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Discussion Starter #1
What can it be. The grinding is not metallic, or anything too severe. It just seems louder than I recall. The sound occurs from 0 to maybe as high as 20 mph, such as when slowing down to a stop or cruising the parking lot looking for a space. Is this normal? Car has 45K miles, and is driven in snow conditions (salt). Is there something common that would cause this that I don't know about.

My first thought was something in the front diff, bearings, or even a dragging brake. But other than the sound I have no indication that anything is amiss. MPG is normal. Front diff fluid has been changed twice (first time I did not quite have the fluid I wanted) now, both normal.

Maybe I am just paranoid. But I thought that I would check with the Collective.
 

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Could you make a video or other recording of the sound and post it? That probably would narrow down the possibilities for the origin of the sound considerably.
 

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"My first thought was something in the front diff, bearings, or even a dragging brake. But other than the sound I have no indication that anything is amiss."

Did a mechanic actually checked those items? The first thing that comes to mind is the wear indicator for the brake pads or grit/rust on the rotors.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Did you ever drive in reverse through snow? That can sometimes rip the plastic underbody shield which can then drag on the pavement. Look under the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I drove the RAV this weekend, moved it from one spot to another around my driveway. THe sound got louder when I was using the brake.
The car is also due for an oil change so when I get around to doing that I might pull a wheel and check the brakes. Not a brake pad squeal indicator. Those sound different and I jsut check the pad life when I swapped on the winter wheels. Dirt/rust and dragging brakes are my top suspects right now.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I drove the RAV this weekend, moved it from one spot to another around my driveway. THe sound got louder when I was using the brake.
The car is also due for an oil change so when I get around to doing that I might pull a wheel and check the brakes. Not a brake pad squeal indicator. Those sound different and I jsut check the pad life when I swapped on the winter wheels. Dirt/rust and dragging brakes are my top suspects right now.
Check the dust shield around the rotor. It's thin sheet metal and can be easily bent.
 

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try to pressure wash your pads and calipers with water (point the nozzle to outer rim and inner under), then drive again. that must be just dirt if nothings severe. or go and have it checked, go to your nearest brake specialist, might need brake service.
 
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