Are Diesel Trucks Noisier than Gas Trucks?


It depends on the type of noise. Some noises are to be expected with diesel pickup trucks, while others are sounds no one wants to hear. Much like your body elicits a groan or two when you start to experience signs of aging or illness, your pickup truck will express its discontentment in certain situations or alert you of its showing signs of age or damage.


With this in mind, it’s good to know that not all noises indicate something is amiss, something that can put your mind at ease.


If you’ve switched from a gasoline truck to a diesel engine, you’ll likely notice the engine is typically louder and absolutely nothing to worry about. And while increased volume is par for the course, knocking, whirring, rattling, and excessive banging aren’t.


Why Are Diesel Pickup Trucks Louder?

A diesel truck’s air cylinders are already compressed when fuel is poured in, and it’s this compression that makes the engine louder. This is why diesel engines are noisier than their gasoline counterparts. On top of this, diesel isn’t as well filtered as gasoline, meaning it has more particles in it, which can contribute to noise levels along with the complexity of diesel engines. Diesel engines have many valves, caps and pipelines, and these many components can make for a louder driving experience even when nothing is amiss.

With that out of the way, and you have ruled out the general noise level of driving a diesel truck, and the noise persists, what can be causing it? And more importantly, what type of sounds do you need to look out for?


Rumbling Sounds

Diesel engines have that satisfying roar when they start up. Still, if your engine is grumbling upon ignition, this could indicate its pre-igniting meaning that the compressed air and fuel are lighting faster than they should, which can cause problems.


Pre-igniting can harm pistons, values and rods, to name a few, and this is something you need to have checked out to avoid any damage when starting your truck every time you get in it.


Knocking Sounds

It should be apparent that your engine shouldn’t be making knocking sounds, but if it is, you can thank the injectors for this noise. Typically, injectors are noisy when starting up, and you should expect this; however, if the noise doesn’t go away within a few minutes of starting the engine, this could be a sign they are not adequately lubricated. Get your truck to an experienced diesel engine technician who can identify the source of the knocking sounds and get you back up and running before any further damage is caused.


Timing Chain Noises

Timing chain noises are often compared to a rattling sound or even a screeching noise, and you will likely hear this more when the engine is cold. A warmed-up engine still rattles but not forcefully. If you hear any rattling sounds that persist when the engine is warm, you must check your timing chain. The timing chain connects the crankshaft and the camshaft, so the importance of this part should be overlooked.


In some cases, when caught early enough, you can get away with tightening the chain; however, if it’s too loose, you will need to replace it entirely.



A ticking sound is down to improper lubrication of the valve train components. What this essentially means is that you have low oil levels, so in the first instance, always check your oil levels. If your oil is running low, top it up or book it for a service to correct this. If the issue isn’t your oil level, it could be a faulty lifter or connector rod. Sadly, this is a more severe issue than needing to top up your oil and will require your engine to be rebuilt by diesel engine experts who can eliminate the problem and get your motor purring not ticking.


Should I Drive My Pickup Truck When It Makes Noises?

In short, no, driving a pickup truck when it’s making undiagnosed noises can cause more harm than good to the engine. Always stop during and get yourself to a mechanic who can find the root of the issue. When it comes to the health of your diesel pickup truck, it’s recommended you carry out regal servicing and maintenance to help you avoid any worrying noises and ensure your vehicle is roadworthy at all times. Regular care and repairs mean your truck is less likely to experience significant failures, and any problem can be caught early.