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Discussion Starter #1
2015 LE AWD Upgrade PX purchased in Fall 2015. Car has around 4500km.

About a month ago on a warmish day I noticed a sort of quiet creaking sound coming from the rear of the RAV. I would only hear it when going slowly over slight rises and dips in the road and when slowly turning. I can't hear it when traveling at speeds over, say, 40 mph. I found a thread on a Highlander site that talked about the exact issue that I am having but couldn't find anyone with a 4.4 RAV that was experiencing it. It seems that someone was able alleviate the noise temporarily on the Highlander by silicone spray on certain rubber joint connecting spots, not on the suspension directly but some additional suspension component more to the mid-rear of the car that acts as some sort of additional flexing/stabilizing piece on each side of the car--I'm sorry I don't know what it's called. Replacing the trailing arms on the Highland also cured it for one person.

It doesn't seem like a really critical problem but it's a kind of quiet, subtle, pernicious sound, seemingly dependent on a warmer than 50F temp and has that ability to remind you of how much you paid for your RAV when it starts bugging you!

Anyone else experienced this with their 4.4?
 

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In my experience squeaky rubber/urethane bushings will quiet down when wet, if it doesn't do this when driving in wet weather, chances are that spraying the bushings with silicone or other lube would stop the noise, I'd lube the rear sway bar bushing first. You can wet the rear suspension components down with a garden hose to check if you don't want to do any lubing yet.


Or just take it in to your dealer and have them fix it, it's too new to be working on it yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In my experience squeaky rubber/urethane bushings will quiet down when wet, if it doesn't do this when driving in wet weather, chances are that spraying the bushings with silicone or other lube would stop the noise, I'd lube the rear sway bar bushing first. You can wet the rear suspension components down with a garden hose to check if you don't want to do any lubing yet.


Or just take it in to your dealer and have them fix it, it's too new to be working on it yourself!
Thanks for the tip--yeah, now that I think of it, I remember noticing that when driving in the rain or wet roads that the sound can't be heard. Thanks again!
 

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Gave it a good hi-pressure wash yesterday, including a thorough cleaning/soaking of the rear suspension components (and everything else under there) and wouldn't you know, no creaking of any kind while driving it afterwards. I'm sure today as it's dried out it'll do it again.

Seems the creaking is heard especially as the rear of the car flexes on small bumps and turns. Obviously some component (maybe the sway bar as previously posted) has dried out/lost its lube over the months and quiets down when wetted. Can someone post a picture or description of where the rear sway bar(s) is located on the 15 RAV? I can't seem to find a specific picture of it online anywhere.
 

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Get the bottom of the car rustproofed. It is cheap at Canadian Tire (about $60) and they use a good product (CorrosionFree). That should last about 2 years.
Just ask the person spraying it to go nuts near the rear sway bars :)
 

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Here's a post in the 4.3 forum that shows the rear sway bar end link mounting nuts, the bushings are on the upper end of the links.


Go out and look at the underside of your rav...the 2 bolts that are circled are the sway bar end links...if you see those 2 things that are circled in red then you have a rear sway bar...


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, here's a 2+ year followup on this issue. Basically I kind of lived with this, didn't hear it when the weather was cold, only when it was above, say, 45-50 degrees F. As my warranty was coming to expiry I asked the service manager if he could check it out with me.

We both took turns riding in the back over their grassy back lot with lots of little bumps and knolls. We discovered that the source of the creaking noise was somewhere in the hatch door. He sprayed silicone all the way around the rubber gasket and onto the little rubber bump-stoppers of the hatch door. Took it for another ride and the sound was essentially gone. I guess it never occurred to me that it might be the source, as it just sounded too suspension-y. So, there you go, probably the little rubber stoppers on the hatch grinding on the dry metal where they contact the body and colder weather contracted them and wet weather lubricated them.I guess the flexing of the body with even very small ups and downs was transmitted into movement of the hatch and the effect was a creaking/rubbing sound of the bump-stoppers and/or rubber gasket.


Edit: Took it out yesterday to the normal haunts to test a few days after the silicone application, and still quiet.
 

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Well, here's a 2+ year followup on this issue. Basically I kind of lived with this, didn't hear it when the weather was cold, only when it was above, say, 45-50 degrees F. As my warranty was coming to expiry I asked the service manager if he could check it out with me.

We both took turns riding in the back over their grassy back lot with lots of little bumps and knolls. We discovered that the source of the creaking noise was somewhere in the hatch door. He sprayed silicone all the way around the rubber gasket and onto the little rubber bump-stoppers of the hatch door. Took it for another ride and the sound was essentially gone. I guess it never occurred to me that it might be the source, as it just sounded too suspension-y. So, there you go, probably the little rubber stoppers on the hatch grinding on the dry metal where they contact the body and colder weather contracted them and wet weather lubricated them.I guess the flexing of the body with even very small ups and downs was transmitted into movement of the hatch and the effect was a creaking/rubbing sound of the bump-stoppers and/or rubber gasket.


Edit: Took it out yesterday to the normal haunts to test a few days after the silicone application, and still quiet.

Had to chuckle that after two years it was the hatch. Glad its quiet and hope it stays that way!
 

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I noticed this issue for the past few weeks and was so annoyed I removed the rear wheels and did a close up inspection on every suspension parts. Creaking sound is coming on the right rear side, pushing the body up and down you can really hear it. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the bad part that is producing the noise, all I know is some part on that rear right area is bad. Oh I live in Edmonton, Alberta and I am sure this has nothing to do with the weather. O well, I might have to give it a try again tomorrow, I'm suspecting its either the lower or upper control arm we will see.
 
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