Ford 4.0 SOHC Ticking Noise: How To Solve

Do you hear a sound from the engine of your Ford 4.0 SOHC? Don’t worry; this is a common problem, and in this article, we will explain what to do about it

If you own a 4.0 Ford SOHC, you may come across a strange problem in your car. Sometimes, there may be a ticking or rattling noise coming from the engine.

It may occur when you have just fired up the engine or are in the middle of a smooth journey. But what does it mean, and is it a problem?

In this article, let us talk to you about the ticking noise problem in your 4.0 SOHC and what you can do about it.

Ford 4.0 SOHC Ticking Noise: How To Solve


Timing Chain Tensioners

When you are driving a 4.0 SOHC model, the most common cause of the ticking sound from the engine can be traced to the chain tensioners.

Most Ford models, infact most cars, have timing chain tensioners that are used to manage the tension of the timing chain.

If the chain tensioners become loose over time, they start rattling, and the sound comes in the form of a constant ticking sound in the engine.

Unfortunately, this is a very common problem that Ford drivers complain about, and there is no exact solution that the company has come up with.

Also read – What to do if the Ford wrench light comes on but there are no codes on scanning the engine?

How To Fix It?

If you have determined that the problem with your car is in the timing chain guide, then you can do a few things to solve the problem by yourself.

The main thing you have to do is change the rear tensioner in your car.

Changing the tensioner is not much of a hassle if you know exactly what steps you need to follow. So here is what you need to do:

  1. Start off by jacking up the passenger side
  2. Take the tire off and carefully remove the old tensioner
  3. Install the new tensioner, taking care that it is placed properly and is not coming off
  4. Put the tire back on and remove the jack

These quick and easy steps can help you install a new tensioner, and if there is no additional problem, you will stop hearing the rattling sound from your car anymore.

Also read: Ford F150 interior lights do not turn on. What needs to be done?

Oil Change

Some drivers suggest that an oil change can be a solution to the ticking noise in your car.

If you are hearing the ticking sound in the engine for a long time, check the oil levels and try refilling the tank. Sometimes this can decrease the intensity of the sound or at least remove the sound when you start driving again.

Ford 4.0 SOHC Ticking Noise: How To Solve

Low Engine Oil

One reason that your 4.0 SOHC is making a ticking noise is because of the low level of engine oil. There might be a lack of lubrication in the engine, which is causing friction between the parts and making loud rattling or ticking sounds.

The best idea, in this case, is to pay the mechanic a short visit. They will make sure that the engine oil is changed and the parts are lubricated properly. This is also a good choice to check for any other troubles in the car that may be the source of the sound.

Also read: Will Dodge Rims Fit on a Ford?

Oil Sludge Issue

Oil sludge can be a major problem in any vehicle that can become a reason for the ticking noise in your engine. If a car has some kind of oil sludge issue, the pressure of the car valve train goes down, causing some kind of obstruction.

The oil reservoir has to be flushed properly to avoid the build-up of any kind of dirt that can clog the system. You have to check the situation by removing the valve cover and then flushing it thoroughly with kerosene. Once the obstruction is cleared, it is likely that the sound will go away.

The oil sludge issue is one of the easiest problems to diagnose, but it has to be taken care of at the earliest to avoid long-term damage.

Loose Exhaust

One culprit of the engine’s ticking noise in a 4.0 Ford SOHC is a loose exhaust. In case of an exhaust leak, there can be a constant rattling sound you can hear when the car is in motion. The easiest way to fix this problem is to re-tighten the exhaust manifolds and then start the vehicle to check if the car is still present or not.

Some drivers have reported that tightening the loose exhausts can dramatically reduce the sound of the engine if not removed it.

Ford 4.0 SOHC Ticking Noise: How To Solve


Frequently Asked Questions

How much horsepower does a 4.0 SOHC have?

The 4.0 Ford SOHC does not have the highest output in terms of its engine. It is rated at 210 horsepower, which is referred to as an anemic engine compared to vehicles of this kind.

How do you get rid of engine ticking?

There are a number of ways to get rid of the ticking engine in your car. Check the oil and engine oil levels in your car and check for loose exhausts. The most common problem to check for would be the timing chain issues and if they have come off.

Why is my engine ticking while idling?

A car’s engine uses lifters to open and close valves when it is in motion. These lifters get worn out with time and can cause a clicking sound when they are trying to close the valves.

So when the engine is left idle after a long time, the engine causes a ticking sound because of the metal.

How much HP can a 4.0 inline 6 handle?

The best way to figure out what kind of horsepower a 4.0 inline six can handle, check the model and chassis of the car. The average range carries between 173-195HP, but it can vary with what model you are looking at.


There could be a number of reasons why you can hear the ticking sound in your car engine.

The good thing is that these can be solved easily and without much tug on your pockets. But make sure that you get your car to the mechanic before there is any kind of trouble mid-journey.

We hope this article helps you out in trouble. Thank you for reading!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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