I’ve been battling an exhaust leak in the Scout for the last couple of years. There’s a gasket on the passenger side right below the heat riser that seems to come undone every twelve months or so, and I’ve tried to tighten it up on my own until now. While it’s been loose, the truck sounds like a chugging train from that side, which I don’t like at all; the truck is enough to take in visually without being the loudest thing in my zip code, so I try to dial it back as much as I can.
I finally got someone to look at it, and after supplying the right parts for it I took it in last Friday to be fixed. As I figured it wasn’t a big deal for them, and it was done in an afternoon. When I got it back I jumped in and listened closely to the sound of the exhaust—at idle it sounded nice and quiet but when I got out on the road and hit the gas pedal, there was a different noise sounded less exhausty and more engine-specific. This is the kind of noise I associate with old clapped-out Ford Explorers and crappy pickups, which made me very nervous. Doing a little digging I identified it as rod knock, which is caused by low oil. I immediately went out to check and found that the oil was below low, which made my heart sink. I don’t know how I let it get that low or how it emptied itself out so fast; I remember topping it off earlier this spring. Whatever the case, the sound had been masked by the exhaust noise, and I completely missed it until now.
From what I’ve learned, low oil pressure can easily be the cause of this problem; what I’ve got to do is find someone who can properly go over the bottom half of my engine and pull the rods and replace the bearings. So for now, Peer Pressure is off the road.
This means that I’m going to be taking the CR-V out to Nationals this year, which sucks for many reasons. But I’m more upset with myself for having fucked up my engine this badly. It messes up ongoing plans for the summer and it means I won’t have my truck for the forseeable future, which really makes me upset.