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2007 Rav4 Sport

Need some help diagnosing a pretty awful noise in the front end. Sorry for the wall of text, but I can't figure this out and really need some help.

It sounds like a slight grinding noise and is heard the best from inside the car - difficult to hear with the windows down. You can feel it in the floor boards of the front seats, especially the passenger seat. And it's what I would describe as rotational - it oscillates with the rotation of the wheels with one especially loud spot each rotation. I'm thinking it is something related to the suspension, axles, or cv joints, but I have no idea what or how to diagnose it further. No obvious damage anywhere.

I don't think it's the brakes because it does not change upon application of the brakes. The steering wheel does not vibrate. Which also leaves me to believe it is not the wheels or tires being out of balance. I also don't think it's engine-related because it does not make noise when stationary and you rev the engine.

My first thought was wheel bearing and hub assembly. So I jacked it up, and sure enough the passenger side wheel had a little bit of play in it. So I have replaced it. The noise persists and the wheel still has some play.

I've noticed that the wheel has more play when you hold it at 3 & 9, and feels pretty secure at 12 & 6. But it doesn't make any clunking noise over bumps, and it's rotational, so I don't think it's tie-rod ends or steering linkage.

One other piece of important info - I was hit by another car in the right-front fender and wheel. He drove off and it happened a while ago, so no insurance claim. It didn't seem to happen right away, but I'm guessing that something did happen and it's now getting worse.

Any ideas?!? Is it possible more damage was done to the axles, or inside of the cv joints? No tears in the boots or grease spray around them, but I can't help but think it's something in there. Any way to diagnose further?

Help! Please!
 

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first off some basic info is needed like miles, motor and if it is 4 or 2 wheel drive...try to note some things like...
speed or speeds that the noise is made...
does the noise go away when swerving left or right on the highway...
does it make the noise in reverse...
if the noise is made at low speed (like in a parking lot) will the noise happen while the wheel is being turned full left or right...
any clicking sound when turn left or right...
and if you have play at 3 and 9 then you need to fix that...you dont want a loss of steering event to happen rolling down the road at 70...
also check your rack & pinion unit...if you were hit on the wheel it's possible the force caused the rack to become loose and as a result it could move as you drive...
 

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Maybe the knuckle the bearing/hub and the strut attach to was cracked in the accident. I'd expect zero "feelable" play in either wheel.
 

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My brother is posting about my car trying to help. The 2007 RAV4 all wheel drive full time has 150000 miles in it. I do not hear the noise when reversing, and it happens the worst when I turn to the right. The speed you can hear when going 10 MPH or 40. You can only feel it in the passages side floor board not both but you can hear it.
 

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Hi, I'm listening for the answer, I have a very similar problem. I'm not trying to hijack a post, but I'm just listening because in my 2WD, 2007 4 cylinder, I also recently sustained slow speed damage to my right front, my sound is also "rotational" (<--good word to describe it).

I thought it could be because we did something wrong when replacing the brakes, or the rotors had been over-turned, or maybe warped. Checked pads, everywhere for any sign of rubbing, had the tires rebalanced (and they were in need), rotated two new tires to the front, replaced a rotor...

It almost sounded like a rubbing tire, but then, not really if that makes sense. Almost like a "hushing" sound, like "hushhushhush" that speeds up when you speed up. I can feel it in the floorboards, but sometimes in the brake pedal. It seems to happen more when I turn the wheel, and usually more when I brake and the cars momentum goes forward.

Sometimes it seems lounder than others... does that sound familiar to you?
 

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So I took my rav to a shop paid fifty for a diagnosis. They told me the other hub assembly had gone bad as well. Both hubs went out, which is usual, but the shop told me that they always try to replace both at the same time. Changed out the other hub assembly and the noise went away. Really a pretty easy fix if you have the tools to do it. Don't have to be an experienced mechanic. Impact wrench, some jacks, socket set, some pb blaster, a breaker bar and you are good to go! Really good videos on YouTube to help.
 
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