Top 5 Oil Additive For Lifter Ticks & Engine Knocking (2022)


Hearing a strange sound from your car can be worrisome. It may indicate that there is something wrong with your vehicle and can distract you when you need to be focused on your driving.

The longer it persists and worsens, the more likely more damage is occurring to your vehicle that will require extra effort and money to get fixed.

This is why car owners should make a point to be attuned to changes in their vehicles. Unusual new sounds should be cause for concern and encourage the car owner to investigate fast.

Sometimes it could be something as simple as engine oil draining out after that car has sat idle for a prolonged period, while in other instances it could be as serious as worn bearings.

When the problem seems to be engine knocking or an indicative sound of a jammed valve lifter, using an oil additive for lifter noise is often the best solution that will aid your engine oil in flowing smoothly and put a stop to the ticking or knocking sound. As you keep using your car, there will be an accumulation of dust, rust and other debris that collects from the motor oil. This can interfere with the air and oil flow within the engine which results in problems like an engine knock.

Fortunately, adding a quality additive for knocking engine problems can resolve the problem and restore your car’s performance. There are many oil additives to choose from in the market. Here we will give our top five best additive for lifter tick recommendations and why you should consider them.

Before we delve into the best oil additives for lifter tick you should be considering for your vehicle, let us look at some of the reasons why engine knocking or noise may be occurring and why you should make a point of addressing the problem as soon as possible.

Why Your Engine Might Be Making These Noises

Valve lifters are cylindrical parts within the engine through which engine oil is channelled to lubricate as it raises the pushrod. Their movement is typically quiet, so when you begin to hear a knocking or ticking sound, there could be several reasons for this.

Low oil

One of the most common causes is having engine oil that is running low, hence causing moving parts to lack lubrication and resulting in knocking sounds from metal-to-metal contact. This is easily remedied by regularly checking the level and topping up when needed. Also, consider switching to a higher quality oil that will help reduce engine wear.

Dirt in the lifters

This can happen when you are not keen on engine maintenance or oil changes. Engine oil gradually gets dirty as you use the car. It starts gold or yellow coloured and darkens with time as dirt builds up. For proper maintenance, you need to drain the oil about once or twice a year.

Using oil that is too thick or thin

When the oil is too thin, there is insufficient lubrication for moving parts which people sometimes think they can solve by using thicker oil. This may however not solve the underlying cause of the problem and just be a band-aid that covers up the situation that may prove more expensive to fix later.

Worn parts

Worn or faulty parts are a common cause for knocking engines, especially in older vehicles. Hence the reason you need to be more vigilant about maintenance and repairs with older cars and perform oil changes more frequently.

Whenever there is a lack of sufficient lubrication in the engine to the point that you can hear knocking, there is always a chance that damage has already begun to occur to the internal engine parts. Issues such as engine rod bearing failure or damaged valvetrain components can lead to engine noises and should be attended to sooner rather than later to avoid more extensive and expensive damage occurring. As soon as you notice such sounds, get to a mechanic as soon as possible to figure out the source and how to fix it.

The Best Additives For Lifter Noise / Engine Knocking

If the reason your engine is knocking is due to the wrong oil viscosity (oil that is too thick or too thin) or dirt buildup, you can use an engine oil additive for noisy lifters as a solution. Other additives can be introduced to other oils in parts such as the transmission and differentials that can help improve lubrication and reduce the sound of moving parts knocking into each other.

Just like with an engine, these areas also have moving parts that rely on certain oils to help keep them functioning smoothly. There are different kinds of oil additives you can use such as flushing agents for cleaning out debris from the engine and viscosity improvers that can be used to increase the thickness or thin engine oil. You can also find detergent and dispersant additives that help keep engine oil clean and free of deposits.

Different kinds of additives can improve the quality of the oil you already have by clearing away rust, corrosion, and other debris, enabling the oil to flow more smoothly and putting a stop to the noise. While the additives can be introduced at any time to improve this situation, it is generally recommended to carry out an oil change when adding them. If you are looking for what is the best oil additive to stop engine knocking and other mechanical noises, check out these five recommended options.

1. K&N Performance+ Diesel Cetane Booster

The best oil additive for lifter noise in diesel engines is the K&N Performance+ Diesel Cetane Booster. Available in a 12-ounce bottle that can treat up to 35 gallons of fuel, this top-selling additive is designed to specifically boost towing power and acceleration by helping to break down and removing deposits throughout the fuel system that are causing the car’s performance to decline.

Its cleaning and lubrication action extends to other components including fuel injectors, pistons, and components in the combustion chamber. You can enjoy better efficiency and throttle response as acceleration is boosted by up to seven points. As a ULSD additive, it ensures lesser diesel emissions while remaining safe and effective to use even with older engines. It also boosts cold temperature performance, reducing the problem of no-starts and misfires.

As a cetane booster, you can expect this additive to reduce the ignition delay time while improving fuel combustion and engine efficiency. It also helps to achieve lower deposits, smoke emissions and slow down fuel consumption without impacting quality. You will enjoy better mileage as more miles are gained per gallon and longer-lasting engine life. You also get a quieter running engine that will make for more comfortable rides.


  • Improved acceleration and towing power
  • Strong cleaning action on engine components
  • ULSD compatible
  • Improved mileage and performance
  • Reduced engine sound

2. Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Additive

The Liqui Moly 20004 Hydraulic Lifter Additive is suitable for use in a wide variety of vehicles including those with catalytic converters and turbochargers. This trusted German brand offers great value for money and has proven highly effective at reducing and preventing engine noise caused by sticky hydraulic tappets in older engines. A single can is adequate for up to 6 litres of engine oil.

Users have reported a significant reduction in valve tapping within just a few hours of application and warming up the engine. It is also highly efficient in extracting dirt buildup from the oiling system passages, including rust and particles that cling to the valvetrain and other parts. You should be able to see an improvement in the colour of the engine oil that brings it closer to its original yellow or gold colour, even with a few thousand miles since the last oil change.

It works well on both gasoline and diesel engines, including turbocharged options. You also should be able to see an improvement in the gas economy of your vehicle. Consider using it alongside the brand’s anti-friction oil treatment during oil changes to further encourage the smooth operation of your engine. It cleans out the holes and ducts in the oil system to improve the performance and function of timing chain tensioners.

However, avoid using this for motorcycles as it is not suited to wet clutches. Overall, a great product from a reputable brand that has proven effective in cleaning out debris from the oil of older engines without interfering with viscosity. Easily one of the best oil additive for noisy lifters that delivers enhanced reliability, fuel economy, and travel comfort.


  • Reduces hydraulic tappet noise
  • Very affordable
  • Suitable for gasoline and diesel engines
  • Effective and lasting cleaning action
  • Improves lubrication properties of engine oil
  • Compatible with all commercial motor oils
  • Not suited to wet clutches

3. Hot Shot's Secret Original Stiction Eliminator

Where you have burnt oil that has created a buildup of sticky residue inside the engine, Hot Shot’s Secret Original Stiction Eliminator can certainly come in handy. This engine restorer helps to clean and lubricate the interior parts of the engine, removing stiction that can cause vital components to fail. By adding a carbon nano lubricant to its formulation, this additive reduces friction and slows down wear and tear.

Its use will improve the vehicle’s performance by boosting fuel economy, power and compression. Its effectiveness ensures that you enjoy excellent value for money. Hot Shot’s Secret Original Stiction Eliminator has a synthetic cleaner component that dissolves sludge, oil varnish, and other debris that is clinging to oil-wetted components. When such a buildup of debris is allowed to persist, a vehicle will begin to suffer reduced power and efficiency. Encouraging this dirt to remain suspended in the oil rather than stick to moving parts helps to slow down the wear and tear of said parts by reducing friction and encouraging better lubrication.

In HEUI injectors, the extreme heat can cause oil to burn, oxidize and create deposits and sludge that promote stiction and corrosion of the engine’s internal parts. Simply adding Hot Shot’s Secret Original Stiction Eliminator allows for a reduction in cold hard starts, bucking, black smoke and other signs of engine trouble. It can essentially restore HEUI injectors to their factory settings and your engine to optimal performance.

Not only can this engine knocking additive be used to resolve stiction problems, but it can also be applied as a preventative treatment in keeping your engine clean and protected. It does not contain any harsh solvents.


  • Effective cleaning action on all oil-wetted engine components
  • Achieves improved lubrication that reduces engine noise
  • Restores power and compression
  • Better mileage coverage
  • Removes stiction in both gasoline and diesel engines
  • Suitable for a wide variety of vehicles

4. Genuine Ford Fluid XL-3 Friction Modifier Additive

Motorcraft’s Genuine Ford Fluid XL-3 Friction Modifier Additive is an effective solution for reducing gear noise and improving the lubrication. Where you have noise reverberating through the whole vehicle whenever you are changing gears, it could be due to low or dirty transmission fluid. This can badly impact power and the movement of the car’s drivetrain. It can also affect fuel economy and the efficient running of your vehicle’s engine, and its lubrication.

This additive can be used for vehicles that have limited-slip differentials. Most ideal for ford vehicles and is reportedly best added during oil changes. If adding it in between changes, you may need to extract some oil to create enough room. It works for both front and rear differential and is suitable for use with both regular and synthetic oils.

It is however reported to have a particularly bad odour, so if intending to DIY the work, be sure to do so outdoors, avoid any spillage, and have gloves on. Bad smell aside, it has proven effective as an additive when changing differential fluid to reduce chatter. It is an affordable option recommended by the ford owner’s manual.


  • High-quality limited-slip additive
  • Reduces hypoid gear noise level and chatter
  • Engineered to match Ford’s EST-M2C118 specifications
  • Suitable for use with any engine oil brand and weight gear oil
  • Unpleasant odour

5. Genuine GM Fluid 88900330 Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive

The Genuine GM Fluid 88900330 Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive is designed for use in limited-slip axles or differentials. A good solution where you may be experiencing noise during sharp turns, shifting into overdrive and other gear changes.

Much like with engines, when there is a buildup of dirt, rust and corrosion in the differential, the oil it carries becomes less effective as a lubricant, causing the moving parts that rely on it to produce unusual sounds and sometimes vibrations due to grinding between parts. The longer this persists, the more severe damage that will be done and the more expensive repairs that will be needed.

Genuine GM Fluid 88900330 Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive can help to quieten down these effects and allow for more comfortable and better-controlled driving when added to gear oil. While it has been reported to work effectively in reducing noise when added to power steering and engine oil, it is not made for that purpose so try to stick to just differential use.

By reducing friction in differential plates and improving lubrication, this additive can help reduce or eliminate unwanted noise and slow down wear and tear on the vital components. You will be able to enjoy smoother action when applying and releasing pressure on the clutch, with a boost to power.


  • Effective friction modifier
  • Reduces friction and rear axle noise
  • Boosts performance
  • Suited for use in limited-slip axles
  • Manufacturer recommended


Ignoring engine trouble can be dangerous as it can make your vehicle suddenly unroadworthy and even result in an accident. As soon as you detect that knocking or ticking sound that points to your valve lifters not working properly, you need to act fast to remedy the situation. Where possible, consider towing it to your mechanic’s garage or take the shortest route to get there.

Using a quality lifter tick additive to stop engine knock can be an effective solution that will grant you peace of mind and likely save on more costly engine repairs down the line. Try any of our top recommendations of oil additive for lifters to get your engine running quietly and smoothly as it should. However, if this does not fix the problem, you will need to consult with your mechanic to better diagnose the issue.