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cirrus

Vvt-I Gear Vibration?

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We are lovin our 2011 Corolla LE....esp me as now with the tele wheel I can get a nice comfy driving position vs our 2005 which always killed my right shin. Its really a very nice car.

 

However....now I did notice this on the test drive....also our 2005 has had this issue from say 35K miles on. But it has a engine vibration right around 2700-3200. Normally I'm not in those ranges but when on the highway...now you are right there which is abit annoying.

 

I've been told its normal....its how a timing chain motor runs. We spent some money on the 2005 trying to solve it (motor mounts...ect) but at 160K it still has it. With it being the same motor in the 2011 I told my wife its going to be there....we can live with it for a power train that seems to be bullet proof. She agreed.

 

Then I ran into another 2011 owner who said he found it unacceptable...that his Civic didn't do it...and his dealer who felt it too replaced the VVT-I gear....and it went away. I cant verify this and only going on his word which in the past hasn't always been accurate.

 

What do you guys think?

 

My 2011 has 16K on it. I still have a power train coverage on it but I believe my local dealer...who have been great to work with....wont want to do anything because I bet its a $$$$ job and they'll say the car runs perfect...its normal.

 

TIA!

Edited by cirrus

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There is a TSB on the VVT-i sprocket / timing actuator that can rattle excessively on cold start-up. Sometimes also accompanied by excessive oil consumption as well.

 

http://www.toyotapart.com/BRIEF_ENGINE_KNOCK_RATTLE_NOISE_AT_COLD_STARTUP_T-SB-0087-09.pdf

 

For the 1.8L 2ZR-FE engines made in 2008-2010, don't think I saw one for the 2011 model year. Be a good idea to see if your VIN falls under the models affected, just to rule this out. This being a TSB, may or may not be covered under warranty. Since your's has such low mileage and well inside the standard powertrain warranty - might be worth mentioning this to your dealer.

 

Even in the most extreme cases of rattling/noise - there wasn't any engine damage or longevity issues - more of a cosmetic/annoyance that some owners could not tolerate.

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That's the thing....I don't know about the oil usage yet on the 2011....but our 2005 still hardly burns any even at 160K and neither car sound bad at start up.

 

Also since I've posted this I've found other examples of it but everyone is saying its the exhaust VVT gear. Well I don't think the 2005 has two...just one. But I guess it could be that one causing the issue with that car and the rear one on the 2011.

 

The car runs fine....like you said its more of an annoyance. But if I could get it changed AND it fixes the issue for sure I would. As its something that now I notice a lot more now. Its so odd that we did notice it abit on the two test drives....but both of us said it wasn't bad at all. Now that I'm getting used to the car I seem to feel it a lot more.

 

I can try my dealer but they are very conservative with repairs unlike my Honda dealer who had no issue slapping down a $4000 bill and saying it MUST be done NOW or saying there is a TSB we must do it. With the 2005 Toy they tried a few things....mostly on their "bill"....I just paid for the one motor mount. In the end the dealer owner put in writing if the motor failed before 130K he'd cover the costs of a new one....so far its running strong.

 

But in this case I don't think they'll offer to change out that gear unless there is a TSB for it or the car is running poorly. I'll stop by and see.

 

Thanks!

Edited by cirrus

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Update:

 

The dealer said to bring it in and the tech will go for a spin. But I can tell they are very hesitant to sayits anything real. So....would there be a code kicked? Or anything to say yea its the VVT gear? As they might leave it up to me to change and then I highly doubt the warrenty would come into play.

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Unfortunately, no codes - it would be all audible. So it would be handled from a case to case basis. Tech should be able to look up the bulletins on their system, might be able to pull up a newer TSB and they may cover all the costs associated with it.

First you have to take the first step and notify them of the issue and get a papertrail going. Which you've already started, so you are good to go on that point. If a TSB doesn't cover it now - there might be one down the road. Manufacturers only know of problems when people tell the dealership about them. Enough people come in complaining about the same sort of noise, they may just extend the existing TSB to cover the other model years.

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Thanks Fish. I don't blame them for balking on it...its not something most would notice....as I'm sure so many drivers don't even notice it. Several coworker said they didn't but now that we've been talking about it they feel it too and a few say theirs doesn't do it. So I bet my dealership hasn't gotten any complaints about it. If I knew for sure that was the issue....I'd have to see how much it would cost(any idea?) and pay for it myself if the warrenty didn't cover it.

 

Speaking of TSB's.....another thing I noticed was I thought one time the cruise was stuck on....thing was running away even though my foot was off the gas. I put it N and the motor idled back down. Hmmmm. But then I saw your post about that and my VIN is in that TSB. So get them to reflash the ECM too.

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Well they took a look at it....but to steal a line from Struther Martin...."what we had here was a failure to communicate"......they wrote it up...and what the tech looked for....was a vibration at 30mph.....not 3000 rpm. So next time it needs an oil change they'll have a tech ride with me.

 

At least I did get that TSB done on the motor surging....its perfect now. (knock on wood)

 

But from what I can tell talking with the service manager...unless there is a TSB or its really bad they wont touch it. I guess I do wonder Fish...how many other people have fixed it with the gear? Is if you get it out can you tell its bad? And how do we know we wont get another "bad" one?

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As far as I know - they remove the actuator, box it up, and send it back to a service rep for disposition. Sometimes there are visible signs of damage/wear on the sprockets and/or timing chain - sometimes it looks visually fine. There could also be a chance that the "fix" will make it worse. This was the case for some 9th gen Corollas that had a faulty serpentine chain tensioner - there was a number of revised part numbers that worked for many, but not all. Sometimes it took a combination of new tensioner, new idler pulley, and different brand of belt.

 

Not all owners of the affected years have this issue - some never get the harsh vibrations that other owners have. I guess it is one of those things that you'll know it when you have a problem, sort of thing.

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Don't mean to laugh but my wife says...."leave it alone....with your luck it will get worse".

 

I test drove two other cars that we were considering...just to see how they felt as looking at the message boards for their models I see a lot of posts...."vibration at 2800-3200 rpm". I thought...oh man...is this just a harmonic issue with these engines? So today I test drove them and one did have it around 2500.....the other about 2700 but none were as bad as mine. BUT....I am so happy with this car....the seat in one of those cars was not comfy to my back....and the other one rode harsh and I didn't like the screwy interior.

 

What I might do is just show the tech and see if its not something with the exhaust system....then let it go. But I'll contact Toy Tech....if they have one like Honda has....just to let them know....maybe a TSB will show up down the road.

 

Thanks!

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