Ticking engine - Dan J
For about the last 2 months/3000 miles my 1.8i Cavalier has developed a strange ticking noise which is very noticeable outside the car at idle. It sounds relatively regular but isn't always (ie so not the cam/alternator belt with a dodgy patch plus these have both been replaced in the last 12 months). It increases with the engine revs up til about 2000rpm and then either disappears or is drowned out by the engine. I can describe it best by saying it sounds like a creaky radiator does when cooling/heating up.

From careful listening all over the car it appears to be coming from the top cam-wheel as I have removed the cam-belt cover and this is where it is loudest. There appears to be nothing wrong with the belt (which is 18,000 miles old and was only replaced Oct 2000) and so I am a bit worried as to what it might be and whether some serious failure is due? Could it be the bearing of the cam wheel?

The car has not lost any performance nor is anything else amiss (emulsion in the oil etc) but after reading in the Audi post that ticking noises could indicate a cracked cylinder head I am worried!

Any ideas anybody? Advice and comments will be thankfully received...
Re: Ticking engine - Ian (cape town)
my old bmw did that once - turned out that one of the plug-leads had a break up at the cap thingy which connected to the plug. the ticktick was the spark jumping the gap!
saying that - could also be a dead-short somewhere from lead to engine.
check the leads, then check for sparks when it is dark.
I hope this helps.
Re: Ticking engine - mike harvey
Dan, I'd support Ian on this as I had exactly that last week on my wifes 2.0 Carlton, same engine type. The other thing I suspected as a second try was an injector, as they are solenoids effectively and also click. Try the leads first.
Re: Ticking engine - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
Loose plug mayhap??
Re: Ticking engine - Cockle
Does the ticking match the change in engine revs?
Know it sounds daft but had the same thing on SWMBO 1.8i, turned out to be iffy alternator bearing.
Re: Ticking engine - Andrew Hamilton
I remember checking leads on a car and soon found which was leaking to earth when I got a huge shock! Lead was not pushed onto plug properly. Guess you learn by experience!
Re: Ticking engine - Dan J
Thanks for all your posts so far - Def not the electrics/spark plugs, the car has had a full service by myself since this started so it isn't that. Next service will be full Vauxhall so I'll ask them but no doubt they'll try and sell me a new engine/car...

I thought it was perhaps an alternator bearing but the sound is loudest at the end of the camshaft - could it not be the bearing there?
Ticking engine - David Lacey
Alternator bearings usually whirr and don't generally tick.

Strange one this.

Re: Ticking engine - dafydd tomos
injector cleaner ?
Re: Ticking engine - robert
I had an Astra 1.6 (E reg) with this symptom - transpired to be the water pump.
Re: Ticking engine - markymarkn
my astra 1.8 8v injection does exactly the same thing. I though it was something in the ignition side of stuff but I havent really got a clue.

All i know is its been doing it for about the last 12,000 miles (as long as i've had the car), and its not stopped working yet!

If anyone has got any suggestions, i'd love to know how to get rid if it.

Re: Ticking engine - Dan J
Exactly the same engine I think and mine hasn't stopped working either and I am hoping the noise doesn't signify it is just about to!
Re: Ticking engine - Andrew
Sticky cam followers?

Re: Ticking engine - Steve G
How about the Heat shield around the exhaust ( if it has one ).
My 306 did what you described above.
Re: Ticking engine - markymarkn
naah its definitely from the engine engine and its not something loose or whatever. its in sync with the engine rpm. (i.e. rev engine ticks faster)
Re: Ticking engine - RogerL
Sticky hydraulic tappet is my guess. Try using flushing oil before next oil change and use fully synthetic 5W/40 oil with a new filter.

Value my car