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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:41 am
Posts: 12
Car Models: '88 Saab 900 T16
Apologies in advance, there seem to be a lot of threads on this topic- but hope forum members can help me cut through the chaff.

My T16 has always made a bit of a tappet clatter when cold, and when warm the noise would diminish (but not entirely disappear). I am sure its not the timing chain.

The clatter it makes now is really very bad. It also doesn't seem to get any better. Admittedly, I haven't run it for a couple of months- but I'm nervous to let it run for too long in case something get damaged.

Can someone point me at the fix please? I'd so love to have it running quietly and smoothly!

Many thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:45 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Sandbach, Cheshire
Car Models: 99L,9000,9-5, Rovers & Imp
The hydraulic tappets fill them selves with oil as the engine runs and become quiet, when the car has been stood the oil does leak out and then you get the tapping noise.

As the internal seals break down the oil loss from the tappet becomes greater and the engine can get noisy after a short period of standing - short term take the car for a run and it hopefully will quieten down or longer term replace the tappet buckets.

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Sandbach, Cheshire
1973 99 2.0L
1997 9000
2006 9-5 2.3
1957 P4 90
1968 Imp Super
1974 P6 3500


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:41 am
Posts: 12
Car Models: '88 Saab 900 T16
Thanks John,

I think I probably need to replace the tappet buckets- the noise never goes away.

Is this a straightforward job? Is the part the same for all model years?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:23 pm
Posts: 2442
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
Car Models: 900T16s, Daihatsu Charade GTti
Mine was loud, but once warmed up the engine sounded great so may not be the same as yours but on 192,000 miles and needed an overhaul I took a punt and put in Wynn's hydraulic valve lifter treatment for a tenner with an oil change (oil change on it's own did help for a while) and it has actually worked, there is a hint every so often but it was well worth it, now it's got a noisy alternator belt, probably due to a worn pulley, typical eh lol


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:48 pm
Posts: 14
Car Models: 9000 x 2, 900 & 95 Estate
I drew up some sludge somewhere on my 270,000 engine when an intake pipe popped off - tappet noise was very loud- To clear this was advised to use flushing oil for about 20 miles - emptied then refilled with my normal oil and tappet noises completely eliminated. Quite amazed how much dirt the flushing oil got out - it was solid black on exit.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:42 pm
Posts: 2073
Location: PRESTON. LANCASHIRE
Car Models: 9000 Aero, 900 Ruby, + others
I have always used engine flushes prior to a service for the last 20 years.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:31 am 
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 4:36 am
Posts: 6408
Location: London
Car Models: c900 convertible, XJS
Try the hydraulic tappet cleaner from halfords etc, seems to work, flush it out and change the oil later.

Could also be a leaking exhaust manifold as it sounds very similar and quietens as the manifold expands and tightens the gap.

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