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Grinding Noise When Under Power (2003 Man. Corolla)



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When I am driving I get a grinding sound when I am in gear. It increases in volume as I go faster, but as soon as I pull it out of gear the sound disappears. I can rev the engine - no sound. No problems turning. Is this an axle issue?

When I am driving I get a grinding sound when I am in gear. It increases in volume as I go faster, but as soon as I pull it out of gear the sound disappears. I can rev the engine - no sound. No problems turning. Is this an axle issue?

Sounds familiar. Is it louder when the car is hot, and louder when you are engine braking? There are several of us with the 2ZZ that have noticed noisy transmissions. No fix we know of.

When I am driving I get a grinding sound when I am in gear. It increases in volume as I go faster, but as soon as I pull it out of gear the sound disappears. I can rev the engine - no sound. No problems turning. Is this an axle issue?

Sounds familiar. Is it louder when the car is hot, and louder when you are engine braking? There are several of us with the 2ZZ that have noticed noisy transmissions. No fix we know of.

It is the same whether it is hot or cold, but I have not noticed anything while I was engine breaking.

Later this evening my car actually broke down on the road. The grinding turned to a high pitch when in gear and the silence when I took it out of gear was replaced with a clacking (I'm trying my best with the car-sound verbiage). After a jerk from the front end, the car completely siezed up as I was turning off of the road. My engine worked. I could try to get into first and move the car but it would just stal out. Though I was on an incline, my car did not need to brake in order to stay still. My brother arrived pushed his truck into the bummer and we began moving it to a better parking spot. The front left wheel grabbed and began to slam around until finally something snapped back in place allowing me to be able to drive it into a parking space.

Tell me that's not weird.

that sounds like you broke a CV joint man! which could make sense, when you're in gear and accelerating then the joint is forward loaded and more prone to make noise. did you ever hear little clunks when you changed from forward to reverse or vice versa or when you went from engine braking to accelerating (taking foot off the gas in gear and then putting it back on)?

Ouch - that will be expensive. I'd look to get used one to swap in there - as the going price for a new transaxle for a 9th gen Corolla was around the $1500 price range and up.

The dealership said it was a transaxle.

did they say what in the transaxle broke? if it were a synchro, ok those are wear items...if a gear spalled and ground up, that'd be a manufacturing fault i'd think. those gears are very hard to destroy, you have to be powershifting, running a very hard clutch, and dumping it from stops into 1st gear at 5 grand EVERY time you leave a light for a few weeks. anyways, you'd damage an axle or strip the dogteeth on the synchro before you'd grind up a gear. and a bearing failure is very very unusual. tell them you want to know what broke.

 

 

The dealership said it was a transaxle.

did they say what in the transaxle broke? if it were a synchro, ok those are wear items...if a gear spalled and ground up, that'd be a manufacturing fault i'd think. those gears are very hard to destroy, you have to be powershifting, running a very hard clutch, and dumping it from stops into 1st gear at 5 grand EVERY time you leave a light for a few weeks. anyways, you'd damage an axle or strip the dogteeth on the synchro before you'd grind up a gear. and a bearing failure is very very unusual. tell them you want to know what broke.

 

They wouldn't say. They simply claimed that it was one part. After I asked them some more questions, they admitted it that it wasn't a single part, but rather they don't investigate and all they do is replace the entire unit.

 

My gears are fine. I don't run my car hard at all.

At this point Toyota won't consider that it was a manufacturing fault, because I didn't change my transmission oil at 60,000 - even though I had my wheel bearings replaced at 65,000 and the toyota service rep. told me that I didn't need to change the oil yet.

The dealership said it was a transaxle.

did they say what in the transaxle broke? if it were a synchro, ok those are wear items...if a gear spalled and ground up, that'd be a manufacturing fault i'd think. those gears are very hard to destroy, you have to be powershifting, running a very hard clutch, and dumping it from stops into 1st gear at 5 grand EVERY time you leave a light for a few weeks. anyways, you'd damage an axle or strip the dogteeth on the synchro before you'd grind up a gear. and a bearing failure is very very unusual. tell them you want to know what broke.

 

They wouldn't say. They simply claimed that it was one part. After I asked them some more questions, they admitted it that it wasn't a single part, but rather they don't investigate and all they do is replace the entire unit.

 

My gears are fine. I don't run my car hard at all.

At this point Toyota won't consider that it was a manufacturing fault, because I didn't change my transmission oil at 60,000 - even though I had my wheel bearings replaced at 65,000 and the toyota service rep. told me that I didn't need to change the oil yet.

The manual on my 2003 Corolla says to "Inspect" the oil level at 60K miles. In "Special service" conditions to replace the oil. Check your manual.

 

 

They wouldn't say. They simply claimed that it was one part. After I asked them some more questions, they admitted it that it wasn't a single part, but rather they don't investigate and all they do is replace the entire unit.

My gears are fine. I don't run my car hard at all.

At this point Toyota won't consider that it was a manufacturing fault, because I didn't change my transmission oil at 60,000 - even though I had my wheel bearings replaced at 65,000 and the toyota service rep. told me that I didn't need to change the oil yet.

First off, if it is your transaxle, don't take it to a dealer for the repair. They aren't tranny specialists, they just know how to take a bad one out and replace it, not how to fix a broken one. A tranny shop will be able to actually fix it for less than the dealer will want to install a new one. Secondly, the fact that you didn't change the fluid at 60k is irrelevant to Toyota covering the problem. It is true that you have to maintain the car for the warranty to cover problems, but your car is past the 5 year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty anyhow. Any way you slice it, you're going to be out money unless Toyota decides to be benevolent and pay for it.

If Toyota won't pay for it or give you any assistance whatsoever, these are your three options:

1) Swap in a used or rebuilt tranny

2) Get the current tranny fixed by a specialist

3) Let the dealer replace your tranny with a new one.

Options one and two are the most economical. I'd personally go with option one because it won't put your car out of commission for as long. Option three gets you a new tranny, but it is definitely the most expensive and will take a while also.