Question about 2005 Saturn VUE

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Mechanic said valve lifters need to be replaced

Had the valve cover gasket and the drive belt replaced on my '93 Saturn SL1. Noticed new noise when I started car and for a few miles driving. Mechanic says that valve lifters need replacing, and soon. I think they have been making noise for quite a while. How can I tell if they need replacing, and if they have been bad for quite a while, has that damaged anything else, like valves, etc. Also, I think maybe that there are two separate noises, the lifters and a new noise starting after the gasket and drive belt were replaced. What could that be? Help!!

Thank you,


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  • 3 more comments 
  • morefn4me Mar 20, 2009

    engine is making a knocking noise that follows as you accelerate. if it is a lifter, what exactly is this and what damage can it cause... im clueless...what else could the problem be?

  • Anonymous May 08, 2009

    how do i change the valve cover gasket

  • danielacano0 May 14, 2009

    i haveproblem whith air conditioned

  • paul swallow May 11, 2010

    did the timing belt break, if so the valve could be damaged ie. bent

    did it make this noise before or after this work was done?

    does it run good \ idle ok or rough

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    Can the lifters be replaced without additional valve train work .?



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Valve lifters make a kind of rattly knocking noise! which sort of follow engine revs.if they are gone you may need a new camshaft as well, best to do itr all at the same time and are sold as a kit.are you sure there is a new noise or are you just listening harder?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009


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Dark water coming out tail pipe when I start my 1993 Saturn sl1

Oil in a cylinder is never good. There are several ways for the oil to get there and different prices to fix it.

Valve stem seals go directly around the valve and keep oil from the valve train from entering the combustion chamber. A worn or cracked seal can let oil run into the wrong place. Depending on how the camshaft and valve lifters are fitted, the valve stem is at the bottom of the camshaft and lifter. The overhead Cam models bury to valve stem deep inside the head.

Good practice would be to replace all seals at same time, but 1 cylinder could be done independently. But you are usually doing 90% of the work to do 1 set of seals. If a V-6 engine do the bad bank completely.

Head gasket, oil circulates through passages. Requires removal of everything above the head so gasket can be changed.

Bad Oil ring on Piston. Requires removal of head, oil pan, possibly motor to access crankshaft.

There are some tests which can help tell the difference between the problems. Some of it is visual so you need some disassembly for that. This is not going to be as simple as changing a waterpump or an Alternator. But the valve stem seals are reasonable and the head gasket is not so bad.

Can not say what labor will cost, but it will be probably 80% of the bill.

Oct 20, 2012 | 1993 Saturn SL1

1 Answer

My engine is tapping near the rear valve cover sounds like a broken spring, i need to know what i have to do to investigate the problem

if it was mine i would go to a car parts store and get a new valve cover gasket. then i would pull the valve cover off and see what is making the noise. if i saw nothing obviously broken i would clean the old gasket and surfaces off, put the new gasket on and reassemble. you could have a sticky lifter, most likely can be driven with no harm for a long time. if there is a broken spring then a deeper level of mechanical repair needed and a repair shop is the place to take it. head is most likely going to have to come off.

Aug 25, 2011 | Mercury Villager Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How do I remove the valve cover in order to service lifters?

This si the solution for a gasket replacement, and you will need it when you remove the old ones.
  • Right Side
    • 1

      Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the accessory drive belt. Using a 9/16mm wrench, loosen the power steering pump bolts, then slide the pump forward. Do not remove the power steering pump. Remove the power steering pump braces.

    • 2

      Disconnect the spark plug wires. Using a 9/16 mm wrench, remove the valve cover bolts. Lift the valve cover to remove it. Using a flathead screwdriver, gently nudge and remove the old valve cover gasket.

    • 3

      Clean the gasket seating area using automotive engine cleaner and a clean cloth rag. Make sure that all debris is removed. Place the new gasket into place. Apply gasket sealant and place the valve cover back into place.

    • 4

      Tighten the bolts securing the cover into place using a torque wrench. Reconnect the spark plug wires. Reinstall the power steering pump braces. Place the power steering pump back into position. Using a 9/16 mm wrench tighten the bolts that secured it into place. Reinstall the accessory drive belt.

    Left Side
    • 1

      Ensure that the negative battery cable is disconnected. Locate and remove the accessory drive belt. Using a 9/16 mm wrench, disconnect the bolt attaching the alternator to the brace.

    • 2

      Remove the brace to gain access to the additional parts that will be removed. Disconnect and remove the spark plug wire harness. Using a 9/16 mm wrench, remove the bolts securing the valve cover. Lift up and remove the valve cover.

    • 3

      Use a flathead screwdriver to gently nudge the old valve cover gasket to remove it. Do not scratch the gasket seating area when removing the valve cover gasket. Make sure that all debris and particles are removed from the gasket seating area.

    • 4

      Place the new gasket in the gasket seating area. Using a torque wrench tighten the valve cover gasket bolts. Reinstall the spark plug wire harness. Put the alternator brace back into position and tighten the bolt that secures it into place.

    • 5

      Reinstall the accessory drive belt. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Add oil to the car and start the engine. Allow the engine to run idle for 10 to 15 minutes. Drive the car a short distance to check for leaks.

  • Mar 16, 2011 | 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette

    3 Answers

    I have a loud ticking under my valve cover. 97 ford escort. I think its a loose valve but is it some thing i can fix. I know a little about cars. but not an expert

    not a valve, but a lifter. I will paste procedure below. You judge if you can do it or not. Recommend you replace them all while you're in there. If you let this go, the lifter will wear out the camshaft. Lifters are $22 each, and you have 8 of them. You will also need a new valve cover gasket.
    Please let me know if you have questions, and thanks for using FixYa.

    2.0L Engine
    SOHC engine
    See Figures 6, 7, 8 and 9
    1. Disconnect the engine air cleaner-to-valve cover hose from the cover by compressing the hose clamp with pliers and sliding the clamp back, then separate the hose from the cover.
    2. Remove the spark plug wire separators from the valve cover and set the wire assemblies aside.
    3. Unfasten the three valve cover retaining bolts.
    4. Remove the valve cover and gasket from the cylinder head.
    WARNING Do not use any abrasive grinding discs to remove gasket material. Use a plastic manual gasket scraper to remove the gasket residue. Be careful not to scratch or gouge the aluminum sealing surfaces when cleaning them.
    1. Remove the old gasket material from the cylinder head and valve cover mating surfaces.


    Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the spark plug wire separators from the valve cover


    Fig. Fig. 7: Compress the engine air cleaner-to-valve cover hose clamp with pliers, and slide the clamp back ...


    Fig. Fig. 8: ... then disconnect the hose from the valve cover


    Fig. Fig. 9: Unfasten the valve cover retainers and remove the valve cover-2.0L SOHC engine

    If removing more than one valve lifter (tappet), mark the lifters and their locations as they must be installed in their original bores.

    1. Remove the rocker arm(s).
    2. Unfasten the lifter guide plate retainer.
    3. Remove the guide plate and the lifter.

    To install:
    1. The oil feed hole in the lifter must face away from the oil feed hole in the cylinder head.
    2. Lubricate the lifter(s) with clean 5W-30 engine oil and install them in their original bores.

    Make sure the lifter guide plate retainer tabs are towards the rear of the cylinder head, and the lifter guide plate tabs are towards the front of the cylinder head.
    1. Install the lifter guide plate and tighten the retainer.
    2. Install the rocker arms.
    Do not use any sealer with a silicone type gasket.
    1. Install a new gasket and the valve cover.
    2. Install and tighten the valve cover retainers to 71-97 inch lbs. (8-11.5 Nm).
    3. Attach the spark plug wire separators to the cylinder head.
    4. Connect the engine air cleaner-to-valve cover hose and engage the hose clamp

    Jan 19, 2011 | Ford Escort Cars & Trucks

    1 Answer

    I went to change the spark plugs in my 1994 saturn sl1 and there was oil on them what should i do?

    Change the valve cover gasket leak at seal that go around spark plug hole's, part of valve cover gasket.

    Dec 31, 2009 | 1994 Saturn Sl

    1 Answer

    Part requirments for Cam and lifters

    Yes you will need the following:

    Assembly lube
    Water pump gasket
    Intake gasket
    Timing cover gasket

    Lifter removal tool
    Puller for harmonic balancer
    Cam installation tool/removal tool

    I also would recommend replacing the timing chain and timing gears since you are going to have to take the timing chain off anyhow.

    You will also need the associated tools to do the job, plenty off rachets, box wrenches and such.

    If you are doing mechanical lifters you will also a feeler gauge to measure the valve clearance and make adjustments.

    I cant think of anything else off the top of my head.

    If you are doing a cam with more lift then I would recommend replacing your valve springs as well, it is easy and it will assure you do not incur valve float. You will have to take the rockers off when you install the new lifters because you have to remove the pushrods. I also recommend you replace the pushrods while you are at it, they are cheap. You will need a valve spring compressor and new valve springs and locks, they are pretty cheap.

    Oct 29, 2009 | 1983 Ford F 250

    1 Answer

    1993 saturn SL1

    check your spark plug wells for oil build up. A BIG problem with the early saturn's are related to the rubber valve cover gaskets the go around the spark plug wells. I have changed dozens that just ware out.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 1993 Saturn SL1

    1 Answer

    1997 nissan pickup 4wd, just had timing chain replaced , now have noticeable knocking noise coming from valve cover ? mechanic says need new stack shims on valve rockers ?

    Not likely. You have a 4 cyl engine with over head cam. It has hydrolic lifters. If it wasn't making the noise before he replaced the chain, then its something he did...or didn't do. If it was making the noise before, most common reason would be 1 or more lifters not pumping up. If you have a six cyl, no one changed the timing chain, (It doesn't have one!) The 3.0 6cyl has a belt.

    Jun 21, 2009 | 1997 Nissan Pickup

    4 Answers

    Ticking noise from engine

    You might have a bad hydraulic valve lifter (assuming this engine has them)... you could try an aftermarket product designed to unstick valve lifters.... any auto parts store carries them.

    Mar 04, 2009 | 1999 Daewoo Leganza

    1 Answer

    Engine noise

    Sounds like stuck lifters....check oil and make sure that it is filled to full and make sure the color is good (not dark/black)....unfortunately lifters are pretty expensive new...but before you go replacing them know that this is pretty common...have a mechanic make sure far as the oil in the spark plug ports.....that would be your valve cover gasket......easy fix.....50 bucks tops if you do it yourself.....which I highly recommend considering the ease of the job. Also check the spark plugs....chances are due to the oil you've had a couple misfires depending on bad your oil is leaking and they may be damaged....if so replace them

    Jun 21, 2008 | 1998 Saturn SL

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