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

Sisters car rattling 2010 Toyota corolla

My sister’s 2010 corolla with 80k has a rattling. She sent a video. The oil level is fine. She had a belt squeak previously that she had fixed. My concern is a bad water pump. Is there a service bulletin on this that we can confirm?

She claims there is no splatters or pinkish residue anywhere to be found


water pump and belt tensioners are both common issues on those cars.if the noise only occurs for about 10 seconds on the cold start it’s probably the VVTi gear. I cant play the video on my phone.

I believe the car was warm during that video. Hopefully it’s just the tensioner pulley.

I can’t play the video, but can you describe under what specific conditions the rattling occurs? Acceleration, first thing in the morning, every startup, that sort of description?

And do you know when the spark plugs were last changed? If these are the originals, that might be the source of the sound.

Also, is there a Check Engine Light?

Luckily, I was able to play the video.
Rather than the water pump, I think that the noise is likely coming from the valves.
In light of the VVT–how often (in terms of both odometer mileage and elapsed time) does she change the oil?

Spark plugs are original. My sister is a nurse who just started a new position in PA (I’m in NC), so I can’t inspect it myself. I originally thought valves as well, but the oil level was good (she just had it changed within the last few weeks). She’s good about following the mileage intervals for oil changes so that’s not a concern. No CEL, and she said it just started happening. Car was warmed up from being driven and was at idle.

She’s having a mechanic look at it today, I’ll keep you guys posted. I’m betting it’s a noisy pulley at this point. Really, a Toyota with 80k that’s been well maintained is way too young for any issue. My fiance’s Yaris is a few hundred miles short of 100k and all we’ve done is oil changes. Not a hiccup.

Can the valve lash be set on this car? It sounds like my Accord did when I had the valve lash adjusted at 105,000 miles, except it is louder.

There’s an oil filter screen for the VVT solenoid.
I’ve seen reports of this screen clogging and causing a rattle.

So apparently the mechanic said it was a loose plastic air baffle up front. They just tacked it up and that was that. Strange as to how that’d cause the ticking sound at the idle in the video. But I guess it’s fixed? Strange

Outstanding. It only serves to remind us that very often our fears turn out to be totally unfounded.
Happy motoring to you and yours.

Thanks. She lucked out!


I would have never believed it from the sound on that clip.
Your sister is sure lucky @Fender1325

I once had a fellow that thought that his tranny was toast. It made such a awfull thud as the pickup moved. I layed down on a mat next to the truck and had him drive forward slowly.
The noise sure sounded like tranny, but then something caught my eye.
A gas tank strap was broken and was rubbing on the driveshaft, and everytime the balance weight came around it would fling the strap up against the tank as it passed.

Just the right part coming into contact with another unrelated part can sure give you the wrong signals.


A missed chance by that mechanic to make some serious money by fixing the shield and charging a mint for a complicated repair.

You should tell everyone you know about this honest mechanic. He deserves an increase in customers.

Add him to the mechanics files. That way he gets more business. We all want a honest mechanic.