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Engine Ticking On 2007 Corolla Le - Help Please

By the5lens, September 21, 2015


I have a definite ticking noise on a 2007 Corolla LE. I would like to attach a video to show the sound but cannot figure out how to do that. Can anyone help me? I would really appreciate it.

Thanks Much,


Hi I have added a link to the video of the engine running posted on youtube. Any thoughts on what the ticking noise is would be really appreciated.


Thanks again!

I'll try and listen to it at home, don't have speakers at work.

Need a bit more info:

- Did this ticking noise happen suddenly or was aloway there and just gotten worse over time?

- Is there any condition that makes the ticking noise worse - engine cold / warm, car sitting over night, low speed driving, highway speed driving, etc?

- Any recent repairs, maintenance done to the engine/car before you noticed the ticking?

Hear two distinct sounds there.

First is the considered "normal" VVT-i noise - sort of a steady valve tapping noise, goes away when you increase the RPMs. To me, that is OK - mine is actually louder than that, sort of a known issue with these 1ZZ-FE engines. Where this becomes problematic is if the noise doesn't subside at higher RPMs - could be related to a clogged OCV or OCV filter, even a stuck VVT actuator, more so if the car hasn't seen consistent oil and filter changes with an appropriate oil viscosity.

Second sounds more like a bad idler pulley or defective serpentine belt tensioner. This is that rapid clanking noise that is heard after the accelerator is quickly released. This is also pretty common on this generation of Corolla - as the 9th gen (2003-2008) have had several iterations of a replacement belt tensioner. If you search this site - someone posted the newest part number. Some owners continued to hear this issue even after the tensioner assembly replacement. In many of those cases, replacing the OEM Bando serpentine with a Goodyear Gatorback or other "cog" types of belts seem to greatly reduce the likelyhood of this noise coming back by being a slightly more compliant belt (more give + more bite on the pulleys).

That said - these noises are more of an annoyance than an actual operational problem. I'd just make sure the engine is topped off with the appropriate viscosity of oil and replace the serpentine belt with an aftermarket cog-type and see if these low cost "fixes" eliminates those sound issues. After that - then I'd look into replacing the serpentine belt tensioner.

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