While you are driving, there are some problems you may experience that may require repairs but do afford you some time to get to a mechanic, such as a squeaking belt. However, if your engine throws a piston rod, it can destroy your engine. While many times a rod can break off with no warning at all, other times there are a couple of signs that will warn you of what is about to happen.
1. Oil Light on the Dashboard Flickers While Idling
As part of their job inside your car's engine, the piston rods pump up and down inside the combustion chamber. As the fuel is ignited, it pushes the rods which helps turn the gears in your motor. The rods also help keep your engine's oil pressure at the required level.
However, if the piston comes loose, the oil pressure starts to decrease. At first, the pressure will fluctuate rapidly, which can be detected when your car is idling. If your dashboard's oil light comes on but flickers while you are sitting still, this is the first warning sign that the engine's rods have become loose and may break off at any given moment.
2. Loud Knocking Sound Is Heard While Driving
Another warning sign that your car's engine is about to throw a rod is a loud knocking sound that is heard coming from under the hood. Known as the rod knock, this noise almost always indicates that you have a loose rod that is in imminent danger of breaking off.
Although a rod is loose, it will still attempt to pump in and out of the combustion chamber. As it does, it will strike the engine block and create a loud chattering noise in the beginning.
However, as the rod becomes looser, it will sound as though someone is knocking the inside of the hood with a lead pipe. Once it breaks off, the pressure and momentum will turn the rod into a projectile that is traveling fast enough to pierce the oil pan or even the engine block.
If you suspect that your car's engine is about to throw a rod while you are driving, pull over immediately, and turn off your ignition. Then, contact a towing company and have them take your car to an automotive repair shop, You can have them inspect the engine before the rod comes loose and causes irreparable damage that would involve costly repairs or even an engine replacement.