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I have a 2002 RAV with about 75k mostly highway miles, which has been regularly serviced. A very noticable engine tick, tick, tick sound is present when the RAV is first started in the morning. When driving the sound is hard to detect when coasting, but noticable and more rapid when accelerating.

And then the sound, all but goes away, after the vehicle is thoroughly warmed up and traveling at freeway speeds for 10 miles or so. If the vehicle sits for a few hours, (cools off), the ticking sound comes back when fired up again and becomes less obvious as the engine warms again.

I had Toyota mechanics scratching their heads for 2 days trying to figure it out. They released the veh. back unable to solve or diagnose the problem. I figured it was a sticky lifter, but surely the trained professionals would have ruled that out.

Any ideas anyone??

Larry from Benicia California
 

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This is most likley an injector making noise. New injector seals may fix it. This usually is not an indication of any major problem, providing the dealer could not find anything serious.
 
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thanks Snyrav. The mechanics sent me on my way, no charge, stating that can't find anything wrong with the vehicle, so I guess the potential serious problems were ruled out. Installing injector seals sounds major or at the least, costly. No?
 
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no, disconnect pipe/wire, unsrew injector and the seal can be pulled off..push new seal on and screw injector back. when you first switch the ignition on you will hear the pipes as they run up the pressure, job done..
 

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A sticking or flatten lifter is what you may have experienced according to your description. Try using an engine oil flush and refill with fresh oil, preferrable synth oil due to its properties. Sometime this can help clean the lifters pin hole passages and allow it to fill with oil. I have had engines apart on other vehicles but I am not that familiar with my RAV engine's lifters or valve train for that matter.
 

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sounds like knocking.....have you switched from a higher octane gas to a lower one? try switching back to the higher octane if ever you downgraded your gas.......
 

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I thought Rav 4 engines (or any overhead cam engine) had no lifters..

My 97 has a similar problem. From about 2000RPM upwards you get a ticking noise which is similar to lifter noise in old engines.

The dealer insists it just "normal" engine noise, but I've been told thet it could be the shims which sit in between the cam and the valves.
 
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