5 Signs You’re Having Valve Train Issues

April 21, 2024

The valve train isn’t an engine item that lay people throw around all the time, but it can often be responsible for some of the most common noise and knocks that drive car owners into neighborhood car care centers. Simply put, the valve train is the mechanism that causes the valves of your engine to lift and close. They must be lubricated to operate smoothly and if they are not, operation of your engine can become noisy or, in some cases, fail altogether.

Although valve train problems can occur with even the best-maintained vehicles, there are some common culprits that can cause them to show up like:

• A drop in oil level

• Lack of regularly scheduled oil changes

• Driving or running the engine while it is overheated

• Ignoring that check engine light and not getting engine issues addressed

So what are some common symptoms that can be attributed to a need for valve train maintenance? Here are 5 signs that it’s time for you to seek professional car care:

1. Blue smoke is coming out of the tailpipe.
This can be caused when a worn valve allows oil to leak into the combustion chamber.

2. Engine is “missing” while idling.
High temps in the combustion chambers can damage the valve face or seat. This is commonly caused by an EGR valve that gets stuck in a closed position or by carbon deposits.

3. Engine is backfiring.
A floating valve can cause issues with the cylinder head and a weakened or broken valve spring can cause the valve to be unable to close in order to seal the combustion chamber which causes the engine to backfire.

4. There is a “clatter” in your engine.
A sticking, worn or failed lifter can cause that type of noise in your engine.

5. There is a rattling or “tapping” sound in the engine.
This could be a worn rocker arm. This won’t cause your engine to go out, but it can make one heck of a racket!

Any of these issues can be a real headache for a car owner, but they are all easy fixes for the neighborhood car care pros at Rad Air. Don’t let these problems go, or you could end up with major repairs and expenses down the road. Schedule your visit and prolong the life of our engine with maintenance from Rad Air!

Contact Rad Air