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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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Wiki User
2011-09-13 14:00:14
2011-09-13 14:00:14

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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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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If your engine is full of oil, drain off a quart of it. It's messy and you have to be quick or you might drain it all. With the engine a quart low add one quart of MARVEL MYSTERY OIL. Drive the car about a hundred miles, include some high speed highway miles. Now do a regular oil and filter change with HIGH QUALITY (NOT WAL-MART OR OTHER NO-NAME BRANDS) 5w30 oil. I prefer Castrol and Valvoline. This should quiet it down. If it does quiet down, change oil again at only 20,000 mile intervals for the next couple of changes going back to the recommended 10w30 oil.The marvel oil flushes caked-on deposits from your lifters as well as from the rest of your internal parts. If the Marvel oil doesn't help, you need to replace the hydraulic lifters.I wish you good luck.


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