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Rattling/noise from inner front of vehicle engine bay area

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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] Rattling/noise from inner front of vehicle engine bay area

    05 Corsa 3-door, 1 litre, 13" tyres. 165,000 Km

    So, these types of problems are always difficult to describe and communicate.

    There is a rumbling coming from somewhere forward of the cockpit in the engine bay area.

    I have always had this problem.

    I have tightened the bumper it was off for another job -- real tight now), new plastic bumper rivets (3 x underneath att. bumper to subframe)

    I have fitted a new offside wheel arch liner. New rivets were used here too. Tightened/replaces rivets on nearside liner too

    Splash/sump protector is tight. New rivets.

    Still a rumbling persists. I hear it better at low/crawl speed on -- for example -- a rough(ish) but not totally very rough country road.

    As if it were a loose plastic panel -- but nay not be.

    I do not hear it at speed probably due to wind/engine/etc. noise.

    Any common problems in this regard known?

    Outer tie rods were replaced. Drop linke were NOT.

    I note that he nearside wheel bearing has a small amount of play and I am looking into changing that BUT there is no noise out of it at speed.

    Whhels/tyres swapped out

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    lower Suspension arm and bushes NOT replaced but all seems fine as I had the hubs off in order to change the CV boots (and grease/inspect joints) on both driveshafts.

    There was a squeaking occurring when I went over a bump (from offside I think) but that seems to be gone now.

    Sterring bush makes a knocking sound as is common on these


    • #3
      Terminology can be a problem when describing a noise.

      I get the impression that you believe it may be from a body part, as you seem to have spent most time attempting to cure the problem in this area, but I Would associate the word 'rumble' with a rotating part, wheel bearings being one example.

      It might be an idea (if you haven't done so already) to check the oil level in the gearbox.

      Is there any chance that this noise could be from the exhaust system? A silencer with loose baffles can make a fair din, or even the exhaust mountings being perished.

      I did have a problem some years ago (not on a Corsa) in which I eventually traced the vibrating type of noise to be from the air cleaner element.



      • #4
        I can hear it better at low speed. Maybe it is present at higher speeds too and I may not be able to hear it

        It is subtle but noticeable enough.

        It can happen when passing over a bump or on a relatively smoth road with a little roughness or if undulating.

        I notice it can happen when I engage ('let up') the clutch.

        I will check the GB oil level. Good idea!

        The nearside wheel bearing is showing play. The offside shows nothing. I am in the process of changing it.

        More as I find it.

        Thank you


        • #5
          As you mention that engaging the clutch can cause this, it might be an idea to check the engine/gearbox mountings.



          • #6
            Yes, good idea.

            I noticed this morning that when I -- at standstill -- engage and then disengage the clutch, it occurs.

            It does sound like a plastic cover or similar vibrating but that could be misleading.


            • #7
              I have not determined the cause as yet but tests indicate the problem occurs more when the suspension is used on the passenger side.

              I drove over 'cats' eyes' on the road. Firstly offside over the row of eyes in the middle of the road. Normal suspension noise as expected when impacting an object such as eyes.

              When drive over eyes on the nearside, I also hear the normal noise but also the rogue noise.

              I packed some plastic panels etc with sponge in case they were rattling but to no avail. Process of elimination

              I note that the battery is a little loose. The thread on the battery holder is only plastic and appears to be partially stripped.. Will investigate

              Wheel bearing on nearside displays is a very small amount of play and is being changed today. Will see if that makes a difference.

              Brake parts are all tight.

              Mountings seem fine but closer investigation will be carried out -- hopefully today as well.

              Will also investigate drop links.


              • #8
                I was going to suggest that the battery might be loose, but from what you say, the noise seems to be too 'light' for a heavy object like the battery.

                Is it too 'light' to be caused by something like a loose lid on the fusebox?

                At the rear of the fusebox is the Body Control Module (BCM) DON'T be tempted to remove the BCM lid unless you have a new one ready to go on, as these are a known route for rain water to enter the BCM and then find its way into the car, so it is best left alone unless there is good reason to take the lid off.

                I suppose it is too simple to suggest that it could be due to a loose lining in the glove box?

                Another 'thought', is the back-plate behind the disk brake (rusted or loose).

                As you say, it may take some detective work to pin-point the problem.

                I had to smile at the thoughts of you driving over the cat's eyes, first with the offside wheels, then the nearside - I had this bubble picture of 'the boys in blue' following you and inviting you to, "Blow into this."



                • #9
                  Will investigate and report back.

                  Do not think it is glove compartment as I think I investigated that before. Will look again.

                  I note that the handbrake cable 'assembly' where it tees off to serve both rear drums just sits loosely on the back axle. Perhaps that, is the problem, even though it has a rubber anti-vibration ring and is located at the rear. I thought it was from the engine bay. However, the noise could be echoing. ??

                  I had thought of the fuse box but it seemed ok. Thank you for the tip re: BCM cover!! :-)

                  I am just about to change the nearside wheel bearing.

                  Honestly, officer, I just had sparking water...

                  Maybe 'water of life' -- Irish translation for 'whiskey'... :-)))


                  • #10
                    I was going to change out the front wheel bearing.

                    I thought it had play in it but seems not now...

                    When holding the wheel at the nine and three o'clock position, I obtain slight play.

                    I think -- on inspection -- it is that damn steering bush in the rack. They are a common problem.

                    I do not think it is the tie rod end as i changed that recently -- wasn't new but there was no play in it.

                    The bush displays vertical play in the rack

                    I am beginning to think that it is my noise problem too. It is on the nearside of the car and -- naturally -- connected to the suspension.

                    I do not obtain any play when I rock the wheel at the twelve and six o'cock positions.

                    So, I might leave the bearings.


                    • #11
                      It doesn't sound like a bearing problem, as you say, if there was no movement at 6/12 o'clock but there was at 3/9 o'clock, the play must be in the steering.

                      I can't really imagine that even a very loose hand brake cable would make any noise.

                      Have you checked for up and down play in the bottom ball joint?



                      • #12
                        The ball joints seem ok. I tested them before fitting and now agiain albeit on the car.

                        That steering rack bush is a problem. It bushes the steering rack 'ram' as the run to the nearside wheel from the steering wheel joint in the rack housing is quite long.

                        The bush is allowing for vertical play and does make noise when one rocks the steering.

                        It may not be the problem but it would make sense as vertical movement in the rack ram -- and hence noise -- would occur when the suspension activates via impact on pot holes or rough surface.

                        I want to replace it anyway, so we will see.

                        I cannot find an OEM part. Some guy ion the Internet 3-D prints them.

                        I have a aprt no. Will have to look for it.


                        • #13
                          I will check the bottom/ suspension ball joint but it seems ok from brief inspection.

                          To clarify: inner and outer tie rods seem fine with no play.


                          • #14
                            The best way to check that bottom ball joint, is with the car standing on the ground, but in order to be able to get under the car, you would have to have the tyre standing on a block of wood (NOT on bricks!) then, with the use of a bar, attempt to lift the lower arm whilst watching for movement in the joint.



                            • #15
                              I will try that when I let it down.

                              A good opportunity as it is on the stands at the moment. I can let it unto a wooden block as I lower it.

                              Why not bricks? They can crack??