Mystery Noise - Solved
Hi folks, I lurk here a lot but have seldom posted before. I thought this was worth sharing though.
For the past few months my 159 has been making a strange rattling/clattering noise. It sounded like it was coming from the O/S front corner somewhere.
I tried various things to locate the source, from checking all trim was secure to stripping down the brakes and suspension to check everything was in good order. I had no luck and ran out of ideas so I put it into my local garage to see if they could figure it out.
They ended up doing all the same checks as me and couldn't pin point the noise. Their next best guess was a CV joint but they said it was a guess and I'd just be throwing parts at it if I tried that. I wasn't convinced it was a CV joint cause the noise was much more random than I'd expect if it was a CV joint failing. I was at a bit of a loss what to do. As much as I love the car I didn't want to spend loads of money on a car that's worth less than £2k when nobody knew what was going to fix it. At the same time I didn't want to drive around constantly wondering if something was about to go bang. So I was seriously considering cutting my losses and selling the problem on.
Then the day after it was in the garage I was listening to it on the way to work. For the first time I thought I could hear it when the engine was idling and the car stationary. It was much lower level but definitely the same noise. That ruled out CV joint and meant I'd been looking in the wrong place. It was engine related. When I got to work I opened the bonnet and had a look around. I had done that before trying to figure it out but I'd always been looking past the engine to the bottom of the car/transmission area. I honestly can't believe I had missed this before, see picture at the bottom of the post.
That engine mount bolt was just hanging out of it's hole. It was resting against a bulkhead and had been rattling around. I seated it back in its correct location and tightened it up. The noise was gone.
Not only can't I believe I missed it I can't believe the garage didn't see it. Worse still though that engine mount needs to be removed to change the timing belt which the same garage had done 6 months ago. They clearly didn't torque it up correctly when they were putting it back together.
So I don't have to sell my beloved Alfa and get something infinitely more boring and I very much doubt I'll be using that garage again.