How does it shift? Did they drain the fluids to see if there is a lot of metal? Did they tell you it is about to fail?...Do you need to rely on for towing or long trips away from services?
It shifts fine, just whines when first accelerating. I was told that's the planetary gear (gears?), and it only lasts briefly. Unfortunately, I would guess no fluids were drained at all—they would have told me otherwise, right?
And no, I don't rely on it for towing yet, but plan to use it to pull music gear for out-of-state shows and take it up to the mountains for several trips per year. However, most of the driving I do is city, with several a few short highway trips a month.
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech
Find the tire with cupping and put the spare there
From what I was told, they're all cupped badly. I had them rotated, which didn't seem to affect noise much.
Originally Posted by underthehood51
In the scheme of things tires are cheap. ...
Thanks for the recommendation on the tires. In my last Highlander, I just bought an aggressive set from Big O, but I'm more than willing to get a good set from Discount. In fact, one of the auto shops recommended them to me to get rid of the noise.
Do you hear the noise when the car is in park? Does it change when you rev the engine? Do you hear it when stopped in drive? Do you hear it At all speeds or only in a certain speed range? Does it change with speed of the engine when the transmission shifts? Does it change only with the speed of the car and get worse as you increase speed?
No noise when in Park, or at a stop light. Revving the engine doesn't seem to produce the same effect as driving, but I think I could at least hear that whiny noise mentioned above. So really, there are two distinct noises: a whine in low gear when first accelerating, and a wah/hum when driving, particularly around 40mph. The noise is certainly still there past 40mph, but doesn't seem to get much louder.
Additionally, I did take the Highlander to a Lexus/Toyota/Subaru shop, but they weren't able to get it in today. However, one of the mechanics did drive it around the block, saying the tire cupping is causing the noise, besides the whine in the beginning, which he said is fine. But they'll do a more complete inspection tomorrow on the rack, so I'm not 100% certain the problem is the tires just yet. Though, I am starting to believe this is the case.
On another note, my buddy said the cupping could be caused by poor shocks, but my first mechanic said they looked good. Looks like I'll have a hefty checklist for the shop tomorrow.
Thanks for the input so far, everyone!