My van has 150,000 miles and has just recently started tapping sounds like it is either a lifter or a valve. It runs fine with no skipping or missing and tapping stops after engine is at operating temperature. Can anyone offer any suggestions to this problem.
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If you have hydraulic valve lifters, then one or more are leaking down which increases valve clearance. Put a can of lifter cleaner in the oil and drive it for a while. If you have solid lifters, just adjust the valve clearances.
Lifter noise is typical of an oil pressure issue, or when oil channels are clogged from infrequent oil changes.
You can start by changing the oil and REPLACING THE FILTER. Marvel Mystery Oil or other oil treatments will help clean the oil system and quiet the lifters. If an oil change and crankcase oil additive helps quiet the noise, change your oil every 500 miles for at least 2000 miles, and the lifter noise is likely to stop. Are you getting a CHECK ENGINE light, or an OIL PRESSURE warning? Have ODB codes checked, and be prepared to replace the oil pump or oil pickup tube, especially if the car has over 150,000 miles. Once you have correct the issue, change oil more frequently.
if you have a stethascope or even a wood dowel i would check the lifters. if you have higher miles this sounds like a hydraulic lifter pumping up. if you change to a heavier oil it will go away or reduce. thats the cheap fix.
solid lifters? i could be wrong but i think they are hydraulic lifters. ive had quite a few of them not pump up when re-installing the valvetrain and cause a tick. pull off the valvetrain and check to see if all the lifters/tappets are firm with no squish. that might be your problem
Most likely its just your lifters clapping as they make contact, until the oil starts flowing good through them, then it goes away. My car has been doing that for a long time. Never had any problems. The rods are pushed up by the camshaft, the rods push down rocker arms which then open the valves. The rods are round at the tips and sit in lifters that pump oil through them up to the top of the engine and then out onto the valve springs. If your car has a lot of miles you may consider putting a thicker oil, something like 10w40.