Noise after engine rebuild

corolla
transmissions

#1

I have a 1999 Corolla with 78K miles. It was burning oil and the engine was rebuilt, the work was done at the dealer. When I drove it home everything was fine but the next morning I noticed a vibrating noise coming from the front when I start accelerating. The noise only lasts from a fraction of a second to a few seconds and I don’t hear it at all once the car gets above 25 or 30 mph, also don’t hear it at all when I back up. After I drove it for a while the noise disappeared completely even when accelerating from a dead start and the car had been sitting for half an hour or 45 minutes (maybe that was why I didn’t hear it I drove it home the first time). Since the first day I drove the car I haven’t driven the car enough for the noise to completely disappear although is does seem to get shorter.



I took the car back, they said they couldn’t find anything wrong, said I may just hear it until the engine gets oiled up and it might subside once the parts wear in but they didn’t really know.



A neighbor who is more knowledgeable than me thinks the noise is probably not coming from the engine, he thinks it may be from the transmission or possibly the exhaust but didn’t really know. He thought it was likely not too serious but a possible concern.



There was one time when I took the car in for routine service and the transmission fluid had to be replaced (not at a scheduled time) because it was dirty. Most of my driving is local stop and go driving that is hard on the transmission. However, I have never heard this noise before.



So what should I do? Is this likely to be a problem or not? Should I take it back to the dealer again, I’m not sure whether there’s a point to that since they’ve already told me it was OK. Should I get a second opinion? If so from whom, any good mechanic or from a specialist?


#2

I don’t have a lot of insight here, but the dealer explanation of the noise going away, after the engine gets “oiled up” isn’t very satisfactory to me, either. None of the two Corollas I had ever required this and hints at an oil pressure/oil pump problem.

I would drive it and then get it re-examined by the dealer right before the warranty runs out on the rebuild. Having to rebuild an engine at 78K implies a lot of potential abuse to this car, and could include transaxle abuse also. In between, a transmission/transaxle problem may manifest itself and provide the real answer.

I hope some other folks chime in here.


#3
It may make sense on a Corolla.  If it has the wrong oil filter, or a defective one, it means the oil will drain out of it when sitting and when first started up, there will be little oil available for the engine.  The proper oil filters had a anti-drain back valve built in.  Occasionally they are bad so even the right filter can have the problem.

#4

Did you buy this car used ? It seems unusual for an engine to have to be rebuilt so prematurely. These cars should go 200k + with the engine going strong. Like previous poster said, previous owner (if applicable) may not have cared for the car properly.

Seriously though, if you’re not happy with the car don’t be afraid to take it back. You probably had to pay alot of money and go without your car for days so DO NOT take no for an answer. It’s just what I would do. If the noise went away and the car isn’t burning through oil then you may be able to let it ride.


#5

That kind of vibration/noise could be from the exhaust. I wouldn’t even check on it. Just lazy I guess. You can have somebody check; if it’s an exhaust leak, it should be easier to find by now.


#6

You may be lucky and it’s just a loose exhaust heat shield.


#7

I bought the car new. I had a previous incident a few years ago where it was burning oil, of course I now suspect that the problem then was not really fixed.

On a Toyota Nation forum there was someone who said he worked for Toyota who had a 2000 Corolla rebuilt at 140K and heard that it was a common problem, even wondered why there had not been a recall. There have been news reports about Toyota having quality problems in recent years.

I will have them take another look at it, just not sure whether to do it now or wait until the next time I take it in for an oil change.