At around 85k miles, I noticed a low rumbling noise around 1600 RPM. The noise is most noticeable around 40 mph, comes and goes only when the accelerator is depressed. Our local shop said I need to replace the entire automatic transmission. However, I took it to a trusted Toyota-only independent shop and the mechanic drove around with me and immediately identified the noise as the torque converter. He says the noise is annoying, but unnecessary to remedy. He changed the transmission fluid and I’ve been driving with the noise since then, now around 90k miles.
Has anyone driven with this symptom for a long time? He told me he has pushed one with this noise to over 150k miles. I see this issue has been seen before, 2006 Rav4 "rumbling" noise and 2007 Rav4 rumbling