2009 Nissan Versa, >100K miles, engine clicking when started - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-04-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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2009 Nissan Versa, >100K miles, engine clicking when started

Okay, so I've been planning a cross-country road trip for several months. I know just kind of basic car repair things, definitely not a mechanic.

I got the car looked at, had brakes replaced, front right axle shaft replaced, tires balanced, oil changed.

I took a break after about 3 hours of driving. When I started the car again, I noticed a clicking noise. Popped the hood and it seemed to be coming from the engine. It got rapidly faster if I hit the accelerator. Oil level was fine and looked fine - there was oil kind of spread on top of the engine, which I was worried about at first, but mechanic later guessed that they just spilled a little when they changed it. This was yesterday in New England, so outside temps were above 90.

Took it to a shop - as I went faster, the clicking went away. They said it could be a variety of things inside the engine, but it might take 5 hours of digging into it to find out, and then it may be that there's nothing to be done, or it might just be something minor.

I drive home 3 hours, checking everything about halfway home. When I bring the car to a stop, no clicking, but when I start it up again, the clicking starts, but again, it goes away as I reach driving speed. Oil levels looked fine halfway home and all the way home.

They did suggest maybe a motor flush, to see if there's something gunking up the engine, something that could be done without getting in there and spending a bunch of money. I've read through some Nissan versa forums, and it seems like sometimes the clicking is no big deal, and people drive for 100K, and sometimes it gets louder and you're screwed.

So that's the deal with that issue - thanks for any insight on how to deal with that, if it's fine, or if i really just have to pony up and get someone to dig around in the engine.

edit - I just shot some video of the engine - no clicking, but this is what it currently sounds like:

Nissan Versa Engine Sound

Here's a different recording, I think the first one had some noise reduction:


Last edited by pj012; 07-04-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-05-2018, 03:26 PM
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Could not make out anything from the two audio clips, but the only thing that has been an issue with that engine is what they call a "piston slap". If you live in a cold climate, that sound would be most evident when the car is started cold, the lower the temperature, the louder the sound. As the engine warms up to normal temperature, the sound will diminish in loudness and can be hard to hear. Usually with a piston slap, the engine will start to use an excessive amount of oil along with the sound getting louder. Good luck!!!
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-05-2018, 07:45 PM
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I agree with everything he said ^^^^^.

First clip sounds like the engine in a tug boat. Second clip sounds like a commercial air compressor. How about one of your engine? Did you play it back first to see if you can hear the noise?

Piston slap. If its low oil psi it would occur when the car warms up as well as at idle, but go away at higher rpms.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-06-2018, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. So it turns out the noise I'm hearing now is from an issue with the serpentine belt and AC clutch. The engine clicking has not resurfaced....
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-07-2018, 11:51 AM
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Interesting...... Who knew that was heat related? I had a 4 banger with piston slap on all 4 cylinders. Sounded like a diesel and was gutless til it warmed up.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-24-2018, 01:36 AM
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Sounds like a bad lifter.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-24-2018, 08:37 AM
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I think the AC is a good guess. You said it was 90 out. Turn the AC off and run the car for a couple of days. I'll bet you don't hear the noise. Then turn the AC on and listen very carefully......I'll bet you hear the noise every time the AC condenser kicks in.
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