Engine Knocking

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  #1  
Old 12-09-13, 05:17 PM
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Engine Knocking

My husband called on the way home from work today and said his 1997 Toyota Camry's engine light came on.

A little later he heard a knocking noise.

I asked him about the oil, so he pulled over and checked it. It was low, so he stopped on the way home and got an oil change, but there was still knocking.

Tonight he told me that a few days last week, when he would pull out of the driveway and put the car in drive, the car would rev up instead of moving forward, then it would "catch" and move forward.

That only happened first thing in the morning, he said.

Any idea what's going on with this?

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-13, 06:06 PM
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Your husband doesn't sound very mechanically saavy. Did he take it to the dealer or independent shop to have the check engine light diagnosed?

Any idea what's going on with this?
The first step is having the codes read, a shop can do that for him and recommend a course of action for repairs. This is mostly a DIY site, but advice is also given. No offense, but your husband didn't seem to know enough to check the oil when he heard the knocking till he called you. I think you need a professional to diagnose this for you.
 
  #3  
Old 12-09-13, 06:27 PM
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Casual Joe,

I agree with you. That's why I was asking.....for advice.

We are fairly new to the area we live in, and we want to be sure a mechanic is being straight with us.

I followed my husband to the auto shop, and we left his car so they can look at it in the morning.

I'm a little hesitant because the shop owner, who was walking out the door when I called, said, "If the engine is shot, we might have a deal for you. A guy who works for me rebuilt a Toyota engine for his son. His son totaled the car right after his dad did that for him, but we saved the engine."

I asked him to please be honest with me and not try to sell me an engine I don't need. He said he wouldn't , and I hope he won't.

Is it possible that a timing belt could cause these problems AND make the check engine light come on?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-13, 06:44 PM
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How many miles on this vehicle?
Has it been serviced well in the past? Oil changed regularly, transmission fluid changed when required?
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-13, 06:50 PM
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2 Granddaughters,

It has 253,000 miles. I don't think my husband has had transmission fluid changed in this car in the last 5 or 6 years, and he has the oil changed every 3,000 miles. (For the record, I told him I thought he ought to be having it changed every 3 months even if he hasn't gone 3,000 miles. He drives it about 30 miles a day 5 days a week back and forth to work.)

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-13, 08:21 PM
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Donna, truly, there is no way of helping you over the internet. I'd suggest doing full diagnostics on the vehicle and requesting from shop to call you and inform on findings BEFORE any repairs are made. Write down any error codes, and let us know. We may help better than. Now - it's nothing but guesswork and grumpy posters chewing on your husband.
DO NOT enterprise any repairs until you consult with us. Say, my wife's car started misfiring in cylinder five yesterday. In about 15 minutes I had code read, replaced spark plug - same condition, got really mad at the car, pulled ignition coil off #5 and swapped it with #2 - and condition moved to #2. $100 later and new coil, runs like a razor again. Not bragging, just saying - pull codes 1st, ask us, we'll help. You can always fork for "rebuilt engine" later. ANYTHING can knock on a car, esp one with that many miles on it.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 08:31 PM
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Thanks Urkbyk.

I will post whatever codes they give me here tomorrow.

Will you be around here mid-morning? I appreciate someone with a pleasant personality.
 
  #8  
Old 12-09-13, 08:36 PM
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We are likely to have time difference. I am on PST.
Also, I have 4 hr educational seminar 8 to 12 tomorrow.
No worries, you just post codes here. Guys will help. We have some fine folks here and pleasant enough. I'll pitch in when I can. Main for you - you agree to pay for diagnostic, but no repairs to be done unless you authorize them. I am not sure I like your shop owner attitude though. He's seeding big mulla repairs into you.
 
  #9  
Old 12-10-13, 03:42 AM
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put the car in drive, the car would rev up instead of moving forward, then it would "catch" and move forward.
That sounds like more of a transmission problem than engine related .... so you might have more than one issue See what the mechanic says and then sit down and figure out if the vehicle is worth making the repairs.
 
  #10  
Old 12-10-13, 05:37 AM
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Is this car a 4 cyl or a V-6? Some of those engines were sludge prone. How long have you owned it?

https://www.google.ca/#q=1997+toyota+camry+oil+sludge
 
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Old 12-10-13, 06:02 AM
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Since nobody has addressed the timing belt question, I 'll hit that. No, pretty unlikely a timing belt would cause a knock. A knock, if we're talking heavy metallic sounding rap, would be main or rod bearing gone south OR a lack of lubrication. 2granddaughters makes an astute observation re: sludge. Possible you have something gunked up. I'm also in agreement with Mark about the engine revving before "catching". That's a tranny issue. Did anyone check the fluid level? Classic symptom of one that has been run low. If fluid and filter are good, it's likely a goner and I doubt the car would then be fixed economically. I know the 4 cylinder of that vintage was pretty much bullet-proof with proper maintenance (we had a '95); the V-6 maybe not quite as good, but still a strong motor.

Will be interesting to see what codes it spits out.
 
  #12  
Old 12-10-13, 07:24 AM
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when he would pull out of the driveway and put the car in drive, the car would rev up instead of moving forward, then it would "catch" and move forward.
I had that same symptom on a RWD GM vehicle many years ago, but noticed it only when the engine and transmission were warm and I was at a stop sign. Get ready to move forward and the engine would rev a bit and then drop into gear and move forward. Turned out to be a nearly plugged transmission oil filter and very dirty fluid. New filter and fluid and it was fine for several more years till I traded it. Transmissions were a bit beefier back then, I wish you luck with yours.
 
  #13  
Old 12-10-13, 01:18 PM
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We just got the call from the mechanic.

The car has a "dead miss". A couple of the ignition coils are burned up, and she's only firing on 3 cylinders.

We're glad that it wasn't the engine.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 04:57 PM
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We sometimes tend to lean toward worst-case scenarios when diagnosing/troubleshooting, but sometimes you get lucky.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 06:49 PM
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I guess, I jinxed it when I mentioned ignition coil I had replaced over Sunday?
But those are easy fix. They are $86 Reilly's (for my car) and take about 5 minute to replace on a 4 cyl engine. Like seriously, all you need is 10mm wrench and set of hands. On a six cylinder, as that's what yours sounds like, getting numbers 3 and five is a hurdle. Esp 3, as it's quite so covered by plenum.
Donna, .Shop is likely to tell you somewhere around $1200 for repair. This is why. They mark up ignition coils, I am assuming, to about $150 each=$450. To get to #3 and #5, if those are bad, they will tell you it's around $600, as they will tell you they need to remove plenum to do this. Plus whatever else they'll come up with and tax. Coils are $60 online, likely about same in store, or very close. Hopefully, those are front coils, as they are about ten minutes to replace all 3.
Honestly, I have not heard of THREE coils to go bad same time.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 07:14 PM
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Tow Guy, you are right, and I am ashamed to admit that I had this car in my mind with a dead engine and being sold for parts. It wasn't luck, but the grace of Almighty God.

Ukrbyk, they did the work today for $560.00, and we picked her up tonight. She's running great! Thanks to all of you on the forum for your help.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 04:08 AM
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Glad you got it back on the road! Did the transmission get checked out also? Hopefully it is just low on fluid although a dirty fluid/filter could also be a low cost fix. If the transmission itself is bad - won't be cheap
 
  #18  
Old 12-11-13, 05:58 AM
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Mark, I forgot to mention that. He said it was a little low on "tranny" fluid. I guess that's car repair guy lingo.
This whole thing has been a wake-up call to my husband about maintaining the car that so faithfully takes him to work every day. So that is a very good thing that came out of all of this.

I told my husband about something I read here on this forum about a Camry with 400K miles on it. really appreciate all of you sharing your experiences.

Does anyone know of a list - somewhere on this forum or elsewhere online -
that lists at what mileage or at how many months various proactive maintenance steps should be performed on a car this age?


Thanks again for all of your help guys!
 
  #19  
Old 12-11-13, 06:54 AM
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Fluids are something that should always be checked on a regular basis! especially as a vehicle gets some age on it. Whenever I buy an old car/truck I check the oil level every time I put gas in it, once you get to know the vehicle you can adjust how often you need to check the oil.

With the proper maintenance and repairs as needed, most any vehicle could last forever .... not that it would necessarily make financial sense. Assuming you don't intend to work on the vehicle yourself, having a mechanic that you trust to advise you as to what needs fixing now and what you should expect to do in the near future would be invaluable.
 
  #20  
Old 12-11-13, 07:02 AM
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Donna, you never did answer my question about "How long have you owned this vehicle".
 
  #21  
Old 12-11-13, 07:16 AM
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We've owned it 10 years. Why do you ask?

Also, someone asked..........it's a 4 cylinder.
 
  #22  
Old 12-11-13, 08:12 AM
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We've owned it 10 years. Why do you ask?

Also, someone asked..........it's a 4 cylinder.


I'm wondering as I'm trying to get a sense if you know the service history of the vehicle.

Vehicle Engine Sludge | Consumer Reports The 4 cylinder is a known sludge engine and you should keep up the recommended oil change interval with a good cleaning conventional motor oil.

The transmission fluid should be drained/refilled regularly (at manufacturer recommended interval) as well if you want to get the maximum life out of it.

Good luck.

Bob
 
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Old 12-11-13, 04:14 PM
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You can make that 4 cylinder go a looong way with proper maintenance. Good motor.

Have your door handles broken off yet? Pretty common failure item on that vintage.
 
  #24  
Old 12-11-13, 05:45 PM
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One has broken off partially in
the back. It's an interior handle. Is that what you meant.......interior?

I was just thinking today to ask on here if anyone has had any success with replacing that with a part from a junkyard. Also, the lid on the console between the two front seats is broken off. I wonder how hard that would be to replace?
 
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Old 12-11-13, 05:56 PM
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I asked him about the oil, so he pulled over and checked it. It was low, so he stopped on the way home and got an oil change, but there was still knocking.
The car has a "dead miss". A couple of the ignition coils are burned up, and she's only firing on 3 cylinders.
Also, someone asked..........it's a 4 cylinder.
I hope the mechanic was right, but I can definitively tell you that no 4 cylinder car will run on only 1 cylinder. Anyway, good luck and let us know once it's all fixed and running again.
 
  #26  
Old 12-11-13, 06:16 PM
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Casualjoe, only one cylinder was bad. It was fixed. We picked it up last night, and it's running great.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 08:14 PM
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Well well well. I am surprised, how good I am at estimates.
Here's a little Hx.
"A couple of the ignition coils are burned up, and she's only firing on 3 cylinders." As Toyota does NOT make 5 cylinder engines, "couple", aka "2" + "3 running"= 5, or it's a 6 cylinder engine and "couple" meant 3. Logical? Hence my estimate for SIX cylinder work.
Well, come to find - it's a FOUR cylinder. Which like I said before, takes 10-15 minutes to replace ONE coil, gosh, not even that. As it must have been ONE coil, not COUPLE, with it running on 3.
OK, so a coil for that vehicle is well, wild guess, $120 dealership, as they are $60 or so everywhere else.
$500 to replace a coil? Undo harness plug, 10 seconds, undo 10mm bolt, 20 seconds, pull coil out? Take new coil, 10 seconds, press it in, redo bolt, another 10 seconds, re connect harness. OK, guy was real slow and did it in TEN minutes. $500 for ten minutes labor?
I must be in really wrong business, we charge only $120 for HOUR of office time.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 08:35 PM
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$153.00 was for labor
The rest was for parts.

The receipt is downstairs in the car, but I can post more in detail later. Here is a note I made when the mechanic called yesterday:
$81.00 X2 for coils
73.82 for a wire set
32.68 filter
$5.38 - I think this was for a grommet
$6.79 X 4 for spark plugs

There was something else that was $10.54, but I don't remember what that was.

So you think we were overcharged urkbyk?
 
  #29  
Old 12-12-13, 03:33 AM
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All of us diyers think the shops charge too much A shop has a lot of expenses/overhead that they have to pay for before they ever make a dime. I don't remember the last time I paid a shop to work on a vehicle and have no idea what the going rate is. You could probably call around and get estimates for the same work to see if the price is inline with the competition. I [like many] diy most things because it saves me money and I get satisfaction from having done it myself ..... and did I mention it saves me money
 
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Old 12-12-13, 05:44 AM
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Casualjoe, only one cylinder was bad. It was fixed. We picked it up last night, and it's running great.
Great! I wasn't thinking clearly when I made that comment. Anyway, I am glad you got it all fixed up.
 
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