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Toyota Avensis 1.6 VVT-i 2011 Gearbox/Clutch clicking noise


kavic.milos
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Hello guys!
Last week I bought Toyota Avensis 1.6 VVT-i 2011 with 162 000km. I bought it through mutual friends. Actually last owner was a manager of authorized Toyota service in my country and every single problem was solved there. Also he solved some things preventively, but important fact for this problem is that he replaced clutch at 120 000km with gearbox oil change.

When I did test drive I felt that I'm not changing gears smoothly but I didnt feel any jerking while previous owner was driving so I thought that was my inexperience with electronic gas control which drove me crazy first 2 days.

But... the problem is here. When car is cold gears change smoothly, but when gearbox oil gets hot I feel some kind of gearbox clereance/backlash (I'm not a native english speaker so I hope you will understand me). When I cruise with constant speed and release a gas pedal it makes click noise and jerks. This also happens when car isn't under the load, so immediately when I press gas pedal it kicks in and jerks again. After a bit longer city drive when I park and make slow manouvers, and when I shift clutch pedal with a gas pedal I also hear click noise when actually power from the engine is transmitted to the gearbox. I've also tried to shift in higher gears slower. I let revs drop all the way down, then perfectly rev match and again click noise is present and it jerks. Also I noticed that sometimes but really rarely when I try to shift into the 1st gear but still moving about 5mph it produces almost like a grinding noise. Some vibrations are being transmitted all the way to the gearbox stick, isnt not the flawless shift, like it has some difficulties to jump into a gear.

All these symptoms indicate something different but last two days I drive with radio turned off, and AC so I can hear any mechanical noise my car produce. When the car is idling in neutral and I'm depressing the clutch pedal on the half way up it produces click noise, but I dont feel vibration of that click in my foot. When the car is turned off gearbox is pretty loud or just I'm not used to this loud gearbox. It makes clunky noise. Also I've tried to shift while car is idling and listen carefully. When fully engaging 2nd, 4th and 6th gear, when the gearbox stick is all the way into the gear something strikes and it produces metal to metal sound. When I'm engaging 1st, 3rd, 5th gear it's much quieter, articulated and damped metal sound. 
I described my problem as best as I could. I hope you will help me. Btw. Engine mount seems to me pretty flawless and click noise with jerks can be sometime avoided if I press clutch pedal partially.

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I am not an expert or mechanic, but I have my clutch replaced 4 years ago on my 2009 1.8 Valvematic (I assume your car is 1.6 Valvematic). Here is my post -  

I paid a garage to do the work, and all the components are as in the photographs. So apart from the job being a bit rushed (gear position sensor not securely connected), the car has been fine ever since. 
I couldn't hear much from your videos, even with headphones on, so you need to record outside the car near the transmission. If you can, you should take the car back to who did the work, so they can try and fix the problem. What is the quality of the parts they used, and did the do the work properly? The trouble is, if the mechanics that did the work are not competent, you are better off finding someone trusted to fix the repair, and get the other garage to pay, but that is not easy. This will involve a strip down, so might be good idea to replace the complete clutch and slave cylinder bearing (concentric slave cylinder bearing). Talking of the slave cylinder bearing, mine was part of the clutch replacement, but some garages might skip that!

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Sounds most likely like a worn clutch or the clutch is not fitted correct in place. I would geuss the dealer did not do a good job to replace thr clutch. They defently did something wrong.

In my country they usaully go out on 500000 km

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Hello guys. Today I visited authorized Toyota mechanic and he told me this... Clicking noise while releasing clutch pedal produces clutch pressure plate. He told me only solution for that problem is to put a new clutch which also can also produce that noise, you never know. He didnt have much time to drive the car but I told him also that car jerks while you press or release the gas pedal. He told me to carefully pay atention when I climb a curb or leaving underground garage, because he want to know is there any drive shaft clereance. Actually, as he says, it can be tightened.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello all! 
Here I'm back after few months of research and testing my car. From these available informations I got Im sure it's a clutch problem (pressure plate) and here I'm gonna explain why.

As I stated before this clicking noise is produced by clutch pressure plate as my mechanic said. At the first glance when I did test drive with this car everything seemed fine because that noise is really subtle and when the ventilation (2nd or 3rd level) is turned on you can barely hear something outside of the car and I'm not familiar with these japanese cars. So I did some testing and came to conclusion that this must be clutch pressure plate.

First case is when I want to engage first gear from neutral. When Im waiting for a green traffic light sometimes it surprises me and I press the clutch and immediately push into the first gear. Then in 100% of the cases you can hear dull metal sound in gearbox area. If I wait a bit and then gently engage the first gear it gets into first gear flawlessly. So all this guides me that problem is clutch pressure plate and that clutch disk is not fully disengaged when pushing into a gear.

Second case is when I make ussual gear shifts. There are some circumstances where its possible to shift flawlessly, but I think it wont solve the problem at its roots. When I press the clutch and for an example going from 2nd to 3rd the problem starts when engaging 3rd gear. When the gearshift lever is on the half way to 3rd gear, actually in neutral position, I push it straight forward to third. If I do it a moderately fast I feel ressistance in the gearshift lever when pushing into the 3rd gear, so also that says to me that clutch is not disengaging as it should be. It can be avoided if I press the clutch and count "one, two" and then make gear shift from 2nd to 3rd the car changes smoothly and without jerking. So all the time I make this pause between shifting and gently make gear change it's okay but it cant be used in everyday city traffic because its way to slow shifting. I also tried double clutching and it doesn't help. If I change gears with a bit of pressure, roughly and overcome that ressistance in the gearshift lever car jerks when releasing the clutch. The faster and stronger I pull, it jerks and in most cases I hear dull metal sound in gearbox area. The second way it can be avoided is using clutchless shifting technique. If you change gears without a clutch to disengage gear, gearbox should be relieved from any pressure that comes from engine so you can freely pull out of the gear. So If clutch pressure plate can't spearate flywheel and clutch disk so I decided to use this trick from clutchless technique. I accelerate with a bit more throttle and when I'm releasing gas pedal (in that case gearbox is relieved and you can pull out of the gear) in that moment I disengage clutch and quickly do complete shifting, not just pulling out of gear but engaging another one. The gearshift lever feels weightless without any ressistance and going through gears like hot knife through butter and of course without jerking.

Now I'm just worried why this clutch is not operating like it should be. It is used only 40 000 kilometers and replaces in authorized toyota service at 120 000 kilometers. Has anyone of you had similar problem or solved it with clutch replacement?

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I have played the videos, using headphones to hear the sounds properly (laptop Speakers are not the best). Just a guess, but I would look at the selector cables and how they are connected to the gearbox. 

  http://www.japan-parts.eu/EU/2/333780A.png http://www.japan-parts.eu/EU/2/333773.png

http://www.japan-parts.eu/toyota/eu/2009/avensis/zrt271r-awfepw/2_273560_041_410W/powertrain-chassis/3312_shift-lever-retainer

http://www.japan-parts.eu/toyota/eu/2009/avensis/zrt271r-awfepw/2_273560_041_410W/powertrain-chassis/3307_gear-shift-fork-lever-shaft-mtm

Check the retaining clips and the brackets at the gearbox are secure and in place. Also using the diagram, check that nothing is missing.

I was going to mention engine mounts, but problems happen when stationary. With the engine off, the sound should still be evident, pointing to gear selectors. Get an assistant to try the gears while you look at the cable and selector movement for excess play or something not fitted properly or even bent!

Personally I would have it looked at by someone who knows that car model. Get photos of another Avensis (petrol) to compare.
 

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I doubt it can be something regarding selector cables. I'm not experienced enough to surely say this must be this or this. I've never driven any Toyota before. On forums, I've not heard problems with selector cables but many problems with these clutch pressure plates. That click noise when letting foot of a clutch pedal can't be cables... All things refer to clutch pressure plate, and I heard from my mechanic that he faced with a lot of clutches with that clicking noise. He said thats the problem with clutch pressure plate fins. I'll go again to him and tell all this. When we talked about clicking noise clutch produces he told me, he can nothing do about it. The only fix for this is to replace complete clutch be he can't guarantee me that new clutch will work. (Probably this from authorized service came faulty as a new one) I'm a real hairsplitter and I believe most of the people won't recognize this problem, so they don't complain.

If it's problem with cables then it should be always present. Here is not the case if I adopt driving technique. 

If I drive like usually people do, press the clutch and shift, then I feel resistance to pull the gear lever out of the gear, but If I'm pulling the gear lever out from the gear while releasing gas pedal, when gearbox is relieved from pressure I can easily manouver with the lever with no pressure (For an example try to pull out a gear lever out of gear while cruising or slowing down. Your gear lever will be blocked and you could eventualy rip it out of the gear if you place "enough pressure". It's the same for me, but the pressure is far weaker.). I even tried complete clutchless and it works. Try all that process just with clutch it works, but if I miss revs even with clutch pedal pressed I would feel resistance.

What I fear the most is that I could potentially harm synchros while there is some stress put on them. They should work strainlessly!

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In my earlier post, I linked to my car having the clutch replaced 4 years ago. A brand new clutch kit, plus the concentric slave bearing. Also centering is vital during installation. But like anything, the replacement may be faulty so failed early. 

Hope you find the source of the problem. 👍🏾

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Konrad don't get me wrong regarding what I wrote in my previous post. You wanted to help me but it turned out that I'm a cocky guy who is requesting for help but neglecting what others say.

I could drive like this but it really annoys me and I don't want to gamble. It's better to give 350 euros now and replace this faulty clutch that has made only 40 000 kilometers than to wait to finish its lifespan and eventually replace gearbox. This would be much pricier option and I don't like when my car jerks. I want flawless gear changes!

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Looks to me more like warped clutch or pressure plate due to improper use. Hence the clicking sound, maybe some highspot is grabbing slowly while the clutch is 1/2 way depressed. Situation should slightly change for better/worse when car is either hot or cold.

Either way, sounds like a clutch job.  Could be there's plenty of material left on it, but clutch plate is just warped, for example.

I read people purposely grinding the clutch a bit, high rpm, clutch partially release, or something like that, to even it out, and some say it helped.

Clutch should be auto adjustable, i think only Aygo of that age still had adjustable clutch.

If you grease the joints for the clutch cable, it should give for a smoother gear changes, as Konrad mentioned. Lithium grease is good for this.

In 1.6 if you drive at some 3k rpm, press clutch, and shift up, it should pop right it. The speed is ideal, the car also auto revs a bit more to match, so there should not be any delay before switching gears, if you wait 2 seconds, revs drop to like 1.5 and i find it hard to get into gear without synchros kickin in.

If you agree it's the clutch, get it fixed. As for the gearbox, i would take the plug out and inspect the oil, or maybe drain the oil altogether, and inspect for shavings.

 

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17 hours ago, furtula said:

i would take the plug out and inspect the oil, or maybe drain the oil altogether, and inspect for shavings.

 

Good point Dean. I forgot about the gearbox fluid. This could have been overlooked when the clutch was changed, or the wrong grade used to top up!

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22 hours ago, furtula said:

Looks to me more like warped clutch or pressure plate due to improper use. Hence the clicking sound, maybe some highspot is grabbing slowly while the clutch is 1/2 way depressed. Situation should slightly change for better/worse when car is either hot or cold.

This makes things a bit more clear and what actually could have happened.

22 hours ago, furtula said:

I read people purposely grinding the clutch a bit, high rpm, clutch partially release, or something like that, to even it out, and some say it helped.

I wouldn't risk with that driving style. That could make more harm than good.

22 hours ago, furtula said:

If you grease the joints for the clutch cable, it should give for a smoother gear changes, as Konrad mentioned. Lithium grease is good for this.

This could also be checked but no more than that. I don't feel need for this. When I press clutch and put into first gear only once I hear that dull metal sound and after that I move gearshift lever through all gears flawlessly. It's almost weightless how its easy to change gears. If I do clutchless shifting or like let's say like this: Im driving in the first gear and going to 3000 rpm and shift to the second gear. I'm slightly pulling lever into the second and I feel resistance but as soon as it catches 1800 rpm lever glides into second without resistance. So the only time I get smooth shift is when revs are perfectly matched. 

22 hours ago, furtula said:

In 1.6 if you drive at some 3k rpm, press clutch, and shift up, it should pop right it. The speed is ideal, the car also auto revs a bit more to match, so there should not be any delay before switching gears, if you wait 2 seconds, revs drop to like 1.5 and i find it hard to get into gear without synchros kickin in.

In this case I'll eventually let revs drop all the way down and  then blip the throttle to bring them up to these 1800 rpm to relieve stress on synchros.

22 hours ago, furtula said:

If you agree it's the clutch, get it fixed. As for the gearbox, i would take the plug out and inspect the oil, or maybe drain the oil altogether, and inspect for shavings.

I could also do that at the clutch replacement even though it was changed at 120 000 kilometeres with genuine Toyota 75w gearbox oil just because of shavings.

I'd like to thank you guys very very much for helping me! At the end of this month I'll make an appointment and eventually change this faulty clutch after consultations with my mechanic. Would you suggest me replacing concentric slave cylinder cause it's genuine part that passed 40 000 kilometers? Is it necessary to be replaced now? Looked from one side I believe in genuine parts but from the other this genuine clutch is faulty (it should pass 150k kilometeres easily and this one maybe was installed faulty). I doubt that third party concentric slave cylinder will be better than genuine one with 40 000 kilometers.

 

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15 minutes ago, kavic.milos said:

This could also be checked but no more than that. I don't feel need for this. When I press clutch and put into first gear only once I hear that dull metal sound and after that I move gearshift lever through all gears flawlessly. It's almost weightless how its easy to change gears. 

Well, it's easy when you have all synchros lined up already. 

If you press the clutch pedal fully, but you have issue getting into some gear, either your oil is bad, or synchros are worn.

There is also option of a warped clutch catching slightly, and that would prevent getting it into gear, or at least make it harder, but with clutch fully depressed, should not be present. It it was the case, it would also explain having an issue getting it out of gear. But only way to test this is to jack up the car, put in 1st gear and hold the clutch. If tires spin, then it's catching.

I think the gearbox takes 2.1L of oil, but that can be replaced after, as it's easy enough.

You should replace slave cylinder since the whole thing will be taken out. It's not that expensive, and better to replace now, then to have to take whole thing out just to replace it in the future.

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26 minutes ago, furtula said:

But only way to test this is to jack up the car, put in 1st gear and hold the clutch. If tires spin, then it's catching

That's not the case.  The wheels can turn even if it isn't in gear. 

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43 minutes ago, furtula said:

It it was the case, it would also explain having an issue getting it out of gear.

Maybe I forgot to mention this. There is also this problem. I feel resistance when I want to pull out of the gear even though clutch pedal is pressed all the way down. So to avoid that I pull out lever in moment of releasing gas pedal and it goes like it should be.

And I have never experienced gear grinding.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello guys! After few months I'm back with the same problem, but with new informations. For now let's forget about everything I told you about clutch. We will talk about gearshift cables.
I changed oil and filters in October. Then I aksed a mechanic if anyone complained about Toyota's gearbox and shifting in general. He told me that no one came to him with that kind of problem. I said that gearshift lever is scratching while shifting and it's pretty inprecise. His response was.. We will easily make that work like it should be. He removed all plastics around gearshift lever and tweaked first (left) cable which is, I suppose, for left to righ lever movement. After test drive the problem has almost gone, but I felt lever scratching from 1st to 2nd gear, but nothing as much as before. He told me to drive like that and come later to tweak it. Tommorow, I don't know how, but it was as before. The problem is present 95% of time and everytime I feel gearshift lever scratching the car will *****. The feeling is like gears doesn't fully engage and when the power is transmitted they would groove, and the car jerks. No matter how I release a clutch pedal, no matter how fast or slow I do it, the problem is present. In case I find some weird path where gearshift lever doesn't scratch, then shifting is smooth as butter. For example, putting in reverse. I pull ring, press lever to the left and when I want to push it forward usually it's not straight line, it's more of a zig-zag movement, the path is really weird and inprecise. My mechanic noticed that plastic on gearshift mechanism is gnawed. It has more clereance to the left side, but nothing serious.
15 days ago I went again to him. We checked a safety, so that we are sure the cable didn't pull out. Everything is in place. Now he tried to drive. He told me that he shifts with his little finger. Indeed you can shift with a little finger but it's not smooth and the car jerks. I asked him if this can cause damage to gearbox. He told me he thinks it shouldn't cause problems, but I'm sure something is faulty. What do you suggest me? Should I buy a complete gearshift cable system? 

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