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Hello

I have a 2009 Toyota Rav4 V6 AWD. It has done 205,000 kms (128,000 miles) in Australia, being right hand drive.
I bought the car new and it has been serviced regularly.

The Problem:
I have a noise/vibration coming from what seems to be the front driver’s side (right hand side), but it is very deceiving. Note: Not the regular transmission whine

Have replaced driver side wheel hub
Have replaced drivers side driveshaft bearing to transaxle

Please excuse my description, as I cannot record it (have tired):
  • Low frequency rotational noise – grinding, catching (almost like a train chugging noise)
  • Sounds like a bearing not being able to move freely
  • Rotational noise/vibration is intermittent
  • Noise/vibration felt more frequently going up long stretch incline hill at 30-80 kms. Generally felt more with load on and accelerating up a hill
  • Can feel slight vibration under floor and accelerator pedal
  • Can also be felt on front passenger side floor
Two mechanics and Toyota have checked the vehicle and cannot find any issues/leaks and have tightened all parts.

Have read about issues re: torque converter in transaxle, rear diff coupling issues, centre support bearing, U joints, but here in Australia, the TSB’S and recalls rarely are advertised ( for obvious reasons)

Any ideas and fixes are welcome?

Thank you in advance
 

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I am going to say it is maybe the rear driveshaft. It is one of those things where it is wearing out but has not failed. It is difficult for the mechanic to hear the noise since it will not happen all the time.
I had mine failed just over a year ago and waited a year to replace it just to see how much worse it would get. Over the course of one year I heard the vibration and noise maybe 4 or 6 times. A few times it was loud like someone was kicking under the car fast.
 

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2007 sport v6 203k miles
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It could simply just be a bad tire(not an out of balance tire). It will drive fine at higher speed and gives you shakes and noise at lower speed. Do you have some really cheap tires?
 

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I had a similar noise with a bad front driveshaft joint on a Ford Explorer at 170,000 miles. Toyota calls them propeller shafts.
There is a middle support bearing (SKP SK934766) and I think a CV joint too.

152751


The whole assembly looks like is $200:
Amazon.com: Brand New Complete Rear Driveshaft Assembly - AWD for 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Toyota RAV4: Automotive

PS: That Explorer front shaft had a CV joint in one side and a U-joint on the other. Rear had two U-Joints. The CV joint failed, but Doman made a replacement. I replaced all of the U-Joints too. But at least the Ford used circ-clips to hold those in place, not permanent crimps like Toyota!

PPS: Check a similar shaft replacement:
 

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There is a chance that it could be the rear drive shaft, as an above user mentioned. Although you describe the vibration being at the front, it can be deceiving. I have had several problems with mine over the last year, beginning with a heavy vibration between speeds of 30 to 55 mph. It ended up being the carrier bearing on the rear shaft (which is not serviceable), and required me to have my mechanic replace it entirely.

It could be the counterpart middle bearing on one of the front shafts as well. But the vibration is usually a tell-tale sign of one going bad somewhere. Locating it is usually the hard part.
 
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