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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  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: will it cause more damage if I continue to drive with a burnt out valve in the engine?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, yes you can do more damage by continuing to drive with damaged valves. The misfire will cause damage to the catalytic converter, which is a critical emission device. Damaging the catalyst can cause...

Q: Convertible not working.

Hi. If your top will not longer move up or down it can be from a number of items in the system from a fuse, to a wiring issue, to the lift motor. The most common part that I have...

Q: My front speakers don't work. Not sure if they are broken, if there is a short, or if they are unplugged.

Hi there. Check the speaker wires under the dash and see if they are disabled or detached. If the wiring is good and connected to the speakers, then check the settings on the radio and see if the front speakers...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.