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What to Do if You See a Check Engine Light After a Knocking Noise

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When the “check engine” light turns on in your car, you might be conflicted about what to do. After all, engine problems are nothing to ignore. However, this light doesn’t always mean there’s a problem with the engine itself. That can make it hard to decide whether your car needs to go to the shop.

Engine Knock

Your engine might produce a knocking noise for several reasons. Knocking or tapping from a cold start may indicate that a car hasn’t been properly maintained. It also may indicate internal mechanical issues such as a broken ring, a broken piston, a filing rod bearing or wrist pin, or a blown head gasket. These knocks often sound metallic and increase as the engine speed increases. They may increase as the engine load rises as well.