Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota RAV4 (pre-2006): Problems & Solutions



  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Just an FYI:

    After 6 yrs and 81,000 easily-driven miles with me as the only driver, dealer services, and no towing, I had auto trans troubles in my 2001 AWD RAV4 (purchased new).

    Dealer said a trans replacement was necessary,
    and put in a re-manufactured unit.

    Out of standard warranty (5yrs/60k miles),
    I am now out of pocket US$3,660 plus state tax.

    Obviously I'm not happy about it.
    I now have a different view of Toyota reliability and durability.
  • azearguyazearguy Posts: 1
    On my 04 Rav 4 the vsc and check engine light comes on. The dealer said just wait until you start the engine four times, and it goes away. Can't this be fixed? It also hesitates some times and I have to push the acc. down, and it then jumps.
  • 1997 Rav4 engine blownMy 1997 rav4 engine blew while climbing a pretty good mountain in western North Carolina. There was no warning light, no smoke, and I had personally changed the oil 4 weeks before. I bought it about 5 months ago from a private party. I have no reason to suspect they were selling a lemon. Any ideas why this engine blew? Any ideas on how to avoid it happening again to the rebuilt engine I am about to pay a lot to put in it? Any ideas on where to obtain reliable rebuilt engines?
    Thanks to any one who can help shed light on this mystery.
  • One of the best places to buy a rebuilt engine from is Jasper, find them on the internet. They do quality rebuilds with 3 year warranties.

    One possibilty of why the engine blew is that it could have become oil starved going up the incline. The incline could have tilted the engine enough so that the oil pick up started sucking air.

    If you are going to do that kind of stuff, you might look into some specialized stuff, like a deeper high capacity oil pan with a deeper oil pickup tube.

    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • I have a 2003 Toyota Rav4 with less than 66,000 miles on it. Today my check engine light came on and I went to Auto Zone to have them check it. The code came back P1135, Air/Fuel sensor heater circuit response (bank 1 sensor 1). The Auto Zone employee told me that Toyota, by law, has to keep the sensors current for five years beyond the model year and they should replace it for free. Is that true?
  • I just bought a 2004 Rav4 about a month ago. Love the car so far, except for the smell of the interior when I drive. I first noticed it after driving the car for about an hour-a strong smell of something like exhaust I think. It seems to be coming from the air vents. I have tried using the interior only circulation to prevent sucking in exhaust from cars in front of me, and the smell persists. It seems to be worse when I am climbing hills or on a longer drive. Any ideas?
  • Help! My keyless lock mechanism on my 2004 Rav has started acting up; when you hit unlock, it locks. When you hit lock, it does nothing. When you turn off the car and remove the key, all the doors lock. This morning, I hit the remote to see if it cleared up (after rain, I thought a short?), and it started locking and unlocking repeatedly on its own and the headlights came on.
    My car is alive!
    I can't find any info in the manual; is there a fuse to check, or a wiring diagram to see if there's a short? Surely it can't be the battery in the remote. It does the same thing with both remotes.
    Any suggestions? :confuse:
  • I have heard a cheaper replacement for automobile cabin filter would be to purchase a Filtrete ac home filter (good ones are about $10 for a 16 X 24” filter). Depending on the size of the filter in your car, that $10 can make 4 – 6 cabin air filters. The biggest challenge is cutting and fitting into the housing for your vehicle…some have a plastic housing that make this easy, some do not. Can anyone see a downside to this? Any possible way it could harm the car? Any safety issues? I have allergies and would like to replace the filter more often but at $20 a pop it’s ridiculous. Thoughts?
  • tpinmatpinma Posts: 1
    Similar to suvshopper4 (comment #22), I recently had automatic transmission problems in my 2001 4 cyl RAV4, which is approaching 100K. The car was having problems shifting. First, when I shifted from P to D, the engine hesitated a few seconds before shifting. Then, as I sped up and the car changed gears, at one point RPM's got up to over 5000 before shifting to the next gear (I think that was going from 2nd to 3rd gear, it was around the 30 mph mark).

    I took it to my local mechanic who I think does good work and is trustworthy. After looking at it they said there was a leak in the seal and this caused the transmission to slip and would cost $3000 to repair (I may not be stating the problem correctly - my mind was blown away by the cost). After making that repair, they encountered a problem with the computer (powertrain command module?) that prevented the transmission from working properly. So they had to replace that for another $1200! They think the computer problem caused the original transmission problem, and they said this has been a not-uncommon problem with RAV4s.

    So, I don't know if I got screwed by the mechanic, because maybe if they had just replaced the computer up front, the original transmission may have gone back to working fine. Or, if this is a computer problem Toyota is aware of and should be issuing a recall for. Either way, I'm out almost $5K. If I had known that going in I probably wouldn't have had the repairs done.
  • cowboymccowboymc Posts: 1
    I am a orginal owner of 2001 with 156,600 miles on it. Starting hearing noise from engine compartment. Turned out I had to replace water pump. Posting this so people can compare what problems arise and when.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    My sympathies, tpinma.

    I have read, on a RAV-specific site, that the Transmission Control Module is one cause of RAV tranny problems. Some people say they have had the TCM replaced (~$1,200, I think, same as yours), and their problems ended.

    If I understood correctly, the TCM is part of the Engine Contol Module, located on the firewall behind the glovebox.

    In my case, the invoice for the re-man tranny work did not reference the TCM, so I suppose they did not replace it. And a year later, no return of the problems.
    Fingers crossed, since the re-man warranty was for just one year.

  • mdeveaumdeveau Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 Rav 4 L series, bought recently from a good friend who gets factory required maintenance, etc every year...very anal fella

    Anyway, I discover (after problems with NEW tires) that rear alignment must be completely redone. (needs rear lower control arm and support arm, bushings, bolts and adjuster plates, PLUS new tires must be replaced). Toyota serviceman believes it came from the factory this way, but dealership who has serviced it over the years says it has never had an alignment done. I've done TWO front alignments in two weeks. I see in these posts that this is a problem Matrix owners are dealing with...anyone see this on their RAV4? I do not have $2000 to do these repairs and am pretty p.o'd. Friend says he's never heard of this problem.
    If we don;t repair then we will be buying new tires at least once a year.
  • mdeveaumdeveau Posts: 3
    Sorry...guess I should have put this in the previous message title (#33)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I never had an alignment done until just recently (2001 AWD RAV4), when a 4-wheel alignment was included as part of the 90k mile dealer service.
    Never had any uneven tire wear, either.

    Hope this helps.

  • msjwpricemsjwprice Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 rav 4 love my car until last few weeks transmintion trouble. i have spent 2300.00 and drove it 2 days same problem took it back and now its the computer. IS there anyone to call with toyota alot of message on this is about computer problems. and my bank account is empty now. my rav has over 100k on it but its paid for and i really want to keep it. :sick: :sick:
  • sbgirl3sbgirl3 Posts: 1
    This exact same thing just happened to me!! I am so appalled; I have not yet paid for the ECM to be replaced, but I'm going to have to because I need my car back for work. I am SO appalled that this has happened to so many people and it is not yet a recall. I had to take a loan out to pay for these repairs, I feel completely robbed by Toyota. I am not going to give up until something is done. I could not be more furious.
  • markbcmarkbc Posts: 4
    Sorry, never followed up on this site.. .

    I was abroad (with my RAV4) I did not have much time to work on the problem with the local mechanics. I did ask the local (overseas) Toyota dealer to see if they noticed hesitation, but they did not. My 2004 RAV4 was a new model there, although starting in 2007 the RAV4 has become popular there.

    My solution was simply to continue to drive it and factored in the hesitation. Only once in a while was the hesitation pronounced enough to bother me much: usually on those occassions when I needed fast acceleration for traffic purposes (avoiding cars, people animals etc...), or on those occassions when when I switched to another car (including my office Toy Landcruiser) and did not see the same lag (press gas pedal count to one, two sometime up to three before feeling the car respond by accelerating). The effect was less frequent when the car engine was warm/normal operating temperature, but it also occurred when warm.

    My milage was low --driving only about 2,800 miles per year in (mostly) medium to heavy city driving.

  • foxy45foxy45 Posts: 1
    Hi, can anyone please help me???
    I got Rav 4 2.0 GX Wideboy/MAX (1995) engine 1,998 cc, petrol automat
    The problem is i can't get it running. Battery has gone dead and it seems to have messed up the imobiliser and it wont start. I have had the jump leads on it but it wont start it turns over ok but thats it. A friend of mine said that the imobiliser might have affected the ecu...

    What do you think? Can you help me? Really like this car...

  • My problem is a little RAV has only 50k miles and am told it needs a new tranny. I just had the fluid drained and replaced (it was black), and also there are metal particles in the tranny. The mechanic also says it's burned and basically blown out (omg!) and I'm freaking a little. I have no symptoms, shifting probs or any lights going on...yet. Otherwise, the car runs like a champ. Does this scream DEFECT to anyone else? I'm going to get a 2nd opinion but am expecting the same result. Any opinions as to a diagnosis? Pls help!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I would not replace the tranny if there are no symptoms.

    It cost me US$3,600 plus tax to have the dealer put in a remanufactured unit, but my RAV tranny made the vehicle undriveable. Major slippage and seriously rough shifting.

    Good luck with your second opinion.

Sign In or Register to comment.