Toyota RAV 4 Rattle Update...Fixed!

I just wanted to let anyone know if they had the same trouble as me with the rattle my awesome mechanic figured it out before I was going to buy a new car and move across the country. Toyota wanted me to put a lot of money into it and really didn’t know what it was. It just needed a few dollars and gear oil (back differential). I guess my cylinders at some point got caught and started making that awful clunking sound and when I took my foot off the accelerator pedal and put it back on it seemed to reset it. Just wanted to let anyone else who was having the same issue to try that first. It was amazing. Still no problems after another 25000 miles put on it!!! (Amsoil 80W90)

Original post: I have a 2008 Rav 4. 86000 miles and serviced vigilantly. Before the warranty ran out it had a problem that no one could diagnose so now it’s out of warranty and the problem is a lot worse, still no one has a definite diagnosis. Toyota is not honoring it’s extended warranty, so I will be paying out of pocket so it would be nice to have a better idea of what the problem could be.The rattle was very intermittent at 40mph going up a slight hill. If I took my foot off the accelerator and put it back on the noise went away. Now it is rattling quite a bit and not just at 40mph. I can still have it stop for a bit by taking my foot off the accelerator and putting it back on. My mechanic told me to try driving in 3rd gear. It has not rattled in 3rd gear yet. Toyota mechanic of 29years has never heard this noise before and neither has my mechanic so it is an unusual one. Toyota wants to do a transmission flush 3 times and then if that doesn’t fix it will put in a new transmission. My mechanic thinks it is the transfer case. No one knows for sure. Does anyone have any ideas?

“I guess my cylinders at some point got caught…”

I have no idea what this means. Care to elaborate?

U posted here 25k miles ago for issue? How many months ago was that? Servicing rear diff with new gear oil fixed issue? What is the Toyota maintenance schedule for the rear end? 50k, 100k, never?

"I guess my cylinders at some point got caught..."

I have no idea what this means. Care to elaborate?

I’m with Insightful on this one.
What could that statement about “cylinders” possibly mean, and…how in the world could that relate to a differential problem???

Hold on while I put on my tin hat…

Okay, my guess is that the RAV4 was making a clunking noise when under load that disappeared when the gas pedal was lifted. It sounds like filling the differential with Amsoil 80W90 stopped the noise. “Cylinders” probably refers to the pinion and ring gear teeth in the differential. Or there’s a mistaken belief that the cars cylinders are in the differential.

Whew! I should have been an FBI profiler!

Seriously, I strongly recommend that you find out where your old gear oil went. You probably have a leak in the pinion seal, and if you don’t repair it the fluid will run out again and the differential will end up functional only as a boat anchor. You need to get the actual problem diagnosed and repaired.

I had my RAV 4 into the dealer today with the odd rattle when I was going 35-42 mph. I was told that it is the transmission. There is a wave plate that is loosened and rattles at 35-43 mph. They have had this once before and the manufacturer says it is annoying but not harmful to the car. Hope this helps someone. I have had my car to three different shops trying to find out what was wrong.