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Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14502
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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My car is making low frequency sound when I starting moving

Customer Question

Hi. My car is making low frequency sound when I starting moving my car after a long stop. This usually happens when I have stopped my car for more than 2 hours. No sound after the engine is started, nothing when the gear is changed to drive. The sound only happen when the car starts to move. No matter whether I turn the brakes or not or if I turn the wheel or not. The sound will disappear after 10-20 second. What do you think is the sound?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

Is there any chance you would be able to get an audio clip on your phone or audio device and post the file here so I could hear it?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The audio system is off.. I also didn't hear the sound all the time. There is no sound when I just had a short stop for lunch for example. The sound is also slightly different every time. Sometimes it lasts for longer sometimes shorter..
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

While driving down the road at a moderate speed do you hear any abnormal rumbling or rotational droning noise? After the car sits for several hours and you get in the vehicle and start to hear the noise can you make the noise change in frequency or get louder or go away if you apply the brakes lightly or hard?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, there is sound only during the first 10-20s of the drive. The noise did not change in frequency or loudness when I apply the brakes differently. The noise is only gone when the car stopped. Another thing that I noticed is that, when I applied the hand brake to the car and tried to push the car from the front, there is high frequency noise from the back of the car. The noise is the same from the left and right wheel. I am not sure if the sound is coming from the wheel or somewhere in the middle of the car.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

Noises are very difficult to diagnose in this format for obvious reasons without an audio clip. It is possible that there might be something going on with the small E brake shoes that are inside the rear rotors. Or this year was notorious to have the brake pads wear unevenly on the rear and it's possible you're getting close to the spring clips on the brake pads that indicate when they are too low and make squealing noises. Normally though this will change intensity when you hit the brakes. The first thing I would have done is a thorough brake inspection to make sure the brake pads are not too thin. I've also seen weird things like stones even sticks and leaves get jammed between the caliper assembly and scratch were scrape on the rotors until it heats up then the noise goes away.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I checked the brake pads for the front and the back, they are fine. They have been recently checked. I recorded the noise, and hope that it will help to diagnose the problem.High frequency noise from the rear wheel when I am pushing the car from the front with handbrake applied: frequency noise that I recorded inside the car, when I start moving the car this morning. The brake was not applied at all, I just press the accelerator: a lot!
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

Okay, I'm at lunch I will look into this when I get back and get back with some thoughts this afternoon after I listen to the audio.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's very nice of you, Thanks a lot!!
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

It only makes this noise when going backwards? Does it change if you slowly apply the parking brake if it works and is not frozen?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I usually park my car backward, so the low frequency noise that you heard is made when the car is moving forward.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

You said that when you apply the brakes when the noise is occurring that the problem does not go away. My question is if you slightly apply the parking brake if your parking brake is functional and not frozen does the noise change or go way?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The brake is functional and not frozen. I think the noise is still there when I apply the brake slightly. I don't think the application of brakes or not will affect the noise. Even I don't apply brakes or not, the noise is still there. I think the duration between each noise is related to the speed of the car. If the car is moving faster, the noise repeats more rapidly (you can hear the recording I had, the noise repeats more rapidly in the later part of the recording when I increase the speed of the car)
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.

Based on the audio sound it is definitely a rotational rubbing noise it sounds like possibly the brake shoes rubbing against the inside of the brake rotors on the rear for the parking brake I have seen some cases where the actual seals themselves on the bearings will make noise and once they heat up the rubber softens and the noise goes away. I've also seen where the actual rubber on the tires will make the same kind of noise where it rubs or creeks on this steel or alloy wheel. To rule that out you can use silicone spray and spray along the edge of the tire where it meets the rim on the inside and outside edges. Try increasing the air pressure in the tires to 35 or 40 psi also. These are about the three most common items that make this exact same noise. Let me how it goes.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks a lot. I will try it out, and let you know!!
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.