Toyota Rav4 EV Forum
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Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volume
http://www.myrav4ev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2285
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Author:  Allen [ Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volume

I don't drive a lot of miles each day and I'm only around 37K miles but despite never really driving my car hard, my motor is making that whirring noise. I did purchase an extended warranty.

Question is, when should I worry and how hard is it to get Toyota to do preemptive repair? Are they replacing bearings yet or still doing full motor swaps?

Author:  asavage [ Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volu

They swap your drive unit for a rebuilt one from Tesla. These days, the rebuilt ones do not fail for noise anymore, they finally got that worked out with Rev. Q, about two years ago.

Earlier rebuilt units were themselves failing, both on our RAV4EVs and Model Ss.

Author:  Allen [ Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volu

I see you are in a similar situation to me. You got your car a few months earlier and added a lot more miles.
How bad did your motor have to get before they would do anything? Was it one of these "keep complaining so there's a paper trail" kind of issues?

Author:  davewill [ Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volu

If it's audible, then it should be bad enough for replacement. Go ahead and get it in there.

Author:  asavage [ Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volu

When I bought mine @ 49k miles, it was not silent. I was prepared for that, before I bought the car.

I commute ~1400 mi./month, and over the next eleven months the miles racked up and the noisyness got louder, but never really highly-annoying to me.

The original warranty covers the DU through 60k, so at 59k I took it to my somewhat-local Toyota dealer (Toyota of Seattle). Because a) they'd serviced the car earlier for the wipers linkage recall, and b) they had had at least three RAV4EV DUs replaced on other local RAV4EVs before mine, they knew the process for DU replacement authorization, and they knew me as a customer (I, unfortunately, get oil change-special-coupons via mail every three months from them).

When I dropped it off, I complained about both low- (up to ~20 MPH) and high-speed (at around 60) noise. The repair ticket I later received declared the high-speed noise/whine to be within normal parameters, and the low-speed noise to be excessive: the DU replacement was authorized. My hearing is fairly poor, and I blast NPR on my commute, so I don't really mind the highway whine, but the low-speed noise -- esp. accelerating from stops -- was getting fairly annoying, esp. in the summer with the windows down, and is bad PR for EVs.

The dealer did not wait for the roving Toyota EV tech to come listen to it. I assume they now know to use some other metric or process (make a recording, use their own expertise, IDK) to confirm or deny that the noise is "loud enough" to authorize DU replacement. When I picked it up some weeks later, the service advisor commented that "they all have to be replaced", probably because every RAV4EV that he had seen had to have had it replaced.

It was pretty painless. But that's likely because other RAV4EV owners had already trained this dealer about this issue. I have heard about Toyota dealers declining a DU replacement due to noise, but that appears to be rare.

As a byproduct, they changed the DU coolant, which is a 50k service I declined earlier, knowing I was going to have the DU replaced soon.

Author:  Allen [ Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Motor whirring noise getting to a slightly worrying volu

Very helpful guys. I'll contact my dealer.

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