Will a Piston Ring Make Noise in My Car?

You have probably heard of your engine’s knock sensor and wondered if it’s working. The truth is, a broken piston ring can produce a great beating noise. Luckily, this problem is fairly easy to diagnose. Read on to find out the causes, symptoms, and repair options. Also, learn how to identify if your car’s knock sensor is malfunctioning. The best way to determine whether your engine is making this noise is to listen to it.

OnlySilent featured on media
Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


The sounds made by an engine are often the signs of a bad piston ring. If you notice white smoke coming from the exhaust, it could be a sign of a bad ring. In some instances, piston rings are so worn that they are not able to contain the pressure caused by compression. Fortunately, piston ring failure is easily preventable and can be fixed with a little knowledge.


If you’ve been wondering what causes piston ring noise, you’re in luck. Modern cars come equipped with motion sensors that regulate air-fuel mixture and help the computer detect a problem. If the pistons are noisy, they could mean a number of problems, including misfiring and loss of power. You may also notice that your check engine light comes on. If you’re unsure as to what’s causing the noise, read on for tips to identify the problem and fix it.

Repair options

Fortunately, there are many affordable repair options for a piston ring that is making noise in your engine. Performing a piston ring repair is a simple task that usually takes around 10 hours. However, you will have to pay for the labor and materials, and you should expect to pay about $1,000 to $4,000 for the repair. If you are not willing to pay that much for the repair, you can request a warranty repair or goodwill repair. Regardless of your vehicle’s age, you should know that a piston ring repair is more likely to cost you between $2,000 and $5,000.

Knock sensor

A knock sensor detects abnormal vibrations in a combustion chamber and produces a small electrical signal. When this signal is higher than normal, the engine produces a knocking or pinging noise. This type of noise is often more noticeable during acceleration or throttle input. The knock sensor is a tiny listening device in the engine that detects these vibrations and converts them into a signal that the engine control unit reads and judges. It controls ignition timing, and a knock sensor is necessary to prevent engine damage.

Oil ring

Insufficient lubrication can cause piston rings to wear prematurely. When oil becomes contaminated, the rings will break and leak, causing the piston to stall, which reduces acceleration and may lead to a tow truck being needed. Piston rings are also very vulnerable to wear and tear due to poor combustion, which can lead to poor motor performance and loss of all engine power. This problem can be avoided by performing regular maintenance checks on your car’s engine.

Aluminum pistons

If you have an aluminum engine, it’s probably because you’ve recently installed an aluminum piston. If so, you might be wondering what is causing that noise. Aluminum piston rings are usually made of two types of materials, forged and conventional. Forged pistons are made of a high silicon content alloy, while conventional cast pistons are made of eight to eleven percent. Forged pistons are designed to last longer than conventional cast pistons and are better for many applications, including those requiring nitrous oxide and extensive modifications.

Engine ticking

A high-pitched rapping noise emanates from the engine when the piston rings make contact with the ridge at the top of the cylinder. This noise tends to increase in volume during deceleration, and it can be the result of a number of different problems. A number of different things can cause this noise, including worn piston rings or cracked lands, a loose connecting rod, or a faulty valve. To find the source of your engine ticking, you can replace the rings and re-bore the engine.