I just bought a 99 Opel Astra and I have noticed a clicking noise in it. I opened the bonnet and it sounds like it may be coming from the timing belt! I really don't know though.

The guy i bought it off says he got the timing belt done around 5000 miles ago. It passed its National Car Test last month and has had a recent full service. The guy I bought it off says that he never experienced this noise.

It literally only happens when driving. If I have the car on, but not moving it does not happen. It only happens when pressing the accelerator and foot off the clutch.

  • 1
    Just to be clear, it only makes the noise when the car is moving, is that correct? If so, how did you work out that the sound is coming from the timing belt area?
    – HandyHowie
    Jan 11, 2016 at 19:48
  • What engine is it? Is it auto or manual?
    – George
    Jan 11, 2016 at 20:43
  • Sorry i should hav been clearer. I had car on with bonnet up so thats how i tink it comes from there. It is a 1.4 petrol. Thanks Jan 12, 2016 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


happens when driving and even if have car on but not moving it does not happen

It seems unlikely that if the noise is even produced when the car is in motion, you'd be able to narrow it down to something inside of the engine compartment.

It could be a U-joint (universal joint) with a bad bearings. If it increases with RPMs, and seems to come from the underside of the car, it could be the joint where the driveshaft connects to the tranmission, or one of the other U-joins where the driveshaft connects to the next segment of shaft. enter image description here There's an X-shaped joint inside of there. each of the four sides is packed with ball bearings and grease. Over time, that grease can escape, the bearings can seize, and the joint can bounce around amongst the remaining bearings resulting in a clicking sound on each rotation. If this is the case, you should be able to observe the movement happening.

To test out the u-joints, put the car in neutral. Grab ahold of the drive shaft at the joint, and turn it. There should be no play in the linkage; the shaft should rotate smoothly without moving back and forth inside of the bearing. If there is play, the u-joint needs to be replaced.

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