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Why does my car tick after I turn it off?

Beige Buick Century in a residential intersection.

Why does my car tick after I turn it off?

September 23, 2013

Q: My 2002 Buick Century makes a steady ticking sound after I've been driving and stop the car. It seems to be coming from underneath the car, but also might be coming from the right side of the engine. What could be the problem?

A: If the ticking is metallic and from behind the engine, it is then likely the exhaust system cooling. The metal will make noise as it contracts. This does not indicate a problem and can be considered normal.

If the noise is more in front of the engine, then it is likely coming from one of the radiator fan motors. Again, this is common and does not indicate a serious problem.

Neither problem would need immediate attention, nor will either one cause any damage that would need to be addressed in the future.

-- Answer from Dave Nova, master auto technician on JustAnswer.

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