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Hello. So I just picked up a '10 Rav4 4cyl Sport model. 51k miles on it. Beautiful condition, all records, etc. Love everything about it.

But there is a noise I am hearing that I am concerned about.

On a cold start, even after say 4 hours sitting... It starts great, idles great, sounds great. But if you start moving or put it in gear and put the brake on and feather the throttle, I get a very distinctive knocking noise. Kind of a muffled knocking. Not tinny. So its mainly under load.

It will continue to do this until the car is fully warmed up and then it almost completely goes away.

It does not really sound like pinging due to gas I dont think. I put a bottle of techron in it and put premium shell gas in it yesterday and dont notice any difference.

I read some of these motors can have like a piston slap? Some of the camry boards complain about this.

Any thoughts or solutions? I love this vehicle but I am super sensitive to noises and this is going to make me not enjoy driving this. (For the first 10 or so minutes at least).
 

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I would not consider that knocking. Your car has a knock sensor. If it is really knocking it will throw a code.
 

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I would not consider that knocking. Your car has a knock sensor. If it is really knocking it will throw a code.
Sure sounds like a knock/piston slap to me. Been listening to tons of other vids that are supposedly piston slap and it sounds the same to me. It goes away once fully warmed up.

If not, any other thoughts on what it could be then? Or is it just nothing to worry about?
 

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Sure sounds like a knock/piston slap to me. Been listening to tons of other vids that are supposedly piston slap and it sounds the same to me. It goes away once fully warmed up.

If not, any other thoughts on what it could be then? Or is it just nothing to worry about?
Don't wish to speak for mr pulldown, but I think he's referring to a pre-ignition knock or "ping", like from bad gas.
You're talking about a mechanical knock, right? I listened and really don't think it's a problem, but how's the oil? Viscosity, condition etc?
 

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Don't wish to speak for mr pulldown, but I think he's referring to a pre-ignition knock or "ping", like from bad gas.
You're talking about a mechanical knock, right? I listened and really don't think it's a problem, but how's the oil? Viscosity, condition etc?
Fresh oil change about 100 miles ago. Oil is still full and looks brand new. Fresh premium tank of Shell premium. Also a bottle of Techron in the tank. It seems faint in the video but its very apparent while sitting in the vehicle until it warms up completely after driving it. You can tell the difference when I put it in Neutral and there is no knocking sound in the video vs in Park or Drive and feathering the throttle. It seems mechanical to me. I ran some seafoam through the brake booster last night to see if it was maybe carbon buildup. Figured it would be good to give it a cleaning anyways. Got a little bit of smoke but not much. Did not change the sound at all.
 

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Sounds like a metal component, possibly in the valve train, which when it has warmed up expands to fill whatever gap exists. There didn't seem to be a significant difference in the video between the engine being under load and not being so. Doesn't sound serious and I wouldn't be concerned unless the noise becomes worse. The only other possibility which comes to mind is a lower end engine bearing which may be worn, but with that mileage that seems unlikely.
 

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I wonder if that is not a hydraulic lifter. Channels going to it may be a partially clogged and the thick cold oil can't get to it quick enough to lift them all the way when under load.

May want to run some Sea Foam through the engine and then do an oil change and see if it changes at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wonder if that is not a hydraulic lifter. Channels going to it may be a partially clogged and the thick cold oil can't get to it quick enough to lift them all the way when under load.

May want to run some Sea Foam through the engine and then do an oil change and see if it changes at all.
I did seafoam on top end last night, no difference. I will run some in the oil right before my next oil change. Oil was just changed. All records show the oil has been changed right on time every 5k at the dealer.

Ive taken it to the dealer to have them listen. They hear it but say its nothing. (like usual with any noise). They say it goes away when warmed up not to worry about it. Ive never had a vehicle sound like that and I hate noises so it sucks listening to it. Was hoping someone may have some idea that maybe the dealer didnt. So far, Piston slap seems to be the top culprit in my eyes.

Cold start, under load, goes away when warmed up. I do have 12 month, 12k powertrain warranty on it that comes with the car from Toyota since it has less than 100k on it. (hence taking it back to the dealer to have them look at it). So I guess just keep driving it and if it gets worse keep hounding them to fix it. I may take it to an independent shop sometime before the warranty is up and see what they say. I get nowhere with dealerships.
 

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I worked at a GM dealership a number of years ago and had a Cavalier with "Normal Piston Slap" from about 5000kms on. I was a service adviser and after the first time mentioning it and getting nowhere I would make a complaint every 2000kms, my manager told me to write no work orders as it was a normal noise and it would hurt the dealership having that many orders with nothing done.

At 63,000kms (3000km over warranty) the shop foreman finally agreed it was a lower bearing noise and I needed a new engine. Spoke with my manager and was told since I had not written a work order since 5000km regarding the noise that they would not be able to do anything to help me out with it and GM would not do a good will warranty. I quit a few months later.

Learn from my mistake. If you think there is something wrong and have warranty, take it to the dealer often and force them to create a work order with the complaint. That way if the engine goes a couple of thousand of miles after the warranty is up, you have something to go back on.
 

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Sure sounds like a knock/piston slap to me. Been listening to tons of other vids that are supposedly piston slap and it sounds the same to me. It goes away once fully warmed up.
Knock and piston slap are not the same thing.

Don't wish to speak for mr pulldown, but I think he's referring to a pre-ignition knock or "ping", like from bad gas.
You're talking about a mechanical knock, right? I listened and really don't think it's a problem, but how's the oil? Viscosity, condition etc?
You can go ahead and speak for me. :wink
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Knock and piston slap are not the same thing.



You can go ahead and speak for me. :wink
I know. Im just using the term "knock" to describe the noise. Piston slap is still the "knocking or slapping" of the piston in the cylinder is it not?

Sounds more like a knocking or slap than a ping or ting. :wink
 

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I worked at a GM dealership a number of years ago and had a Cavalier with "Normal Piston Slap" from about 5000kms on. I was a service adviser and after the first time mentioning it and getting nowhere I would make a complaint every 2000kms, my manager told me to write no work orders as it was a normal noise and it would hurt the dealership having that many orders with nothing done.

At 63,000kms (3000km over warranty) the shop foreman finally agreed it was a lower bearing noise and I needed a new engine. Spoke with my manager and was told since I had not written a work order since 5000km regarding the noise that they would not be able to do anything to help me out with it and GM would not do a good will warranty. I quit a few months later.

Learn from my mistake. If you think there is something wrong and have warranty, take it to the dealer often and force them to create a work order with the complaint. That way if the engine goes a couple of thousand of miles after the warranty is up, you have something to go back on.
Couldn't agree with you more!!:serious
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Any other thoughts on what it could be? Its still there when it warms up but id say its 90% diminished. 10 minutes of driving until its almost completely gone. I can still faintly hear it though. If you put headphones on you can really hear it in the video. Its louder in person. How can the dealer say that is normal? It sounds like a diesel. Guess i'll just keep wasting time off work to take it to the dealership constantly in the next 12k miles. I was super excited for this vehicle and not it just makes me sick in the stomach to look at it or drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe this is a better video. Can hear it much better I think. This was after sitting for 2 hours.

Seems to be loudest when listening from underneath the car.

 

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Well, problem fixed.

I went last night and got Toyota to take the car back for full purchase price. I upgraded to a 2013. I know its the same motor. This one sounds just like it should. This one has 30k miles on it and is certified pre owned so has the better warranty. Much happier now. I liked the body style of the 10 a little better but this one has the stuff I was missing from my 2015 Corolla. Bluetooth, back up camera, etc.
 

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Well, problem fixed.

I went last night and got Toyota to take the car back for full purchase price. I upgraded to a 2013. I know its the same motor. This one sounds just like it should. This one has 30k miles on it and is certified pre owned so has the better warranty. Much happier now. I liked the body style of the 10 a little better but this one has the stuff I was missing from my 2015 Corolla. Bluetooth, back up camera, etc.
Good for you !! I think it's definitely a rod bearing knock . I hope the next owner get's taken care of it before it throws a rod out through block while still under warranty !
 

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Well, problem fixed.

I went last night and got Toyota to take the car back for full purchase price. I upgraded to a 2013. I know its the same motor. This one sounds just like it should. This one has 30k miles on it and is certified pre owned so has the better warranty. Much happier now. I liked the body style of the 10 a little better but this one has the stuff I was missing from my 2015 Corolla. Bluetooth, back up camera, etc.
Don't you just love how the dealer says "there's nothing wrong...they all do that blah blah blah"! But then they refund your money!:mad:
At any rate, all's well that ends well. Many happy miles!
 

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Don't you just love how the dealer says "there's nothing wrong...they all do that blah blah blah"! But then they refund your money!:mad:
At any rate, all's well that ends well. Many happy miles!
Yup. Then first thing in the morning they had it listed again for full price. Didnt even wash it. I did the swap at like 7 pm is when we finished. They didnt even touch the old one and just listed it back for sale. Feel sorry for the next guy that gets to deal with that.
 
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