2002 Honda Civic engine knocking. Exhaust leak? Worse?


When i hit the gas on my civic it makes a clanking sound. Sounds like an old VW bus or something. I just had my oil changed and the kid at the shop looked at it and said it sounded like i was about to throw a rod and shouldn’t even be driving it. I took it to a mechanic and he listened to it and immediately said “exhaust leak, easy fix.” thoughts? should i get a third opinion? also, what should i expect to pay for such repairs?


If it’s really about to throw a rod then there’s major internal engine damage, which could develop into a knock. That requires a full teardown a rebiuld to fix. Which requires the engine be removed and reinstalled.

On a 2002? That seems impossible. Unless you let the oil run riddiculously low or you’ve been putting the wrong oil in the engine. My father grabs whatever’s on the shelf for the cheapest. So far he’s been lucky, but one day he’s going to grab something that’s too thin to keep the bearings properly lubricated, or too thick to even get to the bearings, and destroy an engine. If you have a simmilar approach to oil, you may have rolled snake eyes.

How many miles are on this car?

I’m not so sure about an exhaust leak making a clanking sound. Frankly I don’t buy it at all. But I do buy the possibility of an exhaust manifold or pipe being loose, or a bracket being broken. The pipe or manifold would knock around under acceleration. Where does the knock eminate from?



The kid at the oil change shops are usually GED’s with little or no training beyond the 5 minute film they have to watch on how to change the oil.

Your mechanic probably has had some technical training and several years experience.

It won’t hurt to get a second opinion…but I’ll bet your mechanic is correct.


how long would it take for that to happen (a thrown rod)? i really only noticed this sound a week or so ago. my last 2 oil changes have been within 4000-5000 miles. the one before that may have been a little longer.


Quote: “The kid at the oil change shops are usually GED’s”

Are you sure about that? The ones that I have observed at J-Lube and its clones probably couldn’t pass that test–or a urine drug screening for that matter. At the J-Lube closest to my house, the manager and one of his employees were arrested (on the premises) last year for possession of cocaine. Kudos to my local police for busting those scum.

And…no I don’t go there. I have accompanied a female friend to J-Lube on a few occasions and all I could do was to wince when I saw the level of skill (and the level of dishonesty) exhibited there. I have tried many times to talk her out of going there, but to no avail, so I will keep my mouth shut on that topic from now on.


A mechanic is more likely to be correct than a kid in an oil change place (which you should avoid like the plague, by the way). Have the exhaust leak fixed and all will be well.

You are unlikely to have any internal engine damage in this car, unless you ran it with no oil in it, which is highly unlikely.