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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm in the process of buying a 2009 base, awd, 4 cyl, automatic rav4. It has 84,000 miles on it. Car runs like a top, very clean, never been in an accident.

I looked up the service history by vin and besides a few inspections the only major work done was rear pinion seal.

While test driving, on hills and under hard acceleration you can hear a slight whine from the transmission. Apparently this is a very common problem, and Toyota had a repair campaign program. From what I've found, this car won't qualify anymore.

The whine isn't that bad now, and if you had the radio on you wouldn't notice it. Is it going to get worse?

I was shopping aftermarket warranties, and got a quote of $1,400 for 4 years or 48k miles.

I've already decided I'm going to buy the car, I just need to decide if I'm going to buy the warranty.

I would appreciate any thoughts and opinions.

Thank you
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Since I posted I read a few more posts about the transmission whine. I can't find anywhere that says the noise lead to a transmission failure, it's just annoying. Everything else seems to be very reliable on this model car. So right now I'm leaning towards not buying the warranty.
 

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I looked up the service history by vin and besides a few inspections the only major work done was rear pinion seal.

While test driving, on hills and under hard acceleration you can hear a slight whine from the transmission. Apparently this is a very common problem, and Toyota had a repair campaign program. From what I've found, this car won't qualify anymore.

The whine isn't that bad now, and if you had the radio on you wouldn't notice it. Is it going to get worse?

I was shopping aftermarket warranties, and got a quote of $1,400 for 4 years or 48k miles.

My input:

*So you checked the service history by VIN on the Toyota.com/owners website? If so, good start. Some of the other car-check reports are not as comprehensive as the dealer input one.

*There has never been a service campaign for tranny whine on the 4-cyl AWD model. There is an issue only with the 6-cyl model. There is an extended warranty for a growl noise from the rear diff coupler good for 9-years from first date in service, that's good for all gen 4.3 RAVs both 4 and 6-cyl, and noise would come from the rear not the transaxle.

*Any whine you are hearing should be more thoroughly investigated. As described, it is NOT normal.

*If you already plan to buy the car, skip the warranty. After-markets are usually quite lame with loopholes and restrictions. The 2009 is usually bullet-proof. If concerned, put the money in the bank as a repair fund instead.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I used the Toyota site to look up service history, handy tool!

I hate to jump into a used car, this isn't exactly what we were looking for, but we need a car. Our other car was totaled in an accident last week, and insurance only pays for 3 days of rental car. I narrowed it down to rav4 or crv. These cars sell like hotcakes up here, there's no time to himhaw around when a good one comes up for sale.
 

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I agree with RAVN4RED. Grab the RAV4 and put the $1400 in a repair fund. I'll bet it'll last more than 48K.
BTW, THE reason I own a RAV4 is because my BIL from Slana AK had me check them out for him here in CT/RI because his nearest Toyota dealer was a 500 mile round trip to Anchorage. After the first test drive I HAD to have one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. The whine is very slight, I didn't notice it until my wife pointed it out. We're picking the car up tonight. It has brand new summer tires installed and a set of Blizzaks on wheels for the winter. The only thing she wants added is a Bluetooth radio. Might add an auto start too.

We'll get to put some miles on it this weekend, have a trip to Anchorage planned.
 

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Could the slight whine actually be from the new tires? Have a good trip!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could the slight whine actually be from the new tires? Have a good trip!


No, this isn't a tire noise. I was a mechanic for 12 years, specialized in steering, suspension and brakes. Definitely a drive train related noise.
 

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No, this isn't a tire noise. I was a mechanic for 12 years, specialized in steering, suspension and brakes. Definitely a drive train related noise.
I know what you mean - I've worked on everything from OTR trucks to farm tractors myself. But at least your whine doesn't appear to be anything serious.
 

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I have used Lucas lube products in another transmission. It quieted it down. Lucas is a good product. I also used the oil treatment. I got a few thousand more miles because of it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I drained and refilled twice, didn't change the filter. Noise is quieter and fluid is much cleaner.

The noise gets louder as the transmission warms up. Probably should have done a proper flush, changed filter and cleaned the cooler. Always next time.
 

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I had the same warranty deliberation when I bought my 2010 not long ago with 33k on the clock. I tend to avoid extended warranties as my philosophy has been that if the thing is lacking in reliability enough that you need an extended warranty, then do I really want it.

In this case I considered the logistics of possibly having to come up with the extra cash for a major repair while making payments (with a son in college I was not in a position to afford a faster payment schedule). I read over the literature on the extended warranty, and this one looks like it covers major repairs. I know someone who purchased the extended warranty from this dealer and it came in very handy. Long story short, I went for it in this instance. If I'm making payments, I figure it would be nice to have some peace of mind...

Best of luck with your 2009 RAV4 experience!
 
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