I have a 2001 corolla and I was just rolling into a driveway which is actually a lawn with some snow on it in my neighbourhood. Anyway, today the weather was milder and 3-4 inches of snow was wet and heavy. Turning into the spot, about half a carlength in, you could feel a little stress on the power steering. From there, the car moved straight for about a foot and the steering wheel wasn't completely straight. From this moment on, the engine was significantly louder. No clicks/clanks/whirrs, but just the engine was louder. The dashboard was vibrating and so was my steering wheel.
I knew something was up so I didn't even wait until tomorrow. I pulled out and took it for a test drive down the street and around the block. Making very sharp turns, like in a parking lot, the vibration was louder. Also, at certain RPMs, the car was louder. I was worried it was a transmission thing, but the car seems to be switching gears pretty easily - just with noise. I got up to around 80KPH and it was almost as if the noise was gone (but it was still there and noticeable). Accelerating, from like gear 1-2, 2-3 for example, is accompanied by a significantly louder engine.
At first I thought with the snow and budget driveway, maybe the wheel was shifted or something? However, after that test drive, it appears to be an engine noise.
Any advice would help + let me know any tests you want me to try.
additional details from today's drive to work: When going in reverse, the noise/vibrations are almost gone. Noise occurs when in park/drive. Also, vibration/noise is very prominent when going from complete rest to drive ie. Start to drive when traffic light goes from red to green, after stop signs, etc.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013 AT 8:41 PM