If your engine is making a ticking or knocking noise when you start it up or while driving, it is a sign you may have a jammed hydraulic valve lifter, jammed lifters affect can engine performance and can lead to more serious problems in the long term, so its best to nip the problem in the bud as soon as you can.
Lifters are part of your car’s oil system and ensure the valve train operates without clearance, reducing noise.
However, if your oil runs low, becomes dirty, or there is a build-up of grime within the lifter. It loses pressure and begins to tick.
The easiest way to remedy this is to use an oil additive, these break down the buildup of gunk and debris in your oil system, which will reduce the noise and help to keep your engine running smoothly.
Below we have rounded up the best oil additives for lifter noise on the market, so you can make sure your car will be running as efficiently as possible and get rid of that infernal tick-tick-ticking.
Along with the reviews we have also included a useful buyers guide so you can be sure you are using the best additive to eliminate the lifter noise in your vehicle.
In a hurry
Got a long trip coming up soon or just want to stop that annoying ticking whenever you start your car as soon as possible? Here’s our top pick to have your engine once again purring like a kitten and you back on the road.
Without a doubt, one of the best additives for lifter noise on the market is Marvel Mystery Oil.
Specially formulated to provide long-lasting protection to all of your engine’s internal components.
It acts as both a protective lubricant and a detergent, breaking down impurities in the oil and removing sludge and grime from your lifters and injectors.
Another perk of mystery oil is that it can be added to both your oil system and your gas tank to help boost your car’s performance. As well as reducing lifter noise, it can also prevent dry starts, issues in cold weather, and increase your gas mileage.
What's more, it can be used in practically any engine, and even smells good. It is no surprise that some people have compared it to the sweat of the gods.
OUR TOP PICK
Though little is known about the origins of this incredible lubricant and detergent, it is safe to say that the effects it has upon an engine with noisy lifters are nothing short of miraculous.
Putting this in my Mitsubishi which has ticked since I first bought it, I found after driving for a few miles it had all but illuminated the noises I would often hear coming from my engine.
The secret, or mystery, to Marvel Mystery Oil’s success at improving lifter noise and an engine’s overall performance, lies in the tricresyl phosphate compound found within it, which not only creates a protective coating throughout your engines oil system, reducing friction, and with it, noise, but it also gives the system cleaning of a lifetime, removing all manner of impurities from your oil and built-up gunk from your lifters, and oil system.
In addition to reducing lifter noise, Mystery Oil has also been known to improve a vehicle’s mileage, prevent dry starts, and help starting issues with diesel engines in cold weather to boot.
An incredibly adaptable additive Mystery Oil can be used in practically any engine type, including gas, diesel, bio-diesel, and power equipment,
It can also be used in conjunction with most types of oil including conventional, synthetic, and two and four-cycle oil systems, as well as in conjunction with other additives.
It can even be used as a replacement for up to 20 percent of the oil in your tank. Boosting its cleaning and quieting properties further.
If you want to stock up its available in money-saving 16oz multipacks, or as a One-gallon drum.
Versatile and potent, Mystery Oil is a superb additive, which is bound to have your engine roaring like a lion and purring like a kitten, rather than ticking like a clock.
- Can replace up to 20 percent of your oil
- Removes sludge and other impurities from your existing oil supply
- Prevents oil breakdown
- Can be used with a variety of engine, and oil types.
- improvements to gas mileage and engine performance may vary
Next on our list is the Archoil AR9100 Friction modifier.
Like a slippery cyborg sent through time to reduce the clattering noises coming from under your hood, Archoil AR9100 Friction modifier is a potent, albeit pricy, oil additive which guarantees to reduce noise coming from your lifters.
AR9100 works by coating the interior of your engine, including the gearbox, and hydraulic lifters with a lubricating film, thereby reducing friction in the part, and with it, noise.
Suitable for all types of diesel and gasoline engines, Archoil can also help to protect the engine during cold starts, increase engine power and response times, and can even extend the time needed between oil changes.
AR9100 combines extreme pressure additives with highly polarized esters which ensure all parts of the engine are lubricated, reducing a buildup in friction, heat, and noise.
It is worth noting though that you should only use 1.2oz of Archoil for every quart of regular engine oil.
Archoil proves the old adage that a little can go along way, as each 160z container offers numerous benefits to your car, including faster start times, smoother engine performance, increased mileage, and most important of all, all but eliminates lifter noise.
- Can increase fuel efficiency
- Reduces friction within the engine with a lubricating film
- Reduces sludge and engine deposits
- Pricier than the competition
- Results may vary
Coming in a clear plastic 12oz bottle which makes it look like it had been produced at a mad scientist’s clifftop retreat on a stormy night, zMax 51-212 is just as much the scientific marvel its easy-pour bottle alludes to.
zMax boosts performance and extends the life of your engine by cleaning and coating its parts with a thin film, as well as reduce carbon buildup inside the engine.
It can also help reduce emissions in both old and new cars and potentially increase an engine’s horsepower.
What’s more, it gets to work right away, after adding zMax to my our oil we noticed an immediate improvement in the amount of sound produced by our vehicles once noisy lifters.
It’s worth noting though that zMax 51-212 engine formula is powerful stuff and should only be added to your gas or diesel engine once every six months or 6,000 miles. Therefore we would recommend adding it during your next oil change just to be on the safe side.
With speedy results and plenty of additional benefits, using zMax 51-212 engine formula will help you make sure that your engine lives, damn you, lives, for a long time to come, instead of hearing it ticking down to its demise.
- Instant improvements to lifter noise
- Extends engine life
- Can reduce emissions while increasing horsepower
- Does not coat parts as well as thicker oils
Trust the Germans to get straight to the point. As its name suggests Liqui Moly Hydraulic lifter additive has been specifically designed to tackle lifter noise.
It does this by optimizing the performance of hydraulic tappets within your engine lifter by cleaning and lubricating the ducts and holes within the oil circuit.
As a result not only is the lifter noise reduced but the overall performance of the vehicle is increased as well.
Liqui Moly can be used in both diesel and gas engines, and with all types of commercial oils and is safe to use on cars with either a catalytic converter or turbocharger as long as they have an engine which uses 1.6 liters or more of engine oil.
The only downside to Liqui Moly is that although it works very well, and can often eliminate ticking tappets, the results do wear off over time, and it often takes a few miles of driving before you see results.
If you want something to clean your lifters and stop that irritating ticking sound, without any of the boastful claims of some other brands of additives, Liqui Moly 2004 is the additive for you.
- Specifically formulated to clean and quiet lifters
- Stops ticking sounds caused by faulty tappets
- Removes grime from fuel system
- Works well but wears off.
- Requires you to drive a few miles before it kicks in
Rislone claims its Engine Treatment Conditioner and Cleaner is ‘like a multivitamin for your car’ and it’s easy to see why.
This oil additive, specially formulated for everyday use, reduces the noise from ticking lifters and reduces engine friction and wear.
It also includes sludge busting detergents to help improve the overall performance of your engine without voiding your warranty.
Rislone can also be used in both diesel and gas engines and can be used at any point when you need to top up your oil. You just put in the appropriate amount and watch it go to work.
If you have a new vehicle with a noisy lifter that needs silencing we would recommend taking Risole for a spin, as it won’t void your warranty while dramatically reducing friction within the engine and improving performance.
- Reduces lifter noise and removes sludge from your fuel system
- Doesn’t void vehicle warranty
- Reduces friction within the engine
- Results may vary
Best Additive For Lifter Noise Buying Guide
When your engine’s hydraulic lifters become worn, dirty or lack lubrication they begin to tick loudly, this can also be accompanied by a loss in engine power and performance.
This can lead to a loss in internal pressure and the adjusters which optimise your engine’s performance to not work as effectively.
Oil additives are a cheap and effective way of improving performance as they are specifically formulated to improve lubrication of an engine's moving parts, improve the viscosity of the oil already in the system and break down harmful gunk and grime within the fuel system.
Finding the best additive for lifter noise
Oil additives are blends of chemicals which are added to regular motor oil to help it circulate through the engine, the additive works by lubricating parts within the fuel system to reduce friction, and as a result wear and tear, and noise.
They can also be used to improve the efficacy of an engine, increasing fuel efficiency and extending the time needed before your next oil change.
Most also include detergents to reduce to break down the harmful buildup of sludge and dirt within your oil system.
Each oil additive contains different ingredients which are used to improve engine functions in different ways.
Below is a list of common ingredients and their function so you can be sure to select an oil additive which is suitable for your needs and your engine.
Lubricating Oil Additives (LOAs) and Extreme Pressure Agents.
These are added to reduce the amount of friction between metal components within an engine. The most common LOAs is phosphorus, while boron and molybdenum are also used as alternatives. Though all of these
materials are very effective it is worth noting that phosphorus can create a build up of
unwanted carbon in cars with catalytic converters over time, and therefore should be used sparingly.
Meanwhile extreme pressure agents such as potassium-borate and sulphur-phosphorus form a film on the surface of metal parts which is resistant to the high pressure created while an engine is running thus reducing wear and tear.
This is often combined with phosphorus to boost an engine's overall performance and efficacy. Like Phosphorus, zinc should be used sparingly as overuse can damage catalytic converters.
These are added as a means of increasing horsepower and fuel economy. The most common of these is Titanium oxide, which is known to reduce sound within the engine quickly and also does not cannot damage a catalytic converter like zinc and phosphorus compounds can.