How to Diagnose Diesel Truck Engine Noises

Jul 15, 2020 | Diesel Maintenance

Has your diesel truck started making an awful knocking noise recently? Or, perhaps you just want to be aware of the issues that could occur so you can be prepared for the moment you hear a strange noise. Regardless of what brings you to this page, we will help you identify and diagnose diesel engine noises.

Many people panic the moment they hear a noise coming from their engine, but luckily, they are not all signs of engine failure or faulty parts. Any noises coming from the engine that sound like knocking, whining, rattling or anything similar, are a sure sign of an issue at hand. If you have recently purchased a diesel truck after using a gasoline one, you will notice that the engine is much louder as standard. Diesel engines are louder due to compression; the air cylinders of diesel trucks are already compressed and the fuel in injected into it, which makes them much noisier. Another reason why diesel trucks are louder, even without any issues occurring, is because the fuel used is much less filtered, so the more particles present in the fuel, the louder it becomes once it is ignited. Diesel engines are much more intricate, comprised of all kinds of valves, pipes and caps, which can sometimes sound noisy when running your truck.

Now, let’s look at the noises you may hear that are a sign of a problem that could be present in your diesel engine as well as how you can troubleshoot these issues. Do remember that with any noises that you hear, you should always take your diesel truck into your diesel specialist for further analysis. If you are in the California region, be sure to check out wefixdieseltrucks.com.

Rattling Noises:

You will likely find you hear this kind of noise as you accelerate, and it is typically caused when the pre-compressed air mixed with the fuel within the cylinder are ignited earlier than they should due to compression that occurs from the engine. The technical term for this is ‘pre-ignition’ and can actually cause damage to components within your engine such as the pistons, valves and connector rods.

Troubleshooting: So, what causes pre-ignition? Usually the wrong kind of fuel! However, there could be even bigger issues which could require a belt tension to fix.

Ticking Noises:

Any ticking sound you may hear can be related to oil levels being too low, valves that have been adjusted incorrectly, or rods that are knocking.

Troubleshooting: This noise is a result of lack of lubrication, generally due to low oil, so it is important you service your truck often to avoid this. This could also be a sign of a bigger issue at hand, such as a faulty lifter or a connecting rod that has stopped working; these issues can require a complete rebuild of your diesel engine.

Knocking Noises:

This noise is a result of the injectors; they normally do make some noise, but when they are lubricated, the noise level is cut down significantly. If you do notice this sound for long periods of time while running, it may be time to take a deeper look.

Troubleshooting: You do not need to be concerned if this noise occurs for a few minutes and disappears, as this just means the injectors needed more lubrication from decent fuel. If you have used contaminated fuel in your truck, you can replace your injectors to stop this noise from happening.

Noises Related to the Timing Chain

When your engine is cold, you may hear a rattling, whereas when it is hot, it will make rattle but not so forcefully. If you notice this rattling, it could mean it is time to replace your timing chain. This component is essential as it connects the crankshaft and camshaft.

Troubleshooting: If you have caught this issue in time, you will be able to fix it by tightening it, however, if it has become too lose you will need to have it completely replaced.

To avoid the occurrence of any of these noises, it is recommended that you service your diesel truck regularly, so any issues can be flagged early enough before they cause irreparable damage.

Why is My Diesel Oil Light On?

Why is My Diesel Oil Light On?

While you may not see it very often, the oil light for your diesel truck coming on could be a sign of a problem and could cause you to panic. It can be hard to tell right away whether the light coming on simply means you are out of oil, or whether there is a bigger...

How to Maintain Your Diesel Truck’s Engine

How to Maintain Your Diesel Truck’s Engine

Diesel trucks are by far one of the most popular choices when it comes to performance and efficiency. Diesel engines are known for their power and are so much more efficient as they use significantly less gasoline than that of gasoline vehicles as a result of their...

Which is Best for You – A Gas or Diesel Truck?

Which is Best for You – A Gas or Diesel Truck?

Whether you are looking to replace your current truck or making a first-time purchase, one of the biggest considerations you will need to make is whether you should buy gas or diesel. This guide will take a look at which option is more cost-effective, which one has...

Myths About Diesel Trucks

Myths About Diesel Trucks

Since the 1970s, diesel truck sales in the United States have skyrocketed. Despite their popularity, there are quite a few myths that exist that are not true and can sometimes prevent people from opting for a diesel truck over gasoline. Let’s take a look at some myths...