2001 Camry LE - humming/vibration sound

10

Asked by Oct 07, 2015 at 01:45 AM about the 2001 Toyota Camry

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have had the car for three (3) years and it has been in several car
accidents (before I purchased the car) - one that was close to being totaled
but they repaired (or did they?) the car

Transmission had to be fixed 3 times prior to my purchase of the car,
6/28/2012
3/2/13 - I noticed the humming/vibration sound.  I had to drive it for at least
15 minutes (car had to warm up, I guess) – noise ALWAYS started when I
would go over 80 mph, possibly around 81 and up. There was no
consistency on when the sound would start or at what speed.  Example:  
sound would start at 82 -83 mph.  I would slow down to 78 (sound would
stop) then go back to 82 and no sound but then start up at maybe 85 - 86
mph.  It seemed like there was no rhyme or reason for this noise.  Nothing
was consistent EXCEPT going over 80 miles per hour then sound would
begin.
This was consistent and then last year, 2014 (year later) it started getting
worse. Same sound would start when I was going 78 mph, then at the
speed 75 mph, 73 mph, etc. As you can see was getting worse.  
Now, this year, 2015, around July (it’s now October 2015), it has, again,
progressively gotten worse.  Now at the speed of 68 mph, makes this
sound.  Again, not consistent.  Would slow down to 62 mph, sound would
stop, go back up to 68 mph, 70 mph and no sound; then would start at
maybe 73- 75 mph.  Nothing consistent.

I thought I smelled metal burning and I also smell oil on both sides of the
car.  And no, there are no leaks.  The smell was stronger on the driver
side.  Strongest near the area of the tires on both sides of the car but
stronger smell on the driver side.

I have recorded the sound if that helps.  I would sooooooo appreciate
someone helping me or giving me any or all suggestions or thoughts.  I can
email the humming/vibration/buzzing sound.  It sounds like to me when you
drive on a grooved freeway.

If anyone can help, I sure would appreciate it.  And again, I have
recordings if that helps.  No one seems to know what it.  

Thank you in advance for anyone and everyone’s assistance.  >)

5 Answers

148,695

First, I am not here to lecture on doing over 83 mph and am fully aware there are highways that have speed limits as high as 85, been there done that. However on a 15 year old car you need to have some TLC, a bit of 'old folks' treatment. To begin with, pull the transmission dipstick and put it right under you nose. It should have an odor of oil, ATF, and not a burnt smell. And/or if the fluid is not a nice red bright pink --them that indicates a problem. Might need flush. A flush is a temporary way of getting a few more miles out if an already worn out transmission. I preach the evils of trans flushes all the time.. but only on low-mileage, newer transmissions.... a flush will do more harm than benefit. One solution is slow down to ..say... 75? Are you going to get 'there' any sooner? Like 5 mimutes? You will tax your transmission far less, it will not get as hot, and you will get where you want to get. Best wishes, Be safe

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
35,875

How is the wear on the inside edges of your front tires? If you jack up the front end or remove a tire, are they bald on either the inside edges or outside edge? Also check the motor mount on the left top of the engine by the passenger side. It looks like a dog bone. Should be a couple of round rubber donuts in it. I've had those crack and break on my older Camry. I would most likely suspect your issue to be tranny related like Fordnut suggested or tires.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

FordNut, thank you so much. And you are correct regarding the speed. And I will definitely check the transmission fluid. Since the car is so important I do keep the maintenance up. Actually, I'm always told the car is in excellent shape for 2001. I will check these great suggestions out and I may come back to get more input, if you don't mind. Thank you and unfortunately, it makes this sound when I'm going 68 mph too. But I sure do appreciate the words of wisdom. Thank you FordNut. Reelin68, thanks for your inquiry regarding the tires. They are brand new tires and I balance and align them every 6 months. And yes, it was doing this with the priior tires too. I think they did check the motor mounts but I will definitely have them checked again especially in that area. That is also very helpful. Well I thought the same thing about the transmission since everything else was checked. I just don't want to speed hundreds of dollars until I feel we have ruled other ideas out. Thank you both! I really appreciate it >)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You might consider this simple check of the tranny/drive train cause of this issue. Drive this vehicle down the highway at the speed of worst vibration. Slip her into NEUTRAL and maintain the same engine RPM you noticed at the time of peak vibration. Does the Vib. change in intensity? I'm thinking perhaps a bad tire...or...drive axle. BTW..."new" tires do not guarantee GOOD tires. One or more of those "new" tires could have a TREAD SEPERATION problem.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

Hi Lastchancegarage: Ok, great, thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

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