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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    How can you tell what post somebody is replying to?

    You can use the "reply" link which will provide a subject line pointing to the post to which you are responding or you can simply pay attention to context and thread.

    Also, let's try to tone down our disagreements with others. Raising questions or disagreeing is one thing but confrontation is a turnoff.


    tidester, host
  • Hi tidester.

    My sincerest apologies to you, the member I replied to and the entire board. I will give it more thought before I type away with my respone in the future and I'll be more subtle and cordial.

    I understand that hitting the reply link will direct me to that specific post I'm replying to. What if I wanted to see what someone else is replying to? Are you saying the only way to do this is to backtrack and follow prior posts to see the context? I'm a little confused and wonder if I have my preferences set wrong. Thanks again, and I promise to be a good soldier. Some great info is given here and I'd like to contribute whatever I can.

  • I'm hoping this might help with anyone who has the rattle and nothing seems to be working.

    I read some good advice here concerning the 3M tape to prevent the rattle. In case that doesn't seem to be working well, I did locate the exact position where the rattle comes from. On the cowl there is a 1/2 black strip on the very top that snaps on. If you go to the drivers side and lift it (I put a wedge there) you will probably eliminate the rattle. Now you can be better prepared to show your Toyota service person the spot that is causing the rattle. If they don't know, they might not pay attention to that specific location and apply a thin strip across the entire cowl. If they focus on that one area and put something there to give it some lift, you might rid yourself of the rattle as I did. I just used a wet paper towel to wedge in there for testing purposes. This Thursday I have an appointment and I'll explain it to the service tech so he'll know what material to put in that location that won't be visible and not come off. Hope this helps.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    Currently, we don't have threaded discussions but that may change in the future. :-(

    tidester, host
  • Thanks, tidester. :) I wasn't sure.
  • 5553543255535432 Posts: 150
    If you want me to blame myself, I tell you I already did a million times. I was a 10 month old DUMB immigrant then when I got that RAV 2003, and I didn't know what I know now in terms of sideairbag importance. The outrageous APR I called "charge to experience", but a dealer telling me sideairbags are unsafe for small passengers is unforgiveable, and me beliving what the dealer said is my mortal sin.

    Anyway, Im still paying for that mortal sin of buying a RAV 4 by making myself available to friends and co-workers (who I can't sway away from Toyotas)even if it's a great inconvenience by haggling with a Toyota salesman in their behalf for the best price.Every time I do it, I'm getting frightingly better. It is addictive and the high I get after nailing a really good deal, is so sweet to savor.

    Finally, congratulations on your getting a RAV4 2004 with sideairbags, getting hold of one is like winning the lotto, they are so rare, ALMOST NONEXISTENT (try visiting Toyota delearships here in Maryland, ben to six, and nothing)it would be a collectors item a few years from now.
  • First let me apologize. I was hasty in my response without understanding the whole story. That is not only awful what the Toyota dealer told you, but unethical as well. Have you tried reporting this incident to Toyota Motor Corp?

    Secondly, I was not aware that they were difficult to get with side airbags. Luckily for me it was on the lot, and the fact that it was equipped with the side airbags and curtain sold me on it. Maybe I was lucky, because I don't know if they are hard to get in the NY/Conn area.

    I don't know if you read my comments on the Rav4, but I will tell you that my 2003 Hyundai Sante Fe LX is a better value. That SUV came with side airbags as well and it's standard! Not only that, but for about the same price it came with a powerful V6, leather seats, moonroof and is much more roomy, bigger and comfortable. It has a quieter ride as well. gas mileage is about the same even though the Rav has a smaller V4. The handling is good, but I have to say the Rav handles slightly better. That's the only plus I give the Rav. There are no curtain bags available on the Sante Fe, but I now see your point as to why Toyota is endangering lives by having them available but making them scarce. Now that I understand the whole story, I'm with you. It's a really is.

    I wish you the best of luck and keep up the good fight. You certainly have my ear!
  • 5553543255535432 Posts: 150
    Thank you for seeing things in my perspective.

    I'm glad though that my RAV COFFIN is out of my system. After considering the Element, Colorado/Canyon CRV, Frontier and RX8, I traded in my RAV4 for a Mazda RX8 red,mt,demo model sold way below invoice, price was so sweet, one to difficult to pass though I wanted blue. It's bad on gas though,it's greedier than my wifes Pilot and needs babying.However it's got the features I priced most sideairbags and even curtains.Crash test were impressive too.The heck with reliability, thats what I got my AAA membership for anyways, besides this car rides and handles like a fantasy dream.

    I just hope my winter wheels from tirerack would keep this baby running when MD snow starts falling.It's a sin to keep this car in the garage.

    You have a good day.
  • I've been debating between the 2004 RAV4 FWD and CRV AWD. I've been on two separate RAV4 test drives in the rain and noticed that the RAV4's wheels spin a bit when taking off from a complete stop. (ie stoplight) My husband thinks it is probably because I am not used to the power of an SUV (currently driving a Civic), but I didn't notice this on the CRV (also 2 test drives in the rain). The rain is not extreme, just a regular downpour. Is it because the CRV is AWD? I didn't think that AWD would make such a difference in regular rain conditions. Any advice?
  • 5553543255535432 Posts: 150
    I noticed the same thing with my Rav 4 FWD too, but it's usually worse whenever you make a turn from a complete stop and when the road is wet.On seven ocassions my butt almost got clipped by oncoming traffic. On straight lines tire spin is not so obvious.I guess the AWD makes a difference because my wifes' Honda Pilot which got terrible Goodyear Integrity tires does not have the problem negotiating tight turns from a complete stop with the road soaking wet.

    However if the Rav 4 appeals to you, I suggest you sell the stock tires at ebay, and change it with an oustanding set of tires. Maybe a set of Goodyear Fortera HL if it comes in RAV4 size wheels.The next best option are Dunlops Radial Rover AT, am sure it's tailored for the RAV4. My co-workers owning RAVs swear this solved the tirespin problems, but you have to be faithful to the tire rotation sched, otherwise get a 4wd RAV. For more detailed info on whats the best tire to match the car of your choice, check

    Hope this helps, you have a good day.
  • ybcybc Posts: 7
    I just got a 2005 Rav4 L with the Side Curtain Airbags. I held out for 4 mos. and when one showed up, I went ahead and got it even though it did not have the leather seats or the autodimming mirror w/compass & thermostat that I wanted. I figured I'd get those aftermarket.

    Now that I have it, I read through the manual and it says changing the seats or upholstry might compromise the SCA, as would the autodimming mirror. Is this true? Does anyone know how I could get these aftermarket items without negating the whole point of waiting four months for a car?

  • I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place, but I'm hoping someone can help. I started looking at the RAV4 and have gotten different dealer answers to what options are actually available. Is it really not possible to get the 6 disc cd changer installed? Two dealers told me you have to do it on your own after you get the car. This doesn't seem to make much sense since it's listed in edmunds, consumer reports, and also various websites. Also, is the driver's seat always manual or is it possible to get a power front seat? Any answers would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • hi
    i bought a 2004 rav 4 4x4 the thing is the honda is not a true awd it is front wheel when wheels start slipping it moves some power to rear
    not a great thing compared to the true 4x4 or awd systems
    toyota has power at all 4 wheeels all the time
    if you get any snow why even think get a 4x4 rav
    not fwd
    trust me over the years their are so many cars i love but if they dont have awd the true kind like subaru has or toyota i cant get it
    its not worth taking the chance
    after having that control i will never ever give it up
    i bought a vibe awd due to gm points i had etc
    it was the fake awd like the honda, needless to say i had the car all of 8 months and traded it in for the toyota
    now for rain yes it does make a difference. trust me i hace had a few close calls in my 45 years
    i love my rav its not perfect i have a squeak in the dash etc little stuff, my toyota dealers in the area of buffalo ny suck, service is always everything seems fine and it takes 2 weeks for an appt. so that is a turn off big time
    but the rav itself has been fine
    i have not had it in any snow storms yet but my cousin has one and says it was very good
    also i like subarus alot in snow and handling so you may want to check it out
    ok hope it helped
    thank you
  • ok ig ott he dash ratle too. i tell people it sounds like a slow popcorn popper. it comes from conter of dash i think but after reading all coments i guess it just sounds like it does. i have had it to 2 dealers, one said oh no that can't be that is only on the older models, the other one said they can't hear it.
    also does anyone notice on the emergency brake.
    if i am moving forward a bit and lift lightly on the emergency brake it makes a loud pop sound bang in the rear wheels. if im still or going in reverse it does not do it. both dealers say its normal and it will do that due to the pads or something engaging. i have been driving toyotas and subarus for years and never heard this one. also my cousin has a 2002 and it does not do this. finally if you live in the buffalo ny area i will tell you i love the toyota but the dealers suck.. not always friendly in sales and service so far has not been good at all. this will make me think again when buying a new one which i do often. thats ashame to cause i really do like the rav 4 4x4
    also the sterio fades in and out a bit on fm not strong stations or something my neighbor has a highlander and hers sdoes the same thing
    anyone hear that?
    thanks for your help
    great site
    thanks john
  • Thanks for the response. I pretty much decided to go with the rav 4x4, just waiting for the next rain to test drive to make sure. Hopefully sometime this week. If my rav has a rattle, I would take that over worrying if the CRV engine will catch fire after an oil change any day.
  • I just bought a Scion 6 CD in dash player that also plays MP3s for around $250 off of Ebay. It plugs right in to the stock wiring and fits the dash perfectly. It also has the amber lights for the night time view of the buttons and a cool fiber optic color changing face. Before this, I had installed the JBL 6 CD player with cassette tape from a Highlander (also off EBay) and was a direct fit as well. That one had a green face and tended to overpower my stock speakers. Both of these work with the steering wheel controls which was a bonus as well.
  • There are airbags in the seats, so any messing with the seat cover will compromise their function. Also, the side airbags located in the roof around the door frame (A pillar) are where wires would be run for an auto-dimming mirror. I had an aftermarket sunroof installed by the dealer, but they had to try two different shops before someone would tackle running wires through the A pillar where the airbags are deployed from. To sum it up, both installed options you want are a risk to the air bag system and the dealer/Toyota doesn't want to assume that risk. I did pull off my A pillar cover to see how it was done and all the new wires are taped to the metal roof post so they won't get tangled up if the air bag deploys.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The "dash" rattle is easily fixed. It is really the cowl in front of the windshield, under the wipers. There is a good website with instructions for do-it-yourselfers, or just take it back to a good dealer. My dealer fixed it two or three years ago, and it has been silent ever since. Note that it only rattled when it was cold AND dry.
    The brakes make a pop sound when applying them the first time after changing direction. Normal, no problem.
  • My wife bought an '04 RAV4 L a couple of months ago. She loves it except for the CD/tape system, which, frankly, is of very poor quality. I would like to hear from other owners who have replaced the units and/or speakers. We're not audiophiles, but we definitely want to upgrade the system.
  • smwsmw Posts: 2
    Anyone know where to find a battery for a '97 RAV (other than from the toyota dealer)? The stock battery came with a half size battery, but I've been unable to find it anywhere. Everywhere I've checked so far only has a full size battery. Also, if you can please indicate what is a good price.
  • Hello,
    I have a 1997 Rav4 with 70,300 miles on. I was driving and suddenly the "check engine" light came on. The car was drivable. I don't feel the transmission is slipping. I filled the gas tank to half full and tightened the cap. The light still on? Any suggestions before I take the car to the dealer is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in Advance.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    More than likely, just an emissions control issue. Could be cat. converter, O2 sensor, etc. You need to have the error codes read to know what the problem is, but driving should not cause any harm.
  • Many auto parts stores will read the codes for free. I know Auto Zone will.
  • Anybody have any info on installing an aftermarket in-dash radio/receiver on the Rav4? The Best Buy site indicates they have NO models that will fit the Rav4 while Circuit City's site indicates nearly ALL their models will fit.

    Also, the receivers I find at both sites only have 4 channel output. Does that mean 2 (or 4) speakers would have to disconnected?

  • By the way, that rattle is easily fixed with tape or a foam tape under the rubber cowl strip.

    The RAV is a significantly better small SUV than the CR-V. If bought with the side air curtains it's a lot safer too.
  • Get the wider 235/60/16 and you won't have a problem
  • harhar Posts: 1
    Can't find side air bags in 2005 Ravs southern California. Does anyone know what's going on? Where in the country are they sending them??
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Could be the water pump.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Yes, maybe the AWD is the difference.
    Or possibly the 2WD vehicle has cheaper tires (which is typical), and they are more likely to spin, especially in wet conditions.

    Also, wider tires are not better in the wet (rain or snow). In these conditions, standard-size narrower tires are better.
    Wider tires have better grip in dry conditions.
  • 5553543255535432 Posts: 150
    Im not 100% sure, maybe the ones with sideairbags are exclusive only to NY-CT area.Finding one in the "neck of the woods" Maryland area is like treasure hunting.
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