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Confusing Colt

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Qusetion by: Warren van der Merwe Answer by: Arnold VenterI own an ’05 Colt 3.0 V6 that’s done 119 000 km. I absolutely love my bakkie, but it’s got one elusive problem: every now and then it makes a loud rattling sound when started, almost like the motor’s full of loose nuts and bolts. The noise used to persist for up to 10 seconds, but lately it’s gotten worse and now lasts for about a minute or so.
To me, it sounds like the valve lifters are rattling until they get oil, but if I switch the engine off and immediately start it again, the noise disappears. To date I’ve done the following to the bakkie: replaced the cylinder head, fitted new valves, replaced the valve lifters and had the belts checked.
At this stage I don’t know what to do. In truth, I don’t think the problem’s terminal as the vehicle pulls well, uses no oil and the motor runs silky smooth. I’ve even taken it up to 170 km/h to be sure that nothing’s ready to pop. However, I’m concerned that something may go when I’m on a long-distance trip and far from home. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Warren van der Merwe

THE EXPERT’S OPINION:
This is a common problem with these bakkies and is often related to the oil pump. It starts with the oil pressure return valve – on the pump itself – becoming sticky or worn out and allowing pressure to leak out of the system – this usually happens overnight when the vehicle’s standing still. Then, when you restart the engine the next day, the oil pressure is too low and needs time to build up.
I’m afraid the only fix is to replace the oil pump, but don’t wait too long before doing so as excess engine wear takes place every time you ‘dry’ start. Unfortunately, in the Colt’s case, the engine must be removed in order to replace the oil pump.
Arnold Venter
CRD (4×4 fitment & repairs)
(011) 907 0580 / arnold@crd.co.za

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