US Charade and engine knocking


Hi everyone, I know this is a UK site but I hope it doesnt matter much! We dont have many Daihatsu's here in the states anymore, making it a bit tougher for me.

Bought a used 1990 Charade SX 1.0L a few months back, great condition for its age. I replaced the oil filter gasket on it as it was leaking oil very badly. After this fix and new tires / air filter later, it ran like a champ.

I do pizza delivery and drive all day long. Within a few months I probably put on around 3,000 miles or so. The engine burned a little oil but not much. Oil did change color and darken over time but its not black either. No smoke and hardly any vapor is visable out the tail pipe, there is no exhaust leaks.

Well, past few weeks I have been noticing a very slight knocking noise only at high rpms (no tachometer). I'm very gentle and nice to my cars, I dont over-rev, burn-out etc. Essentially when i was ready to move to higher gear, thats when I could hear the knocking. (and even then only with radio/fan off)

Fast forward to today, this afternoon. Before going in for work I filled the tank up. I decided to opt for the premium gas to see if it would help my knocking problem. Well, about 2 hours into my shift, the knocking gets so loud that there is a problem. Maybe it was the gas, maybe it would have gone out at this time anyway.

The noise is coming from the engine itself more towards the top of the engine where the valves are etc. The knocking is very loud now, Im not driving it like that. It does still start up and run.

I might have to junk this car, I hate to do it because I really have grown to love it. But I guess I'm asking for a little help on diagnosing and solving this problem. I'm afaid replacement parts if I need any will be most difficult to find here in the states. If anyone has some ideas in this area, I would soak them up too! Smile

Thanks for reading my little story, and yes I still love Daihatsu!


I thought I would add an update to the whole situation to close the thread. It's okay that I didn't get any replies, I am well versed in computers and I suppose it is akin to someone asking me "my computer is crashing whats wrong?"

I took it in to a friend of a friend's shop and after he looked at it he said it was the timing belt tensioner that was causing the problem. Also the timing belt was worn and might as well get a water pump.

So I order the parts and overnight them and drop them off. I get a call on my cell, turns out thats not the problem afterall.

It spit out a few rod bearings in cylinder #1 and the engine was pretty much hosed. But he made a few calls and found an identical used engine, with 40K miles on it. $375US / and he would charge me $200US labor to install it, $50US for gaskets/fluids.

I'm actually not disappointed by this news, I only paid $450US for the car, no dents, no rust. Paint still glossy and new. I suppose the problem most likely originated with that huge oil leak the previous owner had when I bought the car.

After everything I got a great running engine, new water pump, timing belt, tensioner, and clutch. (as well as the normal oil/filters/spark plugs/antifreeze) The clutch was just a bonus, came with the used engine and was almost brand new.

Running great and after two tanks of gas I am getting 34mpg but thats all city driving and lots of idling. I couldn't really do any better economicly without spending at least $20K for a hybrid.

The best part: Starting the car even cold, you dont even hear the starter, it just turns on. Quite amusing.