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5th & 6th Generation (2002-2006 & 2007-2011) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2002-2006 & 2007-2011 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 01-26-2007, 08:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Canada Starter noise at cold engine start?

Hi
I have an 07 SE (manual transmission). I'm wondering if anyone who lives in cold climates has noticed a noise at startup on a cold engine when the temperature is below freezing (colder than -5C or so)?

The engine has to be cold (like sat overnight) and the outside temp has to be cold. Then at start when I turn the key, the engine starts fine, but as I release the key from the start to the run position I hear what sounds like the starter motor make a noise (short zipping sound). At first I wondered if it might be slow to disengage, but if that shouldn't make a noise because the gears should be meshed ok? Any thoughts appreciated. There is no noise with a warm engine, or with a cold engine on a mild day.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Happens in my car as well. Not sure exactly why, but definitely a cold weather thing.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Exactly the same issue. Thought I do not see it till the car has been sitting outside and the temperature is lower than -15C
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had similar thing today with automatic transmission. 10F here.
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's happened to me a few times as well.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies, nice to know it's not a unique thing to my car I guess. Not sure what it is then, but next time I'm at the dealership I'll ask about it and let you know what they say. Assuming it's not a "never heard of that before" answer.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My Matrix did that a few times as well. But it was damn cold when it did.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a question about this too (mines an auto), I don't know if this is what you're describing but whenever I start the car and I don't let go of the key at the exact time the engine starts, or immediately right after it cranks, even if I hold it for a tenth of a second too long, it makes this grinding/hissing noise like when you accidently start the car while its running, you know what I'm talking about. I never had this happen on my other cars. question is, is the starter too sensitive? would it wear out the starter if this keeps happening? Ironically this doesnt happen to the wife, or atleast thats why she told me.

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Old 01-27-2007, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camread
I have a question about this too (mines an auto), I don't know if this is what you're describing but whenever I start the car and I don't let go of the key at the exact time the engine starts, or immediately right after it cranks, even if I hold it for a tenth of a second too long, it makes this grinding/hissing noise like when you accidently start the car while its running, you know what I'm talking about. I never had this happen on my other cars. question is, is the starter too sensitive? would it wear out the starter if this keeps happening? Ironically this doesnt happen to the wife, or atleast thats why she told me.

It can not only wear out the starter (actually the teeth on the starter drive, also called the Bendix drive), but it can also wear out the teeth on the flywheel. That's a lot more expensive to replace since the engine and transmission have to come out of the car to be seperated, before it can be replaced. Pay close attention so that this doesn't continue to happen.

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Old 01-29-2007, 05:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Same thing happened to my 07 XLE V-6 the other day...was about 10 degrees F with a windchill of about -15 degrees F. I orginally thought I had held the key too long in the Strart position but now that I've heard others with the same incident, it appears to be a cold weather thing.

Wonder how if the folks in the GWN (Great White North) have this problem?
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have the same problem as well.....first start of the day after a cold night and the engine gives a high pitched whine when you start her up like you tried starting the car after it was already running...thank god I'm not alone on this one...I figure if the starter goes its warrantied, not losing any sleep over it..................
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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and here i thought its way i'm starting it thats making this freaky noise. so if i release it too early, the engine wont turn over and if i leave it for a tick too long, it screeches... so i have to time it perfectly
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have the same issue, only occuring on very cold days (10 - 15 F). My question is, do XLE/Hybrid owners with the Smart Key System experience the same problem?
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I guess with most of us up north have similar problems. I do not have a dealer visit planned for another month at least, so if some one goes in before that perhaps they can ask and post the response. Ite been good weather here in AB for sometime now so have not seen this problem down to -10 C.

Problem is its going to be hard to reproduce at the dealers as the car starts perfectly when the engine is warmed. I suppose one could visit the dealer on a real cold day and try and reproduce the problem on one of their cars sitting on overnight on the lot.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I left my car at the dealership the last two mornings (weather forecast was for -11C, so I figured it should be cold enough) to check this out. It didn't make the noise for them yesterday, but this morning I started it there with a mechanic looking under the hood and listening for the noise. It was cold enough and he heard the noise. It's not the starter motor at all (I've got a good ear, but I'm no mechanic). The noise is coming from the AC compressor - it's always running on my car. He checked to make sure my defrost was not on (it wasn't), so it shouldn't have been on. I'm taking it in tomorrow for an appointment for them to check this out and I'll let you know the final diagnosis/solution.
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