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Cricket Sound from Engine
September 12, 2007
I own a 2007 Corolla LE with 800 miles on it.

I am hearing this low cricket-like sound from my engine bay. It is soft but definitely audible if paying attention. It only happens after the car is warmed up (ie - 10 mins of driving). It is worst on idle/neutral, and when I drive, it is masked mostly by normal engine noise.

Can someone let me know what this sound is?


September 12, 2007#1
The first thing I'd do is poke round and see if its just the fuel injectors. They do click.

September 12, 2007#2
Could be the serpentine belt making noise. The belt and belt tensioner on this generation of Corolla are known to chirp if they are worn or have any debris on the belt and pulleys. Happens at cold startup or after the engine has warmed up a bit.

You can give it a quick test by squirting the belt with a little water when it is making noise. If the noise goes away - they check the belt to see if it needs replacement. In some cases, you have to replace the belt tensioner - factory warranty may cover this (some have had the dealer replace both the belt and tensioner under warranty).

September 12, 2007#3
Do they normally click as if it was a cricket sound? Does it also click constantly after warm up?

September 12, 2007#4
I'll give it a few more miles to see if the problem persists. I really dont see how a new corolla with only 800 miles on it could have a worn least I hope that is unlikely.

Is there a way to check the belt condition visually for tension and wear?

September 12, 2007#5
Yes, you can turn the belt over and inspect it for cracks or missing ribs. Some cracks will be present - but if those cracks are quite numerous or very deep, then the belt will have to be replaced.

The amount of miles on the car, unfortunantly, doesnt really factor into this. Possible it was a manufacturing defect in the belt itself or the belt tensioner is frozen, through corrosion or mechanical damage, and not providing the providing the correct belt tension. I've personally went with an aftermarket belt (Goodyear vs the OEM Bando belt) on my Matrix to eliminate a squeaking belt issue.

There are also some vacuum valves for the emissions system that makes clicking, ticking, hissing noises, sometimes chirping noises. Might help to take the car on an extended trip and just drive it out - as a 2007 model with 800 miles, may be a function of not being driving enough.

September 13, 2007#6
thanks for the response.

and these criketting/chirping noises are considered normal from the emissions system?

does breaking-in the car (ie - driving it more) normally result in the reduction of noises usually? isnt the new condition as good as it gets?

September 14, 2007#7
The VSV in the intake system can make a heck of a lot of noise. Especially when people opt to upgrade to an aftermarket setup - actually amplifies the noise. I'd double check the belt tensioner though - that is most common weak point in the newer Corollas.

Another possibility is the DBW system on the newer Corollas - if the servo is not lubricated enough or if the existing lubrication dried up - could cause it to make some noise. That would be a dealer diagnosis - as it is a pretty expensive piece, be easy to damage it accidentally.

Sometimes it is just a matter of driving the car more and see. The mechanical bits on a brand new car actually work better with more use - a car that gets driven more often will have a greater turn over of fluids, experience temperature cycles, and properly break-in. Though, not much break-in period is needed in newer cars, still a good idea to run fresh fluids often through the car.

Example, even if you dont drive it at all - should still change the fluids on a regular basis. Engine oil is a good example - should be changed, at the very minimum, every 5000 miles or every 6 months - whichever comes first.

September 19, 2007#8
The thing is that it doesnt' start makign this noise until after a few minutes when the car has warmed up. Does this limit the possibilities?

September 22, 2007#9
I am pretty sure it is not coming from the belts as I can hear it directly from the engine. Again, I can only hear it after the car is warmed up. If I listen carefully (under all the normal engine hum and mechanical clicks), I can hear the cricketing sound. I believe the cricketting sound emanates from the engine and propagates through the ventalation ducts.

Can someone please advise as to what this sound is? Can someone check if they can hear it from their car?

September 30, 2007#10
actually the sound ended up going away. i guess you were right about breaking-in the car. thanks again for your diagnosis!

October 2, 2007#11
Good to hear that the noise went away - maybe mixing in some long distance trips every once and a while will keep the noise away.

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