I had some luck with a product called Rislone many years ago. It is a
solvent / detergent that can remove varnish. I also used a product by the
PB Blaster company called TVF with good results. If your oil hasn't been
changed often or is usually very dirty, one of these might work.
There are a few words of warning - either of these can loosed crud in the
engine and it can then cause problems. I'd think about changing oil and
filter after using the stuff a week or less.
The other thing to know is that there could be a mechanical problem with the
lifter and no amount of additive will quiet it. Also, at idle, oil pressure
is lowest and the noise might be evidence of wear just about any place in
the engine. Lifters are just about the last to get oil so they complain
Are you sure it's a lifter? Sometimes a PCV valve can make an awful racket.
They're cheap, too.
Paul in Dayton
What you hear in that area may not be a lifter at all - it
may be an injector. It can be difficult for the untrained
ear to distinguish a minor click in that area. If it is a
lifter, your problem may be the oil filter or the oil you
are using or, may just in need of a change. There are
additives that can help a lifter. Bardahl remains one of my
favorites when the need arises. There are also those times
that nothing helps and it is nothing to worry about.
There used to be a product called Wynn's Engine Tune-up that worked
very well cleaning out and quieting noisy hydraulic lifters. It used
to work miracles on those Corvair flat sixes which were very prone to
noisy lifters. Don't know if it is still around but it might be worth
Take it from a guy with 50 years in the auto business, next time
you need a quart of oil put a quart of automatic transmission
fluid in the crankcase. Works like a charm in loosing up a
sticking lifter and does no harm.
He says he has 50 years in the business. His "on line resume" does not include
any practical mechanical experience. He claims he was a structural engineer then
some kind of marketing for one of the big three, then some how built a fleet
service business. Maybe true, may not be. I will say that ATF is at least better
It would be better to find out just what the noise is, and if the noise is
normal for the animal or not. With that information you can make a intelligent
decision on making a repair or not.
Temporarily replacing one pint of engine oil with a pint of
transmission fluid, like Dexron, can often clean out a stuck lifter
stop this noise, but be sure to change the oil and filter at 100 miles
and then again at 200 miles because transmission fluid contains much
more detergent than engine oil does and can damage the engine if left
in too long. Rislone is also claimed to clean sticky lifters and can
be left in until the next normal oil change.
Heavier oil may stop the noise but won't unstick the lifter.
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