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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I may have posted about this before - every once in a while, though less frequent now, there is an odd rattle at startup. Car is a 1.8 astra Sri 2008. It doesn't last long, between 2 and 5 seconds I'd say. Heard it today with windows down, seemed to be the underside where the noise came from though I could be mistaken. Actually sounded a bit like when you drink with a straw and try to get the last bit of drink out with it and it gurgles. Not too concerned as it doesnt happen all the time. Any ideas welcome!

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Discussion Starter #2
Just watched a video about the vvt solenoids and it actually sounds quite similar to those clicking on and off. Either that or the pin in the vvt cam trying to lock in place.

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I wonder if it could be your camshaft hydraulic lifters coming back up to optimum clearance. As they get older or the engine not having correct oil changes, they lose oil pressure and slowly drop over night. Then lift when oil pressure is regained after starting the engine and tap until raised.

The vvt on the astra engines doesn't have a pin to my knowledge. I thought that was the Honda vtec engines that had them, may be wrong.

Also with you saying it comes from under the car it could be the starter motor whirring. This happens due to dust getting in the starter motor pinion gear. As the engine starts the pinion gear should spin freely until the ignition key springs back and it disengages from the flywheel
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll have to look into that one. It's hard to get a recording of the noise because it happens so randomly and intermittently.

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Discussion Starter #5
Reading into the tappets it could be anything from the tappets to using a genuine oil filter. I did notice it do it after it had its last service last year so maybe it is more oil related.

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With the z18xer there can be a dieseling sound on first morning startup for a few seconds. Related to vvt and posted extensively in forums.

I changed oil to full synthetic and problem basically disappeared. That was a lucky fix as most have to change the cam pullies. Also you might try cleaning the cam solenoids but I don't think they are related to issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've read a lot about the vvt cam pulley issues and wasn't sure if I had the same issue as it happens so randomly and is quite infrequent. Just making sure if there are any other issues it could be before I start investing any money into the problem, if its a problem.

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Those are the two cheap options I tried and the synthetic oil worked for me. Cost 30 quid (or euros or dollars).

You can change the pulley yourself but it takes some time and tools; the parts are not outrageously expensive but not cheap either.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Would you just use 5w 30 fully synthetic? Any particular brand?

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We just used good brand full synthetic oil, a new filter, new washer at oil pan bolt.

The US z18xer had a recommendation for 5w30 I think; we used whatever the manual recommended.

We also cleaned the cam solenoids and their orange filters; and tested the solenoids with a power supply for proper operation. Not sure if that helped. There was a TSB in the USA on the cam solenoid filters; can't remember if it suggested removing the orange filters (and can't remember if we removed the orange filters). Removing the cam solenoids is super easy; just be careful with the wiring clip which is delicate.

Try changing the oil first as it is so easy. My buddy has the same car with 130k miles and his orange filters were like new. Mine were dirty at 45k miles lol.
 
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