Many drivers just ignore engine noise and hope that, it’ll just go away on its own.
Chances are it won’t, and that engine noise will only get worse, leaving you with an even bigger problem.
So, be sure to properly inspect and verify the root cause of the engine noise. Because, it can be tricky to pinpoint.
Consequently, you don’t want to replace engine parts, only to find out that the engine noise was something else.
Some common mistakes are noises, coming from loose baffles or mechanical fuel pumps. In the event of strange or unusual engine noises, remain calm, and grab an automotive stethoscope.
Finding out where the noise is coming from, is the first step. Because drive belts, alternators, compressors, air pumps, and fuel pumps, all make noise. As a result, it can be quite a job to narrow down the cause.
Therefore, it is good practice to first remove the belts and run the engine to see if the noise disappears. To prevent overheating be sure to only run the engine, for a short period of time.
We’ve put together this quick guide, for diagnosing common engine noises, to help you avoid potential damage:
Engine Noise – Piston Slap
A cold piston knock for up to a minute and a half, after starting a cold engine, may be normal. This may be due to increased clearance, between the pistons and cylinders. But, once the engine warms up, the knocking noise should disappear.
Engine Noise – Clicking and Tapping Noises
An audible tapping or engine clicking noise coming from the front of your car, will definitely draw your attention. Consequently, your ears will perk up and you will tune in to the noise. Then, open a window and try to figure out, what is going on.
The tapping or clicking will increase as you accelerate and become faster. This could be what is known as a ‘tappet,’ or the upper valve train.
As a result, the causes could be a number of issues, starting with a worn part. It could also indicate that, the oil pressure is low. Check your oil pressure gauge, when you hear this noise and follow guidelines, to determine the exact problem. Take the dipstick out and make sure, you have enough oil in there.
Engine Noise – Deep Knocking Noise
These are usually a sign of deep trouble and yes, you should be worried. ‘Rod knocking’ noises could mean that one part, deep inside the engine has worn out. If your rod bearings have worn completely out or become too loose. Then, it is only a matter time, before the bearings fail. In this case, you should not use the car. Consequently, until the knocking engine noise, has been fully and properly tested, diagnosed and repaired.
Engine Noise – Rattling and Whining Noises
If you hear a whining or rattling engine noise from your car when you accelerate. Then, it could possibly be that your timing belt is badly aligned or slipping. Have your timing belt checked or look it over yourself, if you have the right knowledge. It should really be fixed by a good mechanic. Otherwise you could have more trouble, further down the road.
Engine Noise – Squealing When Accelerating
This is an unmistakable noise and it is, quite ear splitting. This is your fan belt (Serpentine Belt) telling you, it is in pain. The fan belt (Serpentine Belt) can loosen over time. So, when you start your engine the fan belt can squeal, when the rubber teeth underneath, it start to drag.
If the fan belt is loose, it will not be able to move at the same tempo, as the pulleys. Hence, the squealing noise. If this happens with your vehicle, you should look in the owners manual. Then, find the repair procedures and tighten it correctly. However, it may have worn enough, to need replacing.
Even those with lots of experience in car repairs, can be fooled by the meaning of engine noise. To make matters more confusing, sometimes minor or innocent-sounding noise may signal a severe problem. While a loud, menacing thud, might be fixed with a $20 part.
But, here’s something that’s for certain, you shouldn’t ignore car engine noise. Doing so could lead to a catastrophic situation, where your engine needs to be replaced. Plus, disregarding engine noises could threaten your safety. And, result in a breakdown, at the worst possible moment. While you always have the option of taking your vehicle to a mechanic, for a diagnostics test. You can often get a good idea of what’s troubling your engine by listening to it.
Thank You !