Valve noise, clacking, but only when car is in gear

2006, 100,000 miles, has new clacking noise which seems to come from the valve train, but only when the car is in gear, not in neutral or park. Anybody familiar with this problem? Thanks.

Does the noise go away when car is moving, or when it is stopped but in gear? I would suspect a problem with the torque converter and not the valve train.

Thank you for replying so quickly. I can only hear the noise when I’m stopped and in gear, and then only with my window open and another car adjacent. (It may well be happening when I’m driving, but I can’t hear it.) Very audible stopped and in gear with hood/bonnet raised; thought about the tranny, but sound seems to be coming from the front end of the engine.

Drive slowly along a wall. Is there a difference when the brakes are on or not? Check also for loose heat shields.

Noise not influenced by brakes. Will check heat shields. Thanks.

Have the chain tensioners ever been replaced?

Thank you for responding. Tensioners haven’t been replaced, but by 2006 at least they were metal. (Don’t seem to have the chains rasping on start-up associated with worn tensioners that I’ve heard about.) Clacking coming from further back than the chains, from under left valve cover at about the level of the 2nd or 3rd cylinder from the front.

Sorry William. Yes I didn’t appreciate it’s a later model. I think that engine may have the variable valve timing on the front of the camshaft and recall reading issues of noise from this. Maybe it’s that?