Car wont start after knock

I had a knock in my mustang pretty sure it was a rod knock but as im driving the car died on me i tried to give it a jump start and it wouldn’t start other is it nit starting because of the rod knock got too intense or because altenator problems because im getting symptoms of altanator problems also and also what is the best solution for a bad rod knock replacing the motor or having it rebuilt im only 18 with 1 job so my schedule is very limited

First off, your post is very hard to read without capitalization and punctuation.

Second, what year Mustang, what engine? How many miles on it?

Third, If you had a rod knock and continued to drive it, the engine may have locked up never to run again without a full rebuild. Put the car into neutral, put a large wrench on the crankshaft pulley bolt and try to turn it. Won’t turn? Engine replacement time!

Replacing the engine with a used one is probably the cheapest and quickest way to get you back on the road but it may not be worth the cost depending on your answers to my 2nd series of questions.

Do you live in apartment?
Will you pay a shop to replace a used motor?

Sorry about that i was typing fast but heres the rundown my fellow mustangman , its a 2001 3.8 v6 it had a rod knock i was trying to get it home and it stalled but when it stalled it died completely so i charged the battery up now it jus wont start all it does is click now , how do i know its locked and should i replace the motor or have it rebuilt?

Follow Mustang’s advice. And hope the rod bearing didn’t seize, break the rod, and tear the cylinder wall apart.

If you are hearing a click and not a clunk, your starter is not trying to work so you can’t tell if your engine is seized or not.

Do as others have suggested to see if the engine will rotate.

The first thing that you should have done upon hearing a “rod knock”, was to shut off the engine and check the oil level.
If you had near to no oil in the engine, that could have destroyed the bearings further in attempting to make it home before checking the oil.

Do as @Mustangman suggested. It is the only sure test to see if the engine is beyond repair.
There is no easier test!!!

Then we can suggest what your next step should be. Miles on the vehicle and the overall condition of the body would be our next questions for you, but do @Mustangman’s test first.


Ok, so we know what engine it has and that the car is 17 years old but we don’t know how many miles the car has. No worries as the age tells me as much as the mileage in this case.

Do as I suggested and see if the engine will rotate. A easier first step would be to have a buddy crank the car while you watch he engine. If it tries to turn and you hear a grunting sound from the starter. Your engine is probably locked up.

Then try the wrench on the crank pulley. Won’t move? Your engine is really locked up.

Did you run it low on oil as @Yosemite suggests? If so, you just learned a lesson in car maintenance. Cars won’t run without the proper amount of oil.

As for the “rebuild or replace” I’d say this car is probably too old for either to make economic sense. A rebuilt engine will run you $2200 just to buy it and another $1500 or so to install it. A junkyard engine would run you about $1000 IF you can find a good one and the same $1500 to install it. Is the car worth $3700? $2500 No, it isn’t. Sell it to the junkyard for scrap. Unfortunately, you just learned a lesson in economics.

The School of Hard Knocks just taught you 2 important lessons the hard way. Sorry about your car.


If you can turn the engine by hand, the experiment posted above by MM, the current “does not crank” problem might just be a faulty battery, corroded battery connections, or faulty starter motor. Start by removing the connectors from the battery post, cleaning the post and connectors, and re-installing. Next up , battery load (or conductance) test. After that, replace the starter. Won’t fix the rod knock, but might get you back on the road again for a while.

All true, but if it does get you back on the road, start shopping.
A noticeable rod knock often portends a seized bearing in the near future, and depending on what the engine is doing when the bearing seizes, a popped rod. Once the rod breaks, it’ll tear the cylinder walls up and you may as well kiss the engine goodbye.

Rod knock means that the rod bearing is no longer being kept apart from the crankshaft by a film of pressurized oil. It’s banging against the crankshaft virtually metal-to-metal thousands of times per minute.