Any ideas on this noisy 2009 Corolla?

Jul 13, 2005
New Hampsha
Took ownership on my mother's 2009 Corolla as she does not drive any longer. She was pretty good at keeping up the maintenance when she was driving but for the last year and a half the car pretty much sat. Only thing I have done to it is have the dealership give it an oil change.

The car runs pretty smooth however under the hood it is making some pretty yuck noises. To me it sounds like the noises are coming mostly from the alternator area however maybe exhaust as well?

The car is pretty rusty underneath from sitting but with only 15K on the dial it seems worth sinking some $$ into into to get it running better.


The idler pulley? or belt coming apart? Alternator? it's all right there. Free to check anyways.
Take the serpentine belt off and move spin the alternator, and the pulleys by hand, they should feel smooth, spin freely with a little resistance and make no noise. If you don't want to take the belt off you can try they old long screwdriver to you ear trick to try to pinpoint that noise.
Thanks you for the words so far guys....I def think the car is worth sinking some $$ into as it makes the perfect commuter car (100 miles per day) that I don't have to put on my Subaru.

That being said, am I walking a tightrope by continuing to drive the car in the condition it it is in? I am going to get things fixed, just trying to find a good day to do it. Advise parking it until these issues are fixed?

Also expensive fixes based on some of the suggestions on what it could be?
I had a noise primarily just afer starting that was coming from that area on my 2001 corolla, and it turned out to be the belt tensioner.
Maybe 400?

After sitting for one and a half years I wonder if something corroded up? Would spraying WD-40 at the pulleys help narrow down the culprit if it is a pulley? Might help to get under it too for a good look around.

This car is 12 years old with only 15000 miles so besides the sitting for 1-½ years it has hardly been driven. With that said, I think it’s worth saving even if it costs some $$. Considering the prices of new cars right now that’s the way I would go if it were me.
Take it to the dealer for an estimate on the noise fix. Engine sounds good. Check the battery. Nice car.
To the dealer? o_O

Lol. One of my favorite tv shows. One doesn't have to have the dealer do the work. One is just getting an idea of what's wrong and apprx. how much the dealer will charge to fix it. It's just info gathering. You gotta start, somewhere.
Go to to check common issues with those. First year of that generation which had more problems than normal. It will also show recalls which I think it does have. Those engines do sound loud on 5 or 0w20 oil, try a 5w30 preferably Magnatec.
Last edited:
Dropped it off tonight at a local indy shop. Said they will take a look and give me a ring tomorrow on what they find. This is what it sounds like after running for a bit

If i had a $1 for every noise that looked at AAP, could maybe have $100 or more. I saw the entire bracket assembly bent out of alignment one time. DIY, people some of them start bolts by hand and wrench them tight, great if the assembly is not on incorrectly, that is how it bent. Others have made good comments on dried out bearings every where
One quick test you can try, on a cold start let it idle about 2 minutes. Shut it down and do a quick feel of the pulleys. If one is noticeably hotter or outright burns you you found you issue.