
and the problem went away. drove the car another 40,000 miles after that
experience, so I'm sure it wasn't a case of the engine being on the way out.
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