Recently bought an 09 4WD Rav that now has 175,500 miles. After reading numerous posts on this forum I've come to realize what I thought was a loose heat shield is almost certainly the (apparently notorious) torque converter shudder. The vehicle has been serviced at the dealership since new. I'm assuming this means the transmission fluid has never been changed; I'll be checking service records tomorrow. If a transmission flush does not remedy the problem, what's the life span of this failing torque converter? I should have saved the link to the post, but one poster indicated his or her shudder started around 100,000 miles and was finally fixed around 200,000 when some rather extensive motor work was being done, meaning nearly 100,000 fail free miles. While the shudder is an annoyance, I have yet to notice any real effect on performance. Has anybody actually continued driving the vehicle in lieu of pulling the trigger on the expensive torque converter replacement or actually had a torque converter fail altogether? While the vehicle is worth over $5k, I'd rather trade it than spend the money to replace the torque converter. Maybe I'll be the first test subject to see if this thing is just annoying, or will leave me stranded on the side of the road one day.