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Sounds like a machine gun

about two days ago we were driving home and our van started to make a noise when we press on the gas pedal. it sounds like a machine gun under the hood. what can it be?

See if you popped a spark plug.


when you say popped can a piece of it be rattling in the engine? can it be a wheel bearing?

Look on the engine, and see if there’s a spark plug that’s no longer in the engine.

You know what else would help? If you told us what make, year, and model of van you’re talking about.


sorry it is a ford windstar 2000

@LMONE I’ll make a few guesses.

The check engine light is on.
Maybe the check engine light is even flashing.

If your engine is a late model Ford V8 or V10, I’ll agree with @Tester. You almost definitely blew out a plug. And it’ll have taken the coil along with it. Quite common, unfortunately.

If we’re right, replace all of the plugs and that one coil now.

thank you for the advise we will definitely that…yes the engine light is on. it flashes



A flashing check engine light means the misfire is severe enough to damage the catalytic converter.
Continue driving the van at your own risk. A plugged cat won’t be cheap to replace.

Unfortunately you may have to remove the doghouse (the engine cover which is underneath your center console, most likely) to inspect the engine.

A company I used to work for had a spark plug blow out of their Ford 15-passenger van (V8) - I think it was about a 2001 model. I wasn’t in it at the time, but I was told that’s how it sounded.

Unfortunately, it cost them $2,200.00 to have it repaired.

Almost certainly a plug blown out of the engine, however @db4690 , the windstar has a transverse mounted V6, much easier to see if anything has happened, and doesn’t have the doghouse.

It could even be just loose. Check all for tightness. I would remove and check each one otherwise.

@alust2013 do the Ford V6 engines also blow plugs out? The V8s and V10s are essentially the same engine, with the V10 having 2 cylinder more. But I believe the V6 was an entirely different design?

I’m not sure if it was a common problem, as it is a different design, but I figured it was still certainly possible given the age and likely high miles.

Could be a broken valve spring, rocker arm, it is a pushrod motor.

There are a lot of possibilities and a number of them probable. Including some identified in i this thread as well as a spun main bearing. The important thing to know is that until you know exactly what’s wrong, you can assume that every time you start the engine it does more damage, so it’s imperative that you have this towed to a shop and not try to drive it. With luck it’ll be one of the less detructive possibilities.

I have a '98 GMC 1500. It is also making a machine gun noise but only between 40-47-ish mph. It doesn’t do it every time and varies in length from a split second to possibly 10 seconds. If I let off the gas, it quits.
On a side note, not sure if important, I recently had the transmission rebuilt, but the truck seems to be shifting fine