F150 Clicking Noise: A Complete Troubleshooting!

After purchasing the Ford F150, you expect it to function properly. However, it makes you frustrated when it has issues like clicking noises.

Here, I’ll discuss the reasons and solutions for the F150 clicking noise.

The poor ground connection and dead battery make the F150 clicking noise when it starts. While accelerating, you may hear a clicking noise due to an exhaust manifold leak and worn-out valvetrain parts. Moreover, damaged gaskets and low engine oil are culprits when you hear noise while the truck is off. 

The list of reasons doesn’t end here. Let’s proceed to know further. 

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F150 Clicking Noise When Starting

F150 Clicking Noise When Starting

You may come across a clicking noise when starting your F150. So let’s examine why this happens. 

A component of the ignition system most commonly causes Ford F-150 clicking noises. But battery problems can also raise this issue. The following are some of the most common reasons that cause your F-150 to click when you start it.

Reason behind F150 Clicking NoiseSolution 
Poor ground connectionReplace ground strap
Dead or weak battery Recharge the battery 
Faulty starter motor Repair or replace the starter motor
Defective alternatorReplace alternator
Exhausted timing chainOil the tensioner

Reason 1: Poor Ground Connection

In the F-150, the engine block and firewall are connected by a ground strap. If this short strap becomes disconnected or corroded, you will hear clicking noises coming from your truck.

A good ground connection is required for the starter to function correctly. Otherwise, the clicking noise occurs. A failed engine ground will cause the starter solenoid to show signs of life but will prevent the engine from turning over.

Solution: Replace Ground Strap

The ground strap needs to be replaced to fix this issue. The following steps will guide you through the process.

  1. First, locate the battery and identify the ground strap. It is usually marked with a minus sign or a black color. 
  2. Now disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal. Then, remove the positive cable.
  3. At this point, attach one end of the new ground strap to the ground terminal on the battery and secure it with the bolt.
  4. Finally, attach the other end of the new ground strap to the chassis. Now secure the new ground strap with clips. Finish the process by testing the new ground strap to ensure it functions properly. 

Reason 2: Dead or Weak Battery

Typically, clicking noises are caused by a weak or dead battery when trying to start an F150. You may have a dead or weak battery if your vehicle won’t turn on and your dashboard doesn’t light up. 

However, the accessories can work even with a weak battery. Even a non-starting car may still be able to start with these accessories since they require a much lower voltage than the starter.

You won’t be able to start your vehicle if your battery can’t provide enough voltage to start it. Rather you’ll hear a clicking noise constantly.  

Then, insufficient energy in the battery prevents the starter solenoid from moving. If the starter solenoid turns, but not enough energy is present to turn the engine, noise occurs. 

Moreover, starter relays can also produce rapid clicking sounds. The Corroded battery terminals or damaged wiring are other potential causes of clicking noises in your F-150. 

Solution: Recharge the Battery 

The fix to this issue is pretty simple. The first step should be removing the corrosion from the terminals. If you still get noise after that, examine the wires and clamps and ensure they are securely connected. 

The next approach is to charge your battery properly. If the noise continues, you must replace the battery, depending on your condition. If the clicking noise still irritates you, something else must be wrong.

Reason 3: Faulty Starter Motor

In most cases, it is a faulty starter motor that causes a clicking sound in a Ford F150 with a good battery. Usually, to continue the operation, the starter must crank the engine.

You will hear a clicking noise if your starter fails for some reason. It is also one of the reasons your ford truck dies immediately after starting.

Nevertheless, it isn’t necessary for the starter to always be faulty. A bad or corroded connector can lead to this problem as well. Finally, there is a possibility that the starter motor itself will fail. 

Solution: Replace the Starter Motor

To solve this issue, you need to follow stepwise guidelines.  

Step one: First of all, you should check the starter. In F-150, the starter is located under the passenger side of the lower engine block. Follow the red cable that connects it to the battery to find it. Now check the red cable properly. 

At this point, you need to find out if the connectors are damaged, disconnected, or corroded. If the connectors seem fine. Move to the next step. 

Step two: Use a hammer to softly strike the starter 2-3 times while starting the engine. The following procedure can sometimes be useful if the starter gets stuck. You must implement the next step if it fails to solve your issue.

Step three: If the connectors seem fine and the starter shock treatment bears no fruit, you must replace the starter.   

Reason 4: Defective Alternator

When you start your car, some battery juice will be used up. The alternator recharges the battery during the operation of a vehicle. An alternator with a fault will not be able to perform this. 

Since F-150 doesn’t have massive capacities, that can lead to the clicking noise issue.  

Solution: Replace Alternator 

The solution is pretty obvious here. You need to replace the alternator. Please seek out professional help for this replacement process.

Reason 5: Exhausted Timing Chain

Exhausted timing chains mainly cause rattling noises rather than clicking ones. However, covering it is significant because it impacts 3.5 L EcoBoost engines on the 2011-2014 Ford F-150s.

If you start an F-150 from those years, you may hear a clicking noise for 2-3 seconds. Although the rattling noise quickly disappears, it is important not to disregard it. 

An exhausted timing chain can cause catastrophic engine damage if you don’t solve it quickly. 

Solution: Oil the Tensioner 

You need to follow step-by-step instructions to resolve this issue. Let’s jump on to that.

Step one: First, top up the tensioner with oil, and the noise will disappear. A lack of oil pressure in the tensioner causes the timing chain to stretch at startup.

Step two: If oiling the tensioner doesn’t serve your purpose, it’s high time to change your timing chain. The timing chain needs to be replaced by a qualified mechanic, as any timing error will worsen the situation.  

F150 Clicking Noise When Accelerating

F150 Clicking Noise When Accelerating

The truck’s clicking during acceleration is not normal. There must be some particular reasons behind this happening. This section focuses on those reasons and solutions respectively. 

Reason behind F150 Clicking Noise While AcceleratingSolution
Exhaust manifold leak Repair the leak 
Worn-out valve train partsInstall new shims
Knocking in engineRepair engine
Defective spark plugsReplace spark plugs

Reason 1: Exhaust Manifold Leak

Whenever you accelerate from an idle state, you will hear a clicking sound if the exhaust manifold leaks. 

This occurs when exhaust gasses leak from the gasket or the rapture manifold at high pressure. You must consider the situation for the perfect operation of the engine. 

Solution: Repair the Leak

If the leak is small, you can fix it at home. The leak is visually inspectable. If you find it small, follow the steps given below to fix it easily. 

Required tool: Sealant, degreaser, and wire brush

  1. First, clean the debris around the leak area. Then, apply a hot sealant to the leak. 
  2. Now allow the sealant to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

However, if the leak is larger or the manifold is severely damaged, it may be necessary to replace the exhaust manifold. And to perform this job, you should visit an expert. 

Reason 2: Worn-Out Valve Train Parts

The clicking noise can occur if there are any worn-out parts inside the engine. Usually, it happens when you run the truck, and worn-out parts get displaced. 

Solution: Install New Shims 

The solution might sound tricky to you. However, you can solve this issue in an easy way.

At the primary stage, you need to install new shims. Alternatively, you can make adjustments to the rocker. Then, you need to find out the moving parts and repair them. After this your f150 won’t make clicking noise while accelerating anymore.   

Reason 3: Rod Knocking

There is a possibility that rod knocking can lead to engine noise. This occurs when the rod bearing wears out, causing the rod to knock around the crankshaft, producing a clicking sound. The sound gets louder as the engine speeds up.  

Solution: Repair Engine

The motor needs rebuilding. Motor rebuilding job is extremely complicated and laborious. You shouldn’t try it at home. Because it can cause serious damage. Make sure you visit a professional expert to perform this job. 

Reason 4: Defective Spark Plugs

Spark plugs exude bolt current through the narrow space, producing combustion that needs to run your vehicle. You may wonder whether diesel engines have spark plugs.

If the spark plugs get fractured and dislodged, they make a clicking noise. Moreover, the wrong torquing can also be the reason for making a clicking noise.  

Solution: Replace Spark Plugs

Turn off the engine, then take off the spark plug wire to see whether it moves. If you find out it’s moving, adjust the plug. 

However, if the plugs get cracked, you must install a new spark plug. You can execute the installation job by just following the steps below. 

Required tool: Screwdriver

  1. Start with removing the spark plug wire carefully. Then take off the Coil On plug (COP).
  2. Once the engine cools down, disconnect the spark plug.  Now install the fresh spark plug. 
  3. Now, reconnect the spark plug wires or COP. Finally, start the engine. 

F150 Clicking Noise When Braking

You may hear clicking noises after applying brakes. This is quite a common issue among F150 users. Let’s troubleshoot it together.

Reason Behind F150 Makes Clicking When BrakingSolution
Worn out U-jointReplace the U joint
Damaged anti-rattle clipsChange the clips

Reason 1: Worn out U-joint

Universal joints or U-joint are used to attach the axle housing to the suspension compartment. It can develop tears and wear over time. As a result, it will produce a clicking noise when you’re stopping or braking your car.

Solution: Replace the U joint

Since it is one of the fundamental parts of the braking system, you should immediately replace it. Seek help from a professional for this replacement issue and it will cost you around 300$ in total.

Reason 2: Damaged Anti-rattle Clips

The clips are designed to push the pad away from the rotor. They prolong the pad’s life, keep the brakes cooler, and reduce noise. But over time, they can get damaged and thus produce clicking noises during braking.

Solution: Change the Clips

You need to install a new set of anti-rattle clips to ensure noise-free braking performance. This can be quite a complex procedure if you want to do it yourself. Follow this guide for DIY methods.

F150 Clicking Noise Under Dashboard

F150 Clicking Noise Under Dashboard

Clicking noise can also come from the dashboard. Let’s figure out the reasons and solutions. 

Reason Behind F150 Clicking Noise Under DashboardSolution 
Lost calibration from the heater control moduleRecalibrate the heater module
Faulty stepper motor Replace the stepper motor 
Faulty relay Replace the relay

Reason 1: Lost Calibration From the Heater Control Module

The heater module is responsible for controlling the temperature of the vehicle. The calibration loss happens if it becomes out of sync with the actual temperature. 

Therefore, when the heater module is not calibrated correctly, you can hear a clicking noise from the dashboard.

Solution: Re-calibrate the Heater Module

Recalibration of the heater module requires the following steps. Let’s get to know them one by one. 

  1. You need to turn on the ignition first and click the AUTO button.
  2. Then, turn off the ignition. Now let the HVAC fuse sit for at least 60 seconds without power.
  3. Then, turn on the ignition again, and the system will learn every blend door position again. The recalibration is complete with that.

When doing this, make sure you don’t touch anything. Otherwise, the whole process might get disturbed. 

Reason 2: Faulty Stepper Motor

Another potential cause of hearing a clicking noise from the dashboard is a faulty stepper motor. 

Solution: Replace the Stepper Motor 

You can easily fix the issue by simply replacing the defective stepper motor. You can use a repair kit to do so. Normally it costs around $25-$30. Otherwise, you can simply go to a mechanic.

Reason 3: Faulty Relay

The relay controls the flow of electricity in a circuit. When a relay becomes faulty, it causes clicking noise and other operational issues.

Solution: Replace the Relay

First, check the fuse box with a multimeter to see if the fuse is blown. Fuse boxes are located in the engine compartment and the passenger footwell. You must replace the relay if you find it blown.

F150 Clicking Noise When Door Opens

The users are also familiar with clicking noise while opening the door. You may hear a clicking noise coming from your Ford F150 for the following reasons:

Reason Behind F150 Clicking Noise When Door OpensSolution 
Faulty door actuatorReplace door actuator
Default Fuel pump prime programmingUse FORscan to shut it off at idle

Reason 1: Faulty door actuator

Ford F150s can make a clicking noise when you open the door. The blend door actuator trying to move to its initial position but failing to do so is the notorious reason for this issue.

Solution: Replace Door Actuator 

You need to replace the blend door actuator as it has become faulty. This process is costly and complex. So, head out to a professional and get it repaired.

Reason 2: Default Fuel Pump Prime Programming 

If the clicking noise is going continuously, it can be Ford’s default programming in a fuel pump prime. If it sits idle for some time and the coolant temperature gets under 140 degrees, it will prime the pump. The return line from the pump will pulsate and if it touches anything, clicking noises will appear.

Solution: Use FORscan to Shut it off at Idle

Normally there is nothing to worry about this issue regarding fuel pump programming. If it’s still bothering you, reach out to your nearest dealer. They can use FORScan software to resolve this problem. You can also check the braking system of the F150 with the help of this application.

F150 Clicking Noise When Off

Noise after the engine shutdown is a normal phenomenon for your Ford F150. The metal parts of a car undergo heated expansion during a driving session. They shrink and bump against each other when they try to cool down.

Nevertheless, some underlying problems can also cause this issue.

Reason Solution
Damaged Head GasketReplace head gasket
Low Engine oilKeep adequate oil in engine

Reason1: Damaged Head Gasket

A broken head gasket is a primary reason for producing a clicking sound even after you turn off the engine. It seals the engine’s combustion chamber to avoid coolant or engine oil leaking into the cylinder. 

A damaged gasket lets the oil and coolant mix in the engine. Therefore, the coolant becomes hot and makes a rattling sound.

Solution: Replace the Head Gasket 

You need to replace the damaged gasket as soon as possible. Head gasket replacement is quite difficult for an average car owner. So go to your nearest automotive technician.

Reason 2: Low Engine Oil

Engine oil ensures that the moving engine parts are free of friction. When the oil level is low, the moving parts grind against each other after you turn off the engine.

Solution: Keep Enough Oil in Engine 

You should always keep adequate lubricating oil in the engine. The general rule of thumb is to pour engine oil every 3 months or every 3000 miles. Please follow this beginner-friendly guide to doing it yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is it safe to drive F150 with a clicking noise?

Driving an F150 with clicking noises is not safe at all. Your vehicle might be damaged if you don’t identify and resolve the problem in its earliest stages. Once your car gets heavy damage, it will be a matter of considerable expense burden.

What noise is regarded as normal noise in F150?

The mirror whistling during heavy wind and the hum of the tires are known as normal noises in F150. Don’t panic about those sounds produced by the vehicle. However, you must be concerned if they don’t vanish.

Can the transmission make a clicking noise?

Yes, a transmission can make a clicking noise. The reasons include worn gears, damaged torque, and other loose components of the transmission


We’ve covered all the times and places where you may notice F150 clicking noise. 

You can resolve some of them yourself. But do not hesitate to go to an expert. That’s because small problems can lead to greater danger if left untreated.

Best of luck with your F150!

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