94 corolla shakes at low RPM's - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 01-18-2006, 01:17 PM
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94 corolla shakes at low RPM's

I am the happy owner of a 1994 Corolla DX (1.8L). I got her when she had 110,000 miles on her and there are 138,000 now. For the entire time that I have had the car is has shaken at low RPM's. Theres no unusual noises from the car, with the exception of the plastic in the car that vibrates along with the engine, just what feels like a throbbing vibration. The problem is worse when the temperature is freezing or below.

So far my dad has checked and it has proper compression, and I have ever so slightly advanced the timing as that helped the car run very smoothly at higher RPM's, and helped a little at lower RPM's. My dad is religious about changing the oil every 3000 miles. The engine burns no oil whatsoever, has plenty of power, and gets 32MPG combined, so there is nothing glaring at me as to what could be wrong. The spark plugs are also new and the timing belt has about 10,000 miles on it.

It had been suggested to me that one or more of the motor mounts could be worn out, however the problem has never gotten worse in the 28,000 miles that I have had the car...that and I have been in cars with bad mounts, and my car in no way makes me feel like the teeth are going to vibrate outta my head, like those cars did. My main suspect comes from reading that carbon bildup in the EGR valve will keep it from closing completely at idle, causing the car to run rough, but not enough to stall the engine. However, the car passes emissions with flying colors and I have never seen the check engine light (or any warning light for that matter). When looking under the hood at idle there is visible shaking of the engine.

If anyone has had a problem like this with their car, or has any ideas as to what should be checked next I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!!!
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#2 Old 01-18-2006, 01:56 PM
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Have u change plugs, wires, cap, or rotors lately? You might need a goood tune up to perform at its best.


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#3 Old 01-18-2006, 02:01 PM
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Yes, the plugs wires and cap are all new. It needed new plugs recently (had 135,000 on the origionals...I had no idea they were that old...) so we put new wires and a new distributor cap on it as well.
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#4 Old 01-18-2006, 02:03 PM
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Yeah can be the motormounts, do they look cracked up?
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#5 Old 01-18-2006, 02:24 PM
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I will give the motor mounts a closer inspection as soon as it stops raining outside. They didnt look cracked before, but I never really closely scrutinized them.
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#6 Old 01-19-2006, 01:06 AM
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Have the same problem with my '95, same symptoms you listed...changed the plugs, checked my timing, changed all the engine and tranny mounts, and even swapped out the harmonic balancer (looked like it was woobling, and suspected that rubber ring that separates the two metal rings had deterioriated over time)...sadly all this work was moot...it still shakes...

lemme know if you ever figure it out...
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#7 Old 01-19-2006, 09:18 AM
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4 cyl engines will always shake somewhat, unless they have balancing shafts, its a part of their design.
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#8 Old 01-19-2006, 09:37 AM
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ummm maybe the idle is to low? try raising it a little so it doesn't shake. Mine does the same if it drops under about 800 rpm. I would have done that before advancing the timing.


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#9 Old 01-19-2006, 04:46 PM
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I took a good look at all the motor mounts and they look fine...

Since advancing the timing slightly made the engine smooth out at all speeds other than idle (it was always rough to an extent before) I also adjusted the idle a little bit. Since I have no tachometer I cannot tell exactly what it is idling at, but I would say its about 800-850 now. It seems to have solved the problem and, although it is still early, has not seemed to affect my mileage any noticeable amount. It will still shimmy a little when the AC compressor kicks in, but only enough to just be noticed.

Peachfuzz, this might be worth a shot in your car. It has made an incredible difference in mine.

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#10 Old 04-12-2006, 09:57 PM
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Exact Same Symptoms Noted

Hello fellow Toyota owners,

I am new to the forum and was searching for a solution to this problem. I recently purchased a 1995 Corolla DX, 5spd, with 138,000 miles and it has the exact same symptoms. The source of the vibration comes from the engine on the passenger side where the belts are located. The vibration causes the passenger side fender and interior dash to resonate at idle rpm and much less so at higher rpm. It does this more when the engine is cold.

Maintenance that I have recently done which could help solve this problem and maybe Gideon1331's includes the following:

New Denso double platinum plugs
New Denso first time fit wires
New OEM Denso rotor
New OEM distributor cap
New NPN air filter

Related inspection items:
PCV valve OK
Vacuum hoses look OK
Belts OK with proper tension
Engine mounts appear in good condition
Timing chain replaced at 77K mi.
No oil leaks
Oil consumption?
29-33 mpg gas usage
700-1200 rpm idle speed

There was a noticable improvement after replacing these items, but the main problem still exists. Could it be a vacuum or EGR valve problem? This vibration seems to be a common problem from what I see on posts for the Corolla with the same engine. I may have it diagnosed at the dealer. Please reply if you have any solutions.

Thanks

Last edited by schn0354; 10-12-2006 at 06:11 PM.
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#11 Old 04-15-2006, 05:11 PM
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schn0354--

The crank pulley is actually two seperate pieces. There is a small rubber ring that sits between the two. People have had problems in the past where this rubber has deteriorated and caused the piece to come out of balance and create a noticeable wobble. If it's really bad you should see a wobble happening while the engine is running (though it's kind of hard to see where it sits way down low on the passenger side of the engine compartment.) I had actually replaced this with a piece I got from a junkyard for about $50.

The work to do it pretty simple if you're comfortable doing your own repairs. You can easily access it through the passenger side wheel well (just jack the car up, take off the passenger side tire for easy access, and take off that plastic splash guard and it's right there.). I think the hardest part for me was breaking the bolt loose that connects the crank pulley. After that you just loosen the belt by dropping the alternator and you can do what you want with it. Tightening it is a bit tricky since it naturally wants to spin. I think there are pulley puller tool kits out there that might help with that problem, but I didn't have one when I was working on it.

However, just note that I replaced this already and I still have the vibration problem. I've just learned to live with it, or until I get a weekend to play with trying to get that egr valve out (so far I'm content with just living with it ). People seem to have had success in masking the vibration a little by just raising their idle speed a little bit (I think spec is around 750 +/- 50 rpm and they're going to about 800-850 rpm).
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#12 Old 04-17-2006, 01:42 AM
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Same probs here. Just learning to live with it but nephew has it in his Corrola also. He says he can't stand it. Mines a lil diff(his too) in that it idles fine but comes in at 900rpm and dissappers at 1400. Relaced everything but harmonic balancer i.e. all mounts and timing belt(checking time so I went ahead and put it in. No diff. whatsoever on anything I've done. Both cars have about 95,000 miles. Both 97s.
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#13 Old 10-12-2006, 03:40 AM
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Update

Well it has been a long time since my last post. I have news that may be helpful to others as well. The crankshaft pulley is not the problem. The original user who started the thread was probably on the right track thinking carbon build-up could be the problem. My corolla was actually burning more oil than normal, about 1 quart per 500-1000 miles depending on city/highway miles and ambient temperature. Bluish exhaust is only visible under start-up after the car has been sitting for awhile. A compression test by the Toyota dealer revealed good compression on all cylinders dry and wet test, between 190-195psi if I remember correctly. I will have to find the original receipt for exact specs. I talked to a number of mechanics and did some research to conclude that the oil burning is most likely related to leaky valve stem seals and maybe to some extent piston rings (yes, even with good compression numbers).

Therefore, I pulled the cylinder head to replace the valve stem seals and check overall engine condition. The camshafts were in near perfect condition, with no visible wear! There was normal carbon buildup on the valves. I sent the head to a machine shop to be inspected and have valve stem seals installed. I just got the cylinder head back from the machine shop, which inspected the head, installed the valve stem seals, removed carbon from valves, and machined the surface true (even though the head was not warped).

I am also replacing piston rings to make sure the oil consumption is loweredl and bring compression up. It is not much more work and money to do this at this stage since the bores are in almost perfect condition with no signs of wear. Original cross hatching is still visible and a ridge is almost non-existent. Therefore, I can do this without taking the engine out and do not even need to hone the cylinder. A ridge reamer will not be used (not needed and will damage the bore). The Toyota mechanic viewed pictures I took of the pistons and could tell from the carbon wear pattern where oil was "leaking through" and preventing carbon buildup. A moly ring set from the dealer is about $100, which is comparable to aftermarket rings. Rings are on order right now. I will pull the oil pan tommorow, check condition of the engine bearings, and prep for piston ring install.



While new valve seals and piston rings may help with oil consumption, I am hoping the biggest improvement will come from cleaning carbon build-up from the intake air plenum and intake manifold. The air plenum was almost completely blocked on a few small but important passages. The EGR valve was completely blocked as well! This seemed excessive and I will try to determine the original cause. I was told that this blockage may be a contributing factor for the carbon build-up, rough idle when cold (when warm the engine still runs great though), and oil consumption. As such, the machine shop also cleaned these parts. I cleaned the throttle body and squirted throttle body cleaner through all the vacuum hoses and emissions sensors. Hopefully, my EGR system will now function correctly. EGR problems are difficult to diagnose, so I will need to vaccuum test it when it is all put back together.


I will try to upload some pictures over the next few days and give progress updates. Even though the engine is not being removed, this is proving to be a challenging project. Fortunately, I have an official Toyota service manual (downloaded from Toyota/Lexus technical website, not free), which is much more detailed than a Haynes Manual.
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#14 Old 10-12-2006, 07:51 AM
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Makes a big difference in cost when you turn your own wrenches. Since its at the machine shop anyway, and you are most likely going to change your head gasket, did you get the head shaved or checked for warpage? Whats the going rate of having a machine shop do the valve seals these days?
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#15 Old 10-12-2006, 07:57 AM
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I think after all that work, you will be very disappointed to find out that your engine will still shake. It's an inherent characteristic of earlier 4 cylinder engines. Good luck.
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