Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:
About 2 seconds or so (not precisely measured) after starting my '98
Avalon, there is a "ka-chunk" noise, like something locking into place
or starting up. It's not terribly loud, but it is audible inside the
car. It's not related to shifting into Reverse or Drive (it happens
before I even think about shifting). It's been happening for about 6
months now, and doesn't seem to be getting worse. I'm thinking it
might be a pump or part of the A/C heating system.

Any ideas?

If someone had a strong feeling that it was my water pump, I might
consider moving up my timing belt / water pump change. The car has 98k
on it, with the original timing belt, and there doesn't appear to be
any visible damage to the belt to my untrained eye, so I was going to
gamble for a while longer before getting the belt replaced.

Thoughts appreciated.
-Dan
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
"Danny L." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi all:
> About 2 seconds or so (not precisely measured) after starting my '98
> Avalon, there is a "ka-chunk" noise, like something locking into place
> or starting up. It's not terribly loud, but it is audible inside the
> car. It's not related to shifting into Reverse or Drive (it happens
> before I even think about shifting). It's been happening for about 6
> months now, and doesn't seem to be getting worse. I'm thinking it
> might be a pump or part of the A/C heating system.
>
> Any ideas?


"ka chunk" is difficult to diagnose without hearing it. A whining/grinding
noise is probably the ABS system doing a self-check. It may be the AC
compressor engaging. To check, turn off the AC compressor before turning
off the engine and then re-start to see if the noise goes away. Check your
transmisison fluid to see if it is bright red in color. If it is brown or
smells burnt, have it changed.

>
> If someone had a strong feeling that it was my water pump, I might
> consider moving up my timing belt / water pump change. The car has 98k
> on it, with the original timing belt, and there doesn't appear to be
> any visible damage to the belt to my untrained eye, so I was going to
> gamble for a while longer before getting the belt replaced.
>
> Thoughts appreciated.
> -Dan


Water pumps generally do not make clunking noises or noises that go away.
More often, they leak before they make noise.

If you have 98k miles on the timing belt, you should have it changed. While
you're at it, you should consider changing the water pump because most of
the labor is redundant so you would only have to pay for the pump, gasket
material, and an extra half hour or so of labor. You cannot visually check
the timing belt without removing the timing belt cover. Are you talking
about the accessory drive (fan) belts? If so, you should also get them
changed while you're doing the timing belt.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ray O wrote:
> If you have 98k miles on the timing belt, you should have it changed.
> While you're at it, you should consider changing the water pump
> because most of the labor is redundant so you would only have to pay
> for the pump, gasket material, and an extra half hour or so of labor.


You should make sure that your shop agrees to charge only for the
incremental labor. My Toyota dealer won't discount their 'flat rate'
schedule for combined repairs. That is one reason I no longer go there
for maintenance.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree with RayO about suspecting the air conditioning compressor. If you
have the defrost selected, it would engage the A/C. Besides turning it off
before starting, you could test this by having someone start the car and you
watch with the hood open. The clutch of the A/C would free wheel, then
engage with a "chunk". Watch those fingers!

G
"Danny L." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi all:
> About 2 seconds or so (not precisely measured) after starting my '98
> Avalon, there is a "ka-chunk" noise, like something locking into place
> or starting up. It's not terribly loud, but it is audible inside the
> car. It's not related to shifting into Reverse or Drive (it happens
> before I even think about shifting). It's been happening for about 6
> months now, and doesn't seem to be getting worse. I'm thinking it
> might be a pump or part of the A/C heating system.
>
> Any ideas?
>
> If someone had a strong feeling that it was my water pump, I might
> consider moving up my timing belt / water pump change. The car has 98k
> on it, with the original timing belt, and there doesn't appear to be
> any visible damage to the belt to my untrained eye, so I was going to
> gamble for a while longer before getting the belt replaced.
>
> Thoughts appreciated.
> -Dan
>
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the ideas everyone.
Transmission fluid was changed recently, and is still a good red. I
think you're right about the noise coming from the A/C compressor.

I guess I'll call around between the two toyota dealers and the more
reputable independent shops that do import work and see about getting
my timing belt and water pump replaced.

Total bill for that (parts and labor) should be around $300? Anything
else I should have them do while they're that deep into the engine
compartment?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Danny L. wrote:
> I guess I'll call around between the two toyota dealers and the more
> reputable independent shops that do import work and see about getting
> my timing belt and water pump replaced.


Hey Danny - it would be interesting to know which of the shops will
combine the labor charges, and which ones work strictly 'by the book'.
Please post back and let us know what you find.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Danny L. wrote:
> If someone had a strong feeling that it was my water pump, I might
> consider moving up my timing belt / water pump change. The car has
> 98k on it, with the original timing belt, and there doesn't appear to
> be any visible damage to the belt to my untrained eye, so I was going
> to gamble for a while longer before getting the belt replaced.


Just out of curiousity, how did you inspect the belt?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't. I mistook the lower fan belt for the timing belt. In my
ignorance, I thought "well, I can see two belts. I know the upper one
isn't the timing belt, so the lower one must be the timing belt..."

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Danny L. wrote:
> I didn't. I mistook the lower fan belt for the timing belt. In my
> ignorance, I thought "well, I can see two belts. I know the upper one
> isn't the timing belt, so the lower one must be the timing belt..."


98K miles is the practical life limit for a Avalon belt. Time to
schedule the replacement.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"Travis Jordan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Danny L. wrote:
>> I guess I'll call around between the two toyota dealers and the more
>> reputable independent shops that do import work and see about getting
>> my timing belt and water pump replaced.

>
> Hey Danny - it would be interesting to know which of the shops will
> combine the labor charges, and which ones work strictly 'by the book'.
> Please post back and let us know what you find.
>


When calculating flat rate times, you are supposed to use the labor for the
deepest operation, which would be for the water pump. The timing belt
should be charged only for the belt itself because the labor would be
covered under the water pump R&R.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ray O wrote:
> When calculating flat rate times, you are supposed to use the labor
> for the deepest operation, which would be for the water pump. The
> timing belt should be charged only for the belt itself because the
> labor would be covered under the water pump R&R.


Maybe that is how you do it, or your garage does it, but my Toyota
dealer wouldn't do it that way.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In article <[email protected]>, Travis Jordan
<[email protected]> wrote:

> Ray O wrote:
> > When calculating flat rate times, you are supposed to use the labor
> > for the deepest operation, which would be for the water pump. The
> > timing belt should be charged only for the belt itself because the
> > labor would be covered under the water pump R&R.

>
> Maybe that is how you do it, or your garage does it, but my Toyota
> dealer wouldn't do it that way.


Hello Travis...

Is that based on your personal experience? I can't imagine why there'd
be different practices among authorized Toyota stores.

Brent
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brent Secombe wrote:
> Is that based on your personal experience? I can't imagine why there'd
> be different practices among authorized Toyota stores.


Yes, it is. I had a timing belt done on a Camry and wanted the water
pump replaced at the same time; the service writer wouldn't cut me a
break on the labor costs -- he said they charged "by the job to be done
and not by the hour".

So I don't use that dealer any more. I don't know if other dealers
would handle it differently.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Travis Jordan wrote:
> Brent Secombe wrote:
> > Is that based on your personal experience? I can't imagine why
> > there'd be different practices among authorized Toyota stores.

>
> Yes, it is. I had a timing belt done on a Camry and wanted the water
> pump replaced at the same time; the service writer wouldn't cut me a
> break on the labor costs -- he said they charged "by the job to be
> done and not by the hour".
>
> So I don't use that dealer any more. I don't know if other dealers
> would handle it differently.


I should have noted that was an Autoway Toyota dealer in central
Florida.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In article <2Y%[email protected]>, Travis Jordan
<[email protected]> wrote:

> Brent Secombe wrote:
> > Is that based on your personal experience? I can't imagine why there'd
> > be different practices among authorized Toyota stores.

>
> Yes, it is. I had a timing belt done on a Camry and wanted the water
> pump replaced at the same time; the service writer wouldn't cut me a
> break on the labor costs -- he said they charged "by the job to be done
> and not by the hour".


Thank you, Travis. That's instructive. It changes my view of things.

Brent
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Travis Jordan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
> Ray O wrote:
>> When calculating flat rate times, you are supposed to use the labor
>> for the deepest operation, which would be for the water pump. The
>> timing belt should be charged only for the belt itself because the
>> labor would be covered under the water pump R&R.

>
> Maybe that is how you do it, or your garage does it, but my Toyota
> dealer wouldn't do it that way.
>


I had your experiences in mind when I said "you are supposed to use the
labor..." and "timing belt should be charged..." as opposed to saying that
all shops calculate that way.

Every dealer is an independent business - I recommend shopping around for
one that does good work for a fair price.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"Travis Jordan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:2Y%[email protected]
> Brent Secombe wrote:
>> Is that based on your personal experience? I can't imagine why there'd
>> be different practices among authorized Toyota stores.

>
> Yes, it is. I had a timing belt done on a Camry and wanted the water
> pump replaced at the same time; the service writer wouldn't cut me a
> break on the labor costs -- he said they charged "by the job to be done
> and not by the hour".
>
> So I don't use that dealer any more. I don't know if other dealers
> would handle it differently.
>


The majority of Toyota dealers calculate prices as I mentioned before.
Travis was unfortunate to have visited a shop that does not calculate jobs
properly.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got 4 quotes:
>From dealers, $570, and $505. The second dealer specified that the

timing belt would be $269, and the water pump would be $230. I balked
a bit, and asked if there was a discount on the water pump labor, and
they said that they only charge 1 hour additional labor for the water
pump. so apparently $230 is the price of the pump + 1 hr labor.

>From independent with good reputation, $612. They explicitly stated

that this estimate includes the belt, water pump, tensioner, and
cam/crank seals. The others didn't mention the last two items; are
these unnecessary add-ons or prudent additions while they're that far
into the engine?

I caught another independent as they were running out the door, and
they quoted $800 (yikes) off the top of their head. Might be lower
when I call back tomorrow morning.

I'm new to the area (central NJ), but these labor rates seem high to
me. Any thoughts.
Thanks everyone for your prior responses.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"Danny L." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Got 4 quotes:
>>From dealers, $570, and $505. The second dealer specified that the

> timing belt would be $269, and the water pump would be $230. I balked
> a bit, and asked if there was a discount on the water pump labor, and
> they said that they only charge 1 hour additional labor for the water
> pump. so apparently $230 is the price of the pump + 1 hr labor.
>
>>From independent with good reputation, $612. They explicitly stated

> that this estimate includes the belt, water pump, tensioner, and
> cam/crank seals. The others didn't mention the last two items; are
> these unnecessary add-ons or prudent additions while they're that far
> into the engine?
>
> I caught another independent as they were running out the door, and
> they quoted $800 (yikes) off the top of their head. Might be lower
> when I call back tomorrow morning.
>
> I'm new to the area (central NJ), but these labor rates seem high to
> me. Any thoughts.
> Thanks everyone for your prior responses.
>


IMO, the dealer that quoted $269 for the timing belt plus $230 for the water
pump not only is giving you the best price, but a dealer will generally have
more experience working on Toyotas than independent shops.

As far as whether the tensioner and cam and crank seals quoted by the
independent shop are unnecessary add-ons or prudent additions depends on
whether you are a gambler or not. If those extra parts are less than $60
and it was my car, I'd do it.

As far as the labor rates, the prices sound pretty reasonable to me for a
metro area.
--
Ray O
correct the return address punctuation to reply
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for your input Ray O.

Out of curiosity, do they have to drain the oil to change the timing
belt / water pump?
I just put 4.5 quarts of Mobil 1 in there, I'd hate to lose it after
only 3 weeks of usage.
It's a silly thing to worry about $25 of oil for a $500 repair, I know.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top