I am planning to buy this Ford Taurus 93, 3.8. There is loud (very
loud) knocking coming from the engine. It seems to go away when engine
idling or cruising but increases at higher revs. The exhaust fumes just
look fine, no bad smell or smoke. The car runs fine, and looks normal
other than this excessive knocking.
Is this a rod bearing problem? Does the engine need to be rebuilt and
that is the only way?
Also if I keep driving it this way what could happen? Could it go for
months or years just by making noise like that, or it will die on me in
a short while?
Thanks in advance.
Most likely had the blown head gasket syndrome.... and the bearings are
I'm assuming, though, that when you say 'knocking' it resembles tapping
the exhaust manifold with a heavy hammer, or an even deeper sound -
rather than a sound like the blade of a screwdriver tapping that
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, staving off dementia here..DEAL with it!
Not sure about the range of model years, but the transverse-mounted 3.8L V6
had a history of blowing head gaskets. If not caught in time, coolant got
into the crankcase. Since coolant is not such a great lubricant, you know
the rest of the story.
May well be something entirely different, but assuming the worst, you can
probably replace this engine with a reman for around $1500-$2000 if you have
the tools and do the work yourself. Add a grand or so if someone else does
the work. Subtract the total from the blue book price. Assuming that the
result is positive, pay the difference (not before checking for transmission
and other possible problems) and be happy...
Dealer or private party?
They give up any history on the car?
My guess is, if you look at the top end, it will look
very clean. The headgasket was bad and replaced.(or will need to be)
But the damage to the bottom end of the motor was already done.
Its only a matter of time before it gets worse and shells if
the bearings are out. A 93 is not worth a rebuilt motor. A used
3.8 is a crap shoot. Its a $200 car with that noise.
You must be a glutton for punishment if you consider buying a 93'
Taurus, which is not worth much anyway, with an existing engine knock.
It would not be worth my trouble to take it for nothing. So how much is
the guy going to pay you?
Yea, but you are taking care of it.
The poster is not tuned into cars. He's contemplating purchasing a 14
year old car with probably multiple problems. Yet he has somehow been
astute enough to recognize a LOUD engine knock. More power to him. And
I bet you can hear the car coming a block away. He's hoping beyond
reason that someone here can tell him to go ahead and buy this $50 car
and throw some Miricle Mud from the auto store in it and it will be
fine for at least another 50,000 miles.
If the poster thinks I'm making fun of him, I am. Now use the
information to your advantage and walk away knowing you were blessed by
Thanks folks for all the valuable answers..
The noise is coming directly from the top cover area (I guess it is
called rocker arm cover). Exactly like tapping with a hammer. And it is
very loud as you mentioned, you can hear it almost coming from the
block. The rest of the car is very good condition, and it has 120,000
kms on it. It is a private party and selling it for $600 US. The owner
said that he bought it from somebody else a few months ago and drove it
around without any problem. The deceiving point is, driving it feels
Anyway, reading the posts here I have pretty much decided not to pay
any more attention to the car. Thanks again..
"It is a private party and selling it for $600 US. The owner
Well, that sounds like some key information.
There are many bottom feeders in the used car business that buy broke or
junk cars, fix them up minimally to get them to run, and then sell them
on the curb or though small print advertisements. All of this doesn't
have to be a fraud. But these guys are not your friends. If you don't
know what your buying you will end up with junk. What do you expect for
$500 or so anyway?
One key fact here is if the car is legally licensed and titled.
If its NOT licensed (and i mean plate matches registrations matches car)
and titled to the person selling it, you definitely dealing with one
of these "curb sellers". Or the guys is selling it for "someone else".
Nothing wrong with a taurus. I have owned 4. If you got a older one
your going to be fixing it periodically. But a 3.8 with noise like
that is a ticking bomb. If in doubt, take it to a private mechanic
before you buy it and get a opinion.
I have a dilemma of my own. Got my mother in laws low mileage 96
windstar that she was going to give us. It just started blowing white
antifreeze smoke out the back and was shifting erratically. The motor
has no noise, but there is no guarantee that if i sunk a pot of money
redoing the heads that it would not end up like the car your looking at now.
The deceiving point is, driving it feels
No way to tell. I would assume that you will need to rebuild the engine soon
if you buy the car. Unless you are prepared to spend and additonal $2-$3k
for a major engine overhaul, I would run away from the car.
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