I have an odd, short-lived, banging sound upon startup of my 2007 Honda Pilot. Once launched, the vehicle runs really smooth at idle and driving. The automobile has 150,000 km. — Kevin
Short-lived sounds can sometimes be notoriously tricky to diagnose. A seasoned ear will be beneficial as the tech will just have a short moment to make a determination. Without being able to hear it myself, I could only hazard a guess, but in your case, the most likely culprit is relatively simple to recognize, called “piston slap.”
The engine’s pistons traveling in their designed route thankfully for most of their lives. However, age and production flaws may allow for a little additional cylinder clearance providing the piston space to rock back and forth in an unintended way.
The lowest aspect of the piston is referred to as the skirt and that skirt can slap the cylinder wall while the piston travels up and down.
It’s most evident to the driver once the engine is cold, as cylinder-to-piston clearance is at its greatest and the engine oil has drained back into the pan.
The only way to fully rid of the vehicle of the sound is to get the motor rebuilt; nonetheless, Honda does have technical bulletins describing this sound as “normal,” supposing it disappears after a couple of minutes.
You need to have a professional listen to it and let them advise you as to if it’s a “normal” sound.
Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail, putting “Lou’s Garage” in the topic area.
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