When I put the car in either "D" or "R" (with/without brake pedal applied), I can hear some pretty strange, but quiet, continious "clicking" noise. Actually, it's difficult to me to explain that noise, but it's very similar to this.

If the car is in "neutral" or "parking", that noise is gone. The noise is not getting louder while I'm driving, and there's nothing strange in automatic transmission behavior, e.g. no clunks, strange noises while changing gears, etc.

I tested this with AC turned off.

The car is Honda Accord 2003, 2.4 190hp, K24 engine.

Any suggestion what could be wrong?

Edit: I made a video, here you can hear the noise.

  • record the noise and post it.
    – Moab
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 0:09
  • I did it. Added it to original question. :) Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 15:00
  • Dang, that could be lots of things, I would first check to see if the belt tensioner is working properly and has enough tension on the belt.
    – Moab
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 23:07
  • Thanks, I'll take a look. The thing is that I need to drive like ~1k miles in next couple of days, do you think that's a risky choice? When I'm back, I'll definitely go to the mechanics to see what's going on. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 5:43
  • Yes it is a risk but how much of a risk I cannot tell you, we all risk life and limb every time we drive in traffic.
    – Moab
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


Sounds like something loose in the engine bay, a heat shield or something. The belt tensioner bearings could be it as well, try putting a screwdriver against the arm of the belt tensioner (a long enough one so you can put your head against the end of the screwdriver and listen). Be mindful of the spinning belt so you don't get caught in it, it's one of the most dangerous exposed components of the car. If you do change the belt tensioner, change the belt as well at the same time.


This sounds like something in the accessory system (based on how loud it ticky it is - not a deep engine/transmission tick).

You'll want to check the belt system. The reason it might not make noise when in neutral or park is because certain pulleys are not carrying a load until in gear..not sure exactly which ones off the top of my head.

Here's a way to check where the source might be. Get a water bottle that can spray a stream and go to each pulley (the spinning wheels that the belt is on) and listen for a change. Spraying will create a temporary lubrication of this spot and may dampen the noise enough to diagnose the source.

DO NOT use WD-40 or anything other than water.

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