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Change the tappets

Question : I DRIVE a 1998 Proton Wira 1.3 (automatic) that has clocked 160,000km. The engine makes a loud clattering noise as soon as the vehicle comes to a halt. My mechanic reckons that the hydraulic tappets require replacing and the cost is fairly substantial. Please confirm my mechanic's diagnosis, as I do not want to spend any unnecessary money.

Answer : WORN hydraulic tappets probably cause the clattering noise that your engine makes, so your mechanic's diagnosis is probably correct. Tappets are designed to keep a small clearance between the valve stem and the cam lobe of the camshaft. The clearance ensures that the valves land quietly on their seats. The clattering noise that you hear is the sound of valves landing heavily on their seats.

Hydraulic tappets fail when they begin leaking or if the fine oil channels _ within are blocked with debris. Although one may attempt to clear any blockage by soaking them in paint thinners and then blowing through with compressed air, this is usually futile and further noise means removing the cylinder head again at a later stage.

The tappets should be replaced as an entire set since the failure of any single tappet would mean the remaining ones could be on their way out.

 
   
 

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