Mobil 1 and valves clicking

I currently drive a 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo with the 3.1L V6 and have used Mobil 1 5w30 in the car since I purchased it last year with 27,000 miles on it. I might add that the previous owner also used Mobil 1 but he used 10w30 and changed every 3-4 thousand miles. I have continued the same intervals while continuing to use Mobil 1 or PureOne oil filters just like the previous owner. My real concern is a metallic "rapping" or ticking sound when I start the car up of a morning and again when I leave work of an afternoon. The car now has 39,000 miles and runs great but the clicking bothers me. The clicking stops after the engine warms (2-3 minutes.) Should I try another oil, oil filter, or what should I do? Thanks for any advice.
 
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1,856
Location
PA
I have had this same issue with both (2) 3.8L V6 equipped GM vehicles and (2) Toyota 4cyl vehicles which all ran Mobil1 at one time or another. On my current case, a brand new V6 Camaro, I ran 10W-30 Mobil1 and instantly had this cold morning vale chatter (tri-synthetic was in it). Knowing this was a new car it concerned me and I switched to the slightly heavier 10W-30 Valvoline Maxlife (I happen to like Valvoline products equally as well) and my chatter went away. So far I have had nothing but absolute silence from my engine running this maxlife, and I have faith its a good product for the price. I do recommend, if you'd like to get rid of this chatter, trying another oil - whether it be maxlife or schaeffers or something else - I believe it should fix your problem. I chose the Maxlife because it appeared to be a better product than the Durablend, a product I had much success with for many years.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
It's not the oil, it's that engine. I had a 94 Grand Am GT with that 3.1 engine, same noise. Whenever I had that car, or my car after that, in for service, they gave me rental cars with that engine, and all of them made that noise. I ran a few different oils in that Grand AM, including Amsoil, and the noise never changed.
 
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1,856
Location
PA
That monte uses hydraulic non adjustable valves like my 3.8L does - so no they're not adjustable.
 
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47
Location
C'ville, VA
Let's not go blaming the oil again, mainly because it's not the oil's fault. Change the oil to stop the noise and you simply treat the symptoms, versus the underlying issue(s). The real issue at hand: GM
 
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11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
My Mazda 626 GT (turbo) is the same. Even after 2 x ArX cleans it has a ticky lifter some days that just won't 'pump up'. Actually have to turn the engine off to fix it. Mazda dealer said "they all do it". I blamed M1 0W40 and D1 at first but Pennzoil dino in there now for after ArX seal hardening and still the same.
 

wtd

Messages
2,763
Location
southwest Mo.
The 350 in my 98 chevy truck does the same thing. I'm using Mobil 1 5W-30 and have since about 14,000 miles and the truck now has 43,200 miles on it. I tried the 10W-30 Mobil 1 and the noise was louder so I switched back. The startup clatter has only been happening for about the last 12,000 miles, so I don't think its the Mobil 1. Wayne
 
Messages
901
Location
Northern Illinois
Sounds like a characteristic of the engine but assure yourself that you are using and engine with a good antibackflow valve. Next watch the oil pressure guage or idiot light for how long it takes the pressure to come up. If it takes longer than a second or second and a hlf, the oil is getting back down out of the passages somehow and they are having to fill up before the lifters/bearings get lubed. Not a good thing on these motors that start at the touch of a key. Thats probably why GM just announced that they are adding cold pumpability specs to GF-3 oils for 04. Approved oil will have to meet both the GF-3 and GM 6094M which cuts the cps at cold temps. From 60K to 40K for 5W oil for instance.
 
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263
Location
DFW, TX
My first reaction is that the lifters are compressing the oil out when sitting, but if this was the case, it should only take 15 or so seconds for them to pump back up. I agree with most. It is not the oil's fault and finding another oil which quiets the noise is only masking the problem.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by dickwells: Sounds like a characteristic of the engine but assure yourself that you are using and engine with a good antibackflow valve. Next watch the oil pressure guage or idiot light for how long it takes the pressure to come up. If it takes longer than a second or second and a hlf, the oil is getting back down out of the passages somehow and they are having to fill up before the lifters/bearings get lubed. Not a good thing on these motors that start at the touch of a key.
That's one thing that bothers me about modern engines. Actually, it's not so much that they start instantly, but the fact that they are programmed to rev it up to 2000 or 2500rpm right on that first cold start. That's gotta be murder on the parts on a -20F morning.
 
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1,933
Location
Oklahoma
I just switched the 02 Kia Cinco Wagon with auto trans to SS 10/30 two weeks ago. No different at all in engine noise- quiet as any motor,I am in the process of purging it for a few weeks and then will start a 6 month drain interval w/o analysis inbetween till spring with the factory filter. Then I will change and anylize that run then run in to late summer and anaylize w/o drain to see if I can extend another 2 months until the end of October 2003. At 1k or a bit more per month of hiway only commute drives it should and I hope it will do the 6 month interval. BTW. It starts cold and runs to 1200 rpm briefly" two- three seconds" then settles to 1K. When warm,idles on down signifigantly Cool thing is I finally made up my mind on what was to be used in the car,whew! I can watch some football now [Smile]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
When I started up my Firebird after work today I watched to see how high the rpms went on the cold start, and it only breifly spiked to 1500rpm, so that's not bad. I'll have to double check my wife's Civic, but I think it might go higher. With her car it sometimes seems to take a few more cranks before it fires (it always has since new, but not alarmingly long) so that in itself will help out (especially in cold weather)
 

liquidballbearing

Thread starter
Messages
125
Location
Campbellsville,KY
I'm only 26 years old and when I bought my GMC new in 1992 my dad told me to never, ever put a Fram filter on anything--and I haven't. I have used primarily AC Delco Duraguards but now use Mobil 1, Wix, PureOne, or NapaGold(wix.) I really like the look of the Wix filters (large holes, silicone valve, etc.) but there really isn't a lot of talk about them. My car doesn't have an oil pressure gauge but my truck does--the wix and ac's seem to hold really good pressure.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
That's one thing I neglected to mention (and probably should have) is that the noise these 3.1s make doesn't seem to hurt it's durability, it's just annoying. My next door neighbor has over 200k on his 3.1L Pontiac Sunbird, and a friend in my car club has about 240k on his 3.1L Grand Prix.
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Guys, I'm surprised that no one volunteered this info already. The noise you describe is CLASSIC "piston slap." The skirts of the piston (already kept short to reduce reciprocating mass, wear and they have room to rock in the cylinder. This is especially true when it is cold. Once the engine begins to warm up, the piston expands and the noise disappears. I used Red Line oil in my Civic that had this problem and it 85-90% disappeared. I think it's because of the moly in the oil but that's just an informed guess. The moly either plates up on the piston skirt and prevents the rocking action or it cushions the impact so it makes a lot less noise as it "slaps." In short, tyr Red Line or some other oil with a good dose of moly. --- Bror Jace
 
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2,480
Meant to post reply earlier....I've never owned your engine, but I too have experience increased valve noise with Mobil 1 than with other oils immediately after an oil change...this was especially true of 0-40 which was supposed to be an acceptable replacement for a 5-40 (called for in many Eur. cars). Not sure if this is due to build-up of varnish, sludge due to group III oils previously used or if the oil was too thin/thick for the hydraulic valve adjusters or if Mobil 1 (which looks like sewing machine oil to me because it's sooo pale in comparison to other oils) lacks addatives (Bob's already mentioned it has a 'poor' addative package - eg. no moly or low zddp, or others etc.)...maybe this is part reason for the new formulation.
 
Messages
190
Location
Minnesota
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Patman: [QB]It's not the oil, it's that engine. I had a 94 Grand Am GT with that 3.1 engine, same noise. Patman is right on here. I have a 93 Pontiac Grand Prix and a 94 Olds Achieva, both with the 3.1 v.6. It is the same sound in both engines, so it must be the nature, peculiraity of this engine. No problem, I have 227,000 miles on the Pontiac and 135,000 on the Olds and they both run great and get very good gas mileage. Good Day, Steven [Wink]
 
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