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A tapping noise that starts out cold and goes away when warm is usually caused by a valve lifter inside the engine. The lifter may be worn/leaking down and will be noisy until it fills with oil pressure. You can try an oil additive ( Lucas Oil Additive ) available at most part stores works very well with noisy lifters. Another noise that can happen cold and go away when warm is an exhaust manifold leak. However, this is normally a ticking type sound rather than a tapping sound.
This sounds like low oil or engine bearing damage, and last a bad oil pump but if engine is noisey then engine internal bearing damage may have happened,i would check oil preasure first and then go from there,
the oil pump is working when it,s hot too you just don,t see the results because the oil is now hot and thinner once engine comes up to operating temp. the tolerances on the main and rod bearings are so large that the pump cannot produce pressure have you ever tried to wash car with just water hose does not work well you put your finger over the end of hose create a restriction and now you have pressure water sprays out hard well when all bearing surfaces are in good shape and bearing clearences are in spec. it is a very tight fit that the pump has to pump oil out of pan thru oil galleries and to and thru bearings this produces pressure pull the oil pan mark it,s location remove one main bearing cap and one rod bearing cap plasti-gage and you will see your problem
They can be noisy, my rodeo sounds like a diesel. But, it might be something else, belt tensioners usually only tap, one time every rpm, valves might make more racket, rods sound like a snare drum under neath the car, check the oil, the sound should be coming from the front of the engine. Water pumps, alternators, ac comp, all can be noisy. Turn off the ac when listening. Watch out for the fan. A long screwdriver or a piece of wood with ear against the end will quickly find a noisy part.
First check the oil level. Do this on a level surface. Make sure it's close to the full mark, or in the operating range on the dipstick. Next check to see how old the oil is. Is the vehicle well past it's scheduled oil change? If the above checks out, then I suggest the oil pump is bad. Oil light being on, and noisy hydraulic lifter noise is directly related to low oil pressure. The oil light should come on at 3 lbs of pressure.
Rule of thumb is 10 lbs. of pressure for every 1000 Rpm.
Vehicles have a by-pass valve in the oil system. This comes into play when the filter is clogged up. The oil flow goes past the filter.
This by-pass valve is usually located in the engine block, where the filter attaches. It's up in the block itself. Depends on the vehicle, as to whether this statement hold true. There are many designs for an oil system.