Vibration in the Overdraft That No One Can Identify

Hi all! I’m hoping you can help. I have brought my 2008 Toyota Rav4 to several mechanics and no one can seem to tell me how to fix it. There is a vibration in the transmission that only happens between 35-45 mph with a light load according to the mechanic I trust the most. If you shift it into 3rd it goes away. No sensor lights are going off. I took it to the dealership and they said it was another problem but did not even drive it. My local mechanic said if it was what Toyota said, the vibration would be happening all the time. Local mechanic says to keep driving it as he changed all the fluids and he thinks that may help. He swears its not a safety issue but says not to bring it to a transmission specialist because it’s not needed yet and they’re just going to take my money. Please let me know how to proceed. Thanks! Also, how do I go on the show Car Talk? I can’t afford a new car right now.

The car talk show has been off the air for several years. Re runs are still aired. You can also listen on Youtube

I am very surprised that the dealership did not drive your car to see what the problem might be. Your mechanic has given you good advice btw. Are you sure the vibration is in the transmission, could it be an unbalanced tire or something else?

Try your dealer one more time, if they will not drive it, look in your owners manual for the number to the Toyota zone office, or google it. Toyota has a reputation for taking care of their customers, your may end up going to another dealer to get this resolved.

Toyota has one of the best built,toughest transmission in the business.My 99 Corolla has not skip a beat since I bought it new.I would not be suprised if its something else causing the vibration.Did your mechanic check the transmission mount?

The next time you feel this vibration, slightly step on the brake pedal while maintaining speed.

If the vibration goes away, the problem is torque converter clutch shudder.

If the transmission fluid was changed, then I agree. Drive the vehicle to see if the shudder goes away.

If it doesn’t, you might ask your mechanic to add this to the transmission fluid to see if it eliminates the shudder.


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Concur w/the post above, likely torque converter lock up clutch. That’s the part that turns an automatic transmission into a manual above a certain speed, usually around 40 mph. Done to improve mpg. That part can get confused and go into a mode where it turns on, then turns off repeatedly, with a resultant vibration. It’s a common-enough problem we see here. Sometimes it’s possible just disconnect the solenoid that activates the clutch as a diagnostic method to figure out if that’s the problem or not. Ask your shop if that’s possible to try w/your rav4.

He says he knows it’s not that. Thank you so much though!

Thank you so much! Mechanic wants to know if this is internal or external? Said he’s checking with his mentor. I guess I’ll bring it back to Toyota again today and see if I can get them to drive it. I really appreciate your help!

ok thank you so much!

Thank you SO much! I just told him all of this and found that product locally. Will buy it today and go back to toyota. Is this an internal or external problem with the torque converter clutch? Mechanic doesn’t know. Thanks!