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I just recently purchased a used 2009 RAV4 4 cylinder with just under 100,000 miles on it, and I'm already having some problems. When I test drove it the check engine light came on and the dealership ended up replacing the O2 sensor, because of that issue they gave me 30 days where they would fix the car or buy it back for the full price I paid for it, so I really need to figure out if this sound is something to worry about. The sound only happens occasionally but it's fairly loud and it's easy to notice even with the windows up and the radio on low. I can't tell exactly where its coming from but I think its in the front end and its like a scraping/grinding sound that happens when I'm accelerating. I've noticed it mostly between 35 and 45 mph and it's after the engine has been running for at least 20 minutes. It doesn't make the sound everytime I accelerate, its kind of a hit or miss, but I have noticed it happening mostly when I'm going up hills. The closest thing I can equate the sound to is when I had a car, the plastic protective covering on the bottom tore and dragged against the pavement, which is what this sounds like. If anyone has any idea what might be causing this please let me know
 

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I just recently purchased a used 2009 RAV4 4 cylinder with just under 100,000 miles on it, and I'm already having some problems. When I test drove it the check engine light came on and the dealership ended up replacing the O2 sensor, because of that issue they gave me 30 days where they would fix the car or buy it back for the full price I paid for it, so I really need to figure out if this sound is something to worry about. The sound only happens occasionally but it's fairly loud and it's easy to notice even with the windows up and the radio on low. I can't tell exactly where its coming from but I think its in the front end and its like a scraping/grinding sound that happens when I'm accelerating. I've noticed it mostly between 35 and 45 mph and it's after the engine has been running for at least 20 minutes. It doesn't make the sound everytime I accelerate, its kind of a hit or miss, but I have noticed it happening mostly when I'm going up hills. The closest thing I can equate the sound to is when I had a car, the plastic protective covering on the bottom tore and dragged against the pavement, which is what this sounds like. If anyone has any idea what might be causing this please let me know
My guess would be a sheet metal shield under the car is vibrating at certain engine speeds/loads. If they replaced a sensor, perhaps they didn't tighten one of the shields they removed. I'd put it up on a lift while someone revs the engine slowly up and down and listen for the noise. To load the engine, put it in drive, brakes on and slowly rev the engine.
 

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Yes, focus on the exhaust system heat shields. When loose they vibrate sometimes quite loudly at resonant engine speeds.

My niece was just here recently with her 2007 Outback with a noise that she didn't mind driving locally with but worried her for a planned trip with friends. We localized it exactly as ravenuer described and a couple large hose clamps on her exhaust near the engine and ten minutes later all was quiet.
 

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If the noise occurs at the same rpm (tachometer reading) under different conditions including stopped it's almost certainly a loose heat shield.
 

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I have a similar problem with my 2010 rav4 sport. Seems for be only on low RPMs (usually 30-40mph). I've noticed it more during inclines, never when idling/stopped. No check engine lights. If I take my foot of the accelerator for a second and resume it goes away. I checks 2 heat shields under the car, both are secure and again, no noises when stopped/idling. Any help is much appreciated!
 

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Has anyone resolved this issue? I have an 09 Rav4 Limited that's doing exactly as desunnysi1989 described. I'm taking it to mechanic number 5 this week and hoping to find a potential solution.
 

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I have a similar problem with my 2010 rav4 sport. Seems for be only on low RPMs (usually 30-40mph). I've noticed it more during inclines, never when idling/stopped. No check engine lights. If I take my foot of the accelerator for a second and resume it goes away. I checks 2 heat shields under the car, both are secure and again, no noises when stopped/idling. Any help is much appreciated!
Hi. I know it is a bit of an old issue but I have the exact same issue with my rav4 2010 and the moment I take off my foot of the accelerator the sound goes away. Did you ever find what was the issue.
 

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Hi. I know it is a bit of an old issue but I have the exact same issue with my rav4 2010 and the moment I take off my foot of the accelerator the sound goes away. Did you ever find what was the issue.
I'm having the same issue, any chance anyone has figured this out?
Another 2 threads on the same topic:

I'm so lost, I've been to 3 mechanics and i'm handy myself and i've be in and out of this thing and cannot figure it out. It's a shame people don't come back to old threads to give a solution, it could help so many people.

Mine is a chatter/grinding noise, or like one mentioned, boiling. It's intermittent around 57-65km/h under light load on either flat or slight incline grade. Very specific. Sounds like right front. No heat shields left to rattle. I have put plastic push tabs back into all the panels that were loose as it sounded just like a plastic panel flapping in the wind at a certain frequency.

A shop today suggested the very minor play in the driveshaft but that's a $1000 replacement and didn't seem like enough to cause it. They didn't suggest it, just offered it as an option.
This kind of came up after a right front wheel bearing was replaced. It got worse after that. Probably unrelated.

I'm thinking of trying a transmission fluid change, maybe old burnt fluid is causing chatter. It doesn't do it if i put it in 3rd at the same KM/H OR if i try to match the rpms at 60kph in 4th, in 3rd gear, just doesn't do it. So i'm thinking of trying the transmission fluid, but at the risk of ruining the transmission because we all know changing old ATF in a high mile transmission is super risky.

Thanks in advanced to anyone that can help.
 

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Hard to say, especially where a few mechanics had a look already . Maybe a CV axle? If the problem started soon after a wheel bearing replacement, I would question that job.
If you want to rule out the driveshaft as a possible culprit, remove it. It's easy and you can drive around all day long without it. You just won't have the 4 wheel drive capability.
PS......the driveshaft replacement is not a thousand dollars if you shop around. I got mine rebuilt for $325. You can buy them new online between $300 and $400 CAN also....
Good luck.....
 

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I'm having the same issue, any chance anyone has figured this out?
Another 2 threads on the same topic:

I'm so lost, I've been to 3 mechanics and i'm handy myself and i've be in and out of this thing and cannot figure it out. It's a shame people don't come back to old threads to give a solution, it could help so many people.

Mine is a chatter/grinding noise, or like one mentioned, boiling. It's intermittent around 57-65km/h under light load on either flat or slight incline grade. Very specific. Sounds like right front. No heat shields left to rattle. I have put plastic push tabs back into all the panels that were loose as it sounded just like a plastic panel flapping in the wind at a certain frequency.

A shop today suggested the very minor play in the driveshaft but that's a $1000 replacement and didn't seem like enough to cause it. They didn't suggest it, just offered it as an option.
This kind of came up after a right front wheel bearing was replaced. It got worse after that. Probably unrelated.

I'm thinking of trying a transmission fluid change, maybe old burnt fluid is causing chatter. It doesn't do it if i put it in 3rd at the same KM/H OR if i try to match the rpms at 60kph in 4th, in 3rd gear, just doesn't do it. So i'm thinking of trying the transmission fluid, but at the risk of ruining the transmission because we all know changing old ATF in a high mile transmission is super risky.

Thanks in advanced to anyone that can help.
Hard to say what it is maybe strut, brakes, motor mounts, etc. Transmission fluid change is usually not risky if you follow regular fluid changes ie every 60,000 miles. It only gets risky if you never change it and wait too long. ATF will break down and get dirty over time. It accumulates grit and dirt which will not lubricate your gears when it gets old. So if you never change the ATF then your transmission will guarantee to fail.
 

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I'm having the same issue, any chance anyone has figured this out?
Another 2 threads on the same topic:

I'm so lost, I've been to 3 mechanics and i'm handy myself and i've be in and out of this thing and cannot figure it out. It's a shame people don't come back to old threads to give a solution, it could help so many people.

Mine is a chatter/grinding noise, or like one mentioned, boiling. It's intermittent around 57-65km/h under light load on either flat or slight incline grade. Very specific. Sounds like right front. No heat shields left to rattle. I have put plastic push tabs back into all the panels that were loose as it sounded just like a plastic panel flapping in the wind at a certain frequency.

A shop today suggested the very minor play in the driveshaft but that's a $1000 replacement and didn't seem like enough to cause it. They didn't suggest it, just offered it as an option.
This kind of came up after a right front wheel bearing was replaced. It got worse after that. Probably unrelated.

I'm thinking of trying a transmission fluid change, maybe old burnt fluid is causing chatter. It doesn't do it if i put it in 3rd at the same KM/H OR if i try to match the rpms at 60kph in 4th, in 3rd gear, just doesn't do it. So i'm thinking of trying the transmission fluid, but at the risk of ruining the transmission because we all know changing old ATF in a high mile transmission is super risky.

Thanks in advanced to anyone that can help.
I did a fluid flush buy pulling out the return hose and turned the car on, the fluid was very dirty even though I made 3 changes prior. So I kept it running while adding new fluid until it became pink. The sound is still there but barely noticeable. The one thing left to be done, is replacing the filter which I will do at next oil change.
 

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I did a fluid flush buy pulling out the return hose and turned the car on, the fluid was very dirty even though I made 3 changes prior. So I kept it running while adding new fluid until it became pink. The sound is still there but barely noticeable. The one thing left to be done, is replacing the filter which I will do at next oil change.
That's good and bad news. If the noise is coming from the transmission, that's not good.
 

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That's good and bad news. If the noise is coming from the transmission, that's not good.
Well not necessarily, some owner fixed the issue with a filter change and others with fluid change at least 4 times within one day or flush like I explained. So the cheapest is to start with filter change and flush. Check this YouTube which discuss the same issue. Review comments and you might get some ideas.

 

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I'm having the same issue, any chance anyone has figured this out?
Another 2 threads on the same topic:

I'm so lost, I've been to 3 mechanics and i'm handy myself and i've be in and out of this thing and cannot figure it out. It's a shame people don't come back to old threads to give a solution, it could help so many people.

Mine is a chatter/grinding noise, or like one mentioned, boiling. It's intermittent around 57-65km/h under light load on either flat or slight incline grade. Very specific. Sounds like right front. No heat shields left to rattle. I have put plastic push tabs back into all the panels that were loose as it sounded just like a plastic panel flapping in the wind at a certain frequency.

A shop today suggested the very minor play in the driveshaft but that's a $1000 replacement and didn't seem like enough to cause it. They didn't suggest it, just offered it as an option.
This kind of came up after a right front wheel bearing was replaced. It got worse after that. Probably unrelated.

I'm thinking of trying a transmission fluid change, maybe old burnt fluid is causing chatter. It doesn't do it if i put it in 3rd at the same KM/H OR if i try to match the rpms at 60kph in 4th, in 3rd gear, just doesn't do it. So i'm thinking of trying the transmission fluid, but at the risk of ruining the transmission because we all know changing old ATF in a high mile transmission is super risky.

Thanks in advanced to anyone that can help.
This is the same topic. Hope it helps:
 

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I just recently purchased a used 2009 RAV4 4 cylinder with just under 100,000 miles on it, and I'm already having some problems. When I test drove it the check engine light came on and the dealership ended up replacing the O2 sensor, because of that issue they gave me 30 days where they would fix the car or buy it back for the full price I paid for it, so I really need to figure out if this sound is something to worry about. The sound only happens occasionally but it's fairly loud and it's easy to notice even with the windows up and the radio on low. I can't tell exactly where its coming from but I think its in the front end and its like a scraping/grinding sound that happens when I'm accelerating. I've noticed it mostly between 35 and 45 mph and it's after the engine has been running for at least 20 minutes. It doesn't make the sound everytime I accelerate, its kind of a hit or miss, but I have noticed it happening mostly when I'm going up hills. The closest thing I can equate the sound to is when I had a car, the plastic protective covering on the bottom tore and dragged against the pavement, which is what this sounds like. If anyone has any idea what might be causing this please let me know
i had this same problem with my 2010. we took it to toyota have it checked out, couldnt find anything, took it to an independent shop who couldnt replicate the noise. back to toyota where they said it was probably the knuckle on the shaft, replaced. replaced transfer case too. solved issue for the most part. the noise has been present since 47k. the car currently has 410k on it, makes me clench my teeth everytime, took it back to toyota were there was a different mechanic look at it, he tells us that its a common and known issue with these models. and nothing they can do about it. but not a good thing really, the transmission could either make the noise forever or it could seize up next week, there is no way to tell, but its a $5000 job if it does. ill try and remember the exact part he referred to, but it was something to do with the 4x4/driveshaft
 
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