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Plastic Rubbing Sound From The Back? Any Ideas?

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I have a 2011 Rav4 V6 Limited... about 15,000 miles on it.

I have a very irritating noise coming from the back part of my car. At high speeds it goes away, but when driving on neighborhood roads or parking lots, the back of my car makes a faint rubbing sound, like plastic pushing against plastic. It is quiet enough that if you turn the radio on (Speakers at a normal level) it mutes the noise. But I listen primarily to AM radio, and this rubbing sound is driving me crazy.

It has been happening pretty much since I bought it, Did not notice it at the dealership, so I didn't ask about it then. I don't think I really noticed it for a week or so, but it was definitely there.

I don't live super close to a dealer, so I haven't brought it in.

The noise seems to be coming from the rear window area, or perhaps the ceiling near the back door. I had my 14-year-old climb back there while I was driving, trying to see if he could find the noise, but he couldn't track it down. He could hear it (we can ALL hear it) but not pinpoint the sound.

I thought it might be the plastic around the rear windows, so I took some business cards, folded them in half a couple times, and stuck them between the glass and the plastic (hoping to perhaps stabilize the plastic surround) but it made no difference.

So... anyone experienced anything like this? Any ideas?


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Do you have a spare tyre rear door mounted that may have come adrift and rubbing on its plastic shroud.....? Or has the shroud clip come undone....?


Graspin Atstraws.

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My parcel shelf / load cover was making a really irritating, plastic-on-plastic creaking sound. I simply sprayed the

4 support pegs (2 either side) with silicone and it's been blissfully quiet ever since.

May have to repeat periodically but that's a small price.

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I don't have the load cover in the car. I took off the wheel cover... No change. The noise is definitely inside the car.

Even backing out of my garage causes the rubbing noise. Any torquing of the body seems to cause the noise.

I think I am losing my mind.

It seems to be related to the top piece of plastic above the rear window... Sorta like the 'foil' of the car. It seems to only be connected by two bolts, and bends fairly easily. The noise it makes when I bend it forward and backwards is similar to what I hear when driving. Also, if I grab the spare tire and push it back and forth real hard, I get a similar noise, but not as loud.

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I had a rear door make an infernal noise after I got silicone cleaner on the seal. I wiped it all off with thinners and it cured it.

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Okay... I have made some progress on this topic. Yesterday I took a long beach towel, folded it in half, opened the back door on the Rav, and laid the towel across the top of the door. I then shut the door on the towel. A little bit of the towel is sticking out above the door, and most is hanging inside. This is solved the problem entirely. Now I just have to figure out why. I don't want to have a towel hanging back there forever.

So, now my questioning gets more specific... any ideas why that spot would be rubbing plastic-on-plastic? As I mentioned in my first post, this has been going on since the day I bought the car. So it isn't something that happened in an accident, or with a custom feature added to the car.



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Possibly the rear door moving as the body flexes - does the rear door keeper need adjusting?

Have you checked this?

From memory, there should be rubber buffers, either on the door or frame - are they present?

EDIT: They are on the door, opening edge, skinny one at the top corner, fatter one at the bottom corner.

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