My 2003 Honda Element just recently developed a top-end ticking noise (2.4 litre engine). This vehicle has exactly 100,000 miles on it, and I have owned it since the 38,000 mile mark. Anyway, I looked in my manual and it says the first scheduled valve adjustment is at 110,000 miles. So I decided, with the top end noise, that I'd better check things a little early. This engine has always been maintained perfectly, and I have been using Amsoil with 7000 mile OCIs for some time (with Pure One filters). When I pulled the valve cover, it looked absolutely beautiful and clean. However, as I set the valves I discovered that one camshaft lobe (exhaust, cylinder #1) had a damaged lobe. It is not on the ramp area, but rather it is on the heel of the lobe. It looks like the hardness "wore-off" and the lobe became pitted. Needless to say, the ticking will not go away until I change the camshaft. At $400.00, this kind of sucks. I am kind of in shock right now. I wish I could post pictures here, but I don't know how. Any ideas on what could have caused this problem?