How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Gary Your Own Question
Gary, Australia Car Mechanic
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 999
Experience:  Senior Technician
Type Your Australia Car Question Here...
Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Gets lifter tap when driven hard then goes away when idle or

Customer Question

Gets lifter tap when driven hard then goes away when idle or very low speed for 5 minutes
JA: How many miles are on the car? What size is the engine?
Customer: 5.7l 280ks
JA: What is the make/model/year of your car?
Customer: Holden 2002 Calais
JA: Are you fixing your Calais yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Was told to put 2 liters of kerosene in and idle for 10 minutes then change oil but haven't tried it yet
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Australia Car
Expert:  Gary replied 8 months ago.

Hello Scott,

A Gen 3 with 280k on the clock.

You could try the 2 litres of kerosene first, but Gen 3 onwards are prone to lifter roller wheel and cam lobe failure, broken valve springs etc.

After you drop the oil and filter, fill the new filter with new oil prior to fitment, gets oil pressure faster.

Please only ask once, otherwise you may pay two techs for the same answer.

I have past on your second request to customer service.


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Why does it only come when driven hard and then go away
Expert:  Gary replied 8 months ago.

What oil is in the engine now, and how long since last oil change?


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
10/40 due for oil change but started happening when oil was fresh
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My missus can drive it for a week with no problems but she doesn't put her foot down
Expert:  Gary replied 8 months ago.

Hi Scott,

I have seen oil pump issues on LS engines, not often but does happen.

Sounds like for high kms now, you should think about adding a product called "lifter free" or Nulon E10 or E20 when you change it now.

It does sound like a TECH 2 data display will show what oil pressure the engine has, both at hot idle, and at 2000 rpm.

This might show the pressure to be low in both cases.

At 280000km, I would think it is due for an engine rebuild if it hasn't been apart before.

You could be suffering from poor drain back to the sump when you get up it, or the oil is getting a little thin for the slightly larger clearances it has.

You could try a slightly thicker oil, say 10w50.


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yeah i am hoping to avoid rebuild but have already looked at prices for rebuild plus cam
Expert:  Gary replied 8 months ago.

Hi Scott,

If you do go for a rebuild, I would go for aftermarket tiebar lifters and chuck the factory plastic lifter guides in the bin.

A package from Comp Cams, camshaft, lifters, rockers, springs etc REALLY wakes them up, as well as a MAFLESS tune.

I've driven a few with 400rwkw aspirated, absolute weapons.

I don't think you want to go that far, just showing what their potential is.

You might even find that adding a litre of thicker oil now, if it is low, might help for now.


Expert:  Gary replied 8 months ago.

Hi Scott,

Do you need any further help?

I hope my advice has been of assistance to you.

Kind regards