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1998 4dr - Manual AWD
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I’d prefer to post after I’ve investigated an issue, but I currently have some time on my hands so here I am!

During some moderate off-roading, (not sure if it is the cause, just happened then) my engine started having intense vibrations most noticeable at 2,300 RPM.

It is noticeable at idle when the engine is cold but not when it is fully warmed up.

It is more intense in first and second gear but noticeable in all gears.
It sounds like a knocking noise, will link a video when I have better service.

Additionally, when I start the car there’s a knocking sound right when the engine “catches” or starts.

No check engine lights

Sounds like it’s more on the drivers side of the engine bay but I’m not sure.

From asking people I know (with varying levels of experience) I’ve heard it’s possibly the
  • loose harmonic balancer
  • knock sensor
  • cylinder misfire/compression issue
  • EGR stuff

Once I get above 3,000 RPM it runs a lot more smoothly and there isn’t a noticeable lack of power anywhere in the RPM range.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated
 

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Hard to diagnose without more input ... a video, with good sound may help.

With the car in a safe place, raise the hood, start it, and observe how the engine moves.

Hopefully you didn't hurt the engine. Could be many other lesser things including jumped timing, bad engine mount(s), etc.
 

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There's a good chance that if it were a misfire problem that you'd be getting a check engine light. That is unless for some reason a sensor isn't functioning properly or there's some computer problem.

I'm leaning towards a mechanical issue of some sort. Harder to diagnose without a clip of some sorts. As others have said, it could be a number of things from engine mounts to an internal problem like a bad bearing or connecting rod.

More times then not, a mechanical issue will react in the way you described where it seems to be worst at a certain RPM. This is due to resonance.
 

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1998 4dr - Manual AWD
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
In this video, note the clunk at startup and the noise near idle:

In this video, the noise you hear can be felt noticeably through the steering wheel and the car itself:
 

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2010 2.0 VVTi RAV 4
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361 Posts
Just my thoughts as there is no perceived loss of power, I would, as said above, look at engine or tranny mounts, driveshaft mounts or even the rear diff mounts.

As there are no codes (does that include pending codes??), i would look at mechanical stuff first, and yes, include the harmonic balancer.

Again, just my initial thoughts
 
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