Pushrods are used in overhead valve engines, and their main function is to transmit the reciprocating motion that allows the internal combustion engine to work optimally. A cam usually actuates pushrods for the opening and closing of an internal combustion engine. This article will outline bent pushrod symptoms. If you have a car that uses an overhead valve engine, you’re most likely to encounter bent pushrod issues at least once. That’s why this article tends to outline bent pushrod causes and symptoms.
A pushrod is a cylindrical rod in an overhead valve engine operated by a camshaft that opens and closes valves. Both ends of a pushrod have openings that help in sending and receiving oil to the rocker arms. The rocker arm is another component that plays a vital role in internal combustion engines. Rocker arms work hand in hand with the pushrods.
Bent Pushrod Symptoms
Symptoms of bent pushrod might not be noticeable at first, but if you know what to look out for, you won’t have issues diagnosing a bent pushrod. Several symptoms pinpoint a bent pushrod. However, most of these symptoms can also be caused by other faulty in your engine system. In regards to this, you should know how to tell if a Pushrod is bad or bent.
Bad Rocker arms, bad hydraulic lifters will give the same sound as a bent pushrod.
Engine Misfire: A bent pushrod will cause your cylinders not to function well. Suppose you notice that one or more of your cylinders is not working well. A misfiring cylinder indicates that either your fuel injectors, plug coil, or spark plugs on the said cylinder are bad. A bent pushrod can also be the cause. If you suspect that your pushrod is bad, you can do a visual inspection.
Ticking sound inside the Engine: Several things can cause an engine to knock or ticking sound inside your engine while idling or accelerating your car. Something like stiff hydraulic lifters, worn-out rocker arms, bent coin rods, broken pistons, failing, or bad oil pumps will cause a knocking sound in your engine. You might ask, what does a bent pushrod sound like? Bent pushrod can cause a ticking sound as well; however, before it gets to this stage, it means that your pushrod is long gone.
Low Compression Test: Engine Compression is referred to the meeting of air and fuel in the engine cylinders. This process is required for the smooth running of your engine. If any problem occurs along this process, you’ll experience issues like a misfire when turning on your engine, rough idling, or poor performance while idling or driving your cab.
As explained above, pushrods help in the opening and closing of the valves. If the pushrod gets bent, it’ll not freely slide up and down, thereby causing a delay in the valves’ opening and closing.
Note: Many other factors could cause a low Compression test in your engine. You might experience a low Compression on one or all the cylinders.
You have to know how to inspect your pushrod to see whether they are bent visually.
To do a visual inspection, you need a quality mechanic tools box handy. Open your bonnet, disconnect your throttle cable if it’s blocking you. Take off any wires that are blocking your way. Unbolt the fittings holding your valve cover. Hold the pushrod with your fingers and play it; it should play freely – not too loose. If it’s hard to play, or it looks like there are many gaps, take your wrench socket and unbolt the bolt holding it with the rocker arm. You don’t necessarily have to take it off. You can shift the rocker arms.
You might not be able to detect all bent pushrod by merely looking at it or playing it. To easily detect any bent pushrod, get a flat piece of plywood or, preferably, a piece of glass and roll the pushrod on it. You’ll see it. Bent pushrod will not roll freely on the glass.
How to Tell If You Have a Bent Push Rod! YouTube
What causes a bent pushrod?
What causes a bent pushrod in a diesel or petrol engine? Several factors can attribute to a bent pushrod. Sticking hydraulic lifters with a distinct gap in-between the rod and lifter can cause a bent pushrod. Other causes include loosening valve guide thimbles (in small engines), stud or rocker ball wear. When there is excessive stud or rocker arm ball wear, it’ll cause the rocker arm to slide sideways, as a result, leads to a bent pushrod.
How much does it cost to fix a bent pushrod?
It takes roughly 5-7 hours to replace a bent pushrod. Most dealerships charge $80 on average for an hour of service. So, repairing your bent pushrod will cause roughly $400 – $560. However, you should budget a higher amount. This price is an estimated service fee.
Can you straighten a bent pushrod rod?
Yes, you can straighten a bent pushrod. Grab your bent pushrod and place it on your vice or a cement driveway and straighten it with a hammer. I recommend getting a new one. You can straighten the old pushrod only if you don’t have some cash to replace them.
The bigger challenge is knowing what bends your pushrod and fixing it at the same time. If not, it may cause a bigger problem.
Can you drive a car with a bent pushrod?
You can drive with a slightly bent pushrod. Bent Pushrod will only cause your car to reduce power, have a ticking sound, and fail the compression test. However, it is recommended to diagnose and replace bent pushrod once you notice any of these symptoms.
We have discussed bent pushrod symptoms at length. It’s important to know that there are factors that can prevent sticking sounds in your engine. As we know, these sticking sounds indicate a worn-out valve or bent pushrod. A frequent oil change with recommended oil grade for your engine will help reduce the number of studs and sludge in your engine. A sludge-free engine will allow for good sliding of your pushrods.