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Lazy Tappet Advice Needed: Do I Return My Car?

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Greetings all,

I purchased my zetec about 3 weeks ago, and as I knew the bloke, he sold it to me at trade price (£1,500). The car was immaculate both in and out; and when I took it for a test drive, he said the faint clicking/tapping sound I can hear when I accelerate (at around 2-3k revs) is the injectors as he put an engine cleaner through.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and the clicking hasn't completely gone, so I went and got a complete engine flush and oil change (using the correct 5w 30 oil), and the mechanic stated that after a few hundred miles of driving, the new oil may cure my lazy tappet issue. Basically, my issue here is that as much as I like the car, I'm just slightly peeved that I have been sold a car with, what could be a terminal engine fault (although it doesn't affect the drive of the car). Its a difficult situation, as the dealer I bought it from did me a favour by giving the car to me at trade, instead of the asking price of 2.4k, and also since a trade sale doesn't come with a warrently as such, I'm sort of stuck with what I have bought.

What I would like to know is, what are the "end concequences" of having a lazy tappet? For example, will the car survive more than a year? (its done 93k miles), and will it lead to selling issues?? My aim is to essentially drive this car until next year. which by then I will be 21, and will have 2 years no claims, which means I can sell the fiesta and buy a celica.

I'm grateful for any advice given

Josh :)

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Hi Josh

There are no terminal consequences in my oppinion.

It may get quieter it may not but as long as the car runs fine then stop worrying.

For the money you have paid you have got a cracking little car.

Jamie :-)

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@ Jamie: I took the car to a mechanic, and he thought it could be the big end, as the noise has got louder since I owned it, and has got no better since the oil change and engine flush. He said that because the noise occurs between 2-3k revs, and is fairly audiable when driving, and gets no better when the engine is warmed up either.

If it is tappets, couldn't that lead to cam/head wear? I'm not worrying, as I know I only paid 1.5k, but my ACE warning fail message has come on a few times, and the car has been taken back a few times, and the issue hasn't been resolved. As far as I'm aware, the best cure for little end taps/knocks is a new engine, as aren't the Zetec-SE engines considered somewhat as a 'throw-away' engine? If this is the case, I shall take the car back, and either get a refund, or swap it for another car, possibly a Audi A3 1.6 Sport.

Any ideas anyone?

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If its tappets then stop worrying. if it is the big ends get him to put a 2nd hand or recon engine in.

These engines are not supposed to be rebuilt (bottom end) so get him to replace it.


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Right. Although I can tell you straight off the bat that he will refuse to put a new engine in, and would rather take it back. In terms of tappets, not only is it a pain in the !Removed!, but will it affect the selling value next year?

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Out of curiousity, if he says the tappets need replacing, is it worth it? Or do I just go for another car? How more is the Zetec S to insure? I currently pay £800 fully comp with No NCB for the 1.4 zetec.

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