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Noise When Starting 2009 Corolla


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#1 dim3

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:22 PM

Its a new car bought in march 2008 (09 model)
these past few weeks in the morning when I start the car I hear noise coming from the engine. It sounds like a belt is loose or the starter is still on while the car is on
at first i thought i was keeping the key for too long but thats not the problem
when this started we took the car to the mechanic but i guess because the engine was warmed up it didnt make the noise and he said he cant find anything wrong with it

has this happened to someone else ?
does anyone know how can i fix it?

Edited by dim3, 14 June 2010 - 09:24 PM.

#2 fishexpo101

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:42 AM

What kind of noise is it? It is a grinding noise (starter like) or a chirping noise (belt)? Possible that the belt is slipping on you on a cold start - they can make quite a bit of noise (chirping, squealing, humming, buzzing) until the engine warms up enough to drive the moisture off the belt.

Inspect the belt for signs of slippage - shiny spots, missing ribs, excessive amount of cracking, etc. Then inspect the pulleys - see if there is any foreign material stuck on the surfaces. Might help to have a help start the car while you have the hood up to see if you can localize the source of the noise.

#3 dim3

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:58 AM

Thanks for the input
I dont think its the belt anymore I was looking at the engine when the car started and it sounded like the noise came from the the top of the engine
maybe something is wrong with the camshaft?
or will that sound different

#4 fishexpo101

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:05 AM

Check oil level first. They look for obvious issues - like missing or damage cables/wiring/hoses - any physical contact of those cables/wires/hoses with the engine. Can you localize the noise - is it to the left or right side of the engine (closer to the belt or closer to the air intake)? Does the sound go away when the car warms up? Ambient temperature seems to play a role?

VVTi system can make quite a bit of noise. Oil changes are done where? Some quick lube places use oil that is the wrong viscosity and/or cheap oil filters that could cause excessive engine noise. The upper valvetrain would be the first to suffer in those cases.

Since the car is still under warranty - I'd advise to bring it to the dealership and start some paperwork on it. If it turns out to be nothing now, but a problem down the road - atleast you have a paper trail to help you out.

#5 DaveB

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 06:59 PM

I am having a similar problem, mostly on cold starts. I turn the ignition and as soon as the motor kicks in, there is this loud grinding sound for about one or two seconds. It only seems to do it when the motor has been off for at least a couple of hours. The degree of noise depends on the length of time it has been off (i.e. it is usually longest and loudest in the morning, shortest when you start up again after an hour).

I had my wife start it while I had the hood up and it is coming from the centre of the engine, under the top cover. I have also aborted the start. That is, when I began to hear the noise, I turned the motor off. When I restarted, the noise finished it's "cycle".

I have taken it to the dealer twice now and it never seems to be able to do it there. Help, I'm going crazy with this.

#6 dim3

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 11:38 AM

Check oil level first. They look for obvious issues - like missing or damage cables/wiring/hoses - any physical contact of those cables/wires/hoses with the engine. Can you localize the noise - is it to the left or right side of the engine (closer to the belt or closer to the air intake)? Does the sound go away when the car warms up? Ambient temperature seems to play a role?

VVTi system can make quite a bit of noise. Oil changes are done where? Some quick lube places use oil that is the wrong viscosity and/or cheap oil filters that could cause excessive engine noise. The upper valvetrain would be the first to suffer in those cases.

Since the car is still under warranty - I'd advise to bring it to the dealership and start some paperwork on it. If it turns out to be nothing now, but a problem down the road - atleast you have a paper trail to help you out.


I was at the toyota dealership on thursday when they tried to start the car it wouldnt make noise, this is the second time ive taken the car there. They told me to leave the car overnight or in the morning when i can so the engine is cold

The noise comes from the top of the engine from the centre of it or centre left

oil/brake/tire/ etc changes are done by them

@DaveB - yeah man its the exact problem how long have you had the car?

Edited by dim3, 26 June 2010 - 11:41 AM.

#7 DaveB

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 10:37 PM

@DaveB - yeah man its the exact problem how long have you had the car?

Just into our third year, we are leasing. This problem began last fall.

The noise happens as soon as the engine kicks in. If you turn it off and start it again, it won't do it. You can start it 50 times. But leave it a couple of hours, start it and there's the noise again. This is what's making to so hard for the dealer to trace it down.

#8 DaveB

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 03:16 PM

So, anyone have any answers?

#9 fishexpo101

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:37 AM

If the sound only happens right when the engine starts to turn over and catch - could be the starter bendix getting stuck or the starter not freewheeling like it should be. This fits the intermittent nature of the noise. Usually a stuck bendix happens only on the very first start of the day (cold start) that only improves with subsequent starts. After the starter/engine cools - the bendix will "stick" again, and not fully retract.

Since the car is within the powertrain warranty - the dealership should be able to measure the clearance between the bendix and flexplate teeth (automatic transaxle) or flywheel teeth (standard transaxle). If the clearance is too tight - it will stick or drag slightly - sort of like the sound of trying to start the car when it is already running (quick, sharp metallic grinding/gritty noise).

Trick is getting the dealership to reproduce the noise. Even an overnight stay might not be enough for an intermittent issue. Some cars also naturally "crank" longer - ie, you crank the key momentarily and the starter will keep cranking until the engine catches. Returnless fuel system (most vehicles have that now) and electronic throttle bodies (again most vehicles have it now) make it act less like the older cars.

#10 friendly_jacek

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:41 PM

I had a similar noise lately when I started my 2003 Corolla for a first time after it sat for 4 weeks (when I came back from my vacation).
I attributed that to momentary lack of oil in upper engine or VVT parts.
Since newer Corollas use 5W20 oil, maybe it drains quicker from the valves/VVT areas?
I would try 5W30 oil and compare the noise.

Edited by friendly_jacek, 20 July 2010 - 03:43 PM.

#11 DaveB

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:41 PM

If the sound only happens right when the engine starts to turn over and catch - could be the starter bendix getting stuck or the starter not freewheeling like it should be. This fits the intermittent nature of the noise. Usually a stuck bendix happens only on the very first start of the day (cold start) that only improves with subsequent starts. After the starter/engine cools - the bendix will "stick" again, and not fully retract.

Since the car is within the powertrain warranty - the dealership should be able to measure the clearance between the bendix and flexplate teeth (automatic transaxle) or flywheel teeth (standard transaxle). If the clearance is too tight - it will stick or drag slightly - sort of like the sound of trying to start the car when it is already running (quick, sharp metallic grinding/gritty noise).

Trick is getting the dealership to reproduce the noise. Even an overnight stay might not be enough for an intermittent issue. Some cars also naturally "crank" longer - ie, you crank the key momentarily and the starter will keep cranking until the engine catches. Returnless fuel system (most vehicles have that now) and electronic throttle bodies (again most vehicles have it now) make it act less like the older cars.

Thank you for your input. It seems to fit the apparent problem. The noise almost always happens on first start in the morning, and subsequently only occurs again when you start after the engine has been off for at least an hour. The longer the engine has been off, the louder the noise is when starting. Perhaps I will suggest that they check the starter.
.

#12 JonnyA

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:53 AM

I've been having the same exact problem with the exact same model car. It makes the noise on the first start in the morning. Then it will make a quicker noise when I leave for lunch. Same noise when I leave from work. Anything in between the noise will not occur. It only happens if the car sits for an hour or so. I took it in to Toyota and they blamed it on the serpentine belt. $160 dollars later and still the noise occurs. They want me to bring it in and leave it over night to replicate the problem. Has anyone gotten an answer to their problem?

#13 Big Chris

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:32 AM

I am having this same issue with my 2009 corolla. WHAT COULD THIS BE ????? I really need a fix for this. Help Help. We need to have some Toyota mechanics as members on the site so we can pick their brains..:blink:

#14 fishexpo101

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:47 AM

Sounds like an issue with the starter bendix not fully retracting or the clearances are too tight, causing the bendix to hangup. Unless you get a decent technician that will actually remove the starter and check its operation - likely not find a viable solution for this issue.

On my 2009 Matrix, I have not noticed this behavior. Haven't heard of it from other Corolla/Matrix/Vibe owners either - but most of them are running the 2.4L engine. The ones that are making noise - this on the 1.8L or 2.4L engine?

#15 gvm518

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:00 PM

I've had the same problem with my 2009 Corolla for a couple of months now and everytime i brought it to the Toyota dealer they claim its one thing or another and that it will get fixed by whatever crazyness they try on that day.

I received a call from them last week that my car needed to be brought in to get the recall on the gas pedal fixed. At which point I decided to record the noise on my phone because I knew the car would not mimick the sound at the dealer. The guy at the dealer said they would check it out... He called me later in the day to state that it was probably something to do with my car burning to much oil and they basically did an oil change and swore the noise had gone away. Duh! it only does it when the car has been off for some time. So I told the guy NO, I've had my oil changed before and the noise still returns in the morning. So he said you want us to keep it overnight and check again in the morning? I said hell yeah keep it. The next morning the car makes the noise for them HA what did I say. So he says the car has to be seen by a senior tech or someone along that line. At this point they can keep the car for all I care I'm sick of the problems it has had. Four days later I get a call and they say the car has a broken engine actuator (whatever that is) and once we fix that the noise will be gone. Well they called me today and said the car is ready and the noise is gone. We'll see.

I'm going to pick it up this afternoon and I will report back to all of you and see if this is finally the solution to this headache.