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Groaning noise after car turned off

My '01 Corolla occasionally makes a soft groaning noise after the car is in park and turned off. It doesn't happen all the time, and I haven't been able to correlate it with anything. The noise seems to be coming from the front somewhere. I took it to my mechanic but of course it wouldn't do it for him. Any idea what might be causing this?


  • How many miles, and is it manual or auto transmission?
  • About 73000 miles, automatic.

  • How long does that groaning noise last?
    Is it at all possible that the noise is coming from the back of the car?

    I ask these questions because the e-brake/parking brake can emit a very brief groaning noise if it is not applied firmly. In a situation like that, the car will roll very slightly until the "Park Pawl" in the transmission stops the car from moving, but until the Park Pawl stops the car, a loosely-applied e-brake can emit a groaning noise.
  • edited November 2012
    I almost doubt that Carollas have this but It doesn't have some sort of stability control/adjustable shock mechanism, does it?
    Some older Datsun Z's had some sort of issue where the shocks would adjust for hight, even when parked. It looked like the car was alive but it was an electrical issue. A buddy of mine named his car Christine after seeing that. It looked cartoonish: he'd get out of the car and seconds later it would sag down a bit, like it was sad to see him go.
  • The vacuum reservoir can crack and cause such a noise.
  • Sounds like sticky brake caliper slides or piston/s .

    When you park the vehicle the brakes are applied.
    You could be just hearing the brakes creak until the vehicle load comes to rest on the parking prawl.
  • The groaning noise generally lasts - oh, I would say a few seconds. And it seems like there's a bit of a pause between when the ignition is turned off and when the noise starts. I think it's coming from the front but I could be mistaken. No idea about an adjustable shock mechanism...

  • A in NJ--
    Try applying the e-brake very firmly, and then see if this groaning noise is heard.
  • My heater /ac makes some noise as the vacuum depletes and the system returns to zero.
  • My guess a bad radiator cap and possibly clogged coolant tank return hose, 10 bucks worth a shot though as it is a replicable event it should not be hard to diagnose.
This discussion has been closed.