Toyota RAV4 Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi forum members,
This morning I took my 2009 rav4 limited, awd, 4 cylinder due to a vibration issue.

I feel vibration in the gas pedal at 40 miles per hour and 60 miles per hour. the service tech put the car in a lift and showed me that the rear differential is leaking all over the place, please see attached photo.

Several questions that I hope you can help answer:

1. For those that have experienced the problem I described above, was the rear differential the cause? If no, what was the root cause of your vibration (tires brakes other component)?

2. It seems to me that the exhaust pipe maybe cooking the seals of the rear differential case. is there supposed to be a heat shield over the rear differential?

the bolt holes in the rear differential case suggest to me that at one point there may have been a heat shield that was removed but never reinstalled.

I greatly appreciate if you can share your experience.

Thanks in advance,
jh.


163108
 

·
Registered
2010 2.0 VVTi RAV 4
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
The leak is exactly the same as mine, it is the oil seals - they take about 2 hours to get everything out of the way and back in. This does not lead to a vibration in our case. But I would certainly top up the diff oil without delay.

The vibration at 40-60mph on ours was caused by a lost wheel weight

Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,661 Posts
One common problem is that the breather valve on the rear differential gets stuck or rusted. If the breather valve can not exhaust air it forces it through the seal which causes a leak. If you reach on top of the rear differential with your hand you can check if it moves up and down. By the looks of things the leaks appears to be quite old.

On my car the breather valve was stuck so I modified my fill plug to exhaust out air. See my mod here. The good thing is I did not have any leak probably due to my low mileage every year and I caught it in time.

In some case you can get everything back to normal by doing this breather valve mod. If this does not stop the leak then you need to drop the rear differential and replace the breather valve and change the seals.

As for the vibration it could be low oil in the rear differential or the driveshaft is going bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Bigphil555 @DL175 - thanks for your reply. Very helpful. Seems the issue is severe now. Lots of play on the rods and drive shaft connections. Tires were balanced, brakes inspected but the vibration still occurs. I believe the drive shaft is unbalanced (weight likely fell off). The rear differential was quoted at $2.4K USD. Its time to look for a new ride :(

@DL175 i checked the breather valve and I'm able to move it slightly. However, its likely plugged up and potentially the root cause. Your fix is excellent. Thanks for sharing.
 

·
Registered
2010 2.0 VVTi RAV 4
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
I would not condemn the rear diff just yet. As DL175 said it could be the low oil caused by the leak. It may be worth shaking the dice and topping up the diff oil, it only takes about 1 ltr from empty if I remember. It may go some way to helping with the vibrations.

If you are mechanically minded it may be possible to pick up a used rear diff/rear cv axles/prop shaft it yours is worn out and replace them - it may breathe new life into your Rav. Here in the UK you can get a used diff with warranty for around £175 GBP, all four cv axles for £100 GBP

Just some thoughts from me :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,661 Posts
I would not condemn the rear diff just yet. As DL175 said it could be the low oil caused by the leak. It may be worth shaking the dice and topping up the diff oil, it only takes about 1 ltr from empty if I remember. It may go some way to helping with the vibrations.

If you are mechanically minded it may be possible to pick up a used rear diff/rear cv axles/prop shaft it yours is worn out and replace them - it may breathe new life into your Rav. Here in the UK you can get a used diff with warranty for around £175 GBP, all four cv axles for £100 GBP

Just some thoughts from me :)
Note prices for a brand new driveshaft have now gone down much lower to $159 which is very low on Ebay. I had mine replaced just over 1.5 years ago and still running problem free. I got it on Ebay and paid $205 which was the lowest price at the time. All the RAV4 model (2006-2012 Base/Lmt/Sport) uses the same drive shaft for all the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,661 Posts
That is a good price indeed DL175, and the feedback of it still running now is good to note
Compare that to a dealer here in Canada that charge $1300 CAD for 1 driveshaft is like getting 7 or 8 driveshaft on Ebay! Not to mention the labour ($80) is not that much to install so worth the risk.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top