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Average rating for Hydraulic lifter replacement


4.8 • based on 12 reviews of 12 businesses

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Average rating for Hydraulic lifter replacement


4.8 • based on 12 reviews of 12 businesses

Hydraulic lifter replacement

How much does hydraulic lifter replacement cost?

Your vehicle relies on the crankshaft and camshafts to operate correctly. These are set up in sync with either a timing belt or timing chain keeping everything in check. The camshafts operate the valves which let the air and fuel mixture into the cylinders, and these rely on the hydraulic lifters to move the valves up and down.

Hydraulic lifters utilise oil pressure to transfer the movement from the camshafts to the valves and if the oil galleries block up due to extended service intervals, these lifters can fail. Telltale signs that your hydraulic lifters require replacing is a loud tapping noise, usually when the engine is cold.

There is no interval for replacement on hydraulic lifters, so they only require replacement when they fail. Hydraulic lifters can be quite labour intensive to replace, and pricing can start from $300 and can go up to $1000 and above, depending on your vehicle and engine style.

What is a hydraulic lifter?

The hydraulic lifter is usually a hollow, steel cylinder which has a piston inside. There is also a strong spring to hold the piston in place. As the camshaft rotates, the camshaft lobe presses against the lifter.

The lifter then transfers this movement onto the engine valves, opening and closing them precisely. Engine oil is provided to the hydraulic lifters through special passageways and enters through a tiny hole in the lifter body, keeping the lifter from compressing and allowing full transfer of the camshaft movement.

Symptoms your hydraulic lifters require replacement

  • A loud tapping sound from the engine bay that increases with engine speed
  • Reduced engine performance
  • A misfire on cold engine start
Hydraulic lifter replacement

How is a hydraulic lifter replacement carried out?

  • The engine cover is removed to allow access to components underneath
  • Engine accessories are removed and the valve cover taken off
  • Engine components are removed to allow access to the hydraulic lifters
  • The hydraulic lifters are removed and the oil passageways are inspected
  • The new hydraulic lifters are fitted and the engine components refitted
  • The valve cover is refitted along with the engine cover
  • The engine oil and filter are changed and the engine started
  • The engine is run to allow new hydraulic lifters to bleed up and to ensure repair is completed

Tips to remember

  • Depending on your engine type, the cylinder head/s may need to be removed to allow access to the hydraulic lifters
  • Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be able to replace only the failed lifter but it is usually recommended to replace them all at the same time

How important is hydraulic lifter replacement?

If there is an issue with your hydraulic lifters, replacement as soon as possible is recommended to avoid causing damage to other sensitive components. Depending on how bad the hydraulic lifter has failed, damage to the camshaft and valve can occur resulting in very expensive repair bills.