Saturday, 28 November 2020

A Ghost in the Machine (II)


My MX5 is making a new noise.

That is not as worrying as when the smoke comes out, but it is not a good thing. (Cars run on smoke - that's why when it escapes you're usually in trouble).

Anyhow, no smoke has yet appeared, but the noise is a worry.

It seems to emanate from the water pump housing, isn't obvious on idle or when the motor is cold, but appears with a vengeance on the overrun when it's warmed up. 

My fellow members in the local MX5 owners' club have provided a range of suggestions from a sick alternator to a problem with the timing chain tensioner.

I know nuffink.

That is why I took it to my local mechanic who had just replaced a water pump on my son's Mazda 323. Interestingly, it has covered a similar distance (about 120000 kms). Maybe there's something about Mazda BP-ZE engines and water pumps at 120000 kms. Or perhaps there is some kind of perfidious virus. They shared a garage for a time. There was no social distancing.

MLM* (whom I trust) had a listen and reckoned it was nothing to worry about. When I asked him if it would be OK to drive to Canberra (which had been my plan) he said "sure".

I trust him, but not that far. I have changed my plans.

Yesterday I took a deep breath and drove it the 146 kms to Automotive Plus (free plug) whose boss mechanic, after complaining that the motor was hot (it was - after driving from Toowoomba), declared that it was most likely a water pump bearing.

It got me home, and the noise is no worse. 

So now, I have to decide whether to get the job done locally, or at the specialist's setup in Brisbane. The latter will require two days. You can't expect people to work on a hot motor after a 146 km highway run.

I'll keep you posted.

Hence the II.

*My Local Mechanic.

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