2017 Toyota Camry - Sounds like Valve Lifter Noise

I’d had this Camry since new. Changed oil every 5,000 miles, instead of the recommended 10,000. I always heard a subtle ‘ticking’ noise from the motor. The dealer told me that’s exactly how all the 4 cylinders sound.

It is still under 25,000 miles. I’ve noticed more as time has gone on that the ticking now sounds like lifter noise. These engines are supposed to be good designs that have stood the test of time and give 250k+ longevity, if maintained and not abused.

With simple things, like oil changes under ToyotaCare, I’ve had oil underfilled or a bit overfilled, so I don’t trust the neanderthals that are vaunted “Toyota mechanics”. I have checked the oil level every time I’ve had an oil change, so I catch it before I leave the dealership, and get the levels corrected.

I’m frankly afraid to bring it to any of the local dealers, as they all have 100’s of complaints about damaging car engines and other components, or lying to customers that they need something replaced that doesn’t need replacement. Though under warranty, I think these type of shenanigans would be less likely to happen. The problem is that you have to get warranty work or evaluation done at a Toyota dealership only. And when they can’t even do an oil change correctly. how can I get a potential problem properly evaluated?

Bring the car to a good independant mechanic and ask them to listen to the engine…You need at least 2-3 opinion on this.Get the report to Toyota.

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We have a 2010 Camry with a 4 cylinder engine that also has a mild valve tap. Our car has about 60.000 miles and runs great. I asked my independent mechanic about the valve tape and he said that is a common sound on the Toyota 4 cylinder engines in the last 10 to 15 years. He said if it gets worse take it to the dealer, otherwise the tapping has never presented a problem to him.

Good, common sense advice. However, since I moved here (some years), I took care of most things myself. I know no one w/any automotive knowledge, so I wouldn’t go to anyone they have gone to. I’ll have to just pick several shops & see if there is a consensus. Bet you there won’t be…

The one mechanic I used on my past 15 yr. old car, which only did a couple repairs, whom I tried to get advice from mostly, I found ripped customers off, & overcharged me as well. I had (strangely) worked for him one week while he was out of town, invoicing & ordering parts. During that time, I found out plenty of dirt on the shop. They would, for example, order a NEW starter per the customer’s request, then get delivered ‘by mistake’ a cheap rebuilt, but invoice the customer for a new one, & just say they put in a new one. Just one example.

Sorry for the long detail, but it is representative of how difficult it is to find an honest mechanic & one who doesn’t rip you off w/obscene prices, or tell you you also need X, Y & Z when you don’t.

When you say, “Get the report to Toyota”, are you referring to Toyota Customer Care phone number?

Take a couple of used 2015s with the same engine for a test drive and see if they sound the same. If not, confront the dealer with what you found. You might offer to do a test drive with the service adviser that blew you off in one of the used Camrys on their lot.

You may be right about the noise.Another person had a similar complaint.

The noise is much lessened after it warms up. However, I’ve shut the engine off for say 15 minutes, and upon restarting it, I’ll hear it louder again. No, I don’t think I hear it inside the car, but definitely when facing the front of the car.

I also noted that placing my hand on the top of the engine when hot (use a towel not to burn my hand), it used to be, as I recall, without much vibration, whereas now, I can feel more vibration from the engine.

Maybe the 4 cylinder Camry engine is like the stove bolt 6 cylinder engine in my Dad’s 1939 Chevrolet. The tappets in that Chevrolet always clattered. Yet, when Dad traded the Chevrolet for a newer car, it had over 100,000 miles on the odometer, which was quite remarkable for that time period. The theory was that Chevrolet tappets were supposed to clatter. If the tappets were too quiet, the valve was adjusted too tight and could burn leading to having to have the valves ground. Now I know cars are a lot different today. However, I really don’t think a little tappet noise is all that serious.

GREAT idea!. Actually, I DID go to a dealer to look at 2014 & 2015 used ones that had more mileage than I wanted, and they wanted too much. In the end, those prices on 2 yr. old cars were only 1-2 thousand less than I got this new baby for! Hardly a month later, Toyota started a $3,000 instant rebate on 2017 Camry’s. Plus, I got INTERNET pricing through Edmunds’ free service, which gets every local dealer emailing you, trying to undercut each other. You then haggle with them on the phone or email, & you’ll get 200-300 more off than the best price you got quoted, as they all want to make the sale, esp. when new model years are due out, & they have alot of incentives to move them out. ONLY way to buy a new car, trust me.

It appears that the 4-cylinder engine is the same for 2014 through 2017. Did you notice that clacking sound in those other test drives? I’ve done internet pricing and face to face pricing. I find that if the salesman is motivated, face to face carries an urgency that creates the best price. When I walk in and make it clear I will buy before leaving, they come up with a very good price.

Many of those programs with internet pricing are really designed for people that don’t like to negotiate, and leave money on the table that the dealer is happy to retain. I enjoy negotiations and find I think works for me. Nice sales pitch for Edmunds, though.