That's a really sad story... now, he specifically called me and told me they removed both flaps that were trapped in the inlet tracts! I triple checked and called him again to confirm that no swirl flaps were left in the tracts or anywhere and he confirmed that's not the case, all 4 were taken out of the car - 2 from the inlet manifold swirl regulator mambo jambo and two from somewhere in the tracts where they were stuck.If I understand correctly, your mechanic said you have two swirls broken off and stuck in the inlet tracts in the head..I had one broken off and entered the engine, bending two valves. Another was stuck in the inlet tract. This is common, but whether the flap will stay there is unlikely. If he left it, it may well have gone through the port and into the engine - the airflow is extreme and it is a loose obstruction. It has to be removed. I could see it with a mirror and torch, but was unable to fish it out - though I didn't try very hard as I knew the head had to come off because one flap had entered the engine. The flaps are stainless so a magnet doesn't help, but a dollop of hot melt glue on the end of a piece of wire might work, especially if you have a borescope to see what you're doing. I didn't back then, but I do now - a perfectly OK Android phone plugin, for about £7 on eBay
My car was still starting and running OK, despite the damage.I went through the same hopeful stuff as you. I tried a load of Wynnes Hydraulic lifter treatment in the oil, and initially it seemed to make a difference. I was kidding myself. The rattle came and went, sometimes loud, at other times barely there. The injector correction factors were all over the place, so maybe I had a dud injector? I actually did - the injector on #3 had a nozzle damaged by swirl flap shrapnel. I also persuaded myself that maybe the crank pulley was knackered,but a new one made no difference.... the correction factors turned out to be mostly the system trying to compensate for low compression from 2 leaky valves on the damaged #3.
NB all the carbon on the stem, from the leaky seat. The previous owner had driven a few thousand miles with it like this.
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I would get a compression test done if your mechanic left a loose flap in head
Now, I noticed lately a smell of gas, like burned diesel smell that would usually come out of the exhaust coming from the left side (my driver side of the car), during night time when I have my lights on, I can barely see a faint fog coming from the front part of the bonnet... I was youtubing exhaust manifold noise, ticks, etc. (Yeah I know it's dumb, but for now that's all I can do...), so I was thinking that maybe the exhaust manifold may need a bolt to be tightened or a new gasket or both?