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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Thanks for the prompt responses. I did test drive the Vue but I currently own a Saturn sedan. It's been a decent car but I'm definitely looking for a different company. The Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe are also finalists.
  • My dash rattle came back this morning while I was driving to work. The outside temperature was about 10F.

    It seems the rattle occurs when the weather is cold and dry. The colder the temperature, the louder the rattle.

    The rattle seems to disappear when *either* the windshield area is wet (caused by rain) or the temperature is more than 35F.
  • I guess I am spoiled, since today is 68, and tonight will be around 45. I have not heard from the dash monster since it was in the lower 20's. Rav driver's experiences seem to reinforce the correlation between low (real low) temps and the rattle. Have any of you other folks experienced the rattle in warm or hot temps?

    As for the contribution citing the Hyundai and the Ford product as possible choices, may I just suggest you consider resale many THE most important factor in choosing a new car. I dare say Toyota products will far exceed Ford in this category, not to mention crach tests results.
    Regards to all.
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    I've owned 6 Toyota's to date and most are rattle free...Rattles may be more prevalent in the winter when temperatures are cold since metal will contract and could lead to more play in the fit between parts...however it would seem that when the cabin temperature is heated then the rattle would temperature may not be a player in all cases.

  • Mike,

    The RAV4 dash rattle is a well-known bug. There are TSBs related to this bug on the previous models. I am surprised that the 2004 RAV4 still has this problem.

    The rattle seems to be under the hood beneath the windshield area, not inside the cabin.

    Some RAV4 owners have joked it's a "feature" of the RAV4; buying a pair of ear plugs will fix the problem. :-(
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Seems like one should be able to locate the rattle especially if its do to cabling/piping sticking though the firewall area...

    It's too bad Toyota hasn't corrected by NOW...that not typical Toyota especially for machines that are built in JAPAN.

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    What typical problems arrise with the RAV over say a 8-10 year period.

    I've owned 6 Toyotas (Camrys, Tercels, Echo & Highlander) and have NOT had any major engine or transmission problems...most problems have been:

    1. replaced alternator (80,000 miles)
    2. replaced timing belt and hoses
    3. replaced transmission fluids, cooling fluids, brake fluids
    4. replaced spark plugs, battery
    5. replaced heater/cooling fan motor
    6. replaced door wiring bundle (window 80,000 miles)
    7. Rubber CV boots...typical drying and cracking
    8. Brakes and Mufflers
    9. Head lights and running lights
    10. Turn signal indicator switch (80,000 miles)

    What type of problems can be expected for the RAV over time (8-10years).

  • Check out the Consumer Report in your local library. I believe the RAV4 has good long term reliability rating.

    The 2004 RAV4 is a very nice car. If you plan to buy one, make sure you drive the car over a few big bumps during the test-drive to make sure there is no strange noise coming from the base of the windshield.

    BTW, there is a TSB similar to the "dash rattle" of the RAV4 for the new 2004 Lexus RX330.

    TSB's for the 2004 Lexus RX330 (as of 1/14/04)
    160000 STRUCTURE
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Thanks rav4ddriver for the info..I still can't believe Toyota and Lexus allow this rattle to continue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...must be a design flaw in the tolerances of the metal or something rubbing near ...should be an easy fix if one could find out what it is??????????????????

    I like the RAV and leaning toward a purchase of this machine.

  • Does anyone use the RAV-4 for families with 2 kids? I have tried the CR-V and know it has a larger interior, but RAV 4 offers trac control, stability control, side curtain airbags (I think), fog lights and leather seats, for not much more than CR-V (assuming you can get the TMV price). Haven't driven the Rav yet, just because it looks small, but the avail options are compelling. The car would be mostly used for my stop and go freeway commute (CA) but would also have to carry kids and stuff to activities and school. Is it comfortable for long drives?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I find my '01 RAV comfortable on long drives. And I still really like and enjoy the vehicle after 3 years and 49k miles.

    But if I had 2 kids, I think space would be one of my highest priorities. Gotta give that one to the CR-V. I don't see how you could go wrong with one of them.

    Good luck.

  • I put two child seats on the back (one booster seat). My kids are less than 6 years old. The space is tight after you put two car seats there. You can squeeze a small-sized adult in the back by moving a car seat to the middle position, but this arrangement is not for long trip.

    The area behind the back seats has plenty space for a stroller and other baby stuff.

    A trip to the mall with 2 adults and 2 young kids in the car is fine for us. Highway driving is very smooth and quiet.

    If you have older kids, then the Highlander is probably a better choice.

    I paid around $22.7K (excluding tax+title) for a RAV4 L 4WD with side curtain bags and other options(MSRP $25.2K), but no leather seats and sun roof.

    I can buy a base model, 2.4L Highlander for the same price. But I like to drive a smaller car for my daily commute (better handling, mpg and fun to drive), and to get all the safety features and nice options within our budget.

    My next car (when the kids become bigger/older) is likley to be the hybrid Highlander.
  • Yes, the CR-V has more cargo space and more roomy inside.

    The reasons that I bought a RAV4 instead of the CR-V are:

    RAV4 has better safety features: 4-wheel ABS with EBD, stability+traction control, side curtain bags, tire pressure monitoring, audio control on the steering wheel, and full-time 4WD.

    The RAV4 is aslo smoother and quieter when I test drove both. (I did not know about the dash rattle issue when I bought the RAV4.)

    The main selling points for me are the safety features.
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    If your short stature then the RAV4 appears to give a better seating height wife is 5 foot 2 inches and she felt like the CR-V didn't fit well (had the seat full up)...seems like the CR-V is deigned for larger folks.
  • I agree with m4eth about the seating height concern. For me, the automatic shifter on the RAV4 is also easier to work with (because my other car has similar shifter).

    Make sure to test drive the cars you are interested in buying before signing the contract. I was planning to buy the CR-V, but realized that the 2004 RAV4 has standard features that you only can get in the Acura line. :)

    I like Honda's simple LX/EX option arrangement. Toyota has a complicated way of putting options on their cars. For example, to get the side curtain bags, I need to get the L upgrade, which require the purchase of the expensive alloy wheels and other options that I don't need...
  • M4eth, I hadn't thought about the height issue, I'm 5'1" (definitely vertically challenged). Drove the Cr-V and it seemed ok, but will definitely make a note of seating position when I try the Rav-4. It is nice to see what you are about to run over!

    Rav4driver, those are also the same reasons I am now looking at Rav 4. Was pretty much decided on CRv but coworker said have you looked at hte Toyota and when I started looking, all hte nice things like traction control and stability control really stuck out. But it is so much smaller, which prompted this post to see if it is a real problem or if it is workable. Hope to go test drive one tomorrow.
  • My dash rattle was very minor this afternoon when I drove home (I can live/drive with that :-). The outside temperature was about 25F and no rain.

    We did have snow yesterday, but not today.

    I'll have to cancel my appointment with the dealer tomorrow, because the tech staff probably will not be able to reproduce the rattle...
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    I just acquired a 2004 RAV4 to park beside my wife's '99 Solara SLE V6 coupe. We got the Solara in Sept.99 and it still has only less than 50,000km on it. It has been one of the best cars we have owned - solid, quility-built, powerful enough, comfortable and dependable. We bought it out of its lease and plan to own it long term. I was driving a leased '02 Subaru Impreza 2.5TS wagon, and although I liked it, it was not the vehicle I wanted long term and I knew, once the lease was up in 2 more years, I would give it back; also I wouldn't have any equity there as I had structured it that way on purpose. I shopped the RAV4 against the Honda CR-V, the Jeep Liberty, the Subaru Forester XT and looked a bit at Mazda Tribute and several others. Wanted a smaller car-based SUV or wagon that would be reliable, have good resale, reasonably fun to drive and be able to carry a 120# dog in rear with rear seats up (not folded flat). Also, wanted to use regular gas and have reasonably inexpensive cost to operate. Eliminated the Liberty first (reliability issues, gas pig and poor resale, plus did not need true 4x4). Next out was the CR-V; a reasonably nice package but did not like the "real-time AWD" vs the Toyota and Subaru AWD systems. Also, I favor front leg/seat room over rear and the Honda gives great rear room at the expense of the front. Seldom will be carrying more than 1 or 2 people. The Forester XT almost got me - that turboed 2.5 engine is a stormer, but requires premium fuel and eats it up (probably my heavy foot). In Canada also, comparing MSRP on the RAV4 w "C" package (most everything but leather and moonroof), the XT was about $7500 Cdn more (even a RAV4 Limited with leather and moonroof was MSRP about $5000 cheaper than the XT). Truth is, I did not need as much vehicle as the XT offered and there was no sense paying for it in higher purchase price and higher operating cost. The RAV4 won me over because: 1. new 2.4L engine (would not have bought RAV before, not enough power); 2. love the styling (wife hated the staid looks of the Forester), 3. Toyota quality, reliability, and good resale values, 4. have a good relationship with local dealer from owning the Solara, 5. lower operating costs than many in this group, 6. it's no sports car, but is reasonably fun to drive, and 7. colors - got the Spectra Blue Mica w grey interior, added side step bars and black hood deflector. It looks great, although I'm running 4 winter steel wheels with 4 Continental Winter Contact snows for the next 2 months (the mags are so much nicer looking!!). Only got it last Friday so no real experiences yet. Will post updates in the future. Hope I don't inherit the dreaded dash rattle, but, hey, I'm an optimist. Sorry for the long post.
  • Thank you, thank you, I too have been shopping, I've looked at some of the same vehicles you have and will probably purchase the RAV4, Honda jerked me around, "sure, we'll sell you a car, OOPS, sorry we don't have the color or transmission you want. It'll be a 2 to 3 month wait" Subaru liked playing the normal dealer games. I needed the car last week, so now I will go get the Toyota.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    The "dash" rattle is really the cowl in front of the windshield, under the wipers. I am amazed that some still have the problem, because my dealer fixed it two years ago and I have had no rattles since, even in the extreme cold.
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