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2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap #5340967 02/04/20 03:25 PM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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I have 110000 miles and I have seemed to have developed a "piston slap" noise. However is only occurs when engine is WARMED up.
In park is a real distinct metallic sound. Coming form the bottom the engine. UOA show aluminium going up. From 2 to 6 recently

Anyone else have this warmed up "piston slap" noise? Otherwise it runs perfectly. Still under warranty but researching before I bring it in.

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5340972 02/04/20 03:32 PM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Create a video.


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5340998 02/04/20 03:58 PM
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gregk24 Offline
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Piston slap is usually more pronounced when the engine is cold due to clearances being wider, as the engine warms up and metals expand the sound lessens or goes away.


2012 Honda Accord EX-L K24z3
60,xxx miles
PPPP 0w20 / Fram Ultra

2014 VW Jetta SE 1.8T ea888
54,xxx miles
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Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5340999 02/04/20 03:59 PM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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This one is opposite. Maybe a bad bearing?

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: gregk24] #5342068 02/05/20 05:26 PM
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DGXR Offline
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Originally Posted by gregk24
Piston slap is usually more pronounced when the engine is cold due to clearances being wider, as the engine warms up and metals expand the sound lessens or goes away.

This is true, I have piston slap in my 2.7 Tacoma during cold starts below 40F and it takes about 90 seconds of idling for the slap noise to completely stop.
The OP's engine noise goes away quickly, I'm assuming that means quicker than 90 seconds. A video from the OP would be very helpful here.


1995 Corvette coupe LT1 6-speed
2006 Tacoma 2.7 Base SR5 AC
1999 Yamaha YZ400FL
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Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5342071 02/05/20 05:29 PM
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aquariuscsm Online Content
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What oil and filter are you using?


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5342488 02/06/20 07:16 AM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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Mobil 1 AFE 0w-20 and Toyota filter

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5342537 02/06/20 08:45 AM
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aquariuscsm Online Content
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Just a hunch, but I wonder if the oil is becoming too thin once it’s hot causing the piston slap ?


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5342771 02/06/20 02:42 PM
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2000Trooper Offline
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You dont have piston slap. Piston slap is more of a knock/tap noise. I dont mean to come off the wrong way but instead of focusing your energy on diagnosing for the shop especially when you have warranty, gather the best information you can on how the shop can replicate the issue and provide them with good info on how the issue can be replicated. Make an appointment with the shop to meet the mechanic when you take it in and get the vehicle to them while it's having the symptoms of whatever issue you have so he can see it first hand. Everyone wins in this situation and your car wont be in the shop for a week.

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5343384 02/07/20 07:00 AM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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Thanks. Just gathering info. When I go to toyota I will make sure I can replicate the noise for them.
FYI the oil pan was damaged before I bought it. I didnt catch it until after the sale. Looks like someone jacked the car up on the oil pan. They replaced the oil pan but my theory it crimped the oil pickup tube and starved the lower end. Now I thinks its a crank bearing.


Last edited by millerbl00; 02/07/20 07:01 AM.
Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5343393 02/07/20 07:13 AM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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Originally Posted by millerbl00
Thanks. Just gathering info. When I go to toyota I will make sure I can replicate the noise for them.
FYI the oil pan was damaged before I bought it. I didnt catch it until after the sale. Looks like someone jacked the car up on the oil pan. They replaced the oil pan but my theory it crimped the oil pickup tube and starved the lower end. Now I thinks its a crank bearing.

Or they bottomed out/got high centered? 🤔 Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to inspect the pickup..

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5344518 02/08/20 10:43 AM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Toyotas are notorious for the VVT controller lock pin getting stuck at startup. You get a 3-4 second rattle until oil pressure builds enough to unlock the pin. Makes a distinct sound.


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03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5345991 02/10/20 09:26 AM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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There is no noise at startup. Only when hot

Tested this morning. Makes more noise Warmed in Drive and reverse. Thinking now it might be the Transmission mount

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5346190 02/10/20 01:07 PM
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millerbl00 Offline OP
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My mechanic is thinking flex plate.....

Re: 2013 Toyota Highlander piston slap [Re: millerbl00] #5346259 02/10/20 02:15 PM
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ka9mnx Offline
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Originally Posted by millerbl00
My mechanic is thinking flex plate.....

Back in the 90's I bought a perfectly looking Dodge (small 4 cylinder car I cant remember the model) that a customer brought in my shop with a "rod knock". I gave him $50 for the car which was probably worth $1k. I took a chance and won. Flex plate was loose and sounded exactly like a rod knock. Put some LockTite on the 3 bolts (yes 3!) and daily drove it for 4 years and then gave it to my daughter. Nice economical car.


2005 Ranger 3.0 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
2000 4Runner 3.4 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Toyota
1997 B2500 Van 3.9 - M1 HM 10w-30/Mopar
1993 F150 4.9 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
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