Q: Engine clanking when starting

asked by on January 22, 2016

I see a couple of lights coming on the dashboard when I start up my car. I also hear a loud clanking noise coming from the engine.

Hello. Most of the lights will flash or come on when the car is started. It is the manufacturers way of allowing the owner to easily determine if the bulbs are working properly. If the lights remain on after a few seconds of running, then it will be a potential issue. A certified mechanic can inspect the dashboard lights and determine what trouble codes, if any, are present. The leading cause of engine noise at start ups is low engine oil. I strongly suggest checking the level of the oil. If you need assistance, a mechanic will gladly inspect the oil in the your vehicle. If the noise remains present after verifying the level is correct, I would recommend having a technician, such as ones provided by YourMechanic, Use a stethoscope to inspect the engine noise to better determine what may be making the noise.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Hello, I just got a 2001 Montaro Sport and I went to get in tonight and it started squealing. What cold it be?

The noise could be the serpentine belt slipping due to age or the tensioner not holding the belt tight on the pulleys. Also an idler pulley could have a failed bearing causing the noise. Try removing the serpentine belt and...

2001 Honda Accord Ex Transmission

What you are describing is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car's computer...

Struggles to stay running when I start it and only last about 15 seconds

There are many possible malfunctions that can cause a engine to stall. As long as the engine is in good mechanical condition, it comes down to the engine getting the correct air/fuel supply, a sufficient ignition to fire the mixture,...

Gas leaking for middle of car

Leaking gas is a serious concern and definitely needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Due to leaking gas being a big safety issue, I first have to recommend enlisting the assistance of a certified mechanic to look over...

It is making a roaring noise.

Hi there. That's a very good question; however, we need a bit more information in order to give you an accurate idea as to what's causing this roaring sound. If the roaring sound is coming during acceleration, it could be...

Key won't turn over, 2009 Pontiac G8

An engine that cranks but doesn't start is lacking one or more of the following: compression, fuel, or spark. You need to check for each of the following to determine the cause. You can check fuel pressure using a dedicated...

Prominent vibration throughout van when AC is on

Hello. The heat issue that you have with the van sounds like you have a blend door issue under the dash. As for the vibration I usually check to see if the idle is getting too low when the AC...

Difficulty starting, occasionally there is no cranking

The security chip and the sensor ring that sees the chip can cause the issue. The first thing to try is another key that is not worn. If this works, then have more keys made; this should fix your issue....

Spark plug popping out

Hello. This is a common problem on the Ford modular V8. The new spark plug won't stay because the threads are stripped out. There are two repairs: 1) drilling, and installing a threaded insert into the head for the spark...

Related articles

How Often Do Spark Plug Wires Need to Be Changed?
Spark plugs provide the electricity necessary for combustion to happen by igniting atomized fuel in an engine's cylinders. However, they need a...
What Is the Difference Between Conventional, Electronic and Distributor-less Ignition Systems?
If If you’re like many people, you know that when you turn the key in your ignition, the engine cranks and you’re able to drive your car. However, you might not know how that ignition system works. For that matter,...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Rock Climber
If If you’re a rock climber, you want a vehicle that gets you where you need to go, even if the terrain gets rough. You may be living out of your vehicle at times, so you also want a rig...