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Alfa Romeo 145 - 146 Forum > Technical > Twin Spark Engine Only Oily Stuff
crediblethreat
Hello there everyone and Happy New year !! First off i'm a new member to this forum as i recently got my self an Alfa Romeo 145 1.4 TS 2000 model. So everything was cool till one day the car stopped while i was driving..it turned out i had a faulty crank sensor which was changed immediately the next day..so far so good. Now, the other issue is that i noticed that my car sounds like a Diesel engine when i start it and leave it on idle...if i rev a little bit the "diesel sound" stops..Does anyone have any idea what is causing that? My friend who is a mechanic just by listening it a few minutes he told me that i need a new head gasket but we don't know for sure.
JeremyG
QUOTE(crediblethreat @ 6th January 2019 11:12) *
Hello there everyone and Happy New year !! First off i'm a new member to this forum as i recently got my self an Alfa Romeo 145 1.4 TS 2000 model. So everything was cool till one day the car stopped while i was driving..it turned out i had a faulty crank sensor which was changed immediately the next day..so far so good. Now, the other issue is that i noticed that my car sounds like a Diesel engine when i start it and leave it on idle...if i rev a little bit the "diesel sound" stops..Does anyone have any idea what is causing that? My friend who is a mechanic just by listening it a few minutes he told me that i need a new head gasket but we don't know for sure.


First of all, welcome, and congratulations on your purchase!

That sounds like the variator needs replacing - if the clattering sound is audible during and just after startup.

Are you new to Alfa twin spark ownership?

dante giacosa
As Jeremy says, Credible...

It's the camshaft variator.


Do you, er, have any other friends, who are mechanics...?
crediblethreat
QUOTE(JeremyG @ 6th January 2019 17:27) *
First of all, welcome, and congratulations on your purchase!

That sounds like the variator needs replacing - if the clattering sound is audible during and just after startup.

Are you new to Alfa twin spark ownership?


Hey there & thank you smile.gif

Yes i'm new to Alfa Romeo this is my first Alfa car and i absolutely have no idea about its mechanical stuff. So you guys think it's the variator ? How much would be the cost of a new part in order to replace this? If we connect the cars ECU to a PC with diagnostics will it show anything up? My friend who is a very good mechanic said that it's the head gasket and it needs replacement..with that i'll do a general service too.

QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 7th January 2019 00:07) *
As Jeremy says, Credible...

It's the camshaft variator.
Do you, er, have any other friends, who are mechanics...?


Yes i do, but i trust my close friend more and he is experienced..although he did a short "diagnosis" just by listening the engine running and he told me it's 99% the head gasket.

Also, my car has done in total about 190.000km

PS: I can upload a video with the engine running if you guys like.

Thanks in advance guys !
dante giacosa
er,

I don't mean to devalue your friend's advice-

but head gasket failures aren't usually identified by listening...


You would be looking for 'mayonnaise' on your dipstick or in the coolant expansion tank...
crediblethreat
QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 7th January 2019 13:15) *
er,

I don't mean to devalue your friend's advice-

but head gasket failures aren't usually identified by listening...
You would be looking for 'mayonnaise' on your dipstick or in the coolant expansion tank...


Yeah for sure haha no worries about that.

He also checked the oil lid. He unscrewed it and he told me that the engine oil is mixed with some coolant liquid too.. and something about the belt(s) because they make a "whistling" sound but not much. That's the only stuff i remember him telling me..

Although i'll be getting there these days so he can open it up and check the inside..
dante giacosa
ok cool
JeremyG
In the UK, a variator costs around 150 and is replaced when the cambelt needs replacing - as you have to remove the belts to get access to the variator.

BTW - the variator is attached to the inlet cam and the inlet cam pulley; on demand, it advances the timing of the inlet cam (typically under heavy engine load).

If the belts have been changed recently then you can wait until the next change to replace the variator; aside from the clattering noise on startup there are - apparently - no other downsides.

If your head gasket has blown then obviously that needs to be fixed first. However while the head is off it would make sense to replace the belts and variator at the same time - then hopefully, you won't need to touch the engine for a while after that...

Is the car overheating, by the way?
crediblethreat
QUOTE(JeremyG @ 7th January 2019 16:06) *
In the UK, a variator costs around 150 and is replaced when the cambelt needs replacing - as you have to remove the belts to get access to the variator.

BTW - the variator is attached to the inlet cam and the inlet cam pulley; on demand, it advances the timing of the inlet cam (typically under heavy engine load).

If the belts have been changed recently then you can wait until the next change to replace the variator; aside from the clattering noise on startup there are - apparently - no other downsides.

If your head gasket has blown then obviously that needs to be fixed first. However while the head is off it would make sense to replace the belts and variator at the same time - then hopefully, you won't need to touch the engine for a while after that...

Is the car overheating, by the way?


Hey there mate thanks for the reply.

My car is not overheating no..the temperature needle goes at 90C and it doesn't go higher than that never..that's normal i suppose?

Also, how can we know 100% that the variator needs to be replaced..? I mean, my financials are pretty medium to low at this moment so i don't wanna spend money without making the job done.

Thanks in advance guys i'm really a noob with this car smile.gif
JeremyG
QUOTE(crediblethreat @ 7th January 2019 14:22) *
Hey there mate thanks for the reply.

My car is not overheating no..the temperature needle goes at 90C and it doesn't go higher than that never..that's normal i suppose?

Also, how can we know 100% that the variator needs to be replaced..? I mean, my financials are pretty medium to low at this moment so i don't wanna spend money without making the job done.

Thanks in advance guys i'm really a noob with this car smile.gif


No worries - the clattering sound on startup is classic sign of a variator fault.

If your mechanic has another reason to think the head gasket has gone then all well and good - but if he is making this decision based on the clattering sound, then he is most likely wrong!

If in doubt - do you have access to an Alfa specialist who knows these engines? You don't want to be left with a damaged engine, or to be spending money unnecessarily... so perhaps an expert opinion is the best way to go.

crediblethreat
QUOTE(JeremyG @ 7th January 2019 17:11) *
No worries - the clattering sound on startup is classic sign of a variator fault.

If your mechanic has another reason to think the head gasket has gone then all well and good - but if he is making this decision based on the clattering sound, then he is most likely wrong!

If in doubt - do you have access to an Alfa specialist who knows these engines? You don't want to be left with a damaged engine, or to be spending money unnecessarily... so perhaps an expert opinion is the best way to go.


I see, well my friend didn't make the decision based on the clattering sound but he looked the engine in a general way because i told him that it sounds like a diesel motor and he was surprised to listen it too lol.

I will go with changing the variator doing a general service such as oil, filter(s), spark plugs, etc. & including the head gasket and i'll see how it goes..although the previous owner of the car was an Italian and he really loved the car so he was always careful with it, driving it and such.. so you understand it was in good hands but later on he bought a Jeep so i got this Alfa from him smile.gif

Thanks again
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