Engine knock


Asked by GuruDS2V Mar 22, 2017 at 10:54 AM about the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2011 Chevy Traverse LS 3.6 V6 44000
miles. Out of the blue I heard a light
constant ticking noise while driving. Next
day I started the car to warm it up before I
put my kids in and could still hear a light
tick. As soon as I started driving the tick
turned into a full blown knock. I turned
around and brought it back home. No
trouble codes have come up. I brought it to
one mechanic who immediately said "rod
knock, get rid of it" just by sound alone.
Second mechanic thought maybe rod
knock and wanted to drop the oil pan to
verify. Well to get to the oil pan on this car,
you have to pull the transmission and a
bunch of other stuff. So basically he would
have to pull the whole front end off from
the bottom to even diagnose the issue. We
are out of all warranties, and even
diagnosing would be extremely expensive.
Basically he wanted us to have a
replacement engine ready to go because
of the labor involved to even find the issue.
We decided to sit on it for now. I've been
searching around and I have found that
there's a slight possibility that our noise
could be coming from the intake manifold.
Maybe the flappers are loose or broken
and are banging around in there. I'm pretty
handy, so I'd like to try a couple things
before I junk this car that I still owe on. My
question: Is there a way to disable the
intake manifold while on the engine to see
if it changes the noise? It seems pretty
straightforward removing it and even
swapping it with a new one, but I'd like to
be able to actually diagnose the issue first.
I am also planning on pulling the power to
each cylinder to see if the noise changes
as well. Also, like I said, no engine lights
are on, and the car drives fine. No loss of
power, as far as I can tell no oil pressure
drop, etc. it just sounds like it's going to

19 Answers


Kill the power to cylinders one by one and if the knock gets noticeably quieter a rod bearing is the likely cause. My guess is you mechanic is correct. Has anyone bothered to check the oil level in the engine?

4 people found this helpful.

Yes, I plan on doing that as well. I didn't mention that oil level is fine, I always change my oil and filter when I should. As a matter of fact, I got an oil change maybe 300 miles prior to the knock. When the mechanic pulled out the oil he did not see and obvious metal shavings or anything. I'm going to check the oil filter myself as well.

1 people found this helpful.

A spun rod bearing may not put lots of metal into the oil.

2 people found this helpful.

Thanks, good to know. I think my chances of spinning a rod bearing are on the low end, since I have so little miles on the car, I've never beat on it, have always kept up on maintence, never let get low on oil. Could it be a spun rod? Sure. Could it be something else? Maybe. I just want to find out for sure myself. I can't drop the oil pan, or tear apart the engine myself, so I'm looking for other ways to diagnose. All I want to know is if there's a way to stop the intake manifold from opening and closing the flappers while the car is on to see if I can get a change in the sound. I found a gm service manual somewhere online for my car that said when someone brings in this car with a rod knock sound to first replace intake manifold, if that doesn't work, proceed to tearing apart engine.

1 people found this helpful.

Bob gave you a good suggestion, pull a plug wire one-by-one, and see if knock changes. It will not only let you know if it is indeed rod knock it will let you which cylinder is the guilty culprit. I would also look for an exhaust leak, pull valve covers and listen to valve train - you can also determine if it is lower end related or valve train related by determining if knock is equal to engine RPM (lower end related) or one-half engine RPM (camshaft/valve train). BTW there are a lot of complaints about the high-pressure fuel pump being a source for a ticking noise, and that is driven by the cam, so again if the tick is at half engine RPM, that might be a source for your noise. This engine being direct fuel injection, I think you would be better off taking it to a GM tech and not a neighborhood mechanic, they might be more familiar with the noises common with this engine.

1 people found this helpful.

Thank you for the insight! I'll be digging in this weekend. Hoping I get some answers before I decide to just drive it off a cliff

1 people found this helpful.

Please post what you find during your investigation of the knock.


Will do. Found an interesting tidbit that I'm going to look into as well: the DI systems can cause major carbon buildup in the back of the valve stems since there's no fuel to wash over them and keep them clean. I pulled off my air filter yesterday because I had a minute to take a peak. My pcv port was pretty full of oil and the air intake tube was pretty saturated too. The throttle body was also coated with oil. Known issue from what I've read. I'm thinking about getting a bottle of sea foam and spraying it in the throttle body to try to clean up the valve stems. I only drive the car for short trips so maybe carbon buildup is a possibility.

7 people found this helpful.

It's a rod. Thanks for the help guys. So if anyone wants to buy a 2011 Chevy Traverse that's going to need a new engine, but otherwise is in great shape.... I have one available. I don't have the cash to put in a new engine at the moment, but someone could make a good profit if they have the time, money and space.

7 people found this helpful.

GuruDS2V Im having the same issues with my 2009. Any chance you could email me so I could ask you some questions eastendsillest@gmail.com. I need help on what time do.

1 people found this helpful.

Sorry to hear you're having the same issue. The way the Traverse was built, the entire front end needs to be removed to even get in there and confirm it's a rod. Which costs a pretty penny, especially if you're not planning on fixing it. I opted to sell mine as is and try to forget I ever owned it. If you want to keep it, look at Ebay for new engines. I think I was quoted around $4000 for the engine and the install. Hope that helps

1 people found this helpful.

Is the 2011 traverse still for sale and how much?? Get with me 517 four88 eight518

3 people found this helpful.

I have 2010 Chevy Traverse ..I was on the interstate heard small ticking sound coming from under my hood as i drove the worse it got so i got off the interstate & the whole car lock up on me . So i sit for second it finally started back & it had very little power and a very loud sound coming from under the hood ...Ive got oil in it , water so not sure what it could be so please help me ...Cant afford whole new motor :(

4 people found this helpful.

@guruw8lhl what ending up being your problem


I'm going through the same thing, from the feedback I'm getting from local mechanics they believe it's the oil pump, that it went out. So Monday I will be taking it to find out for sure.

4 people found this helpful.

I have a 2011 Traverse that a little over a yr ago I spun a rod and had my engine overhauled at 64000 miles and great maitinance and now a little over a yr later I am have more issues it has been great over the last yr then out of nowhere it just dies and I loose all power after driving for 20 to 30 mins it was so dead I couldnt even jump it and within 2 hrs of my flashers it had no power to even lock the doors after a new batterie and starter I drove 1.4 miles from the shop where it was sounding and driving fine and it looses all power again and is making a squeak and rattle noise the best way I can explan it is a rattle like a broke metal fan and a belt squeak the machanic says it has a knock and a need a new motor and not to waste my money and trade it in however right now thats not really an option and I have heard a knock on this car before and I dont hear it now and it is still draining power which a knock wouldnt cause has anyone else experienced anything like this or have any ideas as to what it maybe

6 people found this helpful.

Get a new battety, change pcv, purge canister. And hot soak motor with seafoam top of the motor cleaner. I did mine through the intake as I was instructed on the video. My motor I thought was shot but the hot soap worked in my car runs better than ever. When these battery start to die you start to lose power sources including communication with TCM

2 people found this helpful.

Hot soak.

1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2010 Chevy Traverse at the dealer now. Engine tore apart. Good thing I bought a extended warranty when I bought the car. Waiting now for inspector to come approve the new motor.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Traverse in your area?

CarGurus has 1,375 nationwide Traverse listings starting at $2,999.

Postal Code:

Chevrolet Traverse Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Find great deals from top-rated dealers


Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Acadia
21 Great Deals out of 1,287 listings starting at $4,999
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
8 Great Deals out of 399 listings starting at $6,995
Used Ford Explorer
26 Great Deals out of 2,150 listings starting at $3,995
Used Buick Enclave
18 Great Deals out of 950 listings starting at $3,000
Used Chevrolet Equinox
62 Great Deals out of 4,684 listings starting at $2,900
Used Dodge Durango
33 Great Deals out of 890 listings starting at $4,933
Used Toyota Highlander
28 Great Deals out of 1,506 listings starting at $3,788
Used Honda Pilot
13 Great Deals out of 842 listings starting at $2,350
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
45 Great Deals out of 5,293 listings starting at $4,985
Used GMC Yukon
11 Great Deals out of 611 listings starting at $4,995
Used GMC Terrain
45 Great Deals out of 3,279 listings starting at $4,950
Used Chevrolet Suburban
4 Great Deals out of 335 listings starting at $8,950
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
52 Great Deals out of 3,653 listings starting at $263
Used Kia Sorento
52 Great Deals out of 2,913 listings starting at $3,000

Used Cars For Sale

2020 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD For Sale
22 listings starting at $36,928
2019 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD For Sale
3 listings starting at $28,932
2018 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD For Sale
3 listings starting at $26,999
2017 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD For Sale
7 listings starting at $16,900
2016 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD For Sale
3 listings starting at $15,888

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.