Engine Noises That Require Immediate Attention

2019 Mitsubishi

Serving Gainesville, Cumming, Toccoa ,Jefferson, and Atlanta, GA

Engine Noises That Require Immediate Attention

If you’re like most people, you get a bit scared when unfamiliar noises come from under your vehicle’s hood. Most of us don’t have enough engine knowledge to tell a minor noise from a major one, but we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common engine noises, their causes, and potential solutions.

The Valve Train

Hydraulic lifters and valves sometimes make clicking sounds that typically diminish at higher RPMs. Lifters are the parts that open and close exhaust and intake valves, and when they stick, they make noise. In most instances, sticking lifters are caused by built-up varnish. However, low oil pressure may be to blame. While detergent-based oil additives can help, if the treatment is unsuccessful, you may need to bring the vehicle in for service.


Most times, this pinging noise comes as the vehicle is accelerating. It’s commonly caused by the air/fuel mixture within the engine cylinders being prematurely ignited by the heat generated as the piston is on its upstroke. If ignition comes before the top of the stroke, it may damage the connecting rods, valves, and pistons. Incorrect fuel octane, engine overheating, faulty EGR valves, and engine computer problems can all cause pre-ignition.

Piston Slap

This engine noise is caused when there’s too much space between the cylinder wall and piston skirt, and it’s often seen in higher-mileage vehicles. The noise may sound like a clatter or muffled ringing sound deep within the engine, and it’s more noticeable upon a cold start. If the sound disappears when the engine reaches operating temperature, no treatment is required. However, if it doesn’t go away, it may be time for a piston replacement.

These are just some of the most common noises made by automotive engines. While some are more serious than others, all require proper diagnosis and potential repair. If your engine is making too much noise, visit us or call to schedule a service appointment.