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Toyota RAV4 Maintenance and Repair



  • Dear WWEST! I always read your professional advices.
    Talking about the vibration/ noise in RAV-4, here is a recent "guess" - you may want to look at it. (My 2006 V-6 4x4 does not have this problem.)

    Some of the 2006-2007 RAV-4s with the V-6 engines develop noise/ vibration problem while being driven in traffic. I was told that it can be traced back to the suspension of the exhaust/muffler system. The system can generate a "resonance" (vibration) as a summary result from engine rpm, transmission rpm and fuel pump rpm. I was told that if you stiffen the muffler by introducing an additional suspension point above the mufler (anchor point) the noise and vibration ceases (the muffler-exhaust assembly can not resonate because the harmonics will be out of sinc).

    I wrote to Toyota about it - they turned me away, because they do not accept technology suggestions from outsiders. Do you think this could be one of solutions for the noise and vibration discussed above? Could you please resubmit my suggestion to Toyota - you being one of their former employees - and tell them, if this is the right solution to the problem, I do not want any reward for it? If it works, it would be a great service for both, the loyal Toyota fans, and for the company, too. (I did not notice similar problems with our 4Runner V-8 4x4).

    Keep on writing! We all learn from you! =Andrew17
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Me? Former Toyota employee?


    In years past I have seen weights suspended near the rear of the tranny to remove vibration resonance. I suppose anything that stiffens the resinating structure would help.
  • jim2007jim2007 Posts: 4
    About the resonance (vibration) when being driven in traffic - my RAV4 vibration is noticeable around 50 mph and higher speeds.
  • jim2007jim2007 Posts: 4
    My RAV4 does not have auto climate control.
    The vibration is noticable when the temperature is above 50F in sunny weather and the air conditioner OFF.
  • Greg,

    I thought you might be interested to hear an update on the knocking noise I had reported a few weeks back.

    The noise got progressively worse and my husband took it to the local Toyota place yesterday, and once again, a service mechanic drove with him and this time absolutely and unequivocally heard the knocking noise, exclaiming "well if they can't find the cause of THAT then there's a problem!"

    To cut a long story short, the noise is gone, and apparently it was a loose nut on the rear toe causing the toe rod (or whatever it is they call it) to knock against the exhaust system (I think????). The back left wheel was also badly out of alignment. I'm no mechanic but it seems to me that this noise started when I first got my tyres rotated, but the shop insists that the loose nut would have nothing to do with the tire rotation.

    In any case, the knocking is GONE and finally, I'm a happy camper.

    Thanks for all your help.

  • Excellent news! Fyi they are correct with a tire rotation normally the tie rod is not affected; they only remove lug nuts on the tires. They *should* as party of the normal suspension safety integrity check, inspect the tie rod connections. If a tie rod end comes off its mount while driving, you can lose control and crash, so emphasize on your next normal service that they inspect these connections.

    As you did in this case, with a car or anything else mechanical, *always* trust your ears. You hear a non-normal sound, it is something to hunt down. Usually it is something easier to find!

  • That humming noise is a known problem with the Rav 4 and I found a website with all the Service Bulletins that are out on the car. The hummin noise is fixed by replacing a resistor to the fuel pump. The link to the site is below and the fuel pump issue is about 3/4 of the way down the pg &keyid=0
  • I can confirm the resistor fix, I am taking our 2006 Rav4 in for this TSB service tomorrow am. I took it in based on another earlier post. We only heard the drone when fuel dropped below 1/4 tank, but reproducible event, so I can confirm fix effect.
  • doc259doc259 Posts: 1
    Yes, I have a 2001 Rav4 and I am experiencing the same thing. I took it originally to a 'MOM & POP' shop and they ripped me off for $3000 and it is still not fixed. I was about to contact Toyota but from what I'm reading Toyota's claiming ignorance. Has there been any updates on the transmission issues for RAV4's? Anyone? :mad:
  • nguptangupta Posts: 5
    I have 2006 limited RAV4. Starting today, I am hearing a loud knocking sound when I start the car engine. It appears to be coming from right rear side of car.

    While driving (slow and fast) there is no noise even if the road is bumpy. But I hear similar sound while shifting gear from D - N - D (just did for testing).

    I checked under the car, the muffler seems to be tightly fit.

    Do I have the tie rod issue or the fuel pump resistor issue ? The gas level is below 1/4 at this time.

    Can anyone suggest please. I will make an urgent appointment with Toyota anyway but want to hear from the forum.

  • do not think it is the fuel pump, I would just make the appt and while there, also mention the TSBs on the fuel pump and that another owner had a tie rod work itself loose and you suspect a suspension defect. They should perform the TSBs anyway.
  • Anyone experiencing a soft knock in the steering wheel when they are turning? It's almost like a a soft click that I can feel and hear, sometimes doing two clicks consecutively in the same turn. More annoying than serious problem at this point, but I don't what it can lead to and it seems to be getting more frequent. Doesn't always happen, seems only on certain turns that there is enough resistence when turning.
  • I have about 83,000 miles and I brought my 2002 Rav4 in for a recall notice (something about software for the check engine light) and the dealer tells me that my trans fluid is dark and needs flushed soon.

    I checked online and there is a cyber coupon for my dealer that offers automatic transmission service (drain and refill trans fluid, type IV transmission fluid additional) for $39.95.

    My dealer tells me that I can't use that because my vehicle requires a Type P (or maybe it was a Type T) fluid, which he claims is the same as a type IV, and basically costs $85 just for the fluid, so the entire cost is $161.

    The dealer tells me that I can't just use the dextron or else after 2 blocks the vehicle will stop running and the transmission will be burned up. He said that the newer RAV4s (2006 and newer) don't even have a dipstick because too many people were topping off the trans fluid with the wrong type of fluid.

    Am I being told the truth? Is this $161 that I need to spend? I am leaning towards spending it.
    That sounds good to me. Is the type IV necessary? How much more should that be. What's the difference?
  • nguptangupta Posts: 5
    I have made the appointment and mentioned the TSB while at the service counter. They dont seem to know about it... very strange. Its Toyota service center !!!!!
    More observations:
    I dont hear any noise when I start the car in mornings.. temp. around 55F. But when the car is parked in hot Sun and temp goes upto 80F, I started the car during lunch.. and heard the noise again. It remained there until night. I hear it everytime I shift from N to D (auto transmission but was just testing) and also while starting from a complete halt.

    Guys, please help me out... this discussion can help others too. :confuse:
  • nguptangupta Posts: 5
    OK. We found the cause. The loud knocking noise was coming due to heat sheild near exhaust system. Thats why it only happened when the car was getting warm/hot from exterior.

    Guys, if you own 2006/2007 RAV4, please be aware of this.
  • nguptangupta Posts: 5
    Thanks a lot.

    This is exactly what I found in my 2006 RAV4 limited.
    Toyota must do something about it.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    My 2001 RAV4 owner's manual shows, in Specifications, p.250, under Automatic Transaxle -
    Fluid type: Automatic Transmission Fluid Type T-IV.
    A note below says use only Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV (ATF JWS3309 or NWS6500).

    It also says: Generally, it is necessary to change automatic transmission fluid only if your vehicle is ddriven under one of the Special Operating Conditions listed in you "Scheduled Maintenance Guide."

    I suggest you try another Toyota service department, if there is one nearby.
  • Hi, where can I get some information on replacing this? Is it a simple job to do? My RAV4 does not stay in 5th gear any longer unless I manually keep it there, and my guess is that it would be the pilot bushing that is worn out? Any help would be great!
  • I have noticed that the plastic headlight covers on my 2002 RAV4 are getting cloudy. Is this just to be expected with the passage of time? It makes the vehicle look like crap when viewed from the front. Is it covered under any regular warranty?
  • I have already replaced the tires that came from the factory once and it looks like I will need to replace them again soon. Just curious as to what everyone thinks is the best tire to replace these with.

    Last time I called the dealer and asked them what they typically replace the factory tires with for the RAV4 and they told me a "cooper" tire.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    For a fix (nothing to do with any warranty claim), see this post and the few above it (there's a few more like it around here you can find with the Advanced Search tool):

    bpeebles, "Dodge Dakota Owners - Meet the Members" #344, 5 Nov 2006 7:06 pm
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    I've had good success with cloudy headlight lenses on a few vehicles when I polished them with Meguiar's PlastX product, using just a regular terry cloth towel. It cleared them up well and the effect lasted.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why would you think the pilot(***) bearing would cause this.

    The bearing for the tip, seats into the center of the crankshaft, of the transaxle input drive shaft.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    My 2001 AWD auto trans RAV came with Bridgestone Duelers.
    I replaced them at 31k miles with Yokohama Geolandars, and I liked them for 40k miles. Might possibly go back to them in the future.

    Got Uniroyal Laredos on now, and they're fine so far (<10k miles).

    I expect the dealer would just try to sell you what they carry, whether it is an especially good choice of not.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Yokohama Geolanders are standard equipment on the new RAV4s. Strangely, many are complaining about them and can hardly wait to get some wear so they can replace them with something else. Mine seem to be fine on my '06. Maybe I'm just not doing all the sporty driving others are. :)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Yeah, I've seen anti- Yoko Geo posts too.
    Like I said tho, my experience with them was good,
    and I'd have them again, especially at the
    Tire Rack prices.

    Don't know if it matters, but I use the
    narrower standard tire size, 215x70/16.

  • Your insurance should cover the eng R&R. Had a friend do the same thing to his ford ranger and insurance picked it up.
  • dwpfeidwpfei Posts: 2
    I'm experiencing a knock while both turning left and right, specially at slow speeds such as in parking lots or driveway. Additionally, within the past few days, the steering seems to have loosened - more steering wheels turning and harder to make smooth turns on freeway curves. I'm getting ready to go to a dealer, but would appreciate any insight you have before going.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    This from another board:

    "Take it to the dealer and have them replace the lower steering shaft part #45260-42090. The service manager is a good friend of mine, He had the shop foreman check it out for me, He noticed the knock instantly. His recommendation was to replace the lower steering shaft apparently this was the fix for the highlander and preius and even some of the Lexus models. He looked to see if there was a TSB on this but could'nt find one. TSB's on other models recommend replacing lower shafts."

    This appears to be a recognized problem. I don't have it thankgoodness.
  • Get it in to the dealer or your chosen shop asap. Anytime the steering appears to loosen etc. not a good sign and potentially very dangerous if a tie rod or other part of the steering assembly or the mechanism is defective.
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