Lexus IS Forum banner

81 - 97 of 97 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
this happened to me too...mine started off as a swooshing sound and later evolved into a popping sound...the problem was solved after i replaced my water pump. in the meantime, make sure you have sufficient levels of coolant because for me, the popping sound was caused by overheating (my temp gauge was broken so i didnt know D:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Lately, during cold starts here in Nebraska, I've been noticing this gurgling sound coming from my center console/glove box as well. The first thing I checked was the coolant reservoir tank, and indeed it was dry. I filled the radiator and tank and the noise went away; I didn't bleed the system or raise the vehicle. The noise has since come back, and I imagine it will progress the longer I put off actually bleeding the trapped air rather than just topping off.

My question is: what causes this air to enter the system in the first place? The only thing I can think of is the coolant somehow evaporating and escaping the system, but that doesn't sound like normal operation to me; something would have had to have failed to allow that to happen, yes? I thought that at some point I smelled coolant while driving, but it's hard to say as I didn't smell anything in the engine bay or from the exhaust after checking at my destination. I see no leaks from a quick once-over at the engine bay.

I ask, because the seller of my current vehicle said the engine had overheated from the previous owner, and he paid to have the head work necessary to fix it; nearly $2.5k he said. I'm not sure what all work was done, however. The car didn't start making this noise until the cold of winter hit, nearly three months after I bought it and started driving it regularly. As well, the engine always seemed to sound just a tad "off" to me, with a slight muffled "ticking" sound that followed RPM and a slight vibration from the shift knob at idle, almost as though one cylinder had low compression causing a slight imbalance. This past month there were two times it struggled a moment or takes a second attempt to start (after giving the first a few gallups). This past week my car has been idling rough at times, especially after driving spiritedly (but that last bit could be just in my head...).

Do you think the low coolant and whatever issue I'm imaging with the low compression/imbalance, possibly the rough idle, and perhaps (but I can't think how) the hard starts could be related? Other than continually checking the coolant level to ensure it doesn't leak, should I run a wet/dry compression test, or perhaps also a leak-down test?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
Lately, during cold starts here in Nebraska, I've been noticing this gurgling sound coming from my center console/glove box as well. The first thing I checked was the coolant reservoir tank, and indeed it was dry. I filled the radiator and tank and the noise went away; I didn't bleed the system or raise the vehicle. The noise has since come back, and I imagine it will progress the longer I put off actually bleeding the trapped air rather than just topping off.

My question is: what causes this air to enter the system in the first place? The only thing I can think of is the coolant somehow evaporating and escaping the system, but that doesn't sound like normal operation to me; something would have had to have failed to allow that to happen, yes? I thought that at some point I smelled coolant while driving, but it's hard to say as I didn't smell anything in the engine bay or from the exhaust after checking at my destination. I see no leaks from a quick once-over at the engine bay.

I ask, because the seller of my current vehicle said the engine had overheated from the previous owner, and he paid to have the head work necessary to fix it; nearly $2.5k he said. I'm not sure what all work was done, however. The car didn't start making this noise until the cold of winter hit, nearly three months after I bought it and started driving it regularly. As well, the engine always seemed to sound just a tad "off" to me, with a slight muffled "ticking" sound that followed RPM and a slight vibration from the shift knob at idle, almost as though one cylinder had low compression causing a slight imbalance. This past month there were two times it struggled a moment or takes a second attempt to start (after giving the first a few gallups). This past week my car has been idling rough at times, especially after driving spiritedly (but that last bit could be just in my head...).

Do you think the low coolant and whatever issue I'm imaging with the low compression/imbalance, possibly the rough idle, and perhaps (but I can't think how) the hard starts could be related? Other than continually checking the coolant level to ensure it doesn't leak, should I run a wet/dry compression test, or perhaps also a leak-down test?
#1 cause is the overflow reservoir goes dry and pulls air back into the system, usually due to a leak or negligence. The reservoir should be half filled when completely cold and should ALWAYS return to that level when completely cold. Do you notice any leaks on the ground, near the water pump, or cracks in the radiator? I would think a crack in the plastic would also cause a leak as well, but it may be if you are smelling coolant. Has your radiator cap ever been replaced? If that's not keeping a certain pressure(~11-14psi iirc) in the system then the fluid will expel when warm and you will run low every time. Aside from that, it's sounds like your car needs a tune up if you have valve train tick. Do you have poor/low idle(below 700rpms)? A compression test and/or leak down would be appropriate, which should've actually been performed before you bought the car(if you knew there was head work).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
#1 cause is the overflow reservoir goes dry and pulls air back into the system, usually due to a leak or negligence. The reservoir should be half filled when completely cold and should ALWAYS return to that level when completely cold. Do you notice any leaks on the ground, near the water pump, or cracks in the radiator? I would think a crack in the plastic would also cause a leak as well, but it may be if you are smelling coolant. Has your radiator cap ever been replaced? If that's not keeping a certain pressure(~11-14psi iirc) in the system then the fluid will expel when warm and you will run low every time.
I checked this morning, and while the radiator level seemed fine, the reservior was essentially empty. I topped things off and will continue to keep an eye on things, giving it a proper bleed this weekend. I will replace the radiator cap for good measure, but I have to imagine it's not the culprit as I've taken the vehicle on 2 hour trips and never had an issue.

Aside from that, it's sounds like your car needs a tune up if you have valve train tick. Do you have poor/low idle(below 700rpms)?
The idle seems to operate fine; fast idles up to 2k when cold (extremely cold here lately), but always settles around 750 RPM or so (I'll pay more attention next time I drive). It's just lately that I've been noticing the rough idle (seems to miss every now and then); things seem fine when under load. I was initially using 93 octane fuel, but I've since switched to 91 as it's much easier to find around here; both have a good chance of having 10% ethanol as well.

A compression test and/or leak down would be appropriate, which should've actually been performed before you bought the car(if you knew there was head work).
Yeah, I let the excitement get the better of me, and I was in the need for a car; I always planned on building an engine for the car, so engine health wasn't my greatest concern given the mileage on the engine. Unfortunately, priorities change and now I'm likely to buy a house before doing much invasive work to the car; so now I'm looking into the issues before they become real problems.

Thanks for the reply, Jason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I too had the problem with the gurgling sound behind the dash/glovebox.. It would go away whenever I topped off the coolant and bled the system. It would come back every time though, usually within a week. I recently flushed my heater core, ended up putting drain cleaner in it and letting it sit for just a bit. Then I flushed with water under pressure and 100 psi compressed air blasts. I got so much crap out of the heater core, and now it heats perfectly. It has also gotten rid of the sound for me though. The $5 I spent on drain cleaner and extra hoses was the best $5 mod I've made yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
I checked this morning, and while the radiator level seemed fine, the reservior was essentially empty. I topped things off and will continue to keep an eye on things, giving it a proper bleed this weekend. I will replace the radiator cap for good measure, but I have to imagine it's not the culprit as I've taken the vehicle on 2 hour trips and never had an issue.
I caught a whiff of coolant again while driving home tonight, and I was able to pinpoint a leak in the engine bay. While the AutoCheck report showed no reported accidents, this vehicle has definitely been in some sort of minor front-end fender-bender. The driver side doors have been repainted, as has the front bumper cover. The driver side door sits a bit catawampus in the jambs, with a visible slightly creased indentation on the front top of the driver side B pillar (as though the corner of the door was somehow pressed into it), and I noticed some of the fender supports were bent out of position when I had to replace the burnt out driver side fog light. The dent is really subtle, but you can see it on close inspection. I believe the seller said the radiator was replaced as well. Oh, and the driver side headlight bracket is broken. I guess that's why I got it at bluebook.

Long story short... the cooling fan shroud's coolant recovery tank is cracked and has an attempt at a repair (looks like gray epoxy) but still leaks.

Should I attempt to clean and re-repair, or should I just spring for a new shroud?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Just wanted to drop a thanks, the previous owner did his own oil changes and apparently didn't check the coolant level (the radiator was low and the overflow tank was bone dry), it took just over half a gallon (over the initial refill and the top off a few days later) but the gurgle is gone, or at least so quite I can't hear it over the engine starting up.

I didn't follow the instructions quite to the letter though, I left the radiator cap on, drove it to a steep hill (I live in Seattle, so those are easy to find) and let it warm up on the hill, occasionally revving it up to about 3k (where the noise stopped before I filled everything up) then I drove around a bit, mostly steep hills near my place and the freeway to make sure it was thoroughly warm, seems to have worked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Just wanted to drop a thanks, the previous owner did his own oil changes and apparently didn't check the coolant level (the radiator was low and the overflow tank was bone dry), it took just over half a gallon (over the initial refill and the top off a few days later) but the gurgle is gone, or at least so quite I can't hear it over the engine starting up.

I didn't follow the instructions quite to the letter though, I left the radiator cap on, drove it to a steep hill (I live in Seattle, so those are easy to find) and let it warm up on the hill, occasionally revving it up to about 3k (where the noise stopped before I filled everything up) then I drove around a bit, mostly steep hills near my place and the freeway to make sure it was thoroughly warm, seems to have worked.
Lucky no major overheating. You would think that if he went to the trouble of doing oil changes he would have glanced at the coolant tank at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I had this problem.... kept on for about 4 weeks, then thermostat went out. Replaced thermostat , drained alllllll coolant in the block, ran car turned on defrosters with heat full blast , jacked car up in the front making the radiator the highest point, replaced fluid till completely full after swallowing a bunch while running with defrosters on... then filled reservoir halfway... boom stopped problem haven't heard it since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Still Good Advice

Winter just hit in Colorado and my wife told me that the heater wasn't working unless the car was driving, there was a gurgling under the dash, and the car was starting to run hot. I test drive it and confirm everything she's saying. Check the coolant and find the reservoir bone dry. I immediately know that there's air in the system, but I haven't burped a Lexus before, so did a little research and came here. It's pretty much the same as for other vehicles, but knowing for sure is worth the research. I follow the steps for burping the air out and it takes a full gallon and then some! It was practically ALL air by the time I got to it. It burped for quite a while, but I got all the air out and the heater works fine now. I'm seeing some coolant in the driveway, so I might have overfilled it a bit... or I have a leak somewhere. I'll have my wife keep an eye on it an I'll keep checking it once a week or so. If the reservoir runs dry again, I'll get a new cap and take it for a pressure test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hello there. So I'm also dealing with the sloshing water sound behind the glove box. But in addition to it, my heater has not worked well for a few years now. It's less hot on the driver side and a bit warmer on the passenger. I've bought some CLR to flush out my heater core here in the next few days or once I get some information from you fellows. But my question is that necessary to do or am I just in need of getting my car on a steep hill and bleeding the air out? The fact that the driver side is less warm makes me feel that it is probably clogged up. Also I feel like it's probably okay but have any of you used CLR to flush out a heater core? I saw Eric the Car Guy use it on his heater core flush video on YouTube. I would really appreciate a response as it's really annoying to hear every time I start my car or Accelerate from a stop. Not to mention not having Heat it's the worst in the winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,848 Posts
Hello there. So I'm also dealing with the sloshing water sound behind the glove box. But in addition to it, my heater has not worked well for a few years now. It's less hot on the driver side and a bit warmer on the passenger. I've bought some CLR to flush out my heater core here in the next few days or once I get some information from you fellows. But my question is that necessary to do or am I just in need of getting my car on a steep hill and bleeding the air out? The fact that the driver side is less warm makes me feel that it is probably clogged up. Also I feel like it's probably okay but have any of you used CLR to flush out a heater core? I saw Eric the Car Guy use it on his heater core flush video on YouTube. I would really appreciate a response as it's really annoying to hear every time I start my car or Accelerate from a stop. Not to mention not having Heat it's the worst in the winter.
It may be servos not working correctly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I've checked them. They are working. It's my heater core. All I wanna know is if R is OK to use and if I'm getting the gurgling sound if it's more likely air or that it's actually clogged because the drivers side gets such less amount of any heat at all. And ita not much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,848 Posts
I've checked them. They are working. It's my heater core. All I wanna know is if R is OK to use and if I'm getting the gurgling sound if it's more likely air or that it's actually clogged because the drivers side gets such less amount of any heat at all. And ita not much.
There is a servo that controls direction out the vents. If they are working correctly. I have seen them plugged into the wrong servo plug. Next the only other thing that could make it blow less on one side would be a physical blockage.

As for the slosh. If you try to fill the heater core with CLR that is fine. But if it is that bad. You are better off replacing it. I have had some cars hard to burp. But most do so when jacked at an angle and revving the engine quickly.
 
81 - 97 of 97 Posts
Top