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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Regenerative Braking Noise in RAV4 Hybrid (Limited)

Hey all, I'm new to this forum but I'm on my third RAV4 and this one is a Hybrid Limited. There is much to like about the car but I've already had a major malfunction to the front camera safety system (replaced over two days) and now one thing is really grating on me (so much so that I am thinking of taking a loss and returning it given how much highway driving I do): the regenerative braking (motor?) noise that occurs ONLY between about 50 and 65 mph at low volumes when the brakes are not applied and high volume when brakes are applied. I complained and the dealer took me out in the ALE Hybrid and I heard the same noise but MUCH quieter. It is best likened to a loud squeal that I get is the regeneration but really should it be so noticeable that it feels like nails on a chalkboard? I want to love this car but I can't. I can easily capture audio if anyone is interested. Toyota is telling me this is normal but the head of the service department who has worked on hybrids for 20 years thinks it is too loud to be considered normal (he considers the ALE noise reasonable). I have also seen it mentioned in a few places as asides in the forums but while I get that it may be normal why do I NOT hear it in my friends' Prius, Highlander, or Camry hybrid? Does everyone just accept this and I should get over myself? Since Toyota is considering this normal, I have no recourse but to live with it and hope some day they address it (I have case numbers all over the place) or sell it and move on from the RAVs and Toyota forever in disappointment. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:50 PM
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Maybe try another dealer to see their take on this.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:56 PM
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Doesn't sound normal to me, I've never heard anything like that in mine, although I'm old and haven't had good hearing for many years, but my wife has excellent hearing(unfortunately!! ) and has never mentioned it, she drives a Prius.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I thought about another dealer but I should have been clearer, when I say Toyota, I mean Toyota. I went out with the regional tech and customer service directors who gave me pretty much "this is normal deal with it" responses that both felt dismissive and, well, helpless because really there is no data on this. My guess is I'd have to move out of the region to get a second opinion that went to someone else. That seems a bit extreme.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 06:01 PM
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Yes, capture audio and post. So the noise is inside the car or outside?
To be clear, if I am driving 60 mph and let go of the accelerator, there is little noise.
If I brake at 60 mph the noise is very loud?
I shall try that.
But I haven't heard anything as annoying as nails-on-a-chalkboard.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 06:50 PM
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Haven't had mine too long but I have been on the hi way a few times and didn't notice anything I'd call out of the ordinary. Hope you find the problem.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli77 View Post
Yes, capture audio and post. So the noise is inside the car or outside?
To be clear, if I am driving 60 mph and let go of the accelerator, there is little noise.
If I brake at 60 mph the noise is very loud?
I shall try that.
But I haven't heard anything as annoying as nails-on-a-chalkboard.
Been a bit windy here which makes the interior cabin extra noisy for capturing the sound clearly but I will soon when my wife can record. I cannot say exactly where the noise is coming from simply because the speeds prevent me from being exact but my guess is it is coming from inside the electric motor and sounds louder from the outside when it is against a barrier and because there is really very little ground clearance. As for the 60mph: ALWAYS when the brake is depressed. When the car is just slowing itself without braking it only makes the sound if it is in regeneration mode (meaning the red arrow is pointing from engine to battery and not battery to engine).
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 09:52 PM
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I have almost 500 miles on mine and the only time that I hear the noise is when I am breaking to come to a complete stop. I have had it on the highway twice for two hours and have driven it at varying speeds but not to exceed 70 mph.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 10:33 PM
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Someone this unhappy with a car needs to get rid of it. Be nice to the dealer and work out a trade deal, but expect it to hurt.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 11:48 PM
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Someone this unhappy with a car needs to get rid of it. Be nice to the dealer and work out a trade deal, but expect it to hurt.
This wouldn't be wise. Test drive other hybrids. If yours is making a noise that is clearly not made by other new RAVs, get it fixed while it is under warranty and don't settle for anything less. If they can't fix it, force them to buy it back at full cost, been there and done it with a Nissan with 2200 miles on it. Just be persistent and keep your documentation in order.
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