Troubleshooting Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Ticking Noise at Idle: A Comprehensive Guide

The issue of ticking noise coming from the Jeep Grand Cherokee while idling is not only an irritating problem but can also cause severe damage to both the vehicle and the driver if not solved properly in time. Various different components work together to ensure the proper function of the engine and the entire vehicle and faults in any of them can result in this issue of unwanted ticking noise coming from the car while idling.

Numerous parts rotate, reciprocate, and move to ensure the proper function of the engine which means that problems like low oil level, misadjusted lifter, faulty spark plugs, exhaust leak, rod knock, worn out bearings, faulty fuel system can cause unexpected ticking noise coming from the engine. 

The most common causes behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee engine making unnecessary ticking noise are discussed below with potential solutions. 

What Are the Common Reasons and Solutions for Jeep Grand Cherokee Ticking Noise? 

There are many reasons that might be behind the issue of ticking noise coming from a Jeep Grand Cherokee as various components on the car can cause this issue. The most common issues that arise frequently to cause this problem are lack of lubrication and misalignment of parts. These issues are discussed below with the method of diagnosis and the solutions. 

Low Oil Level 

One of the biggest reasons behind unwanted ticking noise coming from a Jeep Grand Cherokee is low oil level. Engine oil lubricates all the moving parts of the engine to help them move, rotate, and reciprocate smoothly which means that a low oil level can cause unwanted friction between various parts of the engine such as the timing chain, the lifters, valves, bearings, and the engine valve train parts and can create ticking noises. 

Solution: Check your engine oil once every few weeks or after every 1000 miles of driving the car and make sure that the oil level is sufficient. Make sure to use high quality engine oil in your car to ensure the highest performance. Always fill the tank with fresh gasoline and regularly check the quality of the oil. Refill engine oil regularly to make sure that all the parts of the engine of your car stays properly lubricated and avoids unnecessary friction which will prevent the engine from making ticking noises.

Misadjusted Lifter

Misadjusted lifter is another reason behind Jeep Grand Cherokee making ticking noises. Hydraulic lifters are cylinders which control the opening and closing of the engine’s valves.

Lifters can develop excessive clearance which allows them to move around more than they should if they get damaged or worn out. Misadjusted lifters can also be a result of improper lubrication as well as regular wear and tear because of time and usage. Lifters are critical components of the engine’s valve train which always needs to be sufficiently lubricated and function smoothly to ensure proper function of the engine. When these valve lifters wear out, they create a metal-on-metal clicking noise which is also known as lifter click.

Solution: You will need to clean the oil deposits on the lifters if they become too dirty and clogged. Changing the engine oil also helps to lubricate them properly which reduces the chances of the lifters making such ticking noise. You will need to take the car to a trusted workshop if the lifters get too badly damaged. 

Faulty Spark Plugs

Faulty spark plugs can also be the reason why your Jeep Grand Cherokee is making unwanted ticking noises. Spark plug is one of the most vital components in the engine which is responsible for creating the necessary electrical spark for starting the combustion process in the cylinders of the engine. Worn-out or misaligned spark plug can cause the exhaust fumes coming from the cylinder to bypass it and create the ticking sound.

Spark plugs get damaged over time and usage as it gets damaged and carbon, dust, dirt, and other debris accumulate around it. Faulty spark plugs do not only cause ticking problems but they can also cause misfiring of the engine which is very detrimental to the overall health of your car. 

Solution: Check the spark plugs at regular intervals to see if they are functioning properly, have not accumulated too much carbon, and the gap between the electrodes are at the right width. Clean the spark plugs with a dry cloth if there is too much of a carbon build-up on the electrodes. Make sure that the gap between the electrodes are at the correct width. Adjust the electrodes if the gap between them becomes too wide or too narrow. Replace the spark plug entirely if it becomes too badly damaged or worn-out.  

faulty spark plug cause for jeep grand cherokee ticking noise

Exhaust Leak

Exhaust leaks can also cause ticking noise in your Jeep Grand Cherokee. Exhaust leaks allow the exhaust gas to escape from the exhaust system at irregular intervals which cause the entire system to vibrate or rattle and produce ticking noise. The noise will grow louder with acceleration or when the engine is under heavy load because the more the engine will run with an exhaust leak, the more noise it will produce. 

Solution: Fixing exhaust leaks by yourself may be quite challenging and you will require professional help. Take your Jeep Grand Cherokee to a trusted professional mechanic to get the exhaust pipes checked, repaired, or replaced.

Rod Knock

Rod knock is another issue that can cause the ticking noises in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rod knock is a concernable engine issue that occurs when there is a malfunction in the engine’s connecting rod bearings. Rod bearings are a crucial component in the engine’s combustion process as it connects the piston to the crankshaft and transmits the force generated by the combustion process to the crankshaft.

The connecting rod helps not only to reduce friction but it also works to ensure smooth operation. The connecting bearing rods can become worn or damaged and start to produce a ticking noise as they move around the engine.

Solution: Rod knock is a very serious issue which can result in damages to the engine and it can also eventually cause engine failure. Fixing the rod knock issue can be very difficult and the best way to solve this is getting the car checked by a professional mechanic at a trusted workshop.  

Worn Out Bearings

Another common reason that can cause tapping, clicking, or ticking noise in the Jeep Grand Cherokee is worn out engine bearings. When the bearings get torn or damaged, they cause metal-to-metal contact between the crankshaft and the connecting rod or the camshaft and the rocker’s arm.

This produces clicking, clattering, or ticking noise from the engine. Engine bearings are essential components which reduce friction between the metal components and makes the overall operation of the components smoother and more efficient. 

Solution: Engine bearings will get damaged over time and will require replacements. Take the car to a trusted dealer or a workshop to identify if any of the engine bearings on your car is defective and causing unwanted ticking noises.

Faulty Fuel System

Faulty fuel systems can also cause the issue of ticking sound coming from the engine of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dirty fuel injectors cause the engine to misfire and create momentary loss of power and ticking noises. Fuel injectors spray a mixture of fuel and air into the engine’s combustion chamber.

Solution: A clogged or dirty fuel injector fails to properly time this process of spraying fuel into the engine manifold and causes misfires. Dirty fuel injectors cause more problems when the car is idle than running so if your car shows this type of symptoms then your fuel injector might need to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced by a certified mechanic.

Damaged Drive Pulleys

Another potential issue that can cause ticking noise is worn-out or damaged drive pulleys. Damaged drive pulleys will create metal-to-metal contact while running and cause unwanted ticking noise.

Solution: Drive pulleys are difficult to repair on your own and you will need to take your car to a workshop. 

common reasons for jeep grand cherokee ticking noise

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Ticking Noise?

The cost to repair the issue of ticking noise in a Jeep Grand Cherokee depends on the exact component that is causing the issue. Approximate costs to repair or replace different parts are given below. 

  • Oil change: $50-$100
  • Oil filter: $120-$400
  • Spark plug: $100-$200
  • Timing belt: $400-$1000
  • Pushrods: $600-$1200
  • Bearings: $1000-$2000

Can I Repair Jeep Grand Cherokee Ticking Noise Myself?

You can repair the issue of ticking noise on your Jeep Grand Cherokee if the issue is simple such as damaged spark plug or refilling engine oil. On the other hand, you will require professional help from a certified mechanic at a trusted workshop if the issue is difficult to fix like broken engine bearing, exhaust leakage, misadjusted lifter, and so on. 

Are Ticking Noises a Sign of a Major Problem in Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Some ticking noises are harmless and they occur normally during the operation of the vehicle. These include-

  • The purge valve makes a ticking noise when it is releasing fuel vapor.
  • The fuel injector makes clicking and ticking sounds when they are quickly opening and closing at idle.
  • The engine makes ticking sounds when it is started in cold conditions. 

Other than these times, there should not be constant ticking noises coming from the engine or any other parts of the car. Ticking, clattering, or clicking noises should never be avoided as they might result in serious problems that can cause severe damage to the entire engine and accidents.

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