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Hello all! I am new here, but it seemed like a great resource to figure out what is going on with my car.

I have a 2002 Toyota Highlander with 2WD and a V6 (1MZ-FE engine).

Recently, I have started to notice a loud knocking noise coming from the rear of the car. I believe that it is from the passenger side, and I can definitely tell that it is rotational. I only hear it during the following instances:
  • Lower speed braking
  • 1-10 mph traveling speed
  • Occasionally during sharp turns (haven't been able to differentiate between left/right turns)
As I said, the sound is definitely rotational, and I can hear the "knock" at greater instances when I am moving faster, although it tends to disappear over 10mph (unless I am braking). My only thoughts are that it would be something to do with the right passenger wheel, possibly a CV joint or a wheel bearing? I am pretty mechanically inclined, so I don't mind doing the work myself if I can diagnose.

Any help is appreciated!
 

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Hello all! I am new here, but it seemed like a great resource to figure out what is going on with my car.

I have a 2002 Toyota Highlander with 2WD and a V6 (1MZ-FE engine).

Recently, I have started to notice a loud knocking noise coming from the rear of the car. I believe that it is from the passenger side, and I can definitely tell that it is rotational. I only hear it during the following instances:
  • Lower speed braking
  • 1-10 mph traveling speed
  • Occasionally during sharp turns (haven't been able to differentiate between left/right turns)
As I said, the sound is definitely rotational, and I can hear the "knock" at greater instances when I am moving faster, although it tends to disappear over 10mph (unless I am braking). My only thoughts are that it would be something to do with the right passenger wheel, possibly a CV joint or a wheel bearing? I am pretty mechanically inclined, so I don't mind doing the work myself if I can diagnose.

Any help is appreciated!
I have this model HL as well. There's no CV joint in the rear, but there definitely is a bearing. I had to replace my right rear at about 100K miles, and I did both the left and right at the same time. I got the Timkin bearings from RockAuto, about $130 each, excellent product so far at 185K miles. That being said, it was a B-I-T-C-H of a J-O-B. That's because the bearing faces were rust-welded to the hub faces. If you live in a place where they salt the roads, you will probably run into this. You will also have to play around with the parking brakes. It was a learning experience, to say the least. If you do a search of my former posts, you will find the write up I did after finishing the job. When you're ready to put on the new bearings, I would suggest coating the mating faces with anti-sieze compound if you ever have to do the job again in the future. For more diagnostic info, you might jack up the rear and try spinning the tires and see if there is friction noise. I suppose it could be a brake issue as well. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just curious...did I discourage you (did not intend to do so), or did you decide to do the job?
Thanks for the response Ricco! Here is my plan of attack for this weekend:Jack the car up and manually spin the back right wheel to see if I hear any grinding or knocking. I may have to have my wife sit in the car and press the brakes to see if that makes a difference....because the knocking noise only seems to happen when I am braking at low speeds. Hopefully, it is a rear brake rotor issue and I can replace the rotors and be done with it. I have been having some wheel-wobble when downhill braking, so I probably need to go ahead and replace all 4 rotors anyway.

If everything seems fine with the rear brakes, that is where things will get tricky and I will have to start looking at the bearing like you suggested. I am located in South Carolina, so no salt on the roads, but I don't have the capability to undergo a major repair in my driveway, so that is where things may have to be transferred to my local mechanic.

It's a strange noise....definitely rotational from the rear passenger side of the car. Almost sounds like someone is tapping a hammer underneath the car on every wheel rotation when braking at slow speeds (although I've heard it before when coasting at slow speeds as well). Fingers crossed it turns out to just need a simple brake rotor/pad replacement.
 

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I just replace the dr. side strut. I have the same knocking noise when I go over speed bumps. I think I didn't torque the strut center nut down enough and it's clacking. Irritating but no big deal. Gonna tackle it today or tomorrow. And then get started on the other side.
 

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If you're sure it's a rotational sound, then there aren't many suspects back there. I haven't hear any of the rotational parts make a sound that I would describe as tappy.

A common rotational noise is the backing plate for the rotors. Either it gets bent toward the rotor or a rust ridge builds up on the rotor enough where it can make contact with the plate. Easy fix to just push it back away from the rotor.

You can check the bearings in your driveway if you can get it off the ground enough to spin a wheel with your hand and hold on to the coil spring. A bad bearing will feel rough through the spring. Compare to other corners. A bad bearing doesn't get better with speed though.

Possibly part of the park brake has busted in the rotor hat? Tapping until 10mph though...

See if you can replicate it off the ground like you said and check all over. Don't forget to check the tires and any trim pieces that might be loose.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
 
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