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Hydraulic lifters are a complicated little part that are integral to a complicated system. They use oil to control the amount of lift that the camshaft gives to the valves. The lifters make sure that your engine runs smoothly and remove the need for valve adjustments.
A hydraulic lifter is a cylindrical metal device that rolls on the camshaft and has a pushrod on the other end. There is a small hole in the bottom of the lifter for oil to move through into the middle of the tappet where it can compress against a piston when pressure is applied. This means that your valves open and close perfectly and don’t require maintenance.
Hydraulic lifters make sure that your valves are perfectly open and closed when they need to be. They are an important part of making sure your valve train works as it should and that your car runs smoothly.
The most noticeable sign is the loud tapping coming from the top of the engine when running. This means that the hydraulic aspect of the lifters has failed. Other indicators are the engine running rich or misfiring or poor low-end performance.
The mechanic will remove any engine coverings and anything else in the way of the heads. The valve covers will be unbolted and removed from the heads and cleaned. The roller-rocker arms and pushrods will be removed to allow access to the hydraulic lifters. The lifters will then be removed from the camshaft and replaced with pre-oiled new lifters. The pushrods and roller-rockers will be reinstalled and then the valve covers. Then all the engine toppings will be refitted and the car will be test run.
It’s a difficult process and that makes it an expensive job. Expect prices to start around $550 and go over $1500
They will only need replacing if they fail. The lifters themselves should last over 150,000km. If you hear any of the symptoms then it may be time to get them replaced.
No, but they do make your car run properly and that’s something you want. Make sure a professional does the work, it can be catastrophic if it goes wrong.
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