My Engine is Knocking. Now What?

Even if you cannot hear it at all times, a constant ticking noise coming from your engine is nothing short of annoying. It is hard, though, to know whether something like this is serious or minor, and whether or not you will need to fork out some cash for some expensive repairs.


Here are the top 4 culprits.


  • Low oil or oil pressure. If you hear a ticking noise coming from your engine, the very first thing you should do is check your oil levels. If it is low, the ticking sound you are hearing could be caused by the upper engine components be starved of oil. Add oil right away to avoid more serious damage. If your oil level looks fine, it could also be the oil pressure due to a failing oil pump, clogged oil filter, or debris on the oil pump’s pickup screen. If this is the case, a professional mechanic will need to take a look as soon as possible.
  • Normal wear & tear. Two of the more common culprits are ticking noises coming from either the fuel injection or from the valves. The good news here is that noisy engines from these two things do not require immediate repair.
  • Bad reciprocating components. What are reciprocating components, you ask? Pistons, connecting rods, the crankshaft, the valvetrain, or the camshaft. All of these parts begin to wear over time which can cause some engine noise; luckily, there are no serious consequences and no repairs should be needed.
  • Exhaust Manifold. If your exhaust manifold develops cracks or if its gasket fails resulting in a leak, you will need to get a repair as soon as possible.


If all else fails, there is always Gumtree! Head to or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find a new ride close to home.

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