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Old 01-13-2010, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2007
Vehicle: 2006 S500 4Matic
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Engine Clacking - Carbonization???

06 S500. Engine ticking noise (loud). Dealer replaced lifters under warranty. Noise remained. Said there was carbon build-up on the valves so they did a decarbonization with Techron in May (under warranty). Noise is back. Said another decarbonization is due (under warranty). They blamed it on slow speed driving and/or low quality gas. It has never had any gas other than Chevron premium with Techron and it regularly gets 15-20 hours per month at 79 mph (4 hour trips). Even if slow speed driving was an issue it seems out of whack to have to clean out the carbon every six months when I'm running the thing with Techron gas. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A very odd problem specially since you are driving the car regularly and using premium fuel. If the first de-carb of the valves made the noise go away, then dealer needs to find out why it came back.

Try a bit of spirited driving(not constant speed, slow acceleration) and switch to a different gas brand. Also, avoid long warm up times before driving, if you are doing this now.

Good luck and please keep us posted on the progress.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not certain the first de-carb made the noise go completely away although it certainly improved the situation. I may have hoped the problem was resolved. Even under the worse case scenario, I can't imagine the problem returning in a matter of months. The tech decided to do two separate de-carbs this time. I will be more alert to the sound this time around and we will see. I am picking the car up tomorrow and will report back. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Did you get the ignition system checked? I did some reading and a cold or too cool of a spark can cause this condition over time. Maybe you have some defective spark plugs or wrong type? Resistance too high in the cables?
Maybe some weak ignition coils?
Pulling a spark plug or two and checking the condition will give you a wealth of information.
If they are dry and brownish in color they are the correct temperature
If they are sooty and blackish they may be too cool.
If they are wet and black too much fuel.
Just a thought.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. This is good info. I'll get the car back today or tomorrow and look into that.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Got the car back today. The dealer did two "decarbs" (under warranty) to really clean it out. The tech said if the prior decarb didn't really clean it all out that would make the engine more susceptible to re-carbing. I guess that makes sense (maybe). Engine just hums now with no ticking noise at all. The real test will be over the next few months. I'll post back if the problem recurs. The tech also said that to the extent I was driving it locally, I might ocassionally drop it from Drive into 3rd gear to run the engine at a higher rpm for a while.
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