How Hydraulic Roller Lifters Work

Hydraulic roller lifters are new alternatives to the traditional mechanical lifter, and are considered by some car experts to produce less car noise and less chance of problems. In order to understand how these new devices can benefit your car, you should understand how they operate.

Using Hydraulic Lifters

When you operate a hydraulic lifter, the engine pushes down on the camshaft. The camshaft in turn exerts pressure on the lifter, and particularly a small plunger attached to a metal spring. At the same time, oil travels to the lifter, and pressure within it causes the plunger to move upward. The lifter is pushed forward, and resistance to this pushes it back. This spring then pushes back against the plunger, creating the lift effect which helps to absorb shock.

Mechanics of a Hydraulic Roller Lifter

The roller lifter has a small metal ball fitted to the base of the lifter. As the lifter is touched by the camshaft, this ball turns. This rolling ball helps to remove some of the friction between the lifter mechanism and the camshaft. The ball helps to reduce the shock absorbed by the plunger. Hydraulic roller lifters are often paired with high-performance vehicles, as these have aggressive camshafts that could wear down an ordinary hydraulic lifter.