Ticking noise on 2003 Kia Spectra

My 2003 Kia Spectra has a ticking noise when it is idling. I only notice it when I am outside the car and not in it. It has only been a couple thousand miles since the last oil change and the oil level on the dip stick still shows full. So I know it is not low on oil. I am just not sure what the problem could be.

by in Englewood, CO on April 29, 2011
Get Your Car Fixed at a RepairPal Certified Shop.
We certify shops based on expertise, quality work, and verified customer reviews
3 answers 3 comments
ANSWER by , April 29, 2011
Did you use an original equipment Kia filter? Some aftermarket filters can cause some issues with oil flow. An easy and cheap diagnostic step would be to replace the oil and filter with a high quality filter - use a Kia filter to be sure. Beyond that, some diagnostic steps are in order to determine what the source of the noise is.
COMMENT by , April 30, 2011
The thing about it I get my oil changed at Grease Monkey and I have never had this problem before, and I have been getting it done at the same place for a while now. Also something that I noticed this morning is I smelled a fuel smell when i went into the garage and my wife told me she smells it every morning for a little bit after she drives off. Would that me normal to smell if is parked in the garage all night?
COMMENT by , April 30, 2011
The fuel odor is a separate issue - may or may not be normal; an engine performance diagnostic test can be performed to see if there is any abnormal fuel trim issues (more fuel getting supplied and wasted than necessary). The noise - even with consistent service at a single point - any time you use a non-genuine oil filter of unknown value, you are risking engine issues. It may not be the problem at all - it's just that it's the only variable from original equipment - and any variables need to be addressed before going through with extensive engine noise diagnosis.
COMMENT by , February 17, 2013
My car is now doing the same thing. I smell fuel and I have the ticking noise. What was wrong with your car?
ANSWER by , May 02, 2011
The noise could be an exhaust leak coming from an exhaust gasket.
ANSWER by , May 28, 2014
It has been some time since your original post but if you haven't solved it this may help. If you have solved it, let me know how as I am working on a friends Kia. I pin pointed the ticking noise, accompanied with some vibration, to the valve case. I could hear the ticking and feel the vibration while holding the pcv valve.