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Discussion Starter #1
1996 2WD 2 door. I hope someone can help because my dealer cannot! Rumbling noise thought to be rear wheel bearings - new bearings and no difference. Dealer says that noise coming from LH CV in front - changed that and no difference!! Dealer tried changing wheels and tires - marginally better only. Dealer given up so anybody here no better than dealer? Vehicle is 1996 2WD with 166k. Still sounds like rear wheel bearings to me but what do I know? Is it possible for dealer to screw up changing bearings? I would be greatful for any ideas however odd.

Chris
 

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Hmmm.... I have a CUTE 1997 two door, FWD as well. Rumble from the back: could you be more descriptive? Is it a low-pitched? Speed up with the car speed? Change in quality with change in speed? Noise is coming from BACK but the dealer changed the FRONT CV? (I think it's your foot but if you want a second opinion, I think it's your hand....) :doh:
OK: to answer one question: can the dealer screw up changing bearings? HAHAHAHAhahahaha......haha.....(cough)......scuze me....ahem. >:DThe Dealer can screw up anything. Any of us can. The bearings are usually a swap-out of the whole unit (more $$ for parts), although the bearings can be removed and replaced in the unit itself: more of a PITA and more labor $$. If it is the bearings, you will hear it when you jack up the rear end and spin the wheels. That would be a good way to find out if you hear it coming from the rear anyway. How old are your rear shocks? If they are original it is time to replace them. You can do that yourself in about 2 hours with a Starbucks Break thrown in. Make sure they are the correct replacement shocks. There isn't a whole lot else back there to rumble. Send more info and we'll see if we can come up with something...........:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks for your reply. The noise is exactly like rear wheel bearing and the dealer agreed and changed them. No difference. He then put a gadget which he said detected exactly where the noise was coming from (couple of microphones on the chassis?) and said that it was the front LH CV which they changed as the boot was cracked. Still no change. It did occur to me that they made a Ck Up of the rear bearing change and haven't admitted that. They changed out the wheels and tires and that "sort of" reduced the noise a bit. I think shocks would not cause the sort of noise I am hearing? BTW the noise gets slightly louder as speed increases and is the same if in neutral at various speeds. There is no sign of tires being out of straight for whatever reason although the dealer at this point (desperate) is talking up bent wheels and twisted chassis etc.

Have jacked up and spun rear wheels no noticeable noise like the grind grind per revolution you would expect..... Very grateful for your thoughts however...........

Where are you in CO? I am Fort Collins

Chris
 

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Dunno if I am going to be of any help but I would be inclined to think differential noise or drive shaft slightly out of balance/bent.
His RAV is 2WD, therefore no rear differential or drive shafts.
 

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Only other thing that changes with speed in the rear would be brakes. Does yours have disc or drum rear? Might be time for replacement drums/rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for your suggestion. Wouldn't the shocks just clunk a lot if worn not a continual growling noise? I appreciate that 4.1's are not the quietest vehicles but this continual growling (apparently from the rear) has cost me quite a bit and dealer seems to have given up.

Drum brakes and dealer looked at these when replacing bearings. Yes it is a FWD and there is therefore not much at the rear other than bearings! That is the reason the dealer thought the noise was being transmitted through the vehicle from the the front!!????

Chris
 

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Hey, Chris: two door RAV4s are not the quietest car around. How long have you owned it? When I first got mine (March '15) I thought it was pretty loud back there as the rear wheels are way CLOSER than most any other vehicle (SmartCar being an exception: about a foot shorter!). I noticed a difference as I was driving home from work one day and was hitting several patches of newly paved road and the noise got quieter as I drove over those patches. It also makes a difference if the back seats are up or down. Shocks are in constant motion and can rumble if they are worn out. Are they original? If they have Toyota on them, they probably are. A lot of rear-end noises stopped after I replaced mine. And the car handled much better. The brake drums are not going to make noise unless the shoes are rattling around in there which would also result in the car not stopping when applying the small pedal. I once had a wheel almost come off and there was PLENTY of rumbling back there on my old VW Squareback as some idiot (ME!) hadn't torqued the wheel nuts. I only lost two of the five nuts. Idiot! Taught me a lesson, however. That is NOT what is going on with your car. Get three or four blankets and lay them across the back of the car and muffle the noise, then turn the radio up!
:wink
Dealer: do THEY hear it when it is driven? Understand most mechanics are NOT used to working on two door RAV4s as there aren't that many around, especially younger mechanics. If they have given up, maybe there is nothing seriously wrong and just driving it for a while (with the radio on) may be the solution. Did the dealer BALANCE the tires they replaced? An unbalanced tire or bent wheel is going to make strange wear patterns on the tires. Hmmmmmmmmmmm........... I would also give up on that dealer. Drive the car for a while. Maybe find another dealer or someone who knows the older RAV4s a little better. Sounds like you have worn them out......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Roadjunkie,

I appreciate your reply. I have had the vehicle only 2 months and I knew , (what I thought to be bearing noise) when I bought it. I need to find another vehicle the same to compare. The noise is really loud but does vary slightly over different road surfaces. As far as your suggestions:

Can't hear the radio for the noise! slight exaggeration of course but it is loud.

With the seat up it is better but where do I park the dog?

Blankets in the back I will try. This assumes the noise IS from the back.

The mechanics certainly do hear the noise and all assumed it was wheel bearings.

I will have a look at the shocks but don't see how they could make a continual noise>?? clunking yes but?

The other solution maybe to remove my hearing aids! Seriously - I would love to keep this vehicle for the rest of its life but it is not pleasant to drive and my wife won't get in it and sticks to her Subaru.

Thanks for your suggestions if you are close by N. CO let me know and I can compare.

Chris
 

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There isn't by any chance a part of the exhaust touching the body? or a heat shield touching the exhaust? I would expect the dealer to find this straight away but you never know
 

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Hello, Chris
I also have the same rumble from the rear of my wife's 99 rav4. It's front wheel drive, 4 door and coming up on 160k miles we have also changed the rear bearings with no change in the noise. I was here looking for instructions on how to change the rear brakes because I can't see that it could be anything else! We bought the Rav with 99k miles and have had no problems till now. Hacks me off every time I drive it cause that rumble makes me nuts! I'm gonna do the brakes and hope that fixes it. I'll post here the result.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello bigmachine!

So grateful that somebody else has the rumble - I thought I was alone! Let me know please how you get on and thank you for responding.

Chris
 

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Oh man come on........ the last chapter of this story is missing, yes it is a couple years old (the thread) so did everyone sell there rav's or buy blankets or ipods ? Now the spirits are in my 4.1 4dr as posted here and did anyone find the potion for the aliment? Thank you in advance.
 

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Oh man come on........ the last chapter of this story is missing, yes it is a couple years old (the thread) so did everyone sell there rav's or buy blankets or ipods ? Now the spirits are in my 4.1 4dr as posted here and did anyone find the potion for the aliment? Thank you in advance.
I know, it is very annoying when people don't bother to followup particularly when you are trying to help. It's quite difficult to diagnose noise issues when I'm not there to hear it. If neither of my suggestions work try recording the sound and posting it on YouTube with a link here.

Is your RAV4 FWD or AWD?

Check the rubber stops inside the top of the coil springs, they break loose sometimes and make various noises.

Or, jack up both sides, put on jack stands, and then spin the wheels and see if you can hear anything.

A bad tire will also make all sorts of noise, rotate your tires and see if the noise moves.

Possible wheel bearings or a brake issue. Although the earlier posted stated it wasn't the wheel bearings because they changed them and the noise didn;t go away.
 

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Thank you for stopping by with the info. I will find the noise,gremlin eventually. This is a valuable site for me and other newbies. Trying to read all the posts in the 4.1 fwd section and do searches before asking but I keep getting sidetrack and read other articles. It's all good.. Good tip on the shock rubbers and yeah, funny deal on that wheel bearing, then heading to the front. Everything suggested in the posts are all on the money and about all there is to search for bearing noises, but then again there's that "Oh man your not gonna believe this" and that was the one answer I was looking for. Tomorrow will be found the problem day so Ill be back with a report. maybe...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
finally found the problem

As the originator of this thread I have to apologise for not answering sooner - (forgot password and reset is a nightmare).

The rumble continued and the shop I took it to replaced wheel bearings, brakes etc on the back. Eventually they decided that the noise was being transmitted from the front drive shaft. They replaced the RH drive shaft. The noise was the same. I gave up and sold the vehicle at a loss as I informed the buyer of the problem. He contacted me a few weeks later to say that the shop had replaced the wrong driveshaft and he had replaced the other and all noise had disappeared!!!!!

Of course I was angry with the shop but they had all sorts of excuses.

The takeaway:

If you hear a noise from the back it probably isn't! The chassis transmits noise and it can be deceptive.

Don't trust the first shop you go to.

Don't give up.
 
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