Lifters on Olds question

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May 12, 2003
Have a '90 Olds, 3.3 V6, 170K miles and lifter noise (this post is similar to the one below but it's not a Dodge) Have had this for some time. Have used both 5W and 10W's but no changes were noted. I've got in the habit of timing the noise before it goes away, roughly about 30 to 45 seconds ( I always let the car warm up, even when it's 150 ka-jillion degress in southwest Oklahoma in the summer time) Throughout the years, the time has remained constant, regardless of temperature or weight of oil. But once it's gone away after those seconds, it's gone until the next morning.
You think switching to a synthetic oil would help?
Have read all the pros/cons on switching to a synthetic oil on an engine that's this old and been this reliable. Doesn't burn oil at all and rpm's are still the same at a given speed as it was when new. Would maybe doing the Auto-RX help? I get the feeling like Dad always said "if it ain't broke, then dammit, don't fix it."
I do not think that oil is going to solve your problem. If it is lasting that long it is mechanical. With out hearing it myself I can not say for certain but I have not run into to many clicking, ticking, clattering of knocking noises that have been solved with oil change or additives.
Sounds like a lifter pumping up on startup, which could mean either a dirty lifter, oil leak-down, or it needs an adjustment.

Run some Auto-RX, Lube Control, or Neutra in the crankcase and if the noise persists, pull the valve covers and adjust the tappets. This is best done with those oil retaining clips while the engine is warmed-up and running.
170k miles and you're worrying about a little noise???? I wouldn't bother with(the cost of) synthetic after that many miles. There are no pros/cons to switching. Its just a choice.

Try switching brands of filters since you haven't mentioned whether it occured with different filters.

Its Rislone or Marvel Mystery Oil time which should only cost $3 at the local wallyworld.

Remember that no additive can fix a broken/worn mechanical component.

Timing chain can also cause noise.
Transmission can make noise that echos into engine compartment sounding like engine noise.
Know for a fact it's the lifters, used a stethoscope on it. Auto RX time???? Well, couldn't hurt and I've read some good post regarding that product. But, undummy is right too, that many miles........... goes back to Dad's saying....if it ain't broke, don't fix it (then again, most of his stuff was broken and that's how I learned about engines). Thanks for the input.
Something may be in the process of breaking, and in the least, it's annoying.

Since pulling the valve covers is a minor task in most cases, it wouldn't hurt.

I once had a 327 Chevy that made lifter noise and found the rocker arm studs were backing off.

However, in your case, I think its either a dirty hydraulic lifter or in need of adjustment.

Good luck!
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