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Toyota Camry Hybrid Rattles, Bumps, & Squeaks



  • acco20acco20 Posts: 208
    The service dept. has access to the internet....have you had them listen to the youtube video???
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Well I was going to say a cat got in there, but I didn't hear a screech. Did you open the hood and watch the engine when it did this to see where the noise was centralized? That would be the most helpful on this kind of problem.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Has it repeated since the service department couldn't hear it? If it hasn't, maybe there was something under the hood that got thrown off of where ever it was stuck. It sure sounded like something flapping around on a belt

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  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the responses.

    Yes the service department watched the video and they were pretty surprised by the sound, enough so that they forwarded the link to various folks in their department and apparently to Toyota.

    Looking back, I wish I had opened the hood and then turned the car on (instead of looking with the car off). Our thought process at the time was we didn't want to create more of a problem having it running.

    The car is still at the dealer waiting for a response from Toyota. If they don't have any other ideas, I'll pick it up and know to pop open the hood while running if it happens again.
  • mcastmcast Posts: 1
    I was wondering if there has been any sort of resolution on this issue. My wife just complained about this just this morning. It happened once about 3 months ago and when I called the dealer to find out if they were aware with such a problem they basically told me that all engines vibrate. Right then I knew what I was going to dealing with. It hadn't done it since, except for today. As I searched through the internet, I ran onto your post, so if you find something out please post.
    Thanks for documenting your issue...
  • rover13rover13 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the video. About two months ago, my 2007 Hybrid Camry made exactly the same sounds and was shaking. It did that when the gas engine started in the morning. I turned off the car, considered my options, and started the car again. It worked fine and has been fine since then. But that metal-on-metal chattering was not a sound easy to forget. And the shaking suggested the car was suffering a calamity.

    I love the car. It is smooth and quiet. I think it is a brilliant invention. But the fact that you could make a video of exactly what happened with my car makes me think there is a problem that I hope Toyota will help us fix.
  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    Interesting several others have experienced the same loud fluttering I did. The dealer service never found the problem. They forwarded my video to a Toyota Field Technical Specialist and he said something like "there is a flexible coupling between the trans axle and the engine, and when you stop the vehicle right when the engine comes on, the injectors are still spraying fuel in there and it can do what you are talking about." The FTS had the service dept do "a couple tests on it" but apparently nothing came back out of the ordinary so they had me pick it up.

    I have been driving it for just about 2 weeks now and the issue has not returned, but my wife doesn't want to drive it and I keep wondering if and when it will resurface.

    I have considered trying another service center (there are a few different Toyota dealers around here), but wonder if it is worth the hassle. Is there anyone at Toyota we should contact?
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    The TCH is supposed to use zero weight oil. Is it possible that a heavier weight oil is the source of the unusual sound ?
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I highly doubt that, the noise and vibration is external to the engine itself. I have blown a few engines in my time, they don't make that kind of noise once, and then run quiet. :)
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    edited April 2010
    How do you know it's external to the engine ?
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    How do you know it's external to the engine ?

    That's easy, the noise it made, if it were internal, there would be parts sticking out of the block by now. Any engine that makes that kind of noise, will never run quiet again if it was internal. Like I said, I blew a few motors in my time, and worked on them for a living for quite a few years, you get attuned to certain sounds. Besides, the second part, the vibration that accompanied the noise, engines that make noise on start up, don't vibrate, they clatter, or blow apart, but never do they make noise and vibrate, then start up and run smooth afterwards, it is just not possible. My guess is an issue between the ICE and the electric motor used to spin up the ICE, if one is out of phase with the other, it can do exactly what was described.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    Lets suppose the noise was due to a heavier weight oil. As the engine heats up, the oil becomes more viscous and the engine now runs fine. Where do, you get your oil changed ?
  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    We've gotten the oil changed at the dealer every time. We've taken it in for all recommended service in the manual.

    Someone else told me they thought it could be "the starter" (although not knowing exactly how the engine starts in the hybrid) and the explanation that pat85 has of "an issue between the ICE and the electric motor used to spin up the ICE" sounds the most plausible to me right now.
  • I was just wondering if you've ever had a resolution on this. I just had this happen to me on Sunday. I have a 2008 Camry Hybrid. I just had the 5,000 mile service done last week and have always done everything on time, at the dealer. Car has 42,000 miles on it. I took it to the dealer yesterday morning and played your video for them to show them what it sounded like. The mechanic got it on the lift and saw that the water pump was leaking coolant. Since they couldn't replicate the sound (it's been fine since making the noise) they said that the faulty water pump could have caused the noise. They replaced it under the powertrain warranty at no charge. I'm not convinced that it was caused by a water pump. I'm of the opinion that the water pump was damaged by the engine shaking violently.

    I know it's been a while since you posted this, but if you get this and have had this happen since or ever found out what was wrong, please let me know. I drive a lot for work and now I'm afraid that I'll end up stranded somewhere in a car that is supposed to be one of the most reliable out there. Let me know, thanks.
  • I saw that video and responded that I had exactly the same experience with my 2007 Camry Hybrid. I am happy to tell you that the problem has not yet occurred again. I would be even happier if Toyota would tell us what causes the problem.
  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    tkethumper, I have not had this happen again. The dealer service never found anything wrong. Just prior to this happening to me in March, I had twice turned the car on, moved it a short distance before the gas engine turned on and turned the car off. As I hit the power button to turn it off both times, the gas engine started to kick in for a fraction of a second. (I was backing the car out of the garage in the morning and back in garage in the afternoon.) I told the dealer this and they thought the car should be designed to handle this. But the Field Technical Specialist did mention "when you stop the vehicle right when the engine comes on, the injectors are still spraying fuel in there and it can do what you are talking about."

    So I am wondering did you (or anyone else that experienced this issue) previously shut the car off just as the engine was turning on?
  • Yes. I was visiting my dad for the weekend. I parked the car Friday night, then got up Saturday and had to move it to the end of the driveway so he could get his car out. I didn't touch it again until Sunday morning when I started it up to drive 3 hours home. When I moved it down the driveway (about 15-20ft) the gas enginer either didn't come on or just came on when I shut it off. However, I've done this before and never had an issue like this. Maybe it was just that exact timing like you mentioned. It hasn't happened since and has been running smooth. I've been careful since to only shut it off when the gas engine has been running or I'm in full electric mode.

    I appreciate the response. I'm relieved to hear that it hasn't happened again. I've been going back and forth all week about whether or not to trade this in and get a new car before it becomes a major issue. I love the car and have had no problems other than this and the dealer putting a gash in my leather seat during a service visit(which they replaced free of charge). Hopefully we've discovered what causes it and can avoid it now. A scary lesson, but nevertheless, a lesson learned.
  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    Very interesting that you also just had the car on for a short time with the gas engine perhaps just starting up when you turned it off. That sounds like the common item. Like you I am careful not to shut it off until the engine has turned on and been running at least 5 seconds. This seems like a corner case that Toyota didn't test fully; I wish they could reproduce it so others wouldn't have the same problem.
  • Very happy (not really though) to see that I am not the only one with this issue; and like some of you have experienced, Toyota service techs still are unable to provide a reason or solution as of this writing. I currently have my vehicle at the dealership and will get them to watch the video. However, it is really unnerving to see after these many years they have not found a definitive cause given its clear chain of events. Push the break in, push the power button, wait for the ICE to kick in and then bang there is your noise. It seems like such a small area to inquire into? However, I guess I would like to say that in my case the video was essentially identical to the noise and steps taken in video; however, I did let the car run a little longer and the thunking sound bogged down to where the car almost sputtered off, but then quickly started to rev back up which the thunking also did as well until the point where the engine started running like normal and the noise stopped. I then smelled kind of a gasoline/smoke scent in the cabin and saw a little white smoke go out my tailpipe, much like you would see if you overchoked a lawnmower/tractor. So there may be some validity to the gas injector theory mentioned earlier. However, with such a violent thunk/shake of the vehicle it has to be causing harm to something which will most likely lead to costly repair or leaving a loved one stranded somewhere someday. I'd like to get a list or number of folks that have experienced this same issue (I believe I saw approximately 570 people have viewed the You Tube video) and take this issue up the food chain a little further as I feel this really is not an acceptable operation quirk. Thank you for your posts and would appreciate any further insight or possible remedy.
  • pdxsk8pdxsk8 Posts: 8
    @ikaikamute, I originally reported this issue here back almost exactly a year ago and posted the video on YouTube. Since then my wife said it briefly happened once (where it started shaking after the ICE kicked in). Based on what the service department recommended, she planned to let it run instead of shutting it off, however it went away after a couple seconds and then the car seemed fine.

    @ikaikamute, It sounds like you let it run and got more symptoms. Had you previously started the car only to shut it off just before or just after the ICE kicked in? This seems to be a common item between my case and at least one other reported in this forum. Besides you and I, I counted three others that reported the issue: user "mcast" had it happen a couple times, "rover13" reported it once, and "tkethumper" reported it once and also had previously shut off car quickly. Also possibly a fourth on YouTube, user "diggitydo41" said they had the same issue.
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