How to quiet a noisy lifter?

96 Mercury Villager 3.0l
This van has a click click noise when idling, sounds like it's coming from under the valve cover. When it's hot, sometimes it stops doing it. Currently
using 5w30 in it. But I'm wondering if I used a different oil or an additive if the noise can go away? Besides this, it runs great, just an irritation.
Thanks
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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 first.
Are you sure it's a lifter? Sometimes a PCV valve can make an awful racket. They're cheap, too.
Paul in Dayton

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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.
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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 a shot. FWIW DFB
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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.
mike hunt
AV wrote:

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Hmm... can somebody confirm this statement? Will it indeed cause no harm?

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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 than kerosene.
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.

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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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