Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Noisy exhaust normal? plus rusty under hood

I looked at a 2008 Yaris today and the dealer claims that they always have noisy exhaust and rust under the hood.

I have test driven a few more Yarises and don’t remember them being noisy like this. It passed inspection, but still.

There is a lot of rust under the hood too (I am in Maine) and the muffler is rusty but the rest looked ok as far as I can tell.

Whenever I hit the gas, there is a rumbling sound, kind of Whoopie cushiony.

Trying to decide if I should get it or not. I don’t think the dealer will fix the exhaust up any more than it already is.


I’d keep looking.


Keep looking, when looking for a used car, anything you don’t like disqualifies it. If you are suspicious, don’t waste any more time on it, Finding a good used car is time consuming, don’t waste time on iffy ones, then when you find one you really like and are ready to buy, pay a mechanic to check it out. If the seller doesn;t want to let you, keep looking.

1 Like

Definitely agree with everyone else, keep looking.

1 Like

If a friend asked you these questions are you not likely to tell him to keep looking as there are thousands of used cars out there that don’t raise these questions.

1 Like

Spend the $100.00 and have a pre-purchase inspection performed at an independent shop.

It could save you $$$$$$$$$…


My late father claimed that “there will always be cars”. On used cars, If he saw something that bothered him, he wouldn’t even have a mechanic check it out–he would just walk away and his mechanic wouldn’t charge for an inspection. Dad would only take a car that he thought was o.k. to have his mechanic then take a look. I remember one car my Dad thought to be ok was a 1949 Dodge. This was back in 1951. His mechanic found it had been in a bad.accident-bad enough that the frame had been straightened. The next candidate, another 1949 Dodge didn’t even go to the mechanic. It seemed to lean to right and showed wear on the right window sill. Dad suspected it might have been used by a mail carrier. Whether it had or had not been used for mail delivery isn’t the point–the point is that there were other cars for sale and why even waste time with this one.
On the car with the noisy exhaust and rust under the hood, don’t spent $100 for an inspection. Walk away and find another car to check out.


Good advice above. Yaris is a very common vehicle in my area & I haven’t noticed Yaris’s to be any noisier than other econo-boxes, but what’s noisy to one person may not be noisy to somebody else. It may be the prior owner was a teenager & installed a purposely louder muffler. Or the noise level inside the car is just more in a Yaris, they use less sound insulation maybe to keep the new car price reasonable. I’m not sure what you mean by rust under the hood, that’s not where I’d normally look to assess rust. Best to start by looking at the underside of the car, not in the middle, but right along the edges (i.e. the rocker panels) immediately behind the wheels. This is done much more easily w/the car on a lift, so that’s another reason why to have a pre-purchase inspection done. Rust is more a deal breaker than a noisy exhaust system, so I suggest you focus on that. Rust under the hood and a noisy exhaust system wouldn’t be an immediate deal breaker to me, provided the car has the functions I need, seems reliable according to the Consumer Reports Used Car Guide, test drives ok, is priced right, and the rust level is ok in the places where rust would cause a structural or safety issue.

huh . . . ?

You live in San Jose, I would NOT expect a Yaris to be a common vehicle in your area

It seems that what ever the vehicle being discussed George sees a lot of them.


Why not? I see them frequently. They are a favorite of college kids, single mothers who have limited income, etc.

Because San Jose is in Silicon Valley . . . as far as I know . . . which has an incredible amount of wealth.

In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, they were talking about a house in Sunnyvale, which sold for 2.47 million, about 800K ABOVE asking price. It was a cookie cutter 3 bedroom.

Wealth in Silicon Valley? Apparently that’s not affecting everyone here , lol … Remember, I’m the one who fixes my starter motor rather than buying a new one. It’s true that buying a house is a big expense, but I’d guess most people who live in the area don’t own a house.

I’d consider a Yaris if I was looking for another car. I quite liked that older model that preceded the Yaris, the Echo I think it was called. I’d definitely consider an Echo if they still made them.


I figured you do that, because you like to take pride in keeping equipment operational, for as long as possible

And the Echo was preceded by the Tercel. I had one for several years. Basic transportation and fairly reliable. But nothing special. I never really enjoyed the car, but I didn’t hate it, either. I far preferred my Corolla, which I also had at the same time. Much more comfortable and far superior build quality

I wouldn’t consider a Tercel, Echo, or Yaris . . . or similar vehicle . . . if I was looking for another car.

You could be looking at a car that has been flooded, Keep looking as other say.

Or, as I like to put it–Used cars are like commuter buses. If you miss out on one, another one will come along shortly.

And, in this case, hopefully the next used car won’t have fairly obvious flaws.

$100,000 is low income in Silicon Valley. While this sounds great on the outside, it means the cost of living is through the roof, so even if you make what would be a very good salary elsewhere, in SV it means you drive things like a Yaris because you’re paying too much for food and shelter to afford anything nicer.

1 Like

Many people are wealthy in the Silicon Valley. Many are not. Read about East Palo Alto:

Well, he lied about this, so why should you believe he told the truth about everything else?
Run away. Fast and far. Let this liar make his money off of some other sucker.

For the record, serious rust under the hood is a sign of a possible underhood fire. The engine SN may not even match the car’s. In short, I wonder of it’s the original engine. Nomatter, run away anyway.

1 Like

I have been in very poor neighborhoods in San Jose.