How to Fix/Quiet a Noisy Lifter – 5 Best Ways to Fix or Quiet a Noisy Lifter

by Jennifer Porterfield | Last Updated: March 24, 2021
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Is your car’s lifter making noise? Then you definitely need to fix it as soon as possible because a noisy lifter tick can literally damage your vehicle both in the long term and short term. We had recently written an article on Best Automotive Sound Deadening Material, as it was a car or automotive-related article we received quite a few people asking us on How to Fix or Quiet a Noisy Lifter.

So I have called up my friends who are car mechanics and also people who had this problem. I spoke to them for some time understanding the problem they faced and what they did to fix the issue. So in this article, I will be giving you information on How to Fix or Quiet a Noisy Lifter in your car and also give you reasons why your lifter makes noise and can they cause damage to your car.

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Table of Contents

What Causes the Lifter Tick or Make Noise?

There are numerous reasons what cause the lifter tick or make noise, as this is not a rare problem that people face. It is very common nowadays. If you want to know the cause in just one word then it’s because of poor maintenance. Yeah, I know its harsh but that’s the reality. You need to take good care of your car and engine at least a couple of times a year for the car or the engine to run smoothly.

This problem is very common with older cars or cars that have been ridden thousands of miles without getting the car serviced regularly.

The lifter tick can vary, it can last from once to the entire time the engine is running. The noise can be a simple tick or tapping type of noise. but if it’s happening constantly it can be very annoying for the driver or the rider. It’s more like a tapping noise from the water leaking from a faucet slowly, you can imagine how annoying that sound is.

If you hear the lifter tick then you definitely need to take care of the car or it can damage more and will cost you more money. so it’s better to take care of it the earliest.

Can Noisy Lifter Ticker Cause Damage?

Yes, Noisy Lifter Ticker can cause damage to the vehicle. So it’s important to take care of it the earliest as soon as possible. The Noisy Lifter ticker can mean that the engine is slowly dying and this ticker sound is just symptoms. Just follow the 5 solutions that I have mentioned in this article to fix or quiet the noisy lifter in your vehicle or car.

How to Fix/Quiet a Noisy Lifter – 5 Best Ways to Fix or Quiet a Noisy Lifter

5 Best Solutions to Fix/Quiet a Noisy Lifter Tick in a Car

  1. Flush out the Old Oil and Replace it with New Oil
  2. Clean Your Car’s Lifters with Oil Additives
  3. Replace the Bend or Damaged PushRods
  4. Adjust Your Lifters or Valves
  5. Replace the Old Lifters with New Lifters

1. Flush out the Old Oil and Replace it with New Oil

Oil for the vehicle is like Food for Human Beings. You need to keep changing the oil in the car frequently and use only good quality oil for the vehicle to run and function properly. Oil provides lubrication for the valves in the engine, so its uttermost priority to use the best oil for the engine.

Improper lubrication will cause the parts in the vehicle to come in contact with each other which will damage the parts and also the vehicle in general. This is also one of the main reasons for the lifter tick sound that is been produced in the engine. If you keep here that ticker noise then you definitely need to fix it as soon as possible.

If you don’t fix the issue then the oil filters in the internal combustion engine will accumulate all the dirt and sludge in the filters which will cause more damage to the car in the long term, that is why it’s important to fix the noisy lifter tick issue as soon as possible and changing the oil can fix the issue.

Follow these steps to flush out the old oil and replace it with new oil

  1. Firstly, you need to start to drain out the old oil. To do that unscrew the cap under the car and hold the leaking oil in a bucket or oil mug.
  2. After draining out the old oil, you need to insert an engine flushing agent such as Liqui Moly 2037 Engine Flush which will help to clear out all the leftover and clogged oil in the engine.
  3. Now its time to replace the flushed/drained old oil with new oil. Make sure you choose the right oil as per your engine specifications.

Watch this video on How to Choose the Perfect Engine oil as per your car’s specification

Watch this video on How to Change your oil in your car easily

2. Clean Your Car’s Lifters with Oil Additives

This can be a solution to stop the ticker sound or tapping sound in the engine by cleaning your car’s lifters with oil additives. Oil additives have multiple applications other than fixing the Noisy lifters sound issue. Oil additives can be used to clean rockers and valves in the car to get rid of the accumulation of dirt and sludge inside the engine.

If you worry that these oil additives will get mixed up with the engine oil then don’t worry they don’t mix together because these oil additives do not change their viscosity so it doesn’t get together with the existing engine oil.

If you are wondering what is oil additives? Then,  Anything that you add to your engine which is not an oil that is oil additive technically speaking. There are many types of oil additives that also include thinning agents, thickening agents or even flushing agents that are part of oil additives. But here to quiet or fix the noisy lifter we need a specific type of oil additives. Oil Stabilizers can be an option to fix this issue.

Oil stabilizers will help in breaking down debris without a requirement of a complete oil drain from the engine. All you need to do is pour the oil stabilizers in the engine and you need to drive for a few miles so that the oil additives can properly get mixed up with the circulating oil and stop the noisy lifter ticking sound. Don’t worry the oil stabilizer won’t change its density so it doesn’t literally get messed up with the circulating oil.

I suggest you do this at least 2 to 3 times a year if you want your car’s engine to run properly and more efficiently.

Some of the Best Oil Additive for Noisy Lifters are

3. Replace the Bend or Damaged PushRods

I am sure you know what a pushrod is if you own a car if you don’t know then a pushrod is present in the engine, it is the opening and closing of all the values in the engine. A bend or damaged pushrod can also be the reason for the noisy lifter tick noise. If the pushrods in the engine are bend or damage then as the open and close it collides with the interior of the engine making the lifter noise.

So make sure that your pushrods inside the engine are not bent or damaged. If it is damaged then you definitely need to replace the bend or damaged pushrods with brand new pushrods. But replacing the pushrods can be a complicated task so I suggest you to look for a professional car mechanic to do this task. If you are experienced with this stuff then you can do it yourself.

This task consumes a lot of time, around 6 hours even for the professional mechanic. But its more inexpensive than you think. It cost me around $20 for the new pushrod and a little bit more for the labor cost.

If you want to try out yourself then watch this video on How to Replace Pushrods with a new one.

4. Adjust Your Lifters or Valves

If you have tried all the above-mentioned solutions such as replacing the engine with new oil or using an oil additive or replacing the pushrod and still you hear the lifter tick then you need to concentrate on this solution. In this solution, I am telling you to adjust your lifters or values in the engine.

In order to adjust your lifters or valves in the engine, you need a few stuff to achieve this. You need a Feeler Gauge which you will be using to a rocker arm of your engine and valve stem.

After getting the required stuff you then need to adjust the valve or the lifter adjustment screw to the correct clearance position. But before doing this task you need to refer to the car’s manual properly to adhere to the proper rules. It is really important to find the correct factory settings of the values which will be present in the car’s manual, so make sure to refer to that.

If the opening is not optimal then you need to use a flathead screwdriver to turn the adjusting screw on top of the rocker arm in a clockwise rotation to decrease the space. If it’s too tight then turn the screw to counterclockwise to increase the valve’s lash.

If you need a video tutorial on How to Adjust your lifter or valves to fix the noisy lifter then watch this video.

5. Replace the Old Lifters with New Lifters

This is the final solution. If none of the above-mentioned solutions worked for you then this is the one for you. This solution requires you to replace the old lifters with brand new lifters. If you are worried about the price then it totally depends on your engine.

They will cost anywhere between $20, but you are supposed to get them in a pack so it could bring the total up to a couple of hundred dollars, and then there are the labor charges too.

If you want to replace the old lifters with new lifters in the engine then go ahead. There are tools that will help you extract the lifter without removing the whole engine. You can try this Performace Tool Hydraulic Valve Lifter Remover, this tool will let you extract the lifter without removing the engine.

If you need any help then you can refer to this video.

Wrapping Up

This is the conclusion on the information on How to Fix or Quiet a Noisy Lifter Tick in the car. Combine this information with this information on how to reduce road noise in car for more effective implementation. I hope that any of the five different solutions that I provided have helped you quiet a noisy lifter tick.

If you have any problem or doubt then please don’t hesitate to comment below. If you need any help or have a suggestion then contact us or comment below, I will revert back to you in 24 hours. Please do share this article with your friends and family who are facing this problem. Thank You.

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