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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This spring my 2007 (155K) started getting a bit noisy when turning and parking. The noise is underneath, low frequency and can be felt in the steering wheel and pedals. Later this summer I noticed when driving down steep hills and braking near the end (15-30 mph) the vibration intensified quite a bit along with the sound. Yesterday, I noticed a light vibration in the floor and steering wheel while on the highway for 1.5 hours, at 60 or higher. The odd thing - it lasted for 5 seconds, then stopped, and repeated every 10 seconds. In other words, every 10 seconds, it vibrated for 5 seconds the entire time. I'm convinced it's in the driveline, possibly related to the AWD system as they can get stressed a bit from tight turns, but also see common issues with the torque converters mentioned here. Would it make sense to change the transmission fluid? It's been done maybe 2-3x. Are odds good that an expensive part is failing? Should I see a transmission specialist or dealer? I need to take it on a 1200 mile trip in a month, and is that a bad idea? Thanks!
 

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May very well be the 4WD variable coupler at the rear differential. I just had mine replaced free by Toyota under some kind of "customer satisfaction" program but that was just before it ended. With yours being an '07 it may last longer. Hopefully you'll get good news from the dealer.
Otherwise, and as a test, you can unplug the 4WD module behind the glove box.

FYI, the LED I have connected to the drive signal to the coupler lights dimly at about the frequency you mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
May very well be the 4WD variable coupler at the rear differential. I just had mine replaced free by Toyota under some kind of "customer satisfaction" program but that was just before it ended. With yours being an '07 it may last longer. Hopefully you'll get good news from the dealer.
Otherwise, and as a test, you can unplug the 4WD module behind the glove box.

FYI, the LED I have connected to the drive signal to the coupler lights dimly at about the frequency you mentioned.
Interesting. The LED shows some kind of activation?

Thanks for the quick response. I'll try unplugging it.
 

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Interesting. The LED shows some kind of activation?

Thanks for the quick response. I'll try unplugging it.
Yeah I'm one of those inquisitive design engineers who wants to know how things work to maybe make them work better. I connected the LED to the drive wire going to the coupler together with a pushbutton that would hold the rear drive on above 25mph. Gave up on the project when it caused error lights but left the LED connected.

Just used it to answer this question http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/267249-does-4wd-automatically-begin-reverse.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So after ignoring the problem a bit, I took it to a dealer. They were utterly useless. "It's the brakes" was the best they could come up with! Last night I pulled the plug on the 4WD module and all noise went away. Is this more or less proof it's the coupler? And one final question, how difficult is it to replace at home? I have some tools, and am not afraid of differentials or driveshafts.
 

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So after ignoring the problem a bit, I took it to a dealer. They were utterly useless. "It's the brakes" was the best they could come up with! Last night I pulled the plug on the 4WD module and all noise went away. Is this more or less proof it's the coupler? And one final question, how difficult is it to replace at home? I have some tools, and am not afraid of differentials or driveshafts.
I don't think it's a big deal , mine was replaced in less than an hour at the dealership under warranty a few years ago. A Toyota mechanic friend of mine says I don't have the new updated one, so he might check to see if the warranty will still cover it. I think it's a 10 year 240,000 km's .
 

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Does sound like the coupler for sure. I believe it's a separate unit that simply bolts onto the front of the differential. The cost of a new one would be the main concern. I know we've covered the free replacement on the forum so I'd suggest doing a search for that. And certainly go to a different dealer.

From my Valenti Toyota 4/12/17 invoice:
Technician replaced rear viscous (they still don't know it isn't!) coupling.
41303-42023 Coupling Sub-Assy Warranty
90311-54006 Seal, Type T Oil Warranty
Total Parts 0.00
Total Labor 0.00
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! I'll try a different dealer. Neither dealers in my area inspire much confidence, unfortunately! I've researched the free replacement policy, and it looks like it covered replacement up to April 30 of this year, or 9 years from date of first operation. I'm at 10 years, and we're well past April 30, so while I'll still try, it's possible they'll not have much to offer me if they stick to their parameters.
 

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It's an $800 (Canadian funds) unit I was told.....Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's an $800 (Canadian funds) unit I was told.....Good luck...
Thanks. That seems to be the going USD price as well.

No problem driving this around with AWD disconnected, right? I have a 1000 mile trip this weekend, and just wanted to be sure.
 

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No problem driving this around with AWD disconnected, right? I have a 1000 mile trip this weekend, and just wanted to be sure.
I can't see any problem with it disconnected. And since the rear drive isn't needed except during slippery conditions or full pedal V6 launches I've started thinking of installing a switch to shut if off the rest of the time. IMO that would certainly help prolong it's life, which apparently isn't the life of the vehicle.

And BTW, after I heard about the warranty extension I got it replaced by mentioning I thought I heard some noise developing while I was at the dealer for other warranty work. The service manager ordered it immediately to beat the 4/30 deadline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't see any problem with it disconnected. And since the rear drive isn't needed except during slippery conditions or full pedal V6 launches I've started thinking of installing a switch to shut if off the rest of the time. IMO that would certainly help prolong it's life, which apparently isn't the life of the vehicle.

And BTW, after I heard about the warranty extension I got it replaced by mentioning I thought I heard some noise developing while I was at the dealer for other warranty work. The service manager ordered it immediately to beat the 4/30 deadline.
Sounds like you got it in under the wire. I like the sound of your dealer better than mine, and that on/off switch is a good idea as well.

Full pedal launches? That's a thing in the RAV4 community?
 

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Full pedal launches? That's a thing in the RAV4 community?
Well at least in my corner of the V6 community - that is w/o my wife riding shotgun.
Since it's her car I don't get to drive it by myself often but when I do it's certainly my responsibility to make sure everything's running okay. 0:) :wink: :thumbs_up:
 
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