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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 99 5sfe Camry with just shy of 160k miles and it's making a slight popping sound at idle that comes from the tailpipe. It's nothing loud, just noticeable if you're right next to the exhaust and listening for it. It's perhaps like the tell-tale sign of a burnt valve, but the engine and power seem to be pretty good. The idle itself is slightly rough, especially when the engine is cold. At temperature I'd say it's perfectly fine. I'm in Minnesota so I'm not sure how much of that is that cold is really cold and how much of it is a possible issue. It's also seemingly slightly slow to turn over, but again that might just be how cold it is here right now.

Could this be caused by the exhaust sipping air from a crack somewhere in the system? I did have an aftermarket flex pipe welded in a while back after mine was torn, plus my mounts are original and while I've not been able to simulate much movement from them there's some vibration at idle and I'm sure they're less than perfect.

The only code I have is a P0441 insufficient EGR flow code I've had for a while (going to fix it in the Spring). I also just replaced some Bosch plugs I put in a while back (whoops) with some NGK plugs. There was some carbon on the outgoing plugs, but nothing too crazy.

I've searched around and around and I keep talking myself into and out of different things. Exhaust leak? Plugged cat? Burnt valve? I'm pretty good at replacing parts but diagnostics is where I can get a bit lost, which brings me here.

Based on what I've provided and whatever else you're curious about, do you have any suggestions on what to check or replace? This car doesn't get a lot of use (I often just drive it once a week, but in those cases I make sure to let it get and stay warm for a while) but that may change in the spring so I'd like to figure out if this engine is still in decent shape or not.

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