Cars come with some problems which can be managed while driving. While it isn’t ideal for you to drive your car when it has some mechanical faults, for safety reasons, one might be forced to keep on driving the car for some time before reaching your destination.
Noises from the crankshaft can make driving unpleasant and dangerous. However, until you carefully access the situation, you can’t speculate on the cause of this noise.
Let’s look at how long a driver can drive with a rod knock, the causes, and possible solutions to this problem.
What is a rod knock?
Rod knock is an unpleasant noise of your car’s rod which makes it hit against the crankshaft when it rotates. This deep rapping noise happens because of wear and tear to the rod bearings. When your car suffers a rod knock, it means there is additional space for connecting rod bearings, which creates noise.
Therefore, when the piston movement changes its direction, one metal hits the other and creates a knocking sound. Several things could lead to your vehicle experiencing rod-knocking. They include: Worn out rod bearings, rusty crankshaft, minimal octane level, bad timing, foul air, bad fuel mixture, malfunctioned knock sensor, bad belt sensors and pulleys, inadequate lubrication, engine overheating, and dangerous particles in the engine oil.
How long can one drive with a rod knock?
This question doesn’t have a definite answer because of several factors, like car model, state of mind of the driver, location, and other factors. It’s not something that can be corrected on its own if left alone. It could lead to serious damage.
These could include cylinder wall problems, piston malfunction, and wrist pin issues amongst others. Therefore, the length your car could go on with an engine knock depends on the state of the engine and general vehicle condition.
As earlier explained, rod knocking happens when the crankshaft journal which connects the crank to the cylinder collides with the rod bearing. Immediately your vehicle engine starts experiencing knocking, a rod might be fractured without prior warning.
Without proper care and repair, the engine will cave in and this could leave you stranded in an unknown location.
Can I drive with a rod knock?
If the problem is at an earlier stage and your destination is not far, you can manage till you get there. This is a risk worth taking since you are near your location. Just add a little heavyweight gear oil to the crank and your car should be fine.
For the cylinders knocking just try to plug them out to limit the rod pressure. This could help reduce the knocking. You could try to shift to 1500 rpm, lower the revs and drive the car slowly.
However, if your destination is far, don’t take the risk! If your destination is far, it is dangerous to drive as if nothing happens. Eventually, your engine will give up and your repair cost will be bigger.
How to fix a rod knock?
The only way to fix a rod knock is rebuilding the car engine. You will need to remove the rods and replace all rod bearings. The rod bearing had likely damaged the crankshaft’s surface.
If this happens, you might need to polish your crank to make it better. If you try turning the grid down, you can make the diameter small to remove all gouges on the surface.
Furthermore, run a thick rod bearing which will tally to the amount of crank turning. You might also change the main bearings. This might work if the rod knock failure isn’t serious.
How to prevent future rod knocks?
Preventing rod knocking is better than replacing damaged parts. Here are some ways to prevent rod knocks:
Use high-quality gasoline
It is important to only use good oil with a better octane rating. This is because these octane fuels can withstand greater loads before combustion.
Also, find gasoline that has carbon cleaning additives that can help prevent dangerous buildup in your car engine.
Take good care of your car engine.
Ensure you regularly maintain your vehicle engine and make the necessary upgrades with spark plugs and new wires. Change your fuel regularly. Ensure your fuel is changed appropriately by a mechanic to optimize car performance. Then, check for low oil levels since corrosion and low oil levels will lead to poor lubrication and timing-related problems.
Anytime you hear a cranking noise in your engine, it may likely be a rod knock. It is recommended you don’t wait for long before you find a solution. The longer the wait, the worse your engine will get. It could be a bit expensive but waiting will cost you a lot.