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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • I will be going to the Auto Parts store tomorrow to see if they carry the 3M tape. rav4driver: Are you going to try and fix this yourself, or will you go to the dealer? What part of the country are you in?
  • I have provided my dealer with all the info about how to fix the cowl rattle. But my dealer is still claiming that there is no problem. I plan to have the dearler fix it when they come to their senses(I really don't know much about fixing a car :).

    I am observing how this dealer is going to handle this issure. This provides me with an opportunity to learn more about this particular dealer (central NJ).
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    My Dealer in Dayton knew about the problem and the repair...However he did not mention teflon tape but mention a foam tape placed on the cowl.

  • performed the rattle fix which pertains to the 2003 and earlier models. I feel that this dealer does not know about the fix for the 2004 RAV4.

    As 325irav4 pointed out, this rattle is new for the 2004 RAV4. I am hoping a TSB will be issued for the 2004, so that I don't have to convince my dealer that there indeed is a problem.
  • I think I figure out a simple way to reduce the cowl rattle of my 2004 RAV4. The key is the H20 molecules.

    On my way to work this morning, the weather was cold (20F) and hazy. I used the windshield wipers to clean my windshield. As a result, the windshield cleaning fluid was spread around the base of the windshield. This kind of scared the rattle monster, and the moster nerver dared to distract me. :)

    Please give it a try and see how it works.

    P.S. This is also a possible way to mask the rattle, so dear dealer tech staff please don't try this on a customer's car. Thanks!!
  • 325iRAV4 - I was just curious if your rattle was still silent? Have you had DRY weather lately to test it out? Hopefully it is quiet - mine is driving me crazy! We have had cold, dry weather here in Boston for weeks, and I am beginning to question whether I can continue to drive it! Let me know how your is. Thanks!
  • Does the rattle disappear when there is rain or snow? I am trying to see whether your rattle is the same as mine. The rattle on my car disappears on rain/snow days. It snowed yesterday here, but stopped today. The rattle disappeared this morning.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The cowl rattle on my '01 (that is still silent after it was fixed by my dealer two years ago) would not occur when it was wet out. Just cold AND dry.
    By the way, with 35,000 miles, no other problems, other than the rattle and the brake noise, which were both corrected two years ago. The brake issue was NOT a safety issue, just noisy. There was a TSB out for '01 brakes, they just put on new pads I think. It is interesting to note that the Consumer Reports rating on the '01 is perfect except for two categories: brakes and integrity (something like that). It got these bad marks because of the noisy brakes and the cowl rattle.
    The Rav is great with all this snow and ice!!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Yeah, I think that CR category is "body integrity", and I agree that the dash rattle would fall under that.

    Me, I'm happy to say my '01 has always been rattle-free, except for ONE instance. Go figure.
  • Thanks for the info. I think my rattle is a new kind for the 2004 model year.

    I really like my 2004 RAV4. The brakes on it feel very confident and quiet.

    Also the stability+traction control worked well. We had snow lately. The side of the some roads here still has ice on it. Yesterday morning, when I was making a right trun to get onto a two-lane road, the right wheels slipped because of the ice, so my car did not make a smooth turn; instead it was heading toward the oppoiste lane.

    Then, the dashboard beeped (indicating the stability+traction control was working) and I felt the car was pulled back to the travelling lane.
  • Temperature the last few days here between zero and 25. Rattle absolutely gone. Drove it yesterday on rough country roads about 40 miles (18 degrees and bone dry). Before the fix it only rattled when cold AND dry! I think the water lubes the contact between the cowl edge and the windshield glass. Has anyone gotten their dealer to follow up with Toyota in California? This was a quick fix - less than 2 hours. I repeat: this is not the old rattle which was fixed with foam tape in certain locations around the window. It's new for 2004 and is caused by the contact between the softer edge of the cowl (which gets hard when cold) all across the window contact.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Yes, on my 2001, my dealer put foam tape in , but also they put something on the edge of the cowl across where the window makes contact - same as the 2004. Strange the same rattle is on 2004's.
  • Wow, I can't believe how many of you have the rattle in your Rav4! I thought I was going out of my mind. If this problem is so common, why hasn't toyota done anything to fix it? I have taken my Rav4 3 times to the dealer. Each time it seems to come back during cold weather. Now, (I live on Long Island and it has gotten very cold lately ) It has come back again and then gone away. Today I hear rattling again, I am just so frustrated and annoyed. I know its just a rattle, but come on!
    The one thing with the rattle I notice is that it starts on one part of the dash then it moves to another part of the dash. I was thinking of printing out complaints that other Rav4 owners have had and showing the toyota dealer them. Perhaps this would spark something in their minds to get this problem fixed. Luckly my dealership is very friendly and are now giving me a loaner car for the second time.
  • mcdawgg:

    Is this similar in function to the 3M tape?

    Can one see the tape from the base of the windshield?


    Read the messages posted by 325irrav, just a few before this one. There is a case number for your dealer to get more info about the fix.
  • Autumnrhythm: My rattle is exactly what you are describing - comes in cold and dry weather - any water on the windshield makes it go away - seems to start in one spot and then spread as you drive. I have done the felt TSB on the clips - this is NOT the problem. It is as 325iRAV4 and others have said - it is the hard plastic edge of the cowl hardening and rattling against the glass. I have purchased 2 rolls of 3M squeak reduction tape (see previous post by 325iRAV4) and are going to do it myself in the next week or so - dealers will not spend the time and do not want to hear the rattle - a rattle to them is NOT a problem. I will let you know how I make out - unfortunately the solution may be to do this ourselves until Toyota officially issues a TSB on it. You can E-Mail me if you want any other information (click my username for E-Mail address) -John in Mass
  • The result is melting snow water dripping down toward the base of the windshield, thus preventing the rattle.
  • Looking at the 04 Rav4. Not much to complain about except rattles as far as I can tell. No recalls or service bulletins for 03 or 04 according to Edmunds maintenance utility. Many new vehicles are scary, including the new Hondas. The Rav 4 seems to have escaped bad press so far. Any early brake pad wear (front) or other early warning signs or anomalies like special transmissions fluids to be concerned about? Or do I just go out and buy one and live happily ever after?
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    ..I'm hoping you are correct "just buy one and live happily everafter". LOL. Mine is too new to help you with your questions above; but if the new RAV is as good as our '99 Solara SLE V6 coupe has been, it will be great. Here's hoping!!
  • Hi Rav4 owners it is nice to meet everyone. I am a new Rav4 owner for three weeks now, I have the '01 with only 10,000 miles on it, I live in NY on Long Island and to say the least the weather is a bid unpredictable, so far I have not heard any noises from my Rav but I am so glad I have been reading all your messages,thank you to everyone for all the information, I am not one to give up with a dealer if there is a problem and write to Toyota/California if need to also, I will be posting any information I may get so we all can be updated......looking forward to more readings...
  • bett1ebett1e Posts: 16
    I bought my Rav4 on January 3, 2004. I haven't heard any rattles but some posters at other boards have heard rattles even on the new models.

    As for the Rav4 v. the CRV, I offer this opinion:

    I test drove the Rav4 and the Honda CRV. I didn't purchase the CRV for these reasons: 1) all that exterior rubber is outdated, the interior was cheaper looking than the Rav4, and the seats were a horrible plaid.

    I purchased the Rav4 for a number of reasons but the reason that I didn't know about but what makes me love the vehicle is, I can see the road. I am 5'3 and, in most vehicles, I can't tell where the road is in relationship to the car. In this vehicle, I feel like I am walking the road because the visiblity is so great with the design of the windshield and the height. I knew the Rav4 was for me because it was the only NEW car that didn't make me nervous during the test drive. I distinctly remember the Acura TL and the Honda Accord. The choices had been narrowed but the nervousness that I felt from not being able to quite see the road made me leery about purchasing those vehicles.

    At the time of my purchase, I was driving a 1993 Cavalier. The vehicle was classified as a subcompact but for the 10 years I owned it I never could see anything because the front end was too long.

    Anway, if you are a petite female who is 5'4 and under and you like to SEE the road, you will love the Rav4. The last two people I know to purchase the vehicle were 5'3 and under. Clearly, this is a vehicle designed for petite people.

    Also, the vehicle is cute. If you are having a hard time deciding do this: when you are driving, look at the CRV that passes you. The first thing you will notice is the rubber. The second thing you will notice is the uncouth underbody. Imagine driving a vehicle that you know the design is antiquated from the minute you drive it off the lot.

    Another consideration, the 2004 RAV4 is said to have more HP than the CR-V.

    The RAV4 does have some mechanical issues from what I have read but the Honda Accord has way more issues if you listen to consumer reviews. No car is infallible, you just hope that your issues don't cost a arm and a leg and don't occur every other year.
    If anyone has any questions B4 their purchase, please feel free to email me at
    bett1e (the number one) at yahoo dot com
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    the RAV4 and the CRV are virtually the same hp and torque (which is more important than hp), but the RAV is about 200# llghter so it could be a smidge quicker. I prefer the looks of the RAV4 over the CRV but would never have bought the RAV prior to 2004 and the new, larger engine.
  • Why would you have not bought a RAV4 prior to 2004, just curious, there is not much difference in years, yes the 2004 has a larger motor which of course is great but to say you would not buy one prior I was just curious, I was shown the 2004 and a 2001 with very low mileage and ended up with the 2001, I have alot of the special features the 2004 has but saved $7,000--
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312 the RAV4 before 2004 year was too noisy (busy) and underpowered at 148hp IMO. I dislike cars with anemic engines. The new 2.4L engine has 161 hp and is not as "busy" as the previous one. Also, the minor front end changes for 2004 are positive but, for me, it was mainly the engine. The new engine's torque is 165lb/ft @4000 rpm - much better than before and torque is really more important than hp. I was also considering a Subaru Forester XL with 210hp (turbo) but it was a lot more $ and required premium gas, so I went with the RAV (we already had a Toyota which has been a great car).
  • Don't forget... the pre-2004 RAV4 did not have 4 wheel disk brakes with ABS and traction control, the availability of side/side curtain airbags and not to mention a lit ignition key ring!
  • bett1ebett1e Posts: 16
    the Rav4 until the changes in 2004. I have features I never even thought about. I light the traction control, needed ABS (I just like it), the lighted ignition key, the nice interior, the bigger engine, etc.. I test drove the 2003 and didn't buy it so I was not impressed. I definitely was impressed with the 2004.

    However, I have seen some of the older models and they look very similar to the 2004 (which I didn't know that) but I still am glad I waited.

    As long as everyone is happy with their purchase, I think that's all that matters. :-)
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    ..if everyone is happy with their purchase, that's all that matters. I am very happy with my '04 RAV - Spectra Blue Mica. Body-wise there is only minor differences between the '04 and the prievious ones but the biggy for me (as I said) is the 2.4L engine. I'm also very impressed with quietness of the RAV, given it is still a smaller vehicle. I was driving a Subie Impreza 2.5TS and the RAV is decidedly quieter. More like our '99 Solara SLE V6 coupe.
  • Yes, I do agree the 2004 sounds great and knowing it is a Toyota everyone will be pleased, I only had to get a new vehicle due to a car accident and time was limited and $ too, I did look at the 2004 and did love them but I guess for my situation at the time the '01 was for me, and I love it so far.....I guess the 04 model can be compared to how they changed the Rav4 in 2001......glad all is happy, that is all that matters and be safe also.....
  • Well, I purchased 2 rolls of 3M Squeak Reduction Tape, removed the windshield cowl, and placed the tape on the windshield under where the cowl touches the glass... little to no improvement. So I guess 325iRAV4 - you were lucky! Anyone else who has tried the 3M tape either at home or at a dealer, please let me know how you made out. Until then - I am beginning to look for a new car...
  • Is your RAV4 a 2004 one?

    I am fixing the rattle by splashing water on the windshield for now. It works for me. Give it a try.

    The weather is getting better, above freezing lately. That helps too.
  • is indeed very annoying. Every time the car rattles, it reminds me that I just spent $24K+ of my hard-earned money on a "defective" new car. Adding to the agony is the "could-not-reproduce-it" attitude of my dealer.

    I wish I could get that kind service like the one reported in the previous message.

    I have a feeling that Toyota does not take this issue as serious as the rattle of their new Lexus RX330, which had a TSB issued already.

    The majority of the RAV4 owners may be younger and less affluent than the owners of a RX330, but they are the *future* of Toyota.

    Which car will the young, "rattled" RAV4ers buy when they become affluent?
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