Why Does My Car Sound Like a Diesel (Explained)

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It is a common misconception that the diesel motor’s loud noise is caused by fuel injection problems. In fact, it may be a result of poorly adjusted valves or a broken timing belt. The following list considers different factors responsible for your car sounding like a diesel:

Fixing these issues too should not be difficult, and once done, the problem should be solved in a short span of time. This article explains in detail each factor responsible for causing rattle in diesel cars and provides its solution.

Ignition timing [Incorrect setting]

If you have been experiencing rattling sounds when you start your car, the chances are high that ignition tune-up could fix the issue. It can simply be neglected as an ordinary sound is heard when accelerating from the start. However, irregular rattling noises, especially when the car is idling, can be a reason for concern, and attention should be given to it at once.

When your engine is cold, inspect the ignition timing marking on the crankshaft pulley and the camshaft position sensor. Incorrect settings of these two can cause rattle in diesel cars. You may also notice that the noise gets louder as you increase speed and softer as you slow down and idle. Although adjusting ignition timing requires specific tools, with this one mistake removed from the equation, your problem’s solution would become very easy.

Drive belts [Tension]

If drive belt is worn or broken, it could vibrate loudly during startup; as such, turn off the car and make a detailed inspection of the belts. If they appear loose, tighten them up with a wrench.

In case your drive belt is quite new, you may still hear it rattle during idle when the engine temperature is low. In that situation, inspect the tension of the drive belt again after 10 minutes or so. If it doesn’t come back to normal, replace it once for all to stop rattling in diesel cars.

Exhaust system [Loose exhaust]

The rattle in diesel cars due to loose exhaust could be easily identified by its loud howling sound, which gets higher as you increase and lower when slowing down.

If you have a loose exhaust system in your car, you could fix this problem by tightening all the loose nuts, followed by a thorough inspection of any rips or damage.

Belts [Drive belt tension]

When belts are broken, it causes rattling, especially at low speeds. Check the drive belt tension and if it is not correct, adjust accordingly to stop your car engine from making a noise like diesel.

Cylinder head bolts [Torque setting]

Loose cylinder head bolts can cause metallic tapping sounds when the engine is idling at a stop. This will be evident during the late night after the car has stood idle for about half an hour or so. To solve this problem, tighten each bolt one by one, following the sequence as advised by the manufacturer.

Camshaft bearing [Worn camshaft]

If the vanes of your car’s camshaft have worn out, it will create a rattling sound when turning. This problem is capable enough to completely stop your car from starting as well if not attended immediately. In such an event, take your engine to a workshop and ask them to replace the faulty parts with new ones.

Worn piston rings [Piston ring gaps]

In case you are experiencing loud sounds from each compression stroke, the chances are high that piston rings could be at fault. Get a mechanic to inspect or change them as recommended by the manufacturer. Repairing this problem too shouldn’t be much difficult, and in a day or two, you’d have your problem fixed.

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