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Engine noise during warmup


enslow
07-10-2012, 11:57 PM
For the last few years I noticed my wife's 97 Lesabre was rather noisy while warming up. It was mainly engine noise, not knocking. I cannot rule out all vacuum leaks, although I have already replaced a number of the hoses. I remember reading either here or on another forum that some have complained about engine noise during the warm up as well. Some have it, some don't.

I recently discovered that I had some very slight exhaust manifold leaks. Not enough to smell exhaust, but enough I could feel a slight breeze on my hand when I held it in certain areas by the manifold. (And, no, it wasn't the fan). I tightened the exhaust manifold bolts and the engine is quieter now. All I have to do is get rid of the power steering whine and an alternator chatter.

Some have blamed the IAC, vacuum leaks, etc. Those are possible sources of noise. I'm posting this because if you have engine noise during warmup, you may wish to try tightening your manifold bolts about 1/16 of a turn. Also make sure the donut gaskets at the crossover are sealing too.

Tech II
07-11-2012, 07:35 PM
They are known for the exhaust "doughnut" between the manifold and the exhaust pipe coming apart, and creating a noise......

edwinn
08-06-2012, 09:59 AM
For the last few years I noticed my wife's 97 Lesabre was rather noisy while warming up. It was mainly engine noise, not knocking. I cannot rule out all vacuum leaks, although I have already replaced a number of the hoses. I remember reading either here or on another forum that some have complained about engine noise during the warm up as well. Some have it, some don't.

I've had a grinding-sucking noise in my Riviera 3800 engine during warm-up in COLD weather ever since purchasing it in 1998. It's understood to be a passage in the intake/throttle body that functions as a choke or fuel enrichment circuit? {cannot remember the correct terms} and was told that it's normal. It sounds like running a knife around inside an empty glass mayo jar of slightly more noisy!


-Ed

enslow
08-10-2012, 01:56 AM
I've done some further looking into the issue. The problem is definitly with the exhaust manifold. I stuck a vacuum on the blower mode through the exhaust pipe and felt around the exhaust manifolds as best I could. I still felt air coming out from the manifold right near the #5 cylinder. I tightened the manifold bolt a little more and I think I stopped the leak, and the engine is a fair bit quieter.

I had trouble with the donut gasket before, but this is definitly the exhaust manifold. I can't fit my hand in around the rear manifold from above, but I wouldn't be suprised if the rear had a leak too. I suppose both manifolds should be changed soon.

Ed, you may wish to look at your exhaust manifolds too. I thought it was a vacuum leak at the intake for over a year, because that's exactly what it sounded like. Turns out I was wrong.

edwinn
08-10-2012, 09:05 AM
I've done some further looking into the issue. The problem is definitely with the exhaust manifold. I stuck a vacuum on the blower mode through the exhaust pipe and felt around the exhaust manifolds as best I could. I still felt air coming out from the manifold right near the #5 cylinder. I tightened the manifold bolt a little more and I think I stopped the leak, and the engine is a fair bit quieter.

I had trouble with the donut gasket before, but this is definitely the exhaust manifold. I can't fit my hand in around the rear manifold from above, but I wouldn't be surprised if the rear had a leak too. I suppose both manifolds should be changed soon.

Ed, you may wish to look at your exhaust manifolds too. I thought it was a vacuum leak at the intake for over a year, because that's exactly what it sounded like. Turns out I was wrong.

This is a revelation, because the Buick dealer who "found" the lo-miles Riv for me said the noise, which was VERY prominent in winter weather, was the intake system. Not easy to diagnose because you only have a few mins in COLD weather to find the problem.

I'll state it again.. the noise is described as "running a table knife around inside an empty glass mayo jar" and there's a "clanking" or grinding component to the sound as well, almost like very rapid drumstick tips. It goes away in a few minutes. I've lived with this for 15 years and have normalized it.

Concerning the manifolds.. are you talking about where they bolt to the heads? Wouldn't there be evidence of a leak with black soot or carbon deposits nearby?


-Ed

Tech II
08-10-2012, 11:37 AM
Sure you are not confusing the noise with the air pump?

The air pump comes on, on a cold engine....the length of time is determined by the startup temp of the coolant.....

enslow
08-10-2012, 11:40 AM
Ed,

I suppose there would be a black spot, although the newer cars burn far more completely than the cars of 25 years ago. Keep in mind I'm looking from above so I cannot actually see the spot, just feel it when I reach in there.

Your noise could be intake, but it could be worth checking the exhaust manifolds. They head up within a minute. I know that sometimes when the dealership doesn't know, they will feed you a line to answer your question. These lines usually come from the "service advisor", not the actual mechanic that works on your car because the mechanic is often conveniently hidden behind the service techs. (Nothing bad against the mechanics, more a comment about the dealership structure.

enslow
08-18-2012, 11:42 PM
Sure you are not confusing the noise with the air pump?

The air pump comes on, on a cold engine....the length of time is determined by the startup temp of the coolant.....

Could be on Ed, but not mine. I have no air suspension, and I have confirmed it is leaking at the exhaust manifold.

I am considering changing the front exhaust manifold. Is it worth considering the Dorman? Should I get GM? If I get Dorman, they come with manifold gaskets. GM didn't use gaskets at the factory, and doesn't supply gaskets with their manifolds.

HotZ28
08-19-2012, 01:16 AM
Could be on Ed, but not mine. I have no air suspension, and I have confirmed it is leaking at the exhaust manifold.I think what TechII was referring to was an air pump on the engine, which neither of these have. Obviously, the rear air ride compressor has nothing to do with engine start up temp. :headshake

I am considering changing the front exhaust manifold. Is it worth considering the Dorman? Should I get GM? If I get Dorman, they come with manifold gaskets. GM didn't use gaskets at the factory, and doesn't supply gaskets with their manifolds. Gaskets make imperfections such as warping and uneven surfaces more forgiving, hence the use of header gaskets when used in conjunction with tube headers. I would not hesitate to try Dorman for this purpose, especially if cost is a factor.

edwinn
08-19-2012, 08:23 AM
Could be on Ed, but not mine. I have no air suspension, and I have confirmed it is leaking at the exhaust manifold.

I am considering changing the front exhaust manifold. Is it worth considering the Dorman? Should I get GM? If I get Dorman, they come with manifold gaskets. GM didn't use gaskets at the factory, and doesn't supply gaskets with their manifolds.

Had normalized the issue and dismissed it, but now since the topic came up.. am hearing the grinding clatter sound on start-up, in the garage in August. Not a cold weather issue (although it's worse in cold weather) but a cold engine issue. It's more prominent with the hood open, and definitely not the air suspension pump. Haven't seen a manifold air injection pump since the 350 CI V8 engines.

The sound (once more) is described as "a blunt dinner knife running around inside an glass mayo jar" together with "screws clattering in a coffee can" and a "drumstick 'tipity-tipity' component." So there's a grinding, clatter and rapping component all combined. It's rather loud, yes!!

I still think if there was exhaust leaking then you'd have a soot residue. Have we dismissed the air induction/cold engine/choke explanation? That's what the dealer told me who diagnosed it. Let's get this one figure it out.


-Ed


Edit: tell you what... I'll endeavor to make a hi-def video of this in stereo, mounting the PowerShot camera on a tripod aimed at the engine compartment and start 'er up.

enslow
08-19-2012, 11:49 AM
You may not be able to see the soot. I certainly didn't notice any. If the exhaust leak is on the underside (like mine), you'll be hard pressed to see the soot. The easiest way to find it is to use a smoke machine (which I don't have) or try a shop vac on blower mode through the exhaust tail pipe, then feel around. Mine was quite hard to find. I didn't feel any air rushing for a minute using the shop vac trick. It could only be felt from one angle. A smoke machine would definitely be better.

edwinn
08-24-2012, 09:17 AM
You may not be able to see the soot. I certainly didn't notice any. If the exhaust leak is on the underside (like mine), you'll be hard pressed to see the soot. The easiest way to find it is to use a smoke machine (which I don't have) or try a shop vac on blower mode through the exhaust tail pipe, then feel around. Mine was quite hard to find. I didn't feel any air rushing for a minute using the shop vac trick. It could only be felt from one angle. A smoke machine would definitely be better.

Anything new on this topic? Would like to get more feedback / input from GM guys or dealer Techs that it's a known issue. I'm more sensitive to the nosie now and noticing the "clatter" at each start-up, even in summer weather. It will be WORSE in cold weather.

-Ed

Tech II
08-24-2012, 12:34 PM
An old trick to find ex manifold leaks, was to remove a couple plugs(one on each bank) and add a few drops of oil in the cylinders...replace plugs and start the car.....smoke would come out where the leak was....

HotZ28
08-26-2012, 01:15 AM
Had normalized the issue and dismissed it, but now since the topic came up.. am hearing the grinding clatter sound on start-up, in the garage in August. Not a cold weather issue (although it's worse in cold weather) but a cold engine issue. It's more prominent with the hood open, and definitely not the air suspension pump. Haven't seen a manifold air injection pump since the 350 CI V8 engines.

The sound (once more) is described as "a blunt dinner knife running around inside an empty glass mayo jar with" together with "screws clattering inside a coffee can," and a "drumstick tip 'rapity-rapity' component." So there's a grinding, clatter and rapping component all combined. It's rather loud, yes!!

I still think if there was exhaust leaking then you'd have a soot residue. Have we dismissed the air induction/cold engine/choke explanation? That's what the dealer told me who diagnosed it. Let's get this one figure it out.


-Ed


Edit: tell you what... I'll endeavor to make a hi-def video of this in stereo, mounting the PowerShot camera on a tripod aimed at the engine compartment and start 'er up.Ed, do you have a supercharger coupling clatter? Take the S/C belt off and check for back/forth play in the snout coupling.

edwinn
08-26-2012, 08:35 AM
Tell you what... I'll endeavor to make a hi-def video of this in stereo, mounting the PowerShot camera on a tripod aimed at the engine compartment and start 'er up.
Ed, do you have a supercharger coupling clatter? Take the S/C belt off and check for back/forth play in the snout coupling.

No sir, it's a L36 engine with a single accessory belt. The two explanations I have are:1) Induction/intake noise with cold engine - worse in winter,

2) Exhaust leak with cold engine.

It's a clatter all right. :mad:
See post above where I've clarified the description of the sound (with underlines.)


-Ed

HotZ28
08-28-2012, 12:54 AM
Check exhaust crossover & down pipe gasket donuts for leaks. Also, look for a cracked exhaust manifold, or leak on mating surface, which may be hard to see. As mentioned, smoke injection would be the best method for finding leaks.

edwinn
08-28-2012, 05:56 AM
For the last few years I noticed my wife's 97 Lesabre was rather noisy while warming up.

I recently discovered that I had some very slight exhaust manifold leaks. I tightened the exhaust manifold bolts and the engine is quieter now.

if you have engine noise during warmup, you may wish to try tightening your manifold bolts about 1/16 of a turn. Also make sure the donut gaskets at the crossover are sealing too.

They are known for the exhaust "doughnut" between the manifold and the exhaust pipe coming apart, and creating a noise..

Check exhaust crossover & down pipe gasket donuts for leaks. Also, look for a cracked exhaust manifold, or leak on mating surface, which may be hard to see. As mentioned, smoke injection would be the best method for finding leaks.

Yes I'm all over this thread and may have hijacked it, but enslow is reporting noise "for the last few years" but my engine had this problem FROM THE DAY I BOUGHT IT in early 1998. TechII has probably nailed the problem with the EXHAUST DOUGHNUT coming apart. Enslow says he tightened the manifold bolts and it helped. HotZ says to "check gasket donuts" and for cracked or leaking manifold surfaces.

The two major issues on the service ticket in March 98 for my vehicle were ENGINE NOISE WHEN COLD and STEERING SHUDDER. Neither of these were fixed under warranty and still unresolved today. So that means once you get warmed up and back out of the parking space, it's good to go. :rofl:

Sounds like it's time to have the front end of the exhaust system checked and diagnosed. I'd bet my dealer guys would do that for 50 bucks. Of course they'd quote some expensive parts replacement but the information would be good.

How does one go about tightening bolts that are rusted after 15 years of extreme heat and hot/cold cycling? IOW.. can you simply put a wrench on the manifold studs/bolts and crack in some torque? I'd imagine the doughnut gasket(s) are pretty well shot by now. Sounds like it needs a good upper exhaust check!! or as TechII says.. the doughnut has come apart.


Edit:

Here's the service history for the ENGINE NOISE during warmup:

Dealer in Pennsylvania (purchased there)

3/25/98 - Customer states bearing-type grinding noise on cold starts - 21,021 miles
CROSSOVER PIPE RATTLING IN SHIELD GOES AWAY AFTER WARMUP DUE TO EXPANSION
REPLACE CROSSOVER PIPE #24503125


Dealer in New England

4/13/98 - Check grinding noise on first start when cold - 23,733 miles
RETORQUE FLYWHEEL BOLTS



-Ed

enslow
08-28-2012, 09:59 AM
I do remember having a heck of a time sealing that donut gasket on the crossover pipe after doing my LIM gasket. In the end, I had to take the donut gasket and file the burrs smoother, then reassemble the crossover pipe. As I torqued it down, I had to make sure it was seating flat on both ends by wiggling it as I torqued it down. As I recall, one end doesn't even use a gasket, just a flared end. It was rather tricky.

There are other joints up near the front end, as well as two O2 sensors that could leak.

I've even heard of bolts missing from the factory.

edwinn
08-29-2012, 08:03 AM
I do remember having a heck of a time sealing that donut gasket on the crossover pipe after doing my LIM gasket. In the end, I had to take the donut gasket and file the burrs smoother, then reassemble the crossover pipe. As I torqued it down, I had to make sure it was seating flat on both ends by wiggling it as I torqued it down. As I recall, one end doesn't even use a gasket, just a flared end. It was rather tricky. There are other joints up near the front end, as well as two O2 sensors that could leak. I've even heard of bolts missing from the factory.


Oh.. you mean like this? :rofl:

http://home.comcast.net/%7Eedwinn/manifolds_03.png

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I'm not working right now and have time to do this stuff.


Have drawing.. will scan!!


-Ed

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