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MG MGF Technical - ticking when idle

Whilst the head gasket guru's are online..

.. I got my VVC last year. The deal when I bought my VVC from Rover was a FULL service (sparks, air filter etc).

Its been great.
However, a few months ago I got the bad news from my Girlfriends 1.7 Puma the all was not well.

I decided on a unscheduled full-service.., and I'm glad I did.
I dicovered that although the oil had been changed.., the sparks were from new (dark, manky with a slight rust orange on the ceramic) and the air filter was black.

To the point Neil: -

My car a has had a ticking sound at idle. The service didn't cure it.
I am in the process of demanding Rover sort me out for their incompetance.

I am not a thrasher..
What do you think the problem could be?
What do I ask for?

I have no oil discolouration.., and the service along with an ITG filter kit sorted the Puma out ;-) (on track of course!)

Neil H

Possibly the VVC Mech perhaps..... Does the noise stay or go away when you increase the revs..

Could be the tappets again (see other thread). As I have found Tappets (followers) can get a bit noisy. When I had the HG replaced I did discover (well, Dave Andrews did to be perfectly honest) that two of my follwers had become badly scored.

Followers should naturally rotate spreading wear over their whole surface, if they start to wear unevenly more wear occurs in one direction and can result in a bit of a nasty noise. This is not really terminal just a bit annoying. Ultimately replacement is the answer. A good time to do this is when the Cam belt is changed.
tim woolcott

ouch! why doesn't this sound cheap..

I will have to push Rover hard for this one..
can I argue its down to lack of service?
Neil H

Tappets arn't too bad to do. The VVC mech is a bit more tricky but good secondhand examples can be had relatively cheaply. Don't panic it's not broken just a bit worn maybe. Might just be a matter of checking your oil level. Low oil levels can result in noisy tappets as too can thin fully synthetic oils, these have a tendancy to drain from the followers if the car is not driven for sometime causing the tappet noise.
tim woolcott

One of the simplist reasons why tappets make a noise is when the oil level is low. I guess you've already checked this though Neil, since you've commented on the colour of the oil?

Are we sure that the noise is from the tappets?

Certainly tappet noise is fairly common. Sometimes this can be due to oil sludge in the hydraulic tappets preventing them from re-charging properly. Doesn't really cause problems, and often a thorough oil system flush will solve the problem.

However, there are other causes of 'tapping' - including the 'phut phut' of a leaking exhaust manifold gasket (something that my car suffered from recently).
Rob Bell

No, I don't know that it is the tappets, but it does sound exacty like the sound my Mazda used to make when it was low on oil (okay, so I've sinned.. but I repented!).

Fully synthetic oil is an interesting one!
The tapping is worse now, and I did change my oil for the best fully synthetic stuff I could find. Hmm!

Thanks for the advice.. do you think its better not too put fully synthetic oil in then?
Neil H


You may like to read a page which Jerry Flint hosts on his website. This gives an excellent description of what oil is and what oil does. It will also tell you about the advantages of Mineral and synth oils.

tim woolcott

Ditto for chris longhurst:
Will Munns

I haven't looked into this, and I haven't read the threads in any depth (quick scan) - but I have noticed a number of reports of people complaining of tappet noise soon after an oil change...

I wonder what the cause of this is... inadequate oil retention in the hydraulic tappet resevoirs or something????

Answers on a postcard, to the usual address...
Rob Bell

Thanks for the heads-up.. In fact, I was thinking that I knew quite a lot about the different oils. I remember the discussions going round on this board.

What I hadn't realised is that a lovely, well manufactured, maybe magnetic(!?) and definately expensive oil could turn my darling VVC into a grandfather clock at idle.

That does explain it though because as the revs increase the ticking goes - probably because the oil is better distributed!

So what'd'ya do? Worse oil, worse performance, but sounding nice..,
Or good oil, good performance.., pants ticking.., which to me is whispering 'damage' everytime I hear it!?
Neil H

I have heard that UNIPART "Lifter Free" part number GAC 6305 @ 7:50 can reduce tappet noise, as can Redex fuel additive.

Sam Murray

I had this problem and tried some of the wymm tappet noise curer thingy stuff, noise went away but returned after a few weeks. In the end gave the engine a flush and new oil and seems so far 4 months on to have cured the problem.
R Baker

When you are driving along, you are hearing wind noise/engine noise/filter noie/exhaust noise. When you are stationary, idling, none of these are present, so you are hearing your watch ticking...

Sorry, i'll get my coat... :-)

Scarlet Fever


>> ticking when idle <<

Keep busy, this'll stop nervous ticks! :-)

SF <--- Picking up coat and walking out the door...
Scarlet Fever

I've ordered you a taxi! ;-)

Richard: - what oil did you put in the car after the change though.

When I hanged my oil I used additives (or whatever you call them) to flush out the engine, put syth in and that's how it all really started! ..
.. I can't see that doing it again will help, I'll jsut get another eye full of dirty oil and some scraped knuckles.
Neil H

This thread was discussed between 12/06/2003 and 13/06/2003

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