Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise – Causes and Solutions

An abnormal ticking or clicking noise arising from the engine is one of the most common issues reported by Honda Accord owners. This annoying Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise is often most audible at idle speeds. While this noise may seem minor, it could be indicative of a larger underlying problem. Identifying the root cause and addressing it promptly can help avoid further damage to the engine.

This article discusses the various potential causes and fixes for the ticking noise problem in Honda Accord engines. We will go over engine components like the valve lifters, rocker shaft bridge, exhaust manifold, belts and pulleys, spark plugs, and wiring harnesses that could trigger the noise when faulty. Read on to learn how to diagnose and resolve the Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise issue.

What Causes Ticking Noise In Honda Accord Engines?

There are several culprits that can cause a ticking or clicking noise in your Honda Accord engine. Here are some of the most common reasons and the affected engine components:

  • Worn Or Faulty Valve Lifters
  • Excessive Rocker Shaft Bridge Clearance
  • Exhaust Leaks
  • Faulty Belts/Pulleys
  • Damaged/Worn Spark Plugs
  • Faulty Wiring Harness

Worn Or Faulty Valve Lifters

The hydraulic valve lifters in the Honda Accord engine can wear out or become faulty over time. This results in a constant ticking noise emanating from the valvetrain area as the engine runs.

Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise caused by worn lifters is most noticeable at idle speeds when the engine is warmed up. Bad valve lifters need replacement to stop the noise and prevent further engine issues.

Excessive Rocker Shaft Bridge Clearance

Some Honda Accord engines are prone to developing excessive clearance in the rocker shaft bridge assembly. This results in the rocker shaft rotating excessively and causing a ticking or tapping noise.

Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise - Solutions
Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise – Solutions

According to Honda’s service bulletin, the rocker shaft bridge bolts need to be re-torqued to factory specs to eliminate this Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise. Failing to do this can cause accelerated wear of the rocker components.

Exhaust Leaks

Small exhaust leaks in the manifold or exhaust components can also produce a ticking or tapping sound from the engine bay.

The leaks allow the exhaust gasses to escape and resonate in the chamber, creating the ticking noise. Inspecting the exhaust system and sealing any leaks is necessary to stop this Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise.

Faulty Belts/Pulleys

The drive belts and pulleys are common culprits for ticking noises in any engine. A loose belt can slip and cause a repetitive ticking noise. Damaged or worn pulleys can also contribute to the noise.

Replacing damaged belts/pulleys and re-tensioning the belts as needed can help resolve Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise caused by faulty drive components.

Damaged/Worn Spark Plugs

Faulty spark plugs in the combustion chamber will produce a ticking noise as well. Damage to the spark plug electrodes and insulating porcelain material can cause misfiring.

This leads to uneven combustion and the resulting ticking sound. Replacing worn spark plugs is key to fixing this Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise problem.

Faulty Wiring Harness

Engine wiring issues like loose connections or damaged wiring harnesses can also manifest as ticking noises. The faulty electrical contacts disrupt the signals causing components like injectors and coils to misbehave.

Diagnosing and repairing wiring harness damage is essential for addressing Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise due to electrical faults.

Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise - Causes
Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise – Causes

Now that we’ve looked at the common reasons behind Honda Accord engine ticking noises, let’s go over some solutions and fixes.

How To Fix Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noises?

Inspecting And Replacing Valve Lifters

If the ticking noise is suspected to be from worn valve lifters, a mechanic should inspect the lifters and verify that they are the cause of the noise. The worn or faulty hydraulic valve lifters will need to be replaced with new ones to resolve the issue. 

This repair work requires removing the valve cover and disassembling the valvetrain components to access the lifters. The mechanic will replace the bad lifters and reassemble the components, refill the valve cover oil, and test run the engine to ensure the ticking noise has stopped.

Adjusting Rocker Shaft Bridge Clearance

When excessive rocker shaft bridge clearance is the culprit, the fix involves reading justing the bridge bolts to torque specifications provided by Honda. This requires methodically loosening each bridge bolt, setting proper clearance, and retorquing the bolts to the factory specs in the service manual. 

The mechanic needs to make very precise adjustments to eliminate noise from rocker shaft rotation. This repair work demands advanced technical skills.

Repairing Exhaust Leaks

If exhaust leaks are causing resonance and ticking sounds, the exhaust components need thorough inspection to pinpoint the source of leaks. This may involve tightening loose clamps/fittings, replacing gaskets, or patching cracked exhaust pipes. 

High-temperature exhaust sealants are applied to seal small leaks, while larger leaks require replacement of damaged exhaust parts. All connections must be properly sealed to prevent further exhaust leaks and ticking noises.

Replacing Damaged Belts And Pulleys

To fix belt/pulley issues, each belt and associated pulleys are inspected for signs of wear, cracks, or damage. Faulty belts and pulleys must be replaced with new Honda OEM parts for proper fit and performance. 

Once replacements are installed, the belt tensions are adjusted to factory specifications to stop slippage and prevent aberrant noises during engine operation.

Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise - Causes and Solutions
Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise – Causes and Solutions

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noises

The Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise may seem like a minor annoyance, but ignoring it for too long can lead to some serious problems. Here are some reasons you should get ticking noises checked and fixed promptly:

  1. The underlying issue will likely worsen if left unchecked. For example, faulty valve lifters can damage the cams and cylinder head if not replaced in time.
  2. Prolonged driving with exhaust leaks can cause loss of engine power, reduced fuel economy, and increased emissions.
  3. Engine misfires from damaged spark plugs or wiring issues can eventually lead to engine failure.
  4. The check engine light may come on if the onboard computer detects related faults. Ignoring this warning can lead to further damage.
  5. Ticking noises tend to get louder with time as the problem worsens. This may lead to costly repairs.
  6. Unresolved engine issues can impact resale value if you plan on selling the car.

Catching and fixing the problem early provides peace of mind and prevents big headaches down the road. Take Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noises seriously and have your trusted mechanic inspect it before it’s too late.

Is It Normal To Hear A Ticking Sound In The Engine?

Hearing a constant metallic ticking or tapping sound from your engine is not typically normal, especially if it’s audible when idling or accelerating. Some intermittent mild valve noise can be expected, but repetitive and noticeable ticking indicates an underlying issue needs attention. 

Ticking can signal problems with valve train, belts, spark plugs or other engine components. Have a mechanic inspect abnormal ticking sounds as soon as you notice them.

Is Engine Ticking Serious?

Yes, engine ticking noises should be taken seriously, as they usually signify an existing mechanical problem or underlying damage. The ticking itself may seem minor, but it can lead to further issues if left unaddressed. 

For example, worn valve lifters can damage cylinder heads, loose belts can snap and spark plug issues can cause misfires. Diagnose and repair ticking immediately before it causes breakdowns or even engine failure down the line.

How Do You Diagnose Engine Ticking?

Pinpointing what’s causing abnormal engine ticking involves using a mechanic’s stethoscope to isolate the source area, checking for related trouble codes, and doing thorough inspections to rule out components like belts, valves, manifolds, etc. 

Further diagnosis may require testing parts like valve lifters, removing spark plugs to check condition, and diagnostic computer scans to detect issues. Determining the root cause is crucial before attempting repairs to stop the noise.


The irritating ticking or tapping noise from under the hood can cause concern for any Honda Accord owner. While the Honda Accord Engine Ticking Noise may seem harmless at first, ignoring it for too long can lead to some serious and expensive repairs down the line. Getting to the root of the problem quickly is key.

Based on the possible causes covered, the issue could stem from something as simple as a loose belt or faulty spark plugs to more complex problems like worn valve lifters or damaged wiring harnesses. Working with a trusted mechanic to accurately diagnose the problem through tests and scans is recommended.

Author's Image

Ammar Masoud

I have had a long and fulfilling career in the automotive industry, primarily with Honda and Acura. With 15 years of experience as a Honda service technician, I became highly skilled in repair and maintenance, gaining a deep understanding of these vehicles. After many years in the automotive field, I decided to embark on a second career in industrial manufacturing. It was a significant change, but I found that the skills I had honed in the automotive industry were incredibly valuable in my new role. In my current position in industrial manufacturing, the demand for quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Fortunately, these are traits that I have cultivated throughout my years in the automotive industry. I take pride in applying these skills to meet the high standards expected in the manufacturing sector.