Lifter noise at cold startup? 2006 Dodge GC - anyone?

Sometimes I’ll walk my wife out to the garage in the morning when she is leaving for work. When she starts up her 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan FWD sto n go I hear a clicking noise for about 2 seconds. To me it sounds like the lifters prior to getting the oil delivery. I was wondering if that was going to eventually cause some engine damage and also if there is a problem with the oil pump or something like that.
Is this a problem that I should check into or is this normal for this van.
Could one of you pro mechanics offer me some advice?
NOTE: We hit a deer several months ago and the whole front end was wasted. I don’t remember hearing this clicking sound when the van was newer.

Letting the oil change go too long can cause lifter noise.

Can you recommend a good oil for it. I mean is the Van particular to certain fluids?

She’s just hitting about 85K

Depending on the miles 2 seconds of lifter noise is normal and no oil you use at this point will make a difference to the life of the engine.

Try a different brand of oil filter. If the filter you’re using has a weak anti-drainback valve, the engine may not be getting any oil pressure until the filter fills. I had this issue before on cold starts on my old car. Switching from Fram to Wix fixed the problem for me.

Re. oil, any name brand oil of the proper weight will do, but with winter coming, if you live in an area where it gets cold, you might try full synthetic oil for the winter at least. It does flow better when the ambient temp is below freezing.

Keep the oil at the full point on the dipstick, or at least 3/4 full. And change the oil and filter at the interval recommended by the owners manual. Use whatever oil brand & weight is spec’d by the owner’s manual. I think it is worthwhile to use name brand oil. Buy it by the case, on sale. Let the car idle a couple minutes before pulling out of the driveway on cold starts. That’s about the best you can do. This should dampen the lifter noise a bit at least. You’ll have to live with any lifter noise that is left. I doubt it will cause any other engine damage, just an annoyance. Sometimes this will go away by itself. Whatever was sticking becomes unstuck.

Going too long between oil changes can create sludge or oil coking and this can affect the valve lifters or lash adjusters as the case may be.

If sludge is the cause you can try adding a can of Berryman B-12 carb/injector cleaner to the engine oil and run it for a while like that to see if it clears up.

I have never seen a Chrysler minivan with the 3.3L/3.8L engine that DOESN’T do this. I wouldn’t give it too much thought. This seems to be a rugged engine from what I’ve seen, and like I said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that doesn’t tick for a couple seconds on cold starts.

This is all good news. I’ll have the oil changed with synthetic and pick up a Wix filter. I think the mileage is at the point where if we take care of it we’ll get many more miles but if we don’t take care of it the problems are going to hit the fan.
Thanks to all for your expert advice!!

I had a 1990 3,3 with 170k miles and now have an;09 .Neither one “ticked”

my 300m has lifter noise when it is first started cold but goes away in 2 seconds and i have about 138k miles on her. use a good oil filter change, check the pcv valve on a reg basis and watch the oil level.