IS300 Excessive Valve Noise at Startup

Greetings
I have a 4 month old IS300 that makes excessive engine valve noise for 2-3 seconds at startup. Has anyone else experienced this? I am trying
to get Lexus to fix the car and they refuse -- claim that this is normal. I have asked, if this is normal, for a copy of the noise specification for startup valve noise. I am compiling statistics on this issue. I would love to hear from you whether your IS does or does not make valve noise. I live in CA and am collecting stats to go "Lemon Law" on the car.
Thanks. Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have this same engine in my GS and if it is cold, it has a very brief momentary clatter on startup, but it is so short, it is almost unaudible.
You sound like you have a legitimate gripe. My guess is that you've got a valve sticking - I've been told this engine has solid lifters so there is no hydrualic lifter to "pump up." Does the engine tend to labor slightly and feel like it is misfiring until the noise goes away? This would be consistent with a sticking valve. It hangs up momentarily and "slaps" the cam rather than smoothly following the cam lobe.
Reaming the valve guides is not a big repair and unless you're just looking for an excuse to lemon, I would think you could find a dealer willing to take care of this for you. Have you tired another dealer? I'd leave the car overnight and have a mechanic and a service advisor with you the next morning during startup. Maybe bring a tape recorder. Get them to commit in writing that what you're experiencing is "normal". This is probably not something that is formally spec'd.
A shade-tree repair is to do a triple does of fuel system cleaner and use some kind of oil additive for a few hundred miles. The one mostly widely used is "Marvel Mystery Oil". It really does work in some cases. But if the car is brand new, then valve deposits are not likely the problem.
If you are going lemon, keep careful track of everything and make sure you are following the lemon law to the letter. Many people think they can just lemon a car when it generally is a pain, but the law is very specific about what has to occur before it kicks in. Once you meet the letter of the law, dealers (and Lexus) will generally bend over backwards to avoid the buyback, including getting you into another car with no money out of pocket.
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh, another thing occurs to me. Doesn't the 3.0L inline-six use a cam chain rather than belt? A slow-to-pump-up hydraulic cam chain tensioner can cause what sounds like valve clatter on startup. Again, I doubt it is a difficult fix.
Good luck,
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a 2002 IS300 with just under 20,000 miles and have noticed no undue startup valve noise (although now I will undoubtedly be listening more closely :-)). Incidentally, I also live in CA (Huntington Beach).

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have an IS300 with about 18K on it and I've never noticed unusual noise upon start up. Many cars do this however so it's not that uncommon. I would ask the dealer to cold start a couple of IS300 they have on the lot, or a GS300 (same engine) and let you listen and see if they sound different/quieter than yours. Perhaps the oil filter has a bad antidrain back valve in it that allows the oil filter to partially empty out when parked. Upon starting, it takes a few extra seconds to re-fill the filter before the oil goes to the valves. Might try changing that filter just to see. Can't be a hydraulic cam chain tensioner as someone else mentioned because the IS300 has a rubber timing belt.
What weight oil are you using? Anything heavier than about 10w-30 may take too long to pump up. Does this noise happen upon every start? What about after a fresh oil change? If it's happening after a couple thousand miles, maybe the oil is being sheared down too thin? Change it more often or use a synthetic instead?
Have you ever over-revved it? Could have damaged the valve train if so.
Lastly, at least get the dealer to perform a valve lash inspection. Clearances too loose can make for a noisy valve train.
--
-WJB


"Martin Donnelly" < snipped-for-privacy@cisco.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The car does not seem to labor at all during startup. It just makes valve noise for 2-3 seconds (I have recorded the sound on a computer). I have taken the car to 2 different dealers and both have said the same thing. I have listened to a total of 6 IS and GS models that do not make any noise. I listened to an IS that had not ran for "a couple of weeks" that did make noise -- not surprise to me, but the dealer thought it was representative. I changed the oil at 1245 miles on recommendation of Putnam Lexus -- I had to pay for the oil change and it made no difference. I have been following the CA Lemon Law guidelines and need one more trip to the dealer before I can start. I did send a package to Lexus US Corporate offices in Torrance. I sent it registered mail to get the return receipt for the Lemon Law. I have had 3 non-Lexus mechanics listen to the engine -- I have had to pay them. They all think that the engine is too noisy at startup. The Lexus service manager told me "Our mechanics are all professionals!" I reminded him that novices built the ark, but professionals built the Titanic. I will not let this drop, since I drive my cars until they are old and I think that I will have to put my money into this one after warranty. We have a 94 LS400 that has been flawless. I will probably be replacing it in a year or so -- not with a Lexus unless this one gets fixed. I think that this issue can be directly correlated to the loss of 4 cars from people here at work so far. I gave Lexus good remarks on the initial Lexus survey. I hammered them on a third party survey about initial quality for new car owners.
Martin
Jeff Bertrand wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oooooooooooooh, you're just so mean. :) I guess even Toyota (lexus) makes duds once in a while. With your mileage, you should wait and see for a short while. Sometimes the engine needs to wear itself in. Don't be surprised the Lexus dealer is dragging their feet about tearing apart your engine, it can create more problems than it solves. Check the oil level, see if it's in the top portion of the XXXX on the dipstick.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, it sounds like you have a complaint, but honestly, I think you're overplaying your hand if you think you can lemon law your car because it clatters a bit for two-seconds on cold startup. This is one of the borderline things like somewhat elevated oil consumption - there is just variability from car to car. I have owned cars and motorcycles that have exhibited this behavior to some degree for hundreds of thousands of miles with no ill effect. Virtually all E36 M3s do it, including the one I used to own. That doesn't mean it is rigorously correct that it does this, but it is a gray area and if you push this thing to the lawyer stage, you probably have just a good a chance of losing as winning.
I'd look for another way out, particularly a dealer who will work with you to solve the problem. Or get it documented on a work order and see what the trend line is for 20K miles. If it's not serious, it will likely diminish - if its serious it will likely get worse.
Good luck,
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Forget the valves. Has it occurred to you that any rattle/clank/chatter that goes away within a couple of seconds of establishing oil pressure is NOT valves? May I add that if you insist on racing the engine at the moment the engine starts IS GOING TO make *any* engine rattle during the moments the oil filter is filling up. So do what you have to, to prevent a 2,000 rpm flare up on cold start. Get a high quality oil filter known for having a quality anti drain-back valve, use nothing thinner than 10w-30 oil, and don't rev the engine the second you let go of the ignition key. ANY fuel injected engine in the past 20 years requires NO throttle for a normal cold start.
--
- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM


In news:1075839332.504615@sj-nntpcache-5,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hello Philip
I do not race the engine at startup. I do not even touch the throttle. The oil was changed at 1000 miles by Lexus with a Lexus oil filter in an attempt to quiet the noise. The problem is that oil pump allows the oil that is up in the engine to drain back into the oil pan. A mechanic who has fixed this problem after market told me that he has seen engines with this problem and there are 2 possible causes -- the oil pump is defective, or the oil pump is improperly installed. He said that either one is a simple repair. He owns a Supra and is very familiar with Toyota engines. Martin
Philip wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The oil pump has NO provision to control oil draining back through it to the oil pan. You're "mechanic" is telling you something that just isn't so. He needs the work apparently. Examine your oil pump (any pump for that matter) in a shop manual and you will find their is no one-way check valve in the inlet nor the outlet of the oil pump. There is an oil pressure relief valve whose purpose is to limit maximum oil pump pressure by venting excess oil back to the oil pan. When you have plenty of oil pressure above idle, there is no problem with the oil pump.
Now ... in the oil filter, you WILL find a rubber disc flapper that performs this function (drain back prevention). Both the "anti-drain back valve" and the "filter bypass valve" are both located inside the filter. Engines that mount the filter horizontally or with the threaded end down are most vulnerable to losing their contents back to the oil pan overnight .... obviously. Toyota has in recent years begun using oil filter adaptors that reposition the filter to the optimal position to prevent overnight drainage. This would be with the threaded end UP.
IN any case, non hydraulic valves do not make noise only in the first few seconds upon cold startup. In the case of really leaky hydraulic lifters, the tapping would also return after a prolonged run down the interstate in hot weather.
--
- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM


In news:1077565539.62673@sj-nntpcache-5,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Philip
Which Lexus/Toyota dealership do you work at? Martin
Philip wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I too have had the problem on a 98 GS300. I have tried the whole gambit, lemon law etc. to no avail. Lexus will not repair the noise problem. While it is not a common problem it is not uncommon. Our GS now has over 55,000 miles and oil analysis is good after 5000 mile change, Mobil 1, 0-40 Europe. I have been informed by a couple Lexus mechanics that the noise is caused by the tube headers and if you pester the dealer enough they may change them but it may take 2 - 3 sets before you find a quite set for your car, luck of the draw. I have had a good talk with one of their engineers and he said it has to due with the thermal expansion, contraction of the tube headers, that is why it happens interment. Best of luck.

***************** Thank You snipped-for-privacy@msbx.net
To reply to this email please remove the AT after the kgs in the reply to address as shown above.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In being of bellicose mind posted:

What a load of steer manure. Tubing headers do not produce any noise that suddenly silences itself a second or two after oil pressure establishes.
--
- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM


> On Mon, 02 Feb 2004 10:08:17 -0800, Martin Donnelly
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What is a "tube header"?
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The exhaust pipes from the engine head. They are often cast but with the Lexus GS 300 they are a heavy tubular material, they are sometimes call tube headers. ***************** Thank You snipped-for-privacy@msbx.net
To reply to this email please remove the AT after the kgs in the reply to address as shown above.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Lexus
headers.
Then I have to agree with the other poster - unlikely source of something that sounds like startup valve clatter.
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.