Q: My car is making a vibrating/grinding sound.

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My car has been making a vibrating/grinding sound for a few days now. The sound is similar to that of a diesel engine needing to shift gears but less intense. It happens when I accelerate but goes away at high enough RPMs. I don't know if it's the crankshaft or if the cold weather is warping something. Thanks for any help.

Josh K.

My car has 122000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Of course it’s impossible to say what an engine noise might be without hearing it, but it sounds like you may be describing a spark knock. Spark knock is sometimes called pre-ignition and it occurs when the fuel in the engine ignites before it’s supposed to. In some cases it can be helped by using premium gasoline, but it sounds like you may have a severe case that might mean something needs to be repaired. If you contact Your Mechanic about this, they can send a technician to your home or office who can check out your car and tell you what that noise really is.

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