Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Hi,

The last couple of days I've noticed what sounds like someone tapping on metal coming from the front driver side of my Astra. It could be from under the bonnet, or from the wheel, I'm not sure.

The noise seems to happen intermittently but I think only in low gears, travelling slowly, or stationary.

I know I'm not explaining this at all well, but does anyone think it could be anything to worry about?

Thanks for any come-back.
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Vansboy
First guesses..
Low oil pressure? Check oil level is OK.
Pinking - have you changed garages for your petrol? Could be a one off, lesser quality petrol. Or timing problem?
Did think of worn CV joint, but you said it's there when stationary.
Anybody been working on the car, leaving a tool in the engine compartment, or maybe something loose, after tinkering?
After these simple ideas...
Think we have to wait for the clever guys, now!
VB

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - RichardW
HF

Does it only happen when you have the steering on full lock - ie when you are manouvering? If so it could be the CV joint in the drive shaft - this make a very recognisable 'click-click' noise, which gets faster as the car does. Could also be something fouling on the wheel etc. You'll need to do some tests to identify exactly when it happens to aid the diagnosis eg driving / stationary, straight ahead / steering on lock, left / right lock etc etc.

Richard
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - volvoman
HF - Why not try starting the car and having a look under the bonnet with the engine running. It might be something quite obvious (e.g a rattle from something which has come loose in the engine compartment). You haven't had the car serviced yet have you, so I'd also check the oil level. Have you recently been driving with the windows open ? It's surprising how different a car can sound with the windows open/closed due to the warm weather. It may be that you're just hearing a noise that has been there since you got the car and you've simply not noticed it before. Why not ask your brother- in-law if he recalls any such rattles ?

Have you recently lost your cat ??? ;-)
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - volvoman
Gobbledegook !

That should read:

"... driving with the windows open due to the warm weather ?"

"... a car can sound with the windows open/closed."

Haven't even opened the red wine either !
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thanks a lot to VB, Richard and V.

I'll do the tests suggested this evening and post back with any discoveries.

Oh, and if the oil needs a top-up, can I just get any oil that says 'suitable for diesels'? I'm not bothered about getting the best that money can buy, just something that isn't going to cause engine failure!

Thanks again,
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
HF, to add to the suggestions already mentioned:-

1. If you've got front mudflaps fitted, make sure they're not fowling on the wheel.

2. Check that you haven't got any stones (or even worse, nails) stuck in the tread of the tyres.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Hello again,

I've done all the checks that everyone suggested, with the following results:

First, I haven't been using a different garage lately for my fuel, unless they had a dodgy batch in last time I used it.

I'm not sure what you mean by the timing being out, and I've forgotten if the timing is due to the alternator belt, which I know needs tightening.

No-one's been working on the car lately, so I can rule out tools left under the bonnet.

If I'm right, I had the CV joint problem with my old car, causing it to make noises when steering wheel was fully locked - but in this case, it makes no difference which way the steering wheel is pointed, I get the noise driving straight ahead.

When I open the bonnet with the engine running, the engine noise is too loud for me to hear the other noise!

I don't have any mudflaps, and couldn't see anything stuck in my tyres.

However, the oil level is very low. I'll get some tomorrow and top it up, and see if that makes the noise go away. I don't understand though how lack of oil can cause a tapping sound - I'd be very grateful if someone could educate me on this.

Thanks for everyone's help!
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - volvoman
HF - The engine\'s full of moving parts which need to be lubricated with oil in order to prevent them damaging themselves due to friction. Believe me a car with no oil in it will be pretty noisy so get down to Halford in the morning and ask them what oil is correct for your car. If you flutter your eyelids at them you might even find they\'ll put the oil in for you ;-)

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF

Ok, will do, thanks V!
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - DavidHM
HF - If you need to buy 5 litres of oil, you may as well get the filter changed at the same time. National Tyres are extremely cheap for this (£10 or £15 depending on which oil you need and they'll be able to advise you), as opposed to about a £9 for a 5 litre cannister from Halfords. Details here: www.national.co.uk/promotions/specials.asp

By the way, I have their semi-synth in my car at the moment.

That will also stop you from overfilling the engine. Also, when you say the oil level is very low, usually the difference between min and max on the dipstick will be from, say, 3l to 5l.

I'm not sure which is the nearest outlet to you - probably 148 Long Lane, Bexleyheath, tel 020 8303 7821. Map here: tinyurl.com/9ota
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thank you very much for that, David - that's a great idea. Sorry to be dense, but does getting the oil filter changed also involve an oil change, as opposed to just a top-up?

I'm afraid the oil level is right at the bottom of the stick, less than the minimum I should have - so I obviously need to get this done urgently.

The Bexleyheath branch of National Tyres is not far away at all, and thanks for the map! I'm not too sure of the area round there, although I do know how to get to Bexleyheath!

I know it's a bit of a swear-word around here, but do you think KwikFit would offer a similarly priced service - I have one about 2 minutes from here!

Many thanks again.
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - DavidHM
It is an oil change if there's any in there, but if there's none I'm not sure it counts...

Kwik Fit starts at £18 IIRC and gets significantly more expensive with higher grade oils.

You should also check your oil levels very frequently, because it appears that your car is using some oil. How much depends on the mileage since the last change, of course, and running it like this can significantly shorten its life expectancy although all you can cost effectively do is fill it up quickly and keep it topped up until you have at least an idea of the rate of consumption.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Rob the Bus
HF - it's always a good idea to get the filter changed as a matter of course, especially if you're not too sure how long it's been on. I don't want to seem patronising, but it's not a good idea to leave an old filter on that's probably full of gunge when you're filling the engine with brand new oil. I change the oil and filter on my Granny every 3000 miles just to be on the safe side.

I would urge extreme caution before you visit any major fast fit centre. They (IMHO) use these cheap oil and filter changes as a loss leader to lure you in and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince you that you need four new tyres, a whole new exhaust, four new shock absorbers, new brakes front and rear, new engine, new chassis, new body shell and new interior. OK, maybe I exaggerate a touch, but I'm sure you get the picture!!!

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Rob the Bus
And to add to DavidHM's excellent post, try getting into the mindest of checking your oil every time you fill up with diesel. Works for me. Except I don't put diesel in my petrol Granny....!

See you soon!
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - DavidHM
I have to say, that's not been my experience with National. I have used several branches in both London and Wales and they're generally too busy to need to do any unnecessary work - I've had more problems getting them to fit in the work that I already want doing.

Having said that, it is a good headline price to get people through the door and to raise their profile. Regardless, HF is bound to post on here if they recommend any further work before agreeing to it, so why not take advantage of the cheap price for something that already needs doing?
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Rob the Bus
Fair enough, David. I'm allowing my judgement to be clouded by a bed experience. I was generalising as I didn't want to name any company individually. I can't afford to be sued!!!! ;-)

Good luck anyway HF and I genuinely hope that there is nothing more wrong with your car than low oil. You could well do without your car blowing up as well! ;-)
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Blue {P}
Hi HF,

So long as they use a decent oil, which AFAIK they do at Kwik Fit and they don't over/underfill it, it should be OK, but check it when you get home anyway just to be on the safe side. Maybe a good idea to ask what grade of oil they use so that you can get the same type to top up with...

Hope you and the kids are well.

Take care

Blue
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
David, RTB and Blue, thank you all so much for your advice.I really appreciate this.

As David says, I won't be lured into agreeing to any extra work before checking it out here first!

And I *know* I must get into the habit of regular oil checking - in fact I will make sure I do that in future. It doesn't exactly take long, does it?! I guess it's silly, but I always thought the oil warning light would come on if I was running low.

I'm tempted to try and find the place that David recommends (as long as the car doesn't blow up in the meantime!) simply because of reading about his own experiences there.

And Blue, wherever I go, I will check it out once I get home - that's good advice - and if I ask what grade of oil they use, that might at least give them the mistaken impression that I know what I'm talking about!!

We're ok thanks, Blue - and I hope you are too. Nice to speak to you again, and hope to do so again soon.

Many thanks to all 3 of you,
Take care
HF

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Oz
Believe me a car with no oil in it will be pretty noisy


... but eventually will become extremely silent ;-)
Oz (as was)
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
However, the oil level is very low. I'll get some tomorrow
and top it up, and see if that makes the noise
go away.


HF, before you go mad and top up with oil; there has been cases mentioned here before about some Vauxhall engines giving false dipstick readings. You could end up overfilling the engine. I know this definately applies to the Vectra diesel, but I'm not sure if the same applies to the Astra diesel engine or not. I'm unsure of the proper proceedure for when is the best time to check the oil. Perhaps someone else can help here?
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thanks for that, DD.

May I ask, because I really don't know, what would be the problem with overfilling the engine? I thought that any excess would just be burnt off, but I'm obviously wrong here.

When I checked the oil I had just taken a shortish drive - not sure if this would make any difference to the level or not?
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
what would be the problem with overfilling the engine? I
thought that any excess would just be burnt off,


Not sure if same applies to diesel engines, but with petrol engines you can end up blowing oil seals.
When I checked the oil I had just taken a shortish
drive - not sure if this would make any difference to
the level or not?


Yes it will make a difference. When the engine is running, the oil circulates around the whole engine. When you stop the engine, the oil eventually drains back into the sump at the bottom of the engine. The hotter the oil, the quicker it returns to the sump. Taking it for a short drive probably won\'t have got the oil very warm, therefore when you pulled the dipstick, chances are some of the oil was still elsewhere in the engine and not in the sump. Think of oil as treacle - when cold it doesn\'t pour very well; when hot it is very runny.

Best time to check the oil is at least an hour after you last used the car.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thank you Dave!!

I'll check it again in the morning (prior to driving).

Had no idea that too much oil could harm an engine, so thanks for that, whether it applies to diesels or not!

I do think it's probably my own neglect that has caused the oil to fall low. When I first got the car, I checked the level and it was fine, and subsequent checks didn't reveal a noticable drop in oil level. Till now.

But anyway, thanks for your suggestions, I'll check it cold tomorrow.
HF :)
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - bazza
DD & HF

The overfilling problem with Vauxhall diesels is only relevant to the later DI diesels, from about 98 on with the Astra. I think HF has a fairly old Isuzu engined Astra which is utterly conventional, no known problems with the dipstick, measuring etc on that one (and probably a lot less to go wrong on it too!)

Baz
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Hi again,

Here's the update.

I checked the oil again this morning, and it was stil really low. I've now had the filter changed and 6.5 litres of oil put in. I'm afraid I chickened out of risking driving to Bexleyheath and maybe getting lost, in case it ran out completely on the way.
KwikFit charged me £18, for which David was spot-on, and told me since I have a diesel there was no need for higher grade oils.

They also pointed out that I have a slight oil leak, but that it's not a job I should get done, because it's so expensive and won't be detrimental to the car. Having said that, I obviously need to keep a much closer eye on things to make sure it doesn't get any worse.

Also, they said I need a new alternator belt (again). Basically it's just flapping around and could flatten the battery soon. Told him I'd had a new one a few months ago, and asked if it was tightenable, but he said it was already at maximum adjustment. His suggestion was that maybe the belt fitted before was too long, but I know it matched the former belt - unless the former one was wrong too!!

Anyway, after all this I was most disappointed to find that the noise is still happening. I think I've tried everything that people have suggested so far, so does anyone have any further possibilities? I mught take it back to KwikFit after the weekend and ask them to have a listen (didn't mention noise to them today, only that I needed oil).

Any further help or suggestions much appreciated.
HF
PS if I don't come back promptly to answer any suggestions, it's not because I'm being rude, it's because I'll be out all night tonight and much of tomorrow).
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
Sorry your noise is still there HF. Without actually hearing the noise makes it so much more difficult to diagnose the problem.

6.5 litres of oil put in - didn't realise Diesels took so much filling.
Also, they said I need a new alternator belt (again).
His suggestion was that maybe the belt fitted before was too
long, but I know it matched the former belt - unless the
former one was wrong too!!


A new belt should be slightly shorter than the old one - because the old one has stretched. Did you have a cheapy belt previously fitted, or one from Vauxhall. You'll be surprised to know that a belt from Vauxhall won't actually be that expensive. Their parts these days pretty much match the aftermarket stuff.
I'll be out all night tonight and much of tomorrow).


You dirty stop out ;o)
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
LOL!!! ;)

I know, it's really difficult to explain a noise verbally. The only other way I can really put it is that it's a little like drumbeat 5 on variation 4 on my electronic keyboard, but I guess that's not a lot of help!

I think it probably needed 6.5 litres of oil because it was nearly empty - so I'm really glad I raised this thread even though the noise is still there.

You're right, the last belt was a cheapie, from Halfords, but it had exactly the same code number/letters on it as the previous one. Maybe I should try a Vauxhall one - I might try the email place that you directed me to before, when I was looking for a manual - although having told me they'd ordered one for me, I never heard anything more from them! - still, easier for me than trying to find a reality parts stockist.
HF

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - bazza
Hold on here HF! Don\'t rush straight back to Kwik Fit!

Is the noise present only when you are stationary? If so, it is engine related and rules out other parts such as driveshafts, brakes, wheel bearings etc. You need to establish this.

Does the noise vary with the engine speed? ie more revs - faster noise etc?

Try these tests before you do anything else. If we are no further with diagnosis, suggest you take it not to Quick Fit but perhaps to the person who fixed that leaking pipe for you a few weeks back. An experienced all round mechanic is what you need here, not a \"fast fit\" merchant (no dis-respect intended).
It\'s a long shot but a \"flapping drive-belt \" and strange noise might just be connected. There\'s nothing wrong with Halfords belts, but agree for a small extra cost you might as well get a Vauxhall one. But, get your mechanic involved here. It might not be related but probably needs to be sorted or it will let you down just when you don\'t want it to! (Cars never break down outside a pub on a warm summer evening, its always on a busy motorway in rush hour when it\'s Pouring down and you\'re late.)

Good luck
Baz

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - RichardP
Whoa!! Too much oil! I think you have the Vauxhall (GM) 1.7dr normally aspirated (non turbo, 60hp) engine? In that case the car only requires 5 litres of oil! 6.5 is too much. I had a similar car to yours and after a oil and filter change, I could only get about 4.5 litres in it. The car is still in the family, on 110K miles and uses no oil whatsoever.
If you ever see the oil light, it is usually too late btw!
Oil and filter changes on this car are specified at every 4500 miles.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Amin_{p}
you say the sound is like someone tapping on metal and is there even though the car is stationary. does it change if you rev the engine slightly? and also does it disappear after the engine is warm? if the answer to both is yes, it *might* be the cam-shaft is tapping on valve ends. Once the engine is hot the metal expands and fills the gap and the tapping disappears. even a few microns is enough to make this noise. also as you rev the engine the tapping will disappear in the engine noise, so may be that?s why you don?t hear it when you go faster. in any case, as other have said, since you hear it even when the car is not moving, you can immediately rule out anything that moves only when the car moves. The tapping of the belt is also a possibility, and the only way to check it is to remove the belt, start the engine and run it for a few seconds (since you have a diesel, if you take the alternator off-line, it wont flatten your battery) and see if the noise goes. The noise *could* also be a loose timing belt (may be a faulty tensioner??). The way to know if it is a sound from a belt or not is to check whether it goes after the engine is warm. if the noise is there even when the engine is warm, then it is well possible to be from the belt as belt noises are temperature independent. If however goes away once the engine is hot, I would think the cam-shaft ticking on valves is the what comes to my mind. But to be honest, without hearing it yourself, its almost impossible to say. Hope it helps?.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - RichardW
>>I think it probably needed 6.5 litres of oil because it was nearly empty - so I'm really glad I raised this thread even though the noise is still there.

My turn to laugh out loud! (Sorry HF - that was at your expense!). To further your mechanical knowledge... The oil sits in the sump right at the bottom of the engine. When the engine is running the oil pump pumps the oil all round inside the engine (and outside it in your case by the sounds of it!). The light on the dashboard is low oil pressure - if this comes on when the engine is running, the moving parts of the engine have been starved, and it is likely that permanent damage has occured. When you 'change' the oil you do literally that - you take a plug out of the sump and allow all the old oil to drain out. You then take off the filter and fit a new one, refit the plug in the sump and then pour new oil in the top of the engine. How much oil is required after it has been changed is NOT related in any way to how much was in there before as all the old stuff was drained out (hence my LOL!).

Get into the habit of checking the oil every week - you will soon learn how much your car 'uses' and be able to predict when it needs topping up. Check the oil first thing in the morning when the car has been stood overnight as this is the most accurate check. Pull the dipstick, wipe it clean, stick it back in, wait a couple of seconds, pull it out again, and that will be the level. It should be between the marks on the stick - aim to keep it towards the top one though! When topping up do not add more than about 1 pint until you get a feel for how much difference this makes on the dipstick - also noting that the oil added will not show immediately - it may take an hour to make its way to the sump. Don't worry if the oil goes slightly above the max mark, but don't add 2 or 3 litres because it 'looks a bit low'!!

To give you an idea how important the oil is, I read in a mag a test of an oil additive that was supposed to protect your engine in the event of losing all the oil. The mag put the additive in, ran the engine for a while, stopped the engine, drained all the oil out and restarted the engine. The engine lasted approximately 13 seconds before it seized up....

Richard
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
Pull the dipstick, wipe it clean, stick it back in. It should be between the marks on the stick.


As a guide, the difference between Min and Max level on most, if not all Vauxhall dipsticks is 1 litre. Therefore if on Min you'll need to add a litre of oil to bring it back up to the Max.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - volvoman
Hi HF (and for those of you who haven't read the ealrlier thread on her alternator problem) last year the alternator belt was replaced. We discovered a problem with the alternator which was not fixed securely and was wobbling - worn mounting bushes we were told. This was what caused the extraordinary wear on the old belt. IIRC our local mechanic said it would be a good idea to have the alternator replaced since repairing its bushes would not really be cost effective. Funding being a major problem, however, HF understandably decided to replace the belt DIY since this was much cheaper. AFAIK The alternator problem remains and so it is not surprising that the belt may be worn or slack. The alternator moves and it's very hard to secure it and maintain the correct belt tension.
Replacing the belt with another will only yield another temporary fix so it may be better to get the alaternator replaced/ repaired once and for all if funds permit.

As regards the noise, it is possible that the loose alterntor may be the cause however you would expect the noise to be present constantly and not just disappear when the car warms up. As others have said, if the noise is present when the car is stationary the noise has nothing to do with wheels, bearings etc. If you've been using the heater to blow cold air into the car during this hot weather, could it be something to do with that. The blower unit might be partially blocked with debris and making a ticking sound. This can be quite loud and will obviously vary with the fan speed setting so it will be easy to rule out. HTH.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
a problem with the alternator - worn mounting bushes we were told.


Ah ha, the bushes never got changed then? They really are quite easy to change, and not that expensive for the parts either. I suppose it all depends if HF wants to keep buying new alternator belts every few months, or a one off payment for a new rubber bush and keep the same belt for a few years. Changing the bush has to be the cheaper option in the long run, IMHO.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Wow! Not even been gone a day, and there's so much new information for me here!! Thanks to all of you.

I need to read all this a few times through, and allow my mechanically-challenged brain to inwardly digest. I'll make a few notes (seriously!) and do a few tests.

Back later with results and proper replies.

Many thanks again!
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
I'm writing this amidst a mixture of hysterical laughter and furious disbelief!! Just came in from doing some checks - was just locking up car when a very noisy fast car sped past, and I heard a kind of cracking sound - thought at first they'd knocked my car. Then realised that they'd thrown a load of raw eggs out of their car window, which narrowly missed me but smashed all over my (recently-washed) car!! A rather surreal experience actually.

Anyway, I digress. First, I have possibly the most embarrassing confession that I will ever have to make on here. I thought I'd check the new oil level out - and realised to my absolute horror that, I think, I was checking the oil in the wrong place before!!!! I feel so ashamed! So it's actually quite possible that I was never low on oil, and that I never needed a change in the first place!! I will probably never know. Please don't think too unkindly of me for this!!! ;)

Now, to reply to people's very helpful suggestions:

Bazza - The noise does not only happen when I'm stationary, I also hear it when I'm driving, but I've never yet heard it once I'm up to 4th gear. So I'm not sure that non-engine-related things can be ruled out.

The noise doesn't vary with engine speed - it doesn't last long, just a few taps and then a pause before it starts up again. The pause isn't regular either.

The local mechanic is a great idea, and I'm not too sure why I didn't think of this before! I just checked out the alternator belt, and it is indeed *very* loose.

RichardP - It's a Vauxhall LS 1.7 non-turbo diesel. I've no idea what bhp it is, or how I'd find this out. I think you're right that they put too much oil in it, because my latest check shows that it's a few millimetres over the maximum line. (assuming I've checked the right place this time!) Thanks for the oil light information, I thought this was indeed a warning light rather than a confirmation of catastrophic failure!

Amin - The sound doesn't change by revving the engine, and doesn't disappear if the engine is warm, so I would guess it's not the cam-shaft tapping - but thanks for explaining this. I'm not sure how to 'take the alternator off-line', so I don't have the courage to remove the belt - I think this is maybe where the local mechanic comes in - but i think you might be onto something here!

RichardW - delighted to give you a laugh at my expense ;) I can see why now, too, what a very stupid thing of me to say! I'll definitely take your (and other's) advice about regular oil-checking. At least my possibly unnecessary oil-change now gives me a starting point to try and check if the car is consuming any oil or not!

V and DD - I think the mechanic's advice was that I would at some point need a new alternator, but that it would be very expensive and wouldn't need doing for a very long time. I certainly don't want to keep buying new belts all the time, but I seem to recall the mechanic saying that the worn bushes would mean needing a new alternator. I didn't know that just the bushes could be replaced. In fact I don't even know what the bushes are!

It's nothing to do with the heater or fan, V, as I haven't been using it.

From all that's been said, I think I need to get the belt problem sorted first, and take it from there?

Many many thanks to all.
HF

Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Rob the Bus
>>First, I have possibly the most embarrassing confession that I >>will ever have to make on here. I thought I'd check the new >>oil level out - and realised to my absolute horror that, I >>think, I was checking the oil in the wrong place before!!!! I >>feel so ashamed!

LMAO!!!! Oh, good grief, HF!! One question though - if you weren't checking the oil, what were you checking? Perhaps it's best not to ask....Don't worry, I'm sure nobody on here will think badly of you. Everybody will have made a cock-up like that before. I can remember once leaving the oil cap off after topping up. I can recall a sort of thud followed by me running over something as I pulled away, but I just thought it was a rock or something. Very embarrassing when I realised what had happened and had to call the AA!

Anyway, I can't add any further to what had been suggested as there is a very clearly defined end to my technical knowledge. Best of luck with your problem, and I hope that it's not too catastrophic.

Cheers!

Rob


Watch out for squirrels' tails. Far too bushy for my liking.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thanks Rob. I'm still not truly sure that I was checking the wrong thing. I was under the impression that to check the oil, you had to take the dipstick (aka HF), clean it, then take off the oil cap where you fill up the oil, and dip it in there. That was what gave me a very very low reading, and still does. But by dipping into the place where the HF is stored, I get the above-maximum level.

Curiously, that's the way I always used to check my oil, but then for some reason I thought I'd been wrong all that time and started checking it in the fill-up place.
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
I was under the impression that to check
the oil, you had to take the dipstick (aka HF), clean
it, then take off the oil cap where you fill up
the oil, and dip it in there. That was what gave
me a very very low reading, and still does.


I\'m not saying a word. shakes head in disbelief and have an uncontrollable urge to want to ROTF and LMAO
But by dipping into the place where the HF is stored, I get
the above-maximum level.


I saw in your other post that it\'s only a few millimetres above max. That is fine - providing it\'s only 2 or 3 mm, and not 8 to 10mm !!
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
I\'m not saying a word. shakes head in disbelief and have
an uncontrollable urge to want to ROTF and LMAO

>>

I know, DD, I know. I feel so embarrassed.
I saw in your other post that it\'s only a few
millimetres above max. That is fine - providing it\'s only 2
or 3 mm, and not 8 to 10mm !!


Yeah, about 3 to 4 mm, I think -
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
Yeah, about 3 to 4 mm, I think -


In that case I wouldn't worry about it.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Good - thanks Dave.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - bazza
Well, the noise is there when stationary. Therefore it is engine-related (cos nothing else is turning then). So, next step is your local mechanic. I strongly suspect the noise is related to your worn alternator mountings but can't be more specific. Cheapest solution is either to live with it or get your mechanic to source bits from a scrapyard if necessary. If he's a good bloke, his advice will be valuable.
Good luck
Baz
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Well, the noise is there when stationary. Therefore it is engine-related
(cos nothing else is turning then). So, next step is your
local mechanic. I strongly suspect the noise is related to your
worn alternator mountings but can't be more specific. Cheapest solution is
either to live with it or get your mechanic to source
bits from a scrapyard if necessary. If he's a good bloke,
his advice will be valuable.
Good luck
Baz


Thanks Baz - I'll see the mechanic in the week. I'm quite prepared to live with it as long as it isn't going to be detrimental to the car, but I'll see what he says.
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Dynamic Dave
mechanic saying that the worn bushes would mean needing a new
alternator.


Did he actually say \"bushes\" or \"brushes\" ? If he did say bushes then unless the Diesel alternator is hugely different to my old 1.3 petrol engined alternator mountings; as mentioned previously the bushes can be changed easily. However if he said brushes, then to replace them would mean a strip down of the alternator - which is maybe why he suggested a replacement.
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
I'm almost certain he said 'bushes', unless he's got a very strange accent! But, being me, I could well be wrong. I'll get it checked out.
Ta!
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Hugo {P}
Hi HF

Just been browsing through this thread.

You say that the noise does NOT increase in 'beat' when you increase the engine revs?

In that case, could it be something unconnected with the engine, like a loose bolt under the bonnet, or even something daft like the bonnet stay?

If the 'tap tap' increased in speed when you revved the engine then I would suggest alternator, water pump etc. Otherwise you've got to be looking at something that is affected by the vibrations caused by the engine running.

Just check under the bonnet and make sure there's nothing obviously loose.

Also I wouldn't worry about the £18 oil and filter changed. If you've not had it done for 6000 miles or so it was a wise thing to do anyway.

Good luck

Hugo
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Hi, thanks Hugo,

It would be lovely if it was something like a loose bolt!! I'll have a check as you suggest.

I've only done a couple of thousand miles in the car myself - but I think it's been about 2 years since it was last serviced, so I guess it needed an oil change anyway. Which I maybe wouldn't have bothered about unless I'd thought there was a problem - so perhaps this is all for the best anyway :)
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - Blue {P}
HF - I'd just like to say that reading this thread gave me one of the best laughs that I've had all day! :) Thank you, I can't believe that I thought I'd been brave lately, I think anything I've done fades into insignifigance comapred to that admission, you're so brave!

As for your oil, yep, this has definately been for the best, once you start to notice something wrong it's probably too late, so it's just as well that you changed it.

Take care

Blue
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Hi all,

Just to confirm, as usual the diagnosis here seems to have been the correct one.

Just got back from mechanic, who has changed the belt and the mounting bushes - £66, and as if by magic the noise has disappeared. Apparently the problem was so bad that the bottom of the alternator itself has been worn away, but the mechanic says this shouldn't cause a problem.

Blue - I'm sorry, I missed your post before, I wasn't ignoring you! Glad to have given you a laugh ;)

Once again, thanks all!
HF
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - bazza
HF
Money well spent I'd say - Happy motoring!
Baz
Someone hiding in my Astra engine?! - HF
Thanks Baz!
 

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