I have had problems with my lifters ticking and my car is out of warranty. (2001 330I) My car only has 50k miles on it and I have taken it to three diff. dealerships trying to get advise. All dealerships I've spoken with tell me its a common problem that will in no way effect the longevity or performance of the engine. Basically just deal with it. I hate the noise though!! It sounds petty but it really ruins the driving expereince of the car. Finally I found something that works! This past weedkend I changed my oil. I used casteroil 10w-30 for one (slightly thinner so easier to pump up to the lifters). I also used a quart of Lucas Oil Treatment. After the change I started the car, made sure no lights were on, no leaks, correct oil level ect. The ticking was still there so I reved the engine slowly up to 4k rpms and held it there for about 30 seconds. This just pump oil up the lifter tubes. TICKING GONE!!!!! Pardon my french but, Lucas is the s**t!!
(note) It is recomended to remove a quart of oil and replace it with 1 quart of the Lucas oil treatment. I however did not. I run my engines about a quart high so my mixture is 7 quarts cateroil, and 1 quart Lucas oil treatment. This has never given me any trouble.