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Old 10-21-2009, 01:32 AM   #1
raynmaker1005
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2008 Astra XE
Default pinging/knocking engine sound at over 4000 rpm?

I have a 08 Saturn XE with a manual transmission. I bought it used when it had 3000 miles. Now, it has 6300 miles. Engine oil was changed by the dealer I bought it from, but hasn't been since.

Now to describe the sound. It is a very distinctive sound that is most prominent on deceleration while 4000 rpm or above. Let's say I accelerate to about 4500 rpm and just let go off the gas to decelerate, the pinging/knocking sound comes out. It is a very distinctive knocking sound that repeats at a pretty rapid frequency (maybe 2-4 times per second) until the rpm is back to a lower level.

As far as the sound itself, it is a very distinctive fairly high pitched sound. If I had to describe it, I would say it sounds like a pidgeon/owl cooing. I know that description might be kinda of weird, but thats what it kinda sounds like. It isn't very loud (it's far quieter than the engine) but is definitely noticeable inside the cabin (i don't know about from outside).

Aside from appearing during deceleration, it does also come up upon acceleration, again when the rpm is above 4000 rpm or so. The funny thing is that the sound is a lot less frequent during acceleration. I showed a friend (who doesn't really know much about cars either) and he said maybe it was something in the engine or on the mount maybe making a vibration sound at the certain rpm? This is really just a guess from two people who don't know much about cars.

Has anyone had this problem or know what it might be?

thanks!

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Old 10-21-2009, 02:46 AM   #2
Swordfish
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2009 Astra XE
Default Re: pinging/knocking engine sound at over 4000 rpm?

If you are putting it above 4000 rpm and letting it coast there, that in itself is not too much of a good idea. lol but thats your choice :P

I would have a tendency to think that your friend could be right. High RPMs can cause certain vibrations, and if you have a heat shield somewhere that is loose, due to slamming the underside coming off a road bump or something...

Does the pitch of the sound change with the engine's sound pitch? if so, then that would make it related directly to the engine. If not, by guess would be a loose part... like I said, probably a heat shield.

This kinda reminds me of my dad's Montana SV6... before it reached 10 000 kms, there used to be a whistling / whining / winding sound coming from the underside when putting it down above 5000 rpm. A good friend of mine, a GM enthusiast, told me that it was the way the exhaust line is made, and restriction in the line causing the sound. He said it would eventually fade as things take their place when the miles get packed on.

One more thing... Is this happening when the engine is cold? Because knocking sounds are common when you put down hard on a cold engine.

...
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2009 Astra XE 5-door, Twilight Blue.
"I have four rules in the Astra. No food, no drink, no smoking, and no vomit. Got it? Now... let me just put my coffee in the cup holder..."

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Old 10-21-2009, 07:19 AM   #3
72gssaturn
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: pinging/knocking engine sound at over 4000 rpm?

u only have engine ping on acceleration, not on deceleration. i have a 5spd xr and it does not have this problem. a real engine knock is a whole nother matter and usually means the engine is about destroy itself. unless we could hear the actual sound, it is too difficult to diagnose.
i suggest that u just drive the vehicle. i highly doubt that u have an actual engine mechanical failure in progress.

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Old 10-21-2009, 07:33 AM   #4
TBeck2000
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: pinging/knocking engine sound at over 4000 rpm?

I would venture a guess that you are hearing a heat shield rattling against something. On my Colorado, a heat shield on the exhaust manifold was installed just a little too close to the oxygen sensor and would rattle if you kept the RPMs at 2,000. I just had to loosen a couple bolts and rotate the shield a little to get some clearance. I haven't heard the sound since.

I wouldn't have described my Colorado's sound as a "cooing" sound, more like a buzzing, but different materials can produce different sounds. Maybe it's something plastic rattling against metal?

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