Intermittent Lifter Ticking. - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M3 & M4 > E36 M3 (1995-1999)

E36 M3 (1995-1999)

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-31-2014, 01:14 AM
Schuster Schuster is offline
Registered User
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: E36 ///M3
Question Intermittent Lifter Ticking.

Hey guys and gals, so here is my problem. My 98 M3 has developed some lifter tick. It appeared to get low on oil; still not sure how. I changed the oil to T6 and hoped the tick would go away. I have watched the oil level like a hawk, and it is not dropping.

Here is the problem, sometimes it has small to sever lifter tick, and other times it's perfectly quiet. I do not do any motor sports, the most I do is spirited driving. I've found that going one way on my commute, it will not have developed a tick, but going the other way it will (sometimes).

Also, it seems that if I keep it in a lower gear, keeping the RPMs closer to 3k+, it usually won't develop a tick. And when it does have a tick, I've been able to shift at around 6-6.5k, and the ticking quickly goes away.

I have over filled my oil just slightly, and that did not seem to do anything. I have tried bleeding the lifters, but not found that effective, though I will try it again. I don't think it's the oil pump, as my oil light does not come on and I don't believe I'm getting low pressure. I've read that others have had a similar issue, and they found that no oil type solved it, but driving a bit more spiritedly did.

My last E36, admittedly a 328, had no ticking of this sort at 160k, this M3 is only 130k. Perhaps my lifters are just damaged (worn), but I wouldn't expect them to tick intermittently.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Edit: More info. I believe it is a lifter tick, because it goes up and down with the RPM of the engine. Whereas Vanos tick generally does not...if I recall correctly. And an exhaust leak would not be intermittent.

Last edited by Schuster; 05-31-2014 at 01:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2014, 01:51 PM
pantdino pantdino is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1995 M3
How many lifters are ticking?
If it is just one there might be something wrong with that one lifter. If it is all of them you might want to have someone put a mechanical oil pressure gauge on the car to see if the gauge is accurate or the pressure is a bit low.

My car has what sounds like one lifter tick off and on but it hasn't gotten worse with time so I don't worry about it.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 05:31 PM
Schuster Schuster is offline
Registered User
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: E36 ///M3
Unfortunately I'm not sure if it's one or many lifters. I'll have to listen more carefully. But I don't it's a pressure issue because, as I've gone on, blipping the RPMs etc is not a sure fix. It seems to be random. The only thing I can think of is that somehow air is getting into the system and can't be bled out, or there is a particulate.

Or maybe some of them have just been damaged by low oil, and nothing can fix it but replacing all of them.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2014, 07:54 AM
fredsm3 fredsm3 is offline
Registered User
Location: Minneapolis
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW e46 M3
Hi all,

I bought a 2000 BMW M Roadster a few months ago. Recently, the car started to develop a very loud ticking noise that appeared to be coming from the valves. This became more and more pronounced in the last few weeks.

I was worried I may need to adjust the valves. However, apparently these cars have lifters so a valve adjustment is not the solution.

I read several posts on other forums and a few things came up. Number one, you should make sure the oil level is full. So if the capacity is 7 quarts, make sure it is not even a half quart low. Make sure it has at least 7 quarts and some people suggested adding a half or full quart to reduce the ticking.

Well, I had an oil change yesterday and of course they filled it to the full 7 quarts. The very loud valve chatter and ticking is completely gone! COMPLETELY.

I wanted to post this for readers that may experience the ticking. I think it's pretty common, so make sure your oil is topped up before you try anything else.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2014, 09:12 AM
Schuster Schuster is offline
Registered User
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: E36 ///M3
The capacity is 6.9, but yes, make sure it's up. I've read of some people runing 7.5 to 8 but anything past 7.5 or so seems too much to me.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 05:37 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,465
Mein Auto: BMW
Im sure you know this.. but, HEAT causes EXPANSION of METAL..

Shifting spiritedly at 6500K/RPM generates a sh!tload of heat.

Try running a clean-up system in the crankcase, changing oil brands, dino-cracked vs. synthetic, etc..
And if you haven't yet..
sea foam it.. in the case, in the gas, and in the intake.
Do spark plugs, clean clean clean all electrical connections and lube contacts.
In that order.
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
I don't have to read the username on these posts to know who wrote it.

Bmw-Mania, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

intermittent, lifter, tick

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M3 & M4 > E36 M3 (1995-1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms