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Q: Loud tick knock around 1500 to 2500 rpm and a little on startup

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I have a tick knock at startup and around 1500 to 2000 rpm is worst. Bad Rod bearing or bad valve lifter.

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in about your 200...

Hello, thanks for writing in about your 2006 Dodge Stratus. It can be tough to tell the differences between engine noises sometimes. In general, small parts make smaller noises. Bigger parts make deeper noises. Think drums or cymbals.

Lifters make ticking sounds (sort of like a ballpoint pen clicking) and usually on cold startup. Sometimes it goes away after oil pressure pumps them up. Piston slap is just a bit deeper, on starting a cold engine, and goes away within a minute or two as pistons warm up and expand.

Rod knock is deeper still, sounds very solid, and doesn’t go away but may get worse with a hot engine. Piston pin knock is very similar. Take off the accessory belt and start it for a minute just so you can positively eliminate any of the accessories as being the cause of the noise. If you need help having this issue looked at, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the noise and let you know what should be done.

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