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I'm helping a friend with their car. Its a 2014 Mazda 2, 1.5L engine, approx 105K miles. The car has been well maintained with regular oil changes.

There is an odd noise coming from the top of the engine, when placed into drive mode. Noise not apparent while transmission is set in park, only in drive mode. When I listen to long handle screw driver stuck in ear, the mechanical noise (cam shaft, valve train, etc) from within the engine does NOT change.

I will say, in general the entire valve train is sort of noisy... in the old days I would have said a hydraulic lifter is going bad. I doubt this car even has hydraulic lifters.

Video/Audio of Engine Noise

My questions here:

  1. Anybody know what this might be, based on experience with a similar vehicle?
  2. Besides the transmission, what else causes a change in engine load while changing from Park to Drive to Park (see the video) ?
  3. This car has electric assist rack and pinion steering. I've never worked on a car with electric steering assist. Does that electrical load change when you shift the transmission from Park to Drive? (i.e. could this be an alternator going south?)

Many thanks for assistance you folks might offer..

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