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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happens basically any time I am around 1500rpm's or so, can hear it in this video, almost like a grrrrt noise or something. I have been so far unable to diagnose it. It doesn't seem to affect drivability and only happens at very low rpm. I am at a loss on this. It sounds like its coming from either the center of the engine bay or somewhere to the left of the motor. I was thinking it might be a heat shield but so far havent' been able to confirm. Other thoughts are engine mounts, clutch assembly, donut gasket at the exhaust header (can't see any black soot or anything like that though, but the engine does kind of drone a bit at idle and at certain higher RPM's it drones pretty loudly, all stock exhaust. Not something that my 03 matrix XRS ever did but that has a very different exhaust system... unable to confirm it though)

It seems like the noise is sort of always there but very subtly, or I am hearing things. I have no idea to be honest, I have really bad car noise paranoia so idk.

This video captures the issue, can hear it a few times right around 1500 rpm every time. It doesn't really make the noise if I barely give it gas and slowly let it get past 2k rpms, but if I give it like, idk, 15% or more gas it makes the noise.


only mod is a kn typhoon intake, I will say it never made this noise before I put the intake in, however the intake was in for about a week before it started making this noise. Noise seems to have started after launching the car and getting some pretty bad wheel hop. No drivability issues, no lights, nothing. Car is a 2005 GTS 6 speed w/ action package (tsunami) has about 16,000 miles on it right now.

pic of car for no reason
 

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I have two GTS roadworthy Celicas that both make the same buzzing sound, but between 3200-3500 rpm. My stethoscope narrowed the sound down to the VVT assembly on the intake cam. Not sure what is going on, but the cars both drive fine and have for several years. And I drive on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have two GTS roadworthy Celicas that both make the same buzzing sound, but between 3200-3500 rpm. My stethoscope narrowed the sound down to the VVT assembly on the intake cam. Not sure what is going on, but the cars both drive fine and have for several years. And I drive on...
Not sure how you'd be able to narrow it down to the VVT assembly? how would you differentiate between that and say, the timing chain? Anyways I'm pretty sure it's coming from the drivers side of the engine bay anyways.
 

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Chains make definitive rattling noises (based on my 40+ years of car experience) and the stethoscope is a handy and accurate listening device (the actuator comes on with the buzzing sound, which is located in the area over the end of the intake cam when you listen to the valve cover above it). Good luck with the repair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chains make definitive rattling noises (based on my 40+ years of car experience) and the stethoscope is a handy and accurate listening device (the actuator comes on with the buzzing sound, which is located in the area over the end of the intake cam when you listen to the valve cover above it). Good luck with the repair!
Still not sure what it is but I am leaning towards it having to do with the brakes, oddly enough. Brakes have been making a bit of noise especially when I drive away for the first time after leaving the car parked, bit of a swoosh swoosh swoosh noise, I'm thinking the rotor is slightly warped on the drivers side front. Not sure how that would really explain the noise I hear at 1500rpm, but it's an issue and I'll have to address it. Probably going to get some centric rotors, need to decide on pads. Not in any rush as the car still drives fine and I have other financial stuff to take care of.
 

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This sounds like rubbing to me. Have you made sure that nothing has come loose since your SRI install? It could be something as simple as it's sagging a bit and resting on something, then when you rev it a certain way it vibrates in response. Have a friend rev it while you're outside narrowing down the noise. Lucikly it doesn't sound like anything too bad, just something that needs to be tracked down sooner than later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This sounds like rubbing to me. Have you made sure that nothing has come loose since your SRI install? It could be something as simple as it's sagging a bit and resting on something, then when you rev it a certain way it vibrates in response. Have a friend rev it while you're outside narrowing down the noise. Lucikly it doesn't sound like anything too bad, just something that needs to be tracked down sooner than later.
I think it's the Sri rubbing against the hard hydraulic Line that leads to the clurch slave cylinder. It's rubbing against that. Pretty sure that's my issue just need to solve it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well it wasn't that. I am hearing it a lot louder underneath the car near the cat and manifold area, at least I think it's the same noise. No matter what I do I cannot get it to make the same noise unless I'm moving and have the car around 1500rpm and it does it virtually every time. I was thinking maybe the cat could be showing early signs of failing but IDK for sure. I can see the exhaust is vibrating a lot but none of the heatshields are loose or rubbing against anything from what I can see... whatever it is it's lower down. Also did cross my mind it could be something with the gearbox/clutch assembly but IDK why it would only make that noise at low revs like that.
 

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At such low milage it would be weird if the exhaust system was showing any signs of failing, but it's not unheard of. This sounds similar to an issue I was having with my muffle rubbing against the bumper. It was actually an extremely similar sound now that I think about it. Maybe you can jack the front wheels up and put it in gear to test if the sound will occur that way. I think you're on a good path narrowing it down to the exhaust, the stock manifold has a support bracket that could be loose, as well as an upper and lower heat shield.
 

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That one is only held by 3 bolts. 2 at the top, and 1 at the bottom. Ironically, that's the only heat shield I haven't removed from my car yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I took it to my mechanic as it still making the same noise. He says it sounds like it's coming from the throttle body. Suggested I try putting the factory airbox back on, said maybe the lack of the baffle is causing the throttle plate to rattle... will give it a shot but i swear it wasn't making this noise until a while after I installed the intake.
 

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I'd lean towards a random rock or something that squeezed into an exhaust heat shield under the car. Had this happen to multiple vehicles over the years, and every time it did it was an rmp specific and or load specific rattle. Just get under the car (when it's cold) and bump all the heat shields with your fist and hopefully you'll hear a rattle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd lean towards a random rock or something that squeezed into an exhaust heat shield under the car. Had this happen to multiple vehicles over the years, and every time it did it was an rmp specific and or load specific rattle. Just get under the car (when it's cold) and bump all the heat shields with your fist and hopefully you'll hear a rattle.
it's definitely not the exhaust I went over it and so did my mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
put factory air box in today, no difference, still makes the exact same rattle at like 1200rpm. lame
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I still have this issue, many miles later, hasn't changed at all... can hear it in this video at 3:30 as i pull away. it ONLY makes the noise at that low rpm. if i take off with the rpm over 2k, no noise at all.... it does the same noise in any gear at that rpm range.



possible things I suspect it is: electronic throttle body is unhappy with the low rpm, light throttle and is shuttering so the car doesn't stall
-serp belt tensioner, or possibly just the belt, sometimes squeaks, there is a TSB on the tensioner as well for a low rpm rattle, but i swear it sounds like its coming from the left of the engine bay.
-something with the clutch or trans, seems rather unlikely this would ONLY make any noise at that specific RPM though.
-front grille is missing clips, and could potentially be rattling against the bumper. pretty doubtful its this. I have new clips on order, but it's been a long ass time and still don't have them. Tsunami grille uses weird clips.


seems to me the chances of it being something major seem very slim given it hasn't changed at all in about 5k miles and I rev it to the limiter pretty often and it always sounds great.
 

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If it will do it standing still & revving, take the belt off & see if it still does it. That will narrow it down a little.
 

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I still have this issue, many miles later, hasn't changed at all... can hear it in this video at 3:30 as i pull away. it ONLY makes the noise at that low rpm. if i take off with the rpm over 2k, no noise at all.... it does the same noise in any gear at that rpm range.



possible things I suspect it is: electronic throttle body is unhappy with the low rpm, light throttle and is shuttering so the car doesn't stall
-serp belt tensioner, or possibly just the belt, sometimes squeaks, there is a TSB on the tensioner as well for a low rpm rattle, but i swear it sounds like its coming from the left of the engine bay.
-something with the clutch or trans, seems rather unlikely this would ONLY make any noise at that specific RPM though.
-front grille is missing clips, and could potentially be rattling against the bumper. pretty doubtful its this. I have new clips on order, but it's been a long ass time and still don't have them. Tsunami grille uses weird clips.


seems to me the chances of it being something major seem very slim given it hasn't changed at all in about 5k miles and I rev it to the limiter pretty often and it always sounds great.
A good way to test for all of those is to get the front wheels off the ground, and put the car on jack stands. Then, very carefully have a friend slowly actuate shifting into first gear and see if the noise is made. I actually had a very nasty grating metal sound that came from my clutch whenever I was pulling off from a stop. It didn't always happen though, and the only reason I suspected the clutch is because it immediately went away when I sunk the pedal. It finally went away after I replaced the clutch, and the disc itself looked beyond worn.

As a side note, when you're driving around, you may be able to rule out the clutch if the sound persists after you depress the pedal when it starts. If it happens after the clutch is actuated, then the noise isn't from the clutch itself, but something nearby. To me it sounds like the noise happens at the exact moment the clutch catches, where specific vibrations trigger either it or something near it to rattle like that. You mentioned earlier that this sound started after some nasty wheel hop, so it's possible you may loosened or knocked something out of place. Next time you hear the noise, see if it's tied to when the clutch is engaged, and that will narrow it down for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A good way to test for all of those is to get the front wheels off the ground, and put the car on jack stands. Then, very carefully have a friend slowly actuate shifting into first gear and see if the noise is made. I actually had a very nasty grating metal sound that came from my clutch whenever I was pulling off from a stop. It didn't always happen though, and the only reason I suspected the clutch is because it immediately went away when I sunk the pedal. It finally went away after I replaced the clutch, and the disc itself looked beyond worn.

As a side note, when you're driving around, you may be able to rule out the clutch if the sound persists after you depress the pedal when it starts. If it happens after the clutch is actuated, then the noise isn't from the clutch itself, but something nearby. To me it sounds like the noise happens at the exact moment the clutch catches, where specific vibrations trigger either it or something near it to rattle like that. You mentioned earlier that this sound started after some nasty wheel hop, so it's possible you may loosened or knocked something out of place. Next time you hear the noise, see if it's tied to when the clutch is engaged, and that will narrow it down for you.

it doesn't seem to have anything to do with clutch engagement. if i let the clutch out completely at 1000rpm, and slowly creep past 1500rpm it will make the exact same noise. It's got nothing to do with the engagement of the clutch, but it will not do it just revving in neutral, clutch in or out. It only makes the sound if there is some sort of load on the engine.
 

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it doesn't seem to have anything to do with clutch engagement. if i let the clutch out completely at 1000rpm, and slowly creep past 1500rpm it will make the exact same noise. It's got nothing to do with the engagement of the clutch, but it will not do it just revving in neutral, clutch in or out. It only makes the sound if there is some sort of load on the engine.
Ok, so that still narrows it down a bit. It might not be the engagement itself, but it does seem to need to already be engaged to make the noise, which tells me that it's not in the engine, but in the Clutch/Transmission. If you haven't already, do the test with the front wheels in the air, and listen very closely around the clutch housing. This might be a hail mary, but you might have damaged the dampers on the clutch disk, causing them to vibrate at the low RPM, otherwise, there may be a loose bracket in the vicinity.
 
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