The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Audio/Video of sound: Ticking noise from Chrysler Town and Country valve cover area 2006 3.8L

Can anyone with experience with valves/head/cam on Chrysler 4th gens give me their best guess as to what is likely wrong with the top end of our 3.8L.
Recently my wife mentioned a ticking sound from the minivan. She said she first noticed it last weekend. There is also an intermittent oil light that would go on and then off about once twice a week (I assumed was a bad sender). Van has about 230,000 miles and was running well. I suspect the top end/valves have something worn or broken -or less likely a loose timing chain. The oil looks sooty and smells a little like fuel.

1. whats your best guess from the audio.
2. is the van worth saving? (we do still like the van)

Thanks all
 

·
Registered
2005 Town & Country 251k miles
Joined
·
60 Posts
I am guessing stuck valve lifter. You could try Liqui Moly Engine Flush or something similar. $15 on Amazon.
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
401 Posts
Seafoam is supposed to be great for freeing up stuck / gummed up rings and lifters. The instructions tell you to dump it in, drive it for a bit, and change the oil. I'd try that first.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
Anything you dump into the crankcase (other than oil) will do more harm than good.

Find the problem and fix it.
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
401 Posts
Anything you dump into the crankcase (other than oil) will do more harm than good.
Find the problem and fix it.
BS. Especially on an engine that already has 230k miles and obvious problems.

And why do a major tear down that's likely worth more than the vehicle if you don't have to? :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
Anything you dump into the crankcase (other than oil) will do more harm than good.

Find the problem and fix it.
Agreed. With the engine off, remove the valve cover, start the engine and observe/listen for the noise. Check out my Valve Stem video at 34:53 and you will see and hear how your engine should sound.


You mention about the oil being sooty and smelling like fuel. How old is the oil and what is the oil level?

The oil light that was coming on would be due to low oil pressure. Might be a bad sensor, low oil or very old oil.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LEVY

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
401 Posts
I would replace the oil pressure sender as they are somewhat known for failure on these vans.

Mine ended up being bad. Sometimes my oil light would stay on indefinitely when I first started the engine, but if I shut it off and restarted it, it would immediately go off like normal.

Pulling the valve cover and having a look to make sure nothing obvious is broken is a good idea, but I would not automatically start tearing further into an engine when it could just have a chunk of carbon stuck in a lifter.

This is an extreme case on a clattering old Ford 2.9, but it shows that Seafoam does work.


I not hesitate to try it or some ATF in the crankcase if the need ever arose. I like to live dangerously though, as I also believe in changing my ATF.:D
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
More likely you have a leaking injector.

Change the oil immediately. If ticking noise is gone, then replace all injectors ASAP.

Thicking noise +
  • Low pressure oil light
  • oil smelling like gas
Your engine is probably hard to start due to low compression, another sign of very thin oil.

All that points out to very thin oil caused for a leaky injector.

Do not waste money on oil sender!

Just change oil for testing.

Do not add anything else into the crankcase, especially in a high mileage engine!

Your new oil will get thin too, so make sure you replace your injectors right away.

Do not remove valve covers, not needed at all.

Do not drive your vehicle anymore untill you change the oil!
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
401 Posts
Oooh, ten bucks is such a large amount of money to waste on a new oil sender so you know whether or not you have oil pressure. Gimme a freakin' break.:rolleyes:

The OP said the oil smells A LITTLE like fuel. Old oil pretty much always does to some extent. So, I would NOT immediately be jumping to conclusions like leaking injectors that need replaced.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
Oooh, ten bucks is such a large amount of money to waste on a new oil sender so you know whether or not you have oil pressure. Gimme a freakin' break.:rolleyes:
Let's wait for others to reply!

$10.00 is a lot of money when you don't have them, and wasting them on something that you don't need....:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
401 Posts
Let's wait for others to reply!

$10.00 is a lot of money when you don't have them, and wasting them on something that you don't need....:rolleyes:
Yeah, like injectors are real cheap when they aren't necessarily what's needed.... :rolleyes:

No need to wait for others to reply because nobody's opinion is ever as important as Levy's anyhow.....:sneaky:
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
The OP said the oil smells A LITTLE like fuel. Old oil pretty much always does to some extent. So, I would NOT immediately be jumping to conclusions like leaking injectors that need replaced.
No comments!
Thicking noise +
  • Low pressure oil light
  • oil smelling like gas
  • Your engine is probably hard to start due to low compression, another sign of very thin oil.
All that points out to very thin oil caused for a leaky injector.
 

·
3rd gen > all others
Joined
·
3,471 Posts
Was the oil level checked and kept up? When these engines are run too low on oil, the cam bearings starve of oil and start to spin in the block. This causes an oil hole in the cam bearing to now be blocked; a hole that goes upwards to feed the lifters oil. If lifters starve for oil, they collapse and make a ticking sound and can cause misfires from valves not opening completely. This problem is addressed in the engine rebuilder article for the 3.3/3.8L V6 engines. The fix when rebuilding was to remove the cam bearings and machine a groove around the block cam bore for oil to bypass the cam bearing and supply the lifters.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LEVY

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
Was the oil level checked and kept up? When these engines are run too low on oil, the cam bearings starve of oil and start to spin in the block. This causes an oil hole in the cam bearing to now be blocked; a hole that goes upwards to feed the lifters oil. If lifters starve for oil, they collapse and make a ticking sound and can cause misfires from valves not opening completely. This problem is addressed in the engine rebuilder article for the 3.3/3.8L V6 engines. The fix when rebuilding was to remove the cam bearings and machine a groove around the block cam bore for oil to bypass the cam bearing and supply the lifters.
Plausible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Still am.

Do you know what plausible mean?
Intersecting that you would bring up plausibility. How many 4th gen minivans have you seen where a leaking injector caused dilution of the oil so severely that it results in valvetrain noise? For that matter, how many engines of any make/model vehicle?
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
Intersecting that you would bring up plausibility. How many 4th gen minivans have you seen where a leaking injector caused dilution of the oil so severely that it results in valvetrain noise? For that matter, how many engines of any make/model vehicle?
Many, man, many.....

Let's just wait for O.P. response.

By the way, A good mechanic knows how to diagnose a problem.

Changing parts left and right until you find the problem doesn't make you a mechanic.

We should wait for the OP response before making more assumptions.

I replied plausible to RR's response because it is, and also because he has proven to be an acknowledged person, he even explains the reason for his responses.

Reason I asked to replace all injectors is because:

  1. One failed, others might fail too.
  2. Not easy to find the leaky one for the average person.
  3. More than one might be leaking.
  4. He is alredy there, why not change all at once and save tine and money?
Now, before spending money on injectors, I asked the O.P. to change oil for testing purposes, read my post before jumping into conclusions.

Now, let's wait for O.P. response.
 

·
fix it if you can
Joined
·
5,422 Posts
1. whats your best guess from the audio.
2. is the van worth saving? (we do still like the van)
1) the sound has obvious Alternator Decoupler Pulley "diesel drone", try running the engine with accessory drive belt removed for a few seconds and see how much "ticking" is still present - don't want to be tearing into an engine without good reason.
2) only you can decide - it probably is if it's something minor and probably is not it it needs an engine (unless you can swap one from the bone yard yourself)


LEVY, put the coffee pot down 7 cups is enough ;)
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top