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If you haven't driven the car it's very hard to tell....what you need to listen out for is rattling on the over run ie drive the car with the drivers window open and rev the thing quite hard then take your foot off the throttle - if you hear a rattling type noise when you do that the timing chain is knackered - if it just happens when the engine is idling from cold it could be that one or two hydraulic tappets are sticking (using decent new oil eg GTX Magnatex and changing it again after a couple of hundred miles might fix that possibly....) or if it rattles only when you accelerate a baffle may have worked itself loose somewhere in the exhaust system. The problem with this kind of thing is that rattling noises are realy hard to track down as they can 'travel' a long way from the actual problem so you can spend a lot of money changing the wrong thing - eg the timing chain instead of an exhaust box!

However depending on what car you are looking at the drive belts on the left hand side of the engine aren't exactly silent (especialy if you have AC) and obviously the fuel injectors tick away quite happily when the engine is running!!
 

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To be honest I didn't know what car you had Matt - If you do have a turbo then Magnatex is probably not the way to go - works damn well on normaly aspirated cars though. Have to say I am HUGELY sceptical about the claims of engine oil/petrol companies normaly but having tried the Optimax/Magnatex route on mine it has transformed the car - it idles properly now and everything.......

EDIT: mmmm my car has a bit of an oil leak problem.......engine builders never get round to building their own engines properly (plumbers homes have leaking taps etc etc) so I usualy have a certain amount of fresh oil in the sump! So fully synthetic may be the way to go but having said that if you aren't sure what's in the car at the moment I would still suggest changing the oil after a couple of hundred miles if you put fully synthetic oil in as it's not 100% guarenteed that the new oil you put in will get on with the existing oil.
 
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