Question about 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Severe engine noise in synch with RPM, 94 Olds Ciera S

My 94 Oldsmobile Ciera Cutlass S developed an increasingly loud "thwack - thwack - thwack" sound in the engine, that was in synch with the engine RPMs. This began about 2 miles from home. I limped home and got the car into my parking spot. This is not the fan hitting something; it's inside the engine. I would describe the sound as metal hitting metal.

I suspect that the condition is terminal, given the age/value of the car. However, I would appreciate suggestions/guesses as to what may be wrong, so that I can judge better whether to make any attempt to diagnose/repair, or sell, or junk.

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  • k1b234 Jan 09, 2009

    To MrCaesar: No, the sound is not muffled or a ticking sound. It is a quite loud THWACK - THWACK - THWACK sound, that I would guess is associated with a cylinder (occurring probably about a couple times per second).

  • k1b234 Jan 09, 2009

    MrCaesar: I do not recall seeing any blue or black smoke from the rear-view mirror. It is night in Washington DC right now. In about 10 hours (morning), I will check the oil level and report.

    I would describe the sound as much louder than a valve lifter tapping.

  • k1b234 Jan 09, 2009

    MrCaesar: The oil level checks as full and looks somewhat dirty.

  • k1b234 Jan 09, 2009

    MrCaesar: The engine ran smoothly until the noise began. The noise was quieter at first, then got progressively louder. The engine lost some of its power -- like a cylinder wasn't firing. That engine roughness produced vibration that I would say was continuous and consistent with the engine speed.

  • Jeff Workman
    Jeff Workman May 11, 2010

    ASE Mechanic here:

    those models cars sometimes the crankshaft pulley seperates and it the process makes thumping sounds check and keep me posted

  • MrCaesar May 11, 2010

    How is the vibration of the engine at different RPM's? Does the vehical shake at certain RPM's and smooth out at others?

  • MrCaesar May 11, 2010

    Hmm okay it sounded like you were talking about your tapids. Check your oil level. Any blue or black smoke coming out of the exaust?

  • MrCaesar May 11, 2010

    Is it more of a muffled ticking sound?


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That sound of a thwack could be one of your cylinders has bottomed out ! If you experienced an overheated engine ! Then that could be the problem that includes major engine repair ! This work involves with removing the oil pan to get at the connecting rod and disconnecting the bottom of your cylinder ! Or replace the whole crankshaft ( part of the heart of your engine ). I would be so costly just to rebuild your engine if your can afford it! If your can't afford the costly repair than junk it ! I would !!

Posted on Sep 05, 2010

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