Solutions for a Ticking HEMI

by Jen Davis
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The Chrysler hemi performance engines are notorious for making slight tapping or ticking noises. Tapping and ticking noises can be caused by various problems in the motor, however these noises are most likely caused by a lack of lubrication, and may be a sign of a more significant problem. If your hemi has begun making a ticking noise or the noise has increased, you should take the vehicle to a certified professional mechanic so that the cause of the ticking can be professionally diagnosed and repaired.

What Makes Your Hemi Tick

Ticking sounds in an engine are commonly caused by a lack of lubrication. Lubricants such as oil and fuel flow between metallic components and provide cushioning so that the parts do not tap against one another. Ticking or tapping noises can come from several different sources, including the lifters, valves and fuel injectors.


One of the most common causes of the hemi tick is a problem with the lifters. There has been much speculation about what causes the lifters to tap on some hemis, especially the 5.7-liter V-8, however there is no technical service bulletin or recall on this engine from Dodge. If your hemi has lifters tapping, it is important to check the amount of engine oil and make sure you are using the right type of oil for the vehicle. Low engine oil can cause a lifter to tap and can cause permanent damage.


Low quality fuel can cause the hemi tick. Fuels that contain high amounts of ethanol or that are low octane may not properly lubricate the fuel injectors and can lead to a slight tapping or ticking noise. Low-octane gas has also been known to cause an ignition knock in high-performance engines. Using fuel additives or a high quality gasoline can help prevent this from occurring and may be able to correct or minimize a hemi tick.


The intake and exhaust valves on the hemi may also be causing the ticking sound you are hearing. Valve tapping can be caused by several different problems, including a lack of lubricant or a problem in the springs that close and open the valves. Valve problems should be examined by a mechanic to determine the precise cause and possible solutions.

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