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Lifters usually tap when they get too much water in them, the ball check loses lubrication, you may have a slight leak from your coolant, My lower intake gasket was leaking and i had the same problem.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 14:00:14
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Q: Why do the 91 3.1 lifters tap at idle but gets better every time you change oil but returns in a couple of weeks?
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What causes the ticking sound when you start your car?

A ticking sound at startup can be a couple of things. It can be a worn drive belt, especially if it does not go away fairly quickly. It also can be a valve lifter noise. Check the drive belt and replace if necessary. Change the oil and try using a different brand oil filter. Purolator, AC/Delco, Wix, Motorcraft, are all good. I would use an OEM type filter to start with. If the car has solid lifters they may need adjusting. If it has hydraulic lifters and changing oil/filter does not help, purchase a can of Seafoam Motor Treatment. Often lifter noise in hydraulic lifters is often due to dirty and gummed up oil passages, varnished lifters and buildup of gum, varnish and carbon. Seafoam is an excellent product used by many auto technicians that will help clean the lifters. It can be purchased at most auto & marine parts stores. Follow the directions on the can to the letter. It is also an excellent Fuel Injector cleaner.

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