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Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 05:36PM
It's a long story about how I got roped into this car and it doesn't matter I guess. The engine clatters but not all the time. It's not rhythmic. It seems to maybe have a partial plastic-y sound. It's a big sound, not a tick. It does it at startup but not every time. It seems to quit after awhile.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 25, 2020 05:47PM
We had a 98 Camry that was making some engine noises that might have been similar, turned out to be the water pump.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 25, 2020 06:12PM
When's the last time the oil was changed?
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: deckeda
Date: April 25, 2020 06:22PM
Intermittent sounds can be less serious but harder to identify. A stethoscope might help.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 25, 2020 06:37PM
4 or 6 cylinder?
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 06:38PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
When's the last time the oil was changed?

It was changed but only driven a hundred miles over a year ago. My aunt had it and changed the oil in late 2018 but only drove it about a hundred miles in that time. It looks clear and is full.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: April 25, 2020 07:27PM
Change that oil first, but probably not going to help your noise at all. Are you sure it is an engine noise and not HVAC related? Perhaps a cooling fan? It also could be a bolt or nut that is loose on a bracket somewhere.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: lost in space
Date: April 25, 2020 07:55PM
Take note of when it happens, like high or low engine speed, after cold start or warm, under load or not, car in motion or not, when the engine is warmed up or not.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: April 25, 2020 08:08PM
Quote
lost in space
Take note of when it happens, like high or low engine speed, after cold start or warm, under load or not, car in motion or not, when the engine is warmed up or not.

Also, open the hood and have someone else crank the car then see if you can locate the general source of the sound.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 08:12PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Change that oil first, but probably not going to help your noise at all. Are you sure it is an engine noise and not HVAC related? Perhaps a cooling fan? It also could be a bolt or nut that is loose on a bracket somewhere.

No I'm not sure it's an engine noise, but for the first time I was able to locate it at the engine. It's mostly on the passenger side of the engine. I changed the PCV valve as it was sort of gasping for air it seemed like but that didn't help. The old one still rattled like it should. I'm
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: CW2V
Date: April 25, 2020 08:34PM
Does it have a secondary air pump?

Failing pump will grind/rattle during startup then shut off after a minute or two.

CW2V
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 09:00PM
Quote
CW2V
Does it have a secondary air pump?

Failing pump will grind/rattle during startup then shut off after a minute or two.

CW2V

I don't know anything about that.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: lost in space
Date: April 25, 2020 09:28PM
Another question: how does it run?



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: davester
Date: April 25, 2020 09:32PM
Use a poor man's stethoscope to zero in on exactly where the noise is. This is about a 3 to 4 foot long length of radiator hose, one end against your ear the other end searching for the noise. It sometimes helps to plug the other ear.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: CW2V
Date: April 25, 2020 09:36PM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
CW2V
Does it have a secondary air pump?

Failing pump will grind/rattle during startup then shut off after a minute or two.

CW2V

I don't know anything about that.

A secondary air pump recycles exhaust back though the intake to help reduce emissions on cold start-up.

My Audi would sometimes rattle on start-ups until the pump finally failed.

Is the sound more of a repeating clunk rather than a tick?

CW2V
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 09:48PM
Quote
CW2V
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
CW2V
Does it have a secondary air pump?

Failing pump will grind/rattle during startup then shut off after a minute or two.

CW2V

I don't know anything about that.

A secondary air pump recycles exhaust back though the intake to help reduce emissions on cold start-up.

My Audi would sometimes rattle on start-ups until the pump finally failed.

Is the sound more of a repeating clunk rather than a tick?

CW2V

There are several sounds that concern me. This one is more like gravel in a box; random and clunky, not a tick. There is another sound sort of like a zipper. I hope that's not the timing belt. It only has 80,000* miles but I assume time degrades the belt.

* According to the speedometer. I bought this from my aunt but I know nothing about its of its owner's history.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2020 09:53PM by Dennis S.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 09:52PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
4 or 6 cylinder?

4.

2.4 liters I think.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 09:55PM
Quote
lost in space
Another question: how does it run?

It runs pretty good except it's underpowered on hills in town.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: lost in space
Date: April 25, 2020 11:06PM
If you remove the serpentine belt, not the timing belt, and run the engine for a short period of time, it could tell you whether it’s the belt, PS pump, AC, etc.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: CW2V
Date: April 25, 2020 11:12PM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
CW2V
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
CW2V
Does it have a secondary air pump?

Failing pump will grind/rattle during startup then shut off after a minute or two.

CW2V

I don't know anything about that.

A secondary air pump recycles exhaust back though the intake to help reduce emissions on cold start-up.

My Audi would sometimes rattle on start-ups until the pump finally failed.

Is the sound more of a repeating clunk rather than a tick?

CW2V

There are several sounds that concern me. This one is more like gravel in a box; random and clunky, not a tick. There is another sound sort of like a zipper. I hope that's not the timing belt. It only has 80,000* miles but I assume time degrades the belt.

* According to the speedometer. I bought this from my aunt but I know nothing about its of its owner's history.

My secondary air pump sounded like that. Like a house fan blade wobbling, randomly clipping the fan guard. Sometimes like a box of gravel going through a vacuum. Sometimes, nothing. Since it turns on with the start of the car, and shuts off after 1-2 minutes, the sounds would just "go away."

But it did set off the check engine light, so the code could be checked. Once diagnosed, I just let it fail as it was not necessary for the car to drive.

YMMV

CW2V
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 25, 2020 11:34PM
CW2V may have the best response. I'm only familiar with the Toyota V6 on the Camry. Oil passages gunking up and bad filtration could cause noises.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2020 11:49PM
Can a mechanic tell if it's a secondary air pump withou hearing it since it will be hard to leave it overnight so he can hear it at startup?

If it's valves or anything serious internally, would it be making a rhythmic noise all the time?
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 26, 2020 02:40AM
valves sometimes quiet as the engine warms up, and the oil thins out. Conventional oil and infrequent use can cause the oil to oxidize and create "varnish" Really common problem on the old school hydraulic valve lifters with conventional oil. We always called it the "Buick rattle" as they were more susceptible due to the engine's lubrication design.

a 15 oz bottle of Rislone (yellow bottle last time I looked) is loaded with extra detergent additives that can dissolve the gum/varnish and keep it in suspension. The 32 oz bottle is the same stuff, but half strength. It is for use during an oil change. The concentrated version is half a quart, and can be added to a full crank case. No worry that it can cause harm. I always use some when I get a new to me car/truck/boat. Sometimes multiple times. Cheap to try.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2020 02:42AM by Racer X.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: DP
Date: April 26, 2020 07:41AM
I think it's just time for a new car! Sorry, but any car that's 22 years old is going to need more and more care.





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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: PeterW
Date: April 26, 2020 08:03AM
Dude, this is his new car. His old one was a pos Buick that was the subject of numerous diagnostic threads.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Cary
Date: April 26, 2020 10:16AM
Quote
DP
I think it's just time for a new car! Sorry, but any car that's 22 years old is going to need more and more care.

On the face of it, this statement seems reasonable. Any car will need maintenance as it ages.

When you dig in, though, there are so many variables that a blanket statement like this has no basis in fact.

Firstly - are you privy to the financial situation? It's great to blithely say, "Get new". It may not be feasible, or desireable.

OK, "So get newer" would be your next response. Again, it's not so cut and dried. What's the budget for this new/used car?

For instance, assuming a given price point, would you rather have a 22 year old, soundly engineered, below average mileage, known for reliability car that has been maintained properly - or - a 5 year old, very high mileage, poorly maintained, poorly engineered car?

Add in the fact that parts are generally inexpensive for a 4 cylinder Camry. Add in the fact that they are generally easy to work on. Add in the fact that that 22 year old Camry has a lot less computer controlled systems to diagnose/worry about.

Yes, you may need to do shocks/brakes/suspension bushings/tires/etc. You may have to on the 5 year old car, also.

You have to compare apples to apples. If you can afford a low mileage newer used car, or a new car, then that's a different discussion. But dismissing a car just because it's older is short sighted.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2020 12:56PM by Cary.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 26, 2020 11:05AM
Thank you Cary for saying that so I didn't have to. In addition to forced frugality, there are almost no cars to choose from in this area that fit my parameters. I only drive about 5,000 miles a year.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Cary
Date: April 26, 2020 12:57PM
No problem, Dennis. Just keep on the maintenance and repairs - that car will last a long time.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Ammo
Date: April 26, 2020 01:15PM
Lots of good ideas to try, but it might be quicker just to find a mechanic who is familiar with make and model.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 26, 2020 02:00PM
Quote
Cary
No problem, Dennis. Just keep on the maintenance and repairs - that car will last a long time.

I have two 1998 Camry's (4 cyl LE version), both were inherited from my inlaws. They were built like tanks then, and were extremely popular during that model's life (1997-2001), lots of parts available in salvage yards.

You do have one expensive item coming up at 90K, the timing belt, unless the water pump fails before then. For labor reasons, the water pump and timing belt get replaced at the same time.

Got one in 2008 with 53K miles on it, now it has 210K, water pump was making noises at 76K miles, replaced it and the timing belt early. Replaced both again at 180K miles. Radiator failed at 169K miles, lower control arms worn out at 209K miles.

The other one we got in 2010 with 48K miles, it now has 117K. Replaced timing belt at water pump at 92.5K miles.

Normal routine things like oil changes, brakes, batteries, tires, air filters, plugs, etc.

Both also had a plastic clip break in the door that prevented the outside handle from opening the door, really difficult to reach when repairing.

And both also had a problem with the ignition key cylinder, it would act like the key didn't fit, but after repeated removal and insertions of the key it would eventually turn. The lock cylinder uses split wafers that can get misaligned as they wear. Once I was able to get the key to turn I could remove the cylinder (actually fairly easy to do), and found a locksmith that works on ignition cylinders that could repair it. I had also purchased a cheap replacement cylinder from an auto parts store, to use temporarily. I asked the locksmith which would be a better solution, re-keying the replacement, or repairing the OEM cylinder. He said that he preferred to work on OEM, they're better parts.

Sometimes when looking for parts you need to be careful, they were assembled in both Japan and USA (you can tell from the VIN, if it starts with a J it's Japan). Both of mine were from Japan, and there are some differences. The hoods and windshield washer nozzles in the hood are different between them. That's one thing I recall.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: April 26, 2020 02:01PM
I am going to throw another possibility in to consider.

A cracked exhaust manifold could also cause a sort of tappy sound as air rushes out of the crack. As the engine warms, the metal expands and the crack gets smaller, making the sound less noticeable.

I like to listen to classic "Click & Clack" podcasts and they recently covered this issue on a similar vintage Camry. Apparently its fairly common for those.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: April 26, 2020 02:15PM
It might also be the timing belt tensioner. They go bad over time and can cause rattles or squealing.

On a 22 year old car, I would be concerned about the condition of any rubber components regardless of mileage. Age can be more detrimental than mileage, especially on low mileage vehicles. A colleague of mine spent a ton of money replacing all sorts of rubber components on his wife's car which she only drove a few thousand miles per year.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 26, 2020 03:52PM
Quote
Ammo
Lots of good ideas to try, but it might be quicker just to find a mechanic who is familiar with make and model.

The two mechanics I use both have me bad advice a few months ago. One of them was the first time I used him, and he didn't seem substantial. My regular favorite mechanic said I had a bad harmonic balancer from the sound he heard when I drove up a couple times. I had it fixed by the first guy I mentioned and it wasn't the harmonic balancer. But I think I'll have to use him regardless. The only other mechanic is at the Chevy dealer and they are way overpriced.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: April 26, 2020 05:44PM
At the risk of asking an inherently-absurd question, is there a Camry owners club online that you could turn to with your questions?



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 26, 2020 06:24PM
Quote
DP
I think it's just time for a new car! Sorry, but any car that's 22 years old is going to need more and more care.

you should meet my '72 Skylark droptop. I got it in 2004, and have done nothing but oil changes, transmission fluid chance and a tune-up once. Same battery. Yes, same battery. And it was used and came with the car. The battery is on a multi stage battery maintainer when the car sits dormant.

I also have a '99 Sable. Air filter and some synthetic oil changes and tires once, since I got it in about 2005? Oh, I had to clean carbon out of the EGR passages. $4 gasket for that one, and a phillips screwdriver to dig through the carbon, which was blasted away with a can of carb cleaner.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 26, 2020 07:09PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
At the risk of asking an inherently-absurd question, is there a Camry owners club online that you could turn to with your questions?

I will. I just like the tone and quality and speed of the answers I get here.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: April 26, 2020 07:44PM
I’ll be interested to hear you if can locate such an animal; the notion of any Camry owners having enough passion for their cars to start an owners group seems unlikely, hence the preface to my previous comment.



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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 26, 2020 08:06PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
I’ll be interested to hear you if can locate such an animal; the notion of any Camry owners having enough passion for their cars to start an owners group seems unlikely, hence the preface to my previous comment.

I'm pretty sure there are Camry groups that are a subgroup of Toyota groups.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 26, 2020 09:50PM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
I’ll be interested to hear you if can locate such an animal; the notion of any Camry owners having enough passion for their cars to start an owners group seems unlikely, hence the preface to my previous comment.

I'm pretty sure there are Camry groups that are a subgroup of Toyota groups.

Toyotanation.com

I've recommended that group on multiple occasions. Well worth perusing and joining.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: April 27, 2020 07:52AM
I'd still bet you're hearing the water pump bearings failing...as another noted, when replacing the water pump be sure to replace the timing belt as well.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: April 27, 2020 08:03AM
Quote
Bill in NC
I'd still bet you're hearing the water pump bearings failing...as another noted, when replacing the water pump be sure to replace the timing belt as well.

If you're going to do this, you might as well replace the tensioner as it's 22 years old.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Buck
Date: April 27, 2020 10:52AM
The automotive knowledge here may surpass Mac knowledge.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: mikebw
Date: April 27, 2020 01:46PM
Quote
Dennis S
This one is more like gravel in a box; random and clunky, not a tick.

Gravel in a box you say? I would have used those exact words to describe the sound that my Cressida made when the bolts holding the torque converter to the output of crankshaft started falling out into the bellhousing of the transmission! Of course a Camry would not have a longitudinal transmission like the Cressida, but I imagine a similar thing *could* happen.

Try listening from below or different sides of the engine to see if it is any different.
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Re: Engine clattering in 1998 Camry
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 27, 2020 10:15PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
I’ll be interested to hear you if can locate such an animal; the notion of any Camry owners having enough passion for their cars to start an owners group seems unlikely, hence the preface to my previous comment.

I'm pretty sure there are Camry groups that are a subgroup of Toyota groups.

Toyotanation.com

I've recommended that group on multiple occasions. Well worth perusing and joining.

Thanks.
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