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Hey All,

So I've tried searching for this in the forum, but haven't come up with answers. My 2012 rav4 4wd 4cyl with only 63K has developed 2 seemingly unrelated issues:

The first issue has been going on for a few months. At stoplights, the rav shutters and idles roughly for a minute, then smoothes out. I've tried cleaning the MAF and throttle body, and the air filter looks new. I'm assuming it was a new filter when I bought the car at 43K. I've looked at the data logs while driving and I'm a bit stumped. My long term fuel trim is consistently at -10, indicating the car may be running rich (if I'm correct on this), but the short term trim is consistently at 0, which is perfect.

The second issue started last night. When backing up, I get a loud clunk from the driver's side front wheel area. This happens only in reverse and while moving. I had my fiance drive while I listened in our driveway. It seems to only clunk once, but to be fair, our driveway is pretty small. It doesn't clunk when in drive, over bumps, or when turning. I plan on looking it over better when I get a chance, but i did peak under it and have my fiance turn lock to lock and didn't see anything glaringly obvious. I did notice, however, that there was a bit of grease escaping from the sway bar end link on this side.

So far, my assumption is that I have a bad sway bar end link. I don't want to just throw parts at it, so I'm open to suggestions. As for the rough idle, I'm lost right now. I have a brand new battery and a new A/F sensor. Both are only a few months old. Is it possible that a bad engine mount could be causing both issues? Again, I plan on diving deeper into this when I can find time. Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Can you ascertain if the rough idle occurs at the moment the A/C compressor starts? That's a big load on the engine. Not that I'm implying there's something wrong with your A/C, but if there was something else going on, the extra load could be forcing it to manifest.
 

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Just to throw it out there....the one clunk while backing up and braking, could be loose (or whatever) disc brake pad?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm pretty confident this sound is not pad/caliper related. I posted on that sound when I first got the car and found that was normal. This is not that. This happens without brakes being applied and is a very different, distinct, LOUD clunk from only the driver's side front. I did just throw on new pads. Maybe it's gotten louder? The new brake pad hardware looks like it's installed properly and I greased the slide pins and hardware where it contacts the pad slides.
 

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For the noise problem it will not be the sway bar links. The clunking noise is usually metal to metal only happens over bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DL175, I'm not sure if it's a metallic clunk or not, really. But it definitely does not do it when hitting potholes moving forward. And when backing up, I wasn't really even going over any big bumps. Have any thoughts on what else to check? Or do I just wait it out until it gets worse?
 

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DL175, I'm not sure if it's a metallic clunk or not, really. But it definitely does not do it when hitting potholes moving forward. And when backing up, I wasn't really even going over any big bumps. Have any thoughts on what else to check? Or do I just wait it out until it gets worse?
It could be steering parts like tie rods and ball joints but I am not sure you will get the same noise. Also the strut mounts could make noise also.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like I'll have to go exploring. Probably be a few weeks until I get time to look. I'll try and post a resolution for future searches once fixed.
 

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For the clunk noise, don't discount the possibility of a CV joint going out.

And for the rough idle issue, check to make sure you don't have a vacuum leak somewhere.
 
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