Vibrations and Excessive Road Noise

Ever since I purchased my 97 Corolla (with 136k miles), there has been a lot of vibration noise and excessive road noise. The coins and other objects beneath the cup holders vibrate when the car is at idle. Replacing tires has not helped with the road noise either. I suspect worn motor mounts that might be transferring the motor vibrations into the car body. Any one else had this type of noise?

Have you owned the car since 1997? Auto or manual? How old are the struts/shocks? Have they been checked? The old bounce test does not count.

In addition to motor mounts, there is a good possibility that many–perhaps all–of the suspension bushings on the car are dried out and deteriorated.

Despite the relatively low odometer mileage, the car is at least 13 years old, and rubber parts such as bushings rarely last as long as 13 years. Worn-out/dried-out bushings could certainly account for some of the road noise, and bad motor mounts could be the culprit in regard to the noise while at idle.

And, as Mr. Meehan points out, your struts are also suspect in relation to road noise, due to their age. Road noise can also be coming from your tires. Some tires become much noisier as their tread wears. Truthfully, on a car of this age, there are lots of possibilities, but we have given you the most likely suspects.

While we’re at it, let’s be honest, it’s a Corolla, not an S-class. Smaller, compact cars will transfer more road noise and harshness to the driver than a larger car or SUV.