Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Thistletime
The car passed its MOT but the mechanic reckons the engine "looks like its got problems" (condensation, camshaft...) . I may be female but I've driven for years and this engine feels fine and the same garage services it reasonably regularly.. All I notice is a tapping when first starting, I thought that was just the timing.
Please can someone suggest a few intelligent questions to ask the mechanic before I get my chequebook out.
Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Ivor E Tower
Does it use any oil (Are you having to top it up between services?) and what sort of journeys do you use it for - a few miles each way in town, or 10 mile runs on open roads etc?
Is the mechanic who usually services it the one who did the MOT and made the comments? If not, I suspect he may be talking out of a part of his anatomy other than his mouth. If you don't have to top up oil or water, the fuel consumption hasn't deteriorated and it passed the MOT emissions OK I suspect that you do not have any major engine problem. Others will do doubt post their opinions here too.....
Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Thistletime
I don't have to top up oil or water and fuel consump hasn't changed. The car hasn't had a good blast for a bit but does a 20 mile return trip daily mostly on suburban roads. Last time it was serviced the (different)mechanic commented on the "smooth engine".
Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Dynamic Dave
(condensation,


Do you do short journeys a lot? Certainly would explain the condensation - that is if it's on the inside of the oil filler cap.
All I notice is a tapping when first starting,


More than likely a leaky hydraulic valve lifter(s). Oil drains from it/them when parked up for a period of time (say overnight?) and has to be pumped back up with oil again when the engine is started. While it's being pumped back up with oil it can chatter, which will give you the tapping sound you describe.

Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Thistletime
Thanks for that. Thinking about it , I do do some short 5 minute trips , collecting/dropping kids off at the station.
Is condensation or the possible leaky valve problem likely to develop into further problems?
Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Dynamic Dave
Provided the car has regular oil changes and gets the odd \"italian tune\" (use forum search on the right for details of this) then sthere shouldn\'t be a problem with the condensation.

As regard the tapping noise on start up, providing it goes away almost instantly, I wouldn\'t worry too much about it. There is an additive that might help called Top End Treatment from Forté Lubricants. More details here:-

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?v=e&t=15...4

Vauxhall Astra 98 new engine needed? - Thistletime
That's all been really helpful, I'll do as you suggest and just keep a look out for any change. Many thanks!
 

Value my car