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Grainding noise on cold start up

25560 Views 40 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ecenter
Cold start up Grinding noise

Hello guys.
I start noticing a weird noise upon cold start up. It sounds like something is grinding. First goes starter sound and then engine noise together with this grinding noise. Grinding noise goes away withing sec. or so. It is not really loud, but it definitely not engine or starter sound.
It happens only on cold starts when engine is completely cold.
If I start engine, let it run for few minutes, shut it down and restart again, it starts without grinding noise.
Don't remember if car was doing it from beginning, never turned car while I was outside. Few weeks ago when temperature dropped below freezing point, I turned ignition through passenger door to warm up the engine.
After that I begun listening every start up. Every start up same noise. Every morning and every time after work I hear this noise.
No noise if car been driven recently or engine is still warm.
Do you hear anything?

not my car, but sound is identical.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZK3jEwMZoRc
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· BeerSteakTxas
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11,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
What brand of oil filter and variety/viscosity of oil are you using? The sound is almost like the car's taking it's time building oil pressure and components are rattling until it does. That problem will be worse in the cold with higher viscosity oil - or if the oil is draining out of the filter, as with a anti-drainback valve that's not quite right.
yep, I know about it.
my oil has been changed 4K miles ago by dealer.
according to them they used 0-20 toyota oil and OEM filter.

I did some reading yesterday and to me it doesn't look like oil related issue at all.
people who religiously changed their oil and used recommended OEM stuff only and people who used thicker oil effected too.
I've seen statements from people who got their VVT-i gears replaced under warranty (in US and Europe), they say in many cases they had to come back to dealer because of oil leaks or check engine lights related to VVT-i. most people also stated that same noise came back 10-20K miles later. some say noise getting loud over time, some say it didn't change at all over up to 50-60K miles period.
so it looks like design issue and got very little to do with maintenance.
 

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I owned 2007 2.4 camry with 90K miles -no noise.
my brother got 2010 RX 20K miles - no noise.
sister- 2007 IS250 50K miles no noise.
according to TSB only 2.7 and 2.5 engines affected, but I found plenty complains about same issue on lexus forum too Japanice Mark X affected too.
so looks like only dual vvt-i engines got this issue.
Yeah I have a 2005 Rav4 2.4 with 10k miles and no problems what so ever, though I got the car brand new.

It goes and handles surprisingly well..
 

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I would have to agree that the sound is normal. The GF's Nissan Rogue does the same thing only like 100 times worse. My Camry does it for a second when it starts up. I think it is just the lifters and VVT getting oil on a cold start. Do we have hydraulic lifter or are they solid?

Even all the people who have this problem have loads of miles on thier car so it does not seem to do much damage. Trying to fix the problem seems to cause the problems. Plus we are running synthetic oil so cold start wear is minimized a bit anyway.

Hmmm, Makes me wonder if it is the timing chain slapping around though? I assume this is a hydraulic tensioner on the chain?

I remember my 97 camry with the v6 made that noise but all the time haha, thats solid lifters for you. Overtime the buckets wear and the tolerance increases. I remember a shop told me that I had to fix that or my engine would drop a valve..... well that was 100k miles ago and the noise hasnt changed a bit.

Just my opinion
 

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Yep, simple physics.

Almost every engine fights this. A couple of things to comfort if it helps...

#1.) There are millions of motors out there that probably have multiple hundreds of thousands of miles on them having suffered through the same cold start condition. (I know of several 5sfe motors myself, like mine, that I've spoken with folks about and still strong, mine included!)

#2.) A lot of what you hear is resonance/echo because there *is* space for sound to travel.....HOWEVER....that doesn't mean that there's not oil there. As I've mentioned before, in my drag racing days we never found zero oil on the top end of internals at tear down. Even sitting for weeks at season end, there was still always oil present. Best conventional oil we ever found was Kendall brand. It literally was the most residual in fighting gravity but, again, every oil we tested was always present meaning parts were definitely lubricated at startup!

Not that I'm excusing anything in behalf of Toyota, but I hope those 2 very real points, ease your mind a bit.
:thumbsup:
 
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· BeerSteakTxas
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11,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
after spending a few more hrs on enet and reading about VVT-i start up noise, oil recommendations and engine protection, recommended oil viscosity for gen 7 in US and other countries and 0-20 vs 0-30 oils I went to a local walmart and bought a jug of 0-30 Advanced fuel economy Mobil 1 oil.
I drained my fairly new Mobil 1 0-20 and poured 0-30 into my engine.
hard to say if it gonna be better or worse in the long run (according to my research I should lose up to 3% in fuel efficiency but will gain some extra engine protection) but I can tell that my 2.5 engine is quieter at cold start up and grinding noise became barely noticeable.
don't feel any difference while I'm driving and haven't drive it long enough to see if thicker oil effected my MPG.

I couldn't find any verifiable data on toyota 0-20 oil, but here is what I found on Eneos and Idemitsu 0-20 (supposedly Toyota OEM suppliers) vs Mobil 1 0-30:

Toyota (Eneos/Idemitsu) 0-w20 and (Mobil 1 Advanced fuel economy 0-w30)

Viscosity @ 40C 42.4 (63.1) cST
Viscosity @ 100C 8.4 (11) cST
Pour Point C -42-51 (-50)
Viscosity Index - 179 (166)
HTHS Viscosity @ 150ºC -2.6 (2.99)
TBN - 6.27-7.9 (8.5)
API SN/ILSAC GF-5 (GF-5)

toyota oil is thinner at low temperature (I'm not worried about it in TX:) but Mobil thicker at operating T.
I like Mobil 1 numbers better, but one thing still worries me: what kind of viscosity required for dual VVt-i and how thicker oil might effect it.
 

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Cold start up Grinding noise

Hello guys.
I start noticing a weird noise upon cold start up. It sounds like something is grinding. First goes starter sound and then engine noise together with this grinding noise. Grinding noise goes away withing sec. or so. It is not really loud, but it definitely not engine or starter sound.
It happens only on cold starts when engine is completely cold.
If I start engine, let it run for few minutes, shut it down and restart again, it starts without grinding noise.
Don't remember if car was doing it from beginning, never turned car while I was outside. Few weeks ago when temperature dropped below freezing point, I turned ignition through passenger door to warm up the engine.
After that I begun listening every start up. Every start up same noise. Every morning and every time after work I hear this noise.
No noise if car been driven recently or engine is still warm.
Do you hear anything?

not my car, but sound is identical.
Hello My name is Darrell,
When I read your comments about your NOISE DURING COLD STARTS ONLY and LASTING ONLY A FEW SECONDS it peaked my interest. Your description matched mine pretty well. However; When I went to your posted link your video presented a different noise than what I am experiencing.
I have a 2003 Toyota Tacoma 2.4L engine. When I start my Tacoma (cold start only) I hear a NOISE LASTING A FEW SECONDS ONLY that reminds me of the old split pulleys that were held tightly in place by a bolt which had a partial smooth surface to allow both sides of pulley to be firmly held together while spinning freely. When the bolt would sometimes work itself loose enough to allow both sides of the split pulley to separate and wobble, each side of the pulley would make alternating contact with each other causing a a DRY HOLLOW WOBBLING SOUND at varying timed frequencies as the belt turned, until reaching a certain smooth idle speed it then sometimes stopped making a noise (until the next cold start) or until the space gradually got larger etc,....
I have removed all belts (temporarily) Isolating the possibility of the noise being generated by any belt driven pulleys including idler pulleys. After reading some comments a bought simular noises I then replaced the TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER. No change in the noise.
I STILL THINK the NOISE is some how CONNECTED to the TIMING CHAIN or PARTS included within the timing chain housing..
Does anyone out there have any similar experience especially corrective measures to share??
 

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4 Posts
Cold start up Grinding noise

Hello guys.
I start noticing a weird noise upon cold start up. It sounds like something is grinding. First goes starter sound and then engine noise together with this grinding noise. Grinding noise goes away withing sec. or so. It is not really loud, but it definitely not engine or starter sound.
It happens only on cold starts when engine is completely cold.
If I start engine, let it run for few minutes, shut it down and restart again, it starts without grinding noise.
Don't remember if car was doing it from beginning, never turned car while I was outside. Few weeks ago when temperature dropped below freezing point, I turned ignition through passenger door to warm up the engine.
After that I begun listening every start up. Every start up same noise. Every morning and every time after work I hear this noise.
No noise if car been driven recently or engine is still warm.
Do you hear anything?

not my car, but sound is identical.
Hello My name is Darrell,
When I read your comments about your NOISE DURING COLD STARTS ONLY it peaked my interest. Your description matched mine pretty well. However; When I went to your posted link your video presented a different noise than what I am experiencing.
I have a 2003 Toyota Tacoma 2.4L engine. When I start my Tacoma (cold start only) I hear a noise that reminds me of the old split pulleys that were held tightly in place by a bolt that had a partial smooth surface to allow both sides of pulley to be firmly held together while spinning freely. When the bolt would sometimes work itself loose enough to allow both sides of the split pulley to separate and wobble, each side of the pulley would make alternating contact with each other causing a a DRY HOLLOW WOBBLING SOUND at varying timed frequencies as the belt turned, until reaching a certain smooth idle speed it then sometimes stopped making a noise (until the next cold start)or untill the space gradually got larger etc,....
I have removed all belts (temporarily) Isolating the possibility of the noise being generated by any belt driven pulleys including idler pulleys. After reading some comments a bought simular noises I then replaced the TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER. No change in the noise.
I STILL THINK the NOISE is some how connected to the TIMING CHAIN or PARTS included within the timing chain housing..
Does anyone out there have any similar experience or ESPECIALLY CORRECTIVE MEASURES to share??
 

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2019 Tacoma SR 2.7
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2019 Tacoma, 2.7 4 Cylinder. Same issue, and no resolution. Replaced tensioner, idlers and serpentine belt for good measure. The only other thing that bothered me was oil and filter. I bought it used, with 50k miles from a dealer. Don’t know the service history. Then I just went to Valvoline as usual and been putting a synthetic blend and a Valvoline filter in it. After 10,000 miles this noise came out of nowhere. I have since changed to Toyota full synthetic and Toyota OEM oil filter. Seems to not make the noise as often. All of my research leads me to the VVTI cam gear issue, oil valve and filter that feeds the VVTI cam gear, or timing chain tensioner or a sticky starter solenoid. Just based on what I read and what the noise sounds like. Would love for someone to find the answer.

My noise:

 

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As redgtxdi mentioned back in 2013, the moving parts in the engine always have oil present on the rubbing surfaces (and where the oil wicks into spaces/clearances between them).
The exposed cylinder walls might be one exception, where fuel and/or moisture condensate might interrupt the oil film, but the clearance space between the cylinder and piston wicks/retains oil consistently after shut-down.

These momentary "grinding" noises relate to temporary low oil pressure and/or air pockets taking the place of oil within the oil flow paths.
The result will be things like hydraulic lash adjusters not holding the valve lash tight until the oil pressure and flow arrives.
Also there can be momentary loss of timing chain tension on certain motors, but which might be limited by ratcheting self-adjusters (so won't cause harm).
And the cam phasers may randomly (depending perhaps on the position that the cams stop?) drain down while the engine cools off and sits, leaving a volume of air where oil needs to be to keep them operating silently.

But all of these components are designed to survive with these brief clattering noises going on when the engine is started, and I mean survive even after the twenty-thousandth time that the engine is started.

And engines (perhaps not racing engines) also survive for quite some time being run with no oil in the pan (or no oil pressure because of a leaking oil filter gasket).

When (and only when) the delivery of oil goes interrupted for quite a while (and perhaps also at higher rpm), the oil film between certain parts (such as crankshaft journals/bearings) can eventually heat up to the point of the oil film flashing/evaporating.
And only then will real engine damage occur, after a lack of oil pressure and flow allows heat to build up to the point of the oil film failing.

My low-mileage 2015 Camry LE has a brief (~1-1.5-second?) clatter upon start-up that I know to be normal and that will never cause any problem. The noise did seem reduced after I switched to a 5W30 full synthetic oil, but is still present to some extent on most cold-engine starts (usually after sitting for 2-10 days). The weather here rarely goes below 30F.

I imagine as that engines wear slightly, that the clearances through which oil can drain down get ever-so-slightly bigger, causing some increase in the frequency and duration of the clatter. All perfectly normal even on healthy engines with hydraulically-driven "overhead parts" like on our Camrys.
 

· 16' Camry SE & 18' Camry XSE
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Cold start up Grinding noise

Hello guys.
I start noticing a weird noise upon cold start up. It sounds like something is grinding. First goes starter sound and then engine noise together with this grinding noise. Grinding noise goes away withing sec. or so. It is not really loud, but it definitely not engine or starter sound.
It happens only on cold starts when engine is completely cold.
If I start engine, let it run for few minutes, shut it down and restart again, it starts without grinding noise.
Don't remember if car was doing it from beginning, never turned car while I was outside. Few weeks ago when temperature dropped below freezing point, I turned ignition through passenger door to warm up the engine.
After that I begun listening every start up. Every start up same noise. Every morning and every time after work I hear this noise.
No noise if car been driven recently or engine is still warm.
Do you hear anything?

not my car, but sound is identical.
This is classic vvti rattle. Oil drains from vvt lobes and it sounds like this. It will get progressively worse. Fix is to replace the vvt actuator. Otherwise every cold start will be this way. As soon as you build up oil pressure, it won't rattle. There is a YouTube video that car care nut did on this. I had a 2013 Camry and 2006 is350 do this. Exact sound.

Sent from my SM-S908U using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks! I have researched and found that same exact problem, sounds like mine. Only problem I have is that mine actually has gotten less often lately. It’s not every cold start, like once every week or two. And to top it off, I went on vacation, it sat for 10 days, was 28 degrees when I got back, and it started with NO noise. That has me confused as to my issue.
 

· 16' Camry SE & 18' Camry XSE
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Thanks! I have researched and found that same exact problem, sounds like mine. Only problem I have is that mine actually has gotten less often lately. It’s not every cold start, like once every week or two. And to top it off, I went on vacation, it sat for 10 days, was 28 degrees when I got back, and it started with NO noise. That has me confused as to my issue.
When it gets colder, oil thickens and does not drain from vvt cavity. Makes sense to me but I have been proven wrong before ;)

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Thanks! I have researched and found that same exact problem, sounds like mine. Only problem I have is that mine actually has gotten less often lately. It’s not every cold start, like once every week or two. And to top it off, I went on vacation, it sat for 10 days, was 28 degrees when I got back, and it started with NO noise. That has me confused as to my issue.
This is an interesting point, that the occurrence of this noise is quite random, sometimes there and sometimes not.

I'm guessing as I said that the resting position of certain rotating parts might affect whether the oil drains down on any particular day.
But in any case, the engine is plenty hot upon shut-down even on the coldest days, and the rattle doesn't seem to be seasonal-related on my car.
Even after sitting for weeks, my car often starts silently, though sometimes not.

I say don't worry about it unless perhaps it suddenly were to become louder every time.
Going into the timing case is a big, expensive job, with plenty of opportunity for the job to get screwed up in one of many ways in my opinion.

One more thing, I believe that the filter/pump anti-drainback valve can't prevent the air pockets from entering the oil flow path up to the head, simply because the oil can still drain down from the head to the many clearances at the level of the crankshaft, cooling jets and balancer assembly. There is no drainback valve dedicated to the top end in other words.
This explains why the noise is so brief, because the pump and filter with their bigger oil volumes do not drain down.
 

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Cold start up Grinding noise

Hello guys.
I start noticing a weird noise upon cold start up. It sounds like something is grinding. First goes starter sound and then engine noise together with this grinding noise. Grinding noise goes away withing sec. or so. It is not really loud, but it definitely not engine or starter sound.
It happens only on cold starts when engine is completely cold.
If I start engine, let it run for few minutes, shut it down and restart again, it starts without grinding noise.
Don't remember if car was doing it from beginning, never turned car while I was outside. Few weeks ago when temperature dropped below freezing point, I turned ignition through passenger door to warm up the engine.
After that I begun listening every start up. Every start up same noise. Every morning and every time after work I hear this noise.
No noise if car been driven recently or engine is still warm.
Do you hear anything?

not my car, but sound is identical.
My car will make that noise when started in the morning,or when it has been off for at least a couple hours.It seems to be not related to temperature but to lack of lubrication when it is started every morning.
What do you think about this ?
 

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It's not a lack of lubrication, which would imply that the oil film had failed to keep metal surfaces protected.
The surfaces all remain oily and thus protected.

Simply some air enters the oil gallery going up to the head, allows some clattering movement, but quickly replaced by pressurized oil.
 

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It's not a lack of lubrication, which would imply that the oil film had failed to keep metal surfaces protected.
The surfaces all remain oily and thus protected.

Simply some air enters the oil gallery going up to the head, allows some clattering movement, but quickly replaced by pressurized oil.
If so,you have any idea what to do about it?,thanks!
 

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If so,you have any idea what to do about it?,thanks!
It’s your variable intake cam gear’s adjusting mechanism wearing out a bit. It uses oil pressure to take up slack in the gear. Super common problem with toyotas.

Honestly, its more of an annoyance than anything else. In other cars, it will destroy your engine, but on our cars, it just rattles a little when oil pressure is working its way up to the top of the engine. I replaced the gear on my gf’s 15 SE just for peace of mind. The gear from toyota was like $2-250 (dont use aftermarket parts if you do it. Junk.). Also usually gotta replace valve cover gasket, timing chain tensioner, timing tensioner gasket, etc.

This job can be a little nerve wracking, because everything has to be set up properly, and if you accidentally lock the gear before it’s set up right, you need an air compressor to unlock it. You have to follow the OEM procedure TO A T!

If you hear that sound, that’s definitely what it is though. Check your oil level first! Low oil level will do it also, even with a brand new gear.

Noise went away after I swapped it, btw. But I wouldn’t have bothered if I wasn’t comfortable doing the work myself. Just not worth the cost of parts AND labor to get rid of an annoyance.
 
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