Ticking Noise From Engine Due to Sticking Valve Lash Adjusters on Mazda Miata MX-5

A loud ticking noise (hydraulic valve lifter noise) may be heard from the top of the engine, particularly when the engine is still cold. The noise may occur more frequently on higher mileage vehicles; Hydraulic valve lash adjusters may need to be replaced to correct this issue. Following the maintenance schedule for oil changes will also help prevent a recurrence of the noise.

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Average mileage: 115,976 (20,000–250,000)
Engines affected: 1.6L 4 Cylinder, 1.8L 4 Cylinder
17 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2015
40 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 18 of 18 problem details
1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder
rebuilt motor and still has ticking
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 28,000 mi,
Loud engine noise lifters sounds like and lower rpms funny noise when you barely accelerate and let off the gas.like a tensioner making noise.what to do it serms like it is getting louder that is about the only time you here it any suggestions
1995 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 250,000 mi,
Car sits a lot, not driven regularly, valves lifters are noisy. Used to quiet after driven a couple of miles, now they don't. Added some oil conditioner (Lucas) but so far, no difference, hope lifters don't have to be replaced!
1991 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 65,000 mi,
did regualr oil changes and everything stick clicking like a sob
1994 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 140,000 mi,
Loud ticking when the car is cold.
1997 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 68,000 mi,
just started hearing this .will try some valve cleaner as I already change oil and filter every 5000. Only occurs at first acceleration usually
1994 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 90,125 mi,
Lifter noise started after a Mazda specialist mechanic replaced my cars timing belt. He claims the lifter noise is 'normal'. Won't go back to him again. No solution yet.
1992 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 124,000 mi,
I get a knocking/ticking on start up, it goes away after driving for a few miles. also it tend to choke a little upon deceleration and at idle.
1995 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 69,000 mi,
Hasnt been fixed. New header mad noise ridiculously more noticeable
2007 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder
I have the same problem with my car, it happens everytime it is cranked up. Engine can be hot or cold, same ole noise!!!
1992 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 170,000 mi,
Loud ticking noise from the top of the engine. Realized the problem had started when oil was running low.
2015 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 20,000 mi,
After the 20000 mile oil change, motor had a very loud lifter tapping noise about 1000 miles later. Taken to Town North Mazda. The device Tect called Mazda corporate engineering department and was told to tell me "it's within noise spec" and Mazda will only deal with it if becomes louder or if a problem occurs later. Call to make a complaint with corporate 800-222-5500, #1-188019413. Was told the same story. It Tect says it's the normal sound, I must live with it. Us and two others purchase the 2015 Miata after the Dallas auto show. We are the only one having this issue, but Mazda is still stating it normal. It is a embarrassment to drive this car the way it sounds. My old Dodge Ram truck has over 190k miles and it sound super quite next to this Mazda. I have only had mobile 1 full synthetic in the car since the first oil change.i truly believe it's the valve lash adjusters in this car making the noise. Mazda either won't help or won't fix this under Warrenty. Until they do fix this defect in the HVLA, I say Buyers be aware.... And tell your friends if you want a fun sports car this is the one.... But don't get it until they fix this ridiculous problem. Do a internet search for Mazda Miata motor ticking problem and you will see lots of complaints Jerry Elliott, Dallas Tx
2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 52,000 mi,
Valve ticking sound
1993 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 177,777 mi,
It ticks loud now
1997 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 101,600 mi,
just had my engine replaced, old engine never tapped but the used one my mechanice 'just' put in is tapping when i start the car, he says 'it's normal' and won't hurt anything. i wonder....it's why i came 'here' looking for answers.
1996 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.8L 4 Cylinder 185,000 mi,
lifters clatter alot
1992 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder
same problem loud tapping noise from time to time then it will go away dont know lol
1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 - 1.6L 4 Cylinder 120,000 mi,
all the time except when i change the oil and than after 1000 miles or so it starts again