Lifter Tick Bad?

Tiny
HAWKSKILL818
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHRYSLER LHS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 143,851 MILES
It sounds like the lifters have started ticking, like they do at cold start up, except they tick all the time whether or not the engine is cold or hot. Does this mean that the lifters are just worn out? Is this bad for my engine and will it cause some sort of failure in the future? Is there any way to fix it?
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Friday, August 19th, 2011 AT 11:17 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
One lifter failing is rare. All of them clattering is the result of something in common which is low oil pressure, often due to low oil level and the pump is sucking up air. Have you checked the oil level?
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Friday, August 19th, 2011 AT 11:33 PM
Tiny
HAWKSKILL818
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Yes the oil level is full, however at the last oil change they filled it with 5w30 and the book recommends 10w30 for the summer months and 5w30 for winter. Could that be the problem?
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Saturday, August 20th, 2011 AT 12:12 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I suppose it's possible, but to be sure, have the actual pressure tested with a mechanical gauge. If it's low, go back to the thicker oil at the next oil change or you can add a can of "viscosity index improver". That is a product such as STP. If the pressure is okay, the thinner oil could still be leaking out of the lifters faster than normal and allowing them to collapse and rattle.

Don't overlook the fact that a lot of people mistake the normal sound of clicking injectors as lifter noise. They're easy to hear under the hood but usually not with the hood closed.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2011 AT 3:24 AM
Tiny
HAWKSKILL818
  • MEMBER
No, it is definitely not injector tick, that is the softer ticking I can hear under the hood, this is a loud tick that can be heard with the hood closed and everything. It sounds like it is coming primarily from cylinder #3 (middle cylinder, drivers' side), or that is where is sounds loudest, everywhere else it is the normal soft ticking. It is really bizarre.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2011 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If it's just one, I'd wait to see what happens with thicker oil. If that solves the noise, I'd continue running that oil in cold weather. I have one in my '88 Grand Caravan that's so loud, people get out of my way in parking lots for fear of falling parts! It's been doing that for over five years. I use 10W-40 year round because it is a REALLY high-mileage engine.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2011 AT 8:40 PM

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