2.0 JTS engine tapping
Would appreciate some advice.
My 2003 156 2.0 JTS has developed a tapping noise from the engine, sounds a bit like a diesel.
This is worst at start up / engine cold and seems to get quiter when warmed up (although it still seems to be there just much quieter). I've had a look through the forum and from other similar discussions it looks like it could be the cam variator? I've looked under the bonnet and the noise does seem to be coming from that area.
The car has 50,000mls and the cambelt and tensioner were changed at 30,000mls when I bought the car 2 years ago from an Alfa specialist. Oil level is OK and I check it regularly.
Performance is excellent, it ticks over perfectly and acceleration smooth, no loss of power or mpg.
From this limited info could anyone advise what the most likely explanation is, and if it is the variator what would be the approx cost to get this replaced? and could I be doing any further damage to the engine by running it with this problem ?
Many thanks for your help