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Joel Barnum
Joel Barnum, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 13
Experience:  13 years expirience as a tech.8 yrs. with toyota dealership as a tech. Master ASE tech.
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1990 Toyota Corolla DX, 3spd- Automatic, 4AFE engine, 288K

Customer Question

1990 Toyota Corolla DX, 3spd- Automatic, 4AFE engine, 288K mileage, all plugs, wires, distributor changed to High-perf, K&N air filter, had valve stem seals changed by Toyota dealer because of age & slight NOx emissions. Cylinder walls good, pistons & rings tight & in good shape..(no blowby). Ever since Toyota did valve stem seals I have a top end tap & progressively getting louder/worse. Toyota says it was like that ...NO WAY I maintain my car immaculately & have records to prove it. (thats how it made 288K anyway..right?). So....valve lash/shim checked all OK. Could I possibly have a floating valve/lifter...because of a possible bad valve spring..?? Would this cause the tapping?? Thanks... Todd from NJ
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Joel Barnum replied 8 years ago.
Hello Todd, My name isXXXXX to hear about your bad expirience with Toyota dealer. Two things that would cause a tapping noise on this motor is valve clearance and you injectors will make a slight tapping noise. If you had a bad valve spring that was causing this noise I would think that it would cause the motor to run badly as well. Since you recently had the car worked on and the noise is there ever since you had it worked on I think the valve clearance is the problem. You mentioned that you had it checked and it was ok but the specifications are .006-.010 or .008-.012. If the clearance is to the high side of the spec. you will have a tapping noise. The car would run fine, and technically they could tell you its ok. do you happen to have the measurment of the valve clearance. If so reply back so I can continue helping you Thanks. Joel.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry for taking ...forever.... to reply computer has been down & family issues has caused me to put my car on back burner. I had another garage verify & check all shims & clearances ..They said the same thing.... everything is fine & to spec tolerances. No time due to the previously mentioned issues...has left Corolla off the road & sitting in my yard. Time was notsomething I had especially with a death & serious family medical problems...They come first... RiGHT??...I want to get this car back on her feet I miss driving her...What to do now???