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let me know if you have a fuel pressure gauge. If you hear the fuel pump and the filter is good we should make sure there is enough pressure. we should have key on engine off 35-45 psi. We can also make sure the pump continues to get power as it cranks or runs(if even for a few seconds). We will need a multi meter for this.
let me know if you checked for trouble codes and if any warning lights are on
let me know what you find
you would use an adapter to hook the gauge up to the test port on the fuel rail. If there were no test port it would have to hooked up at the coupling to the rail or at the filter. We should see key on engine off 35-45 and with key off bleed down should be slow. If there are no leaks and it bleeds down fast we could have a bad pump or a bad injector. Bad injector and you should smell fuel.
You can check the catalytic converters with a back pressure gauge or pop out the 02 sensors and see if it has more power. If they get bad enough to lose that much power usually the element has broken and they will rattle, try rapping the outside of the cat with a hammer. I have seen a bad MAF sensor cause a vehicle to act like a lack of fuel.
I am surprised the check engine light is not on. Make sure it come on with the key on engine off. Let me know if this the 2 valve motor.
let me know if you can communicate with a scanner
If it sounds like an engine knock I would make sure we have good oil pressure. Usually the engine develops a bearing knock from low oil pressure. The cats do come loose and cause a knock similar to an engine knock. If we are loosing timing advance and the knock sensor is picking up the noise we would need a scanner that can show live data.
I am not aware of anyone that will rent a scanner that will show live data. you can have trouble codes without the engine light on. lets get the vehicle scanned for codes, most parts places will scan for free. Lets also make sure we have no broken elements in the cat converters.
See if you can pin point the noise better, like if it sounds closer to the trans bell housing. there is a chance the trans torque converter could be failing. It can knock or rattle and cause the engine to stall.
yes, you can check have codes in history and not have a check engine light on. I am not sure if the scanner you rent will show live data and what it will show. I would ask. I use a long screw driver or extension to pin point sounds. Hold it on a engine or trans part and then hold up to the out side of you ear. The sound will get louder as you get closer. just watch moving parts and hot parts that can burn.
no noise at idle. let me know if there is a noise in park when you raise the engine RPM. Knocking is usually used to describe a low loud engine noise related to bearings.wrist pins or even piston slap. Pinging is more like a rattle, like shaking a tin car with a few bolts inside. Pinging is from ignition timing ,carbon build up on the pistons, low fuel pressure, exhaust restriction or low octane fuel.
let me know what the spark plugs look like