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Old 03-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Engine noise

How's it goin everyone?
Does anyone ever hear slight knocking, tapping noise on their engines at idle?
On my 2010 5-speed w/40,000miles, I can hear very faint knocking noise from the engine when listening from inside the car at idle. Once I give it some revs the noise is gone. The noise is intermittent and not always there. I can also hear it from outside/standing in front of the car with cold engine idling. Once it warms up the noise is only audible from inside the car, windows rolled up, engine idling like when I come home at night and park in my driveway. I'm not talking about the normal ticking/clacking this engine makes, this is actual faint knocking/tapping. Any other person probably wouldn't even notice the noise but I'm the type who listens to the engine idle everytime I park the car. I've always used Toyota brand 0W20 synthetic every 5k miles with a Toyota OEM filter. I'm just wondering if this is normal for these engines or somethin I should be concerned about since I only have ~20k left on my powertrain warranty.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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If you could post an audio clip of the noise it would be very helpful.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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If you could post an audio clip of the noise it would be very helpful.
I will try. From inside the car, it probably will be inaudible with an iPhone. I will shoot a video standing in front of the car when I get a chance.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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I'm inclined to think this noise is just normal wear but it's near impossible to diagnose something like this based on another person's subjective impressions of the noise. I would suggest that switching to 0w30 or 5w30 should help to not only quiet things down but also prolong your engine's service life. 0w20 and 5w20 are recommended solely for incrementally increased fuel economy. The critical engine clearances haven't changed since Toyota recommended 5w30 and 10w30.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:16 AM   #5
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Ok so I was able to shoot this video tonight. This was after starting the car after it was sitting for ~3hrs. The noise u can hear in the video isnt audible immediately after starting the engine. It slowly starts getting louder after a couple mins of idling and lasts about 5-10 mins then goes away for the most part.

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Old 03-07-2012, 05:08 AM   #6
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Maybe it was just the mic on th iPhone but my tc makes a small tick tick noise that was similar to that noise but it seemed deeper and a little off.. But Im sure it's the same thing!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:38 AM   #7
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I hear it too. For comparison I started my 48k, turbocharged, 275bhp engine after sitting for 6 hrs and it made no similar noise. My first thought is rod bearing but I really can't say with anything remotely resembling certainty. IMO you should take it to your dealer first and if they find nothing, switch to a motor oil viscosity designed for engine protection rather than fuel economy. 0w20 motor oil is only slightly thicker than sewing machine oil or Type F ATF at operating engine temp...
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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Sounds exactly like my engine. No joke. My favorite is when I am idling, sometimes the whole car likes to shake for a few seconds and then it goes away.


Most Toyota's sound like that. ScionFred recommending a better grade of oil could potentially help you out. I've surpassed 80,000 miles, so I'm more concerned about high mileage oil.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Sounds exactly like my engine. No joke. My favorite is when I am idling, sometimes the whole car likes to shake for a few seconds and then it goes away.


Most Toyota's sound like that. ScionFred recommending a better grade of oil could potentially help you out. I've surpassed 80,000 miles, so I'm more concerned about high mileage oil.
Ya sometimes mine has a rough idle. Nothing that makes the whole car shake, just from what I can feel thru the steering wheel at idle. I've noticed in the past couple days if I rev out the engine more when driving(3-3.5krpm) the engine idles/sounds smoother, at times I can't even hear or feel it sitting at a red light. Just seems to run better overall.


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I hear it too. For comparison I started my 48k, turbocharged, 275bhp engine after sitting for 6 hrs and it made no similar noise. My first thought is rod bearing but I really can't say with anything remotely resembling certainty. IMO you should take it to your dealer first and if they find nothing, switch to a motor oil viscosity designed for engine protection rather than fuel economy. 0w20 motor oil is only slightly thicker than sewing machine oil or Type F ATF at operating engine temp...
I've read about how good the Toyota 0W20 is all over bobistheoilguy.com so I thought it would be best for my engine. I do know it is pretty much the thinnest of all 0W20 oils available right now tho. I am gonna try M1 5W20 next oil change and see if I notice a difference. Right now with the 0W20, it burns about 1/2 quart per 5k miles. I'm just reluctant to rush to the dealer so soon as the noise has been there for a while now and doesn't seem to be getting worse. Again it's only when I let the car idle during warmup, which I rarely do. Once its warm noise is gone. Other than that the engine runs STRONG.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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I've read about how good the Toyota 0W20 is all over bobistheoilguy.com so I thought it would be best for my engine. I do know it is pretty much the thinnest of all 0W20 oils available right now tho. I am gonna try M1 5W20 next oil change and see if I notice a difference. Right now with the 0W20, it burns about 1/2 quart per 5k miles. I'm just reluctant to rush to the dealer so soon as the noise has been there for a while now and doesn't seem to be getting worse. Again it's only when I let the car idle during warmup, which I rarely do. Once its warm noise is gone. Other than that the engine runs STRONG.
If it were me I wouldn't go to the dealer either but I thought it might make you feel better to have them check it out. Also, if there really is something wrong, a trained ear with a length of vacuum tubing is a lot better than a semi-trained ear listening to a audio recording. The heavier oil would help to quiet things down while providing better engine protection. I still believe that *w20 motor oil is solely intended for better fuel economy and doesn't offer the same protection as *w30 oil.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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If it were me I wouldn't go to the dealer either but I thought it might make you feel better to have them check it out. Also, if there really is something wrong, a trained ear with a length of vacuum tubing is a lot better than a semi-trained ear listening to a audio recording. The heavier oil would help to quiet things down while providing better engine protection. I still believe that *w20 motor oil is solely intended for better fuel economy and doesn't offer the same protection as *w30 oil.

Good luck.
Thanks. If I remember correctly, at one of the complimentary oil changes the dealer performed, the paperwork said 5W30 was used. I think after the powertrain warranty is up, I will deff go 5W30 or maybe 0W30.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
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Mine always had a slight tick and most the ones I saw from when i worked at Toyota most did. I run 0-20 and it seems its almost gotten louder. Which to me makes since.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:50 PM   #13
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Mine always had a slight tick and most the ones I saw from when i worked at Toyota most did. I run 0-20 and it seems its almost gotten louder. Which to me makes since.
Ya mine has ticked ever since I drove it off the lot with 12 miles on the odometer. But the noise I'm concerned about is more of a tapping/knocking as you can hear in the video I posted above.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:47 PM   #14
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^Almost all Corollas I've ever heard in my life startup the same and idle the same, and they sound just like my xB does (although different engines). I kind of feel like it's a Toyota thing.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:10 PM   #15
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I burned a half a quart of oil every 5 thousand miles using 0w-20, switching to 5w-20 stopped it completely.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:09 AM   #16
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ya so far its been 2300 miles(mostly city stop and go) since last oil(0W20) change and oil level is almost halfway down between dots...
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:01 AM   #17
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I just changed my oil. It's been 10k miles since I changed my oil to ow20. Been the same level the whole time. Never went down any.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:13 PM   #18
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I just changed my oil. It's been 10k miles since I changed my oil to ow20. Been the same level the whole time. Never went down any.
I'm wondering if mine is starting to show symptoms of the bad piston/ring assys in these engines. Mine is a 2010 but build date on the door sticker says 12/09. I'm thinking the noise it makes during warm up is piston slap. I'm gonna take it to the dealer in the next few weeks. Lets see what happens.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:13 PM
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