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Hello all,

We own a new 2015 RAV4 AWD with about 3500mi on it. We've noticed since our first snow of the season there's been a very faint ringing/whining noise when accelerating at low speeds <35mph. There is not much rhyme or reason to it. It seems to be around the time of shifting, but I cannot be too sure. It doesn't do it all the time either. Could notice it every stop light, or sometimes not for a whole hour.

The noise only lasts about 1/2 sec. Very low, if radio was on or people talking you would not notice it. Seems to be behind the driver side of the dash. We first thought it was traction control in the snow, but still does it on dry roads with T/C turned off.

I've searched over these forums and the internet with not much luck. I know these things will go never solved, so I'm just seeing if anyone has ever had or known of a similar issue.

Thanks!
 

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There is a heat shield on the exhaust pipe that is situated about where that noise would come from. There is a harmonic resonance that causes that shield to vibrate ever so slightly. It is usually RPM-specific. While parked (and in neutral or park), slowly accelerate and you will find it occurs at a certain RPM, either going up or down. It doesn't hurt anything but drives my girlfriend nuts when she hears it in her 2005. It was happening in my 1997 but disappeared after I got a new radio.:wink If you really want to know where it is coming from, crawl under the (chocked and in park, emergency brake on, please) and watch those heat shields. One will vibrate. I am thinking a small addition of a metal rod to change the harmonics would cure it but haven't gotten around to do that to prove it to myself and my SO. And now there is white stuff all over the ground.....
 
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