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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings! I just registered as a new member after years of learning about my RAV4 through posts from folks in this forum. I’ve got 127,000 miles on my 2009 V6 base RAV4 and would love to get another 100k, as I can’t find another car out there like it. We live in the Baraboo bluffs in South Central WI and my RAV4 is perfect for navigating steep, winding roads. Wish they still made the V6!

I’m looking for help on how to pinpoint the source of rear diff noises that just started a week ago, sounds like I’m in good company as many have dealt with this issue.
Background:
1) The noise appeared last week, with a constant sound directly proportional to the speed of the vehicle. It starts with a growl at low speeds and evolves into a high pitched whine/whistle at highway speeds.
2) The noise doesn't change after shifting into neutral, nor does it change when the 4WD ECU is unplugged
3) Checked and replaced the rear diff oil yesterday (the first time it’s been done). The oil was a nasty dark green, with a small amount of sludge on the magnetic drain bolt. We collected a little under 0.5qt and didn’t see evidence of leaking prior to draining. Flushed the diff with ~200ml of GL5 SAE-80W-90, then refilled it. Sadly the noise was still there, unchanged.

I’ve read every post I could find about RAV4 rear diff problems, and the electromagnetic coupler doesn’t seem to be the problem since it’s still growling with the 4WD ECU unplugged. I'd like to avoid paying for more parts than needed when I take it to the shop later this week. Any ideas on other things to try? Thanks!
 

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I moved your post to 4.3 Mechanical where it'll likely get quicker responses.

( I really don't like the Member Introductions since it gives no model and issue info. We have to read each post just to know if we might be able to help.)

Did you read the threads that mentioned the Toyota recall extension on the rear differential?
 
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I missed the threads about the recall extension, and just found the info thanks to your response. It looks promising.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, and for moving my post to a better spot. I'll make some calls tomorrow and it would be cool if Toyota covers it!
 

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Thank you Dr. Dyno for the great info. I took my RAV to the Toyota dealer on Feb 7th and they replaced the electromagnetic coupler under the recall extension. The rear diff noise went away and I didn't have to pay a dime. Thanks again!
 

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I missed the threads about the recall extension, and just found the info thanks to your response. It looks promising.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, and for moving my post to a better spot. I'll make some calls tomorrow and it would be cool if Toyota covers it!
Toyota will cover it if (all the following applies) it's within the extended warranty period, leaking, and making a whining noise.
 
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