Anybody got a late model Rav4? Later than 2016? Ever heard a sound in the passenger cabin resembling the beat and pulse of a locomotive, sometimes so strong it sounds like the cab is going to shake apart? Want to get rid of it?
Close the open rear window.
Seriously. I made a Monday service appointment for our 2019 Rav4 because that's what it sounded like inside the cab last week once it was moving over 35 mph. It turns out there's an aerodynamic anomaly that causes it when one or both rear windows are open at least a couple inches.
This happened originally on our 2016 and I forgot about it. But then it happened in a much more subdued way last week on our 2019. I inspected the wheels and wells but couldn't see anything so I made the appointment. Then two days ago I had it out and the noise was gone. WTF? Then I took my wife out in it last night for a test ride, and that's when the light bulb went on. I remembered seeing one rear window open just an inch or two, which happened by mistake. And then I closed it. I never connected the window to the noise because it was winter, there shouldn't be any open rear windows, and the gap was so small the effect was much more subtle. It sounded like a tire or wheel problem. If the window is open all the way it makes the cab almost unbearable.
I took a third 2019 Rav4 out today and clearly demonstrated it again. I'll bring this to the service desk's attention tomorrow. And our lease rep.