Synthetic oil is a lubricant created from chemically modified materials, with the base material always being distilled crude oil. Besides the base material, synthetic oils contain additional additives, and the synthesis process for manufacturing synthetic oil varies differently depending on the producer.
Because synthetic oil is of higher quality than conventional oil, you could wonder if using this oil would make the noisy lifters quiet.
Yes, synthetic oil will make noisy lifters quieter. You could use a synthetic oil blend if you didn’t get synthetic oil. After changing the oil, you should let it run for about half an hour or so to allow it to circulate sufficiently in the system. If the noisy lifter problem was due to an oil problem, it should disappear after doing this.
What Are Car Lifters?
A car lifter is a cylinder between the valves and the car camshaft. As the camshaft moves, it actuates, resulting in a temporary valve opening. Since the exhaust and the intake valves open at different times, each has separate lifters.
Lifters are designed differently depending on the car. For example, pushrod engines have lifters that activate a rocker arm rather than directly applying pressure on the valve.
There are two types of lifters- mechanical and hydraulic lifters.
Hydraulic lifters are the most common. They were invented in the 1930s, but due to being costly, they never entered the market until the 1950s.
On the other hand, mechanical lifters are louder than their hydraulic counterparts but offer several advantages. First, they are affordable, require low maintenance, and are great for both economy and performance cars since they work better at higher RPMs.
Car lifters work well except when they don’t. A lifter tick is a phenomenon where the lifter makes irritating tapping or ticking noise.
Depending on the severity of this problem, you may hear a frequent tapping or ticking the whole time you run the engine. Lifter tick problem is most common in high mileage and older cars, but they can happen to any car, especially ones that haven’t been regularly maintained or serviced.
While it’s possible to ignore the lifter tick noise, in some cases, it can indicate a more serious problem that needs urgent attention. Also, lifter ticking can cause distracted driving, which can turn dangerous.
What Causes Noisy Lifters?
The main contributor to lifter noise is an improperly adjusted valve. If the valve lifters are not properly adjusted, your engine may emit a ticking noise.
Valve lifters are available in sizes according to the type of engine of your vehicle. When the valve lifter is not properly fitted, it might collide with the camshaft during vehicle startup. Additionally, it might vibrate against the valve and camshaft.
Noise is produced when the wrong choice of oil is used in the engine. As a consequence, friction, excessive noise, and leaks worsen. Leaks limit the likelihood that each component is fully lubricated. Therefore, the engine’s internal pressure and noise continue to increase.
You can bend the pushrod in your vehicle if you drive it like a sports car and often press the gas pedal too hard. Based on the vehicle’s usage, the pushrod often twists over time. Ultimately, this will result in engine noise.
Will Synthetic Oil Quiet Noisy Lifters
The key differences between synthetic and conventional oils is their viscosity. The viscosity level shows how viscous and sticky the motor oil feels. Additionally, it influences the wear & tear of the engine components.
For instance, low viscous oil will be less efficient in protecting the crucial parts of the engine that need protection from wear and tear. On the other hand, a highly viscous oil will cause more problems to your engine, just like thinner oils. High viscous oil will cause an increase in oil pressure, making it harder for bearings to work and reducing their lifespan.
Synthetic motor oil plays two important roles in this case. When the engine is cold at startup, the synthetic oil will behave as a thin oil, easily lubricating the entire engine. When the engine attains its optimum operating temperatures, the oil then thickens to protect the engine components.
So, will synthetic oil quiet noisy lifters?
Well, it highly dependent on the initial cause of the lifter problem. If you had skipped oil changes for a couple of months, then changing the engine oil with a recommended synthetic oil will get the job done.
Metallic fillings from worn-out engine parts and sludge accumulate over time. You can clean these contaminants using oil additives from your local garage shop or order online.
If the cause of the lifter/ticking noise is due to broken/ faulty lifters, then changing the oil or adding an additive won’t fix the problem. You will need to have the lifters repaired by a qualified mechanic.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil
Conventional motor oil is created from refined crude oil. One of the biggest advantages is the pricing- conventional oil is more affordable and can cost up to 10% less than synthetic oil
Not all vehicles are designed for synthetic oils. Older and high-mileage cars are built with conventional oil service in mind. Mileage is important in determining the type of oil you need for your car.
According to a specialist, cars clocked more than 75,000 miles are susceptible to engine wear and tears, and the engine oil flow rate can highly affect them.
The additives in synthetic oil give enhanced engine protection from rust and corrosion caused by water contaminants and other causes of engine wear. For this purpose, synthetic oils are suitable for high-performance motor engines and car owners who rack up many miles.
Over time, conventional oils will cause the engine to build sludge, resulting in diminished engine efficiency and shortened engine life. Substituting complete synthetics for conventional motor oil keeps your engine from accumulating deposits and removes any existing sludge.
If you have not driven your car in a while or live in a cold region, you understand that the motor oil settles. After starting the engine, it takes some time for the standard or synthetic blend motor oils to reach the crucial engine parts.
On the other hand, fully synthetic motor oil eliminates the necessity of waiting. Rather, the oil flows swiftly and readily through the engine as if it had freshly warmed up.
Synthetics don’t break down or evaporate in excessive temperatures, such as when a car is left to the sun for prolonged periods, or when the motor is overworked, such as when towing.
Finally, synthetic oils offer longer intervals between oil changes than regular oils. They provide engine protection on both short and long excursions. Therefore, instead of the customary 3,000-5,000 miles between oil changes, your maintenance plan can be extended to 15,000 miles.
Nevertheless, the high-mileage oil change interval varies according to driving habits, environmental circumstances, and the kind of full-synthetic motor oil. Therefore, before spending money on an oil change, study the owner’s handbook of your car.
How to Quiet Noisy Lifters Besides Using Synthetic Oil
Your car engine must be properly maintained to prevent tapping, ticking, or clicking sounds. Replace the present oil with a suitable replacement (synthetic oil). Additionally, apply oil additives to maintain the engine lifters smooth and clean. Additives such as Liqui-Moly hydraulic lifters are the best solution for this.
Use Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate to enhance your experience. It lowers wear and friction and makes the lifters and valves quiet.
Repair Bent Pushrods
If your engine continues to tick after using quality lubricants, you may need to inspect for bent Pushrods.
Pushrods that are bent should be replaced with brand-new ones. New Pushrods may be purchased for less than $20 apiece.
- To determine whether your Pushrods are bowed, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the push arm to raise the pushrods.
- Remove all pushrods and spread them over a level surface.
- Tuck away the rolling pushrods that wobble.
Tip: Use the gas pedal with caution to prevent bending your pushrods.
Adjust the Valve Lifters
Because they’re self-adjusting, hydraulic lifters often do not require adjustment. In contrast, manual hydraulic lifters must be regularly serviced and replaced to achieve optimum lifter spacing.
If a ticking lifter is audible in your car’s engine, you may have a defective lifter that is either worn out, wrong size or incorrectly mounted.
Adjusting a defective lifter is laborious. To do it yourself, you would have to remove several engine components, including the valve cover, rocker arm, and valve train, in a certain order. Therefore, it is better to delegate this task to a qualified mechanic.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.