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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,
I have a 2011 Rav4 V6 AWD with 90k miles. It has this annoying vibration at 1600rpm, when you are just lightly on the throttle. I also occasionally have thought I smell gear oil, though no one else has been able to. I can get the vibration in other gears, but it's most noticeable in 5th, which is usually about 55mph or so, which of course is the speed of most of my commute. I've been keeping it in 4th to avoid this. I actually can by manually shifting also get a bit of a vibration at 3100rpm or so. Anyways, took my mechanic for a ride, he felt it, we put it up on the lift with me in it and I ran it till I felt the problem, then he put a stethoscope on the transfer case and said it sounded like it was coming from there. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem, I had figured it was the torque converter lockup problem with the auto transmission that I see lots of people complaining about. But I did a drain and fill on the ATF and it didn't seem to affect it. Does anyone have any other suggestions for diagnosing whether it is the transfer case or transmission?

And if it's the transfer case, I see they are very cheap used. I've read conflicting reports about whether it can be changed without pulling the engine. Has anyone been able to do this? Or has anyone had a transfer case replaced and can tell me what their labor costs were? I'm trying to decide whether to fix it and keep it, or just trade it in. I'd rather sell it but can't bring myself to sell it with this problem looming. I like the vehicle but it hasn't held up particularly well to my long dirt road commute.
Thanks!
 

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I had a very similar no issue a couple months ago. Turned out my rear u joint was bad. Unfortunately Toyota makes them non serviceable and had to replace the entire drive shaft. I got a used one with only 66k miles on it for $200. Keep in mind I drive an 03 but a failing u joint is a failing joint regardless of 03 or 11.

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I too recently had the rear u-joint go bad. I was able to find a local driveshaft shop that could put in a new serviceable u joint, so I pulled it myself and had them do that, save a ton of money. Interestingly, my car still had the vibration for the week I drove it without the driveshaft installed!
 

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Thanks! I too recently had the rear u-joint go bad. I was able to find a local driveshaft shop that could put in a new serviceable u joint, so I pulled it myself and had them do that, save a ton of money. Interestingly, my car still had the vibration for the week I drove it without the driveshaft installed!
Oh now that's a horse of a different color haha. How about a failing wheel bearing? Oddly worn tire?

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New tires. I do think the rear is out of alignment because of the wear on the set I pulled off, but didn't want to get into that until I solved this problem. Don't think alignment would cause it. We tried holding each of the front wheels still while running it up on the left and it still did it, so I don't think it would be related to a wheel bearing.
 
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