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Discussion Starter #1
My Piston Slap is not just a cold weather issue..... and I think its getting worse.

All summer long (regardless of the outside temp) I heard that familiar "diesel-like" knocking noise until the engine is completely warmed up. At least the engine warmed up quickly with ambient temps over 70. Now the cooler (50 in the morning) weather is back and the knocking persists way too long. I'm not looking forward to the upcoming NJ winter.

I also believe my "first time in the morning" problem now occurs whenever the engine has had a chance to cool down.

I keep reading other accounts of Piston Slap, but they seem limited to cold weather starts. I'm curious if anyone else is experiencing Piston Slap like I am.
 

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Hey Bill,
I live in Florida and I still have the piston slap issue too. Even here where the temps range from a low of 40F in the Winter to over 100F in the Summer the van will make that all too familiar sound at first start up until it reaches normal operating temp. Lucky for me in that it usually goes away by the time I reach the main road out of my sub division, about a mile or so. I have found that using a 5w-30 oil seems to work best at minimizing the sound but it is still there. :-\ I have about 135K mi on the van now and the sound has remained constant (during warm up) and hasn't changed as far as I can tell. Otherwise, I have had no other problems with the van and have really grown to enjoy it. :)
 

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Bill, as a result of your complaining about the engine noise, didn't Toyota address your concern by giving you a free 8 year/125K mile platinum extended warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did get a free extended warranty and I fully intend to run 'er as long as she will run.

That said, I'm still curious how widespread and severe the problem is. It appears that tbalon has symptoms almost identical to mine.
 

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its annoying but its not a problem, all of them are doing the same noise, its not only at toyota, you can ear that at GM and lexus too, its inherent to the design, short skirt piston is the main cause apparently.

Just forget about it ;-)
 

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Bill J said:
I did get a free extended warranty and I fully intend to run 'er as long as she will run.

That said, I'm still curious how widespread and severe the problem is. It appears that tbalon has symptoms almost identical to mine.
The noise is NOT a problem or a symptom of a problem, it is a characteristic. Toyota has tried to reassure you that it is NOT a problem by confidently standing behind it for 8 years or 125000 miles.
Since you last complained about it, did you think that the characteristic noise was going to go away by itself? Do you think that Toyota will replace the engine before it blows? Do you think that a new engine will not ALSO have this same noise?
The problem is YOU Bill. You are obsessing and loosing sleep over something that you can't do anything more about (other than sell the van). You already complained enough so that you got Toyota to give you a LONG extended warranty and the warranty they gave you covers MUCH more than just the engine! You were MORE than fairly compensated for having to listen to the noise that you don't like.
Like several of us have already told you... either turn your radio up, quit your complaining, and run it till it blows... or if the noise is something that you simply can't live with, sell the van and get something else. Life is too short to loose sleep over something trivial like this, there are too many far more important things to worry about!
 

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I think this topic would be better addressed by the experts at Bob is the oil guy, this should generate pages of posts. It also would be helpful to include the results of an oil analysis or two.
 

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Are we sure that it is piston slap? My '04 Sienna made that noise when the engine was cold since day one and figured it was piston slap but now I am not so sure. A few months ago I had the belts changed including the T-belt, tensioner, and water pump. I wasn't expecting it but the noise seems to be gone.
Stan
 

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skrol said:
Are we sure that it is piston slap? My '04 Sienna made that noise when the engine was cold since day one and figured it was piston slap but now I am not so sure. A few months ago I had the belts changed including the T-belt, tensioner, and water pump. I wasn't expecting it but the noise seems to be gone.
Stan
Well Stan it seems to be the prevailing theory on the net, the only other thing that I think it may be related to is the VVT-i (Vairable Valve Timing) since Toyota has admitted to having some trouble with that ( TSB was issued on this) but so far as I know it only pertains to the 2007 and later Sienna equipped with the 3.5L V6 and other vehicles equipped with this same engine.
:-\
 

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To me, the real issue is not that Bill's engine suffers from piston slap. We know that short skirt pistons are prone to it. I hear it when cold on my '08 Sienna (2GR), and as a Subaru owner as well, this discussion has been all the rage for better than 10 years. My Outback 'diesels along' for the first few minutes on every cold start.

The real question is why so much variability engine to engine. Some sound sweet, some clang for a few minutes, some never quiet down. Up until around 2005 or so, Subaru would install oversized pistons in engines that didn't quiet down after about 15 minutes. There were reports that the moly coating on the skirt ends were indeed scuffing on the some of these engines, yet the piston bores remained unscathed. After a while, Subaru started pushing back on rebuilds, saying that the long term evidence showed that it was just noise, and little more than that.

Recently, at least one mechanic in the fleet business has reported that 200k+ mile Subi engines teardowns are indeed showing bore scuffing and some compression/oil issues at the spots where oscillation contact occurs. Still, that's beyond the 98% percentile of vehicle life, so maybe the net here is that it's annoying but of little real consequence.

Personally, I can understand how Bill feels (free extended warranty or not) if my car sounded like that. When you pay $30k+ for a Toyota, you expect better.
 

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The 3.3L engine in my 2005 makes a noticeable rattling noise (not a knock or ping, kind of like a rattle snake's rattle) at between 2400 and 2800 RPMs when the engine is cold for about the first mile or so. It has been making this noise since day one and has not gotten any worse. I fussed at the dealer about the noise shortly after I bought it and they said that the noise is normal. The noise is apparently coming from the VVT mechanism. At the time, I drove another 2005 and it made the same noise. My sister's 2004 Camry V/6 also makes the same noise but not as loud as mine. Since I personally heard it in two other vehicles with the same engine I consider the noise to be a characteristic of the 3.3L engine series and not a "problem".
My brother has a Corolla 1.8L that has made a cold piston slap noise since he bought it new. His car now has over 200k miles on it. It is still running strong and only burns about 1/2 quart of oil between changes.
ALL vehicles from ALL manufacturers make characteristic noises. The fact that in some of the same make/model/year vehicles these characteristic noises are more pronounced than in others can be chalked-up to inevitable (and unavoidable) variations in manufacturing tolerances from one vehicle to the next. In this regard Toyota has always been consistently better than any other auto manufacturer.
 

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As a current owner of an '08, I just joined as a new Forum member. The reason I joined was because of my concern about this engine noise while cold and was checking to see if a TSB had been issued about it, hoping to mention it to the dealer who had told me this noise was normal. I had an '07 that developed the same noise around 40,000 mi. When I complained about it ( to the same dealer), they told me they had to pull the engine in order to repair it. They did and it was fixed.
I don't know how much of a problem this represents. It seems fairly obvious from the responses here that this is a common problem. It certainly sounds like an oil deprivation problem and gets worse when there is a load on the engine. I have been lately letting the vehicle warm up ( for at least 10 mins) and that seems to lessen the noise. I don't seem to find a whole lot of talk about catastrophic engine failure though, so I'm thinking maybe I just ignore the noise.
Any info, particularly about a TSB on this would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

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Really ? Why did so many not hear a noise till 40,000 miles or beyond ? How is that normal ? My 07 Camry has had the oil line recall. I run base stock 20w50 castrol and 1 quart of lucas sythetic oil stabilizer. I have 35 years as an ASE master. I say its not normal. Since I love the power, Im going to keep the thicker stuff in it to help prevent wear. For those wondering 20wt oil does not set the variable cam timing codes. 5wt oil is great for economy and to get you to buy a new car sooner.
 
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