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Camshaft Timing Gear Noise In 2010 S

by listoff, March 26, 2014 in Toyota Corolla (2009 until 2018-19 “TNGA”)

Hi all,

I have a 2010 Corolla S, automatic with 68,000 miles. Bascially, I have a Corolla that *sometimes* makes a rattle/grind noise for about a second during cold startup on cold days. I see there's a TSB out there for the camshaft timing gear on some 2009 Corollas, but of course my VIN is not elegable for the repair. Plus, my car's mileage is past the warranty - the issue occurred well within the warranty period, but the dealerships could never recreate the issue. So, I'm stuck. I emailed Toyota Corporate and basically got a "sorry, can't help you" response.

My questions are:

1) Is this something I can tackle myself without a ton of effort or is this something I should take into the shop?

2) If I let someone else fix it, what would a job like this run so I can shop around and find a decent price.

3) Most importantly, is this an issue that needs to be fixed, or is it just an annoying sound? If it doesn't cause any damage, problems, or pose any safety concerns, I may just deal with it.


Hello Dom, thank you for your reply.

I use 0w20 synthetic and was thinking I may switch to 5w20 or even 5w30, just in case oil thickness is the issue. Now that the temperatures are slowly going up in Pennsylvania, I'll have to wait for next winter to see if the problem returns. It only seems to be a problem when the nights get really cold. Also, thank you for posting the TSB. My VIN is just outside the covered vehicles and I can't get anyone to look at it. :-(



Hi everyone. I was on the forum for a different topic and I remembered that I fixed the problem that I originally wrote about in this post about. Better late than never to update everyone with the fix.

Based on a suggestion by Fishexp101 that the bendix spring in the starter was sticking and staying engaged too long, I performed an easy test... With the car already running, I turned the key to start it. It made the exact same grinding noise I heard on cold morning startups. I knew then that the starter had to be the issue. I ordered a refurbished Denso starter from RockAuto. In less than an hour I had the new starter installed and no issues ever since. After removing the old part, I checked out the teeth on the starter and they were starting to wear down, so I'm really glad I replaced it before it got too bad.

I hope that helps someone out because it seems to be a fairly common issue for the 2009 - 2013 Corollas.

Great to hear! I'm surprised this issue is still happening to some of the 10th gen Corollas, as this was an issue on a lot of 9th gen ones. Luckily, the teeth on the flexplate are a lot stronger than the bendix teeth on the starter - so this repair should last you until you get tired of the car.

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