Why is my Ford Mondeo making tapping noises and smoking?

Our 51-plate Ford Mondeo has just started making tapping noises and there's a lot of smoke from the exhaust. I have been told to replace the hydraulic lifters - could it be anything else, and is this going to be expensive?

Asked on 15 July 2010 by laina

Answered by Alan Ross
I assume that it is black smoke coming from the exhaust, which is indicating that the engine is burning excessive oil. The reasons for this would be:

1. That oil is getting past the piston rings, indicating that you have excessive wear in the engine cylinders.

2. Oil is getting past the valves (there are sealing rings to prevent this) and if these seals are unserviceable then again, oil is getting into the combustion chamber.

Of the 2, the valve seals would be the cheapest to repair, as if your cylinders are worn then you may be looking at a replacement engine.
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