How to Quiet a Noisy Lifter: Can Noisy Lifters Cause Damage?

How To Quiet A Noisy Lifter: Can Noisy Lifters Cause Damage?

Many car enthusiasts know what a lifter is, although there’s quite a large number of us who may not know. Essentially, a hydraulic valve lifter is a cylinder that’s attached to one end of a pushrod. This is one of your engine parts that’s responsible for making the car quieter.

Alongside this, it’s usually responsible for maintaining a certain level of performance while also helping to make sure your car engine stays healthy.

However, many of us might notice that our vehicle will become increasingly noisier over time. While there can be a range of reasons for this, one of the more common minor problems is that there’s an issue with the lifter.

Though this shouldn’t occur in newer vehicles, it’s something that could affect many older ones. You might think that this means you’ll need an overhaul of the engine to fix it or have to put up with the extra noise.

However, neither of these should have to be the case. In fact, you should be able to quieten a noisy lifter quite easily. While it might take you some time to do so, the majority of steps are relatively straightforward, though many of us might not know where to start.

Though the fixes should be simple. You should first know what the potential causes could be, as this will have a significant impact on what you should do. As such, there are quite a few things you should know before trying to quiet a noisy lifter.

What You’ll Need To Quieten A Noisy Lifter

Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush - 500 Milliliters
Lucas 32 Ounce 10001 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer-32 Oz
Hotop Stainless Steel Feeler Gauge Dual Marked Metric and Imperial Gap Measuring Tool (0.04-0.88 mm, 32 Blades)
Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush - 500 Milliliters
Lucas 32 Ounce 10001 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer-32 Oz
Hotop Stainless Steel Feeler Gauge Dual Marked Metric and Imperial Gap Measuring Tool (0.04-0.88 mm, 32 Blades)
Prime Benefits
Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush - 500 Milliliters
Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush - 500 Milliliters
Prime Benefits
Lucas 32 Ounce 10001 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer-32 Oz
Lucas 32 Ounce 10001 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer-32 Oz
Prime Benefits
Hotop Stainless Steel Feeler Gauge Dual Marked Metric and Imperial Gap Measuring Tool (0.04-0.88 mm, 32 Blades)
Hotop Stainless Steel Feeler Gauge Dual Marked Metric and Imperial Gap Measuring Tool (0.04-0.88 mm, 32 Blades)
Prime Benefits

There are quite a few steps you’ll need to take to fix a noisy lifter. While you might want to get to work straight away, you’ll first need to get the materials and tools required to do so. While some of the materials that you’ll need might be obvious for many of us, others mightn’t be.

It’s often better to be prepared for any fix, which is why you should get all of the items you need before you start. This should save you quite a large amount of time, as there’ll be no need to stop to go get materials.

There are a few specific tools and products that you should need to use. We recommend getting:

  • Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush – 500 Milliliters; This is an oil additive that can get rid of a lot of dirt inside your engine. This should then mean that you’ll hear much less noise from your lifter. However, you’ll have to use this regularly as dirt starts to accumulate again over time.
  • Lucas 10001 Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer – 32 oz.This is another oil additive that should be used in conjunction with the above. By doing so, you should be able to flush out the majority of dirt and other debris from your lifter. While you might be able to do the trick with just one of the products, this might not get rid of as much dirt as you want. This could mean that your lifter will get noisier again. However, you’ll be ale to prevent the majority of this by using both products.
  • Feeler Gauge; When you’re using any oil additive, you’ll need to adjust the lifter, which is also the case if you’re doing any other cleaning. Alongside this, you’ll need to adjust it when placing more oil in. Having a high-quality feeler gauge is recommended for this. While you might be able to do this with other products, it’s much easier to do with a feeler gauge, and you shouldn’t do any damage to your lifter with it.

Typically, you’ll be able to get each of the above from any automotive store. However, it can often be better-recommended to buy them online, as the products should be much more affordable. Though you’ll have to put up with a noisy lifter for an extra few days, the cost savings could be worth it.

What Causes Lifter Tick?

You might wonder what could make a lifter tick. There could be a variety of reasons for this, with many of them affecting older vehicles and those with a lot of mileage. This is especially true if you haven’t had much servicing done on your car.

start up your car

Though this ticking might only occur for a few seconds when you start up your car, it can become quite irritating the longer it happens. While the noise itself can be annoying, it could also be a symptom of a much larger issue, which is why it’s recommended that you have it checked.

This should also mean that you’ll have to check and fix it as soon as you notice it. Though this might seem complicated, it could be much simpler to do than you might believe.

While there is a variety of things that could cause a ticking sound in your lifter, the majority of these are relatively common and can be fixed quite easily. Typically, this will be:

  • A dirty engine;
  • A bent push rod, and;
  • An out of place lifter.

While most of these should be easy to fix, they can often take a significant amount of time and effort. However, you should be able to prevent them by having regular maintenance done on your vehicle. If you develop a ticking lifer, though, there are a few things that you can do to fix it.

Can Noisy Lifters Cause Damage?

Quite a large number of car owners will wonder if a noisy lifter can cause damage to their vehicle. While the tapping itself shouldn’t be cause for concern, it could be part of a much larger issue than you might think. This is why it can be vital to make sure you address it as soon as possible.

In most cases, it will be a sign that your car’s mechanics need to be cleaned and have its oil changed, which you should do regularly. However, this might not always be true, and changing your oil might not work.

Should this be the case, then there’s a larger issue at work. It’s this problem that could cause damage to your vehicle. As a result, you should first change your car’s oil and then determine if it has any effect. If it doesn’t, then it’s recommended that you have your car checked by a mechanic to prevent any other issues from developing.

How to Quiet a Noisy Lifter

Now that you know what the causes of a noisy lifter are, you’ll want to try to fix it. However, many of us may not know where to start when doing so, regardless of what the cause is. However, there are a few specific steps that you can take to do so.

While you might have to spend some time on each of the steps, most of them should be relatively straightforward. If you’re unsure of how to do any of the steps or think that the problem might be something else, it’s recommended that you call a mechanic.

While this might cost you more money than you’re comfortable with, it will save you time and make sure that any issues are properly addressed. When you’re quietening a noisy lifter yourself, however, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take.

1. Changing The Oil

Your engine needs a significant amount of maintenance for as long as you have it. One of the more important aspects of this is making sure that you change the oil regularly. While this will be obvious to many of us, there can be more factors involved in this than you might think.

Prominent among these is the type of oil that you should use in your vehicle. Different cars will naturally need different oils, which should be something that you pay a large amount of attention to. Some will need heavier ones while others will need lighter ones.

Changing car Oil​

This should mean that you should know which oil you should use. This will affect how lubricated your engine is, which will affect all of the mechanics, including the lifter. Should you not use the right oil or not be using it regularly enough, then dirt and debris can accumulate in the oil filter.

As a result of this, it could prevent the proper lubrication of other parts of your engine, which may lead to several other issues. While noise will be one of the most obvious of these, you could find that there could be some mechanical problems in the future.

You’ll need to do a certain amount of research to make sure that you’re using the right grade of oil for your vehicle. Though this will take time, it should prove to be well worth the investment.

2. Cleaning Your Car’s Lifters With Oil Additives

The noise that your car’s lifters will be a tapping sound, which should help you identify it quite easily. This is something that could be fixed by using oil additives, which could be beneficial in a variety of ways.

The most obvious of these is the cleaning properties that it should have for much of your engine. This will be seen especially across the rockers and valves, where a large amount of dust and dirt can accumulate.

While you might think that using an oil additive would change the viscosity of the oil you use, this isn’t the case. As such, you shouldn’t have to worry about using it. This is something that you should do regularly.

Though you might not need to use oil additives as often as you change your oil, it’s recommended that you use it as regularly as possible. This should save you money in the long-term, as it should help to prevent any damage from being done to your car’s mechanics.

Oil additives are much more affordable than you might think, which should make using them a cost-effective solution to protecting your car. Alongside this, it should get rid of the noise that your lifter generates.

3. Adjusting Your Lifters

If you’ve tried changing your oil and using an oil additive and haven’t seen an impact on the noise, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. Instead, it means that you’ll have a little bit more work to do. This shouldn’t be too complicated to do, although it might need some elbow grease.

Adjusting Your Lifters

The most prominent of these is to adjust your lifters so that they have the proper level of clearance that they need. Before you start changing your lifter, however, you’ll need to read your car’s manual to make sure that you fix them correctly.

You’ll also need to make sure that you have the right equipment when you start, with a feeler gauge being the most important for this. When you’re doing so, you’ll need to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely, as doing otherwise could cause more problems in the future.

The majority of this will be focused on making sure that the lifter is set to the proper factory settings. Your lifter can often move slightly over time, so this means that you may need to readjust its positioning several times in the future.

4. Replacing A Bent Push Rod

Should none of the above work, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. Instead, if your lifter is still making noise, there’s one final thing that you could do. Hopefully, you might not need to take this step, but it’s worth knowing about in case you need to take advantage of it.

Push rods are responsible for opening and then closing all of the valves in your engine. Should one of these become bent, it will start making noise, which could also affect your lifter. This should mean that you’ll need to address the problem.

Typically, a push rod will become bent if you push too hard on the accelerator too often. This should be quite a quick fix, although it does mean that you’ll have to replace the push rod to fix the issue. This could be much more complicated than you might expect, so it’s recommended that you hire a professional to do so.

The cost of this shouldn’t be too high, although it can vary drastically depending on which mechanic you hire.


Looking after your lifter and the rest of your engine should be a priority. The more you put into your car, the more you should get out of it, so you’ll need to make sure that you maintain it properly. This means that you’ll need to pay attention to the sounds that it makes.

By doing so, you should be able to identify whatever problems that might develop. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to put up with the sounds for long. Following the steps above should expect that your lifter will be fixed and shouldn’t make any more noises.

However, you’ll still need to perform regular maintenance on the engine to make sure that everything’s working correctly. If you’re looking to get rid of any traffic sounds and others, then there are a few other things that you’ll be able to do with the car.

In the majority of cases, sound deadening mats should prove quite useful, which makes them highly recommended. As such, it could be worth investing in a variety of things to make your engine and overall vehicle as soundproof as possible. (SOUNDPROOF PROS LLC) Copyright 2020