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2007 RAV4 V6 with 138,000 kms. Have this rattle on cold startup. Lasts only for a few seconds and sounds like it is coming from under the vehicle. Sounds very tinny, so crawled under the vehicle to check heat shields. They were in place, and not touching any of the exhaust or loose. Further inspection of other things that may be loose turned up nothing. This does not happen every time on cold startup, so not sure if it is serious. Was wondering if anyone has experienced similar and hopefully not an internal engine issue.:mad:
 

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do you know if it is coming from the right side or the left side? Mine has a rattle/knock. Very much like yours and I have a feeling it is the water pump. You should check your coolant level as well. Mine was below the "low" line and I know it was full before. I have since topped it up with a bit of distilled water to see if it will go down further.

I tried to listen for the water pump...all I hear is a very low grumble. I'll have to take a closer look at it to be sure but the vehicle is going in this saturday for some recall work and they are going to check it then. If they confirm that it is the water pump, I will order the parts and do the replacement myself.
 

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Sounds like it is coming from the right side. Have had the dealer check the water pump not long ago and they pronounced it okay, but certainly that doesn't mean that it still isn't the pump. Water level has been stable throughout though. Interestingly, since I was under the vehicle checking any loose shields, the sound on startup hasn't been there. Hmmmm.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. No noticeable leaks. I definitely did not notice anything on the ground or in the engine bay. At one point I did notice some crusties...I cleaned it out and have not seen any since.

The clunking sound on startup for me is very intermittent. It doesn't do it all the time. I can very slightly hear the waterpump turning if I am right by the wheel wheel on the right side (right side meaning passenger side). I'll see what the dealer says on Saturday. I see you're in Langley, that's where I will be taking it!
 

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The coolant below the LOW line is normal. Coolant is lost through the "expansion" valve (forgot the correct term). As long as it stays at the same level you're fine.
Adding coolant above the LOW line is quickly lost.

As for any grumble from the engine bay, mine was a broken/rusted exhaust clamp right after the manifold. A host clamp from Home Depot dd the trick.

Good luck.
 

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The coolant below the LOW line is normal. Coolant is lost through the "expansion" valve (forgot the correct term). As long as it stays at the same level you're fine.
Adding coolant above the LOW line is quickly lost.

As for any grumble from the engine bay, mine was a broken/rusted exhaust clamp right after the manifold. A host clamp from Home Depot dd the trick.

Good luck.
yeah mine dropped farther past the low line than I was comfortable with so I decided to fill it and see what it will do. I was also wanting to see if the white crusties would return again. They have not. I have had the water pump replaced awhile back...likely around 50,000km mark. I'm just over 160 now. On top of that, my fuel mileage has dropped off quite a bit. Going to pull the plugs and check them out.
 

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My rattle on startup is also intermittent (like currently NO NOISE), but as the wife has pointed out (it's her car that I very seldom drive) it has been intermittent for many months now so, I think I'll wait till the problem breaks, then will know what the problem is.
Langley Toyotatown service seems to be decent as I have had some out of warranty work covered by them -- no questions asked (rear wheel align recall of the original recall back in June 2015). Talk to Lindsey, she seems to know her stuff. PM me if you want the in-depth on the rear suspension arm FIX!!!

 

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Yup exactly when the rattle is first heard. However mine carries on to just as engine starts up, then all is quiet. Like the engine is turning over and shaking some tin plate and once the engine is turning in rhythm all is quiet. This is what makes me think it is a piece of tin rattling. I wonder if the exhaust has something to do with it like some internal breakdown of the muffler or resonator although complete exhaust replaced on recall a couple of years ago. Not going to fret over it though -- till it breaks.
 

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Raveycat, I have not had any rattles on startup. I had a rodent chew one of the wires leading to my fuel injector. I was able to flow some solder in there and make the connections strong again. So far, no rattles and the Rav seems to pull a lot better. I am not getting any of the hesitation I had felt before. Anyways, just a thought to have a look under the hood. Worth a check.

I'm still keeping an eye on it so if I hear anything, I'll post back on this thread.
 

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Well, I think those of too that have this issue should be concerned. I suspect this was the warning sign I ignored and caused the failure of something in the vvti valve timing, I just had my engine replaced.

My Rav developed a rather larger oil leak and it wasn't until I got it home and parked it that I found my valve cover cracked something let go and broke through the valve cover.

Now I can't say for certain what caused this, the engine was actually a replacement engine and had maybe 80k on it so I can say what happened to it for the first 30k of its life, but I know I was taken care of for the last 50k,but I had this annoying noise on start up, I actually thought it sounded a lot like the starter not fully disengaging after starting the engine, looking back I think it was probably something in the vvti system located on the passenger side front, I did find an example of another Rav that seemed to suffer a similar fate on you tube video.

I'm not a mechanic, and I didn't ask mine for extensive details, but I know something let loose, and there were chucks of metal loose in my engine so we just chose to find a used engine and replaced it.

I came here today to see if others were experiencing this same issue, and I'm not saying this is the same as for rav's, but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't post something.


Btw $1100 for the engine and another 1200 for the install, with a new water pump just in case... My first engine didn't have many miles on the water pump.
 

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Sounds like it could be those cam gears, we have the same problem with Es350 and RX350 what happens is those cam gears get dry which makes them chatter and once you start it the oil shoots up on finally reaches those cam gears and they get lubricated like they should then they quiet down which explains why you guys are only hearing this briefly upon start up. I'd have this checked out by a local Toyota dealer because they may know better than a mom and pop shop about the service campaign on these gears. im not a Toyota tech I work on Lexus but it's the same motor so I'm sure it's the same problem. Once those gears snap and come apart things can get very expensive. Hope this helps I'll try and see if I can find a TSB for this issue on the RAV4.
 

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It appears in both of cases of engine damage they were V6 not the I 4.I wonder if it may be less of a concern with the I4.
 

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The I4 has only one intake and one exhaust timing gear whereas the 2GR-FE has two of both. So, the probability of a timing gear breaking down is likely to be higher in the 2GR-FE. The design is, however, very similar so I would be very surprised if this issue would not affect both engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi guys
The rattle is still there on occasion, but have discovered somewhat of a cheap work-around. If I stop the startup before the engine strikes up, then re-startup, the rattle is not heard. Have been doing this now for a while and haven't heard the rattle. Now that is not a proper fix I realize, but if I don't hear the rattle, then I surmise the oil pressure or whatever it is missing, has a split second to pressure-up. On occasion I have forgotten my little procedure and have heard the rattle. Probably will cost me in the future, hoping not.
 

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Hello, folks. I'm glomming on to this old thread because it leads to the question I want to ask you. I have a 2007 V6 with about 94,000 miles. I've owned the car for the past 3 years; it had 73k on the clock when I bought it.

Over the past year or so I have occasionally had the startup rattle that has been discussed here several times. I can't remember a time that it happened that it wasn't on the first startup of the day. I'm guessing it's happened about 8 times.

I believe it's the rattle referred to in post #12 above. It is post # 15 that I want to ask about. I've been doing what Raveycat has described in the post just above. On the first startup of the day, I kinda short stroke the starter and stop. Then I do a normal startup and when I do this, I haven't had the rattle.

I'm curious if this practice has any deleterious effect. Is it bad for the starter? If so, would it still be a good trade-off to replace a starter if it prevents damage to the cam gears?
 

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It has been a while since I posted on this subject, but since then I have had some dealer work done on an oil leak that was a banjo washer in a connection to the VVT area of the engine. Since that leak was fixed, the occasional rattle on startup has diminished to almost gone. I think it had something to do with oil pressure drain-back in that area and with the leak it allowed the oil to leak-back a lot easier as the system would no longer be completely pressurized. Interesting to note that on only 2 or 3 times has the rattle been there and that was after the car had sat for several days before being used. So, in order to preserve my sanity on breaking the engine, I have gotten used to doing the "stop the start-up" routine.
 

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I'm curious if this practice has any deleterious effect. Is it bad for the starter? If so, would it still be a good trade-off to replace a starter if it prevents damage to the cam gears?
I have a friend that does that on all his cars, probably because his first car had the rattle. We have debated and I have read upon that procedure... I don't think is helping anything.
You are bumping the oil pump with your starter to achieve the normal oil pressure. Well, guess what, the engine is still rotating without the pressure, and more, now is rotating in short bursts (shocks). That makes the chain tensioners to slap even more than they would slap with a continuous rotation from the normal started engine. Oil pressure takes the same amount of oil pump rotations to build-up, so same amount of engine rotations.
Starter brushes and collector will be worn faster because of the doubled or tripled number of start ups.

The correct answer to this is that the tensioner need to be replaced. The proper tensioner position is not held in place by the residual oil pressure, but by the mechanical ratchet mechanism that should prevent it from backing. If that happens, the tensioner ratchet mechanism is not holding it in place.

The ratchet mechanism looks something like below, here extended, with the pawl raised:
 
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