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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a bit of a confounding issue re: my 2010 RAV4. Will try to make a long story short:
1. A couple of months ago, every time I took a sweeping left turn, the car would wobble like crazy. Turns out when the dealer replaced the right rear control arm under a recall, forgot to tighten down the nut that holds it on. It had come severely lose. Dealer was very apologetic (it was a potentially endangering safety issue), gave me an alignment, and I was good to go.
2. Just after that fix, i took it to an independent to replace rear disc brakes. They were able to machine the rotors.
3. Just after the brakes were repaired, i began noticing a light rubbing sound from the right rear. Not a consistent rubbing sound, but a regular rubbing sound as if when the wheel turns there is a high spot or maybe 2.
4. Took it back to the independent to look at it and gave them a recording. The tech thought it could be the e brake, found it was out of adjustment (I was aware it had been in need of adjustment for some time), fixed it. It was fine.....for a day or two, but then the rubbing sound returned.
5. I reported back to the indie shop, they said they would discuss and propose next steps. I have gotten to know the owner a bit, so don't think these guys are giving me the run around.
6. Other details: the rubbing is only from the back right, does not occur in reverse, can be heard only when going between about 3 - 8 mph, is most prominent when first driving in the morning, tho is heard at other times thru the day, just not always as noticeable. it isn't a metal on metal rubbing, or grinding...in fact it is generally a pretty low volume. however loud enough that i put my phone in the back right corner and was able to record the sound.

Questions:
A. Any thoughts on what it might be?
B. Possible it could be related to the control arm? - tho it didn't occur until brakes were fixed.
C. Tech at the independent thought it might be the beginning of a wheel bearing. Guess it is possible, but I don't buy that. A little too coincidental for my liking at this point.

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

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if you pull a bit on the ebrake, does the sound change, is the noise present if you press lightly the brake pedal?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Octane - good questions. Seems pretty obvious, once you stated them, but I haven't tried either. I will today - thanks for the suggestions. I of course put the brakes on and don't notice anything. But that is after I have driven slowly, check to see if the rubbing is still heard, then typically get up to speed and no longer hear it. I suspect the rubbing is still occurring, but the wheel is simply moving too fast for me to discern it. So then when i come to a stop, I hear no noise from the rear brakes. But as you suggest, i haven't tried lightly onn the brakes when i am hearing the rubbing.

interestingly, when i left my house this morning after entering my post, i didn't hear the rubbing at all. But then a few miles down the road i did hear it. again, it is most noticeable in the morning when things are on the chilly side. FWIW, I live in Oregon, so right now mornings are in the 50s. However, it has been going on for a couple months.

Couple other details when i forgot. When i first had the rear brakes done, there was a bit of a (for lack of a better word) whistling sound near the end of the braking - just before stopping. This went away after a few days and I chalked it up to just some sort of coating on the new pads. Then I noticed the rubbing a few days later for the first time.

Will post back on the above at some point today.

thanks.
 

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The handbrake and the service brakes are independent of each other. - the handbrake operates brake shoes which work against small drums at the rear wheels. The service brakes are disc brakes with brake pads which work against rotors. So the noise could be from either system. The handbrake on my RAV sometimes squeaks for perhaps 1/8 mile when first starting out in the day especially when the weather is wet or damp - rust forms on the drums and needs to be worn off. The service brake discs also may develop rust especially adjacent to the brake pads under the same conditions and that can cause noise during the first few brake applications when first starting out. Oregon rain, fog, and damp can exacerbate the oxidation problem with either or both brake systems. The noises may or may not occur, depending upon conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the detail -- good to know. when this rubbing first started we weren't in the wet season, however. Also, this occurs most of the tie, tho there are a few times when it doesn't first thing in the morning or after it has sat for a fair amount of time, such as when i am at work or in a store. So I have heard about oxidation on rotors or pads before, but I don't think it can form as fast as the frequency of this noise might suggest, could it?
 

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Usually with my RAV any noise occurs after it has sat overnight, but I have had a few instances where there was slight noise after a couple of hours when the weather has been wet or damp with the vehicle parked while shopping, for example.
 

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Best way to get rid of a noise: take it to the dealer. It will disappear. At least during their test drive and return when you take possession of the car.

Another thing that will give a rubbing sound is an out of alignment tire. Check the thread wear of the tire they just realignment. Are you getting feathering of the edges (outside or inside)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for delay, all. Appreciate the responses. I tried the tests suggested by Octane. Results:
1. Pulling on handbrake when going very slow, and hearing the rubbing: other than a brief squeak, which i assume is the brake shoes working against the small drums and b/d the car was moving, the car just came to a stop.
2. Touching the brakes lightly, but not so much that i stopped the car: the rubbing sound stopped. That seems to then suggest the rubbing sound is related to the service brakes.

Taking it to the dealer to stop the sound - isn't that the truth. :) Unfortunately i would like it fixed.

I seems i am starting to now the sound a bit when i am going a little faster -- in the 10-20 mph range. But it might be my imagination since i am focusing so much on this. I may have mentioned, when the indie shop did the brakes, they were able to re-surface the rotors. I don't know if they do that inhouse or send them out to be re-surfaced. the thought i had was that maybe the re-surface job isn't dead on flat. I just understand how the re-surfacing works conceptually - the rotor is carefully fringed down to be warp free. I figure the machines that do this measure the results automatically for true-ness.Any thoughts on this theory?

thanks.
 

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This sounds like an issue I had two years ago with my 2006 RAV4. Initially there was a rubbing sound from the rear passenger side, but only first thing in the morning. Eventually the rubbing started to happen more often, after each full stop.

I went to three different shops and the third one (a tire franchise) solved the problem: the parking brake shoe (or foot? I forget what they called it) was corroded. I took a somewhat blurry picture that might help. To the left of center is a bright curvy piece of metal. The raised area on that piece should extend another inch or so towards the top edge of the piece, but it has been rubbed away.

Fortunately the repair was not at all expensive, maybe $100 with labor.
 

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