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The Best Oil Additive for Lifter Noise: 5 Top-Rated Picks

Best Oil Additive for Lifter Noise

Any engine noise erupting from within your car while you’re on the road is alarming. And irritating.

It’s best to pop that hood and check on it right away!

If your lifter is causing the sound, then you’re in luck since we’ve got a great list of the best oil additives for noisy lifters!

A bottle of this powerful liquid will do just the trick to quiet it down.

Now, let’s get to it so you can get working!

Best Value
Liqui Moly Hydraulic Lifter Additive
Best Overall
Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive
Best Budget Pick
Rislone Concentrated Engine Treatment
Table of Contents

5 Best Engine Oil Additives for Lifter Noise or Lifter Tick

1. Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive

Best Overall

Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive

You’re looking at THE oil additive for ALL vehicles!

The Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive looks tough, and IT IS. It ticks off everything we need in an oil additive.

You can count on it to:

  • Reduce the wear and tear of your engine
  • Get rid of the rust
  • And reduce engine noise and temperature!

Key Features:

  • Compatible not only with diesel and gasoline engines but also with gearboxes, hydraulics, and power steering systems
  • Capacity of 1.2 ounces per quart

Solid Lubricating Film

The Archoil AR9100 is a Nanoborate-based oil additive that forms a mighty lubricating film to effectively protect your engine from friction.

Along with that, it provides anti-wear, anti-corrosion, and extreme pressure protection for your car’s internal components.

More Mileage

This product improves gas mileage through an extension of oil life so that you can drive for more before having to change your oil.

This is PERFECT for those who are not always aware of their oil levels and cannot carry out an oil change in time.

Improved Oxidative Stability

Regular use of the Archoil AR9100 will remove carbon, debris, or other sludge accumulated in the engine components.

Additionally, it improves the oxidative stability of your engine, thereby reducing the rate at which it disintegrates.

Should You Buy the Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive?

The Archoil AR9100 is definitely one of the best oil additives for noisy lifters we can recommend!

It does not simply diminish engine noises. It delivers everything you could wish for in a lifter noise additive in the best and most effective way possible.


  • Powerful lubricating film to reduce friction
  • Reduces carbon deposits for a healthier engine performance
  • Can withstand extreme temperatures


  • More expensive than other oil additives

2. Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Additive

Best Value

Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Additive

The Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Additive will do so much more than just get rid of lifter noise.

This product deserves all the praise it’s getting as it ticks off everything you need in an oil additive.

It’s the real deal!

Key Features:

  • Compatibility: ALL commercial engine oils
  • Compatible with both gasoline and diesel engines, PLUS if your engine features turbochargers
  • Sufficient up to 6 liters or 1.5 gallons of motor oil

Better Engine Performance

While reducing engine noise, the Liqui Moly additive also cleans and clears the valves and holes in the hydraulic tappets to optimize performance.

It ensures they are in top shape.

Enhanced Oil Lubrication Properties

Don’t be too shocked when you feel your car engine components are getting improved lubrication. You have the Liqui Moly to thank for that!

This way, you will also be getting better fuel economy and cleaner oil passages.

Consistent Viscosity

Even if it allows your car to reach optimum engine efficiency, the Liqui Moly additive will not interfere with the properties of your engine oil.

It can work efficiently without having any effect on viscosity!

Should You Buy the Liqui Moly Lifter Additive?

You don’t even have to think twice!

The Liqui Moly 20004 is definitely one of the best oil additives on the market.

It’s an excellent choice for almost anyone with any type of vehicle. Not only does it get rid of lifter noise, but it provides an overall improvement to your car for the long run!


  • Just a small amount is enough to get the work done
  • Improves performance of old engines
  • Cleans valve bores
  • Works in both cold and hot climates


  • Not suitable for motorcycles that use wet clutches

3. Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment

Best Budget Pick

Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment

The Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment works a mile a minute, showing off results by removing debris, quieting lifters, and improving the overall performance of engine components.

Additionally, it will not mess with your oil viscosity.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with turbo, gasoline, or diesel engines
  • Compatible with tractors and trucks using a diesel engine
  • Capacity of 16.9 ounces per 5 quarts

Instant Results

The Rislone 4102 starts working its magic from the moment it is poured! Say goodbye to the sludge inside your oil passages within minutes!

Not only does it remove unwanted particles so quickly, but it also prevents the formation of more!

Additives on Additives

Don’t be fooled by its price, as the Rislone 4102 is a high-quality penetrating lubricating oil.

It even contains great additives to enhance its cleaning properties while fighting away engine noise from the noisy lifter.

Plus, it cleans without obstructing oil passages in any way!

Perfectly Safe for All

The Rislone 4102 is formed with non-reactant substances that are not dangerous for your engine. It also works very well with tractors or truck engines that use diesel.

Go on — you can add this with your engine oil anytime!

Should You Buy the Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment?

We don’t see why not!

The Rislone 4102 provides such great value at a solid price! It has everything you need to maintain a clean engine with no lifter noise.


  • Affordable
  • Allows for a smoother ride
  • Works particularly well with older engines


  • It may require more dosage for older or dirtier engines

4. Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R

Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R

Next up is the Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R, which is one of the most highly economical, effective and versatile oil additives for noisy lifters.

Although it is neck and neck with the Liqui Moly in terms of performance, this one has a few more unique things to offer!

Key Features:

  • Compatible with conventional, synthetic and 2 and 4-cycle motor oil
  • Compatible with diesel and gasoline engines AND ethanol fuels
  • It can be a replacement of 20% of your current engine oil

Prevention of Sticky Valves

Your engine might not be working well because of sticky valves that end up moving slowly.

Marvel Mystery Oil thins the sticky oil residue left on the valves found in the fuel system preventing acid or sludge build-up and decay inside the engine.

This way, the car engine will run smoother and lighter!

Perfect Engine Boost

This versatile oil additive will also prevent your engine oil from evaporating as it maintains its consistency which helps with efficiency and ability to function under extreme temperatures.

Squeaky Clean

The Marvel Mystery Oil contains tricresyl phosphate, which will improve the sloughing capacity of your oil.

With this, your engine will definitely get the cleaning of a lifetime!

Should You Buy the Marvel Mystery Oil MM12R?

YES! You can’t go wrong with this one.

The Marvel Mystery Oil will ultimately improve your overall fuel economy while cleaning your engine, preventing oil inconsistency, fortifying the oil base properties, AND reducing lifter noise!


  • Works on fuel injectors and carburetors
  • Can withstand very cold temperatures, especially during starts
  • Affordable


  • Not compatible with most motor oils

5. zMAX 51-212 Engine Formula

zMAX 51-212 Engine Formula

Mad scientist lab experiment?! No, that’s the zMAX 51-212 Engine Formula oil additive! This is a great additive that:

  • Extends the life of your engine
  • Enhances efficiency
  • Improves fuel mileage
  • And turns your noisy ride into a quiet one

Key Features:

  • Compatibility: ALL types of oil
  • Compatible with different motor types
  • Capacity of 12 ounces for 7 quarts

Extended Engine Durability

This product will extend the time between your oil changes since it provides a thorough cleaning to your car engine, thus reducing friction.

Over time, you will have a car engine with a longer lifespan!

That means more road trips!

Rust Reduction

The zMAX 51-212 contains micro-lubricant particles for maximum friction reduction:

  • It will eliminate floating rust and the layered rust on your engine’s valve train.
  • It can dissolve the accumulation of carbon and sludge in the engine, which will quickly give you a silent lifter.

Scheduling is Key

With zMAX, it is recommended to be used every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first, to see the best results.

This means that if you’re looking for a quick or one-time fix, this is NOT the product for you.

Should You Buy the zMAX 51-212 Engine Formula?

If one of your main criteria for choosing the best is optimum friction reduction, then look no further.

PLUS, you will enjoy a longer life with your car!

What more can you ask for?


  • Compatible with motorbikes and wet clutches
  • Reduces harmful emissions by reducing engine deposits


  • Not suitable for engines that require thicker oils
  • It needs to be used consistently and as directed to experience its effects

What Causes Lifter Noise in the First Place?

Lifter noise is a prevalent issue, especially for older and heavily used cars with a lot of fuel mileage or is not serviced regularly.

Duration and the type of engine noise it produces can vary — from tapping noise to ticking or knocking noise.

These noises can indicate that there’s a problem with your car. Furthermore, it can cause further damage if you do not address it as soon as possible.

So what triggers these frustrating sounds?

1. Dirty Engine Oil

If you’re experiencing a noisy lifter, this could mean that you have an oil problem or had a bad oil pump.

Your oil is important as it provides lubrication to ensure that the engine performs effectively.

There may be a build-up of dirt, sludge, or mud around the lifters or along the valve train. This causes your lifter to malfunction, thus the ticking noise.

We recommend regularly changing your engine oil to prevent this.

2. Low Engine Oil

Like having dirty engine oil, having low oil levels can also give you a noisy lifter.

Your engine will not have enough lubrication, causing metal parts to clash with one another, thus the sounds.

Be aware of your engine oil levels through the car’s board. If it’s blinking, then you may be in trouble.

It’s best to bring your car to a mechanic to fix this even if you don’t hear any irritating noise yet.

3. Incompatible Viscosity

Viscosity is the measure of how thick or thin your oil is. You may be using an oil that is too thick or too thin for your engine and worn hydraulic lifters.

When picking out the oil for your car, don’t forget to check its label for the oil’s viscosity.

You must ensure that your pick will be suitable for your car by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions. They set the ideal viscosity for the car.

Choosing the Best Oil Additives for Noisy Lifters: What to Consider

Choosing and buying oil additives isn’t as easy as it seems. There are many factors to consider to ensure that you’re choosing the right one for your beloved car.

Good thing we’ve laid them all out for you!

#1 Thickness

MYTH: The thickest oil additive is the best one.

The thickness of oil additives is crucial for compatibility and performance.

Check your oil passages — Are they narrow or wide?

Make sure you use the right kind of oil additive for your engine. You may refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you have a NARROW engine, it would be best for you to choose thin liquid, while WIDER openings need something thicker to flow in them.

If it’s TOO THIN, you will not be getting proper lubrication and padding, resulting in the metal parts damaging one another. This will cause a general decline in your engine performance.

On the other hand, if your liquid is TOO THICK, it won’t be able to pass through the tiny hole in the side of the oil filter.

#2 Chemical Composition

You should check out the bottle’s label to see what the product is made of.

Different products contain different ingredients, which will affect your engine differently.

While most oil additives contain mineral oil or petroleum distillates, it’d be ideal to choose one with zinc or phosphorus as these will enhance your engine’s performance and reduce wear and tear.

#3 Optimization of Engine Performance

A good oil additive will reduce lifer noise and friction inside your engine.

Friction is caused by metals colliding against one another. Too much of this is no good for your car engine as certain parts could get chipped or damaged.

A good oil additive should be able to lubricate and form a guard around the metal parts of the lifter. It can act as an oil stabilizer.

Preventing friction may subsequently prevent heat build-up inside the engine and improve the life of your vehicle.

#4 Clearing and Preventing Debris

Aside from reducing friction, another main function of an oil additive is to clear and carry away debris and rust from the valve train.

Moreover, it should also prevent the future occurrence of debris and rust by lubrication, which may hinder the lifter from functioning properly and efficiently.

#5 Miles per Gallon Increase

Go the extra mile with your oil additive. Literally.

Yes, they should reduce friction and clear away debris and rust to give you a smooth ride, but did you know you can take them further?

The best one will give you an increase in gas mileage, meaning your car engine parts will be working better than ever.

An increase in miles per gallon (MPG) will boost the performance of your car engine!

#6 Compatibility

Not all oil additives were created equal.

Like engines that require certain motor oils, the same goes with lifters and oil additives.

They have certain specifications, which are usually indicated by a code found on the bottle.

Before you decide on a specific product, check your car manual to see what kind of engine you have AND the additive’s label to confirm if it is safe to use for your car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Synthetic Oil Quiet Noisy Lifters?

It depends on the cause of your lifter noise!

If the sound is because you haven’t changed your oil in a while (and you should!), switching to synthetic oil could do the trick.

However, if there’s noise because of the hydraulic valve lifters themselves, you will need to change this completely.

Synthetic oil’s job is to add lubrication to the engine, improving its overall system efficiency.

Moreover, synthetic oil enhances the efficiency of your car’s hydraulic systems.

It also thickens as it is used, which will give you a consistent viscosity level, which will lead to less friction and a more intact oil film.

What Kind of Oil Is Best for Noisy Lifters?

The best kind of oil is the correct oil.

We can’t stress enough the importance of checking your manufacturer’s instructions or the car manual to find what type and weight of oil are recommended for your unit.

Whatever oil that may be, this is your best bet.

And no matter what it is, make sure you get an oil change regularly. Dirty oil and low oil levels are the enemies here!

Remember this before doing anything to make your car quieter.

Will Thicker Oil Stop Lifter Noise?

As mentioned above, you should know what viscosity is suitable for your engine parts.

A thicker oil won’t necessarily quiet a noisy engine.

You may even get the opposite result as thicker oil will reach the top of the engine at a slower rate.

Hydraulic lifters have a small hole in the body for oil to enter. Heavier engine oils may not fill the lifter at a sufficient pace, hence the noises.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive

The Archoil AR9100 tops our list. It’s got everything you need and more!

From its intense lubricating properties to anti-wear protection, you can say goodbye to all that lifter noise and hello to a healthier engine!

Best Value: Liqui Moly Hydraulic Lifter Additive

This ultra-reliable product will not disappoint!

It will provide you with enhanced engine performance, improved lubrication, and consistent viscosity while keeping the lifter noise at bay.

Best Budget Pick: Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment

Get more for less with the Rislone 4102 Concentrated Engine Treatment!

You will be surprised at the quality AND quantity you get with this thing. One bottle will go a long day. Literally.

It will deliver results in no time, which means you can quickly get on with your ride!

Final Words

Although we’ve put together a lineup of the best oil additives for noisy lifters, only you know the one bottle that will be perfect for your car.

We know you can’t wait to get your hands on that and bid that tapping noise goodbye. You will not miss it!

Enjoy the ride, folks!

About the Author


Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.