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Sorry for the long wait.Many techs have looked at your post and have not felt comfortable helping. This area of concern is not my strongest point but I will try to help as best I can at least with some information. I have access to a lot of repair guides so I should be able to at least do something to aid you if your still needing help and willing to let me try.Once I post an answer you will be prompted to rate me, not the site or wait time, or the news in my answer. Please let me know exactly what you need from me so I can earn a good rating. Chris .
I forgot to add the rattle seemed to be coming from the driver side front wheel area. It was a little less noticeable today. The RAV4 is more heavily loaded than usual, with more weight in the back, making the front appear to ride higher than normal.
How many miles are on the vehicle?
Guess how much weight is in or on or behind the vehicle behind the front row seats (people and cargo)?
Does this noise seem to effect the braking or steering in any way or is it just a noise?
Can you also feel this rattle?
While running in park if someone pushes on the tailpipe in each direction does this produce the noise?
If you brake torque the engine does this produce the noise?
About 75,000 miles. Maybe 500 lbs behind front seat. No affect on either braking or steering, just the noise. Can't try tailpipe wiggle at the moment. Brake torque doesn't produce noise. Can't really feel the rattle, just hear it intermittently. I suspect something loose in the strut or mounting or perhaps loose trim, but poking around couldn't find anything.
I doubt its a wheel coming off, that's good news. You would hear a moan or growl from the wheel bearing if this were the case. I also doubt its the weight since that is not very excessive.
Loose heat shield on the back of the steering knuckle
Loose inner wheel well or lower bumper shroud
Worn out stabilizer bar end links
Worn inner or outer tie rod ends
Faulty steering rack bushings
At this time I do not feel its dangerous to drive but when you get where you going I would try to duplicate the noise for a tech in the passenger seat.