I need your help please and I know how difficult it can be to diagnose "a noise", especially across the gulf of cyberspace
My car sounds like it has a family of sparrows living under the bonnet. The noise only occurs after the engine has warmed up and is above idle speed. It sounds as though it's coming from the front right-hand end of the engine, near the alternator, but it's difficult to say exactly where. The noise can be described as a high-pitched chattering.
This is as much as I know so far:
Last month, the car had its cambelt, idler and tensioner changed by Jamie Porter's Alfa Workshop. I asked him to investigate the noise and he changed a worn auxiliary drive belt idler. This did not cure the problem.
I'm reasonably confident it's not the A/C compressor, as the clutch on that wasn't even engaging, prior to the service, as it was low on refrigerant.
The alternator is giving a good voltage out (14-ish). Could it possibly be alternator bearings on their way out?
The power steering seems to be working OK, although you can hear the valves groaning off the straight-ahead. Steering lock, or lack of it, does not affect the noise.
Sometimes if I stop the engine and start it again soon afterwards, the noise goes, only to come back a few minutes later.
The noise occurs if the car is moving or stationary. If I drive along and dip the clutch, letting the engine idle, it goes away, only to return when let the clutch out again.
Anyone else experienced this or have any suggestions? It's slightly tarnishing the enjoyment of my, almost nightly, country lane thrashes.
Your assistance, as always, is greatly appreciated.