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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty much what the title says.

The car is clunking a lot in the front passenger side it seems. I've tried to move the tire when it was off the ground and it had slight play. The car also clunks even when turning it on and leaving it in park. I'm guessing it has something to do with the exhaust being a little loose.

My real problem is the brakes. Every time I step on them, I get the ABS thump and it doesn't stop, even on flat and dry asphalt. I had the brakes done a year ago (pads and rotors front and rear) and the car still had that issue. I changed the tires which weren't even near bald and it still has the same problem.

I took it in to the mechanic a few days ago and he's pretty much just guessing it's brakes or tires or possibly axles? He said he checked the steering components and didn't see anything wrong there. He seems clueless as to what it is and I need the car to go to work. Any ideas or common problems this could be? I'm trying to get it fixed before the winter comes...

TLDR: Car brake pedal vibrates and the car won't stop when brakes are applied even on flat ground. LOUD clunking noise in the front passenger side. Can't tell if related to brake problem or not.


Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Your clunking could be many things but first I would look at the anti-roll bar drop link, fits between the bar and the control arm, anti roll bar is also known as sway bar or stabiliser bar.
Regards the brakes, if you are saying that when you brake the abs cuts in then you need to access the abs control module, if there is a fault you can read the code and diagnose it.
Sorry, I don't know if your car had OBD1 or OBD11, you can google 'how to read abs codes on a Toyota' or look on here, there's a few threads on the subject.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ken, thanks for the quick reply. I'll check them out when I can but I don't think it has to do with the abs module. I've already tried using a friend's OBDII connector and it didn't detect a fault. The clunking sounds very loud, I would say even more than a sway bar link but I'll check it out anyways. Any other ideas for the brakes or clunking?
 

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Hi Red, if it's loud the clunking could also be the control arm mountings, start by unbolting the bottom swivel joint, three nuts and it's free from the hub/strut, you'll need to disconnect the sway bar link too. Then you'll be able to see if there is any play in the front or rear control arm mounts. If they are good then it could be the strut top mounts....
Have you looked at the exhaust bracket, there's one just after the subframe. There's also a rear engine/transmission mount, warm the engine up so the idle is low, block the wheels, parking brake on, get someone to put their foot on the foot brake, keep their other foot of the gas, and shift it between PRND and slide under it and see if you can see anything moving or hear where the clunks coming from, be careful though!!!
The brake pads on mine have the necessary shims and clips but when I reverse and brake the pads clunk in the callers, just once until I move forwards and brake again.
If the brake pedal is pulsating when you brake and you have no codes, the only thing I can think of is a reluctor ring (toothed ring) on a drive shaft/axle is loose and rotating at a different speed to the others, but, I have never come across this, two of my rings split and threw fault codes so I knew which wheel to look at.
Sorry I can't help further, good luck!
 

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Hi. I had a similar problem with my ABS-brakes. When I was breaking on dry roads at low speeds, the ABS kicked in. Ken Allistone helped me, and told me how to fix the reluctor ring.
The reluctor ring on the drivers side had split, and after fixing it, the problem dissappeared.

Maybe this thread can help you: http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/192466-question-about-inner-diameter-abs-rings.html
I forgot to take pictures when I was taking things apart, but I took som pictures after I got to the reluctor ring: Toyota Rav4.1 ABS reluctor ring (Left front side) - Album on Imgur

~Liloolil
 

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Hey, Red.... "....the car won't stop when brakes are applied even on flat ground." Yikes! That's a worrisome statement. Should you be driving this car if you can't stop it? First: get a new mechanic. "It's your brakes or tires or axles." Huh. "I think it's your kidneys. But if you want a second opinion, I think it's your liver." Working from the top down: what's up there that could clunk? Open the hood and find the support plate for the strut. There are three nuts holding the support plate to the body of the car. Make sure they are all torqued to proper torque (I can look those up if you need them). Pull the little rubber china hat off the center of that support plate and look at the nut holding the upper strut shaft to that plate. It may not be torqued correctly or may not be properly set in the plate itself. (There are two flat spots on the shaft that have to fit into two notches on that plate; you can't see them just looking at them as they are under the nut and on the bottom side of the plate.) Great: how do I find out without taking the strut off or apart? Mark the top of the strut shaft (the silver part sticking out of the nut) with a Sharpie: a single line from left to right across that "bolt". Get your (14mm, I believe but make sure) socket and TIGHTEN that nut (clockwise) 90 degrees. Look at your mark. It should have NOT MOVED. If it did, the notch/groove part of the shaft/plate are not properly set and not torqued and the strut is rattling around in that fitting and will have to be reset. DO NOT TAKE THAT NUT OFF AS IT HOLDS THE STRUT SHAFT TO THAT PLATE AND IS UNDER GREAT PRESSURE FROM THE SUSPENSION SPRING!! That nut also has a specific torque that varies from year to year. Make sure the nuts holding the lower strut to the suspension arm are torqued as well. Check the brake caliper to make sure it isn't rattling around: there are nuts that hold the caliper housing to the suspension arm and others that hold the brake pads against the rotor. Did the nose start after you had the brakes done? It's something they did not torque if so. Your drive shaft/CV joints probably wouldn't make the noise you describe but if they are that loose, you can check that: crawl under the car (stopped, in park, not running), find the inner joint (next to/coming out of) the transmission and give it an up-and-down or front-to back shake. It should not move or clunk. Then, grab the shaft on each side of the bearing plate (mid shaft) and give them a similar shake. Lastly, give the end that attaches to the brake rotor/wheel and give that a shake. All should be very tight without much give. The ball joint attached to the lower suspension arm should not have any give either. The tie rod ends should have no play. You stated the wheel had a slight play: hands 12-6 or 9-3? You should also check the engine/transmission mounts. Chock the tires, put on the parking brake, open the hood and look at the engine when it is running (standing to the SIDE of the car) and have someone put it into drive. It shouldn't move much and, if there is a mount problem, the engine will move and you'll hear that clunk. That should be enough for you to look at for now.... Let us know..... We'll come up with other things to check.....
 

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Try disabling the abs and see if the problem improves.
If it still won't stop in manual mode then you are looking a a brake problem.
If the problem goes away then the problem is in the abs system.

Good Luck!
 
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