Question about 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX

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Engine makes a whining sound

I have a 1996 T-bird LX 3.8L The engine just started making a "whining" sound.

Posted by Gail Christensen on

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ZJ Limited

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  • Ford Master
  • 17,970 Answers

Hi there:
First check this information about "engine noses"...
ENGINE CLICKING NOISES
A clicking or tapping noise that gets louder when you rev the engine is probably "tappet" or upper valvetrain noise caused by one of several things: low oil pressure, excessive valve lash, or worn or damaged parts.

First, check the engine dipstick to see if the oil level is low. If low, add oil to bring it back up to the full mark. Is the engine still noisy? Check your oil pressure. A low gauge reading (or oil warning light) would indicate a serious internal engine problem that is preventing normal oil pressure from reaching the upper valvetrain components. The cause might be a worn or damaged oil pump, a clogged oil pump pickup screen or a plugged up oil filter. Using too thick a viscosity of motor oil during cold weather can also slow down the flow of oil to the upper valvetrain, causing noise and wear.

COLLAPSED LIFTER NOISE
Worn, leaky or dirty lifters can also cause valvetrain noise. If oil delivery is restricted to the lifters (plugged oil galley or low oil pressure), the lifters won't "pump up" to take up the normal slack in the valvetrain. A "collapsed" lifter will then allow excessive valve lash and noise.

VALVE LASH NOISE
If you can rule out lubrication-related problems as a cause, the next step would be to remove the valve cover(s) and check valve lash. On older import engines, mechanical lifters require periodic valve lash adjustments (typically every 30,000 miles). Too much space between the tips of the rocker arms and valve stems can make the valvetrain noisy -- and possibly cause accelerated wear of both parts.

To measure (and adjust) valve lash, you need a feeler gauge. The gauge is slid between the tip of the valve stem and rocker arm (or the cam follower or the cam itself on overhead cam engines) when the piston is at top dead center (valve fully closed). Refer to a manual for the specified lash and adjustment procedure. Also, note whether the lash spec is for a hot or cold engine (this makes a big difference!).

On engines with hydraulic lifters, oil pressure pumps up the lifters when the engine is running to maintain zero lash in the valvetrain. This results in quiet operation. So if the rocker arms are clattering, it tells you something is amiss (bad lifter or worn or damaged parts) or the rocker arms need adjusting.

DAMAGED ENGINE PARTS NOISE
Inspect the valvetrain components. Excessive wear on the ends of the rocker arms, cam followers (overhead cam engines) and/or valve stems can open up the valve lash and cause noise. So too can a bent pushrod or a broken valve spring.

RAPPING OR DEEP KNOCKING ENGINE SOUND
Usually bad news. A deep rapping noise from the engine is usually "rod knock," a condition brought on by extreme bearing wear or damage. If the rod bearings are worn or loose enough to make a dull, hammering noise, you're driving on borrowed time. Sooner or later one of the bearings will fail, and when it does one of two things will happen: the bearing will seize and lock up the engine, or it will attempt to seize and break a rod. Either way your engine will suffer major damage and have to be rebuilt or replaced.

Bearing noise is not unusual in high mileage engines as well as those that have been neglected and have not had the oil and filter changed regularly. It can also be caused by low oil pressure, using too light a viscosity oil, oil breakdown, dirty oil or dirt in the crankcase, excessive blowby from worn rings and/or cylinders (gasoline dilutes and thins the oil), incorrect engine assembly (bearings too loose), loose or broken connecting rod bolts, or abusive driving.

Bearing wear can be checked by dropping the oil pan and inspecting the rod and main bearings. If the bearings are badly worn, damaged or loose, replacing the bearings may buy you some time. But if the bearings are badly worn or damaged, the crankshaft will probably have to be resurfaced - which means a complete engine overhaul or replacing the engine is the vehicle is worth the expense.

ENGINE PINGS OR KNOCKS WHEN ACCELERATING
The cause here may be Spark Knock (Detonation) caused by an inoperative EGR valve, overadvanced ignition timing, engine overheating, carbon buildup in the combustion chambers, or low octane fuel.

Hope this helps; also keep in mind that your feedback is important and I`ll appreciate your time and consideration if you leave some testimonial comment about this answer.

Thank you for using FixYa, have a nice day

Posted on Aug 22, 2012

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Anonymous

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SOURCE: Whining sound when the engine/trans in not under a load

tighten all the pulleys and replace the belt. get a tune up.

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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Anonymous

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SOURCE: the power steering is making a whining sound, what

add power sterring fluid asap, and hope that it fixes it, otherwise time for a new power steering pump.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009

roniecon

Ronny Bennett Sr.

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SOURCE: Clutch making a moaning noise when depressed

Clutch throw out bearing is going out,when replaced,if at all possible,replace the clutch ,cause the labor will be most of the labor to replace the bearing,about 99 percent of it,a few dollars more,on labor,you can replace the clutch assembly,clutch,pressure plate,and throw out bearing ,in a set.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010

Testimonial: "good feedback. thanks for the input"

SOURCE: Started engine and heard a loud whining noise.

it could be the soound of a raditor fan motor or drive belts, if drive belt is noisy then you have just adj the tension of belt and if it is of radiator fan then check the relay of fan. thanks.

Posted on Jan 16, 2010

autocowboy

John Stevens

  • 58 Answers

SOURCE: ENGINE LITE ON

Usually indicates that you fuel cap may be bad and needs replacement. This happens when the gas cap allows air to seep in. Please rate me!!

Posted on Mar 01, 2011

Testimonial: "WILL TRY OUT - WHY WON'T IT PASS THE EMMSION TEST?"

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