1992 4 cyl 1.8L Engine ticking... what type oil is best?

My car is the same as the MItsusbish Eclipse 1992. My engine , 130,000 miles has developed ticking that my mechanic says is internal, possibly, in the valve train. He said life of the engine is up in the air…could be a week or 10 years. ( I drive 3K a year) . There also some minor leaks. What type of oil should I use… 10/30 or 10/40 . Synthetic , conventional or hybrid ? I am inclined to use synthetic for best protection…have used all three in the past but primarily hybrid in the last 5 years.

2nd question: In the newspapers , it is common after an accident to say " was not wearing a seat belt" … but I have never read “air bag did not deploy” or even a mention of air bags …why?
Thank you for your expertise . - Tom

Whatever your owners manual recommends

a car that old wouldn’t call for Synthetic. You could use it or a blend, it’s not going to hurt anything. The first change might look darker since Synthetic has more detergents.

probably because it doesn’t make a difference for the story if I had to guess

Use the oil recommended for your engine in the owners manual and change it as recommended. You’ll probably have no practical benefit from synthetic or blends. Does this engine have adjustable valve lash? Valves a little loose make some noise but it does not mean harm is being done. Tight valves are quiet until they wear down - expensive.

Air bag deployment/nondeployment is a result of very complex engineering and depends on the exact circumstances of the accident. Seatbelt use/nonuse is easily observable and the result of one decision.


Agree with the above, but even though you only Drive 3K/year, you still should change your oil at a minimum of twice a year.

From what I can see the spec’s are SG or SG/CD. I believe those are conventional oils. The viscosity recommendation varyies by the locale’s ambient temperature and is likely found in the owner’s manual. Probably 10W-30 in most cases. My similar vintage Corolla uses 10W-30 and has shim-adjustable valves. If it developed a ticking sound – and a mechanics’ stethoscope confirmed it was coming from the valve area – I’d measure and adjust the valve clearances as the first course of action. But your engine from what I see uses hydraulics for the valve, so about all you can do is ask your shop to verify the hydraulic lifters are working correctly. There’s many other potential causes of ticking sounds from the engine compartment, so the key first step is your shop determining what exactly is causing it. I’ve had idle ticking sounds from alternators, power steering pumps, belts, and pulleys. Thses sounds you are hearing occur even when the car is not moving, right? If they only occur when the car is moving there’s other stuff that has to be checked.

It is more common in car accidents to find someone has failed to wear their seat belt than while wearing a seat belt, the airbag does not deploy.

Synthetic blend actually doesn’t contain much synthetic so I’m not convinced of its benefit. I have full synthetic put in at oil changes and top off with whatever’s handy.

you can try to add a cup of Lucas Oil Stabilizer and see if that helps. I used it on an old Acura CL. It had a habit of “ticking” when first started in the morning and wouldn’t stop “ticking” unless it was driven 40-50 miles. The stabilizer completely eliminated the noise immediately. I used it with each oil change.

I tried the Lucas O stabilizer…it did not seem to help. When the car first start and idles , there is no ticking …the ticking begins a few minutes later while the car is still idling.

So it is possible, that the ticking is doing no harm? That the worn valves are just loose.

I’m fairly certain your car has adjustable valves. Has your mechanic verified that and checked the adjustment?

I would be much more concerned about the frequency of oil changes, rather than the type of oil that is used. A car that accumulates so few miles per year is likely driven only for short trips, and that is the worst type of usage for an engine.

Just use whatever oil is specified in the Owner’s Manual, and be sure to change the oil twice a year.

If I drove 3k a year, no way I would change it twice a year, unless I had to for warranty reasons.

He told me the valves cannot be adjusted… something about hydraulic

I change the oil every 4 months…I do short trips less than 2 miles usually. I once let it go 6 months…and the oil was so black , thick, and even seemed to have particles in it…never again.

Apparently it’s possible to bleed air from the lifters: https://www.club3g.com/threads/valve-lash-adjustment-where.87559/ Supposedly this has the potential to fix the problem.

Thanx…big time for finding this.

Just do us a favor and report back one way or the other.

All this after 1500 miles? How much oil do you use? Do what you need to do, but I’m guessing you might have worn rings and lots of blowby.

I will let you know…I am due for an oil change…after the oil change, I will try the rev up method. I do not want to do it with diluted oil, especially after winter. Just waiting for some warm temps to do oil change…will let you know on this board.

It could be that the lash adjusters are worn on the ball end. The hard surface wears through and the end starts disentegrating. If you get into it that far you may find more than one on the way out.

The few times I’ve meandered through the Pull A Part here I’ve noticed that many similar engines have the valve covers removed and the lash adjusters have been pirated out of them. Many of the adjusters left in the debris pile were also badly worn on the ball end and whoever did the pirating took the good ones.

They kind of look like this.