Lexus 2002 ES300 engine sounds like something is rubbing

So my lovely wife tells me that something sounds sounds like it is rubbing from underneath the hood of my Lexus. So I take it to the dealership and they tell me it’s the the the tensioner for the timing belt needs to be replaced. So I have them replace it and In the process they tell me that it sounds like there is something wrong with the fuel pump but they were able to quiet down though I don’t understand how. Anyway after I pick the car up it sounds exactly the same as it did when I left it, personally I don’t feel like I should pay for labor on this repair but besides that I don’t understand what this issue could be.

It sounds like something is rubbing while the car is running… anyone have any ideas?

The fuel pump is in the gas tank.

Is the noise coming from the front or back?

Frankly, I think you’re making a mistake taking a 13 year old car to the dealer. They usually charge two to 2-1/2 times what an independent does and often don’t seem to be particularly motivated to properly diagnose and fix aging vehicles. They do, however, like to search for reasons to recommend expensive and often unnecessary work. We’ve had long threads on this subject.

A reputable independent shop with a good mechanic and a “mechanic’s stethoscope” can probably nail down the source of the sound in short order. It could be just an idler pulley, an overdue serpentine belt, a water pump beginning to fail. an alternator with failing bearings, or any of a number of other things. Which is impossible to guess from here.

Noise is coming from the front as far as I can tell.

I agree with your point on not going to the dealer however if you aren’t familiar with the type of service we receive, from ANYONE here in South Florida, then you wouldn’t understand the fact that you can figuratively choke a dealers throat a lot easier than some mechanic your friend may have recommended, and trusted.

I will gladly take the 1 year warranty over the 30 day warranty if they are even around that long…no brainer. I have a choice what to repair though on this occasion I was told it was the idler pulley WITH the possibility of the fuel pump assembly (could this be the issue)???

The noise sounds like the PS pump is low on fluid (it’s not) you know that whine it makes?

The fuel pump might also be making excessive noise, but it isn’t causing the noise that you’re describing. The fuel pump is an entirely self-contained unit mounted into a hole on the top of your fuel tank and fully enclosed by the tank. No part of it is under the hood.

Here’s an idea, pop the hood and see if you can tell from where the noise is coming. If unsure exactly, try touching various components with a metal rod to see if you can feel the vibrations in the rod… BE CAREFUL not to let the rod get caught up in anything.

My opinion is that the dealer’s guy is guessing. I call this “shotgun maintenance”, where the mechanic keeps changing parts based upon guesses until something works. It is also my opinion that any mechanic that returns a customer’s car with the noise still there and an invoice lacks integrity and/or simply doesn’t care. This dealer may get lucky next time and accidentally change the right part, but if he doesn’t expect to have to keep returning… getting invoiced every time.

I wish I could tell you exactly what needs changing from here, but I cannot. Only someone hands-on can tell where the noise is emanating from.

Thank you and I agree. Will let you know.

I had to get back to this discussion and advise on the “rubbing” noise from the car. Turns out it was the exhaust system that has a crack in the braided pipe (catalytic) after I received a 2nd opinion. Lexus wanted 1700 @Lexus to repair after I spent $600 at another dealership for them to replace the idler which was not the issue (I got that money back).

$1700 to replace the flex pipe is way out of line.

Call any parts house and find out what the cost is for this pipe for your car.

It is only two or three bolts on each end and a 30 minute job.


Yes I know and I let the svc manager know that. The pipe is 350.00 and I just need to find someone to do it.