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1999 toyota tacoma whirring sound

My boyfriend and I are thinking about buying a used 1999 Toyota Tacoma SR5, with 161,000 miles on it, for $3,750, in the bay area,CA. It’s 2WD, 2.4LE,4 Cyl. The shocks need replacing but that has been factored into the price. The only thing we are worried about is a whirring noise we heard while test driving it. You can hear this noise very clearly from inside the cab, it stops when the car is in neutral, the owner said it started a couple months ago, she took it to the dealership and they told her they didn’t hear a whirring noise, she also mentioned that she took it to the car wash and noticed that it got soapy water under it and the whirring stopped for a little while, also the noise seems to decrease as the car warms up. The clutch was replaced and the transmission was dis- and re-assembled in 2001. The owner has a folder full of all the maintenance records for the car and has been very responsible with the upkeep. What do you think?


I have no really good ideas about this - but a couple of vague ones and since no one else has said anything this will give your question a bump.

First, if you can give a much better description of the problem, then people might be able to help out better. It is a whirring noise - can you say what it sort of sounds like? E.g. does it have a ring to it? a buzz? a grind? etc. You say it stops when the car is in neutral - what about when the truck is in gear, standing still, with the clutch depressed? I.e. does it start immediately when you put it in gear? Or only once you engage and actually start moving? Does it change as you drive (accel, decel, turning, etc.) Does it change in different gears? Anything you could say would help.

Second, I would not buy the truck with an unknown that large in it. Take it to a shop that you know and trust and ask them to see if they can detect the noise and give a professional opinion. If the seller is at all hesitant about this, then run the other way.

Third, but I should MYOB, I personally would run the other way anyway - a 2WD 4cyl truck with 161K on it that needs shocks and makes funny noises? Maintenance records or no, I wouldn’t be getting near $3750.