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Old 10-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Mysterious Ticking Noise

I have this annoying ticking sound in my 2005 Taurus that comes and goes whenever it wants. It sounds like its coming from the underside of the dash by the defroster vent, somewhere between the center and the passenger's side of the dash.

This started some time after I acquired the car. At first it sounded like it came from behind the A-pillar trim. Had it off for a while but it wasn't the source of the sound. Then I thought the ticking noise was coming from the passenger side vent. Removed the vent and applied felt to the pressure points. (Write-up here). After that, no more ticking noises for about 2 months, and I was certain that I finally silenced that noise.

Today when I started the car, the ticking noise was back, louder than before. It was also ticking when idling, something that never happened before as it only did it while the vehicle was moving. It was also ticking after I turned the car off. Not sure it is temperature related as I heard it tick after the car has been in the sun and after being in the cold garage.

However, the tick sounded different this time. Before it sounded like plastic rubbing against vinyl, now it sounds like a metallic noise; something similar to crackling hot coals in a fire pit, or even aluminum foil. I am 100% certain now that it is coming from right under the dash.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this? I am at my whit’s end with this tick. My guess is that it could be a wire harness, rubbing the right way against something.

I am aware of the blend door tick issue. That isn't the source of the sound.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Were you able to determine if it is related to the blower fan in anyway? Does it happen if the blower if off?
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Only thing I can think of is old, dried leaves in the HVAC ductwork. When I had my cowl area apart last March I found bits of leaves jammed in the blower vanes, which probably used to be whole but whapped themselves to pieces every time I ran the blower. What blows that theory up is that you have a cowl filter for your fresh-air intake. Perhaps your system sucked something in from the footwell some time when your recirculation damper was closed.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a time bomb waiting to go off. Probably something rubbing against the blower. I've heard people having ticking noises for the blend door actuator motor as well. Not sure if that matches your symptoms though.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbpt100 View Post
Were you able to determine if it is related to the blower fan in anyway? Does it happen if the blower if off?
It happens if the blower motor is on or off.

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Originally Posted by Lgbpop View Post
Only thing I can think of is old, dried leaves in the HVAC ductwork. When I had my cowl area apart last March I found bits of leaves jammed in the blower vanes, which probably used to be whole but whapped themselves to pieces every time I ran the blower. What blows that theory up is that you have a cowl filter for your fresh-air intake. Perhaps your system sucked something in from the footwell some time when your recirculation damper was closed.
Removing and cleaning the wiper cowl is the next step, but it will have to wait until the weather clears up.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good luck with the wiper cowl, but your noise sounds as if it's inside the car. A lot of us have had dried leaves in the ductwork (not limited to Fords, either) and the only way to clean them out altogether is removing the dash to get to the heater box and ducts.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds like the blend door actuator...it's a fairly common Ford problem.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the blend door actuator. If it's stripped, it will try to open/close the blend door and slip by causing the clicking. Try adjusting the heat level and see if it causes it to click more or on demand for a temp change.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Drove the car today under the same weather conditions as yesterday. The ticking noise was gone!

As mentioned in my first post, the door blend actuator is not at fault.

Also, does anyone here have hi-res pictures of the underside of a gen 4 dash when removed? Maybe I can get an idea on what might be causing the ticking noise.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you check if something was rubbing against the blower motor? What side under the dash is the noise coming from?

EDIT: Wait... you said it happens if the blower is on or off. So probably not it. Still, what side did you hear it from?
Is it a constant noise when it happens? Or is it in a random pattern? Will it start and stop randomly like during a drive?
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