Q: Car makes what I would describe as a helicopter noise under the hood when I step on the gas; it's worst when changing gears.

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What is the rattling noise coming from my engine? I drove 500 miles from Boulder to Salt Lake yesterday, and when I got here, I noticed a rattling sound coming from the engine when I accelerate. It gets quieter once the gear has shifted, then gets louder again before shifting into the next gear. At idle, my engine sounds normal, with no rattling. When I got to SLC, I checked my oil and nothing showed up on the dipstick, so I put in 3 quarts of oil. What is the most likely problem here? Rod knock? Lifters? Wrist pin knock? And what would a repair likely cost? (I.e. Is the car now junk?)

My car has 179200 miles.

Hi there. If you added three quarts of oil to your engine, it is very likely that you may have internal engine damaged; possibly in the cylinder head hardware like lifters; as that is what typically makes a constant clicking noise when they are loose, damaged or not properly lubricated. The question that needs to be answered is how did your engine lose 3 quarts of oil in the first place. Usually older engines will ’burn’ oil, but at a very slow rate. I think before you attempt to drive back to Boulder or any longer trips, you should have a professional mechanic come to your location and complete a car is making a noise inspection, so they can determine what is causing the noise. Hopefully it will be something easy to fix like a damaged drive or serpentine belt pulley.

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