every morning when i turn on my car there is a tapping noise, once it warms up it stops. what could this be?


Asked by Jan 31, 2014 at 05:04 PM about the 1989 BMW 3 Series 318is

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

ever  morning when i go down to start my car their is a tapping noise it last about 5-10
min till the car warms up. why is this? is this serious? how much will it be to fix?

car is good condition. just change the oil only has about 85000 miles.

15 Answers


Next oil change ad a qt of lucas engine oil treatment in place of a qt of oil and a bottle of stp oil treatment to it. It is a lifter pecking. This will take care of it.

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Best Answer

I agree with it being lifter tap. With the age of your vehicle I advise to add some sea foam to the oil as per directed on the can and let it idle(only idle do not rev it up) for about thirty minutes or so. This will clean your lifters and other engine parts. Right after doing this change the oil and filter(do not drive till you have changed the oil and filter). This has always worked for me.

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Thank you very much I'll try it, I'm stationed in Germany I'm sure they don't have it on base! Where online can I buy this


Any car parts store should have it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I hate to be a party-pooper, but this is a 1989 318is with only 85,000 miles? That's 3,400 miles a year -- half what I drive, and I work at home. I am guessing it's 185,000. That would mean the easy, gentle ameliorations suggested above might hide the problem, but won't solve it. Tapping while warming up is indeed likely a valve problem (the oil rises and lubes that valve), but a properly adjusted valve lifter won't make that noise before warmup. You may need valves adjusted or something more major. Take it to the best low-cost BMW shop you can for diagnosis. The problem with using STP or other stuff to mask the noise is that you're just masking the noise. Sooner or later, a noisy valve lifter could leave its seat and become an engine overhaul,

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Nope this car has 132,000km which is around 80,000 miles and how pricey would it be to change the valve lifters


Sea foam cleans lifters. It's not an engine honey like you are talking about. If used properly it will clean all the years worth of sludge out of an engine. I agree that use of an engine honey product is not recommended and will add to the problem. I strongly advise not to use an engine honey fix in a can product. I have used sea foam for as long as I can remember and have never had any issues with it. But you must use it as directed. Failure to do so can lead to poor results.

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I was never a believer I additives either until I added a qt of lucas oil treatment to a ford 300 6 cylinder. These are known for a dry knock on cold starts because the oil drains out of the filter and back in the pan overnight. I changed the oil and filter added a qt of lucas and it never did it again. 2 - I have fixed 2 dodge truck transmissions that wouldn't shift into overdrive by changing fluid and filter and adding lucas transmission treatment. Been doing this for 30 years and have seen additives come and go but lucas is the real deal.

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thanks a lot for all the help im gonna try the lucas oil since i saw it on youtube and had a great result. and i already ordered it

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Change the oil and filter and add it in place of 1 qt of oil.

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I did some research on this at BMW forums and at Exxon/Mobil. If you use synthetic oil, DO NOT add additives without checking what the manufacturer says. Exxon says not to use additives with Mobil 1, for example. Also, the consensus on BMW message boards is that a little bit of valve noise before warmup is quite normal. Some who posted said they took their cars to BMW dealers, who said there's nothing wrong. If you use non-synthetic oil, consider either an additive or changing to synthetic, not both. If your car has high mileage, DO NOT change to a synthetic other than one made for high-mileage cars. A repair shop did that to my prior car, an Audi S4, at 85k miles, and it began to leak in at least five places. Friend had similar trouble with an older Camaro he rebuilt.


How much is the oil Lucas treatment

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem on my 328i which is going on 6 years olds, the clock would not stay on time so I brought a battery charger and charge the battery and not only that the ticking noise go away the clock stays on, so you may want to eather buy a new battery or get a good charge on your batter, this work for me!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Battery?= Ticking valve repair... That is the absolute most silly illogical reasoning I have ever heard.. The valve train has nothing to do with the clock at all.... Cleaning out the dirty lifters by removing the sludge and dirt that can block oil delivery to valve and lifter ports with a chemical motor flush is the only systemic treatment that will help to restore lifter and valve function... !!!Before you use a motor flush!!! In very dirty engines you must remove and manually clean the oil pan and valve cover to remove all large deposits of sludge. You must also clean or replace the oil pick up filter in the oil pan.. Failure to do this can allow large pieces of sludge to break free during the flushing process and clog important oil passages causing possible complete engine failure.. Don't take a chance.. Just look in the valve cover oil fill hole. If the valve rockers are dirty with obvious build up and sludge you will want to completely clean the oil pan and valve cover areas before you flush...

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If you look in your valve cover and see this...... You must fully clean the valve train and valve cover area as well as the oil pan and pick up filter .....{Before you use a motor flush} If you flush a motor with heavy sludge build up and do not do this pre-cleaning process you will likely destroy your motor...

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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