Oil and valve noise

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33,971
Location
Southern NJ
I've read several posts where people have complained that M1 was causing there valves to tap. Can oil effect something like this? I had this problem a few weeks ago and it has gone away. I can't say for sure it was the oil, but I'm running Amsoil now and curious if it was. When I switch back to M1, I guess I will be able to tell. I personally don't think it could be from the oil. Any thoughts?
 
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8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by buster: I've read several posts where people have complained that M1 was causing there valves to tap. Can oil effect something like this? I had this problem a few weeks ago and it has gone away. I can't say for sure it was the oil, but I'm running Amsoil now and curious if it was. When I switch back to M1, I guess I will be able to tell. I personally don't think it could be from the oil. Any thoughts?
My theory on this is that some oils are more prone to leak down from the hydraulic valve lifters than other oils. I know this is totally unscientific, but I actually think an engine (especially the lifters) has to get "used to" Mobil 1. I know that seemed to be the case with my Chrysler 300M. When I first got it and started using Mobil 1, if it sat for more than 24 hours, the lifters would leak down completely. It would make such a racket and run so rough when you'd start it you'd think it was going to come apart until the lifters got pumped back up--which usually took about 10-20 seconds. After a couple of oil changes (at 3000 miles), this stopped and has never repeated itself.
 
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874
Location
Pacific NW
Just from personal experience and hanging around a few engine builders over the years, but fwiw... When the noise goes away after a few minutes it's because warm oil flows more easily past obstructions and gets where cushioning is needed. It's likely the lifters that make noise briefly are plugged partially and taking longer to come up to useful pressure. Fresh oil, especially one with strong detergents (or synth), can break deposits loose and cause the obstructions. That same effect may also break up the problem given enough time, just as flushes and solvents do quickly while possibly causing other issues. No matter the oil, all hydraulic lifters leak down. The only time it might not happen is if a cold engine was started long enough to move some oil but not long enough to warm it up. There's another possibility. If the oil filter drains down or restricts cold flow for whatever reason, a 1st start may take longer to get oil to the valvetrain. We've heard several reports of different filters changing this behavior (i.e. Bob's recent report of a Fram making less startup noise than an M1.) Edit: Buster, to your question, M1 may break something loose that plugs a lifter that wouldn't happen with a less detergent oil. M1 may also flow better than the previous oil and therefore drain down more quickly. Any oil that gets to operating temp would do the same overnight but M1 or an equally flowing oil would do it faster and exaggerate the effect. IMO, these are good reasons to run Arx or 131 for the change before switching an older engine to a detergent oil (i.e. synth). David [ December 01, 2002, 12:30 AM: Message edited by: OneQuartLow ]
 
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34
Location
Arizona
I have a 1996 mazda miata that when the mineral oil used gets about 2500 miles on it the lifters peck briefly when started cold . This is a common problem with the miatas and is talked about quite often on the miata forum. Now many of the members have switched to mobil supersyn and the problem has gone away completely and one of the more knowledgable on oils at the site called redline and they said it was some build up from using a mineral oil causing this because the miata motor has tiny little orifices that a GM V-8 does not have for comparison. The way I understood the post even though a mineral oil is highly refined it still will have some wax. I see that Chevron mineral oil is ISO-dewaxed or something to the effect and some have said it lasts longer in their miatas before the clicking starts FWIW . A friend who is a good mechanic tells me a hydraulic lifter can bleed down and a thinner oil will allow for this more easily but he also says there are many designs and even how the lifter sits in the head or block and the oil system design can effect this bleed down . Who's right and who's wrong I don't know but I really doubt mobil supersyn oil causes any problems by itself .
 
Messages
333
Location
Detroit (Rock City)
quote:
Originally posted by worriedboutoil: I This is a common problem with the miatas and is talked about quite often on the miata forum. Now many of the members have switched to mobil supersyn and the problem has gone away completely and one of the more knowledgable on oils at the site called redline and they said it was some build up from using a mineral oil causing this...
Well, my '94 does it too, but it's never had anything but synthetics in it. In the cold I run M1 10w30, and lately it's had a nice long start-up tick. Summers I run about a 50/50 mix of M1 10w30/15w50 and that rarely (if ever) ticks even after a 25 minute hot lap session. Supposedly there are revised lifters with slightly larger orefii ( [Razz] ) that can cure the problem, but they're spendy... Robert
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
I think what some of ya’ll have been describing may be “piston slap” and may not have anything to do with the valves or the lifters at all. Lemme ‘splain: In cold conditions, my car (a ‘95 Honda Civic) makes a knocking sound. I have heard stuck lifter before but this sound is very different ... it’s much deeper. The colder the air temp, the louder the sound. What is happening (supposedly) is that the pistons skirts are shorter in modern cars as the engine builders are looking to get more power through the reduction in reciprocating mass. These shorter skirts wear faster and under cold conditions, the shrunken, slightly worn aluminum pistons are allowed to rock back and forth in the cylinder making the “slapping” or “knocking” noise. Once the motor begins to warm up, say 5 minutes, the pistons expand and fit tighter in the cylinder. That’s why the noise disappears gradually over the first few minutes. Altogether different are noises which last for mere seconds which could be attributed to lifters being pumped up and restrictive oil filters. I have heard other theories about piston slap involving the rings losing their sharp shoulders (allowing the piston to rock in the cylinder) as well as wrist pin wear. I just don’t know enough about these to describe them in much detail. It’s the design of the engine which allows this to happen after a few years ... but some oils seem better at preventing it and others allow it to manifest sooner. Earlier versions of Mobil 1 (their tri-synthetic) had a weak, emissions-friendly anti-wear package with few metallic additives. Cars which are ... 1) Prone to piston slap (by design) and 2) Life-long users of Mobil 1 ... seem especially prone to this highly annoying noise. [Mad] It’s odd, though. I used Mobil 1 almost exclusively up until 100,000 miles and my car never burned a drop of oil ... even while it knocked so loudly bystanders were sure it was about to throw a rod. [Eek!] Stuck lifters I have heard make a distinct clicking sound upon start up after the engine has been sitting for a while ... even in warm weather. And, as the lifter unsticks itself, the noise goes away suddenly. A stead “tick, tick, tick ...” and then relative silence. Just normal engine noises like the whine of accessory belts. The two phenomena can’t be mistaken for each other, they are too distinct. The only thing I have found which really makes a difference (for sure) in quieting down piston slap (once it has manifested itself) is Red Line oil ... even their 5W30. Right now, I am using Schaeffer Supreme 7000 synthetic blend and will be sending away a sample in another week or so to be tested. This car is currently making a new ticking/knocking noise so I can’t say for sure whether the Supreme 7000 is as effective as the Red Line or not. It’s just not a fair/even comparison. [Frown]Bror Jace
 
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22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
Bror, you just explained my car perfectly! A Grand Am with the 3.4L 60 degree V-6. All GM 60 degree V-6s are prone to piston slap for some reason. I have used Mobil 1 since about 2,000 miles in my car, mostly trisynthetic sine supersyn wasn't in existence back then. The piston slap has gotten louder, longer etc. over time and was especially bad with lower weights of mobil 1, ie. 0w- and 5w-30. Now, with 5w-30 and 10w-30 penzoil dino, it is still very much there, but not quite as bad as with mobil 1, and it's a diferent sound, not quite as "punishing" sounding! People have in fact yelled at me for fear of my engine blowing up. It's that loud sometimes [freaknout]
 
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133
Location
Pitcairn PA, USA
Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. To add to your comment about the shorter piston skirts wearing quickly, perhaps the solution is a moly coating on the skirts, a-la some of the higher performance honda engines?
 
Messages
874
Location
Pacific NW
quote:
Originally posted by Bror Jace: I think what some of ya’ll have been describing may be “piston slap” and may not have anything to do with the valves or the lifters at all. Lemme ‘splain:... Bror Jace
Very true! Those are frequently cross-diagnosed. Could be anything from worn guides to connecting rods. Check oil level first. Running low or high can cause all kinds of sounds, especially in hydraulic lifters. The bad noises aren't usually affected as much. David
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Neonmike22, In addiition to Honda and Acura coating the piston skirts of some of their engines with molybdenum, the newest Nissan Maximas do this as well. Look for the domestic manufacturers to start doing this in another few years. --- Bror Jace, Blind Squirrel at Large
 
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34
Location
Anywhere, USA
How is this moly coating applied and how long does anyone expect it might last? The more I read these forums (everyday) the more I am convinced that moly is more of an important additive than most realize and wonder why more oil formulations don't contain and advertise the fact that they contain moly. Mobil 1 now incorporates it but doesn't make mention of it. I am contemplating switching from Mobil 1, which I just installed, to Schaeffers since it has almost twice the moly. [Patriot] [Patriot] [Patriot]
 
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