Q: Cold engine makes cracking noises on start

asked by on

When I start my car in the morning, engine make bit louder cracking noises like something rattling or some iron hitting to iron sounds. But within 3 minutes, gradually engine sound gets back to normal. It happens only on cold engine.

My car has 174000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, most likely, this noise comes from worn internal components in your engine that momentarily do not have oil pressure to eliminate metal-to-metal contact. When oil pressure comes up, usually within a few seconds of engine operation, pressurized oil prevents this contact, and the noise disappears.

Specifically this noise could come from a worn timing chain "slapping" the tensioner or guides, worn connecting rod or crankshaft bearings, worn valve lifters, and so on.

Given your mileage, there are multiple possibilities. To verify there is no immediate problem, I would recommend having the noise in your car inspected by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose this problem, get an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Cold engine makes cracking noises on start

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car's #8 cylinder is misfiring

It is possible that your oil ring could be faulty in the number eight cylinder. If the oil ring is faulty, this can allow oil to get past the piston into the combustion chamber and therefore causing it to get...

Q: Car is revving high constantly with loud noise and makes the engine sluggish

The most common cause of this revving is either a stuck throttle or the mass airflow (MAF) sensor. This fault should be addressed as soon as possible for normal operation as this revving can become dangerous if the vehicle is...

Q: What does the charging system Warning Light mean in a 2012 Toyota Corolla?

The charging system Warning Light is located on the instrument panel. When this light illuminates, the vehicle’s charging system is not charging properly. Your vehicle should be serviced immediately. Tip Like all warning lights, the charging system Warning Light...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.