4Runner Clicking Noise When Accelerating, What Do I Do?

While driving you want to focus on the road or on your music. What you do not want to focus on is a clicking or rattling noise that is filling your 4Runner. So you have a clicking noise in your 4Runner while accelerating; what is it and what can you do about it?

It is normal to have some clicking noise coming from a vehicle engine when it is operating but is abnormal when loud or if it only occurs while the vehicle is accelerating. To combat this noise, drivers will want to inspect the engine for loose parts, as well as any damage to the components.

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When driving a vehicle you want to be aware of any changes in how it sounds or operates. A sudden change in these things, especially if there is a new sound means that something has changed in your vehicle. Here are some things that you can do to try and reduce any clicking noises in your 4Runner.

Why Might Your 4Runner Be Clicking While Accelerating?

With vehicles, there are a lot of moving parts. With pistons, gears, chambers, etc there are a ton of places where something could go wrong. Despite this, most engines run remarkably smoothly and consistently despite all of these different parts. Occasionally though, there are some issues with these engines.

One of these issues is experienced by drivers of 4Runners who complain about hearing a clicking noise while accelerating. This is an extremely common issue among 4Runners and one that can get annoying very quickly. To help you figure out why this is happening I have compiled some information here. This information is mostly going to be from the Toyota 4Runner Forums where owners of 4Runners and mechanics can gather and share their experiences and offer advice to other users.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people had clicking in their vehicle.

  • Loose Components
  • Toyota Tick
  • Debris trapped under the hood
  • Low Oil
  • Space around the steering column
  • Buildup in fluid lines
  • Air leaks
  • Injection Pumps

What is The Toyota Tick

One of the most common reasons that you might be hearing a clicking noise is due to something that is called the “Toyota Tick”. Toyota is the maker of the 4Runner vehicles. In some of Toyota’s vehicles with the Tacoma and 4Runners being some of the main offenders, the engine tends to run loudly. This leads to a faint rattle or clicking noise that is known as the Toyota Tick.

Unfortunately, if this is what your vehicle is experiencing there isn’t much that you can do about it. While looking at the forums there were many users who explained that their vehicle had been making these noises ever since they had bought it.

If your 4Runner has constantly been making these noises while accelerating since you have had it, or the engine is still at low mileage there is a good chance that it is due to the Toyota Tick.

Here are some things to keep in mind. While a ticking or clicking noise is common in Toyota engines your engine should never have loud or sharp clicking noises. If any sudden sounds start appearing that likely means that there is another issue beyond how the engine runs.

An easy way to check this noise is to see if you have a family member or friend that also has a 4Runner. Listen to their engine while it is running. If the sounds are similar there is a high chance that you will be stuck with the sound.

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Can You Fix This Clicking Noise

On the other hand, there are some things that you can do to stop this clicking noise. If you want to determine the cause of the clicking you will want to collect some information.

When does the clicking noise start or stop? If it only occurs when the engine is cold or while in a certain gear there is a good chance those environmental circumstances are linked to the cause of the sound.

Another thing to keep an eye, or ear out for, is if the clicking is constant or whether it speeds up and down.

Clicking that changes speed means that it is tied to a piece of the engine that moves slower or faster depending on how fast you are accelerating. This narrows the number of places that could be causing the clicking.

On the other hand, if the clicking does not change speeds, there are only a handful of components that it could be tied to. Looking at the forums the success rate of repairs was split with some being able to get rid of the clicking and others not experiencing any changes. With that in mind here are some repairs that people found to help with the clicking noises.

What Can You Do to Fix it

The first step is to check what is under your 4Runners hood. Look for anything that may not be secure and could be colliding with nearby objects. This is could be as simple as a leaf getting caught under the hood, or a bolt or screw coming loose. If you can determine which side of the engine the clicking sound is coming from while driving this will help you narrow your search and finish it quicker.

The next thing that you should do is check your battery and any electrical lines. If any of these lines are frayed or damaged electricity can arc out of the damaged portion creating a faint clicking noise.

One final thing that you can do is drain your oil and use a high-quality oil that cleans out your fluid lines. Over time fluids can build up and calcify within the lines which can cause odd noises and dry out moving components. While doing this check the oil level.

Though this is a simple thing, a dry engine is a loud engine. Make sure to give the 4Runner a couple of weeks for the new oil to spread throughout the engine.

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When Should You Take Your 4Runner to a Mechanic?

If none of these steps above helped to diminish the clicking noise you will want to consult a mechanic on the next course of action. Ask them to listen to the noise and see whether they have experience dealing with this issue. If the vehicle is new and you take it back to the dealership it may still be under warranty and the technicians may be able to get you new parts.

Have the mechanic check any areas that commonly cause this noise. Parts like these include fans and the fuel injector system. The air-injection pump is something you will want to check if the clicking noise didn’t change speeds no matter how slow or fast you accelerated.

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