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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • rsspasrsspas Posts: 1
    When looking at the new RAV4s from behind, the rear tires are NOT perpendicular to the ground. They seem to angle out at the bottom. Although its ever so slight, I'm concerned about early tire wear and need to wonder if this is normal. Is this a concern to anyone but me?
  • mikezakmikezak Posts: 95
    Today I had my first experience using Autobytel in trying to purchase a RAV4. Unfortunately it was not a pleasent experience -- not because of the dealer, or the price (only $500 over invoice) but 'supposingly' how Toyota is manufacturing and marketing the RAV4....bottom line is that it seems it not what the customer wants thats important, rather what we give the customer.

    To get the a While RAV4 with an L Package and ABS, the dealer said "I can see that 124 of white RAV4 coming into the region in the next 2-3 weeks have Moonroofs,and the wider 235-60R tires. Two items I did NOT want. Ugh. And the Limited Slip was NOT being made at all by Toyota.

    Excuse me Toyota - but are you listening to customers or not. It is this 'take it or leave it attitude' that has got me all worked up. Even the dealer told me that "Toyota seems to make up batches of cars a certain way for a certain amount of time, then makes a different batch for awhile". Is that customer service or what???

    Can anyone post the regional Customer Service number for Wissonsin. I want to talk to someone in Toyota, letting them know how disappointed I am as a potential customer.

  • Had the 2001 Rav4 with L package out on the highway for the first time and the wind noise was deafening. Stopped several times to try and figure it why - roof rack?,antenna? opened and shut doors, opened ans shut windows. Think maybe it's the wheel mud flaps/guards that come with the car because they extend out past the contour of the car. Anyone with any ideas on cause? fix?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Southpaw, post #36:
    I've got the RAV (not the L package, though), with mudflaps, and I don't notice any wind noise.

    I've heard that sometimes the crossbars on the roof rack can be installed backwards (they have front-directional arrows on them), and this causes noises.


  • I have 2 snowmobiles which weigh about 1000 lbs. Does anyone know if a RAV4 5 speed would be able to tow this much? I know it is rated for 1500 lbs, but has anyone tried to tow anything with their RAV4? Thanks.
  • Is there a dog gate option for the RAV4? I have a hyper dog and I'd like to relegate him to the cargo area, but he'd jump over the back seats in a heartbeat. Does Toyota offer anything in this area, or do you know of a good aftermarket gate?
  • I have had an awful time fighting to get the options I want on a new RAV4. Now, I may be naive, but shouldn't I be able to get options that are listed in the brochure? And why in the world is ABS an option? Moreover, it seems almost impossible to get, which makes absolutely NO sense to me. I'm VERY frustrated with Toyota, because I really like the RAV4 over anything else, but they are making very difficult for me to give them 25K. Plus, the dealer keeps trying to push cars that either don't have the stuff I want, or stuff that I don't want, and it's very insulting to me. Has anyone else had this problem? What gives? Also, does anyone have a phone # that I can call to voice my complaints?
  • As an addendum - how important is ABS? I mean, they have a car that supposedly (!) has everything I want except for the ABS, and I'm torn between giving in versus sticking to my guns. What do you guys think?

    P.S. - my 1988 car has ABS as standard equipment. What gives with modern cars?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    For whatever reason, Toyota has set it up so that certain regions get the ABS-equipped RAVs, and others get virtually none.

    I wanted ABS and Limited Slip Differential, but did not want to wait months to get them, so I bought an '01 RAV without it (and love the vehicle).

    There is a lot more info on this, and on your question about how much you may need ABS, at Great site if you are interested in RAVs.

    Good luck.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Important enough that I will never buy a vehicle w/o it !!. ABS has been standard on virtually all cars for many years now. I am appalled that Toyota is making standard safety features an option (and not just ABS; re: side airbags, VSC).

    Most younger drivers are not taught how to pump the brakes to prevent lockup. Nowadays most drivers (particularly those who have been driving less than 7 to 8 years) simply stomp the brakes as per ABS instructions. To me ABS is a no-brainer.
  • We have a '96 Rav-4, 2wd, auto, 4door that has a BIG problem with the windows fogging on cold, damp days. We are using the A/C and we've used it in both fresh air and recirc, but NOTHING helps. It's all we can do to keep the windshield clear, but the side windows all fog up badly. We haven't had to add coolant so I dont think that there's a leak in the system, plus there is no evidence of heater core leak. The dealer doesn't even want to look at it and insists that I don't know how to turn on the A/C button. FYI... The A/C does work ok in the summer, so I know that the compressor is good. Thank you to whomever can help me before she gets driven off a cliff in the next snowstorm. Feel free to email me at Thanks
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    If this is a new development with your 1996 RAV, then maybe you have a weather seal breakdown which allows water to leak into the cabin somewhere. This happened to a VW Golf I owned.
    It had a plastic-sheet type of seal on the door (inside, behind the upholstered door panel) which went bad, and water that would normally come in by the glass and safely drain out the bottom of the door was leaking into the interior.
    See if your carpets, etc, show any signs of moisture; if so, check the nearby seal areas.
    Good luck.
  • djpiazzadjpiazza Posts: 1
    I wanted a 5 speed with ABS so badly that I waited 5 months for my RAV. I ended up buying a lot of options I didn’t want like a moonroof and leather but now that I have them I love it! ABS , to me is CRITICAL if you like your life. I will NEVER drive another car without it.

    This is my second RAV (I wrecked my 1999 after 16 months and 58,000 miles) and the 2001 is much better than the first generation. Although I agree that Toyota’s manufacturing practices are questionable you always have the option to buy something else. I spend so much time in my car (I am a sales rep…42,000 a year avg.) that I want what I want and am willing to wait a little longer and pay a little more for it.
  • pnptmpnptm Posts: 5
    I'm seriously considering purchasing a 2001 RAV4 - I commute 100+ highway miles roundtrip so I'm interested in top gas mileage....would appreciate any insight on mpg I can realistically expect with the 4x4 5 speed (I cruise at between 65 and 70 MPH); how about driver comfort on an hour + commute?also, any feedback on the combined tailgate/bumper? it wouldn't seem to offer much protection, and be potentially very expensive to fix a minor collision (ie, backing into something)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    With auto trans, 4wd and just over 3k miles on odo, on my last tankful I got 23.7 mpUSg, maybe 60/40 hiway/local, temps 30-45 F, highway avg 65-70 mph.

    I expect tail/bumper repair is costly. However, my insurance seems reasonable to me, and they take this into account, presumably.
    [I try to remember to check my rearview mirrors.]
  • laurie26laurie26 Posts: 1
    I was very annoyed with my local Toyota dealer that it forced me to go to another city. Which I might add - gave me what I wanted and made me feel like more than a commission check for them. I don't know what's happening with Toyota. I think you should call the general manager of the dealership you went to. That's what I've done...
    Sometimes stories such as your's do not get to the GM's... I find in unfathomable that they would not be interested. I'd like to get the address to the headquarters of Toyota, if anyone has it. Their product sells itself, but feeling like nothing more than a few zeroes is not good selling practice. - Good luck...
  • a4man1a4man1 Posts: 1
    My partner has a 1997 RAV4 4dr 5 speed, AWD with 75,600 miles and the cruise control has been "jerking" when going up hill and eventually disengaging with the "cruise" light flashing. A dealer has had a crack at it twice, once he said low brake fluid, second time he said codes were stored in the computer that said computer controller and actuator were failing and they would cost $2,000 to repair. Dealer's suggestion: install aftermarket cruise for $275. I'm tempted to try something simple like lubricating throttle linkage to see if reducing its resistance would help. Anybody have a similar experience or suggestions. Thanks.
  • I got may RAV4 about 5 weeks ago. I did LOTS of research on small SUVs first & of course looks were important. As far as looks ago-I liked the RAV4 best because it wasn't so boxy. I'm in NE Ohio & they don't advertise them around here. If I hadn't been researching them, I wouldn't have known about them. The dealer says they don't have to because they sell so well. They are bought pretty much as soon as they get them in-and they're not getting that many in. Because of this you may not get to be too choosy. We got more options than we really wanted, we have a black 4 door AWD L series with everything but leather, moon roof and roof rack. I'm glad we did. I really like the tinted windows and the hard spare wheel cover. I love the keyless entry and alarm system. I've lost the car among bigger vehicles a couple of times and I just hit the unlock button and the interior lights go on (they stay on for a while unless you put the key in the ignition & start it). If I still can't find it, I once hit the alarm button for a couple beeps to track it down. It's not that totally obnoxious sound that other cars have. We paid $23,100 for it including tax. We went to Classic Toyota in Mentor Ohio. Brian Olenchick there bends over backwards to try to get you what you want. He's really nice. As for the noise from the windshield, that was supposed to be a non-issue anymore. I drive a little over 25 miles to work-3/4 of it highway and get between 23-24 mpg. We've had a couple of nasty days & I had no problem at all. I've had no problems on windy days going 60-70 on the four lane highway. Overall I think I made a very good choice.
  • mikezakmikezak Posts: 95
    I have had the same frustration as you. As a result, last week I wrote a letter to the VP of Marketing at Toyota USA in California. I suggest that you do the same, as others have done so and said they have gotten results.

    I would like to start a grass roots campaign of sorts.

    If you or anyone else is interested, email me at for the name, US Mailing mailing address AND phone number.

  • grahame1grahame1 Posts: 1
    I really like everything I hear about Toyota and in particlar the RAV 4 which I first saw on a trip to the Detroit Auto Show in Feb. I have never owned a 4 cyl though and would like some comments. I am close to retirement and have no plans to haul trailers of any kind and the longest trip will be to Florida once a year.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    grahame1, #53:
    I've had 4s, 6s, and 8s. I think my new RAV is just fine with a 4, even with the auto trans (which is pretty sophisticated).
    Toyota engineered and balanced this rig pretty well. The minor acceleration loss in a certain speed/rpm range is made up for by the good gas mileage.
    Good luck.
  • I've had a 4 cylinder before and much bigger high performance engines. It has a lot more power than my previous 4 cylinder. I went to 4 cylinder because I drive a lot & wanted the better gas mileage. It works perfect for that. Supposedly you can attach a small trailer to it but I really don't think that would work well. If you're not hauling a lot of really heavy stuff in it, the power's just right.
  • jeildjeild Posts: 8
    I have a 4X2 5-spd and am getting an average of 29 mpg driving at 65-70 on the highway (some days with traffic, other days on tough uphill/downhill freeways). it's giving me great mileage for a small SUV. i've read in car & driver that they love the tailgate+bumper option because of the fact that they don't have to lean over so much to put stuff in the back -- especially when that bumper gets dirt and mud all over it. I think this was when they evaluated all small SUVs on snowy mountainside (as a side note: RAV got high marks for packing the most beer cases -- about 40 with the rear seats removed). cheers. :)
  • jeildjeild Posts: 8
    I've had my RAV for about a month now, and I noticed that when I start it the RPM shoot up to about 2000 and even after I've started driving it, it does not go down to below 1000 until after about 5 minutes. Even shoots up while I'm shifting gears. Is anybody else noticing this on their RAV? I have a 4X2 5-spd. Is this normal? I guess I'm too lazy to check the manual...
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I have the auto trans, and the revs at startup are higher than at warm idle (like having the choke on in the old days), but I don't think the revs are as high as 2k, and it does not last 5 minutes before they start dropping.

    Mine seems to be just a cold-engine higher-idle feature. Also, the auto trans delays going into overdrive during the first couple minutes, for the same reason, I guess. I figure it is all part of the computer-controlled sophistication of modern cars.

    Also, check over at

    I am SURE you'll get a lot of feedback there.

    Good luck.


  • gsogymratgsogymrat Posts: 97
    I went to the Toyota dealership to check out the RAV4. It looked very cute. I asked the salesperson about towing my camper with it and he said forget it (it's 200lbs over the RAV4 towing limit). I didn't test drive it, since it didn't meet my needs but it looks nice for someone who wants a small SUV but doesn't need to tow. He suggested a 4Runner or the Highlander but they are SO expensive. Obviously the rest of the world makes a lot more money than I do.
  • I'm sold on the RAV4. Anyone know where I can get a deal on a 4WD in the San Diego area?
  • babsanbabsan Posts: 4
    greedy.. today I actually saw a RAV advertised for the 1st time in the SD Tribune. Rose Toyota had one (1) 4wd with 2000 off MSRP.
    I bought my RAV for Kearny Mesa Toyota, but the fleet manager at Rose ('Masood' something) gave me a better price when I had paid for my car at the other place, so I couldn't take him up on the offer. I think I wrote his full name/ phone number etc in the 'RAV4 deals' topic back in January.
  • Hello, all. I have a friend who has a Rav4. When she starts the engine, sometimes it will cut off right after it starts. It does it one and sometimes two times. Dealer says it's the Idling Speed Control Valve and they want to charge her 300 bucks or so. I've seen stuff that they replace that they just insert into its spot and that's that. Are they trying to take advantage of her? She got this car new (it's a 97) and she is very good to the car in her driving habits and maintenance. Does this thing even exist? What else could be causing this problem?
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