Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine rattles when I I turn on my engine for the first time in the morning. It seems like it only does it when it's cold

asked by on

My car engine rattles when I turn on the engine for the first time in the morning. It only rattless for a while for about 5 seconds after that the car doesn't do it all day. It only does it when the car has been off for more then 8 hours. I was wondering if it's maybe the timing belt as I've read other comments about this problem and also maybe the engine oil?

Here's the link of the video of how the engine sounds when I turn it on for the first time. https://youtu.be/1nsmncAMRJQ

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. Most likely, the noise you describe ...

Hello. Most likely, the noise you describe is coming from one or both of the camshaft phasers on your engine. These devices which are operated by engine oil pressure, vary camshaft timing (relative to the crankshaft), enhancing engine performance and fuel economy. Since these devices are operated by engine oil pressure, when the engine is off overnight, engine oil drains out of them, and it take the first few seconds of engine operation to refill them when you first start the engine each day. For those few seconds, a metallic rattle can be heard as you have experienced. While not immediately threatening, they should be replaced when the timing chain service is done on your engine.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 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!

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: Transmission noise after shutting down engine.

Hello. The grinding noise is likely an internal transmission issue. Putting the new transmission fluid inside of it likely freed up some already sticking components that were already beyond tolerance ranges and they are now becoming abrasive. I would suggest...

Q: Rattling and squeaking that's getting to be more frequent.

Rattling and squeaking sounds are usually something that comes from suspension or brake related issues. I would recommend having a mechanic give your truck a thorough brake and suspension inspection. Something may be broken and knocking against something else causing...

Q: I am trying to determine why my cv joint cage failed

There are no technical bulletins for the CV joints failing on the front axles on this vehicle. I can only speculate since I have owned many 4x4 vehicles, both full time and part time 4 wheel drive types. The only...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.