There is no problem starting the car- it always turns over immediately, but every 1 out of 7 - 10 cold starts includes a strange noise from the engine compartment. Just as I let go from the crank position, I hear a sound similar to that of playing cards being shuffled. The duration of the noise is just a second or two, just like the time it takes to shuffle once. It never has happened when the car is still warm. I had the Toyota dealer look at it, but they couldn’t reproduce the noise- not surprising, since I didn’t leave the car overnight, and even if I had, it still would be unlikely to happen when needed. The noise has been happening for a year or so, and it doesn’t seem to increase or decrease in frequency due to air temperature or weather. I did have a lot of corrosion on the battery terminals last summer and had starting problems then, and had the mechanic clean the terminals and check the battery, and the battery was fine, yet the sound continues, but no further starting issues. Any ideas what might be going on?
El, that sound is very, very common i Toyotas. It’s clearly the sound of the Bendix assembly releasing the starter motor gear from the flywheel ring gear, but why it can be heard so readily in the Toyota products is beyond me. The good news is that it means nothing bad. Mine has made that noise for years now and I have 197,000 on my car, and my ladyfriend’s for years and she has a few hundred thousand +++ on hers, and neither has ever presented any sort of problem. I’ve also noticed it in other Toyotas as well and am unaware of its ever creating a problem.
It’s rare for me to say “don’t worry about it”, but don’t worry about it…
It’s clearly the sound of the Bendix assembly releasing the starter motor gear from the flywheel ring gear, but why it can be heard so readily in the Toyota products is beyond me.
Aha, so that’s what I’ve been hearing from my RAV4!