Tocktocktocktock (not a good sound, I think) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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lower/rear engine knock: "tocktocktocktock" (sounds expensive)

So I've got this sound. tock-tock-tock-tock. Recording attached in zip file or listen via google drive. I have pretty much had it since I bought the car with ~104kMiles. The mechanic for the PPI called it a valve lifter. It was (or felt) more intermittent than now. The mechanic said he's heard them before and to not worry about it because these engines run forever. I'm now at ~135k. It's louder. So now I'm worried about it anyway.

Dealer oil-change records from 1st owner. Oil change records from recommended MB indy from second owner. I've been doing my own 0-40 Mobile 1+ fleece changes about every 8k. Noise doesn't seem to change with fresh oil/filter.

The sound is most-likely coming from the back of the lower engine. At least if my garden-hose-to-ear test is accurate. I notice it most during the summer when the windows are open. Especially if the sound can bounce off another car or a wall or something. You don't hear it above idle, but I don't know if it goes away or just gets drowned out by the engine noise. The noise also isn't really noticeable from the front of the car with the hood up. Again, it gets drowned out by all the other accessory sounds. But from beside the car (seems equally loud on either side), it's usually pretty apparent. Sound exists in Park, Drive, Reverse, and Neutral. Slightly louder, but same tone and speed in Drive and Reverse.

Car runs well. Pretty horrible gas mileage anywhere but the freeway, but I attribute that to our traffic. The fact that it gets 23-35 with a roof rack and two standup paddleboards seems alright to me.

The phone-quality (sorry) recording was made next to drivers door, with belly pan removed (though you can hear it without the pan removed) and sound reflecting off driveway. I tried to make a recording from the front but the fan and belts and ticking of purge valve etc drowns it out. 99% sure it's not coming from serpentine belt or tensioner or injectors or anything like that. Definitely a clunk or tock vs. a tick-tick-tick.

Thoughts?
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File Type: zip tocktocktocktockW210.zip (140.0 KB, 22 views)

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Last edited by hereusethis; 08-11-2017 at 05:17 PM. Reason: title
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 05:37 PM
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I'm not sure it sounds like a lifter. Sounds a bit heavier with lifter noise in the background,but maybe that's just the recording.
I had a lifter tick tick tick at start up once,fixed it by driving for about a minute at 4000rpm,,,this increases oil pressure to the lifter and can clear a small blockage.
I also switched to 5w-30 oil,I think that helped too.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Benzyle View Post
I'm not sure it sounds like a lifter. Sounds a bit heavier with lifter noise in the background,but maybe that's just the recording.
I had a lifter tick tick tick at start up once,fixed it by driving for about a minute at 4000rpm,,,this increases oil pressure to the lifter and can clear a small blockage.
I also switched to 5w-30 oil,I think that helped too.
Thanks for the response. I'm pretty sure it ISN'T a lifter. My brain is going to rod knock or something terrible like that (I thought these motors lasted forever?). I owned various VW flat motors. Vanagons were notorious for hydraulic valves going flat. That 4000rpm trick worked to fluff them up again. Until it didn't But by then you needed new heads anyway ;-)

Needless to say, this is not that sound. This is deeper/lower.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 05:57 PM
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A strong dull noise that becomes more rapid as the engine speeds up indicates worn or damaged crankshaft bearings or crankshaft.
Disconnect the coil to one piston at a time and crank the engine over. If the noise stops you have found the problem area.
A similar but slightly higher pitched noise indicates rod bearing wear or damage.
Good luck.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down How long do we have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benzyle View Post
A strong dull noise that becomes more rapid as the engine speeds up indicates worn or damaged crankshaft bearings or crankshaft.
Disconnect the coil to one piston at a time and crank the engine over. If the noise stops you have found the problem area.
A similar but slightly higher pitched noise indicates rod bearing wear or damage.
Good luck.
Thank you. Though I'm not sure I want to definitively either of those thing that without knowing what "the next step" is. Rebuild? Engine swap? These cars are worth, what? $3000? $4000? What do either of those options cost? $3000? $4000?

Maybe a better question is: if it is bearing wear how long can it go before it grenades? And just as important: how did it happen, given the service records, in the first place?

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 04:07 AM
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very difficult to answer your latter questions.
Engine swap vs scrap vs do nothing are decisions only you can make.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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very difficult to answer your latter questions.
Engine swap vs scrap vs do nothing are decisions only you can make.
Oh, I know. I'm just trying to decide if I should drive it til it dies or if there's something I can do in the meantime, or just walk away right now and selling it as a running parts car. I'm leaning toward the first one. I just did a 1000 mile trip and it ran great. 25mpg with four adult-sized passegners, camping gear, and rooftop box. tock-tock-tock the whole way ;-)

I'm more curious about what could have gone wrong throughout the car's ownership to get this "bulletproof" engine to the point where it's making this noise. Did someone skip oil changes? Use the wrong oil or filter? Run it low on oil? Bad day in the factory? Or just bad luck.

I know I can't fix this stuff from the past, but I can't help wondering....

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 12:50 PM
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Yes, that sounds familiar. Lifter tick, allright. I had a C240 that was sitting for about 8 months or so, same M112 engine as yours. After I fixed the issues that prevented it from starting, when it started it made that noise.

Revving the engine to 3000 rpm for a minute or two made it so that the oil pressure went up and unblocked whatever clog that was clogging the oil feed line, and the ticking went away.

So you either have a low oil pressure(doubtful), no oil going to lifter (blocked oil passage), or damaged hydraulic lifter.

Before you do oil change, do a couple italian tune ups on that car, if possible. If you can't due to circumstances, just downshift to 2nd gear and run it for at least 15 mins or so on the freeway. 2nd gear is good until 65 mph, so.... Ideally you want to be around 4000-5500 rpm for that long.

And then change oil, see what happens.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, that sounds familiar. Lifter tick, allright. I had a C240 that was sitting for about 8 months or so, same M112 engine as yours. After I fixed the issues that prevented it from starting, when it started it made that noise.

Revving the engine to 3000 rpm for a minute or two made it so that the oil pressure went up and unblocked whatever clog that was clogging the oil feed line, and the ticking went away.

So you either have a low oil pressure(doubtful), no oil going to lifter (blocked oil passage), or damaged hydraulic lifter.

Before you do oil change, do a couple italian tune ups on that car, if possible. If you can't due to circumstances, just downshift to 2nd gear and run it for at least 15 mins or so on the freeway. 2nd gear is good until 65 mph, so.... Ideally you want to be around 4000-5500 rpm for that long.

And then change oil, see what happens.
Thanks. I'll give the Italian Tune up + oil change (plus seafoam?) a try next month when the kids are back in school and I have a clear weekend.

Interestingly, I just found this thread another motor with the same sound over in the C209 section. . The initial video/subject of the post isn't quite the same sound as mine. But someone's later post (with a file you have to download from Dropbox. Scratch that, I just put that file on Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4...DFhWWxmeG4zdXc), sounds pretty much exactly like my car.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by hereusethis View Post
Thanks. I'll give the Italian Tune up + oil change (plus seafoam?) a try next month when the kids are back in school and I have a clear weekend.

Interestingly, I just found this thread another motor with the same sound over in the C209 section. . The initial video/subject of the post isn't quite the same sound as mine. But someone's later post (with a file you have to download from Dropbox. Scratch that, I just put that file on Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4...DFhWWxmeG4zdXc), sounds pretty much exactly like my car.
Hello everyone,

So I am this "someone" who has the engine with the exact sound.

My threads on this can be found here:

https://mbworld.org/forums/clk-class...ing-sound.html

and

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/c209...ble-noise.html


After reading all your inputs last night, but not being able to reply just yet. I ran the car for like 5-10 minutes on the highway with 3rd gear and with the RPM in the 4000-5500 range. I'll report back on any results today as I'll be able to be somewhere quiet where I can carefully listen to the engine, but please keep in mind that the second thread I linked above is about a coarse engine sound I am getting at higher RPMs and which I am not sure if it's related to the lifter tock sound you can hear in the first thread.

Thanks.
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