Originally Posted by BoneZ
You are very lucky. My car did the same exact thing. Coolant disappearing, loud ticking for a short time when it was cold. Turns out coolant was in my oil and thinned the oil because the LIM gasket was bad. Had the LIM replaced and the oil replaced, but once the coolant mixed with the oil, irrepairable damage had already been done to my engine. 2 weeks after replacing my LIM, my engine blew, spun my lower bearings caused by the damage from coolant in the oil and had to have another motor put in. Not even a month after this second motor was in, LIM again! But, this time i caught it on the day the LIM failed as i smelled the coolant through my vents. That was over a year ago also.
Wow, what did a motor cost I can't even imagine. It happened at wintertime, so maybe the lifter ticking was more pronounced at an earlier stage due to the cold temperature, who knows. Its good some Sr. members here picked up on what the noise was and what may have caused it, because I never did notice the smell in the exhaust, milky oil etc. There was some snot-type stuff on the oil cap at the time and it was using some coolant (a sure tipoff).