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Trucks are designed to be durable and reliable, but even the most reliable vehicles still need proper care and maintenance. It’s always alarming when a car makes an unexpected sound, and while you may be tempted to ignore it for a while, doing so may cost you a lot of money. For instance, a ticking noise in your V8 Toyota Tundra pickup could mean repair costs over $1,000.

Never overlook a Toyota Tundra ticking noise

Toyotas have some of the lowest annual maintenance costs, averaging $441, per RepairPal. The average cost to repair a Toyota Tundra is $606, and the most commonly reported problem is a ticking noise from a failed exhaust manifold. The problem has been reported for Tundra pickups after the 2000 model year. Vehicles before then weren’t impacted, likely because of their different engine setup.

The drivers who reported this issue noted that the ticking sound gets louder when the engine is cold. The noise can often be from a cracked or damaged manifold, resulting in an exhaust leak. The best way to fix the problem is to replace the exhaust manifold, but that doesn’t come cheap.

RepairPal estimates the average replacement cost is between $1,082 and $1,325. The good news is that this may be a last resort. Sometimes, all you need to do is replace the exhaust manifold gasket, which may save you about $400.

More reasons for a ticking noise in your V8 Tundra pickup

An exhaust manifold leak almost always causes a ticking noise in a Toyota Tundra. But other times, it can be attributed to low engine oil or worn/damaged lifters, which cause ticking noises at idle and upon acceleration. A regular oil refill or change can often help mitigate the sound, but replacing the filters may be the best option if it continues.

If the lifters are fine and your engine’s oil level is OK, the problem could be misadjusted valves. Exhaust valves let air in and out of the engine’s combustion chambers. Always ensure you take your Tundra in for a checkup periodically, especially if your truck has higher mileage. This inspection will make sure your exhaust valves are aligned.

Spark plugs are typically not something most people think about, considering they are supposed to be replaced every 100,000 miles or so. However, if you have a high-mileage Tundra and can hear ticking noises, it could mean your spark plugs are either old or damaged. If the spark plug isn’t set well, it can result in a bypass of exhaust gasses, which can make the engine tick.

Other Toyota Tundra V8 problems


Is Your Engine Making Strange Noises? One of These Could Be the Reason

Aside from the top complaint of a ticking noise from a failed exhaust manifold, Toyota Tundra owners have reported nine other problems on RepairPal.

The second-most-common issue with the vehicle is the recall for the lower ball joint. The recall was issued due to possible premature wear of the lower ball joint from improper finishing in production.

A worn-out lower ball joint can cause a rough and uncomfortable ride, and 208 people weren’t happy with the recall. Although Toyota’s recall will fix the lower ball joint issue, suspension ball joint replacement costs an average of $500.

Another complaint was the air injection pump failure, which may cause drivability issues and reduced fuel economy. Other people complained of one or more oxygen sensors failing, loud vacuum cleaner noise on a cold start, pink coolant in the reservoir and transmission slipping, rear frame crossmember corrosion, vibration from the driveshaft and clunking between gears, and check engine light for rough idle and loss of power.