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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Wow Rav 11, I surely hope not, but I had my Rav-4 for 5 years and I never had as much an oil change with it. Sound like you need to get it in the shop really fast and hope that is the only problem with it. Good luck!
  • I also have an 01 RAV4. I too had the engine light/computer problem. Had the new program flashed to the ECU without problems. However, I too have recently had the starting problem since it has gotten cold. Even when it's parked in my garage (not really heated, but warmer than outside) it is difficult to start in the morning. Once it warms up, I good for the rest of the day . . . wierd. I'm due for my 15,000 mile service, and I plan on bringing it up then. I'll keep you posted!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I have a 2001. Had noisy brakes replaced for free under a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)that Toyota put out. They are just noisy, this is not a safety issue. So, I got 10k free miles on front brake pads and rear drums.
    The computer reprograming is also a TSB that took my dealer 15 minutes. Sounds like your dealer may have really screwed something up to cause hard starting. Mine starts perfectly everytime, just like all my Toyotas (all have been bullet-proof reliability). The only other thing was a rattle from the cowl (sounded like from the dash). My dealer fixed once, then it came back two months later. The dealer fixed again with a new cowl, and it's been silent for 4+ months. These three minor problems are common in the early Ravs, but all correctable (and not serious issues) with the right dealership.
  • Hello fellow Rav4ers,

    Been thinking (too much?) about this lovely car since I saw it last year. I think I'm ready to buy within the next 2-3 weeks. I've searched online for options and prices. My objective is quick option pkg, side tubular steps (nice looking!), tonneau cover, spare tire cover ($90), roof-rack, and keyless entry. I don't go for the more expensive hard cover since my car would be black anyway.

    Got three invoice prices from:Kelly blue book, carsdirect (the most expensive--$19,699) and invoice The other two were about 300 bucks cheaper. I'm willing to pay up to $500 over them. So, bottom-line, I want to walk away with my dream car for about $20,000 (no tax for Oregon..yippee!).

    Now we talk options: I don't want to spend that extra 1000 bucks for the "L" package..when the only thing I want from that package is the rear spoiler..but, I don't think it's worth it to go to a car body shop and install a $300-400 non-factory spoiler (but it's one of those "I gotta have it" option..). Any comments?

    Lastly, I'm thinking of going to rent a rav4 for a day instead of a 10 min test drive. Probably buy it through Costco (read somewhere in other townhall board that it's worth it, same if you were a AAA member). Again..comments?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Jchan: If you really want the tonneau cover and the roof rack, make sure you get them with your vehicle - they're very expensive from the dealer's parts dept. The tonneau is about $90 with the vehicle, and over $600 afterward. The roof rack was about impossible to get afterward, last I heard.

    I think the spoiler is available thru; going in thru gets you a 15% discount.

    Might be hard to get a RAV configured the way you want it; maybe using a buying service (as you plan), it will be easier.

    Good idea to rent a RAV for a day or more before buying. You'll get to really try it out, and you'll probably get one that is broken in. The 4-cylinder engine loosens up a lot (and gains power) with use. Make sure the cold tire pressure is around the recommended 29 lbs psi to get the true feel of the ride.

    Good luck. Fun vehicle.
  • Now with the new CRV out and with more power, I think it's time for Toyota to put more power in the RAV4. It's got great looks but not nearly enough power even though it's smaller than the CRV. It needs more clearance too.

    If you agree with me email Toyota to tell them the RAV4 needs more power. Maybe we can make it happen.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    The '02 CR-V does have more horsepower and torque than the RAV4, but it is also heavier. I wonder how the two vehicles compare re acceleration, head-to-head real-world (same conditions, transmissions, driver, etc). I don't expect there is much difference between the two. Also, a broken-in RAV engine pulls much better than a green one. I wonder how much the CR-V power improves with use.

    I wouldn't want to see more power in the RAV if it meant less fuel mileage. Mine has adequate power, but then I mostly drive in the flatlands where I live. Don't think I'd own one if I lived in hill country, at least not one with an auto trans.
  • Well, took the Rav in for its 15K service and to have them look at the difficulty starting in the cold. I left the Rav with them overnight last night so that they would be able to see the problem. Of course, it was warm last night so it was no surprise when they called to say they couldn't replicate the problem. They did check the battery, starter and alternator and did not find anything and I should not get stranded anywhere. So . . . I guess I'll just have to take it back in when it's cold (if that ever happens -- 50 degrees in January in Wisconsin?!?!?!) if the problem continues.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    My 2002 RAV4 certainly has the power I need. It does improve as the engine is broken in. I would expect the VVT engine to improve both in power and fuel economy right up to about 10,000 miles. I am debating putting a less restrictive muffler like a Flowmaster and a K & N airfilter on it. It worked wonders with my Corolla with the VVT engine.
  • Thanks Suvshopper for the advise. Yes, I guess at this point I'll stick with my original plan. Checked out I didn't find too much stuff compare to I ordered the hardcopy of their catalog, we'll see if I can find that spoiler I like, if not my Rav4 will stay the way it is.

    As for the new CRV...I sat for a couple minutes in it (in a dealership parking lot). Long enough to not like it. Driving position was a bit too low (I felt that I couldn't see the front of the car). I don't know if I'm the only person that thinks so. The handbrake also, that was awkwardly position if you ask me. Last but not least, styling can't beat Rav4's...sorry I'm biased though.
  • jakutajakuta Posts: 16
    I'm just starting research on the '02 RAV4 and wondering if the keyless remote has a button for the rear hatch/door?

    I was thinking about a Solara a few years back and the fact that the keyless remote did NOT have a button for the trunk was an issue...thanks in advance.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I'm not sure what you mean about keyless remote working on the back door. Maybe you mean just unlocking it. I don't know if any rear door vehicles ~open~ by remote (like many trunk lid vehicles do).

    I don't have remote. When I put the key in the driver's door and turn it once, it only unlocks the driver's door. Turn it twice, and all doors unlock, including the rear. Possibly the remote works the same.

    Hope this helps.
  • I have an '02 RAV4 and had keyless entry installed by the Toyota dealer. It opens all doors including the rear and the fob has an auxiliary for a remote starter. I don't know if its part of the keyless entry but after starting the car the doors automatically lock and will automatically unlock after turning it off. Its a very convenient feature. I also have a '99 Honda CR-V and the keyless does open the rear glass hatch.
  • Where does one go to find out if any TSBs have been issued for your vehicle?
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Address is:
  • Actually, the NHTSA is not comprehensive. For RAV4 owners, try There are links to the TSBs for sound dampening, brake repair, etc.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I've also heard that is a good source for TSBs for all vehicles.
  • From Rav11's description, it sounds like we have the same problem. It occurs mainly when there's new snow. The brakes grind (even w/ light pressure) and they slip (just the opposite of what ABS is supposed to do). This is not the normal disk brake squeal but a real serious sounding grinding noise. Haven't been able to get it into the dealer under the right conditions.
  • Hi Everyone:
    After I changed the oil and filter, I disconnected the spark plug coils, low voltage side, to preoil the engine. Now I have a "Check Engine" light. I know it was foolish of me to disconnect the coils, but I always preoil after oil change. Anyone know how to reset the light? Thanks in advance, Rudy
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Go up to post #418 re turning off the Check Engine Light (if it hasn't already gone off itself after a few cold starts).
    "Rudy Can't Fail." -Clash
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    New Rollover Ratings and New Crash Test Results

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • jakutajakuta Posts: 16
    Any So Cal folks recommend a Toyota dealer for the RAV4? I'm thinking Longo but please tell me where you bought yours, the salespeople you dealt with, and the deal you got...thanks in advance!
  • Bought mine too far from you probably as it is almost in Indio. Having bought several Toyotas from several different dealers in So. Cal. I would recommend Longo. But, do yourself a favor and ask for the fleet dept. and set up an appointment. You will skip all the run around crap with the sales force and deal with a guy who has authority to make the deal. When you step on the lot, don't talk to any other salespersons.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    If you are anywhere near Carson Toyota (I don't know where it is in CA), Diane there seems like a straight shooter.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Never had any luck dealing with Longo, maybe they're too busy to reply to my queries. Dianne at Carson is great, she's too busy not to get straight to the point if you ask her to. There are some others worth mentioning but you've got a good start already.
  • If by querie you mean via email you are probably correct. If you want to just go buy a car at a great price it's hard to beat. Their selection far surpasses any other dealer in the US.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    I work for an internet company that polls dealers on availability and price. Longo has never responded to a Toyota deal, yet their Lexus franchise regularly sells cars through us. I doubt they are all that competitive with Toyota product or I'd hear more about them from my customers.
  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    Maybe this is simply a case of unhappy owners making the biggest noise. But it just seems that on the rav4world site, everytime I check there is someone going to arbitration to resolve nagging problems on the 2001/2002 RAVs. Rattles, brake problems, hesitation, etc etc.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Along with the happy owners, a bunch of unhappy RAVers speak out on that site, I agree. I probably would too if I had problems. But I think that site gets a LOT of visitors. It would be difficult to figure, but I'm curious what the satisfaction percentage might be.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I have a 2001 Rav that I love. I had the usual squeaky brakes, rattles in dash, etc., but the dealer COMPLETELY fixed everything per the Toyota Technical Service Bulletins. The car has been perfect ever since (8,000+ miles since the repairs). Note that these squeaks/rattles were only annoying, not safety issues, nor did they prevent me from getting where I wanted to go.
    I believe that the vast majority of the Ravs are like mine - perfect. The people that still have problems are REALLY complaining (I guess I can't blame them). What I don't understand is the rattles and squeaks - these annoying problems are making some people go to arbitration. I think that some dealers just aren't doing their jobs, because my dealer fixed ALL my problems. Maybe they should go to a different dealer, or maybe Toyota should force their dealers to do the work correctly. Believe me, Toyota dealers aren't the only bad dealers - Honda, Ford, etc. all have some bad dealers.
    It's a quality product, not all are 100% perfect, but they can be by the right dealer. And Honda isn't perfect, either. But, Toyota and Honda are the best for reliability.
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