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Car starting to moan and groan. What's that sound?

Cookie

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Long story
Just had one of my older cars in for a major service and when it came back it had more problems than it went in with.
Turns out the mechanic loosened the gear box mounting arm so that when I drove the car the gearbox would knock causing a loud knocking sound, which in tern is supposed to scare me into replacing the mounting arm because, "The mounting arm rubber is perished which is causing the knocking sound. We have to replace the whole arm. We can't just replace the rubber". This sound mysteriously appeared as I drove away from the mechanic.
Fancy that.
Long story short, he tightened that arm for R0 and all is well.

Short story
Different car. There is a vibration, almost like a soft truck idle, sound coming form my engine that is slowly getting louder. I want to take it in to a mechanic but I don't want him telling me I need to spend R5k on a problem that is not even there.

So, I would like to play a game of, "Whats that sound?"

You listen to the attached recording of my engine and tell me wtf is wrong with it 😬

I know it is difficult to pinpoint a problem just from a recording, but any help would be appreciated.

Opel Corsa C 1.4 - 2006
It's the "sport" version, not that it makes any difference


RECORDING
 

Ho3n3r

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My Elantra sounded exactly like that before I replaced the valve lifters. Sounds like yours are shot. It still sounds like that after it has stood for a while as well, for a minute or 2 until the oil lubricates them properly.

However, since you have obviously driven it recently and it came from a service as well, I would check the oil level - it could be that the "mechanic" did a shitty job by not putting in nearly enough oil.
 

P1000

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Sounds like lifters. Don't bother, especially if it helps to keep you awake at the robots 🤪
 

Vlad_the_Inhaler

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Are you referring to the rickety-tickety sound? ( Lifters ) or that faint clangy-wangy sound in background
 

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Are you referring to the rickety-tickety sound? ( Lifters ) or that faint clangy-wangy sound in background
The rickety-tickety. So it seems there is an issue with the lifters.

First step to diagnosing whats wrong with them? Maybe my oil needs to be drained and replaced, or some oil additive to clean the engine?

Or do I need to tighten/loosen/something the lifters? lol
 

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My Elantra sounded exactly like that before I replaced the valve lifters. Sounds like yours are shot. It still sounds like that after it has stood for a while as well, for a minute or 2 until the oil lubricates them properly.

However, since you have obviously driven it recently and it came from a service as well, I would check the oil level - it could be that the "mechanic" did a shitty job by not putting in nearly enough oil.
The sounds seems to stay there though, but I dont drive the car for more than 20min at a time.

This car hasnt had an oil change in a while. The other car (FIAT) had an oil change when they resealed the sump. (Was leaking oil)

Replacing the valve lifters?Is this pricey? Can I do it myself?
 

Tidy404

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They should really invent a "Shazam for Cars" app...
they actually do for the tightening of the serpentine belts on certain exotic cars.

The app listens to the strumming of the belts for the right tension.
 

Vlad_the_Inhaler

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The sounds seems to stay there though, but I dont drive the car for more than 20min at a time.

This car hasnt had an oil change in a while. The other car (FIAT) had an oil change when they resealed the sump. (Was leaking oil)

Replacing the valve lifters?Is this pricey? Can I do it myself?
If it is the lifters. It's not a serious issue.. If it just recently started making noise, could even be low oil pressure due to an oil pump on it's way.

Is the sound louder on a cold start? Say you swing it and it goes RICKRICKRICK for a few seconds then calms down. Those motors are known to do that as they get old.

I guess provided that you are sure that it is the lifters, and you can to timing etc, you can do it yourself for cheap..

Oil change will probably be worth it. Might not make them quiet. Additives.... I don't know. Many people say that they work but it's all snake oil to me.
 

Tidy404

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im not expert on modern motors but that does sound like tired lifters..generally they get quieter and not louder after startup, so that might point to an oil circulation issue
 

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Agreed on the lifters, a constant tick in idle. Does it smoke at all or use oil.
 

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Lifters probably. On some cars the injectors could also make that ticking sound.
Did the noise begin after an oil change?
 

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Lifters probably. On some cars the injectors could also make that ticking sound.
Did the noise begin after an oil change?
Try a 30w oil for a few K kms? Some fresh lower viscosity oil might make the sound less prominent. You won't get catastrophic failure from lifters. If you are mechanically inclined, you should be able to do it over a weekend, but first try some fresh oil.
 

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Try a 30w oil for a few K kms? Some fresh lower viscosity oil might make the sound less prominent. You won't get catastrophic failure from lifters. If you are mechanically inclined, you should be able to do it over a weekend, but first try some fresh oil.
Will try 30w oil and see if it makes a difference.
The oil was supposedly changed a year ago when it went for a service but maybe I should check if the oil is old and starting to get sludgey.
If I take the oil filter out will I be able to tell ?
 

Hobo Joe

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It sounds like it could be the lifters, but I would also advise you to check out if it could be the timing chain rattling instead. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the 1.4 Corsa's had timing chains instead of cam belts.

The timing chain is stated to last the lifetime of the vehicle (logically this can't be possible, but that's another story), however what happens is that the chain can stretch over time or the hydraulic tensioner can fail, leading to catastrophic engine failure. The chain rattling is normally most prominent on startup, but will be continuous.

Just something else to consider and get checked out, as if it is the chain/tensioner, it's not getting any better through an oil change or any other maintenance; and will eventually fail.
 

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Thought I'd also says a thing, think it sound like lifters too yes, but it also sounds like it could be spark being thrown away (damaged or worn plug leads) does the car miss on acceleration and feels underpowered when it's hot? Just something to also check out, could be very wrong though.

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Thought I'd also says a thing, think it sound like lifters too yes, but it also sounds like it could be spark being thrown away (damaged or worn plug leads) does the car miss on acceleration and feels underpowered when it's hot? Just something to also check out, could be very wrong though.

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Now you are making me worried 😬

I Haven't had a chance to drive the car since I posted the add but I will take it for a drive this afternoon and see if there is any loss in power.


I forgot to mention the car is only on 85,000km and is serviced once a year, so there shouldn't really be any "long term" issues yet
 

Gurshick

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Now you are making me worried

I Haven't had a chance to drive the car since I posted the add but I will take it for a drive this afternoon and see if there is any loss in power.


I forgot to mention the car is only on 85,000km and is serviced once a year, so there shouldn't really be any "long term" issues yet
Nah I would hope it's the plug leads, that's a super easy fix as you can just buy and put new ones tjop tjop

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DannyBoyOPC

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Could be lifters or could be signs of oil pressure problems. Open the oil cap when the car is running and check that oil is splashing about at he top.or being thrown out the cap. If that's the case it's usually a sign you don't have a pressure problem. If u don't get oil splashing about then u might have a pressure problem.

Lifters are relatively easy to remove on that car depending on your ability to DIY. but cambox needs to be removed so you can access them.
You can buy new from places like Alert engine parts, master parts etc.

What you can do is do a oil change and try a thicker oil like a 20w50. Sometimes the lifters go quiet with a thicker oil. If you change oil and they still noisy then maybe look at changing the lifters
 

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