Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2003 Toyota Corolla Racing

I was wondering if I can get some of y’all opinions on my situation. I’m not able to get my car looked at until later this month but I want to make sure, when I go in to the mechanic that I have a bit of an idea of what I’m talking about.
Background: My 2003 corolla, has 138,000 plus miles and she runs great with the exception of she’s making this racing sound when I drive her. It almost reminds me of a race car and the sound ranges when I hit the speed of 30mph on up. No engine lights on… What could that be? And what would be the approx cost to fix?

Thanks for any comments or suggestions

Do you mean to say that the engine revs up beyond what’s normal? If so, does your car’s speed change?
Or do you mean it just sounds louder?

At a steady 40 mph on level ground, your tach should be reading somewhere around 1800 rpm (under the 2 mark on the tach). If it is well above this, then your transmission is not shifting properly. Check the color of the transmission fluid, if it is black, this is not going to be cheap.

It just sounds louder. I still get the same speed. I took it to the dealership to get an oil change and knowing they would give the “grocery” list of things that need to be maintenance: they listed PCV Valve, Timing chain tensioner and alignment. They didn’t find any issues with the transmission (unless these two things are a part of the transmission). Are these repairs that have to be done at the dealership?

None of those things need to be done at the dealership.
Sounding louder could be an exhaust leak.
It could also be tires with irregular wear or a wheel bearing.

Try this:
Get it up to speed where it makes noise, take your foot off the gas and put the transmission into neutral for a few seconds, letting the car coast.
The engine speed will drop to idle.
Does the sound change or go away?

Do you know how to read your tachometer? Do you know what a tachometer is?

There’s a possiblity this is a symptom of a drive belt or timing belt that is frayed,. starting to hit up against something as it spins, like when you were a kid and put a playing card hitting your bicycle’s spokes, to make it sound like an engine. Does it make this sound if you simply rev up the engine in the driveway? If so, that’s consistent w/a belt on the fritz. Has the timing belt ever been changed? A belt tensioner bearing going bad could cause this too.

As mentioned above, the other likely culprit is the exhaust system. Does the sound seem to be coming from the engine compartment, or from under the car, or to the rear of the car? If from the engine compartment, that would be more consistent with a belt. If from under the car or to the rear, more likely a problem with the exhaust system.

This engine has a timing chain.