Ticking/Knocking in engine when cold. BRAND NEW CAR

Hey everyone,

2009 Ford Focus, cash for clunkers. May have ended up with a new clunker. Only 6000 miles. I’m not sure what the engine size is, but it’s a wimpy 4-cyl with nothing special.

I noticed, starting about 3500 miles, that the engine was making a pinging or knocking noise when it is cold…usually if it sits overnight. The weather doesn’t have to be cold, though. It happens if the engine hasn’t been run in several hours.

The noise gets louder (possibly faster) when I accelerate or rev the engine. It usually goes away after 3-4 minutes of driving.

I took it to the dealer, and they “couldn’t hear anything,” which I don’t believe, because this is quite loud enough to hear. They said it was probably injectors ticking, and they ordered an insulator piece to install over the injectors. But that hardly seems like a solution.

I’m worried that my engine life will be decreased. Any idea what the real story is?

first, i had the oil changed to make sure it wasn’t low on oil. problem persisted.

just don’t understand why this would happen on a brand new car. the other focuses (focii) i see out there don’t sound like this.

sounds like this youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJpiS9gqVCU

“first, i had the oil changed to make sure it wasn’t low on oil.”

Are you aware that it is more effective–and ultimately a lot cheaper–to simply check the dipstick to determine if the engine is low on oil?

Any responsible car owner will do this at least once a month with a car that has no known oil-burning problems. If oil burning or other lubrication-related problems are suspected, this should be done every time that you fill the car with gas.

But, to return to the original problem, if you feel that you have not gotten an adequate response from the dealer’s service department, then you should contact Ford at the corporate level. Contact information can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

yes, i checked the dipstick first. i changed the oil at about 4500 miles. manual recommends 7500, but as “any responsible car owner” will tell you, it’s a good idea to change it a little more often when the car is new.

thanks for the tip on ford corporate.

anyone else with an actual response about the problem should feel free to contribute.

Whatever the noise is, it’s fairly pronounced. Ask the dealer to listen to your car next to another running Focus. I had an Escort with noisy injectors that sounded similar to your noise, but nowhere near as loud.

Also, are you sure the noise is coming from the engine and not an accessory? Not your problem to figure out, but I was just curious.

not sure of anything, good question. but it really seems to be coming from the engine…i mean, it doesn’t sound like a belt or a heating/AC component or anything.

just to clarify…the video isn’t my car, but the noise sounds about like mine, and is maybe not quite as pronounced as in the video, but it’s not far off.

cash for clunkers.

I’m not sure what the engine size is, but it’s a wimpy 4-cyl with nothing special.

Sounds like you aren’t happy with the car regardless of it working right or not. I’m guessing you traded in a comfy truck for the car? Fear not, you’re not alone.
As for the noise, it’s probably engine rattle from a cold start. Let them take it overnight and have them start it in the morning and see if they can reproduce the noise then. Your car is still under warranty and they should try to make it right, if not, follow VDC’s advice about contacting corporate.

Some dealers like to play the “I don’t hear it, see it, or feel it game” when it’s a warranty problem that they don’t make money on. The factories never pay a fair price to the dealers for warr. work, so I think you are going to have to push a bit to get them to admit that there IS a problem.
Do what BSCAR says,and leave it overnight, but you should go in there in the morning when they test it. I would leave the car after they have closed for the night. If you leave it with them while they are open, they may make you leave the keys, due to a policy that requires they have keys for all the cars on the lot. If they have the keys, they may start it and warm it up before you get there.
You really need to be there for the “first” cold start in the a.m. so they can’t so easily deny hearing what YOU obviously can.

p.s. I wanted to clairify that NOT ALL DEALERSHIPS play this game. I worked for one of the most honest and generous dealerships for 16 years, (they actually did free work for some customers after they were out of warranty) and then I worked for one that was “different” for an additional 2 years. It usually depends on the “service manager”,& the “general manager”, and what they are told to do by the Dealership Owner, and this is usually dependant on whether the “service dept” is operating in the red or black.

I had an engine noise recently with my 1 1/2 year old car. Take it to the dealer and let it stay overnight. You should have no problem getting this taken care of if they can hear the noise. Good luck.