Q: Whining noise from the rear, very loud now

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I drive a 2009 Toyota RAV4 that began making a whining noise somewhere in the rear at about 30,000 miles. This was disappointing but overall it didn’t affect the ride or drivability of the car. I drove it until I hit 41,000 miles and that’s when the noise got unbearable. It gets higher pitched the faster I go now. What’s happening back there?

This is a problem with the rear differential making a growling noise as you increase speed. The issue was identified by Toyota and addressed in technical service bulletin TSB-0080-13, dated June 2013. The NHTSA has also published a safety bulletin #10052631 that addresses this issue as well. If you take a copy of the Toyota TSB to any Toyota dealership they should repair it for you, though the cost is unknown since it is not a recall. Take care of this issue as soon as you can, continued driving will result in more damage to the rear differential and will likely increase the repair cost as well.

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