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Old 03-21-2019, 05:04 PM #1
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2019 Limited 4WD whining/howling noise under power

I bought a new 4Runner about two months ago. At approximately 300 miles I noticed a whining noise under very light throttle at 66mph up to about 70mph. The noise is loudest when I'm just barely touching the pedal. If I give the 4Runner more gas or completely let off the throttle it goes away. My wife describes the noise as more of a howl and her ears are way better than mine.

I took the vehicle into the dealership and took a tech for a ride. He agreed the noise was there and kept the 4Runner to do some more investigating. The next day I was called to come pick it up as the noise was deemed normal. I was told the noise is just a normal part of the AWD system on the 4Runner Limited.

I have a hard time accepting this is a normal noise. I have owned a 2013 Land Cruiser, 2008 Lexus GX470 and a 2004 4Runner that all had full-time 4wd and I never noticed this noise in any of them. I now have almost 5k miles on the Limited and I'm getting sick of hearing the noise ever day.

Do any of you with a 5th Gen 4wd Limited have a noise like this? If so, did it go away after some mileage? I feel like the noise is rear differential related, which will never go away in my experience.

Any information you can provide is appreciated. I'm trying to get as much information as possible before I start escalating the matter with Toyota.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:21 PM #2
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I have a 2016 Limited, 39k mi and have the noise. Exactly as you describe.
I don't have any additional information for you except you're not alone.
To answer your ?'s...
Yes, I have it
No, it hasn't gone away
And I don't feel it's diff related.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:15 AM #3
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Have you tried to to reproduce that noise in an SR5 or a trd?


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Old 03-22-2019, 09:37 AM #4
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does it sound like the whine you get from the transfer case in 4wd low?
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:55 AM #5
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Doesn't happen on my TRD OR so the only thing that it probably could be if it is "normal" would be the transfer case which is different on the Limited.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:48 AM #6
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my 18 limited has a very faint whine on deccel from highway speeds. im going to mention it at my next service. to me it does sound like its coming from the transfer case..awd
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:09 PM #7
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Does the whine sound like this?

YouTube

Cause I have the same problem.
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:25 PM #8
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^I also have that noise.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:44 PM #9
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Mine does this under acceleration too, I don't mind it it almost sounds like a supercharger.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:21 PM #10
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The one thing that puzzles me about the noise is when it happens. Light throttle to slowly accelerate at highway speeds and just enough throttle to maintain a constant speed. Coasting and braking it goes away. don't know under heavy throttle cause engine is just too loud. Basically under load.
If it was one of the diffs, wouldn't it make the noise whenever it was spinning?
It doesn't change volume or pitch with the speed and it's so damn faint. At least in my vehicle.
TBH, I've chalked it up to the 4Runner not being the most refined vehicle out there.

About the whine in the video. I get that too but only when the engine is cold and it's around 40 degrees or less (total guess) and during the first and second times getting up to speed. Doesn't happen in the summer.
My truck is weird.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:49 PM #11
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If it were me, I'd consider clipping a go-pro underneath in various places to see if I could isolate where the noise was from. Or moving the tires around to see if the noise changes. If it did, then to me I'd think it was tire related. If there's no diference then I'd check the diff oil to see if there's any metal in it.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:08 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayeyothisiskyle View Post
Does the whine sound like this?

YouTube

Cause I have the same problem.
sounds exactly like mine.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:17 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayeyothisiskyle View Post
Does the whine sound like this?

YouTube

Cause I have the same problem.
I think that is the same sound. It was hard for me to tell in the video.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:18 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furagwa View Post
If it were me, I'd consider clipping a go-pro underneath in various places to see if I could isolate where the noise was from. Or moving the tires around to see if the noise changes. If it did, then to me I'd think it was tire related. If there's no diference then I'd check the diff oil to see if there's any metal in it.
I'm going to get the tires rotated next week as part of the 5000 mile service. However, I doubt it is tire noise. The noise goes away as soon as I let off the gas and I can still hear the tire whine.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:26 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4Rawr View Post
The one thing that puzzles me about the noise is when it happens. Light throttle to slowly accelerate at highway speeds and just enough throttle to maintain a constant speed. Coasting and braking it goes away. don't know under heavy throttle cause engine is just too loud. Basically under load.
If it was one of the diffs, wouldn't it make the noise whenever it was spinning?
It doesn't change volume or pitch with the speed and it's so damn faint. At least in my vehicle.
TBH, I've chalked it up to the 4Runner not being the most refined vehicle out there.

About the whine in the video. I get that too but only when the engine is cold and it's around 40 degrees or less (total guess) and during the first and second times getting up to speed. Doesn't happen in the summer.
My truck is weird.
Your first paragraph describes my noise exactly. I can't really tell if it is getting louder because now I'm so keyed into the noise I hear it all the time.

I have a hard time accepting this is just normal for a Toyota 4Runner. It reminds of the clunk when stopping that both my Gen 4 and GX460 had. I got the line that it was just the way the 4 wheel drive system worked. They would grease some shaft and send me down the road without a real fix. I guess enough people finally got fed up and Toyota came out with a real fix.
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