How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Mike Your Own Question
Mike, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
Type Your Car Question Here...
Mike is online now

I have purchased a 1999reg (S) Vauxhaul Corsa 1.4 sport DOHC

This answer was rated:

I have purchased a 1999reg (S) Vauxhaul Corsa 1.4 sport DOHC 16v for my daughter.
The engine has a belt driven double overhead cam amd has done 100k miles
Everything has been fine for a few weeks but suddenly when the car is started up after being idle for a short while there is a significant rattling noise from the top end.
This will continue for up to 10 or 20 seconds and then the noise fades out. If I then restart the car everything is fine and the noise does not return when driving it about or at tickover etc. However if you stop the engine and leave it for 20 mins and start it up again the problem returns.
I am not a mechanic but to me it sounds like oil is not reaching the hydraulic valve lifters/tappets quickly enough either through low oil pressure ( but the oil pressure warning light goes out quickly and stays out) or there is a restriction or partial blockage in the oil ways to or around the cylinderhead/valve train.
I have already tried using wynes engine flush and changed the oil and oil filter. The new oil also has a can of wynes hydraulic valves lifter concentrate in it to keep everything clean but it does not seem to make any difference.
Hello and Welcome -

My name is ***** ***** Im happy to help / advise you on this.

This is a common issue on this range of engines Im afraid - At 100k while thats average mileage for the year - less than in fact - what you have is either worn hydraulic lifters - or, worn oil pump.

The way to determine which is to have an oil pressure test done. This involves removal of the oil pressure switch and screw a gauge in... then start the engine and read the pressure you have - thus them you can determine if the pressure is at spec or not... and go from there.

If its too low or erratic - then you have a worn oil pump that will need replacing. Not Note though - I see you have changed the oil - but be sure to try a new filter as well first... and be sure you are using the correct grade oil..

The specs are as follows for you :

Engine oil grade

Preferred synthetic oils:
    • -20°C - +40°C = 10W-30, 10W-40 (ACEA = A3)
    • -30°C - +40°C = 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40, 5W-50 (ACEA = A3)

For your reference - the oil pressure should be bar/rpm:1,5/850 rpm.

If of course the pressures are ok on test , then you have worn hydraulic lifters that are not good enough to hold the oil / pressure - Renewal is the only answer then of those.. not a cheap / easy task Im afraid - I cant tell you prices as garages charge differently all around the UK - I would advise if it comes to this ( and for an oil pump change if its that ) to ring around and get prices - you can save a lot of money that way.

So those are the ways forward on this now to get this sorted for you.

Im very pleased to have helped you -Let me know if you need anything more-
note - if you do need anything more, I will be off for a break now - I will be back later though - if you reply , I will get back to you asap thereafter / later....

** ** >>Meantime -- - - >> Please do click on the "OK/ Excellent ratings" for me - Thank you in advance for that...

You can and are most welcome to get back to me anytime you might need - clicking the OK ratings does not close you out at all..

Kind Rgds, MIKE.

Mike and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for that Mike. Much as I expected re diagnosis. Was not aware it was a common problem with that type of engine though.

I will get an oil pressure test done but I suspect it will be ok.

I hope it is the pump as I can change that myself. Got to keep costs down as car aint worth a major repair bill.

If it is down to the lifters is it safe to drive the car once the rattly noise has stopped ie the lifters are up to pressure and operating ok??

Hello there Paul..

--- Its not so much a common problem with that range of engine - what I meant by that was, really, on higher mileage engines ...or ones that dont have a good service history --

Yes the pump would actually be the best of the two evils.. you have to take the cams out to change the lifters.... fingers crossed for you Paul.

Yes it is safe to drive - let the rattle stop which means the oil pressure is up etc - then its fine.. ( These hydraulic lifter engines all rattle a bit on start up of course )

Im glad to have helped - I hope all goes ok for you.. and you know where I am if there is ever anything else..

best rgds, MIKE.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Mike

Just 1 last queery.

Can I change lifters with the cylinder head in situ.

I am a pretty proficient DIY ER and removing and refitting the cams does not faze me.

I have a haynes manual and it is not clear if The lifters can be removed with the cylinder head fitted



Hi there Paul -

Sorry I was off Sunday -

Yes you can do that Paul - With the manual and the "knowledge" you should be fine...

Its a case of removing the cams - then use a strong magnet ( about a 3-5lb pull.). you can but these at car shops cheap - to lift the lifters out the apertures.

When they are are all out - its a good idea to check the oil ways are all clear... In fact - when you first start the job - run the engine just for a min - then when you remove the rocker cover - check to see if the whole assembly looks as though the oil is coming up to the head good - it should be obvious if its wet with oil per norm - or dry due to lack of supply....

I hope that helps you further -

Best Rgds, MIKE.