Knocking in engine block
First bit of engine trouble with my Phase 1 in 17 years (98 car owned from new).
I use it for a 400 mile round trip motorway journey every 2 weeks and cruise at around 80- 90mph all the way there and back. About 20 miles into the journey, I heard a rattling sound come on all of a sudden while doing around 85mph. (It had been perfect around town that morning and everyone comments on how tight the engine sounds - performance as new, great fuel consumption and drinks hardly any oil). I pulled over thinking it was something caught under the car or the fan belt. Unfortunately, it was a knocking sound coming from the engine block so I called RAC and got towed back home.
Having looked at it again, it is a knocking sound that fades in and out (can be loud then will fade a bit). It changes with revs but not uniformly.My thoughts are:
Big End bearings (although it sounds like it's coming from top end)
Piston (worse case scenario)
I'm in west London with 2 specialists nearby but, not to name them as that would be unfair and unfounded, I only trust them with general service jobs. My default choice is Bianco near Gatwick which must be 40 miles away. Can you think of any investigating I can do to try and diagnose the problem before getting the guys at Bianco involved? I was thinking of taking the cover off and pulling each coil pack off to see if it relates to a particular cylinder and checking the oil spray bar that lubricates the cam. I'm not sure I know enough to be able to inspect the camshaft (I guess there are 2 for a 16v engine?) unless really obvious.
Any ideas? Thanks