I test drove a used Toyota Corolla (1998), 167K . The transmission made a noticeable whine in 4th gear, other gears seem quite. I don’t know if this is normal or not
No, it’s not normal. The transmission should not whine.
A whine in one of the 5 forward gears is not normal.Question is is it of significance,probabally a lot of 98 Corolla’s around,look at others,maybe the price on the “whiner” is so good you can over look it,negoiate with this issue.
You may want to do a “worst case” involving replacement with a junkyard trans (get some kind of warranty) and at the time of trans replacement you can do clutch parts. Just some ideas you can throw around.
Check the fluid level…
Driving another one - if I can find- sounds like a good idea. My son says I’m nuts… to picky - he wouldn’t have thought twice about the noise if I hadn’t mentioned it. The fluid level was OK. Shifts real nice, clutch feels good.
I had a Honda Prelude that I bought used with a whine in 5th gear. 6 months later, 5th gear went completely out. Had to get a used transmission from a junkyard. A rebuild would have cost me more than I paid for the car.
Trust me. A whine in only one gear means damage. Walk away.
A Toyota Corolla is not exactly like a rare gem. In reality, there are quite a few of them on the used car market at any given time, and there is absolutely no reason to buy one that is exhibiting this symptom of transmission failure. The Toyota name–in and of itself–is not magic, and owner abuse and lack of maintenance will result in a Toyota that is about to die or to suffer very expensive repairs, just as with any other make of car.
Just like a commuter bus, there will be another Corolla that will come along shortly. Don’t buy a Corolla–or any other used car–unless it has been inspected and approved by your own mechanic.
Your son is wrong. You can’t be “too picky” about a used car. There are lots of Corollas from which to choose. Find one with no known problems.
Whining transmissions are considered to be “known problems,” which you don’t want.
Sounds like an internal wear problem in the 3/4 gear set. If the oil was low it would whine in other gears.
Some whine in 1/2 is normal as these gears are cut with straighter teeth. The 3/4 gearset has teeth that are cut with more of a bevel to them. This allows them to run quieter.
The 3/4 is also a matched set of gears so one cannot simply tear the transmission apart and swap any of the mainshaft 3/4 or countershaft 3/4 gearset with a used part without making it a lot worse.
It’s not normal but it’s either live with it until it dies or find another transmission. The cost of repairing this one would be prohibitive as a 3/4 gearset alone would be pretty expensive; not to mention a dozen other parts and labor.