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ENGINE BLOWN?? ticking, slapping, loud knocking

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New User

Apr 27, 2008, 8:19 AM

Post #1 of 3 (2952 views)
ENGINE BLOWN?? ticking, slapping, loud knocking Sign In

Hoping someone can help me understand. I have 96 GMC 1500 4WD p/u w/125K miles on it. It was running great (maybe slight missing), but I have not had a tune up for a while, only regular oil changes and various things that have broken over the past 6 mos. For example, 4WD silonoid (sp?) thermostat, EGR valve.

So, Friday took it to what I believe to be a reputable service center and asked them to do an inspection and recommend if I needed plugs, wires, fuel filter, check fluids, brakes etc. They did that and replaced plugs, wires, fuel filter, power steering line was leaking, differential was leaking, and did an oil and filter change and said everything else looked great. I left Denver for the 400 mile drive back to Durango, where I live and about 200 miles in, I heard a strange ticking in the engine while climbing a small hill in 2nd gear. When I got back to OD, it went away and did not come back (for a while). I had also been smelling a faint smell of what I thought was antifreeze pretty much the whole drive. I stopped about 70 miles further and when I turned on the truck to leave I heard a slight rattle or ticking when I turned on the engine, but then nothing. I turned it off and on again to be sure I heard it,and didn't hear it a second time. BUT, when I got on the road, the ticking began again, and eventually turned into a slapping noise, and by the time I had a safe place to pull over, 20 miles or so further, it was a loud knocking noise, while driving and while idling.

I was towed 135 miles to my home, because the driver said he thought the engine was "done" "blown", after listening to it for a couple seconds. The knocking is really loud! I checked the oil, after getting it home, in case they forgot to fill it. There was plenty of oil, but it looked darker than normal. I also had plenty of fluid in my antifreeze overflow reservoir, but couldn't get the cap of the radiator to check. Also my gauges were in normal range (oil pressure and engine temp). Is there any way that the shop could be responsible for what I experienced? I paid them $1038!! and then had to pay $350 for the tow, because it was over AAA's 100 mile limit!! But does it sound blown judging from the limited information in my post? I know its hard to tell when you cant hear it and I will be taking it to my mechanic this week, but thought I would see if anyone here has any insights or thoughts. Thanks so much!!!


(This post was edited by 130epc on Apr 27, 2008, 8:39 AM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 27, 2008, 9:56 AM

Post #2 of 3 (2947 views)
Re: ENGINE BLOWN?? ticking, slapping, loud knocking Sign In

Egad! Doesn't sound good and I don't understand the gauges reading "normal" if in fact you were having oil pressure or temp problems?? The progression sounds like it ran out of oil but you said it was fine. By that does it read properly full or at least in the "safe" area?

Don't give up quite yet. You said you had plugs done and the taper seat plugs are best when not overtightened as they can get real stuck in the engine for the next change out so mechanics might err to less tight than necessary and one may have come loose - that sounds like a "tick" and if they progress it would get louder and could fall right out - perhaps hanging on a plug wire still and would sound like all hell broke loose and run like crap! I'm one not to overtighten plugs of this sort and have had them tick and some from anothers work also but it was caught at just a tick and nothing more. I've run engine (exactly the chev V8) with a plug removed on purpose and it does sound like a fully blown engine.

Check that as that could explain it - surprised a tow driver didn't pick that up if so but could have missed that. Hope it's that as there's a chance of little damage if so.

Let me know - I can't really think of what else with this history would do that?? A maybe for an exhaust leak perhaps the EGR or exhaust manifold area which would also account for the smell. Do check if anti-freeze is full at the radiator cap and if it's messed up with oil or something noted there.??


New User

Apr 27, 2008, 11:18 AM

Post #3 of 3 (2945 views)
Re: ENGINE BLOWN?? ticking, slapping, loud knocking Sign In

Yeah, "Egad" is a lot lighter word than I have been using!!

I did check the plugs and wires and they all seem to be there and in place. Thanks for your reply and I guess I'll just have to wait until someone can look at it.


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