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Ten things you never want to hear from a mechanic

Microsoft IES Logo By James Tate for MSN Autos of Microsoft IES | Slide 1 of 10

"Have you noticed that knocking sound? Not good."

By design, engines make lots of noises. Some are perfectly normal, some imply that a minor fix or tune-up is needed, and some - well, just hope you never hear them. We call these last noises car-killers. A low-pitched "tock tock tock" usually falls into this category.Though it might only be something that has come loose and is getting tossed around under the hood, the sound is more likely rod knock, which is caused by damaged or misshapen connecting-rod bearings banging together. An engine with rod knock can last a long time when driven gently. But under hard acceleration, like on a highway, the problem can get very bad, very quickly, usually resulting in a thrown rod, which is when the connecting rod breaks and the broken end crashes through the side of the engine.Unless you plan to power your car "Flintstones" style, you'll want to get those bearings fixed fast, because a thrown rod means you'll have to replace the engine, and a new engine for a late-model vehicle can cost well over $10,000 in parts and labour.
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