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Amedee
Amedee, ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21878
Experience:  ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Isuzu Trooper: I have a loud ticking sound in my isuzu trooper

Customer Question

I have a loud ticking sound in my isuzu trooper 1999, we thought it was possibly the timming belt tensioner or crankshaft but the auto shop is telling me I need a new engine. He says the noise is coming from the left front cylinder closest to the drivers side about halfway down and he says maybe it is a broken piston skirt?. Why we are confused is that it all started on a cold start last week. Thought it was a piece of carbob due to engine smoking. We had seafoam put in the vaccum line which we had done on several occassions for carbon build up and never had any issues. Please help if you can
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello!

Does the engine run rough? Is the check engine light on or flashing?

Has a compression test been done on the cylinder closest to the noise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Engine run fine, I dont know if compression test has been done, and before this we have had no engine problems what so ever, garage kept shape. One question what does the compression test intale? Is it easy to do or costly?And why is it important?
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Well, usually, when the engine makes noise like this, you lose compression on at least one cylinder if not more cylinders. This will make the engine run bad or run rough. YOu can check for this using a compression tester. HOwever, in your case, it sounds like the engine is running just fine. IT is possible that your engine is making noise and this noise is not affecting the engine compression. If this is the case, a compression test will not do any good.

As long as the oil is clean and full and the timing belt and tensioner are working and are in good shape (timing belt not loose), then chances are it is going to be related to the engine itself.

When this happens, it is normally better just to replace the engine rather than tear it down and replace the bearings individually.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They didnt bother to check the tensioner as they put the timing belt in a yr ago, should I have them check tensioner? But mechanic told me that the noise was not coming from the front so I dont know if we shoud spend the $ to have them check out tensioner. Very confused at this time what to do, also if i need engine are there any used or rebuilt engines out there. What we dont understand is if this engine was maintained why would something just happen on a cold start? So please tell me what you think is there such a thing as a broken piston skirt and can that be detected by a compression test? Sorry for all the questions
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
NO problem.

YES.. I believe your mechanic is talking about the bottom part of the piston itself. Unfortunately a compression test will not detect this broken piston skirt because it is on the other side of the piston rings. When doing a compression test, it only tests the inside of the combustion chamber. NOthing more. The lower part of the piston is not inside the combustion chamber and therefore it will not affect engine running nor will it be detected by a compression test.

ONe thing you could do is have your mechanic drop the oil pan and rotate the engine slowly as he looks at the bottom of the pistons and check to see if any one of the pistons skirts are bad or broken.

Another thing you may want him to do is have him point out the noise to you. I am sure he would be more than happy to show you where he hears this noise from. I would at least go up to the shop and have him do this for you. At least you and him will be on the same page and then you will be confident that it is not in the front timing cover. However, if you find out that it is related to the timing belt or timing belt components, then he should pull the front timing cover and have a look.

I hope this helps! Please don't forget hit the green accept button so that I may get credit for the time that I have spent with you. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

I do hope you are as honest with me about your vehicle as I have been with you. If you have any further questions or if you need more assistance, just hit the reply button and we can continue our conversation. Please remember, even if you accept my answer now, you can still repost or respond back to this thread at any time you wish at no further cost and I will be more than happy to continue to work with you until you are happy.

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Thanks in advance!

Best Regards

AMEDEE
Amedee, ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21878
Experience: ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 10 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We went back by the mechanic and he put it up on the rack so I could listen to the noise and he started it up so we could hear where the noise was coming from and the noise was coming from the back of the engine. My trooper is a 4x4 and there are two oil pans. The front (main)pan is hard to get to because of the 4x4 and the other one is smaller and sits further back. By touching back oil pan in back you can feel the knocking. Will it do any good to take off back oil pan to see if it is really a broken piston skirt? If so what are our options and is it drivable if it is a broken piston skirt. Actually it was driven a few miles before it was taken to the shop and the sound has not gotten any better or worse.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
You could drive the vehicle but then you run the risk of doing further damage.

You could certainly try to pull the rear oil pan off and see if that helps. However, you are limited to what you can see. YOu will only see the back and bottom half of the pistons. HOwever, you will be able to see all of the bearings.. not good.. but you will be able to see them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So do you think it is smart to have them look into taking the front pan off even if sound is felt on back pan. Also if it is broken piston skirt can you fix this or do I need a new engine. When you say I can do further damage if driven what do you mean? The mechanic moves it inside and out of his garage since he leaves no vehicles inside due to insurance. Can you tell me what damage I could do by driving it home about 10 miles? Sorry for bothering you again but we really are trying to cover all options before having to put in a new engine.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
So do you think it is smart to have them look into taking the front pan off even if sound is felt on back pan.

NO


Also if it is broken piston skirt can you fix this or do I need a new engine.

YES

When you say I can do further damage if driven what do you mean?

Something is starting to get loose causing your noise. If it comes apart, then your engine can lock up

Can you tell me what damage I could do by driving it home about 10 miles?

Again, something is starting to get loose causing your noise. If it comes apart, then your engine can lock up
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Last question. Can you fix a broken piston skirt. You said yes to the question for new engine or can you fix broken piston skirt. Thanks. If they can fix piston skirt is it costly. I will come back and tip you when I can afford. Thanks for your time
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
If the piston skirt is the problem, the entire piston needs to be replaced. The piston is installed into the engine block with the cylinder head remove. YES.. to remove the cylinder head it is a major job and it could get very costly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would it be cheaper than a new engine with labor? Can anyone recommend a foreign specialist near Douglasville GA (30 miles west of Atlanta)
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
I live in Wisconsin and do not know of any repair shops in that area. If anything I would just try googling it.

Most of the time, it is cheaper just to replace the engine.

Hope this helps!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I hate to bother you one last time. If it is a
Broken piston skirt, will the cylinder have to be bored out because of possible damage from the broken skirt? I am going to have back pan taken off and looked at today. Thanks!
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
IF there is damage to the cylinder wall, the engine just needs to be replaced.

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