Jeep wrangler engine knocking sound

Engine "knocking" sound???

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Sounds like an exhaust leak but also sounds like a knocking noise. Sorry, man. The sooner you deal with it the better. If it's just a rod knock, a new set of bearings may fix it as long as the crankshaft isn't scored. I assume you have a 3.8? Not uncommon for rod bearings to fail.
Sounds like rod knock, but it can be several other things as-well including the fuel and exaust. What type of Oil are u running and what grade of fuel? Have u changed the spark plugs or wires?
Engine "knocking" sound???

Correct on it being a 3.8. 2007 with 86k-ish miles. It doesn't sound like an exhaust leak, but you can hear the sound out the exhaust.

I haven't changed plugs or wires. Picked this up about 3 months ago. 5W20 on the oil.
Like mentioned sounds like rod knock. Have you been burning oil or running low?

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Yea most likely i'm going to bet my cards on it is rod knock and i would get that checked ASAP and hopefully as mentioned before it didn't score the crankshaft but it's hard to know till it get's inspected.
It does not sound like exhaust to me. It is irregular. Have you checked simple and benign things like loose bolts, heat shields, etc. ?

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It does not sound like exhaust to me. It is irregular. Have you checked simple and benign things like loose bolts, heat shields, etc. ?

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I haven't checked anything really. But I agree with you about it sounding like something is loose. I'll poke around. Any places I should start the search?

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Well i would recommend u to a shop near me but u live in Texas and i live in Cali i would search local shops around your area and places that have been in the business for 10+ years and know what they are doing. If u can't find a decent shop i would take it to the dealer but be midnful they will charge quite a bit unless your rig is under warranty.
Ok, so this noise seems to come and go, but it's been back pretty steady lately. Today I removed the serpentine belt and the noise went away. Does that make any sense? None of the pulleys feel loose.

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There's some very minor play in the water pump pulley. A little more in the power steering pump pulley. None of it seems "excessive" though.

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Carefully use apiece of hose as a stethoscope. I bet you'll find it quickly. You can even get a stethoscope at the auto parts store.
Did you spin all of the idlers by hand to see if they make noise? They will be ten fold louder with the engine running. Also your water pump should have no play.

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Everything spun fine. Nothing wrong there. The play in the water pump is very minimal, but that could be what's causing the sound.

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If its the water pump its an easy fix and you are lucky! How many miles? I have the same engine with 125000 miles and have never changed a water pump.
87k or so on the odometer now.

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I wanted to update this thread in case anyone else has the same problem.

It was the water pump making that noise. Replaced the pump and the sound is gone.

When I had the old pump out, if you spun it really fast, you could hear the knock sound. The bearings felt a little gritty. I'm guessing there's a piece of something in there that would cause that bearing to jump ever so slightly and cause that knock sound.

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Glad you found it and thanks for posting back.
I have the same sound and my mechanic said to open the oil pan and inspect the crankshaft bearings and crankshaft!

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If there is a ticking or tapping noise in your engine, this article is for you.

Because driving is part of everyday life, there are some instances in which people might be worried about the safety of their vehicles.

Some Jeep owners have had to worry about ticking sounds underneath their hoods. It’s more common than people think. Knowing what it means allows the driver to be able to seek the right assistance.

What Is That Engine Ticking Noise?

So, what’s that engine ticking noise in your Jeep?There are a few different reasons that could be the cause of a ticking noise in your Jeep, and they include:

  • Problems with the Jeep’s valvetrain
  • The wrong air filter is being used
  • The oil pump is dying out

While the first issue can potentially be diagnosed and fixed by the Jeep’s owner easily, mechanical defects like the second two issues are more difficult to diagnose and fix unless the driver is a mechanic.

In this article, you will be given in-depth explanations of the issues that can lead to a ticking noise in your Jeep and how to fix them.

Valvetrain Problems

If you have noticed a ticking noise in your Jeep, the first thing you should do is investigate the vehicle’s valvetrain.

By design, most cars use hydraulic valve lifters. These rely on oil pressure to help maintain a tight clearance between the camshaft and the rocker arm.

If the pressure is not correct, it can cause problems between the lifters and the drivetrain, thus starting the tapping noise that becomes a concern.

A tip to rectify this issue is to use cold oil at start-up to help pump up the lifters. If that solves the problem, then it likely means the temperature of the oil is the culprit.

Using oil at ordinary temperatures, however, could result in the viscosity being too thin to work the lifters efficiently.

In most cases, the oil will break down after over a thousand miles, ultimately eliminating the noise. If that doesn’t happen, however, it could signal a much bigger problem with the vehicle.

Jeep Wrangler 3.6L Engine Tapping Noise [Video]

Is this the noise you are engine tapping noise you are hearing?

Taking Care of the Valvetrain

As with any vehicle, it is a good idea to care for the parts that keep it moving.

It has already been established that the valvetrain can do some strange things when it is not cared for properly. So, taking care of your Jeep’s valvetrain is important!

Some tips for caring for your Jeep’s valvetrain include:

  • Some models of Jeeps require the valvetrain to be cleaned periodically. If your engine light simply won’t go off, you may not be cleaning your valvetrain often enough. 
  • The camshaft is usually the part of the valvetrain that fails first, but, if the other parts have not been cleaned correctly, the issues can spread. This means that the longer the issue is left unattended, the more money it will cost to fix.
  • Only use the oil recommended for your specific engine. Using the wrong oil can result in many things going wrong with the vehicle.

Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues are notoriously harder to diagnose because they usually involve popping the hood and examining the inner workings of the vehicle. Below are two of the most common mechanical causes of a ticking noise in your Jeep.

#1 The Wrong Air Filter is Being Used in the Vehicle

Using the wrong type of air filter in a vehicle is a significant cause for concern and could explain the ticking noise. So, the first thing you should do when you open your hood is check if the correct filter is being used.

Even if the specifications of the air filter are correct, vehicles work much better with the filter supplied by their manufacturer in many cases.

Even if the manufacturer filters are more expensive, it is recommended to pay the extra for peace of mind of knowing the chance of issues will be slimmer.

Additionally, paying a bit more for your air filter could also potentially save you money by preventing further mechanical issues that need to be fixed.

#2 Faulty Oil Pump

The worst-case scenario when a ticking noise arises is that the oil pump is slowly dying out. Driving a car with a dying oil pump can slowly damage other components of the vehicle, meaning that the cost associated with a repair could be much higher if the driver continues to use the car.

If you have checked the valvetrain and the air filter of your jeep and are still hearing the ticking sound in your vehicle, then you should bring it to a mechanic as soon as possible.

How to Change the Air Filter in a Jeep

Some people prefer to make improvements to their cars without the need for a mechanic. An air filter is easy enough to change if the correct directions are followed.

To change your air filter yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Undo both hood catches and prop up the hood.
  2. Turn attention to the factory air box on the lower left side of the engine bay and find the four clips around the airbox. Undo each clip.
  3. Use a 10mm socket wrench and undo the two bolts to the right of the airbox.
  4. Lift the airbox to reveal the filter.
  5. Pull out the filter and find the replacement.
  6. Replace the filter, while ensuring the tapered end always points towards the driver’s side.
  7. Once in place, close the box again, replacing all the screws.

How To Video: Change Your Air Filter on a Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-2018)

Air Filters to Consider for Your Jeep

If changing your Jeep’s air filter is the best course of action, then the following choices are great filters to consider for your vehicle.

#1 Spearhead Max Thrust Performance Filter

The Spearhead Max Thrust filter comes recommended by Amazon thanks to the rave reviews from people who have actually used it as well as the high quality of the product. It is listed as an Amazon’s Choice product.

#2 Fram CA348

The Fram CA348 is another product that is gathering excellent reviews on Amazon, with many liking how robust it is and the longevity of the filter.

Amazon also has this one listed as an Amazon’s Choice product, meaning it is another product of great value.

#3 K&N Engine Air Filter

The K&N product comes at a higher price than the other two, but it comes with many benefits to back up the price.

It comes pre-oiled, so it is basically a plug and play component that you can add with ease. This filter also lasts 50,000 miles without cleaning. [Filter Reviews]

Why Should Ticking Noises Be Taken Seriously?

There are many issues that can arise with vehicles. Some problems are worse than others, but drivers must remember that driving a problematic vehicle could be putting everyone inside at risk, as well as other drivers.

That’s why it is always imperative to take any vehicle-related issues seriously.

If this is your Jeep’s first issue, it would be wise to check the warranty and contact the manufacturer. If the Jeep warranty is still valid, it could save you money. If the vehicle warranty has expired, it would be the best course of action to contact a mechanic.

In Conclusion…

There are various things that could cause an irritating (and rather foreboding) ticking noise in your Jeep but knowing what to do when you hear it is crucial.

In many instances, it is something that can be dealt with without the need of a mechanic, possibly by cleaning or swapping a part out. In all cases, it is better to be safe than sorry!

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When taking off from a stationary position, have you noticed a loud knocking noise? Does it only occur when you initially press the gas pedal? Does it make an audible metallic ‘clunk’ when going over bumps? If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms on your Jeep Wrangler, then this article has the solution.

When your Jeep Wrangler emits a loud metallic knocking noises when accelerating, it can be caused by wear on any of the following components.

  • Driveshaft U-joints
  • Front axle U-joints
  • Engine Mounts
  • Transmission Mounts
  • Loose Shock/Strut Mount

In order to accurately diagnose the problem, we need to eliminate a few possibilities by doing a few simple checks.

Has your suspension been modified recently? Check all Sway bar links after suspension lifts for play. Inspect for a loose control arm bushing in the arms if you have stock LCA (Lower control arms) If you’ve recently been off-roading and knocked a skid plate, this could misalign it, causing it to make contact with your exhaust pipe when you pull off hard. Also make sure all your exhaust clamps are still ok and are properly torqued.  Inspect your frame side rear track bar and make sure its torqued to spec.

If you are 100% sure all of the above-mentioned components are all ok, then we need to look a bit deeper to find the culprit.

Jeep Wrangler Knocking Noise When Accelerating

Jeep Wrangler knocking when accelerating

Let’s look at a few real-word reports and experiences of Jeep Wrangler owners.

User Experience

At a stop light and accelerating or while i am coasting i hear a god awful knocking noise in my rear end.. and i can feel it coming from the rear end. I am hoping to god its not my wheel bearings.. Any idea what it is??

Hey all trying to diagnose a problem I’ve been having, 02 TJ 4.0 5 speed 2 inch spacers on stock suspension and 31″s, when taking off from a dead stop I hear a somewhat loud clunk as if something is loose or has play in it, it only occurs when taking off hard from a dead stop, sounds like it may be coming from the driveshaft or rear, I took a look under there and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, kind of hard to describe without hearing it for yourself but does anyone have any ideas


Some of the reported symptoms include:

  • Loud clunk noises
  • Mostly when taking off from a dead stop
  • Loose Metallic noises
  • Coming from the rear of the truck
  • Excessive play

Possible Cause

Let’s look at the most likely cause – U-joints


Jeep Wranglers are equipped with 4x Universal Joints. Two are located on the front axle shaft. One is located on the front drive shaft and one on the rear drive shaft towards the rear diff. The rear U-joint connects directly to the rear differential and the front end of that same driveshaft is connected directly to the transfer case.

The front u-joint is located on the front driveshaft and connects directly to the front axle via the front differential.  

The u-joints lets the drive-shaft connect to the diff at an angle and compensates for vertical and lateral movement of the differential while the vehicle is in motion.  

Always ensure you are driving in 2H, which you should be, if you are driving on a high-traction surface with a part-time 4-wheel drive, such as a Wrangler. This mode only engages the rear driveshaft and propels the rear wheels only. The front driveshaft, axle and wheels all just coast along when in 2H mode.  

If the u-joint rubber caps get damaged or wear out, allowing the grease to drain out of u-joint, it will become unlubricated and dry causing the u-joint to fail prematurely. The rubber seal perishes due to old age and all the lubricating grease escapes.

The excess movement that results from play inside the u-joint causes a loud clunking sound under acceleration.

Engine Mounts

A loose engine mount could result in excessive play and vibration only under load and when pulling off. When the engine mount cracks you will hear all sorts of impact noises emitting from the lower part of the engine bay. Sounds such as clunking, knocking, rattling all means the engine is loose at one of the engine mounts.

Transmission Mounts

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to transmission and engine mounts, is that they don’t require a certain amount of miles before they can fail. They are perishable components and designed to last a very long time, however, they have been known to fail or tear, even at low mileage.

A few important questions you need to ask:

1Has your Jeep undergone any extensive frame work recently?
2Have you been involved in an accidents recently, even a light “fender-bender”
3Have you driven any hard off-road tracks in the last few weeks?

Any one of these scenarios can result in a hair-line crack in the rubber mounts, resulting in a slight vibration being felt through the vehicle. The crack might not even be visible from the outside.

The job of the engine and transmission mounts are to secure your vehicle’s engine and transmission to the sub frame. They mounting rubbers are designed to dampen all the vibration into the cabin and absorb vibration and shock, to ensure that the driver and passengers are unable to feel any movement of the motor, detracting from the driving experience and comfort.

Symptoms of a bad transmission mount:

  • Excess vibration while the engine is running.
  • Metallic Knocking or clunking noises when shifting gears.
  • Knocking when shifting gears (Manual Transmission)

Loose axle mount

A loose axle mount could result in a heavy metal on metal clunking noise. This is a rubber bush that could get perished over time and crack resulting on direct metal contact resulting in a clunking noise.

Other items that could result in clunking noises are:

  • Sway-bar link
  • Control arm Bolts
  • Shock mountings


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Driveshaft U-Joints

Axle shaft U-Joints

TJ Wrangler Poly Transmission Mounts

L/R Wrangler Engine Mounts


Knocking and clunking noises on Solid front axles are a common issue. Get underneath your Jeep or get it on a hoist to inspect all bushings and rubber mounts for tears and cracks. Inspect your driveshaft U-joints as well as your axle shafts for excessive play, wear and lack of lubrication.  When replacing rubber mounts, try to avoid poly bushes, since they are a lot harder and don’t dampen vibration very well. Insist on OE MOPAR transmission and motor mounts. Spicer U-joints are recommended.


Engine Knocking Noise Problems of Jeep Wrangler

1 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2015 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 01/27/2021

Noticed significant knocking noise coming from engine that continued to get louder. Took to dealer for a nice 2 thousand dollar fix. Dealer replaced right side lifters, rocker arms, and both cam shafts. This sounds way too much like the 2011-2013 issue that Jeep "fixed" and was under warranty for those it sounds like. Very coincidental and I am not the only one with these issues based on Jeep forums.

See all problems of the 2015 Jeep Wrangler 🔎.

2 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 03/23/2020

Engine failure. While traveling at 75mph on the highway, the vehicle lost power and threw a check engine light. I pulled over to the side of the road and shut off the vehicle and attempted to restart it. The vehicle did not immediately restart, but did so on the second try. I drove away and approximately a mile down the road, the vehicle began to knock and make banging noises, I pulled over once again and called a tow tuck. Vehicle was later diagnosed with failed rod bearings and required a full rebuild. Vehicle had 125k miles at the time of failure.

See all problems of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler 🔎.

3 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2016 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 11/23/2019

Tl the contact owns a 2016 Jeep Wrangler. When the vehicle was started, the contact heard an abnormal knocking noise coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to woodhouse Chrysler Dodge Jeep ram fiat (2101 6th st, sioux city, IA 51101, (712) 277-3221) where it was diagnosed that there was damage to the passenger side camshaft caused by rocker arm failure. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred on the driver's side camshaft and rocker arms. The manufacturer was informed of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

See all problems of the 2016 Jeep Wrangler 🔎.

4 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 03/20/2019

There is an issue with the valve lifters that cause a ticking or knocking sound while stationary & in motion. Worse while in motion, we have been told by two different mechanics that to repair the issue the engine has to be disassembled.

See all problems of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler 🔎.

5 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 04/19/2015

While driving on the highway, a loud knocking sound began to come from my engine compartment. As I slowed to exit (at the next interchange) the 3. 8l v6 engine had a bearing seize and threw a rod out the bottom of the engine block. From the research that I have done this is not an isolated incident for Chrysler. There have been many reports of this engine failing even with impeccable maintenance. I received no indications or warnings prior to the engine blowing. Just as I slowed down the oil pressure indicator light illuminated but at that point it was too late.

6 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 11/04/2013

I started to hear a knocking noise for 3-5 seconds on a cold start. It did not do this on any sequential starts for that day. Took it to the dealer, who changed oil filter and oil. Still made sound on receiving vehicle. Took in again and dealer replaced the lifters. Still made noise upon receipt. Took in for a third time, they are now saying it is a normal noise, even though it never made it before. Jeep specialists say that this is a normal noise as well. After researching on-line, I have found a large amount of information leading to a malfunctioning cylinder head on the exact make and model of my Jeep engine. There have been thousands replaced, but for some reason this was not even considered for my vehicle.

7 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 06/30/2012

Had to add oil at nearily every fillup. The dealer said that was normal to add oil every 1000 miles!!! ended up short on oil, oil light never went on and trashed engine. It made a horrible knocking noise. I replaced it at a cost of $6118 as the car only had 49560 miles on it.

8 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 11/28/2010

My 2007 Jeep Wrangler 4-door sahara unlimited has experienced lower block defect with symptoms of large knocking noises. The oil had been changed regularly and without notice or low oil light indicator, at 75k miles, the engine is useless. Apparently, Jeep dealers are repairing several of these defects although I see no other complaints at this site.

9 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2008 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 12/01/2009

-the contact owns a 2008 Jeep Wrangler 2-dr 4x4. While driving approximately 55 mph a banging sound was coming from the engine, followed by a decrease in the engine power. The vehicle continued in operation to the residence, and upon inspecting the vehicle there was no oil in the engine. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the technician informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 40,000.

See all problems of the 2008 Jeep Wrangler 🔎.

10 Engine Knocking Noise problem of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler

Failure Date: 12/01/2009

I bought the Jeep new in February/March of 2007. In December 2009, at approximately 45k miles, I heard a loud knocking noise that sounded like it was coming from the bottom end of the engine. Took the Jeep to my regular oil change center and they confirmed the knocking sound. I then took the Jeep to local dealer who informed me that it was spun bearings and there was metal shavings in the oil pan. They put in a new motor (Chrysler offered some assistance after much complaining and arguing on my side, but it still cost me $1,500 as it as out of warranty). Now, in August 2012, at a total of 90k miles (approximately 45k on the new motor), the bearings are spun again. This will be the 3rd motor in this Jeep. I have the receipts from my regular oil change center showing that I have regularly changed the oil. The service department at the dealer says they are not aware of any other ppl having this issue. However, internet research shows significant numbers of ppl with 2007 Jeep Wranglers that are having spun bearings at around 45k miles. Jeep should be replacing these motors at no cost to the consumer as this appears to be a design defect.

Other Common Engine And Engine Cooling related problems of Jeep Wrangler


Sound engine jeep wrangler knocking



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