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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] Clicking noise on cold start while accelerating

    We have a 2005 plate corsa and with these cold mornings it's seemed to develop a clicking noise while accelerating this only ever happens for the first half a mile. If the car is used later the same day it is fine and you don't hear the noise.

    1. The sound is like a clicking/ticking noise and only comes on while the accelerator is being pressed for the very first start of the day. When the car is used of a morning and then later the same day on the second start there is no clicking noise. (after 6-7 hours) The harder the accelerator is pressed the faster the ticking becomes.

    2. Test by pressing the accelerator this morning in neutral this morning on a cold start and there was no noise then shortly set off in the car and the clicking noise appeared for around 500 metres.

    3. The clicking noise only appears if you set off straight away on a cold start - if you leave it 10 minutes or so in this weather to de-ice then there is no clicking noise when we setting off. If you do set off on a cold start straight away it's only ever present for the first 1/2 mile.

    4. After all the above the noise wouldn't then reappear until the very next morning cold start.

    5. Last had an oil change in February. Get this done ASAP?

    Anyone have any ideas what this issue could be or had this problem before?

    I wouldn't say the noise is loud but it's noticeable.

    I just worry that a garage may look at me strangely if I'm to take it in because like I say it would be hard to show someone as obviously the car would be driven to the garage.

  • #2
    There are few things it could be and really you need to have the car in front of you to track noises down. A mechanic's stethoscope is cheap and an invaluable bit of kit for pinpointing the source of noises.

    It could be the valve followers of course, the hydraulic lifters can be noisy in cold weather until the oil has warmed up and got into them. It could be the timing chain, again due to oil circulation. It could also be the alternator. After a cold start it is working hard to replace the charge used to start the engine and they tend to do it from a cold start. If it is the alternator then to be honest I wouldn't worry - I've had them sound like a bag of spanners in a washing machine from cold and run like that for years.

    No harm getting an oil change done and you can never do it too frequently. Don't be talked into using a flush - they can do more harm than good. But my hunch is it's the alternator anyway.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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    • #3
      Thanks so much for the advice.

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      • #4
        I've just had something similar. It sounded like clicking but was actually air/diesel blowing out in the injector seals. Maybe worth a look. If you spray some WD40 on them you can see it shooting it back at you if that's the issue.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by holywoodj View Post
          I've just had something similar. It sounded like clicking but was actually air/diesel blowing out in the injector seals. Maybe worth a look. If you spray some WD40 on them you can see it shooting it back at you if that's the issue.
          Thanks for the reply but I wouldn't know where to start looking for that. (Sorry I'm a noob)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Taurus View Post
            There are few things it could be and really you need to have the car in front of you to track noises down. A mechanic's stethoscope is cheap and an invaluable bit of kit for pinpointing the source of noises.

            It could be the valve followers of course, the hydraulic lifters can be noisy in cold weather until the oil has warmed up and got into them. It could be the timing chain, again due to oil circulation. It could also be the alternator. After a cold start it is working hard to replace the charge used to start the engine and they tend to do it from a cold start. If it is the alternator then to be honest I wouldn't worry - I've had them sound like a bag of spanners in a washing machine from cold and run like that for years.

            No harm getting an oil change done and you can never do it too frequently. Don't be talked into using a flush - they can do more harm than good. But my hunch is it's the alternator anyway.
            After further investigating I still can't work out what the clicking is.

            1. Oil and filter change has been done. (Needed it anyway)
            2. On a cold start low revs in neutral - no noise.
            3. On a cold start low revs in first gear - no noise.
            4. Noise appears when you first start going but again it's always only for the first 500m.

            I can't seem to test where the noise is coming from if the car has to be rolling?

            Any other advice?

            Just wondering if it's something I should worry about or just leave be and put up with it.

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            • #7
              Hmm. Is the noise related to engine speed, or road speed? eg at say 30 mph in 3rd is the ticking noise the same as it is at 30 mph in 4th ?

              If related to road speed its less likely to be the engine.If its constant one possibility is the brakes. With damp weather brake discs can get slightly rusty overnight and things like brake pad anti squeal shims etc may rattle, click and squeak a bit until they free up and wear off the rust.

              If brakes are suspected, or you're not sure you could try the following. take the front wheels off (one at a time !) and give the brake callipers a good cleaning and sloshing down with a bucket of soapy water,. Clean as much crud and brake dust as you can with from parts that move, such as the sliding calipers, pins etc. No need to dismantle anything . You can use a fairly stiff brush but avoid anything like wire brushes etc or a pressure washer that might damage rubber seals etc. ( a normal garden hose is ok) Dont use an air line,vacuum cleaners, dry brushing etc due to dust. Check your brake pads are not due for replacement. Then take the car for a drive and stamp on the brakes a few times, harder than you might normally. This can help free up any bits that are sticking. Even if this does not cure the problem it costs nothing, and is worth doing anyway from time to time.

              But this method may not entirely free up brakes that need more thorough servicing.
              Last edited by Bugman; 19-12-2016, 12:54 PM.

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              • #8
                It could be the speedo. My Astra speedo clicks on cold mornings. If it's only doing it on first start from cold then it's unlikely to be anything serious.

                It helps to put your location in your profile because then if there is someone local they might be able to listen to it and figure it out.
                1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bugman View Post
                  Hmm. Is the noise related to engine speed, or road speed? eg at say 30 mph in 3rd is the ticking noise the same as it is at 30 mph in 4th ?
                  Thanks for all your advice I would say the noise is related to speed as it clicks faster if you get up to speed quickly while the sound is ongoing. As I said already if I sit in the car and wait for defrosting etc then you don't hear the noise when you pull away. When the clicking is heard then the faster you go the quicker the clicking seems to get although it is always gone after 500 metres. Additionally the clicking is heard in the first 3 gears and doesn't change sound unless you speed up then the clicking increases. (it may still happen when higher gears are selected but by then 500 metres has been driven.

                  - - - Updated - - -

                  Originally posted by Taurus View Post
                  It could be the speedo. My Astra speedo clicks on cold mornings. If it's only doing it on first start from cold then it's unlikely to be anything serious.

                  It helps to put your location in your profile because then if there is someone local they might be able to listen to it and figure it out.
                  Thanks, good advice. Will add it now.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Folks,I've a 55 plate Corsa C 1.2 life with 53,000 miles on the clock and I get a similar noise only when the engine is cold and disappears after approx. half a mile. I've changed the oil and filter which has made no difference ( 5/30 oil). The only thing I noticed from the service history is that as part of the last service (12 months ago) the garage did an engine flush before adding fresh oil ( which some say is a no no) Having heard this type of noise before on another vehicle, I'm pretty sure its a timing chain issue. Therefore my only question is: should I worry about this issue when the engine is cold or just live with it?Your advice would be appreciated.RegardsGeoff.

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                    • #11
                      The thing with noises is that you really need to have the car in front of you and hear the noise to say anything worthwhile. Trying to diagnose noises via a forum is never going to be accurate. Best bet is to get someone local to you to listen to it.
                      1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is quite normal for engines to be noisier on cold starts.And the colder it is, and the longer its been idle, the worse it can be. Oil drains off parts and thick cold oil takes longer to reach them again.Machined tolerances between moving parts may be bigger until the metal expands with heat . Engine wear is much greater during the first few miles, which is why a low mileage engine only used for short journeys may be in worse condition than a high miler. Even a formula 1 engine will self destruct if you dont warm it up properly. You need to drive gently for the first few miles,and ensure the oil and filter are changed regularly and the oil is of good quality and the right specification.
                        As Taurus says its difficult to diagnose noises unless you are there, with the car cold. You need experience of that engine in those conditions to know whats normal and acceptable, and whats not. It can be a fine line between becoming fixated by a noise thats not important, and becoming accustomed and no longer hearing a noise that is important.

                        In general I would say if its your first experience of starting that particular car in colder weather and a slight noise goes away after a short drive its probably nothing to worry about. If the noise persists, or the same car didnt do it last winter then maybe its needs further investigation. But of course its impossible for me to say for sure whether a particular noise can be ignored.

                        Are the brass monkeys just chattering and squabbling because they are cold, or are they are they screaming because they are injured?
                        Last edited by Bugman; 22-12-2016, 11:08 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bugman View Post
                          It is quite normal for engines to be noisier on cold starts.And the colder it is, and the longer its been idle, the worse it can be. Oil drains off parts and thick cold oil takes longer to reach them again.Machined tolerances between moving parts may be bigger until the metal expands with heat . Engine wear is much greater during the first few miles, which is why a low mileage engine only used for short journeys may be in worse condition than a high miler. Even a formula 1 engine will self destruct if you dont warm it up properly. You need to drive gently for the first few miles,and ensure the oil and filter are changed regularly and the oil is of good quality and the right specification.
                          As Taurus says its difficult to diagnose noises unless you are there, with the car cold. You need experience of that engine in those conditions to know whats normal and acceptable, and whats not. It can be a fine line between becoming fixated by a noise thats not important, and becoming accustomed and no longer hearing a noise that is important.

                          In general I would say if its your first experience of starting that particular car in colder weather and a slight noise goes away after a short drive its probably nothing to worry about. If the noise persists, or the same car didnt do it last winter then maybe its needs further investigation. But of course its impossible for me to say for sure whether a particular noise can be ignored.

                          Are the brass monkeys just chattering and squabbling because they are cold, or are they are they screaming because they are injured?
                          Sorry it's taken ages to get back to this thread.

                          Yes December would have been the first time starting this car in particular frozen temperatures as the car was purchased in July. (Really hot temperature)

                          Further investigating shows that if outside temperature above freezing let's say Saturday for example, the temperature was around 5 degrees there was no clicking sound when pulling away straightaway.

                          I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and hope it's nothing serious It doesn't appear to be serious.

                          If the engine is switched on and sat there for 5 minutes idling before pulling away it still doesn't click. I've noticed it only ever appears pulling away in freezing temperatures.

                          Thanks everyone for their help!

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