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Ford Cam Phaser Knock

A quick review online will reveal that cam phasers have been a significant issue in several 3 valve Ford engines.  Ford apparently remedied this issue in later models. The cam phaser is designed to advance and retard timing of the valves in relation to the pistons.  The problem is reported as a “cam phaser knock”, “cam phaser tick”, “cam phaser noise at idle”, “noisy phasers”, and probably other names as well.  Some suggest that the issue is from a lack of oil pressure to bring oil to the phasers.  This may be caused by a failed O ring or some other problem that results in low oil pressure to the area.  The lack of oil pressure or proper lubrication can result in the cam phasers not advancing the timing – a retarded cam timing can result in detonation that shows up as noise.  It can also result in wear of the cam phasers themselves.  This can cause the components to wear or even break causing even more damage and problems.  Most people notice the noise and seek solutions.  Integrity Autoworks out of McGregor Texas suggests the following vehicles/engines might develop the cam phaser issue:  

4.6L engine:

Ford Mustang GT 2005-2010

Ford Mustang Bullitt 2008-2009

Ford Explorer 2006-2010

Mercury Mountaineer 2006-2010

Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2007-2010

Ford F-150 2009-2010


5.4L Engine:

Ford Facom/Futura/Fairmont 2002-2007

Ford Fairlane G220 2003-2004

Ford LTD 2003-2007

Ford Fairlane G8 2005-2007

Ford F-150 2004-2010

Ford F-250 2004-2010

Ford F-350 2004-2010

Ford Expedition  2005-2014

Lincoln Navigator 2004-2014 

Use of Oil Treatment (OT) for Ford Cam Phasers

We were first introduced to the cam phaser knock by a Ford dealer whose shop was being asked for remedies other than expensive repairs.  This dealership was using PlanetSafe OT as an additive to engine crankcase oil at oil changes.  He was motived to do this by data we had showed him that was from examining how engine noises changed after adding PlanetSafe OT to used car engines sitting on a sales lot in St George Utah.  All the engines showed less noise after adding the OT.  When the dealership had a customer ask if there was some way to get rid of the cam phaser knock other than repair, the head of the maintenance shop at the dealership had him try adding PlanetSafe OT to his engine.  In only a few short minutes the engine quieted down.  

Since that first reporting of PlanetSafe OT quieting down the cam phaser knock, we have received reports from many Ford owners telling us that they also found the cam phaser knock went away with treatment.  We have been straightforward with each person who buys PlanetSafe OT for the purpose of remedying the cam phaser knock issue, by stating that PlanetSafe OT is not a mechanic in a bottle.  The knock may be more serious than a lack of proper lubrication.  If that is the case, then the fix is beyond PlanetSafe OT.  We think that if the knock is caught early enough and it is beginning because of a lack of proper lubrication, then PlanetSafe OT will likely be a significant help, maybe even avoiding costly repair bills.  But, if wear has been enough that getting proper lubrication restored can’t prevent further wear and the possibility of failure, then PlanetSafe OT will not be a real solution.  We think many customers purchase PlanetSafe OT because they do not know how much wear has occurred and they hope proper lubrication will help them avoid more costly repairs.

What is it about PlanetSafe OT that helps it reduce or even eliminate cam phaser knock?  The main contribution that PlanetSafe OT makes is to bond a nano-layer of lubricant to all the metal parts in the engine.  This provides some protection from wear even when oil pressure is not as high as it should be.  The added lubrication reduces further wear and prevents heat build up and potential corrosion.  Beyond lubricating the cam phasers, PlanetSafe OT is also lubricating the cam itself and the cylinder walls to help reduce friction and wear as well. For more information visit this page on how to use PlanetSafe OT.

Watch this video of how to fix a cam phaser knock.


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