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1998 Toyota Avalon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Basically... my engine sounds like a tractor. When I accelerate there is a buzzing that sounds kinda like when your lips are together but not tight and you blow air out of your mouth... weird I know but it is actually pretty close to the sound my car makes. What do you guys think is going on with my engine?

Here is a video documenting sound. Sorry if the quality is bad.
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=2z6t6it&s=3
 

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Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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6,775 Posts
Sounds like an exhaust leak. Check the exhaust manifold for cracks and check around the gaskets (you may have to remove the heat shield to do this). A quick test is to hover your hand around where the flanges are to see if you can feel the exhaust gases escaping (just don't actually touch it as you'll burn yourself). If the leak is around the back of the flange then this test won't work, in which case you'll have to pull the manifold off and inspect the gaskets.

A good way to easily find a leak is first thing in the morning when the car is cold, as mist from the condensation usually escapes out of the leak which makes it a lot easier to see. Small leaks tend to close as the engine gets hot and the metal expands, so try and find it while the engine is still cold. Gently revving the engine via the throttle butterfly will help narrow it down too. Fortunately gaskets are nice and cheap, plus they're easy to install. Your car will be back to sounding how it should in no time :thumbsup:
 

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1998 Toyota Avalon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really hope you're right. I don't really mind the buzzing and what not. I just wanted to make sure my engine wasn't about to seize up or fall out or something. I am doing a total overhaul of my car soon because it just passed 157,000 miles and I figure it deserves a treat.

Thanks for the help Kiwi!
 

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Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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6,775 Posts
No worries :). It has happened to a couple of cars of mine in the past. One of the cars I owned (a Mitsubishi Cordia GSR) instantly became ridiculously loud when the dump-pipe broke right through when I was driving. Gave me a hell of a fright :lol:. Sounded like a tractor on steroids until I got it fixed. I made a quick video of what it sounded like when it happened (the whistling noise at the end is from the turbo spooling down) -

 

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Avarollin?
1996 Avalon XLS
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967 Posts
I drive tractors, and I'll tell you thats no tractor!

My car makes the same noise, just not as loud. I had a cracked flex pipe, had it replaced the the situation became quieter, but still noticeable with an open hood.
 

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1998 Toyota Avalon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey man, I've been around a Deere or two in my life and that sounds probably as close to a tractor as a car can get, haha. I am from Wisconsin ya know. If you try to drive to any other city other than your own you'll pass 10 farms, at least.

But thanks for the reassurance guys. On a scale of 1 to 10 how hard is this? Say, brake jobs are a 2 for scale.
 

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Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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6,775 Posts
But thanks for the reassurance guys. On a scale of 1 to 10 how hard is this? Say, brake jobs are a 2 for scale.
About a 2. All it requires is the removal of the bolts connecting the exhaust manifold to the engine block, and the bolts holding the exhaust manifold to the exhaust. As long as you put a bit of force on the bolts when undoing them (particularly the exhaust bolts) then you won't have any trouble with the heads rounding etc. Should take you less than an hour at the most to complete the whole job.
 

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1998 Toyota Avalon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds great. Thanks for the help guys.

As for rewelding, I am a fairly capable welder and if I can't handle it a family friend can. Shouldn't be to much trouble if I have to chop up the flex pipes.
 

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Avarollin?
1996 Avalon XLS
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967 Posts
I believe that when I had engine work done they might of put a jack under the engine to stabilize it, cracking a welded hole in my flex pipe. Then I had that Type-R thhhaaangg going on.

Local shops around Chicago called Velasquez Muffler. I take all my exhaust work there. New flex pipe cost me $70 installed

But of course, you need to identify if your flex pipe is even a problem, or if it is something else that is causing the noise.
 

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when selecting a flex-pipe, go with a long one. the extra length spreads the twist out over more area, resulting in a longer-lasting part.

^ what he said ^ when i had mine replaced (last month) the guy put in a short one and with all the freaking speed bumps i have already noticed stress in the flex pipe from all the bouncing.

My question is is there way we could attach some sort of scuff plate around the flex pipe or will that cause to much heat build up. S. Florida love thier speed bumbs and i do try to be careful but sometimes it just bumps the under side of the car?
 

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1998 Toyota Avalon
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Like Mag said, big passenger cars built on midsize passenger cars tend to have problems with springs... and you don't need a skid plate if you aren't going off roading. But it would be pretty exciting to take these bad boys off road.... okay maybe not.
 

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speed bumps

ill try to get a pic uploaded but you guys are most likely right but in our neighbor hood they put in speed barriers lol my mother inlaw bought a brand new 2010 mustang and almost got stuck on one of them lol.
 

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1998 Toyota Avalon
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If your neighborhood is a gated community or one of those types of neighborhoods that have signs like "Welcome to Woodcrest" (thats the one my parents live in) then I understand. We all had lit mailbox numbers. It was really convenient but no one else in the city had them, just our neighborhood and they were fairly unnecessary. So I can understand that your neighborhood planners put in very unnecessarily large speed bumps. Then my teacher got her BMW 328 stuck the bridge near my house, so I can understand the Mustang.
 

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