Car Doctor Q&A: The Ticking Titan

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If you were in a Hollywood action movie and your 2013 Nissan Titan started ticking, you’d roll out the door and let it crash off a bridge. Car Doctor John Paul has a better solution. 

Q. I have a 2013 Nissan Titan, and I like the truck but recently it started making a weird ticking noise. The noise seems like it is coming from behind the steering wheel.


It may make the noise on my drive to work and other times not at all. It sounds like a loud ticking clock, what is this noise and how do I make it stop?

A. This is fairly a fairly common occurrence with these trucks. The problem is the heater control actuator. This is the motor that control the air flow in the climate control system. I’m pretty confident that on the days you don’t hear the noise the heater is shut off.

The noise most likely happens when you change the air flow from defrost to vent to the floor setting. The ticking is the motor trying to move the duct door. The repair can be costly since it takes about four to five hours to access the climate control ducting.

Or you could consider turning up the radio.

John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England. A certified mechanic, Paul tests dozens of new cars each year and also hosts a radio show on AM 950 and 550.

Looking for a new or used Titan? Check out BestRide’s comprehensive local listings here.

John Paul

John Paul