My car makes a noise

I have a 2007 RAV4. About a year ago, if I was going up a gentle incline and hitting 40 mph, my car would make a rattle noise (sounds like it’s coming from underneath me), and then once I passed 40, it stopped. Over time, it stopped taking the incline to make that noise happen, now it just happens whenever I hit 40, if I’m increasing my speed slowly. If I put more gas on the pedal and increase more forcefully, the sound doesn’t happen. And, the sound never happens when I’m going from faster to slower, only slower to faster.

Any ideas on what this might be?

The first thing that I would check for is a loose or damaged heat shield on the exhaust system. These thin sheet metal parts are a frequent source of annoying but harmless rattling noises. And, heat shield noise is always in sync with a particular range of engine RPMs–which will vary from one car to another, depending on how and where the damage exists. If your engine is always turning at the same RPMs when you hear the noise (check your tachometer and note the RPMs whenever you hear the noise), then it is almost surely a heat shield noise.

However, since we can’t hear the noise, I do want to present another possibility. A spark knock from the engine is something that can be heard when you accelerate or when you climb a hill. Most people describe this condition as sounding like pebbles rattling around in a tin can. Since this condition is damaging to the engine, this is something to have checked out a.s.a.p. if it turns out that a bad heat shield is not the source of the problem.

4WD ?
2GR-FE Engine ?
Can That Rattle Be Considered A "Drone Noise And Vibration At Highway Speed ?

Some 2006 - 2007 RAV4s that fit this description actually need to have the 4WD computer assembly replaced with a revised unit. Warranty covers this repair for 60 months (from the vehicle’s in-service date) or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. A dealer can check this for you if this describes what you are experiencing.


I’d go with VDC …check those heat shields as sooner or later they all rust out and get loose and rattle like hell

~ I had a reply that apparently ended up in the wrong thread - ? ~

Thank you! I do know that the shield under the engine is loose. I think I pulled up too close parking front end in, one too many times, and it got loose. Would my husband, who is not car mechanically inclined, be able to reattach it? If it turns out not to be that, then your other answers I’ll check out.

Yes, hubby should be able to reattach it. It requires no special tools or knowledge. The generally accepted fix is to wrap a large worm-drive hose clamp around the converter and the heat shield and snug it up. These clamps are stainless steel and the fix is permanent.

If he decides to use jackstands, he should make sure they’re properly rated, on safe and sturdy ground, properly secured, and I like to use the jacks as a “backup”…not a primary, a “bacup”.
If he uses ramps, again they must be secure and stable.

HUBBY SHOULD NOT GET UNDER A CAR ON JACKS, or on concrete blocks. If you need more advice in this area, please ask.