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Evening all. I have a 2001 RAV4, 2.0L manual transmission, with 62,000 km. I bought this vehicle used with 56k on it. As it has gotten colder here over the last month, I've noticed a ticking, more like a knocking (but not quite) noise when the engine is cold. This noise seems to go away after driving for a while after the engine has reached normal operating temperature. It could be just me, but It seems to be taking progressively longer for the noise to go away. One more thing I should mention is that this noise is only apparent when the engine is under a light load and seems to dissipate as RPM's increase. It is also imperceptable at idle. I have noticed from a few posts that there is a ticking noise that has been deemed normal. Injectors??? Anyone care to enlighten me?
 

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Seeing how you're hearing this noise under light load, I'd suspect a little bit of "ping" (pre-ignition)..........sounds like rattling small rocks in a can???
A "little" ping is ok, but not a lot, such as climbing a long hill.

First thing I'd try, and cheap, is run your current tank of gas down, and try a "full" tank of premium gas....hi octane..... If the noise goes away , it's been ping you're hearing.......and unless it's sustained or loud I wouldn't worry about it. Previous owner may have done a lot of city driving and carboned it up a bit, which some injector cleaner combined with some highway driving might cure.

Lifters, if they're draining, and injectors, I think, you will hear at idle. Keep in mind, these Toyota engines are not real quiet at idle....

Any other opinions........
 

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Mine has done the same thing when it's cold since day one, I think it is normal.
 

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I have the same engine and in mint condition in my 02 RAV. It makes that knock which is normal but I don't like it to much because it reminds me of a Deisel engine and not the sports engine that it truly is.
 

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To add to bluenoser's comments, I think it may be the lifter's just need a little longer to pump-up with oil. With the colder weather the oil will be thicker until it warms up. When the engine is cold, the lifters have more "lash" at the base of the cam. This will cause a mild slap which will be heard as a tick especially with an engine will some miles on the clock. When the lifter fills it expands to create the normal clearance (zero lash) needed to quiet those puppies down. :lol:

This is not a problem. :D

You could go to synth oil, if you don't run it now or try a slight lower viscosity oil in the winter. :idea:
 

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I use Mobil 1 synthetic 5W30 and my Rav still makes the noise.

As Rav4Don said, the cold weather affects the valve lifters, and I think it is perfectly normal because my other cars did the same thing in the winter before they fully warmed up. The first winter I had my Rav (~20K miles) it made the noise the same as it does now, but the 85K miles probably has made it the least bit louder. I actually like the lifter noise because it acts like a temp gauge and warns me to not rev the engine high until the noise goes away.

Now if I could only stop my starter from grinding when it's 10 below outside.
 
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Bluenoser said:
BTW.....which extended warranty did you get....Toyota's or another.....if you don't mind me asking......
Bluenoser,

I have the Toyota ECP warranty. Why do you ask?
 
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RAV4Don said:
To add to bluenoser's comments, I think it may be the lifter's just need a little longer to pump-up with oil. With the colder weather the oil will be thicker until it warms up. When the engine is cold, the lifters have more "lash" at the base of the cam. This will cause a mild slap which will be heard as a tick especially with an engine will some miles on the clock. When the lifter fills it expands to create the normal clearance (zero lash) needed to quiet those puppies down. :lol:

This is not a problem. :D

You could go to synth oil, if you don't run it now or try a slight lower viscosity oil in the winter. :idea:
RAV4Don,

I've heard in the past that if you run synthetic oil that you have to start doing it from new. Any truth to this??? What are the benefits of synthetic vs dino?
 

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RAVingLunatic said:
I've heard in the past that if you run synthetic oil that you have to start doing it from new. Any truth to this??? What are the benefits of synthetic vs dino?
It depends on the individual situation. The two main reasons that people say not to use synthetic on a higher mileage engine are 1- it may loosen up gunk in the engine and seep through the worn seals, and 2- synthetic is most beneficial if you use it from day one.

The first reason mainly depends on the state of the engine, because some engines will have no problems even if you switch to synthetic at 100K miles, while others may start buring oil faster because synthetic is more likely to leak past the seals on a high mileage engine. This half-truth is the foundation of the whole "you must run synthetic since new" argument. As for the argument over "once you switch to synthetic you can't go back to conventional oil", it is not true, but like the issue above, it depends on the individual engine. In the case of these arguments, they started as opinions and eventually became gospel.

The second reason is more of a benefit vs. cost issue (i.e. why bother to switch) and depends on the opinion of the user. The primary benefits of synthetic are realized over the long-term, and therefore it is most beneficial to run synthetic from when the engine is new. This is not to say that synthetic cannot provide some benefits on a high mileage engine, but many people just think it is a waste of money to switch if the engine has spent all of its life using conventional oil.

The main benefits of synthetic oil include:
- Longer oil change intervals
- Easier starting in cold weather
- Better long-term protection against engine wear
- Slightly improved fuel economy (sometimes)
- Some people claim it quiets the engine and makes it more responsive

As for the drawbacks vs. conventional oil, they are mainly the issue mentioned above (loosening up gunk and burning more oil) and also the increased cost of the oil itself.

The debate over synthetic oil is the same as the debate over premium gas; some people swear by synthetic and use it in all of their cars, while others think it is a waste of money unless they have a high performance car.
 

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RAVingLunatic said:
RAV4Don said:
To add to bluenoser's comments, I think it may be the lifter's just need a little longer to pump-up with oil. With the colder weather the oil will be thicker until it warms up. When the engine is cold, the lifters have more "lash" at the base of the cam. This will cause a mild slap which will be heard as a tick especially with an engine will some miles on the clock. When the lifter fills it expands to create the normal clearance (zero lash) needed to quiet those puppies down. :lol:

This is not a problem. :D

You could go to synth oil, if you don't run it now or try a slight lower viscosity oil in the winter. :idea:
RAV4Don,

I've heard in the past that if you run synthetic oil that you have to start doing it from new. Any truth to this??? What are the benefits of synthetic vs dino?
To answer your first question, No.
I think Jeff covered the second question pretty well.

My opinion, is that unless you have a particular need for the unique benefits of synth oil, then just stick with the dino and save some money.
 
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