9 Best Oil Additives to Stop Engine Knocking (and Lifter Noise)

The best way to describe car engine knocking is an annoying pinging sound which comes from the engine area. There are lots of reasons as to why there would be engine knocking. Perhaps there is an imbalance in the air to fuel mixture, resulting in the gas burning unevenly.

Another reason for engine knocking is an inadequate amount of lubrication in the engine, particularly around the upper cylinder head. If the lifters and valves of this area are not properly lubricated with good strong oil, then it causes a pinging or ticking sound to be heard.

If you have an older engine, then the risk of engine knocking increases even more. Older engines tend to have more issues when it comes to lubrication. Even if you use synthetic oils to help expand their longevity, it still might not be good enough for an old engine which has rusted or corroded parts.

To fix this problem, there are special oil additives that you can add to your engine oil to help clear away this rust and corrosion. Once you do that, you might find the oil will flow smoothly again in the engine. As a result, there won’t be so much knocking or pinging anymore.

Top 9 Best Oil Additive Products

Below are the top oil additives to stop car engine knocking, especially for older engines.

1) Sea Foam SF16

best oil additive for lifter noise

Sea Foam SF16 is an environmentally friendly oil additive which is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Since it is 100% petroleum based, it will be good for both your engine and the outside surroundings.

The main benefit of Sea Foam is that it works to remove contaminants, gum, and varnish deposits from the engine. If this is an older engine which has over 200,000 miles on it, the Sea Foam additive will give it a power boost. Most importantly, it will quiet the engine down from knocking so much.

2) Archoil AR9100

best oil additive to stop engine knocking

Archoil AR9100 is a great oil additive, especially for cars that use diesel engines. If you’re currently experiencing friction, vibrations and other kinds of sounds coming from your engine, then these symptoms will be reduced greatly with this additive.

The same goes for gasoline engines as well. Archoil AR9100 can not only reduce engine sounds, but it can enhance the functionality of the hydraulics, gearboxes, and power steering too.

3) Liqui Moly Cera Tec Friction Modifier

quiet noisy lifters

The Liqui Moly Cera Tec Friction Modifier blends well with most commercial engine oils. This gives you the freedom to choose virtually any oil and it will still be compatible with this additive. Liqui Moly is a great oil additive for anyone who drives long distances and wants better efficiency.

It also works well in very cold or very hot environments. Most importantly, it will lower the chances of deposit buildup in the filter system. If you currently have a noisy engine, that should get reduced too.

4) Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer

oil additive to quiet engine noise

The Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer is an oil additive that will last you for at least 2 years. It will prolong the lifespan of your existing oil, so you won’t need to get oil changes as frequently.

The main benefit of the Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer is that it reduces the oil consumption rate. This will allow your engine performance to be optimized. You’ll have more miles per gallon and virtually no more dry startups or knocking sounds.

5) Red Line Break-In Oil

oil additive to stop lifter tick

One bottle of the Red Line Break-In Oil additive will last you through two oil changes. Your pistons will have less slick oil, so their rings can get into the proper seated position.

When you go to start your engine, there will be fewer noises and chatter as well. The two main ingredients of the additive are phosphorus and zinc.

6) BG MOA Oil Supplement

treatment for engine knocking

The BG MOA Oil Supplement is an oil additive that will increase your acceleration performance and reduce your RPM. According to many users, the benefits of the oil additive are still there after you drive 5,000 miles and get an oil change.

There will be fewer knocking sounds because the additive will help make the engine resistant to corrosion.

7) Rev X Fix Oil Treatment

best high quality oil treatment

If the fuel injectors get stuck a lot in your vehicle, Rev X Fix Oil Treatment can help with this problem.

This premium oil additive will increase the efficiency of your engine, whether it is a gasoline engine or diesel engine. There are no corrosive materials in this additive either.

8) Lucas Engine Oil Stop Leak

Lucas engine oil stop leak

The Lucas Engine Oil Stop Leak will lower the rate of oil consumption in your engine. Meanwhile, the oil pressure will increase to enhance the engine performance.

During your next oil change, simply use one quart of stop leak in place of one quart of motor oil. Whether you have oil that’s conventional, synthetic, or a synthetic blend, this additive will work well with it.

9) BestLine Premium Synthetic Engine Treatment

synthetic oil engine treatment

BestLine Premium Synthetic Engine Treatment reduces the engine’s friction and overall wear and tear. It will give you a better fuel economy and engine performance as a result.

Any strange vibrations or sounds coming from the engine should be reduced after the second startup with this additive in your oil.


44 thoughts on “9 Best Oil Additives to Stop Engine Knocking (and Lifter Noise)”

  1. i hav a 89 isuzu pickup,4cyl,5spd 214k on motor,all fine but just started having a bottom end knock .a rather loud and steady knock,,what is any other opinion other than rod knock and is there anything to do to make it last a little longer without going into motor

    • See if you can use a mechanic’s stethoscope to see where the sound is coming from. Verify the noise is from the bottom end. You may be able to take off the oil pan to inspect the rods if you’d rather not disassemble the engine.

      I’ve heard some folks say running a thicker oil can help, but that would very much be a temporary solution. It could even make things worse in the long run if you’re running too thick of an oil. I’ve never tried running thicker oil to prolong a knocking engine, so I can’t recommend it.

  2. Hi ,I have an Audi A4 2005 model that the engine was done but ,when I just start it ,it’s quiet but after driving it for some few minutes the sound change and it’s showing me a oil light,and also when you open the oil cup there is smoke coming from there . I’m thinking maybe it’s could be a light oil that I did used,can I change to a thicker oil. Thanks for the advice

  3. I have a 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse non turbo model, it started knocking few months ago and I parked it since. Almost 100% it is a rod knock. I’m planning on fixing it but to get it to a machine shop I will have to drive it there and then pull the engine due to my living situation and not having a truck. What would be a good additive to reduce chances of damaging the engine further to get to a shop 2 hours from where I live.

    • Short answer, there is none. Driving with rod knock is likely to cause further wear or possibly catastrophic failure if you try to drive 2 hours with that issue.

      This is assuming it is in fact rod knock. How did you arrive at that conclusion?

  4. 2013 Range Rover evoque 2.2 sd4
    Engine knocks on idle when cold.
    Depressing and raising the clutch causes a bit of a scraping sound.
    Car did have a split intercooler pipe for a while until we got it replaced.
    Does this mean the cylinder wall and pistons may be damaged or unlikely to be caused by that split intercooler pipe being left as it was for a good few weeks?
    Car was serviced a couple of months ago inc oil change but oil also looks a bit thin – and seems to be over the max marker.

  5. Sean; I bought a 2009 charger from my nephew. When you start it first thing in the morning the oil light comes on. After a moment you can turn the motor off and restart it and the light will go off. No tapping or knocking. Motor runs and sounds good. Could this be from dry starting and could an oil additive possibly help?

    • How long does the oil light stay on?

      I would test the oil pressure with an oil pressure tester such as this one on initial startup. That will quickly tell you if the problem is electrical (such as a bad oil pressure sensor) or mechanical (such as a bad oil pump).

      If the oil pressure test reveals a not so stellar result for a couple seconds after startup, check your oil filter to make sure it has an anti-drain back valve. This valve keeps oil in the filter when you turn off the engine, and not all oil filters have one.

      If the motor sounds good, chances are it’s not mechanical but I would want to be certain before driving it around like that. Lack of oil noises are pretty distinct and they don’t sound great. When you listen to the engine, it’s best to do this outside the car with the hood up so you can hear any knocking even if it’s subtle.

  6. I have 2011 GMC Acadia has a loud knock it kept going to limp mode so I changed the throttle body and fixed the limp mode isn’t coming on anymore but now I have a loud know that sounds like it may be a piston what can I do to determine if that is actually what it is

    • You could grab a mechanic’s stethescope and see if you can pin down where the knock is coming from. Can you tell if it is a top end or bottom end noise?

  7. hi i have a 2011 rav 4 and i think the chain is clinking loudly, can these additives help at all? it’s got 90,000 miles on it

      • Hi i have mk6 golfR i hear engine ping ob low rpm between 2/3k rpm after that i dont hear any ping.. also this only happens when the engine is hot! Any sugestions?

      • Are you sure it’s a ping and not a rattle coming from something like a loose heat shield? Rattles are often only present in a narrow rev range.

        If you’re worried about ping, I would monitor the engine in real time with a scanner and see what the knock sensor and timing parameters tell you. You may see knock there, in which case you are right that it was an engine ping. If not, I wonder if there is something loose or rattling that is causing the noise.

  8. I have just purchased a 2009 chevy avalanche LTZ with a 5.3 liter V8 vortec and it had i light lifter sound when it was cold when i would first start it up but as soon as it would warm up it would go away and then i got an oil change and put mobil 1 full synthetic with a mobile 1 filter as well but now the lifter tick got worse because now its not only there when its cold but also after being warmed up but i mean i noticed that rite after the oil change and i was hoping the oil change would make it better not worse and then i took it to the mechanic and he is now saying it sounds fine my question is should i have one quart of oil drained and put a quart of Lucas heavy duty oil stabilizer in it ? .. And also the idle isnt perfect it will drop a bit and go back up ( not too bad ) but its not a perfect idle but the thing is that its not reading a misfire wich leads to my other question should i give it a full tune up ? .. Please help someone

  9. Hi Sean

    Need advice which oil to add

    My car is quiet when i start hes up. but the moment engine temprature goes up engine loose oil pressure. For now I would like to use an thicker oil under higher temprature

    Many thanks for your advice


    • It’s generally best to stick with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for oil viscosity. If you are losing oil pressure, it is likely you have an underlying issue that will need to be addressed.

      Are you seeing an oil pressure warning, or do you have an analog oil pressure gauge that drops as the engine gets warm?

      It’s normal for oil pressure to drop a bit as the engine warms up. As to whether or not this is in spec for your vehicle, you will have to consult the owner’s manual or factory service manual.

  10. i have a 2015 kia forte koupe ex that i have had a lot of issues with. i had to get the engine replaced a while ago because it ran completly out of oil way faster than it should have and no one told me the ticking from my engine was bad. i learned from that mistake really quickly and have been super paranoid about every sound my car makes ever since. it started ticking again about 2 weeks ago and people keep telling me that it sounds fine but i dont know. i hate to take it in to have it looked at again because of how many times i have done it but every professional i have talked to says its a problem with the oil or the pistons. whats yall opinion

    • Sounds described as ticking could be caused by anything from harmless high pressure fuel pump noise to a bottom end rod knock. If you have any doubt, I would get it checked out to be sure it isn’t serious.

      Some places may lend you their ear for free if you need a second opinion. If you want to have the new engine inspected, you will likely have to pay a bit of money (around $125 or so) to have them go through the engine with a mechanic’s stethoscope for more detail.

  11. We have a2004 jeep liberty that recently started making rhythmic clicking noises which seem to be on par with about a 1/16th note, but this only happens as you are pressing the gas pedal. If you are going down hill and your speed is accelerating but your foot is completely off the gas, the noise stops. Any idea what this may be or what may help it?

  12. I have a 2016 Kia Soul 1.6 liter with 120,000 miles. The motor burns oil which these motor are known to use oil. I use 5w-20w Quaker State full synthetic and Lucas heavy duty oil Stabilizer. Should I be using a better oil and heavier oil weight and is Lucas a good product for my problem.

  13. Can this eliminate fuel knock? I had to use 97 octane for the fuel knock to stop. The problem. Is that my engine’s compression ratio is just 10.5:1. It is supposed to be fine using 91 octane, but it isn’t the case.

  14. I have a tapping noise in my 2012 Kia Forte…135,000 miles. What engine additive would be my best bet to buy to virtually eliminate the tapping noise?

    • Depends on why it’s tapping. I hate to break it to you, but an additive probably won’t fix the problem. I’d have it inspected at a shop if you’re concerned about the noise. Some cars need a valve adjustment depending on the type of lifters they have. Other cars just have noisy lifters.

      Some factory service manuals will specify how much valvetrain noise is considered normal. It might say something like: “if you experience lifter noise for longer than 10 minutes on startup, replace X”. If you have a factory service manual on hand, check it out and see what it says.


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