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Corsa C 1.3 CDTI motor clicking/knocking noises

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  • [Corsa C] Corsa C 1.3 CDTI motor clicking/knocking noises

    Hi , new user here -
    I got a 2005 corsa C and it has been making noises from the motor while idling, when i rev up it goes away and sounds much better
    I looked around the motor while the engine is on and im pretty sure the noises are coming from this part but i dont rly know what it is and what to does.
    Would appriciate a bit of help to recognize the part.
    Taking it to the shop isnt rly an option for me since in Norway it would cost me half of the cars worth just to get it checked.
    Here's a pic:
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2

    that part is the fuel rail, it's basically a tube full of fuel that is under very high pressure. In itself it can't make a knocking noise (unless it has come loose) as there are no moving parts to it. It could be a bad injector causing the knocking. A quick test you can do to rule out a bad injector is to unplug the injector electrical connector plugs one at a time while the engine running, the engine will stumble a little but if the knocking stops it's most likely that injector is bad, if the knocking continues refit the connector plug and move on to the next one.
    Another possibility is a bad valve lifter, they can cause a clicking type noise. They work by oil pressure, it could be that one is leaking and not holding oil pressure at idle but when the revs are higher and the oil pressure increases it will hold enough pressure to stop the clicking noise. These issues are normally caused by a poor service schedule. When was it last serviced? If it was a bad lifter the only cheap option I can think of is trying a lifter treatment then a oil service.


    • #3
      Hi thanks for your answer!
      Well at least i can rulr out that part...
      I bought the car in january this year and i wouldn't be suprised if it hasn't had a proper service in a long time.
      I was planning one for july.
      I will do these tests when i get home as i have to also replace a wheel bearing on it today.
      Thanks again and ill keep updated if i figure it out.
      Is an injector replacement something you can do at home? Hope so


      • #4
        I feel that your problem is not in the fuel related but is a lubrication problem. Fuel clicking noises normally don't disappear after the car is warmed up, plus it normally will cause idle and power issues and sometime produce codes on the computer. I had the same problem and it was caused by a couple of dirty lifters sticking. I'm assuming it because the previous owner didn't change the oil at the correct intervals. I simply removed the lifters cleaned them and reinstalled the lifters. You could replace them too they're not that expensive. If you decide to do this yourself make sure know what you're doing and time the camshafts correctly. I hope that helps.


        • #5
          I would change the engine oil and oil filter. Use a good quality oil filter ,either a Genuine GM or another top brand of OE (original equipment) quality. Also use fully synthetic oil rather than a 10/40 semi synthetic. You want a minimum SAE of 5W . But as you are in Norway it may be better to use 0W sae oil. New thinner oil with good additives may help improve any problem with sticking valve lifters. But dont use a 'flushing' oil. These were used in the old day to help clean out blocked oil pipes etc , but are not a good idea for modern engine designs.

          You could also try using a diesel engine clean up additive in the fuel tank. Chose a intensive cleaning type that claims to work in one tank full. Some of the cheaper products are intended to be used every time you fill the tank and may take a long time before you see any improvment.,if any. Ideally chose a ' advanced complete treatment' type that claims to not only clean diesel injectors but to clean and lubricate the high pressure fuel pump, the egr valve etc.. But these are quite expensive and you may not see any improvement.


          • #6
            Hello and thank you all for your help!
            I have ordered 5w40 Magnatec 4L oil + bosch oil filter (which to my knowledge is OEM or at least top quality) and will change them both once they arrive (might be a bit late because of easter)
            Plus today im gonna check the injectors like suggested above.
            will report back once i did both of these things and hopefully it helps thanks


            • #7
              So i'v been outside and took off the injector connections, first i'd like to say whoever planned those was NOT a nice person.
              The hard plastic connecting them to the control is awful and leads to breakage since there is no wiggle room whatsoever when trying to pull them out or putting them back in.
              I took all 4 off one by one and i have not noticed a change.
              With that said the engine is doing VERY badly, there is a very loud metal on metal banging noise when idling that wasn't there before (i checked the oil level its not low on oil)
              and it seems to be misfiring... i don't know what to do.
              I will try to buy a fuel additive and add it and i was thinking about buying an oil additive as well since the new oil wont be here until 23/4 (easter), is that a good idea?
              Thank you for your help.


              • #8
                If there is metal to metal banging that is very loud then its beyond my knowledge. The fact it has got worse after you done something to the injectors might indicate the problem lies with an injector. But I wouldnt want you to do possible permanent damage to the engine by running it as it is, without some more expert opinion. As you say a garage might charge more than the car is worth just to diagnose the problem, unless you can find the kind of small friendly garage/mechanic who would have a quick listen and give unbiased advice free of charge (Some do, as its a good way of getting future business)

                You could possibly make a video of the noise, and post it on you tube ,and give us a link so we can have a listen. Also check to see if any other videos have been posted about engine noises that sound similar to yours.Ideally the 1.3cdti engine but other makes might give you a clue. There are some on there where someone tries various oil additives and and gives opinions on whether it has helped or not.

                One other check you can try is listening to the fuel injectors with a stethoscope. Although you can buy mechanics stethoscopes its probably not worth it . Take a large screwdriver, place the tip against the injector body (the rusty bits on your first photograph) and then place the handle of the screwdriver against your ear. Do this to each of the injectors while the car is running on idle to see if any of the injectors sounds different to the others (either noiser - or the opposite-, quieter than the others.) You will be surprised how much sound this makeshift stethoscope can pick up. Be careful of moving parts or electrics as you lean over.

                I am not sure about using an oil additive unless you are sure the engine is safe to run for a long time. Wynnes make a valve lifter cleaner oil additive but I believe the engine needs to run many kilometers to show any improvment. They also do a flush additive but this can only be used for 20 minutes then the oil and filter must be changed. A nd opinions are divided on whether a flush treatment is a good idea. It can dislodge all sorts of horrible gritty muck that was best left where it was.

                If you do decide to go ahead with an oil treatment it would be a shame to use it in magnatec oil.That already has lots of additives and its not a good idea to mix them. If the existing oil still appears to be ok for a couple of thousand more kilometers you could use it in that But its best not to take chances. If the existing oi is no good I personally would buy some cheap supermarket own brand oil of the correct specification, do an oil change, add the additive , and run it for about 5000km. Then if there is improvement change the oil and filter again using the magnatec.


                • #9
                  It could be diesel knock you're hearing. Like Bugman says if the Knocking has gotten worse since unplugging the injectors I would say that's where the problem lies. Unfortunately if you have a injector that is sticking open the unplugging electrical connector test won't disable that injector, it could still be leaking fuel into that cylinder.

                  If you are able and confident enough to remove the injectors, a quick basic test I have used is to remove the injectors and metal fuel pipes, turn the pipes around and reattach the injector so it is out of the engine and pointing up, then turn the engine over and observe from a safe distance the the spray patterns of diesel from the injectors, I would video them to get a better look. Always remember though you're working with a very very high pressure fuel system so safety first.

                  Here's one I tested on a VW


                  • #10
                    Hi thanks for your replies,
                    what i did and what happen so far since my last post:
                    I changed the oil + oil filter 2 days ago plus i added in a diesel cleaner additive from stp (pic below) and ran the engine a bit but saw no change.
                    the day after i drove the car and it sounded weird, louder than normal but ran "ok"(as in no new problems but still the same noises and bad idling).
                    When i drove home i lost almost all power in the engine and it took a while before i got power again, but then it would act strange like the power would cut out when i went over 2.5k rpm and i had a really hard time starting the engine after a long period of no usage (like 5 hours or so)
                    Today i met up with a mechanic friend that tried to quickly see and hear what he can. i turned the engine off in a gas station and was unable to turn it back on again - we had to use starter fluid to get it running again.
                    He said he think the problem might be in the EGR valve but he is unsure since his not very good with diesel engines but he was not sure.
                    I will do the screwdriver test tomorrow and see what i can see and try to make a video hopefully it catches the sound.
                    thank you for your help, please if any of this rings a bell tell me what you think ill try anything

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                    • #11
                      When you have a non start situation try pinching/clamping the fuel return line after the last injector. The fuel return line is the flexible hose attached to the top of the injectors. If the engine starts when you do this it'll mean there is an injector/s which has excessive internal wear and is leaking off too much fuel. Early signs of this problem are trouble starting when the engine is warm. You could even try this method without the non start problem and see if there is any difference to the noise.


                      • #12
                        I will try that first thing in the morning, thank you!


                        • #13
                          Hi thanks again for the comments,
                          i made a video of the motor running this morning, it started right up and i took it for a drive then when i was parking at home it died and wont start since.
                          I tried pinching the return line except for a tiny increase (i think) in the RPMs it didnt do anything noticeable.
                          I honestly dont dare tackling the injectors by myself but honestly im not sure the issue is there anymore
                          i tried the screwdriver stethoscope thing and the sound from all 4 sounded the same to my very untrained ears...
                          I found a guy here that is suppose to be good with diesel engines and he will be able to look at the car on Tuesday maybe but first i gotta make sure i get to work and back
                          on that day
                          I managed to turn the car on yesterday with starter fluid ill keep trying that


                          • #14
                            Can you upload the video?
                            Is the knocking noise there on cranking or just when it's idling?
                            When it doesn't start is there a strong diesel smell from the exhaust or puffs of grey smoke?

                            Apart from the injector test I mentioned I can't think of any other diy free tests.
                            Another cheap option is purchasing OPCOM diagnostics from the likes of ebay and installing it on a laptop. One scan and it'll have paid for itself compared to a garage scanning your car. A wise investment if you're keeping the car. It'll read any trouble codes and give live data ie air flow, fuel pressure etc. In your case I would concentrate on the fuel pressure on ignition, cranking and running. Going by the symptoms I would still suspect a bad injector.


                            • #15
                              Hi sorry im sure i sent the link! here it is:

                              I dont think the noise is there when cranking but its a bit hard to hear.
                              There are puffs of smoke, not sure about the diesel smell (my car makes diesel smell on regular basis lol)