Q: my 2001 ford windstar is making a knocking sound when i start it

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My car makes a very loud knocking sound when I turn it on and feels like it is shifting and struggling. I havent drove it since than . I was told it could be rod knock , it could be a valve or lose rod. I have no clue . But it sounds like something like a can is being thrown violently around in the engine. I have a brand new starter, alternator , battery is fairly new. I have updated all the wiring and spark plugs prior to that so it should have no issues and it was just inspected a few weeks before this happened. Do you know what it could be?

My car has 16000 miles.
My car's transmission is unknown to me.

A loud sound like that you are describing would suggest an internal mechanical failure. You might check engine oil pressure which will give you some clues. If a part cause is low oil pressure, due to excessive clearances (which in turn are due to wear or damage), that will give a initial indication of a need to rebuild (repair) the engine. As far as the exact component most likely to create a knock, you are already broadly in the right area in terms of the "possibilities": rod, piston, and so forth. In any event, rebuilding an engine is no big deal. Even if the engine is damaged, no matter what the damage, it is repairable. If you want to obtain a conclusive diagnostic, and learn of the slate of repair options and costs in this circumstance, please request a vehicle noise diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will definitely find the origin of the noise. Then, with the mechanic’s advice and explanation, you can decide how best to handle it. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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