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What Is Hemi Ticking? (Explained)

Updated: Jan 9

The "Hemi tick" or "Hemi ticking" is a name for the ticking sound commonly found on Hemi V8 engines. It can be caused by a fault in the engine, such as lack of oil, seized lifters, etc., or it could be a harmless ticking sound common to these engines.

Chrysler claims that a Hemi tick is normal and Hemi engines can develop a harmless ticking or tapping sound over time. In most cases this is true, other times this ticking sound can be a sign of other problems.


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Should You Be Worried About Hemi Ticking?

Although a ticking sound on your Hemi engine could be completely harmless, this ticking sound might be a sign of other issues such as lack of oil, seized components, valve springs dropping or snapping, etc.

A well-known issue with early Hemi engines was the valve springs dropping or snapping. Chrysler replaced the valve springs in 2007 to fix the issue. If your Hemi engine is a 2007 or pre 2007 model, you may want to have any ticking sounds properly investigated.

Hemi V8s with MDS (Chryslers cylinder deactivation system) have been commonly observed since 2009 with "the Hemi tick". Gentle ticking seems to be normal; but, if the sound gets louder and more metallic in nature, you should have this investigated.

Signs to Look Out For

Since Chrysler claims a ticking sound is completely normal, you may want to pay extra attention for others signs.

You should see if the tone or type of sound changes over time, such as if it is a gentle or calm ticking, or is it metallic in nature.

Check your oil levels, if your oil is low or of inadequate quality and a ticking sound has developed, it may be something worth investigating.

Causes of Ticking Sounds

Some of the causes of ticking sounds, not related to the normal ticking found on most Hemi engines, includes the following.

  • Debris in the engine

  • Loose manifold bolts

  • Loose or worn spark plugs

  • Low or inadequate quality oil

  • Not properly installed valves

  • Seized lifter rollers

  • Snapped or dropped valve springs

  • Worn drive pulleys

  • Worn lifters

Normal Hemi ticking could be caused by the MDS system or it may just be how the engine is designed.