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Engine tapping / steering noise

I'm going to have to pick your brains again guys.... I have a Huuuuuuge list of things to do to my GTV over the next 3 or so months (basically taking it back to showroom condition - mechanically and aesthetically), but I have to keep on top of things and prioritise the important things.

The main thing concerning me is that when I start her up, there's a bit of a tapping noise coming from the engine. A bit like metal-on-metal, but I'm not so sure. It seems to dissappear when the revs rise and after a good long journey. Had a similar thing on a Fiat Punto which turned out to be a sticking valve, but the noise was anout 10 times louder. Is it something thats about to go bang? Bad engine timing?

Second thing is even at stationary the steering makes funny noises. I don't know whether this is normal or not. The noise is like a hissing noise which it makes when you turn sharpely, only its not as loud. If I wiggle the wheel when it stationary, you can hear 'hissing' slightly, is that normal?

Thanks for reading

Rob
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Sounds a bit like the variator, when was it and the cam belt last changed?

Not sure about steering, is it topped up?
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Does the tappety noise quieten down after 30 seconds or so?
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Had the variator and camblet done 2 weeks ago, also had it serviced but assumed they'd top up the steering fluid. Will have to try topping it up.

I THINK the noise goes away after a few mins, but its hard to hear especially as its contantly raining (its not that loud from the inside). It seems to have gone away once I've reached my destination.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Well, I guess it could be noisy tappets - has the head ever been off?
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

I'm not sure, I'll have to check through the history later when I get home. If its the tappets, is it just a case of getting them re-shimmed/replaced? If so, how long does it take to do? Had noisy tappets on my old old Punto, it was a similar kind of noise.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Did they use cam locks when fitting the cambelt? As if the timing it out your ticking may just be the pistons clipping the valves..

Also check the spark plugs are tight, a loose one can give a ticking noise. They would probably have removed the large plug on cylinder 1 to set the engine at TDC.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

You may have already checked, but I had a similar problem and discovered it was the manifold gasket which had worn out. If this turns out to be the problem make sure you buy the new and improved version as the old gaskets only last so many thousand miles. Hope this helps.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Ok, just drove 10 miles to work, the tapping noise was quite loud this morning, but I can definitley say that when I got to work it had gone. Would that indicate bad timing?

As for the cam locks, I have no idea if they used them or not, although I would have thought so as they are a reputable specialist.

If its the manifold gasket would I be ok leaving it? Or would that indicate somethings about to go bang? I'm going to have a new MAF fitted in January, so I'm hoping I can hold out until then and get the garage to have a good look over the car.

Will check the spark plugs tonight
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Mine does exactly the same, same noise on start up, i usually just wait for the noise to go before i set off, its usually gone in about a minute, it sounds like once the oil has got up it sorts it, its going in for a cambelt service this friday which includes the variator so will let you know if it cures it.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Yea I'd be interested to know if it makes a difference, as mine only started making the noise AFTER I had the cambelt done. But to be fair I only had it a week before I had it done. I'm wandering if the cold weather may play a part in it, my car is always outside (never garaged). Is your oil always topped up to the top?
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

well i've only had the car a month so im hoping its the variator to be honest, i would say its noisier now than when i got the car. You could be right about the cold weather though, i will let you know on saturday when i get her back.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

the garage has phoned me and told me to fetch it in next weekend instead as he's no courtesy cars available, it would just be my luck for the belt to go this week!
i will let you know when its been done rob
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

It sounds like the Variator to me mate, I have had a couple of 146 TSparks that had the same problem. Sadly its quite a pricey job to do, unless of course you can do it yourself.

If it is the Variator the car sounds a bit like a diesel the as it warms through it will disappear.

Can't help with the steering problem though sorry.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

I think the steering noise is probably normal, I think I might be being fussy.

I had the variator changed 2 weeks ago so can't see it being that, I certaintly wouldn't describe it as a diesel noise. More of a tapping noise that goes away after a minute or two. I'm hoping to get it to a garage soon when money allows.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

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Originally Posted by GTV Rob View Post
I think the steering noise is probably normal, I think I might be being fussy.
I think you are right. Mine does the same when on full lock, and I presume that it is some sort of pressure release/bypass valve to stop the system over pressurising if you try to turn the wheels when stationary/ full lock.
Has done it since day 1 and 110k miles later is still the same and no problems have made themselves known, so I don't think you have anything to worry about on that one.
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

ok ive had the cambelt and variator done now but the engine noise is still there, the mechanic who did it says the ts engine is prone for having a leaky manifold when cold and as it warms up the noise gradually goes away, i'm not going to worry to much about it so you shouldnt either rob.
Btw my cambelt service was £280, well pleased with that!!
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

Thats cheap, Are you sure he did the lot for that price? The Spider buying guide quotes the following, plus 3 hours labour.

Cambelt = 25.57
Cambelt Tensioner & Bearing = 85.57
Balance Shaft Belt = 58.13
Balance Shaft Tensioner = 32.82
Rocker Gasket = 17.57
Variator = 78.70

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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

funny you should say that dan, ive been thinking all day about y it was so cheap, he said to me that it would be £330 and how would i be paying, i said cash so he said knock £50 off then, i'm worried he hasnt done the balance shaft belt and tensioner but surely he would of known to do these as he said he does lots of alfa cambelt services, i'd better ring him tomorrow.
If he hasnt done them is it a big job to do these, does it involve taking the cambelt off again?
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Re: Engine tapping / steering noise

I have a horrible feeling you have to take the cambelt off to do the balance and tensioners but couldnt find it in the manual, I havent done it myself having entrusted my Alfa specialist (Auto Italiana) he charged £360 for the lot, I had a water pump too that added a bit more and with a full service came to just over £500 squid. Does your bill itemise what he changed?

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Hi, my alfa 156 2.0ts has got the diesel start up noise too, but it had a cam belt change 5000 miles ago. do i need to get it redone again including the variator? only had this car three weeks so i have no clue if it was done last time. its funny but if you turn the ignition on and leave it for two to three mins before starting the engine, the noise does not appear. can anyone help?
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