Ford Ranger Humming Noise during Acceleration (Ticking, Knocking, Rattling) | (2023)

There is nothing more frustrating and annoying than your vehicle emitting strange noises, and you just can’t find the source or self-diagnose the problem. Many Ford Rangers have complained about weird noises and vibrations coming from the engine, especially when accelerating. So what could the cause be of these strange sounds?

If you experiencing a loud humming noise sound coming from the engine bay of your 2012+ T6 3.2L Ford Ranger, it could be any of the following:

  • Oil pump
  • Oil Pump inlet tube
  • Oil Pan/Sump

Most owners who reported this phenomenon are still on very low mileage. This issue usually occurs before the first service, however, it has been reported on slightly higher mileage T6 Rangers too. The good news is, it’s not a serious problem and nothing to really freak out about. In most cases, these issues were detected early in the vehicle’s life, and the dodgy components were replaced under warranty.

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Table of Contents

Ford Ranger Humming/Whining Noise When Accelerating

Ford Ranger Humming Noise during Acceleration (Ticking, Knocking, Rattling) | (1)

So the humming/vibrating noise that you are hearing is caused by pulsations being transmitted from the oil pump through the oil pick-up tube and onto the oil pan.

If still under warranty, the dealership should replace both the oil pan/sump as well as the oil pump pickup. The new oil pan/sump design has a different stiffness/rigidity and the oil pump pick-up tube has been revised to prevent vibrations from radiating the noise.

The service procedure addresses the problem when the engine is in a hot idle condition as well as cold starting, to recreate the noise. Some owners mentioned the problem is usually noticeable after starting but disappears after driving for a few minutes. Others say it becomes more noticeable when the engine is at full operating temperature and it becomes louder if you allow the warm engine to idle a little while.

(Video) Ford Ranger engine ticking noise investigation ( problem found )

There was a service Bulletin released by Ford which you can read here: T6 Hot Idle Moan

Ok, what if your Ranger is giving a weird ticking noise? Let’s see what the possible culprits can be then.

Clicking Noise When Turning in 4 Wheel Drive. [SOLVED]

Ford Ranger Ticking Noise during Acceleration

These weird noises can be so irritating and almost impossible to trace on your own. Sometimes it’s good to mount a GoPro, or any other action camera, near where you suspect the noise is coming from to narrow it down a bit or even identify what the source of the noise is.

It also helps to drive close to a wall with your windows down to allow the sound to resonate a bit, giving you a better idea of which part or side of the engine the sound is coming from.

If you are experiencing a ticking sound from the engine bay, it could be something serious though. Many times the dealerships themselves can’t even diagnose the problem properly and will recommend changing components randomly if covered under warranty. Especially if it’s an intermittent problem and hard to recreate.

Strange noises can be a sign of a component, about to fail on you and can make you really paranoid.

Below are a few possible causes of a ticking sound on your T6 Ranger under acceleration.

Possible culprits

  • Exhaust Manifold Gasket
  • Piston Slap
  • Worn Pulley

Exhaust Manifold Gasket

A leak in the exhaust manifold gasket can result in a ticking noise similar to a musician’s metronome. This ticking noise is very obvious when the engine is cold. When one or more bolts around the manifold are broken, it creates a gap that allows the exhaust gasses to seep out around there. This causes a ticking sound, and possibly what you are hearing.

(Video) Ford Ranger engine noise +44 01274 640028

Piston Slap

Piston slap occurs when there is excessive sideways movement inside the cylinder. This happens when there is too much room for piston movement, creating a ticking sound.

Excessive clearance on one piston in its cylinder creates a rattling and ticking sound when the skirt of the piston hits the cylinder wall.

Worn Pulley

If you have a worn-out idler pulley, the belt isn’t secured/holding properly, resulting in a squealing noise coming from the engine. If the pulley bearings are worn out, it makes a rough, dry rattling sound.

A worn idler tension pulley can also cause a clicking/ticking sound as the belt spins. The sound is usually in sync with the engine RPM. If the sound increases as the vehicle RPM’s increase, then it’s likely with the belt or pulley itself.

What can be the cause of rattling noises coming from the engine under load/acceleration? Let’s see.

How Many Miles Can a Ford Ranger Last – RELIABILITY

Ford Ranger Rattling Noise during Acceleration

If you hear a metal rattling noise coming from the engine, either from cold or when driving under operational temperature, then this section is for you.

The noise is reported by owners to be present under most driving conditions which include, idling, under acceleration, and when coasting with the foot off the accelerator pedal.

When you have this phenomenon when the rattling happens under all driving conditions and even idle, you can narrow it down to a component that is always functioning/rotating/moving from the moment the engine is switched on.

Those would include all rotational and breathing components like:

(Video) Noise Gets Louder When Going Faster - Found & Fixed

  • Exhaust mufflers
  • Pulleys
  • Timing Chain (older 4.0 SOHC V6)
  • Engine internals/Bearings
  • Belts
  • Heat shields
  • Nut/Bolt
Ford Ranger Big Tires No Lift – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

A good practice is to grab a rubber mallet and while the engine is running, give the exhaust mufflers and cat a few light taps. Lay under the vehicle while on and get an assistant to shake the exhaust from the rear. This will isolate the sound to the exhaust boxes and the catalytic convertor.

The Catalytic Converter is a dense cylindrical-shaped component that is located after the downpipe towards the front of the vehicle. It consists of a hard honeycomb-like mesh that is tightly packed. If the CAT is a few years old it could break apart causing a few pieces to be lying around inside the CAT. When the vehicle is on, it could vibrate and rattle, driving you crazy. You might need a replacement.

Also, while you are down there, grab and feel the exhaust heat shield and the transmission heat shield. These a very thin, tinfoil-like flexible plates designed to deflect the heat away from the body. They can easily be bent and will resonate or vibrate and rattle at a certain RPM.

The worst-case scenario is possibly a bad bearing. One way to check/estimate the condition of your internal bearings is when you do an oil change and the oil feels rough and almost course like there’s a granule in the oil. Also, sporadic drops in oil pressure are warning signs of a low-end knock, which requires a bottom-end replacement. If the crank bearing is sprung, you’re unfortunately in for a big repair bill.

The 4.0 V6 engines were quite renowned for timing chain ticks and rattles. They were designed with chain tensioners called cassettes. When the polymer material wears off, the chains get loose and began to rattle.

Ford Ranger Humming Noise during Acceleration (Ticking, Knocking, Rattling) | (2)

Rattling Noise under Acceleration

If you drive a T6 Ford Ranger 3.2 with the Automatic transmission and are experiencing a weird rattling and vibration under acceleration and deceleration, then this section will interest you.

T6 3.2 Auto owners have reported the problem to be very prominent while driving with the cruise control on. The symptoms are also audible with the cruise control off. Speeds between 100-120km/h are when the symptoms are most noticeable, especially when there is a change in load on the engine. Reports of a very noticeable droning noise and vibration or slight shudder are felt as the engine accelerates above 2000-3000 rpm.

Another description of the sound/sensation is a more metallic droning. Like a metal-on-metal sound similar to a diff whine or a worn bearing. The only difference with this scenario is the diff will emit that sound only under acceleration and not usually when free-wheeling, in the case of a manual. If you are 100% certain it’s not the diff then your next possible culprit could be the half shafts.

A bent or broken half-shaft could also cause a wobble and vibration through the drivetrain. If you’ve bent or broken an axle shaft, one of the easiest ways you’ll notice is how at lower speeds and when braking the vehicle might seem to wobble and vibrate.


Ford Ranger 3.2 Diesel Engine Problems (SOLUTIONS)


T6 Service Bulletin Hot Idle Moan

4.0 V6 Timing Chain Kit

4.0 V6 Complete Timing Chain Kit + Water Pump

08-12 T6 Heavy-Duty Drive belt

12-14 T6 Air & Oil Filter Kit

Complete Ranger Service Kit


Whining, knocking, vibrating, and rattling noises can be so annoying and very hard to diagnose. At the end of the day, these are simply guidelines on what the problem COULD potentially be. Unfortunately, the dealerships aren’t always very helpful or willing to diagnose a rattle and many simply fob it off to be the norm or an engine characteristic you will just have to live with.

Truth is, no rattle or weird noises should be ignored since it could turn out to be something very serious and lead to catastrophic damage later on. Grab a mate and get him/her to assist you while you try and diagnose where the noise is coming from.


Why is my Ford Ranger making a rattling noise? ›

The most common reasons a Ford Ranger has a rattling noise are the ball joints, struts or strut mount, or a problem with the sway bar links. Search our network of RepairPal Certified shops near you to speak with a technician about your issue.

Why is my Ford Ranger making a ticking sound? ›

The most common reasons a Ford Ranger engine makes a ticking noise are low oil level or pressure, an issue with the ignition system, or an exhaust leak.

Why is my engine rattling when I accelerate? ›

You usually hear this noise when accelerating the vehicle. Most people call this a pinging or rattling sound. This noise is caused by an air/fuel mixture in the engine cylinder being ignited prematurely by the heat of compression as the piston is moving up on the compression stroke.

Why does my Ford make a whistling sound when accelerating? ›

If the whistling sound in your car is most noticeable when you accelerate, the likely culprit is a vacuum leak. The system that controls the air flow between the mass air flow sensor and the engine pushes air through a hose. If the hose comes loose or is damaged it results in a whistling sound as air escapes.

Why is my engine rattling and knocking? ›

If you're hearing noises like engine knocking or tapping, it can indicate that the vehicle is running low on oil. It may also mean that an engine part, such as a valve or lifter, is wearing out. A whistling noise can indicate an engine belt is misaligned or there is an intake leak.

What does transmission rattling sound like? ›

It sounds like a light knocking or growling sound. Gear rattle is an audible noise transmitted from the impacts between the transmission gear teeth. A vehicle engine's torsional vibrations (momentary angular acceleration) pass through a transmission causing the separation and resulting impact of the gear teeth.

Can a bad lifter cause a ticking noise? ›

A phenomenon can occur called lifter tick, where the lifter itself makes an irritating ticking or tapping noise. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may hear an occasional tick or the lifters will constantly tick the whole time you run your car.

Why does my tappet sound when accelerating? ›

Over time, as engine oil starts to gather dirt and increase in viscosity, the interaction between the camshaft and tappets begins to wear down both components to a point where an audible noise can be heard between them as the camshaft spins and the lobes lift and then drop the tappets.

Can a transmission make a ticking noise? ›

Usually a transmission does not make a clicking sound. In most cases, when a car is in gear and you hear a clicking sound that increases as the vehicle speed increases, it could be caused by an axle, differential component or even a belt or pulley.

Why does my car make a humming sound when I accelerate? ›

A humming noise while you accelerate could be a sign of a bad wheel bearing, uneven tires, or an alternator belt issue. Some of these problems can be dangerous, so it's important to bring your car to a shop ASAP. Bizarre noises are never a good sign when driving.

What is humming noise from engine? ›

If your car makes a humming noise, it could mean the differential needs lubricant, the transmission is failing or the universal joints or wheel bearings are wearing out. What to do about it: Pay close attention to what happens before and when your car starts making the sound.

Why does my truck make a weird noise when I accelerate? ›

Loud squeaking or squealing noise while accelerating could mean there's a problem with your engine belt. It could mean the belt's loose or worn. Or it could mean that one of the belt's pulleys is starting to fail. Loud rumbling noise when accelerating might suggest there's a problem with your exhaust system.

Why does my transmission whistle when I accelerate? ›

Transmission issues are the primary suspect when your car is making a whining noise. The whining can come from your transmission when gears begin to wear down from constant use, or the transmission fluid is running low from a leak.

Why is my car making a whistling noise when I drive fast? ›


If you are aware of a constant whistling noise while you are driving, the culprit may be your car's weather stripping. The purpose of this rubber material around the edges of the car doors and windows is to create a seal to prevent water, wind and other debris from entering the car.

Why is my truck making a whistling noise? ›

Constant circulation of air and cooling fluid through your car's engine can cause small cracks in hoses, breaking their vacuum seal. The whistling sound you are hearing could be air escaping through these holes.

What does a timing chain noise sound like? ›

There is a rattling sound. A lax timing chain, or worse, a broken timing chain with loose parts within the engine, will produce a rattling sound when your car is idling. This rattling sound is typically most prominent while the engine heats up and disappears after some time.

Does a bad catalytic converter rattle? ›

Rattling Noise – Once your catalytic converter becomes older or damaged from fuel mixtures, the honeycombs on the inside can begin to collapse and/or break apart which will cause a rattle to occur.

What does a bad transmission bearing sound like? ›

Rumbling and growling

The growling of a bad transmission bearing, like the whine of a bad gear, will become increasingly more noisy while it wears, until the bearing seizes or falls apart, with catastrophic results.

Can low transmission fluid cause rattling noise? ›

Once you notice extra noise in neutral, you could have low transmission fluid or worn-out bearings or gear teeth. While you can take a look at your transmission fluid to see if that could be the culprit, it's best to have a mechanic diagnose the underlying problem and carry out any necessary repairs.

What does a low transmission fluid sound like? ›

Gurgling. If you're like many drivers, you often forget to check the fluid levels in your vehicle, and if the fluid level in your transmission is too low, you will notice a gurgling noise. This noise is caused by the excess air in your transmission line.

What does a bad lifter sound like in a truck? ›

Instead of a knock or ping, a faulty hydraulic lifter will usually make a sound more reminiscent of a tapping sound. The tapping will be quick in rhythm and may occur when the vehicle is cold or hot, depending on what the problem with the hydraulic lifter is.

How expensive is it to fix a lifter tick? ›

The cost of a lifter replacement including parts and labor can often be steep, ranging in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. However, this price will vary depending on your car's make, model, and year and the rates of the shop you use.

Why is my transmission making a humming sound? ›

If your transmission makes a humming noise, you may be driving with low transmission fluid, or else your transmission fluid may be contaminated with metal shavings. If you hear a humming noise in all gears, you may be dealing with a worn or damaged shaft or bearing.

Can a bad transmission cause knocking? ›

These sounds can indicate transmission failure. However, keep in mind that transmissions are made up of hundreds of parts, so knocking or clicking noises may also just be a worn-out case, or bearing, requiring a minor transmission repair.

What is transmission knocking? ›

If your transmission mount or engine mount becomes loose or breaks, you may hear clunking noises whenever you make a sudden change in speed or whenever you shift gears, due to the movement of the unsecure mount. Our mechanics can determine whether this is the problem by getting the car hoisted up.

Do bad wheel bearings make a humming noise? ›

A bad wheel bearing sound is usually a loud hum coming from that wheel sort of like loud road noise from bad tires. A similar noise can come from worn bearings in your transmission or even a low transmission fluid level.

What is the droning sound in my car? ›

Droning. A droning noise that gets louder as you accelerate may be coming from your tires—particularly if they're old or worn. It could also be a sign that you have "feathered" tires, meaning the treads are wearing unevenly. Your tires are an important safety feature, so get them checked.

Can a drive shaft make a humming noise? ›

A humming or growling noise.

However, this symptom is more often due to worn or damaged wheel bearings, a bad intermediate shaft bearing on equal length halfshaft transaxles, or worn shaft bearings within the transaxle.

Can a bad CV axle cause a humming noise? ›

When cv shafts go bad they typically produce a humming noise. If you are cruising down the road and hear any humming/clicking/grinding noises, you might have a bad axle shaft. Checking it can actually be pretty simple if you hear something audible. Start by making sure it isn't your wheel bearing/hub assembly.

Why does my car clunk when I press the gas? ›

If the clunk happens when you hit the gas pedal or shift gears, then you are most likely looking at a U-joint or CV joint that is on its way out. An engine mount may also be the culprit if the sound happens when shifting into forward or reverse.

What are the signs of a bad transmission? ›

What Are the Transmission Failure Symptoms?
  • Refusal to Switch Gears. If your vehicle refuses or struggles to change gears, you are more than likely facing a problem with your transmission system. ...
  • Burning Smell. ...
  • Noises When in Neutral. ...
  • Slipping Gears. ...
  • Dragging Clutch. ...
  • Leaking Fluid. ...
  • Check Engine Light. ...
  • Grinding or Shaking.
Mar 16, 2017

Does a wheel bearing make a whistling noise? ›

The classic sounds of a bad wheel bearing are cyclic chirping, squealing and/or growling noise. You can also tell that the sound is related to wheel bearings if it changes in proportion to vehicle speed. The sound can get worse with every turn, or it can disappear momentarily.

Why is there a whistling sound coming from my front wheel? ›

Whistling sounds may occur due to improper pressure in the wheels and the height of the tire profiles. The second factor becomes the cause of whistling with active, high-speed driving. In this case, the tire breaks down and grip is lost.

Why does my turbo whine when accelerating? ›

What causes turbo whistle? Turbo whistle is the sound of the compressor inside the turbocharger speeding up (also known as 'spooling up', which is why it kicks in at the boost threshold (when the turbo starts to kick in) as you accelerate up the rev range.

Why does my engine make a high-pitched whirring sound? ›

Over time, and alternator can wear down. If it's the bearings in the alternator that have worn out, it may make a high-pitched squealing noise. This means that it's time to have the alternator replaced.

Can low transmission fluid cause whining noise? ›

Low Transmission Fluid: For both manual and automatic transmissions, the primary cause for whining when in gear is low transmission fluid. If the fluid is too low, then the internal components of the transmission are not lubricated properly.

Can a catalytic converter whistle? ›

A whine, squeal or other weird noise during acceleration can indicate that your exhaust gases aren't being processed and filtered properly. Many people think the muffler is the reason for weak acceleration, but it's usually the catalytic converter.

Why is there a weird rattling noise under my car? ›

Rattling from under your car– This can be caused by loose parts such as your exhaust system. Squealing wheels while braking– Causes range from small, such as dirt on the brake pads or rotors, to serious, such as worn pads. Brake noises are safety issues and require immediate attention.

What are common causes of rattling under car? ›

If the rattle is underneath your car, that could mean a loose exhaust system component or a broken catalytic converter, which would both require a mechanic's attention.

Is engine rattling serious? ›

If you hear a rattling noise while driving, the first step is to not ignore it. The sounds and vibrations coming from your vehicle could be signs of a serious mechanical issue. Seek help from a professional who can find the source of the noise before any further damage is done.

What does a blown catalytic converter sound like? ›

What does a bad catalytic converter sound like? Often, a clogged catalytic converter sounds like a rattling noise is coming from under your vehicle and engine when you're starting, idling or driving. Excess heat or damage in the converter can break apart the honeycomb materials, resulting in the rattling noise.

Why does my car make a metallic knocking sound? ›

Worn Out Engine Parts

Over time, engine parts will wear out and become less efficient. This can lead to metal-on-metal contact, which will create knocking noise. If you're hearing knocking noise from your engine, it's a good idea to have a mechanic check it for worn out parts.

Why does my truck make a rattling noise when I accelerate? ›

Key Takeaway Rattling noises when accelerating can be caused by a number of issues, including damaged or worn-out suspension components, bad wheel bearings, low transmission fluid, loose heat shields, and faulty engine components.

What is the rattle sound coming from the front wheel? ›

A rattling noise in that area can be a number of things including bad struts, timing chain issue, or bent suspension components. You should have the front suspension sway bar bushings or link arms inspected for loose or worn components and repaired as needed.

What can causes clunking sound in front end? ›

Potential issues that may cause front end clunking are: Loose or damaged tie rod. Loose or damaged tires or tire lug nuts. Loose or damaged wheel bearings or ball joints.

Can low oil cause rattling? ›

When your engine is lubricated properly with fresh oil, it should run fairly quietly. As the oil ages and it loses its ability to lubricate the components, the parts will start to move harder against one another causing friction and grinding. These rattling, rumbling, and knocking noises will be hard to miss.

What could cause a rattling noise under the front of a vehicle over bumps? ›

Rattling noises that appear when you're driving over bumps, or on uneven surfaces, are often down to the suspension. These rattles can disappear once you speed up a bit or when the going gets smoother. The culprits may be the drop links (e.g. if they've snapped), worn bushes or corroded shock absorbers.

What does a timing chain sound like when it is bad? ›

Rattling Sound on Starting the Engine or Idling

A common finding in a vehicle with a bad timing chain is unusual rattling noise when the engine is started or when brakes are engaged. It happens due to the loose or stretched timing chain that shakes and rattles while rotating when the engine motor is running.

How do you fix a whining noise when accelerating? ›

Many whining problems can be solved by tightening or replacing belts, which you can do yourself, or by replacing fluid. In fact, the first thing you should do anytime your car is making strange noises is to check all your fluid levels.


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