Superceded oil filter Lifter noise on startup

I had an oil change done last week for my 03 trailblazer, and was getting valve tapping on startup after sitting 8 hours in the cold, it goes away after a few minutes. I stopped by today, and they looked through the maintenance records and noticed a new ie supercedes the old filter filter model had been used, they are going to pick up the old model filter and swap it out. I can get the part numbers tomorrow, but in 154 k I have never had such a noise. And it started day 1 after the oil change. An FYI but an also what do you think? Thanks. 5w 30 as specs and level was full.


The crankcase wasn’t overfilled?

I’ve seen noisy lifters caused by extremely high oil levels

Oil level looked fine as far as I could see, I really only made sure there was enough, but did not note if it was overfilled. I’ll check now.

Edit @db4960 Oil Up to full, but not over.

The filter you got may not have had an anti drain back valve which would result in a dry start.

Could be a faulty filter. It happens. A manufacturing defect in the new filter. Or just a coincidence. Probably a good idea to monitor the oil level daily for a week or two, and change the filter asap. If this were my car I wouldn’t drive or even start it up until I had replaced the oil filter. If after replacing the oil filter the noise remains, then I’d replace the oil again. It may be the shop didn’t put the oil in that you think they did.

It’s also possible of course the shop made some kind of mistake like I did one time as a teenager with my 1960’s Ford Galaxy, forget to put the drain plug back in before filling it up with fresh oil. I heard all sorts of weird noises from that one! Fortunately early 60’s Ford engines were fairly hardy beasts and idling with no oil for 5 minutes or so, besides the weird noises, it didn’t do any permanent engine damage.

@keith I asked about the new filter having a drainback valve, they said yes it does, but maybe it does or not or possibly malfunctioning. hopefully 1 more start in the am will be ok. I plan on videoing it in the am in case it does not do it tomorrow aft when they start it up.

Well they got the noise after letting it sit 7 hours, but the noise was gone by the time they got it into the shop. Redid the oil filter with the old model, and juiced up the tensioner with lube. Will see what happens tomorrow. I can post a video if someone cares to hear.


At this point, I’m going to assume you have a lifter problem

Have you tried marvel, lucas, rislone, etc. yet?

No not yet, trying to pinpoint te problem. Went back to old version of oil filter, and lubed tensioner, No Charge, cool, video here

To be honest, that sounds like a loose timing chain.

The timing chain in your engine has a hydraulic tensioner. This means oil pressure is used to push the tensioner against the timing chain. And if the timing chain is loose the valve timing will be off causing valve noise.

The tensioner and the chain guide are both made out of plastic. So at the mileage the vehicle is at, it would be of no surprise if they require replacement. Along with the hydraulic tensioner.


Yes, @Tester, the timing chain guides and tensioner would be the most likely source of the noise. But whatever the cause waiting will likely make the problem simpler to diagnose when it shuts down from catastrophic failure.

The weird part is after a minute or so no noise no problems.

It might be worthwhile to remove the top cover and check the chain for excess slack on the slack side and obvious wear on the guide rails.

And here’s the complete timing chain kit, with the hydraulic tensioner.


That’s an excellent view of the parts, @Tester. My bookmarked parts sources had poor quality views not worth linking.

It would seem that the timing chain is the most likely cause based on the audio.

@Tester Defintely sounds like a timing chain problem. I would fix that first, then, if any lifter noise prevails, investigate that too.

The shop replaced the oil filter, the noise stopped by the time they got it in. They also lubed up the tensioner thinking it might be a bad bearing. Slightest of noise on startup, barely audible today, it seems to be outside temperature related. It is supposed to get cold tomorrow so I’ll see what happens then, thanks for the support.

All is good, no major repairs needed. Quiet as a mouse except for a slight clicking on acceleration when cold, Getting a new serpentine belt as the old is cracking etc, suppose it is due after 155k miles, and they will check all the other possibilities, bearings on ps pump tensioner etc. with a stethascope. No charge is a good charge. Sure I will pay for the belt, but happy at the end of the day.

Is it getting cold where you live? When it is cold outside (below freezing), my car makes some lifter or valve noise under load. The noise goes away as the oil warms. It is a bit quieter when I have 5W-30 than with 10W-30. Is it possible that they could have put 10W instead of 5W in there?

I have a 2011 Subaru Forester w/boxer 4 cylinder with the same noises on cold start up, either summer or winter. Been to three dealerships, I must be talking greek, they all say normal noise…
Talked to Owner/ head mechanic at Marty Smiths Garage, he printed out an AllData report saying that the left timing chain tenioner check ball isnt adjusting all the way from the oil pressure. How come the dealers dont see this, or dont want to see this, maybe, well, the cars still under warrente…that could be the reason…
How long should I wait? I contacted Subaru of America, they said theres no such reports written up on these Foresters… I dont feel I can trust Subaru now after talking to mechanic…