Stuck lifter on Kia Sedona 2004

I have a Kia Sedona 2004 that got overfilled with oil. It foamed and now we have a stuck lifter. Worst case scenario is that we’ll have to replace the engine. Everything electronic works, but the engine sounds like it’s about to croak. Should I try to fix the van? Or just give it up and get another one?

I assume you corrected the oil level. If so how long did you run it afterwards? It may take a few minutes for the air bubbles in the lifters and the passageways to the lifters to work their way out then it should quiet down.

I’ve never heard of replacing an engine for a stuck lifter. If there’s no other symptoms, I suggest you patronize another shop. If there are, post them.

This has been driven around long enough that if the air bubbles were going to come out, then they would be out. I’ve replaced the head gasket. Oil pump seems to be okay. It doesn’t overheat, so I’m hoping that the valves/cams/shafts/whatever aren’t deformed. I took it to a shop, long enough for them to diagnose it as an expensive problem, but I can’t afford to fix it right now, so it’s in the driveway collecting dust. It makes a hell of a noise when it’s running, but right now it doesn’t stay running (motor mounts need to be replaced also, and probably some other problems.)

If this is truly a stuck lifter, this is an easy replacement, especially if it’s an overhead cam engine.

So did the shop diagnose this as a bad lifter and engine replacement?
Exactly what did they tell you?

Who replaced the head gasket; you or a shop? I’ve never heard of a lifter failing due to overfilled and cavitating engine oil.

Any chance the timing belt is out of whack and the noise you’re hearing is excessive lash due to a bent valve: or plural?
That could also explain why it doesn’t stay running.

Definitely don’t replace the engine before trying to fix the lifter problem first.

You say you replaced the head gasket, but I presume you did this before the over-fill incident. As part of the head gasket job , with the head removed, I think they’d usually notice that a lifter was stuck.

We replaced the head gasket after overfilling it - when we got it back from the shop, it was making this noise. So the stuck lifter happened before the shop visit. Yeah, it sounds like I should go to another shop and have them check all the lifters to see what the story is, and what we need to do to get it running. I’m relieved that this isn’t as drastic as I thought!

If you overfilled the oil to where it foamed, could the new engine noise be a rod knock?

I could see a collapsed lifter if the oil got foamed. But that noise would be a loud tick-tick-tick…

I’d be more suspicious of a bad rod bearing making the noise. Rod bearings don’t last long with the drop in oil pressure that comes with foamed oil.


I’ve regularly encountered noisy lifters BECAUSE of overfilled engine oil level

The oil is aerated, and that’s why the lifter(s) are noisy

After correcting the engine oil level, the engines are usually back to normal. Drive the vehicle for a few minutes. Hopefully the noise is gone

Another idea, if that doesn’t work . . . drain one quart of engine oil and pour in one quart of Rislone or marvel mystery oil. there are other products out there, but I’m familiar with those 2

As before, drive the vehicle afterwards, and hopefully it’s quiet

You should have asked the shop to correct the valve train noise during the head gasket replacement, it would take little additional labor to replace the lash adjusters at that time.

I suspect the valve train noise has more to do with the event that lead to the head gasket replacement than over filling with oil. Why was the head gasket replaced?

The OP says “the engine sounds like it’s about to croak”.
It’s difficult to understand what that means.

A stuck lifter often has a tick-tick-tick sound. “About to croak” makes me think it’s something worse. Hopefully it’s just a lifter.

With similar engines I have found that the first thing to fail when the oil is aerated is the camshaft. The oil flow to the head is metered by a very small hole drilled in a plug that is pressed into the deck. Very little of the foaming oil reaches the camshaft journals which are bare aluminum. When even one journal is wiped out the others will fail to be lubricated when the over fill situation is corrected. And without adequate oil supply none of the lifters will pump up. All of them will be noisy. Of course the shop that serviced the head should have removed the cams and inspected the cams and journals and if any journals are wiped out the head must be replaced.