Engine noise suggests a problem has developed that will worsen over time. Unlike a catalytic converter that fails suddenly, pinging, knocking, and clicking sounds tend to slowly build in intensity. If the root causes are addressed during the early stages, they can often be resolved without extensive repairs. On the other hand, if you allow them to persist, you risk exposing your engine to severe – and expensive – damage.
In this article, I’ll describe the most common forms of engine noise and explain what causes them. We’ll take a look at clicking, knocking, pinging, and detonation. If you notice any of the following noises coming from your engine, have the underlying problems fixed quickly. Otherwise, you may unwittingly set the stage for a costly overhaul.
Oil Pressure And Worn Parts
Low oil pressure can cause a clicking noise that grows louder as your RPMs rise. The easiest item to check is your oil level. If it’s low, replenish it. If low levels persist, check for leaks. If you’re unable to find any, have a mechanic check to see whether you’re burning oil.
Next, look at the pressure gauge. If the pressure is low, the valvetrain parts may react noisily. Low oil pressure may be due to an oil pump that has developed a blockage or become worn, or a filter that has become clogged. If you live in a cold area, valvetrain noise may be partly due to using an oil with a heavy viscosity. Switching to a lighter viscosity may reduce the noise.
Bearings, Rods, And Deep Knocks
Deep knocking is caused by severely worn or damaged bearings. It is prevalent in older vehicles, especially those in which the owner has neglected to change the oil and filter on a routine basis. The wearing and damage can also …