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Rattle on engine start

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Have been getting a rattle from my engine when starting it for the last couple of months took it for 30000km service today and was told by toyota that the vvti controller needed replacing and they needed it for two days. Lucky its covered by warranty cause they said it would cost a few thousand dollars if it wasnt.

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I guess we were right. Dave and I had this one on our minds from when we first thought about it. Since you are the second person to report that it is being changed under warranty, maybe there is some more hope for others that are getting the issue.

I dont think it is piston slap, more like a timing chain rattle or maybe something in the vvti mechanism.

That's what I'm thinking. It seems to be coming from the upper part of the block. It's similar to the sound of that intake control valve closing, but more metallic. It just has me stumped.

Maybe it really is the VVT-i mechanism. When you see a video animation of it working, you can kind of picture how it can generate a knock/rattle sound if it doesn't have appropriate oil pressure in it.

The mechanism is like this for those that don't know:

Having a quick look at the service manual, maybe it ties in with the so called 'lock pin':
When the engine stops, the intake side VVT-i controller is locked on the most retarded angle side by the lock pin, and the exhaust side controller is locked on the most advanced angle side. This ensures excellent engine startability.

The oil pressure sent from the advance or retard side path at the intake and exhaust camshaft causes rotation in the VVT-i controller vane circumferential direction to vary the intake valve timing continuously.

An advanced angle assist spring is provided on the exhaust side VVT-i controller. This helps to apply torque in the advanced angle direction so that the vane lock pin securely engages with the housing when the engine stops.

When hydraulic pressure is not applied to the VVT-i controller immediately after the engine has been started, the lock pin locks the movement of the VVT-i controller to prevent a knocking noise.

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I notice mine is rattling too when I turn as soon as the engine starts. Doesn't do it all the time. My Aurion is the 2010 model and a few times rattled quite badly.

I think it could be related to the same issue.

If I don't get it fixed can it do any damage to the engine over long term?

BTW the car has only done 9000km.

Edited by conroe

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I notice mine is rattling too when I turn as soon as the engine starts. Doesn't do it all the time. My Aurion is the 2010 model and a few times rattled quite badly.

I think it could be related to the same issue.

If I don't get it fixed can it do any damage to the engine over long term?

BTW the car has only done 9000km.

Then it's not the VVTI controller? I'm guessing your car already has the newer VVTI controller since your car is a 2010 model.

I'm confused now.

I'm guessing the dealer just pulled that thought out of there ***** and are going to do a hit and miss on this.

If a 2010 Aurion is doing it, which I'm sure has the new VVTI controller. It has be something else?

Edited by Silver-Aurion

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My 2008 Prodigy has started to show a rattle when the ignition is turned on, but so far only at cold. I've noticed it on the last 3 cold starts.

Next cold start, I'll try and isolate the noise a little better.

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My 2008 Prodigy has started to show a rattle when the ignition is turned on, but so far only at cold. I've noticed it on the last 3 cold starts.

Next cold start, I'll try and isolate the noise a little better.

How many KMs does your car have?

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My 2008 Prodigy has started to show a rattle when the ignition is turned on, but so far only at cold. I've noticed it on the last 3 cold starts.

Next cold start, I'll try and isolate the noise a little better.

How many KMs does your car have?

46K. Wife tells me it's been doing it for a week now, but I still haven't had a chance to try it cold myself. It was fine today, but I didn't do the early start up.

Edited by boxerboy

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Brought mine to Toyota, had a similar prob with some sort of crack/rattling sound when it starts.

They said they need to fix the driving belt. Since then, no dramas. Let's hope no more of it

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Brought mine to Toyota, had a similar prob with some sort of crack/rattling sound when it starts.

They said they need to fix the driving belt. Since then, no dramas. Let's hope no more of it

My '08 46K Prodigy had its 45K service today, and when I started it up at collection, it rattled. Ignition off, restart, no rattle. It's been doing this lately, but only when cold, and not consistently.

The service guy thought it might be from the "vvti cams". Cold start, less oil pressure, rattle.

If so, should this be replaced as it has been with the OP?

Edited by boxerboy

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I have 2010 model Aurion. I have noise at start up. Took car to the dealer and they found that front engine mount is malfunctioning. It is vacum operated and it is loosing pressure inside the mount. My car will be fix this week.

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I've changed my oil every 5000 km with new Toyota filter and Toyota 10/30W 5 litres oil, plus and extra container of Toyota 10/30W oil to top up to 6.10 litres, car done 60,000 kilometres today, without a single noise from engine.

7 years this coming November still going strong, excellent acceleration still today.

12 years old now and still going strong, 13 years old this coming November 2019.

Edited by Aurion ZR6
added update.

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I recently bought an 07 aurion sportivo, and noticed it was making a rattling noise at cold start up. I took it into service at Toyota and they reported that it was the lock pin, which was causing the vvti to not engage until a certain oil pressure. I had 3 months dealer warranty and took it back to the dealer (not a Toyota dealer) and they first did nothing because they didn't hear the problem. Then they sent it to a Toyota dealer. They currently have the car and have said that they are just flushing the engine which will unblock anything that is blocked. Which is pretty pointless. Any ideas?

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Hmm... now that you guys mention this, I remember it happen to my car once, and only once.

Start -> rattle -> shutdown -> start again -> no rattle

At that time it was a cold winter morning, and the battery was end of life weak.

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This has been happening to my 07 aurion at 130km countless times,

But for me it only happens on warm starts, say i leave the car for 40mins - 1hr then start it and it makes a terrible rattle noise,

Been trying to record it for a while but ofcourse it never happens when my phones out, must be shy or something.

Did get my mechanic to look over it and he mention that its due to the oil being warm and naturally thinner then when cold and not coating the engine when you go to start it up, so takes those initial rattles for the oil to circulate. Tried some dofferent things and still have the rattle.

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Is it this sound?

Gives me the willies each time I hear my girl make that sound.

  • Like 1

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Pretty sure i have started to hear this rattling sound as well, only on cold starts, and only very recently. Car has done about 80k now. Will try to get a better listen next few starts and see what toyota have to say about it.

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Is it this sound?

Gives me the willies each time I hear my girl make that sound.

Hi there LordBug, thanks for recording it, it's been on my to-do list for ages. I've had limited success in 'describing' that sound to mechanics.

My car is a Presara Nov 2007 that's travelled 110,000. It's been making EXACTLY that sound now for a few months. Getting more frequent now, mostly on cold starts. More recently the car has also been taking longer to actually start, not sure if related or not (push button start). Used to take 1-2 seconds to start, now seems to take 3-4 seconds.

On last trip to Melb City Toyota for servicing I was told that it's the VVTI controller thingy, and it's an expensive repair. Reading through this post, seems that a few people have the problem. Has anyone successfully rectified it?

Thanks,

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I have the same on my Presara 07. The car is a taxi and done 450,000km but still! Need to bump this one as I'm a tad out of warranty and need a fix if possible. Noise (only when cold) drives me nuts.

Thanks for the video. That is exactly the same sound.

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I too USED to have this exact same issue on my Aurion. Toyota Stealership diagnosed it as faulty VVTI mechanism, and wanted around 8k for repairs ( with toyota paying some of the bill as a "good will" gesture).

This didn't sit well with me so I decided to start doing some research on the issue, as well as never get my car fixed or services at a Stealership again. My research found that you could indeed leave the VVTI mechanism as it was and not cause any damage to the engine.

BUT

When I started servicing the car on my own, and using my own oil ( full synthetic 5w-30) the noise magically disappeared. What I really think was happening is toyota were either not servicing the car properly or using extremely poor quality oil. I think the noise was actually the tappets and upper engine not getting enough oil pressure on startup causing the rattle.

Just my little story.

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Interesting Brendo. I service my own car too and use Penrite 5-40 fully synthetic. Hasn't got rid of the problem, unfortunately.

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maybe give 3w-30 a go? the thinner viscosity would provide a better flow possibly? I've been using nylon Full synthetic 5w-30

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So this problem got worse and worse for me over last 6 months. Quite embarrassing when starting the car, it would actually attract a lot of attention and the sound carried on for up to two full seconds on occasions.

Meanwhile, my battery has been on the downhill, all leading up to me buying a brand new battery. I changed the battery over myself, and then miraculously the "VVTi" noise became insignificant. Hardly there at times, subtle at other times. All I did was change the battery.

An oil-based explanation seemed much more plausible. The engine used to take a lot longer to start (and some times fail to) towards the end of prior battery. Upon battery change, engine start is quick again. Maybe with the extra current the engine parts can reach the operating parameters much faster and hence reduced this problem? That's the only explanation I can come up with. Perhaps that actually confirms that it's an oil based problem, if engine takes longer to start it follows that oil will take longer to get to all the parts?

Given the level of noise I was putting up with before, this is most acceptable now. :)

Now I can focus my annoyance on the HID bulb turning off occasionally. Grrrr....

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You might be on to something. I changed my battery a couple of weeks ago and haven't noticed that rattle.

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I have noticed this on the odd occasion, thought it was because it was cold.

Past few days have noticed it more and more, almost ever time.

I am really concerned, as I currently am out of work due to an illness and I don't have the money to fix it.

My battery isn't that old so it shouldn't be dying, having said that you can get duds.

I'll see if I can't find out when I had it replaced and if it's under warranty. If so I'll let you know my progress.

Any further help r knowledge would be appreciated.

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