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Hey guys I saw another thread about this but it hadn't been commented in in about 7 months so I figured I'd start a new one since it appears the posters in the other thread no longer frequent this forum.

I purchased a '08 Rav4 V6 AWD about 10 months ago with just over 87k on it. Great maintenance records with Toyota. The car now has 97k on it and I've had zero issues with it except after a rather cold winter this year (we saw -20 degrees frequently) here in Nebraska I've noticed the VVT-I "Death Rattle" has suddenly started happening. Especially on "semi cold" start ups. For example today it was ~75 degrees out, drove the car around 20 miles, parked it for about 4 hours and when I started it again the rattle was very noticeable. I've ran the suggested 5W30 synthetic changed by myself since I've purchased the vehicle.

I guess my question is for a rather well known issue with these engines has anyone had any luck getting Toyota to play ball in taking some of the expense of the repair this far outside of warranty? It just seems like a rather common issue with these engines for there not to have been a recall or something. (Perhaps there's a service alert I'm unaware of?) From what I've seen this is a pretty costly repair ($3-4k).

I plan on making an appointment with a local dealer sometime in the next couple weeks... Is there any specific information that any of you have found useful going into the dealers with this specific issue? It's probably just my bad luck that the first significant car purchase I've ever made is going to have such issues so soon but damn I can't help but feel alittle cheated here. I thought surely if any car manufacturer exists that I can trust to be reliable it's going to be Toyota. I've owned many older models in the past and they've been wonderful. Really bummed that I'm having to stress about this without having owned it even a year yet. Anyways, any words of advice would be extremely appreciated. you guys have a great little community here by the looks of it.
 

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Hey guys I saw another thread about this but it hadn't been commented in in about 7 months so I figured I'd start a new one since it appears the posters in the other thread no longer frequent this forum.
Have you tried PM the posters who went trough this?

It's a rare condition, so most of us have no experience here.
 

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Have you tried PM the posters who went trough this?

It's a rare condition, so most of us have no experience here.
Is it really that rare? I see posts about it all over the place including two separate posts on this forum with multiple posters... I don't mean to sound argumentative but that just surprises me. Maybe it's not as wide spread in the RAV4s as some of the other models?

Either way thanks for the post. I guess with all the views I've gotten an no responses it may be less common on these vehicles as I had previously thought. Perhaps I need to contact other forums regarding this issue. I will however see if I can get some of the previous posters to respond. In the meantime if anyone else happens to have had any experience with this please mention it, regardless of the outcome. Thanks!
 

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I'm going to swap oils...previously been using M1 Synthetic.... going to try Vavoline Maxlife Blend and see if this seems to leak down as badly while sitting. I wanted to swap oils today but it went from 75 degrees and beautiful yesterday to 32 degrees and thunderstiorms to snowing today. Gotta love Nebraska.
 

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I don't know where have you been reading about the vvti death rattle on the 2GR-FE, but there's known cold start up vvti death rattle on the 2AZ-FE engine.
 

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2GR-FE startup clatter experiment - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Weird noise after start-up - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/71563-trying-diagnose-starting-issue-grinding-crunching-sound.html\


There are many, many more sources but I'm heading to work and these are the ones I've found the most info on in the last couple days of looking around. The last link is a video (One of many) I've found of V6 Ravs of this gen making the noise.... I've also found many videos and comments about other models of Toyotas making similar noises on start up and those also being linked to the VVT-I assembly. Again, I guess perhaps its less common on the Rav4s but still apparently a very common issue with engines made around 2006-2009? I see lots of service bulletins but if there was ever one issued specifically for this issue it's not showing up for my vehicle on Toyota's website...
 

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This is an extreme cure, but in some of our racing VW Type 1 engines we use a pressurized oil start which pumps oil before starting the engine.
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If this is a short period of noise and goes away with no MIL, it should be harmless, but VVT should eventually replaced. See this (different engine, same VVT principle):

 

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Had this up until a recent service. Changed oil to fully synthetic and upped to 10w and haven't had it since. Might be a little thick for american winters - our low here in the middle of winter is about 5 degress Celsius.

Mechanic said wait a few weeks before we can claim victory though - Ill keep you informed.

He mentioned if it starts up again we'll try an oil additive to try and clean out the sticking cam gear lock pin.
 

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I had never heard this noise until last winter in around Jan and Feb. Back in Dec had an oil change with regular 5w30 engine oil. On one cold startup after work at night, I heard the rattle and thought it was some kind of exhaust shield that may had came loose due to rust or something. Over time, I begin to wonder because it will not happen all the time and could not be repeated right after the fact.


Then in March, I had an oil change back to synthetic ( The vehicle always had synthetic since 6000km, that last one was a mistake on Toyota Dealer part for not reading the work instruction completely ) and I never had that noise return. It will be time for another oil change soon and as soon as it return, I will report on here.


I never knew the rattle had anything to do with the VVT-I mechanism until I come across this tread and ToyotaNation's forum.
 

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FWIW - Thought I'd post an update. Its been about 5 weeks since I've had the service and changed oil to 10w-30 fully synthetic. Disclaimer: I am not sure what was used in the car previous to this (only had it 4 months). I do know it was serviced by the previous owners local mechanic at the last service, so not at a Toyota dealer.

Previous Oil Rattle:
Occurred probably one in three cold starts. Lasted approx. 2 seconds. Very audible.

Current oil Rattle:
Has occurred probably only twice at most, lasted approx. 0.5 seconds each. Hardly audible. Hadn't driven the car for 5 days up until last weekend - still didn't do it.
 

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I just picked up a 2007 3.5l sport. It has the rattle. Will change the old to 10w 30 and see if it helps. Will check back and update with the result
 
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