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2012 Camry Engine start up rattle


Down South SA

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Hi everyone, I have a 2912 2.5 s toyota camry that has always had an engine rattle for a few seconds on a cold start up.

Over the last 6 months it has gotten more pronounced and sounds like dry tappetts or some such thing.. The car revs loudly with the rattle then settles down, and after a few minutes of running, when the car stops it does not have the same harsh rattle.

The dealers are saying it is normal and dont seemed too concerned.

Has anyone else had the same issue and is there a solution ..

Regds

Stephen

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Hi Jim & TrentMeyer23, Thanks for the input .. lots of Honda on youtube but found this

, which is a Rav 4 but has identical engine start up rattle.

I have been messing around with engines all my life, admittedly older type engines, and have had probably about 10 or so new cars over the years and none have had this engine rattle ..

If one of my older cars had this rattle first thing I would check is oil pressure, on start up, because it sounds like no oil in the overhead gear.

As soon as the motor runs for a few seconds, it is OK and when stopped & started up after running for a few seconds, no rattle, because oil has circulated thru the running gear.

I am not against all Toyotas, I like Toyotas, I have 2002 Hilux ute with 210,000 kilometres on it, no problems , and it is a great ute, and have had a few secondhand Toyotas over the years and they have all performed really well.

My main concern is that my car is running out of warranty in a few months and not looking forward to expensive engine repairs due to a Toyota badly designed engine.

We have had this car for 47,000 kilometeres about 2.5 years and since having the car we have had a new steering arm put in as well as 2 new CV joints ..so just wondering what next.

My next question, has anyone experienced engine failure due to this rattle or do they just rattle on into old age ?

Regards

Stephen

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As it is still under warranty as you have just disclosed, I would suggest you get it into your Toyota agent as soon as possible.

Today would not be too early!

I'm surprised and dissapointed to read that you have had the repairs you list above done already at such low kilometers.

I fitted new rubber boots to one of the drive shaft on my former 1994 Camry (Holden Apollo actually). This was done at around 350,000 klms. While cleaning and inspecting the CV joints prior to repacking and re-assembly, I was astonished at how good the condition of the joints were. I could not detect any discernable wear or slop. The clamps on the boots looked original and had the factory tightening method obvious. This car went on to do 410,000klms and the only thing that caused me to de-commision it and take it off the road was the auto transmission, which was giving trouble for the second time. Expensive fix; worth more that the vehicle I suspect. The engine was still not using much oil; about 1 ltr. between oil changes.

This quality was observable on much of the other engine components and running gear of that car.

Are the later model Toyota vehicles built with less stringent adherance to the former quality standards? Sometimes, after reading such reports as yours, I'm tempted to form that conclusion could be drawn. But I am loath to accept that, real as it may be.

edit:

What were the symptoms and indications you observed that resulted in the CV joints being replace? Knocking while turning at low speed and the like?

Did you get to have a look at the old joints after they were removed and replaced?

As a DIY mechanic of over 50 years experience, I am a sceptic about what dealer tell some car owners. I assume if the rubber boot was damaged from say a stick or some such, they might just replace the entire drive shaft due to the labour involved in dismantling, cleaning and repacking/re-assembly.

Edited by Jim.
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Hi Jim,.. thanks for the advice , .. I have already been trying to sort this problem our with my local dealer who pestered me to purchase a car from them here in Victor Harbor South Australia, but after 4 weeks of them saying nothing I contacted Toyota in Melbourne who opened and gave me a case number, our local dealer is still to come up with a solution and in all fairness to them, it has now been about 6 weeks and we did have a Xmas break.

They are going back to Toyota ( they said) to see if an additive may improve or stop the rattle, and that was a few days ago, so we will see what happens..

With regard to the CV joints, at about 15,000 Klm or so when ever we went around a roundabout or turned sharp right we had a clicking noise from the front end, after 2 trips to the local Toyota dealer here in VH they acknowledged that something was wrong, so the 3 road test they confirmed it was the left hand CV joint and agreed to replace it, and to there credit ( or Toyotas) they replaced both sides .. I was skeptical about the changing the joints as we were going on a trip the next week, so I took it to a mechanic mate of mine and we put it on the hoist and sure enough new CV's ..

After the CV joint replacement ( probably about 5000 klms ?) we would drive around a corner and you could feel a very faint click or movement thru the steering wheel, which we reported to our local dealer, and they could not feel it,.. I persisted and after the 3rd visit found a new mechanic who was very keen and new what the problem was straight away .. apparently the Toyota Corollas had a recall on the intermediate shaft as the splines wear and slipped on another component, he said that Toyota used some of these intermediate shafts in the Camry's. So what did our local dealer do .. they said they would tighten everything up and it would be OK .. it was for a week and then came loose again.

So after explaining to them that what if it came loose at 100 Klm per hour and my wife was driving? still only tightened it up.

So once again back in touch with Toyota in Melbourne who within a few hours told the local Toyota Dealer here in Victor Harbor to recall our car and replace the intermediate shaft.

The intermediate shaft was not picked up by my wife and would have gone unnoticed until too late if I did not drive the car, I thought it was one of the front brake calipers sticking and then releasing, it is a very slight ( for want of a better word) feeling and can easily go unnoticed until too late, but once you know it's there you can pick it every time the car corners or there is pressure on the steering..

Stephen

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Yes Stephen, the evidence is clear; faulty CV joints and not just broken rubber boots.

Not good is it?

I would be hopping mad if that happened on a low kilometer new vehicle of mine. But that doesn't help much, I know.

It makes me even more resolved to keep my recently acquired, low kilometers (125,000) 1993 model, manual transmission Camry Wagon.

Everything I have done on it has impressed me with the standard and quality of the manufacture and assembly.

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  • 5 weeks later...

OK Finally some good news,.. after contacting Toyota customer service, and our local dealer about our start up rattle ... Toyota issued a News Letter to the dealer recognizing that the rattle on start up on some Camry models was causing concern,( 2.5S and probably others) .. so they had 2 remedies .. the only one I was told about, because I could not read the letter fast enough before it was whipped away out of sight, and that was to replace the timing chain tension-er ..

That is what has been done to our car and SO FAR it has stopped the rattle .. but I am wondering what damage has been done over the last 55,000 kilometers ??

Stephen

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"OK Finally some good news,.. ..................... the only one I was told about, because I could not read the letter fast enough before it was whipped away out of sight, and that was to replace the timing chain tension-er .."

Not good customer relations is it? I would be demanding a look at it in full. Jump up and down a bit - throw a wobbly!

"............................................ but I am wondering what damage has been done over the last 55,000 kilometers ??

Stephen"

I am not a mechanic, but to the best of my knowledge, a slightly loose chain will not harm anything. Only cause a rattle. But why only on start up I wonder?

Anyway, it's good to know that you have some resolution, even if it is not a complete disclosure from Toyota.

I am surprised that this later model motor has a timing chain and not a belt. Belts have been pretty much standard for decades now, due to being quieter. Chains have other advantages, such as superior reliability - the don't break if not changed at periodic intervals.

Edited by Jim.
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Hi Jim .. Thanks for the reply and advice ,,

Because we were not present when the work was carried out, we do not know what they did,.and can only take their word that a chain adjuster was replaced or put in ..

To me, start up rattles usually mean no oil getting to the some part of the motor, but in saying that, when this engine starts up, it revs a lot due to automatic choke, and then settles down, and the rattle was only for a split second or two, but very loud.

Anyway ,, only time will tell.

Incidentally ..the start up rattle is also in the new Corollas, as an acquaintance from a nearby town has been having the same problem with his brand new Corolla and his dealer has been putting additives in the oil. I have informed him of our solution and he will advise his dealer, so I hope it fixes his problem as well ..

Stephen

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure if relevant but the rattle in daughters 2002 Camry engine which was originally diagnosed as worn balance shaft bearings serendipidously turned out to be a loose exhaust bracket - a much cheaper fix. It was most noisy on start-up, when reversing up our steepish driveway, but was not noticeable when driving on the flat.

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Hi Thommo, thanks for the information, but ours was certainly in thew top end of the engine .. the timing chain tension-er has fixed 98% of the problem and I am happy with that.

Stephen

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In my personal opinion, the rattle from the lack of oil pressure in the VVT-i mechanism and the lock pin failing would not cause any long term issues. The construction of the mechanism itself is pretty robust and you would most likely get other non-related engine issues before that would fail.

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Hi Jane .. thanks for the input .. as a distributor and carby guy, I know nothing about VVT-I, VVTIS or the whatever,.. but lets hope our vehicle goes well, from now on.. incidentally I have heard that some of the new cars, have a problem with oil draining out of the oil filter and the oil takes that little bit longer to get to the overhead gear ?? do not know if it is true or not .

Regards

Stephen

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Hi Jane .. thanks for the input .. as a distributor and carby guy, I know nothing about VVT-I, VVTIS or the whatever,.. but lets hope our vehicle goes well, from now on.. incidentally I have heard that some of the new cars, have a problem with oil draining out of the oil filter and the oil takes that little bit longer to get to the overhead gear ?? do not know if it is true or not .

Regards

Stephen

Well in the case of the VVT-i controller (if this is the same issue you have) it is indeed caused by a lack of oil pressure in the overhead gear. Nothing wrong as it does require oil pressure to function and this is not present when the engine is off.

In the words of Toyota with regards to the VVT-i mechanism:

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.

From reports I have heard, it is this lock pin that that doesn't engage. Now whether this is because the "advanced angle assist spring" isn't doing it's job or the lock pin, I'm not sure. But at the end of the day, the controller can only advance or retard within set limits so the only wear that would be present is the contact between the grey and yellow parts shown in the attached diagram. For the brief amount of contact, I would imagine there would be no harm.

22.PNG

And here is what is actually looks like:

Dissection02.JPG

Edited by Tard
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Hi Jane ,, I can relate to that, thanks for the informed response and detailed drawing ... if Toyota knew these engines rattled and they had an easy fix, why did they not recall them .. the answer to that is obviously money, we the public are the quality control guys n gals.

Thanks for explaining, I will put that behind me and wait for the next issue with the car , as I am sure there will be one ..

I have a 2002 hilux ute, just turned over 212000 kilometers, and it runs on gas .. the only problem has been burnt out valves in the head at about 120000, and had to replace front brake pads..

I personally think the Camry is a lemon.. but stuck with it ..

Stephen

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