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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a strange ticking sound coming from under the engine on the passenger side. I disconnected the accessory belt, and it didn't go away, so it's not power steering, alternator, etc. It's hard to hear it with the hood open, but very noticeable from the right front wheel well. Here's a video...


Not typical valvetrain noise since it's so low. I was wondering if it was timing belt tensioner, but it was replaced a couple years ago, so I'd be surprised. I wondered about an exhaust leak, but I couldn't find one. Could it be a conn rod or piston? It seems to have come on fairly quickly, so that would be unusual. The car has 260k km (160k m) I use synthetic oil. I'm baffled. It's not as noticeable as the engine revs higher. Any ideas?
 

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When was the timing belt done?

What parts were used? OEM, Aisin, Gates?

It is possible that the tensioner could have failed. Especially an aftermarket one.

Was this TSB performed at the time?

Your best bet is to try and get an idea if it's coming from the top or bottom of the engine, but I have noticed a similar noise since my belt was done in November. Mine hasn't been so much different from before that I considered it to be an issue though

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The audio in the vid makes it hard to tell if its a tick or a hiss. Loose spark plug?
 

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I just dealt with much the same thing in my car. Click on the link in my signature and read my most recent few posts.

My tick was definitely upper end - most noticeable by the PS pump and upper timing belt covers. I didn't take a video, but it sounded similar to yours when you were up top.

Does the sound go away when the engine is warmed up?
 

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Remove the rear upper timing belt cover and you'll most likely see the timing belt slapping left and right. It's a failed timing belt hydraulic tensioner if it was replaced using an aftermarket part.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. I wasn't aware of the TSB for chirping timing belt. I haven't noticed any chirping, and the one I replaced was not worn at all when I took it off.

I didn't buy the new tensioner from Honda, but it was Aisin, Japanese, and I think it was the same as the OEM one. So I looked it up and it was longer than I thought... almost 3 years ago and 105k km (65k m) ago so I suppose the tensioner could have failed. The videos that I found of failed tensioners sounded much louder than mine is, and also could be heard under the hood. And often the leaked hydraulic oil was visible. Mine is making a clacking sound that can be easily heard from underneath the car, but hardly noticeable in the engine bay. I guess I should pull the timing belt cover and take a look.
 
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