Toyota Nation Forum banner

Is this sound normal for 2GRFE highlander engines?

  • No, it needs engine replacement soon

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • No, but this is not to be concerned of

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Yes, this is normal

    Votes: 1 20.0%
41 - 60 of 61 Posts

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
There are several regular maintenance things you can do , to miminize this.

Use Chevron Techtron cleaner in your gas.
Change oil and filter and use quality oil such as Penzoil Platinum Syn 5-30 or 0-20 and toyota brand filter.
Clean your throttle body with Throttle body cleaner and clean MAP sensor with MAP cleaner (instructions are on this forum).
Make sure you have a Clean quality air filter.
Clean or replace PCV valve. Only replace with Toyota orginial.
Make sure you dont have any loose vacuum hoses.
Replace sparkplugs, if over 100k miles. Only use denso or toyota.
Use good name brand gas.

Thank you. I will definitely use OEM Toyota oil filter. and I can use Chevron cleaner without having to wait for oil testing analysis, as I think it will not interfere with the results. I actually just fixed one of the broken vacuum hose connection to air box and changed the filter while at it. PCV valve & spark plug recommendation for the sound or avoiding sludge?
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #42
If all I am going by is that cap IMO that engine was NOT cared for. Either improper oil or no oil changes. If you looked at mine with 149k on it the engine it would be spotless. But mine has been serviced timely (every 5k) and with only Mobil 1 0w20 going back to the day it was put in service.
I think so too 馃槙
 

Registered
2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
Joined
534 Posts
Totally agree - it will not going on its own as it seems to be sludge built up over long period of time. With the theory of oil being cushion to reduce clearance, this also can mean thicker oil can help too. I also read transmission oil being used to clean the lifters / cams. Any thoughts?
I added 1/3 a quart of Valvoline High Mileage synthetic transmission fluid and it worked. When I posted this folks made comments stating old snake oil remedies do not work so I decided to recommend a chemical specifically designed to clean the lifters. Still had people posting comments discouraging use of chemical to clean the lifters. Transmission fluids have additional chemicals which are not in conventional oil to keep the transmission valve body free of sludge. This is why they clean valve lifters.

There are mesh screens in the oil lines on Toyota's which feed oil to the valve lifters, cams and heads. To thick of an oil oil may not pass through them if partially clogged with sludge. I run 5w20 which is one grade thicker than 0w20.
 

Registered
2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
Joined
534 Posts
300500- If you use an additive, can you please respond back letting us know what you did and if it worked?
There are folks here who say they do not work while in my case it obviously did.
 

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
I just saw this post and I'm a little concerned because I bought a 2012 about a year ago and it sounds the same 78k miles. I thought this was the normal sound for these engines. I had couple ES's shortly with this engine and they sounded about the same, maybe little quieter. This Highlander's previous owners never towed, no hitch, elderly 1 owner, and had all the oil changes. It also appears the user that posted about his 2013 idle in a different thread sounds the same as this one and mine. So my question is why is everyone saying this sounds like a bad engine? Can people post some audio of the hood open on their same gen (preferably if it's been running on 0w-20, unless they've been using that since '08 unlike the Avalon)? Almost wondering if I should trade it now if this is actual a serious engine issue. I had planned to keep it for over 300k miles.

Thanks
 

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
I think that motor was secretly a diesel! Lol. Mine does not sound like that... Was that motor tested at all? Hopefully you got one with the 90 day or 30,000 mi warranty.
Thanks also. Just saw your video of your engine start/run. Does the 2008 run 5w-30 or 5w-20 from the beginning.
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #47
300500- If you use an additive, can you please respond back letting us know what you did and if it worked?
There are folks here who say they do not work while in my case it obviously did.
After driving 2 weeks; I have taken oil sample and sent it to lab for analysis yesterday. I was initially planning only taking the oil sample but I realized oil looked very muddy brown color so I ended up changing the oil. First thing I did is to use OEM Toyota oil filter and switched both oil brand and viscosity from Pennzoil Platinum 0w-20 to Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5w-30. I switched oil brands because I always used M1EP without any issues before for years and increased the viscosity to help remedy any piston slap and considering summer is around the corner and 0w-20 is used mainly for fuel saving (which is not my priority even though I get 15-16mpg 馃槓).

After oil change, It ran much smoother but the slight knocking sound was still there. So I first added 200ml Valvoline Synthetic ATF-4 drove for a bit, observed no change, then added another 200ml drove around for a bit and observe no change. Next day, I added the remaining of ATF (totaling to 1QT) and drove around for 30-50 miles before doing the next oil change within same day. After driving for a while, I changed the oil again with Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5w-30 and OEM Toyota Oil Filter, and it did quite the engine bit more but slight knocking is still there at idle - and no change when revving from 800 to 1800 rpm.

Root cause seems to be - based on general consensus here too - is that engine I was sold has many more miles than 31K. Junkyard promised to sent me engine with 43k miles but sent me engine with over 100K miles instead and refusing the cover the labor. I am reluctant to do another swap because of the cost implications and the experience I had dealing with this specific junkyard (they tried to sell me the same engine I bought twice at first, and already asking for the engine with knocking sound to possibly to sell someone else). I'm considering all options, including legal, on how to proceed next. My plan for this engine though is to drive it with the sound as it is until it breaks apart (whenever that may be) as I have invested over $3.5K so far for swapping engine excluding time and stress.
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #48
I just saw this post and I'm a little concerned because I bought a 2012 about a year ago and it sounds the same 78k miles. I thought this was the normal sound for these engines. I had couple ES's shortly with this engine and they sounded about the same, maybe little quieter. This Highlander's previous owners never towed, no hitch, elderly 1 owner, and had all the oil changes. It also appears the user that posted about his 2013 idle in a different thread sounds the same as this one and mine. So my question is why is everyone saying this sounds like a bad engine? Can people post some audio of the hood open on their same gen (preferably if it's been running on 0w-20, unless they've been using that since '08 unlike the Avalon)? Almost wondering if I should trade it now if this is actual a serious engine issue. I had planned to keep it for over 300k miles.

Thanks
I don't think using 0w-20 is a guideline written in stone, especially current user manual recommends 5w-20 oil alongside. To my understanding, 0w grade oil is strictly recommended by manufacturers to improve fuel economy, therefore meeting emission requirements. Also, based on the readings I have done in various forums, Toyota also recommends 10w-30 oil for same 2GR-FE engine in Europe?

If the trade in will cost you more than $3.5K (avg. cost of used engine and labor) and if you like your current HL, my recommendation would favor keeping it but at the same time saving into separate fund just for engine swap in case of any failure.

Interesting read:

HL Manual:
329521
 

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
I don't think using 0w-20 is a guideline written in stone, especially current user manual recommends 5w-20 oil alongside. To my understanding, 0w grade oil is strictly recommended by manufacturers to improve fuel economy, therefore meeting emission requirements. Also, based on the readings I have done in various forums, Toyota also recommends 10w-30 oil for same 2GR-FE engine in Europe?
I posted this elsewhere and many owners of these up to 2018 even report engine sounding the same.

I do plan on going to 0w-30. I don't see anything wrong with a 0w on cold start, but the Avalons with this engine since 2005 used 5w-30 even in the 2012 owners manual and I've seen so many of them over 300k miles and run quiet and smooth. They also changed the oil every 5k via Toyota. I think combination of faster driving in the US 2500rpm+ on the highway and going 10k miles on mediocre blended synthetic from Toyota is not particularly good either. 30 weight and 5k intervals probably would have prevented the noisy idling as I've not seen on same engine in Avalons yet reported by many Highlander owners. That's just my thought, but good to know that most said their engine sounded like that ~ 10+ and only 2 said it was quieter.
 

Registered
2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
Joined
534 Posts
I used about a 1/3 quart of the transmission fluid. It has been in there about 2 months now (over 1500 miles) with no lifter noise or engine problems. If you decide to try it again, i would leave it in a while for the chemicals to break down the varnish in the lifters. It may also help unclog the screens in the 2 oil passages feeding oil to lubricate the lifters and cam bearings in the heads if clogged. There is a post saying how to change the screens if you want to try it.

Is you knocking noise coming from the under the engine or top of the engine? if under, it could be a loose bearing in which case nothing will fix this.
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
I used about a 1/3 quart of the transmission fluid. It has been in there about 2 months now (over 1500 miles) with no lifter noise or engine problems. If you decide to try it again, i would leave it in a while for the chemicals to break down the varnish in the lifters. It may also help unclog the screens in the 2 oil passages feeding oil to lubricate the lifters and cam bearings in the heads if clogged. There is a post saying how to change the screens if you want to try it.

Is you knocking noise coming from the under the engine or top of the engine? if under, it could be a loose bearing in which case nothing will fix this.

Thank you. Yes, I am planning on keep using 1/2QT ATF 500miles before doing each oil change. While doing the oil change after driving with transmission oil, I found some particles on a 1 day old oil filter. I am assuming it is breaking off the sludge inside the transmission - in that case, might take longer to clean

That's also a really good point. I will have to disconnect each ignition coil to see if it makes a difference. I didn't do that yet because of check engine light coming with the misfire once ignition coil removed.

1 day old filter, Oil contained 1QT transmission oil in it driven for a day:
329584
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #52
I posted this elsewhere and many owners of these up to 2018 even report engine sounding the same.

I do plan on going to 0w-30. I don't see anything wrong with a 0w on cold start, but the Avalons with this engine since 2005 used 5w-30 even in the 2012 owners manual and I've seen so many of them over 300k miles and run quiet and smooth. They also changed the oil every 5k via Toyota. I think combination of faster driving in the US 2500rpm+ on the highway and going 10k miles on mediocre blended synthetic from Toyota is not particularly good either. 30 weight and 5k intervals probably would have prevented the noisy idling as I've not seen on same engine in Avalons yet reported by many Highlander owners. That's just my thought, but good to know that most said their engine sounded like that ~ 10+ and only 2 said it was quieter.
I never understood 10K oil change intervals with mediocre dealer oil for the same combustion engine that has been around for decades. Its much cheaper to change the oil than ultimately changing the engine. There is also possibly dealer mixing up and and using conventional oil instead, which has been one of my concerns in the past and always brought my own oil to dealer and asked for empty containers with remaining oil back - to make sure they use the oil I brought in. I'd totally feel comfortable using 0w-30 synthetic oil all seasons. it may be harder to find compared to 5w-30 and marketed as fuel economy oil.
 

Registered
Joined
403 Posts
Here is a question you should consider. Does the 2GR-FE have lifters? But before you answer that question, ask yourself this. Is the 2GR-FE a pushrod type engine or does it use an overhead cam type engine? Guess which one the 2GR-FE is.
 

Registered
2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
Joined
534 Posts
Here is a question you should consider. Does the 2GR-FE have lifters? But before you answer that question, ask yourself this. Is the 2GR-FE a pushrod type engine or does it use an overhead cam type engine? Guess which one the 2GR-FE is.
You are correct in some sense. If you look it up on Rock Auto the section it is under states "valve lifter" while the actual title on the part is "hydraulic lash adjuster". It operates in the same manner- has an internal piston and valve which uses oil to take up the play in the valve train and eliminate noise.
If it gets gummed up or does not receive enough oil because the screen feeding the oil is partially clogged, it can not do its job and you get a ticking noise.

Link below shows the small moving parts inside the lash adjuster which can gum up.


 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
You are correct in some sense. If you look it up on Rock Auto the section it is under states "valve lifter" while the actual title on the part is "hydraulic lash adjuster". It operates in the same manner- has an internal piston and valve which uses oil to take up the play in the valve train and eliminate noise.
If it gets gummed up or does not receive enough oil because the screen feeding the oil is partially clogged, it can not do its job and you get a ticking noise.

Link below shows the small moving parts inside the lash adjuster which can gum up.


Thank you for explaining - good information here
 

Registered
2012 HL Ltd
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #56
Here is a question you should consider. Does the 2GR-FE have lifters? But before you answer that question, ask yourself this. Is the 2GR-FE a pushrod type engine or does it use an overhead cam type engine? Guess which one the 2GR-FE is.
First 2GR-FE engine here. are the pushrod type engines known to be louder by design? I am assuming its the latter of the two options
 

Registered
Highlander(s)
Joined
1,061 Posts
The old wives tale about ATF is just that. An old wives tale. ATF is not formulated to stand up to the extreme heat inside an engine (especially up around the pistons and stuff). This old myth got started WAY back in the late 40's and 50's and at the time MAY have been helpful. But it has long ago outlived it's usefulness especially on today's very stressed out engines compared to the lazy dirty engines of that day and age. At best it's just dumb at worst can cause more damage than you think it will help.
There is a valid reason 0w20 oil is specified over and above fuel economy. More having to do with flow characteristics. Someone actually put an excellent video up here specifically addressing all the armchair engineers on this. I forgot who and don't see the link at the moment.
Bottom line NOTHING you put in the crankcase will FIX a bad engine. NOTHING! OP it seems you may have a bad engine. All you can hope to do is mask that but you will not FIX it unless it's torn down and rebuilt.
If your goal is simply to mask it you may find less damage will occur if you simply use the CORRECT oil and turn up your radio. But bottom line you may be doing more harm than good here.
 

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
There is a valid reason 0w20 oil is specified over and above fuel economy. More having to do with flow characteristics. Someone actually put an excellent video up here specifically addressing all the armchair engineers on this. I forgot who and don't see the link at the moment.
Owners manual:
"An oil with a higher viscosity (one with a higher value) may be better suited if the vehicle is operated at high speeds, or under extreme load conditions.", so... no armchairing. All parts in the Avalon 2gr-fe are the same, which specifies 5w-30.
Considering most of us drive 70+ on highway these days, seems 30 is what Toyota is recommending unless you only drive in the city.
 

Registered
Corolla, Camry, Tundra, Camry, Avalon, Highlander, Venza, Highlander
Joined
3,904 Posts
Transmission fluids do not have any extra chemicals to clean an engine. That is an ol' wives tale. Since ATF doesn't have to deal with combustion byproducts, its has a lower dosage of detergents and dispersants when compared to cheap motor oil.

The 2gr in my '08 recommends 5w20 for non tow package and 5w30 for tow package. So, explain why the engine, when equipped with an oil cooler/heater, needs a thicker oil? I do miss the 5k mile recommended intervals. I've seen nothing but problems from automakers recommending longer intervals. My 2gr in the '11 is a different vehicle and Toyota recommends 5w30 only but some claim 5w20 backspec'd. The 2gr in the '16 recommends 0w20. And, there is no difference in these engines. The 08 and 11 recommend 5000 mile changes. The '16 recommends 10000 mile changes. In foreign markets, the 2gr can take 10w30, 15w40, 20w50..... There is no difference in the engines. So, weather permitting, you can use whatever grade you want.

And, there is no issue with thicker oil flowing thru the screens. Your 0w20 COLD is thicker than a 20w50 HOT.

No need for the Toyota oil filter and never has been... conventional cellulose media is slowing heading into obsolescence, about 30 years too late.

Can mask some noises with thicker oils. I run the gauntlet of high HTHS 5w30's, 0w40's 5w40's, 10w40's... in mine. Just consider weather/temps and don't go overboard. And, as always, run synthetic oil.

I only recommend synthetic oil. There is no 'magical' brand of oil. So, use whatever brands you want and there is no issue with alternating among the brands.

Conventional oil is slowly heading into obsolescence.... about 30 years too late.

If you think your engine is dirty, then shorten your oil change interval considerably, use quality current spec oils and synthetic media filters.

Clean your VVT screens. If they are dirty, then your maintenance is lacking. Pull a rocker cover and inspect for sludge. If there is any sludge, then your maintenance is lacking. You reap what you sow with your noisy dirty engine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highwayflyer

Registered
Joined
8 Posts
All of these replies are great, but it鈥檚 made me wonder about one thing: the possibility that two engines that roll off the same line, one after the other, are not 100% identical. I鈥檓 talking about machining and processing tolerances over time and the possibility that all motors of a certain batch are totally and completely identical. I would argue they are not, but I don鈥檛 know anyone on an assembly line that builds motors. So your motor might be bullet proof and quiet and yet another guy鈥檚 might be slightly 鈥渢ickier鈥, BUT then again we are discussing maintenance and the possibility someone was sold something that the other person was dishonest about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
41 - 60 of 61 Posts
Top