Q: Hearing noise in the engine

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I hear a noise in the engine. My truck drives fine, I am just concerned about it.

Hi, is it a heavy knock or a light ticking from the top of the engine? A heavier knocking sound would suggest that one of your piston rods may be moving around too much and as it moves around inside the engine, it clunks into the crankshaft. When an engine is new, there is a small amount of clearance between the crankshaft and piston rod where a bushing made of soft metal helps protect the two surfaces. Oil fills this space and helps lubricate the parts and dampen the force of the pieces knocking together. Over time this bushing wears out and the clearance gets larger allowing oil to escape more easily. With less oil in the contact area, the pieces will knock together every time the piston changes direction.

As for the light ticking, the oil pump sends oil up to the top of the engine through passageways. The oil will then drip down onto lifters and sometimes is used to cool the valves. Same as before, if there is no oil to dampen the force, the metal pieces will tap each other making the ticking sounds. Check the dipstick to ensure you have the correct amount of oil. If there is the correct amount, the oil pump may be clogged or has worn out and is not able to supply enough pressure to get oil to the top of the engine. There are also reports of timing chain noise from Ford motors around then so it could be the chain depending on which engine you have. A certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, would be able to help you diagnose the noise you hear from the engine further.

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