CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Vibration from under car

I have a 2012 Toyota Rav 4 with 122125 miles on it runs extremely great … but recently when driving there is a vibration coming from underneath the car . Sounds like “plastic trim” hanging down BUT it’s not the trim it only happens when the car starts going about 30 mph to 40 .vibration is loud and able to be felt in the car . I’m not 100% sure what it is or what it could be. the car isn’t throwing any codes still runs great just trying to figure out what that could be .

Has anyone looked under the SUV? My first thought is a heat shield is loose on the catalytic converter.

1 Like

If you or someone you know could jack up the car and take a peak under the carriage you might be able to see anything loose or out of place. Otherwise I would recommend to take it to a mechanic to have it evaluated. Driving with a vibration accompanied by a loud sound could possibly be unsafe.

The car has been looked under .it’s been on a lift . My first thought was a heat sheild but nothing is lose under it .

I don’t see how a loose heat shield could cause a vibration unless it is touching one of the tires. I assume it is something wheel related while driving. Could be tire or wheel related. Spinning a tire/wheel while on a lift does not necessarily show a problem because there is not much pressure on the wheels. It would help if you could determine where the sound comes from, front, rear, left or right. I could imagine perhaps a bad bearing.

Perfect situation for mechanics ears; wireless microphones you can attach to various areas/things to isolate and find the cause. Either buy yourself or find a shop with them. Only cost about $110 for a good set. Mine paid for themselves many times over…

Could be a wheel bearing going bad.

Explain how you feel the vibration inside the car. Is it vibrating the steering wheel? The seats? The gas pedal?

Would a heat shield cause a vibration/rumbling noise?? My 2010 Rav-4 is doing the same thing…Sounds like if I’m driving over a cast iron bridge…It’s a rumbling NOT a heat shield

I can’t hear it, and it’s impossible to give you useful information. Post a recording of the noise. From your description, it sounds a bit like a failing wheel bearing. Your best bet is to take it to a shop you trust for an evaluation.

The noise sounds like a rumbling earthquake! Or like when you drive over a metal bridge and you hear the loud vibration

Has anyone checked the motor and transmission mounts ?

Nothing heat shield related would actually vibrate the vehicle. Heat shields will be heard and not felt…ever.

If it sounds like a knobby tire rolling down the road, that is almost the perfect definition of what a wheel bearing sounds like when they begin to fail… they sort of “groan”. A wheel bearing will also not vibe the vehicle… and out of balance wheel and a failed U-Joint in the driveshaft however WILL vibrate the vehicle.

Without a better handle on the details, none of us will be any help here and my guess is that you actually have two issues happening…one just a noise, the other, something out of balance and or vibrating.