Noise in 1st and 2nd gears

I have an 01 Ford Ranger, 2.3 L, 4 cyl, 5 speed engine. When I’m in 1st or 2nd gear while giving it gas, the engine makes a deeper and louder noise than usual. It performs fine, however.

Check the exhaust pipe and muffler for leaks. I’ll bet you have one somewhere.

I hope that’s all it is. But the noise occurs randomly. It comes and goes: sometimes when I give it gas it makes it; other times not, without any pattern; and never does can the noise be heard in higher gears, regardless of how much gas I give it. And the noise doesn’t sound like any exhaust leak noise I’ve heard in other cars I’ve owned: it’s more of a rumbling that shakes a little. That said, I’m no car expert, so I’ll get it up on a lift and give a good look at the exhaust. Please let me know if you have other thoughts. And thanks.

Check the gaskets at the pipe joints and the exhaust manifold. Look for carbon tracks. I’ll bet when the engine shifts as you accelerate, a gasket separates and forms a leak. The engine doesn’t shift as much in upper gears.

I will just throw out the idea of noise from the fan?

Your response sounds exactly correct. Now that I think about it, the problem seems to occur only when I initially put it into first or second gear, which would correspond to a gasket separating as the engine shifts. Anyway, I’m going to look for carbon tracks when I get it up on the lift on Monday. I’ll let you know if it’s otherwise. Thanks.

And thanks to oldschool for the fan idea. I’ll come back to that if it’s not the gaskets.

I would think so.