Why is My Car’s Engine so Loud?

The longer you own your vehicle, the more in tune with the specific noises it makes you become. You know what sounds to expect when hitting the gas, taking a corner, or going over a speed bump. It gets to a point where you don’t think about the sounds your car makes at all unless you hear a sound you aren’t expecting. 

An increase in engine noise can come on suddenly, or become louder gradually depending on the cause. If you are wondering why your car’s engine is so loud, read on to learn more! We are going to go over some of the common reasons behind a loud engine. 

Exhaust Leak

An exhaust leak can cause a significant increase in engine noise, especially if it occurs before the mufflers. Exhaust leaks can be caused by rust, worn-out connections between exhaust sections, or impact with road debris. An exhaust leak will not only make your car louder, but you may also smell a strong smell of exhaust while you are driving. It’s important to get this issue addressed quickly, as inhaling exhaust gasses is hazardous. 

Mid part of car's exhaust system with some rust

Low Engine Oil

If you suddenly hear more mechanical noise (think ticking or tapping noises) coming from under the hood, it may indicate your engine is low on oil. Check your oil level and add more if it appears low. Make sure to get your vehicle to an expert right away to diagnose why your engine is consuming oil in the first place. 

Keep in mind that some mechanical noise is typical of a running motor. Listen for any sudden change in the volume of the mechanical noise that seems abnormal. 

Oil filler cap

Rod Knock

Rod knock is a condition caused by worn or failing rod bearings. The rod bearings sit between the connecting rod and the crankshaft, allowing the two moving parts to rotate and stay lubricated. Rod bearings have very tight tolerances, allowing a thin film of oil to sit between the metal surfaces. When the bearings wear down (either from hundreds of thousands of miles or from something like oil starvation), the journal of the crankshaft is no longer tightly connected to the rod. This will result in a knocking noise, as the rod “rattles” against the crankshaft. 

Rod knock is a serious problem. To fix it, the bearings need to be replaced. This job requires almost complete engine disassembly. Ignoring rod knock can lead to a seized-up engine. 

Rod bearings

Squeaking Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt powers a range of accessories (although it depends on the vehicle), including the power steering pump, water pump, and alternator. If the belt tensioner begins to fail or the belt becomes stretched, it can emit a squealing noise. 

Transmission Problems

That loud noise from your engine might not be from your engine at all. Issues with your transmission can create some pretty loud noises. Notably, a failing torque converter can produce a whirring, clanking, or ticking noise. 

Get Your Car Diagnosed at Micro Import Service!

Identifying the exact cause of excessive engine noise can be tricky. Going purely by sound can leave you with more questions than answers. In situations like this, it’s best to have an expert take a look. If you drive a Japanese or another Asian Import vehicle, Micro Import Service is the shop for you! Our skilled techs and decades of Import expertise mean we know these vehicles inside and out, ensuring you get accurate diagnoses, skilled service, and reliable repair every time. Call or schedule an appointment online today!