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Toyota RAV4 Vibration Problems – Keep An Eye Out For Faulty Engine Motor Mounts! 

Toyota RAV4 Vibration Problems – Keep An Eye Out For Faulty Engine Motor Mounts! 

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV that has been produced by Toyota from the 1994 model year until the present. The first compact crossover SUV, this car was made for consumers wanting a vehicle that had the SUV benefits while containing the performance benefits of a compact car. Despite these positives, the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems that continue to harm the vehicles over the years can deter some possible car owners from purchasing this car model. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Let’s look at the most common causes of the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems, such as concerns with the spark plugs, loose hoses, timing belt issues, fuel intake system concerns, uneven tire wear, and steering column issues. 

10 Main Causes of Toyota RAV4 Vibration

There are numerous reasons why your engine might be shaking while you cruise down the street. When looking at the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems, you need to know if it is safe, and you can make it to a dealership. We’ll dive deeper into this subject and let you know.


If you know what kind of problem is causing the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems, this can put your mind at ease a little bit. There are many frequent causes of the engine vibrating, meaning that when you figure this out, you can explain symptoms to the car mechanic to fix the problem. 

Worn-Out Spark Plugs

    • In many cars, a common cause of engine vibration can be if your spark plugs are worn out, old, damaged, or faulty. With worn-out or dirty spark plugs, due to debris or improper cleaning, can cause the engine to misfire. Engine misfiring results in the engine not firing on each individual cylinder, resulting in the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems.  
    • When this misfiring occurs between spark plugs, it is often referred to as the engine not firing on all cylinders. This issue can commonly be fixed by a professional mechanic by installing new spark plugs.
  • Replacing spark plugs is between $16 and $100 to fix the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 

Loose Hoses

    • If you have a hose that is loose, shaky, not tight, or disconnected, then this can be another common sign and cause of the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. A loose air hose or vacuum can lead to excessive shaking and engine vibrations. 
    • To fix this issue in your car, you might need to look under the hood for any disconnected hoses and reattach them when you find the connections that are loose.
  • Replacing engine hoses costs between $150 and $171, with the labor for this procedure costing between $77 and $98 and taking between 1 and 1.5 hours of labor. 

Faulty Motor Mounts

  • If your car starts shaking or notices Toyota RAV4 vibration problems, this is usually a clear sign that motor mounts are damaged.
  • A good way to tell that this is the problem is to put your vehicle in neutral and see if the engine vibration decreases. If the problem decreases as you put your car in neutral, this is a sign that there is a problem with your motor mounts, and you need to take your vehicle to a professional.
    • Replacing motor mounts typically costs between $50 and $200 for just the parts at a local autobody store. Usually, motor mount replacement costs are between $224 and $563 for both the parts and labor to fix the Toyota RAv4 vibration problems.

Faulty Fuel Intake System

  • Another common issue that you often see with excessive engine vibration is due to a poorly adjusted fuel intake system. The fuel intake and injection system is a process that moves the fuel mixture from the carburetors to the intake valves of the engine. The fuel system is composed of the air filter, intake manifold, and the carburetors. With a poorly adjusted fuel intake system, it can cause the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 
  • Sometimes, the engine vibrations caused by this issue can be fixed pretty easily and inexpensively compared to other causes. You might be able to get away with adjusting the idle on the carburetor or cleaning the components of the fuel intake system. The cleaning allows the fuel to pass through the engine easier and creates cleaner combustion within your car’s engine.
    • A fuel system service costs between $50 and $80, with auto service professionals carrying out this procedure multiple times per day and taking less than one hour to complete. 
    • If you need to replace the fuel intake system, it will cost between $800 and 1,450 for a complete injector replacement, with the labor costing between $200 and $250 for 2-2.5 hours of work. 

Broken Timing Belt

  • The last cause of Toyota RAV4 vibration problems might be a faulty timing belt. Problems with your vehicle's timing belt, or other belt accessories, are a common issue when they are loose, damaged, or lacking working parts. Belts accessories, like fans, result in strange sounds, hard shaking, and vibrations from your car’s engine. Make sure you inspect all of your belts in your vehicle to ensure they are free from cracks. 
    • Replacing your timing belt will cost between $500 and $1,000, with the average price can skyrocket to $2,000 or more if there are other Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 

Uneven Tire Wear

    • Tires play an essential role in the safety of your car. If you have driven too long on your tires and they have broken down over consistent use, you might be putting yourself and passengers at risk of a crash. Each tire supports a quarter of your vehicle’s weight, so even if one tire is compromised, it can affect your vehicle very quickly and lead to Toyota RAV4 vibration problems.
      • To prevent uneven tire wear, you need to pay for tire balancing. Tire balancing corrects the uneven distribution of weight in your car and can help with unbalanced tires’ common problems. The tire balancing procedures help fix the wheels’ weight since imbalanced wheels can lead to excessive vibration, uneven tire wear, unbalanced tires, suspension damage, and Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 
  • The price of tire balancing costs anywhere between $14 and $50 per tire. 

Steering Column Concerns

  • You may notice your steering wheel is not centered on your column and the car. When you turn the steering wheel, it is supposed to return to the center without having any problems. The ability for the wheel to go back to the center is blocked if the steering column is damaged and needs replacing.
    • In most cases, the cost of a steering column replacement will depend on the mechanic. Determine who can offer you the best price and who has the best reputation. It will also depend on the specific car you are driving, like the make, model, and year. The overall price of a steering column replacement is going to average anywhere between $450 and $1400 for the mechanic to fix the issue. 
    • The average price for a power steering pump replacement is between $515 and $713, with the labor between $167 and $211 for two to three hours of work. 
    • If there is an issue with the power steering system tank, it can cost between $150 and $250 to fix the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 
    • For a power steering pressure hose, the repair job will be between $100 and $300 for parts depending on the make and model of your car. The labor of this procedure is between $80 and $160 for this fix, taking between 1 and 2 hours of work. 
    • For replacing the power steering rack and pinion, drivers should expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 to remedy the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 

Poor Tire Condition

    • If you find the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems also coincide with poor tire condition, this can be one of the main reasons why this issue is happening in your vehicle. Similar to the tires being unbalanced, tires that are in poor condition, such as underinflated or containing holes and rips, will cause your vehicle to shake and vibrate while driving.
  • Car owners need to check their car for:
      • Low pressure
      • Loose tires (loose lug nuts)
      • Uneven tread and tire wear
      • Separated or damaged tread
      • Unbalanced tires
  • Replacing tires on your car typically cost around $148 per tire, with the median cost for installation coming to just $20 per tire. 

Damaged Axle

    • Bent axles, which can be caused by minor accidents and rear-end collisions, will cause the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. The more speed you drive, the worse the vibrations will get. If the rubber boot protecting the joints and axles in your car is damaged by holes or filled with debris, these damages can cause a shaking sensation.

Rough Shifting

    • When your transmission grinds when shifting gears, this is a condition related to the clutch not releasing, the shift synchronizer rings worn or broken, or a shifter problem. Transmission oil/fluid that is low, dirty, or the wrong fluid can also cause the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems. 
  • Replacing a transmission synchronizer is around $1,500 to replace the synchro, with adding $400 also to replace the sliding gear. 

How to Analyze Your Vehicle For Toyota RAV4 Vibration Problems

  1. Spark Plugs – The first cause of engine vibration, as we know, is a caused or worn spark plug, bad ignition, bad ignitor cables, or worn coils. You can see if one of these is your engine vibration issue by going down the line to the engine’s ignition system to determine where exactly the fault is. 
  2. Ignition Cables – To determine if the ignition cables are the main problem of engine conversion, these need to be checked with a multimeter to see if the resistance is within the specifications of the vehicle’s requirements. The ignition coils also need to be checked using the multimeter to see if their resistance is within the specifications.
  3. Fuel Intake System – Another issue that causes engine vibration is clogged injectors within the fuel intake system. The injectors deliver fuel into the engine by spraying the liquid through a port within the combustion chamber – if this spray is impeded by debris, it can cause an engine misfire. You can check a lousy injector by swapping out injectors with other cylinders to determine if the misfire switches.
  4. Motor Mounts – You need to check the worn engine mounts, where the rubber or liquid parts have worn down over time. You can check this problem by putting your car up on a lift and seeing the engine mounts for play or give. You can avoid this by having your engine mounts checked as soon as you feel an increase in the engine’s vibrations through the steering wheel, shifting gear knob, and your driver’s seat. 
  5. Exhaust System Leak – Another issue that can cause engine vibration is the car’s exhaust system leak, which can happen if the pipes or mufflers are worn or have holes. You need to check your car’s exhaust system for leaks in the pipes and little noises in the mufflers. Make sure you lift your car on the rise for servicing at the technician's office. 

The Bottom Line

By figuring out the most common causes of the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems, you can prevent the issues from worsening over time and causing irreversible engine concerns. Drivers need to keep an eye and ear out for the spark plug concerns, timing belt issues, fuel system problems, and tire durability problems. 


Drivers need to notice the most severe Toyota RAV4 problems in each category that cause underwhelming performance, comfort issues, and durability problems. By recognizing these car concerns and symptoms, vehicle owners can try and minimize the Toyota RAV4 vibration problems before they create extremely expensive replacement costs.