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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, can't seem to find a solution to this. My V6 2011 rav 4 limited has a rotational noise that I can only explain as a flat spot on the tire or a rock or something on the front right wheel. The tires are 1 month old and have no flat spots. No vibration in the steering. Only noticeable on the highway at elevated speeds. Anyone else encountered this and found a solution?

Thanks
 

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Hello everyone, can't seem to find a solution to this. My V6 2011 rav 4 limited has a rotational noise that I can only explain as a flat spot on the tire or a rock or something on the front right wheel. The tires are 1 month old and have no flat spots. No vibration in the steering. Only noticeable on the highway at elevated speeds. Anyone else encountered this and found a solution?

Thanks
There's dozens of things that could be causing this. I'd say step one would be to move the r/f tire to another spot and see what happens.
 

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If those almost new tires are guaranteed it should be possible to have that tire checked by the dealer for roundness and balance. But it would seem those sorts of problems would be felt in the steering unless they are rather slight.
 

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It's possible it could be a tread separation. This would cause a bulge or high spot. It's hard to tell by looking. Jack up that tire so it can be rotated by hand. Place something on the ground like a 2 x 4 so it just barely touches the tire. Check the trueness by rotating the tire slowly while closely watching the gap. Do this on each side and center of the tire. This would also find a flat spot. Do this test after the car has been driven and tires are up to temperature not after car has been parked for a while. Years ago I had many tires with this problem but no issues for a long time.
 

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Had the same thing happen ns front tyre fitted spare still the noise, took Rav into Toyota,s
they changed wheels off another Rav being sure it was tyres. turned out to be front drive
wheel bearings
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update on flapping / throbbing / pulsing sound at speed

Thanks guys, I haven't solved the problem, but I have tried a few things that I would like to share.

Firstly, I took the wheels off and rotated. No difference. Still sounds like front right wheel is making this throbbing noise which increases with speed.

Put the car in neutral while at speed, noise remained.

When I had the wheel off, I noticed the inside of both rotors were pitted and rusted at the extremities (in and out) way more than the outside of the rotor. I thought I had found the problem. I put some new discs and pads on the fornt end, cleaned out the slider pistons on the calipers which were very sticky/stuck. Took it out for a drive....the blasted noise was still there.

I'm now convinced looking through the other threads that it is my wheel bearings. I lifted the car but couldn't feel any play in the wheels of grinding noises. New bearing hubs are quite an investment, so before I do it I wanted to hear your opinion on the best way to diagnose bad bearings.

Thanks
 

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Thanks guys, I haven't solved the problem, but I have tried a few things that I would like to share.

Firstly, I took the wheels off and rotated. No difference. Still sounds like front right wheel is making this throbbing noise which increases with speed.

Put the car in neutral while at speed, noise remained.

When I had the wheel off, I noticed the inside of both rotors were pitted and rusted at the extremities (in and out) way more than the outside of the rotor. I thought I had found the problem. I put some new discs and pads on the fornt end, cleaned out the slider pistons on the calipers which were very sticky/stuck. Took it out for a drive....the blasted noise was still there.

I'm now convinced looking through the other threads that it is my wheel bearings. I lifted the car but couldn't feel any play in the wheels of grinding noises. New bearing hubs are quite an investment, so before I do it I wanted to hear your opinion on the best way to diagnose bad bearings.

Thanks
With the wheels raised off the ground move the tire back and forth towards you to see if there is any play. Compare that to the other side so you know the difference. You may hear some light noise while you move the tire which indicate the bearing hub is worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks DL175. I have tried that already and really couldn't discern any movement that got my attention. Does that have to be the case if it is the bearings?

If not, what else could it be?
 

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It could be a nail that you may have not have found yet. Best to take the tire off and inspect it thoroughly.
 

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Feel the hub after a drive, if it's a bad bearing, the hub would be noticeably hotter than the hub on the other side. Next check your cv joints for any free play and noise. The boot may be torn allowing contaminates into the joints. Check a repair manual for the inspection method.
 

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I have the exact problem as you except it is on the rear. I do have a 4wd though so I wonder if it could be bearing or axle. I've taken it in to three different tire shops and ask them to check the tired for debris / nails. They all say there is nothing there. I recently had recall work done and ask Toyota to tell me why my tires pick up a rhythmic sound when I hit 50 and the sound increases with the speed of my vehicle at highway speeds. They told me the tires were cut wrong at the manufacture and nothing they could do but replace. The tires are beyond warranty so I just deal with it since the dealer said I have nothing to worry about but the noise driving me nuts. I turn up the radio. I just get nervous because I passed a guy in a plumbing service truck with an imbalanced tire doing 70mph on interstate. Soon as I passed, his tire blew up and he did a NASCAR roll doing 70 MPH right behind me in my rear-view mirror. He had to roll a good 10 to 15 times. I think of that all the time when driving down the highway with my tires making that sound.
 

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I have the exact problem as you except it is on the rear. I do have a 4wd though so I wonder if it could be bearing or axle. I've taken it in to three different tire shops and ask them to check the tired for debris / nails. They all say there is nothing there. I recently had recall work done and ask Toyota to tell me why my tires pick up a rhythmic sound when I hit 50 and the sound increases with the speed of my vehicle at highway speeds. They told me the tires were cut wrong at the manufacture and nothing they could do but replace. The tires are beyond warranty so I just deal with it since the dealer said I have nothing to worry about but the noise driving me nuts. I turn up the radio. I just get nervous because I passed a guy in a plumbing service truck with an imbalanced tire doing 70mph on interstate. Soon as I passed, his tire blew up and he did a NASCAR roll doing 70 MPH right behind me in my rear-view mirror. He had to roll a good 10 to 15 times. I think of that all the time when driving down the highway with my tires making that sound.
I don't buy the "tires cut wrong at the factory" thing. If by chance your tires are ready for replacement, go ahead and do it. That'll prove it one way or another. If not, seek out a recommended repair shop and have them check out the driveline for any problems.
 

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I don't buy the "tires cut wrong at the factory" thing. If by chance your tires are ready for replacement, go ahead and do it. That'll prove it one way or another. If not, seek out a recommended repair shop and have them check out the driveline for any problems.
I just went out and checked the bearings and drive shaft. The wheels have zero wiggle. The boots are intact and the shafts and bearings sound normal when turning. There is lots of rust on the shafts and underside but that was because the previous owner lived in NY state with all the salt on the roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I worked it out....it was the bearings

HI everyone. Had a big day today getting those damn hubs off. It was really difficult. I will give a more detailed description of how I did it later as I need some more immediate advice. But the end result is that yes my bearings were gone. No wobble, no nothing in diagnosing the problem...but once I got them off I could definitely hear the grind when I spun them. Drive is noise free as well.

Though I did screw up something. The speed/ABS sensors. I was not expecting them. No one mentioned them in any of their posts. I think I screwed one. All my lights are on for 4wd, abs, and traction control. Unhooked the battery as I ready that somewhere. But still there. So do I need to change these now? Any advice welcome.
 

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You'll need to read the Skid Control ECU codes to verify the bad sensor and them replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Now the power steering light has also come on and losing power steering while driving. What a mess!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes the battery is new and fine. I ordered new left and right front speed/abs sensors. Hopefully it sorts it out. But a bit baffled by the power steering going (light only comes on after 30 seconds after starting and in fact power steering works until the light comes on). Speedo is also out.
 
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