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Hey everyone! I have been hearing this subtle tapping sound when idle every time I drive my car for the past 2 months. I took it to a local guy and he couldn’t hear it, so I begrudgingly took it to the Dodge dealer near me for a diagnostic and without even opening the hood they told me it is coming from the engine and is likely a collapsed lifter and it will cost $1100 just to tear down the engine to find the actual issue. My challenger is an R/T 2013 and just under 70k miles. I have spent a lot on this car over the last 3 years for maintenance issues that seem to be things that shouldn’t be happening yet. I keep up with everything maintenance wise and I wonder if anyone else has this issue? I’m going to call around to see if someone else will take a look, but does this even sound close to an accurate diagnosis and price?
 

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Welcome to the forum. Noises are very hard to diagnose through the written word. One persons thump is another persons thud and tap could be a tick and so on...

Now, tempting as it is, don't discount the dealers diagnosis as they have seen this a bunch of times (although not lifting the hood is bad form) but do realize that they are LOOKING for problems. Plus, a collapsed lifter would make the engine run funny- that would be noticeable.

Your "local guy" could not hear anything with leads me to believe you may be hearing something else. If you local guy is qualified, he should be able to hear that same lifter that the dealer caught.

If it were me, I'd put in a fresh oil change (how long has it been) as fresh lubricant can do wonders to quiet an engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the recommendation. I am due for an oil change end of the month, so I will try this and see if it helps. I haven’t noticed the car running differently, but the sound worries me!
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Hey everyone! I have been hearing this subtle tapping sound when idle every time I drive my car for the past 2 months. I took it to a local guy and he couldn’t hear it, so I begrudgingly took it to the Dodge dealer near me for a diagnostic and without even opening the hood they told me it is coming from the engine and is likely a collapsed lifter and it will cost $1100 just to tear down the engine to find the actual issue. My challenger is an R/T 2013 and just under 70k miles. I have spent a lot on this car over the last 3 years for maintenance issues that seem to be things that shouldn’t be happening yet. I keep up with everything maintenance wise and I wonder if anyone else has this issue? I’m going to call around to see if someone else will take a look, but does this even sound close to an accurate diagnosis and price?
The 5.7L Hemi engine of that year model is susceptible to a lifter/camshaft problem that will require a new set of lifters and a new camshaft to be installed if it occurs. In a nutshell, one of the roller lifters could have its roller freeze up and chew up the camshaft lobe on which it rides. If this occurs in your engine, it will be in spite of (not because of) any maintenance efforts you have put forth. In other words, even the most well maintained engine can fall victim to this, it's truly a random failure which has afflicted well maintained and poorly maintained engines alike.

If this failure does occur, it starts with the lifter failure and then proceeds rather quickly to the damaged camshaft. So once set in motion, there is little you can do to stop it or reverse it. And while a failure can be preceded by some tapping from the valvetrain, it doesn't have to be, and it most likely will be more perceptible than the "subtle" noise you indicate you hear.

If that subtle noise suddenly gets significantly louder in a very short amount of time, then I would say you will be needing a new camshaft and lifters installed very soon, because it's likely about to lay down on you.

The final straw will usually always be the illumination of the Check Engine Light with a corresponding engine misfire DTC (P0300-308). At that point the failed lifter has damaged the camshaft lobe too badly for proper valve operation and the cylinder in question cannot operate as designed and is misfiring each time around.



As for the attempts at diagnosing the sound you heard, I would say since it's still not significant enough to be immediately noticeable on a running engine, you don't necessarily have to continue to try to positively identify where the noise is coming from. It could be just the normal valvetrain noise a Hemi makes, in which case any money spent diagnosing it will be wasted.

Even if it is the beginnings of the lifter/cam failure, you don't gain much by spending a bunch of money now to verify that. You would still need to have the lifters and camshaft replaced if the failure is underway, so you theoretically lose nothing by allowing it to take its normal course and completely fail in the manner I described above before getting the replacement parts.

As such, I say leave it alone for now, but certainly continue to monitor on it with your own ears. If you detect the noise is getting louder/more distinct rather quickly, then start making plans on how to handle the problem I first described. If it doesn't get any louder but remains barely audible, then just continue driving the car as you always do and keep up the same maintenance schedules you have been as well.



If the engine does ultimately fall victim to this lifter/camshaft failure, you can expect to spend $3-5K to get it repaired, if done at the Dodge dealership, that is. An independent shop might be able to do it for less, but the quotes I have seen for this to be repaired at a dealership are consistently in the $3K to $5K range.

And if you do end up with this failure, and you do get it repaired as described, you should not worry about the engine's longevity being shortened because of this failure. I happen to own 2 cars with the 5.7L Hemi that both have had their lifters/camshafts replaced due to this failure, and both are still going strong after putting many (hard) miles on the engines after the repair (one was done at 100K miles and now has 200K miles on it; the other was done at 70K miles and now has 125K miles on it).
 

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The 5.7L Hemi engine of that year model is susceptible to a lifter/camshaft problem that will require a new set of lifters and a new camshaft to be installed if it occurs. In a nutshell, one of the roller lifters could have its roller freeze up and chew up the camshaft lobe on which it rides. If this occurs in your engine, it will be in spite of (not because of) any maintenance efforts you have put forth. In other words, even the most well maintained engine can fall victim to this, it's truly a random failure which has afflicted well maintained and poorly maintained engines alike.

If this failure does occur, it starts with the lifter failure and then proceeds rather quickly to the damaged camshaft. So once set in motion, there is little you can do to stop it or reverse it. And while a failure can be preceded by some tapping from the valvetrain, it doesn't have to be, and it most likely will be more perceptible than the "subtle" noise you indicate you hear.

If that subtle noise suddenly gets significantly louder in a very short amount of time, then I would say you will be needing a new camshaft and lifters installed very soon, because it's likely about to lay down on you.

The final straw will usually always be the illumination of the Check Engine Light with a corresponding engine misfire DTC (P0300-308). At that point the failed lifter has damaged the camshaft lobe too badly for proper valve operation and the cylinder in question cannot operate as designed and is misfiring each time around.



As for the attempts at diagnosing the sound you heard, I would say since it's still not significant enough to be immediately noticeable on a running engine, you don't necessarily have to continue to try to positively identify where the noise is coming from. It could be just the normal valvetrain noise a Hemi makes, in which case any money spent diagnosing it will be wasted.

Even if it is the beginnings of the lifter/cam failure, you don't gain much by spending a bunch of money now to verify that. You would still need to have the lifters and camshaft replaced if the failure is underway, so you theoretically lose nothing by allowing it to take its normal course and completely fail in the manner I described above before getting the replacement parts.

As such, I say leave it alone for now, but certainly continue to monitor on it with your own ears. If you detect the noise is getting louder/more distinct rather quickly, then start making plans on how to handle the problem I first described. If it doesn't get any louder but remains barely audible, then just continue driving the car as you always do and keep up the same maintenance schedules you have been as well.



If the engine does ultimately fall victim to this lifter/camshaft failure, you can expect to spend $3-5K to get it repaired, if done at the Dodge dealership, that is. An independent shop might be able to do it for less, but the quotes I have seen for this to be repaired at a dealership are consistently in the $3K to $5K range.

And if you do end up with this failure, and you do get it repaired as described, you should not worry about the engine's longevity being shortened because of this failure. I happen to own 2 cars with the 5.7L Hemi that both have had their lifters/camshafts replaced due to this failure, and both are still going strong after putting many (hard) miles on the engines after the repair (one was done at 100K miles and now has 200K miles on it; the other was done at 70K miles and now has 125K miles on it).
One of the best responses that I’ve read for this issue! It’s good to hear that the longevity of the motor doesn’t seem to be affected. The thought of a ground cam lobe and needle bearing slurry pumping through my motor bums me out. Seems like the filters have been catching it?
I have been obsessing the last couple weeks about a similar issue. My 10 RT has what sounds like a not pumped up lifter during cold start. Motor sounds fine after that. The longer it sits and the colder the weather the more pronounced it is. I’ve maintained the car myself with either M1 or Penz full synthetic twice a year oil changes that usually are 3,000 miles or less with a Mopar filter but have used Motorcraft sometimes as my Mustang uses the same part#. After about 5-10 sec it’s quiet and if I do the “clear flood” gas pedal mashed when cranking it is considerably less if not at all. Car only has 64K so this is pretty disappointing but I know I’m not alone. I’m hoping it’ll be ok until the spring and I’ll be using my Mach 1 so I can deal with this. I’ll be doing it myself and most likely will be putting a performance VVT cam to replace the stock. Just researching right now so I can get a shopping list started.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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One of the best responses that I’ve read for this issue! It’s good to hear that the longevity of the motor doesn’t seem to be affected. The thought of a ground cam lobe and needle bearing slurry pumping through my motor bums me out. Seems like the filters have been catching it?
I have been obsessing the last couple weeks about a similar issue. My 10 RT has what sounds like a not pumped up lifter during cold start. Motor sounds fine after that. The longer it sits and the colder the weather the more pronounced it is. I’ve maintained the car myself with either M1 or Penz full synthetic twice a year oil changes that usually are 3,000 miles or less with a Mopar filter but have used Motorcraft sometimes as my Mustang uses the same part#. After about 5-10 sec it’s quiet and if I do the “clear flood” gas pedal mashed when cranking it is considerably less if not at all. Car only has 64K so this is pretty disappointing but I know I’m not alone. I’m hoping it’ll be ok until the spring and I’ll be using my Mach 1 so I can deal with this. I’ll be doing it myself and most likely will be putting a performance VVT cam to replace the stock. Just researching right now so I can get a shopping list started.
Yeah the thought of ground up camshaft particles flowing throughout the engine is unnerving, but the oil filter will catch that stuff pretty quick if it’s filter element is in tact and doing its job.

I went to the trouble of capturing oil samples at each change and sending them off for analysis for many of my 2012’s oil changes, with the thought I should be able to spot any premature wear or impending 2nd camshaft failure through the UOAs, but every single one was within limits of all metals found and none raised any alarm bells from the contents found in the used oil.

I started doing the same thing on my 2014, but I stopped after getting results for the first few I did after acquiring the car. Nothing was showing up and I was going broke spending an extra $30 every time I changed the oil. I was satisfied that the previous cam/lifter failures on the engines wasn’t going to be a problem for me while I continued to drive the cars.

One thing you might try to see if it helps the cold morning drivetrain noises you hear is a different oil filter. I noticed some were more prone to being installed at the same time I would hear the behavior you’re describing. Then after changing the oil filter to a different brand (but keeping the same oil brand/weight), the noises wouldn’t be as likely/common.

I suspect some filters use poor materials for their ADBV or have an inferior design for the bypass valve that can lead to more cold morning valve train noises, so I tried to stick the ones that I heard the least amount of noise with.

IIRC the standard Mopar filter was middle of the road for this, and the upper trim Frams (ToughGard and whatever the synthetic one is called) were better than most at keeping the noises to a minimum. I’m struggling to remember which ones I avoided...STP jobbers accompanied lots of noise IIRC (but STP synthetic were good), and one of the housebrand from local auto store ....maybe MicroGard from O’Reiily? Wix were good IIRC, both standard and synthetic...

My point is, if you’re hearing a lot of cold morning clattering at startup, try a different brand oil filter at next oil change. It just might do the trick for you!
 

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Hey everyone! I have been hearing this subtle tapping sound when idle every time I drive my car for the past 2 months. I took it to a local guy and he couldn’t hear it, so I begrudgingly took it to the Dodge dealer near me for a diagnostic and without even opening the hood they told me it is coming from the engine and is likely a collapsed lifter and it will cost $1100 just to tear down the engine to find the actual issue. My challenger is an R/T 2013 and just under 70k miles. I have spent a lot on this car over the last 3 years for maintenance issues that seem to be things that shouldn’t be happening yet. I keep up with everything maintenance wise and I wonder if anyone else has this issue? I’m going to call around to see if someone else will take a look, but does this even sound close to an accurate diagnosis and price?
Sounds like a good time to upgrade the cam along with some lifters. Since the heads will be off, maybe work on those a bit. It’ll still be a few thousand dollars at a performance shop but you get some added horsepower and would be good for another 70K+ miles. If it is legitimately a lifter going, I would have a hard time driving it until it got bad but that’s just me.
 

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Yeah the thought of ground up camshaft particles flowing throughout the engine is unnerving, but the oil filter will catch that stuff pretty quick if it’s filter element is in tact and doing its job.

I went to the trouble of capturing oil samples at each change and sending them off for analysis for many of my 2012’s oil changes, with the thought I should be able to spot any premature wear or impending 2nd camshaft failure through the UOAs, but every single one was within limits of all metals found and none raised any alarm bells from the contents found in the used oil.

I started doing the same thing on my 2014, but I stopped after getting results for the first few I did after acquiring the car. Nothing was showing up and I was going broke spending an extra $30 every time I changed the oil. I was satisfied that the previous cam/lifter failures on the engines wasn’t going to be a problem for me while I continued to drive the cars.

One thing you might try to see if it helps the cold morning drivetrain noises you hear is a different oil filter. I noticed some were more prone to being installed at the same time I would hear the behavior you’re describing. Then after changing the oil filter to a different brand (but keeping the same oil brand/weight), the noises wouldn’t be as likely/common.

I suspect some filters use poor materials for their ADBV or have an inferior design for the bypass valve that can lead to more cold morning valve train noises, so I tried to stick the ones that I heard the least amount of noise with.

IIRC the standard Mopar filter was middle of the road for this, and the upper trim Frams (ToughGard and whatever the synthetic one is called) were better than most at keeping the noises to a minimum. I’m struggling to remember which ones I avoided...STP jobbers accompanied lots of noise IIRC (but STP synthetic were good), and one of the housebrand from local auto store ....maybe MicroGard from O’Reiily? Wix were good IIRC, both standard and synthetic...

My point is, if you’re hearing a lot of cold morning clattering at startup, try a different brand oil filter at next oil change. It just might do the trick for you!
Thanks for the reply! Yeah I think I might try another filter. The one currently on the car is the standard white Mopar filter I bought at Walmart.
I was planning on doing a cam in the future but was in no rush because I just enjoy driving this car and didn’t feel like chasing power gains with mod after mad as I’ve done before with other vehicles in the past. That said, I may be doing it a bit earlier if not for a cam/lifter failure, but for peace of mind. Been doing a bunch of research and was thinking a 392 cam with the upgraded lifters (Hellcat lifters? or whatever they’re being called) and shorty headers. Want it to be able to pass a state inspection if I need to put the tune back to stock. Been in the Mustang world so not familiar with what I have to do as far as tuning issues in my state, MA. Not looking for crazy hp #s and would want to keep VVT but wouldn’t mind if pulled a little harder up top and knowing the cam and lifters were upgraded/new would be nice.
The car is a 2010 RT classic 6spd with 3.92 gears if you or anybody else has any suggestions? Thanks
 

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One of the best responses that I’ve read for this issue! It’s good to hear that the longevity of the motor doesn’t seem to be affected. The thought of a ground cam lobe and needle bearing slurry pumping through my motor bums me out. Seems like the filters have been catching it?
I have been obsessing the last couple weeks about a similar issue. My 10 RT has what sounds like a not pumped up lifter during cold start. Motor sounds fine after that. The longer it sits and the colder the weather the more pronounced it is. I’ve maintained the car myself with either M1 or Penz full synthetic twice a year oil changes that usually are 3,000 miles or less with a Mopar filter but have used Motorcraft sometimes as my Mustang uses the same part#. After about 5-10 sec it’s quiet and if I do the “clear flood” gas pedal mashed when cranking it is considerably less if not at all. Car only has 64K so this is pretty disappointing but I know I’m not alone. I’m hoping it’ll be ok until the spring and I’ll be using my Mach 1 so I can deal with this. I’ll be doing it myself and most likely will be putting a performance VVT cam to replace the stock. Just researching right now so I can get a shopping list started.
the service notes from Chrysler indicate that inspection of the Oil Control Valve (under intake manifold) if the screen is covered in metal shavings / debris, the engine should be replaced.

my theory is if the cam wear was that pronounced and the oil filter went into bypass mode and shavings have migrated through the oiling system, damaging bearings and probably plugging or restricting oil passages. This is probably going to be more prevalent in severe cam lobe wear or if multiple cam lobes wore down due to a lifter roller seizing

If the screen is clean, then the filter captured the particles, and the cam & lifters are replaced. Oil pan should be removed and thoroughly cleaned in case there's any metal shavings that settled in the pan.

(filters will do this when oil is cold / thick and exceed the pressure rating of the filter. Also can do this at very higher rpm operation but not as likely with oil @ operating tem)
 

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Reignited on YouTube has a pretty good video on this issue and a way that might fix it.

From everything I've heard, no Hemi is safe from lifter failure, but supposedly it's only 5% of them that have this issue. I saw there was a TBS issued by SRT engineers from 06' that you could use a thicker oil in warmer climates but that's all I've seen Chrysler Corp. do to acknowledge it. It happens most on Automatics with the MDS system, and on the MDS lifters. Guys like me driving the manual 6 speeds should be less susceptible to it happening, but not immune. Seems to me the biggest culprit is going to far between oil changes and the oil losing viscosity and not getting up to the lifters, especially at low oil pressures during idle. I've seen that fleet vehicles, police cars, EMS vehicles and such that idle a lot are having lifter failure the most. This crap has me listening to every little noise of a inherently noisy engine. I'm to the point that I'm going to just keep informing the Dealer every time I go in for maintenance and keep it documented in case anything does happen. My daughter says, and I agree, to stop asking her, "do you hear that?", all the time and just enjoy the most powerful naturally asperated vehicle made. I'm gonna' try.
 

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From everything I've heard, no Hemi is safe from lifter failure, but supposedly it's only 5% of them that have this issue. I saw there was a TBS issued by SRT engineers from 06' that you could use a thicker oil in warmer climates but that's all I've seen Chrysler Corp. do to acknowledge it. It happens most on Automatics with the MDS system, and on the MDS lifters. Guys like me driving the manual 6 speeds should be less susceptible to it happening, but not immune. Seems to me the biggest culprit is going to far between oil changes and the oil losing viscosity and not getting up to the lifters, especially at low oil pressures during idle. I've seen that fleet vehicles, police cars, EMS vehicles and such that idle a lot are having lifter failure the most. This crap has me listening to every little noise of a inherently noisy engine. I'm to the point that I'm going to just keep informing the Dealer every time I go in for maintenance and keep it documented in case anything does happen. My daughter says, and I agree, to stop asking her, "do you hear that?", all the time and just enjoy the most powerful naturally asperated vehicle made. I'm gonna' try.
Oil loses viscosity as it accumulates miles. Water (mainly) with other combustion by products is the cause.

It also makes the oil more prone to foaming and increases the amount of oil vapor generated.

With my other cars when I changed the oil it was always a bit of a surprise to me how quieter the engine was with fresh oil in the engine and this was with the fresh oil up to temperature.

As an aside, I always changed the oil with the engine and oil up to full operating temperature. While the hot oil is drained and the fresh oil is "cold" (room temperature) with the engine hot it doesn't take but a few minutes of idling -- while I'm putting away tools and cleaning up -- for the fresh oil to come to full temperature. With some cars in order to check the oil level after the change the oil had to be up to temperature. There was no dipstick just an electronic oil level sensor and it would not operate if the oil was too cold.

A problem with "old" oil that contributes to the cold start engine clatter is the old oil more readily bleeds down/out of the various areas and this includes the lifters, and particularly those that are holding valves open. The force of the valve spring wants to compress the lifter and over time it will forcing oil out of the zero lash adjuster.

Upon restart the "collapsed" lifter will make some noise until oil reaches it and purges the lifter of any air pockets. The oil flow reaches the the lifters pretty quick but they are only in a position to "receive" oil when the valve is closed and the lifter is as far down in its lifter bore as possible.

0W oils are intended to help promote good cold oil flow at engine start to ensure the oil reaches the furthest areas of the engine ASAP and to ensure adequate lubrication of various engine areas while the oil is cold. For instance the piston/cylinder interfaces. There have been cases where the factory called for say 0w-40 for use in colder climate and some owners decided 0w-40 oil was too "thin" and used 5w-40 oil. The engines suffered accelerated and severe ring/cylinder wall wear because the 5w-40 oil didn't flow properly when the engine was cold -- albeit we are talking about -25C and colder -- and lube the piston/ring/cylinder.

A bad lifter will make a racket at pretty much all the time though it might be less noticeable as RPMs rise.
 

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Just an update for anyone curious...I did get the oil changed with full synthetic at Dodge, which is what I always ask for, but I went to a cheaper place by my house last time. I can honestly tell a big difference in the sound compared to the last few months. I can still hear the faint tapping sound I described before, but it is definitely less noticeable and I went on a long drive yesterday and never even heard it once. I went by an automotive repair shop my local garage recommended because they do not replace lifters, and the guy sat in my car and listened for a couple minutes. He came out and said it’s the good ol’ hemi tick. He said the tick does come from the hydraulic lifters and it will become louder as more miles get put on the car. He also said it wouldn’t be worth the money to go in and replace the lifters because it will likely make the same noise and possibly be worse. When I asked him how would I know if it is a collapsed lifter he stated it will sound like a hammer and it will be loud. I feel good about the advice and information I have gotten from everyone that has replied here and it is greatly appreciated. If anyone has anything else to add please do! All in all, she is running great and right now I will chalk it up to possible shitty oil and the natural course of a Hemi engine.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Just an update for anyone curious...I did get the oil changed with full synthetic at Dodge, which is what I always ask for, but I went to a cheaper place by my house last time. I can honestly tell a big difference in the sound compared to the last few months. I can still hear the faint tapping sound I described before, but it is definitely less noticeable and I went on a long drive yesterday and never even heard it once. I went by an automotive repair shop my local garage recommended because they do not replace lifters, and the guy sat in my car and listened for a couple minutes. He came out and said it’s the good ol’ hemi tick. He said the tick does come from the hydraulic lifters and it will become louder as more miles get put on the car. He also said it wouldn’t be worth the money to go in and replace the lifters because it will likely make the same noise and possibly be worse. When I asked him how would I know if it is a collapsed lifter he stated it will sound like a hammer and it will be loud. I feel good about the advice and information I have gotten from everyone that has replied here and it is greatly appreciated. If anyone has anything else to add please do! All in all, she is running great and right now I will chalk it up to possible shitty oil and the natural course of a Hemi engine.
You’re good to go. Keep the hammer down and watch the rearview for the fuzz. If they turn on their xmas lights, pull to the right.

Thanks for the update.

👍
 
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