[videos] Suggestions on cause for cold start engine rattle?

[videos] Suggestions on cause for cold start engine rattle?



Original Poster:

1 posts

1 month

Sunday 13th June
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In desperate need of some advice. I have a 1.4 Vauxhall Astra J, 2012 with 51,000 miles.

I bought this car the end of May from a garage, and it has been quite problematic. The main problem is a scary expensive sounding engine rattle/knock on cold start which only happens for around 2 seconds and goes straight to quiet after that. It doesn’t do it when the engine is warm or has been on for a minute, and the rattle does not seem to change its rhythm based on throttle input, only happens if I leave the car for around an hour. I have attached links for videos at the bottom

There is also a quiet tick from the engine once it is warmed up, I am not sure if this is normal sounding chain driven behaviour, or if that is also a problem. The tick can barely be heard, the only time I notice it is parked in a quiet place with the drivers side next to something for the sound to bounce off, or if I’m purposely listening out for it. The tick also doesn’t change or get any louder with throttle input, just a constant pretty quiet high pitched tick.

I knowingly bought the car with no history, but I have since recovered 4 services (with more to come hopefully) from the garages the MOTs were at, the last being 2017 and 2013 14 and 15 respectively, so I know it has had ‘some’ care.

I’ve read conflicting posts around similar symptoms suggesting the dreaded timing chain, the lifters, oil reaching the tensioner, the oil pump, any of the auxiliary pumps, the tappets etc. but I can never find a sound quite like mine.

The car otherwise drives great, feels like a brand new car, no weird revs, no loss of power, it kinda drinks fuel but that’s because i think I need a new thermostat, other than that no problems at all. Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

I get anxiety about car problems as it is, I payed for this car in cash and I am unsure about attempting to return it. Can a timing chain really go at 50k? I have spoken to the dealer who has said he can get it in to look at on Thursday, I don’t fully trust him and I am not sure if he is assuming I am going to pay for it, but I’m not, especially if it’s a big job

Here is two videos showing the issues, thanks for any help in advance guys

Cold start rattle

Cold start engine running


Edited by Cnrftz on Sunday 13th June 17:40


15,488 posts

214 months

Sunday 13th June
quotequote all
It is a car bought from a dealer very recently, legally you do have some degree of warranty

Hard to tell much from those videos though