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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • gszgsz Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    Is there a good reason for changing the engine's oil after the break-in period? I don't see anything in the car's manual to this effect but it is suggested in the dealer's own version of the suggested scheduled maintenance. Thanks -gsz
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    savvy4: Armrest/console storage lid opens 90 degrees with a detent (stays open at this angle). Just need to force it a tad to get it to 90 degrees.

    others: Bouncy ride could be overinflated tires - common oversight with dealer prep. Often they don't reduce the tire pressure from the boat ride over, close to 50 psi, to the recommended 29 psi for driving.

  • savvy4savvy4 Posts: 34
    Gsz, oil changes are cheap (especially if you do your own like I do), and they're one of the most important things you can do for your motor's health. The break-in oil change should be performed even though there's no mention of it, because as the motor's breaking in, fine particulate (metallic) matter floats around in the oil and is harmful to the engine. There's more "floating metal" in your oil during the first 1000 or so miles on a motor than there will be on future oil change intervals. I've been changing motor oil on ALL my family's vehicles for 16 years, and the RAV is the easiest oil change around. Everything's located conveniently underneath, the engineers made it really easy for oil changes. Do the break-in oil change because it's cheap, and because it's beneficial to your motor. Also, if you don't already, learn to change your own oil. It's SOOO easy!

    Suvshopper4, I'll have to check out that detent feature when I can get the vehicle from my wife tonight. I still wish Toyota would've used a different design for the center armrest/console, though. I'm sure it was a challenge with the fold-down rear cup holder feature, though.

    As for the RAV's ride, I have my tires set at 29 all around (I check pressure once a week) and it's still a little bouncy around town to me. It rides smooth on the hwy, no problems. But, I guess I'm just spoiled from owning two nice cars in a row (an Acura and an Infiniti), so I doubt ANY SUV would impress me. Cars still ride the best, handle the best, etc. But, if you have utilitarian needs for a vehicle, the new RAV comes in handy. We hauled home about 20 bags of landscape rock from Menard's last week. Just folded up the RAV's rear seats, put down our tarp, and stacked the bags of rocks on the floor. I like that. It's hard to do that with a car as efficiently as you can with the RAV. We're glad we have our RAV!
  • hannah10hannah10 Posts: 11
    Would you care to tell us how much you paid?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    On another site someone wrote about having a problem getting the '01 RAV's oil filter off, and I think they needed a special wrench or an extension. Did you encounter any such problem?

    I'm glad to have my RAV too. I've done no hauling, but the RAV is a real good ride and the perfect size, power, and economy for my wants and needs.

  • hannah10hannah10 Posts: 11
    Anyone have some good facts on this? I absolutely do not need 4WD but do not want to end up actually paying more in the long run becuase I did not buy 2WD. Any thoughts?
  • beechmanbeechman Posts: 35
    I would recommend looking at resale values of other SUVs that came in 2WD/4WD (CRVs, Explorers, etc) configurations on Edmunds, ,, and comparing them.

    I think a lot of it has to do with what part of the country you live FLA or AZ, I don't think you take much of a hit, but if you live where it snows/rains a lot, then you might want to think twice. If you search in some of the Smart Shopper topics, you might find some of the car salespeople and ask them, they are usually happy to help out with questions like this.
  • beechmanbeechman Posts: 35
    While the 2001 RAV4 has a new engine, and it's made out of aluminum, Toyota (and most other manufacturers) have successfully designed and built aluminum engines for many years. There is no comparison with the experience you had with your aluminum engined Vega 25 years ago (they were definitely horrible)...if you like the new RAV4, don't let the fear of an aluminum engine stop you. I don't know if it's based on an old Camry engine or not; I thought it was a brand-new design.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    GSZ, what did your vehicle have on it? There are a few ways to "order" Toyota cars and trucks. If the vehicle you want is pretty mainstream, just scarce, a dealership preferences it and waits for one to be built out of the general allocation, and it can be a few weeks to 3-4 months. If the car you want isn't built at all "ever" due to the way your region orders that particular model, then a car CAN be built for someone specially...and that is a 3-4 month wait but you get EXACTLY what you want. To a T! We do that all the time for folks.

  • tronsr1tronsr1 Posts: 149
    In 1997 I purchased a RAV4 4x4 auto., loaded in Florida due to the fact I travel to NJ a lot {my 2nd home}. On the advice of one of the salespeople in this TownHall site, I sold it in NJ as I was told it would be sold faster and go for more $$$$ than if I sold it in Florida and the advice was corrrect.
    Post #159 is good advice. I can say that the RAV's do have "good resale" value as compared to other mini SUV' such as Kia Sportage.
  • savvy4savvy4 Posts: 34
    To my benefit, and just by coincidence, the new RAV uses an oil filter that's sized identically to the filters for my G20 which I already had a filter wrench for. I purchased my G20's filter wrench from the dealer's parts dept., and I would guess your local Toyota parts dept. should be able to help you get one. I'm sure a well-stocked and complete auto parts store would have one, too. It's the type of wrench that attaches to the end of a 3/8 ratchet and covers the end of the filter. Toyota's engineers placed the oil filter about 1 foot away from the oil pan drain bolt, and they placed it at the very bottom of the motor in a location where the oil can drip into your pan w/o splashing on other parts. BRAVO!!! The new RAVs have the best oil-change layout of any vehicle I've ever wrenched on. Totally easy, mess-free, and set-up for convenience. I didn't have any problems at all doing our first oil change on our new RAV. Oh, for those that want to do their own oil changes, here's the scoop on the Toyota oil filters that I found out by making a LOT of phone calls:

    Original oil filter part# on our RAV:
    90915-10004 Japanese part(this part is no longer being used)

    Current Toyota RAV4 oil filter part#'s:
    08922-02002 Japanese part, about $5.81 ea.
    90915-YZZA1 USA part, about $3.65 ea.
  • lumhylumhy Posts: 1
    Can anyone recommend where I can get a good deal on a RAV4 2001 ?

    The best I got was like about $1000 above invoice.
  • pedrolobopedrolobo Posts: 2

    I am strongly considering a 2001 Rav4, but the color/option combination (red/taupe, WAD, 5-speed, I Package) I want isn't available. In fact, I haven't seen even one with the taupe interior (surprising since I'm in AZ where the dark gray interior would seem less desirable). From the brochure I'm guessing the taupe interior looks a bit odd due to the number gray/silver pieces (grab handles, PI controls, etc.). To me (again, based only on a single photo in the brochure, it looks like a is-built vehicle - taupe seats, carpet, door panels, but gray/silver handles).

    For anybody who HAS seen the taupe cloth interior, how does it look?

  • sandthrushsandthrush Posts: 6
    We got ours through CARSDIRECT.COM. Paid $21334.00 out the door for:

    16" 5 spoke aluminum wheels
    Roof Rack

    Also, if you are a AAA member you could get a referral from them for a Toyota dealer. We didn't have to go that route, but I did talk to the salesman I was referred to and he claimed he would sell one to us for $300.00 over invoice. Don't know what kind of "fees" they would of tried to add.
  • savvy4savvy4 Posts: 34
    I thought the taupe interior would look ugly and I originally wanted the gray interior. After finding only one RAV in our area equipped like we wanted, we purchased it. It's a white exterior, taupe interior. I love the taupe now, and I don't mind the color contrasts with the gray trim pieces at all...they look good. I'm glad I got taupe over grey, as I think the gray would've been too bland. The seat fabric is good-looking and of high quality and the seat comfort is outstanding, too.

    Lumhy, we purchased our 2001 RAV at Toyota of IA City, IA. They gave us a great deal at $300 over invoice on a 2wd L-package 5-spd.
  • ca_86ca_86 Posts: 1
    Pedro, the taupe was my color of choice to go with my rainforest green RAV4. I have a few interior pics at
  • jderou2jderou2 Posts: 2
    I'm looking to purchase a 2001 Rav4 in the Kansas City area and would like to know if anyone has gotten a particularly good deal, and from which dealer.
  • al63017al63017 Posts: 149
    I paid about 1000.00 over for a loaded RAV4L sticker 24500 paid 23200. Think that is about 1000.00 over but if AAA can really get you one for 300.00 over then join as fast as you can. I am in St. Louis area. Know AAA is real strong in Kansas City area.
  • rav4merav4me Posts: 1
    I am waiting delivery of my new 2001 RAV4, 8-9 weeks does anyone know whether the rear doors can be opened fully. The one at the dealership opened about a 50 degree angle and the sales person said thats as far as it would go. I've seen a photo of the rear door open to 90 degrees, just wondering if anyone as had such a problem.
  • ggirlggirl Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 RAV4 and am taking it back to the dealer for the 3rd time for brakes. Brakes have already been replaced once. Loud grinding and other noises. Anyone else experiencing brake problems.
    Also, gas mileage is pathetic. I have yet to reach over 24 mpg and that one time was hgwy. Usually more like 20 mpg city.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    rav4me, #172: Rear door opens 90 degrees.

    ggirl #173: I've got 5500 miles on mine, 4WD auto trans, and I am getting a little better than 25 mpUSg in suburbs/hwy 70/30 driving, regular gas. This has improved about 2 or 3 mpUSg since new. How many miles are on your RAV?
    Also, I've read at that a few other owners have had brake problems.

  • ggirlggirl Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info at rav4world. I have 4000 miles. Mileage has not improved. The dealer is ordering new rotors. Hope this fixes the brake problem but don't have much faith.
  • akgakg Posts: 85
    A good friend of mine is looking for a 2001 RAV, either 5spd or auto, probably 4WD with lots of options for $500 over invoice in the coastal Northern California area. Any suggestions of dealerships who have a good inventory and are willing to deal?
  • savvy4savvy4 Posts: 34
    Our new RAV had slightly squeaky brakes during the first few hundred miles, but as the pads (shoes) broke in, we haven't heard any addt'l noise from them. At 2400 miles, things are quiet and I must say they're exceptionally good, strong brakes.
  • savvy4savvy4 Posts: 34
    Our 2001 2wd L-package 5-spd. RAV4 currently has 2500 miles on the odometer and I just did a fuel mileage test. On a 92.2 mile trip, it used 3.692 gallons of gas, giving it an average mileage of 24.973 (let's say 25mpg). The trip was 99% hwy miles. Toyota rated it for 31 mpg on the hwy, so that's a bit less. I averaged a 70mph cruise rate using cruise control on the interstate with relatively flat stretches of concrete.
  • bumper4bumper4 Posts: 4
    There are two Toyota dealers in my area and up till now they have not had a manual transmission in stock. I want a Rav4 real bad but refuse to buy until I have driven a manual. Auto trans is okay but a little under powered. Has anyone else had this problem about driving a manual? What did you do? Thanks in advance, Ameise.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    Persevere! Yes, sticks are scarce but they are not impossible to find. There's a really good Rav4 "enough power?" and a very detailed gas mileage thread going at Kelly Smith's site where a lot of folks religiously notate their every tankful, and driving history and experiences. I think that I also read a pretty decent thread right here at Edmunds regarding the owners area of the Ravs and their comparisons of fuel consumption. The one thread that I recall running thru everyone's post at Rav4world was that their stick-shift gas mileage was not as good as they expected. Some seemed very upset by it, and most were just reporting results.
    I honestly think the automatic is peppy as all getout, but to each their own.

    Persevere. There ARE 5-speeds built. You mention 2 dealers close to you. If you go to and do a "dealer locator" and put in your zip code. Request a 100 mile radius, and contact them all via their sites or their phones, and just ask them to reach you when they get a stick in. Improve your ratio of finding a stick by raising your odds of a call!

  • We test drove an automatic 2001 RAV4, but it was not acceptable to us. We had to wait for about a month for someone to find us a manual, but it was either that or find some other vehicle to buy. It was worth the wait. We also have a '97 Camry with a manual tranny, and are probably lucky to have found it. Both my husband and I prefer manual transmissions, and they are getting harder to find. You might also try the web site BUYATOYOTA.COM, if it is available for whatever part of the country you are in. I am in the southeast. I was able to keep track of all available Rav's in my area, what dealers had in stock and what was coming in. Our local dealer told us they never get manual tranny's in the Southeast. If a dealer really wants to sell you a vehicle, they can find you one.
  • dcwong1dcwong1 Posts: 54
    Which is the best (on price and service) Toyota dealer to work with in the Chicagoland area? I am still debating on either getting the RAV4 or a Honda CR-V. What are the pros and cons of each?

    How is the service at Chicagoland Toyota dealer and do they give you loaner cars for service?

  • al63017al63017 Posts: 149
    Just traded my 2000 CRV for RAV4 like it much better even though CRV is great vehicle. REV is quieter, pusher, better seats, better radio,better performance but not much,---less room to haul things without removing seats.

    Personal decision but RAV4 is much different vehicle in 2001 that it was in 2000 and to me much nicer vehicle.
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