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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    What is the cargo weight capacity of the Element, ep?

    I was recently in some heavy wind on a high suspension bridge (WW) over the Delaware River, and the RAV was a little too light for my comfort.

    Service Update: I had the front disc brakes replaced (first time) on my 01 RAV4 at 66,000 miles.
    And I just had to replace the original battery at 69,000 miles, 5.1 years, and 20 degrees F temperature.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Still on the original battery in my 2000 - coming up on six years. I keep expecting to have to replace it but it still tests OK and starts right up at -20.
  • nwbearnwbear Posts: 20
    I looked at the Element and it has a serious flaw - a 650 lb load limit. This includes passengers and cargo and makes the vehicle unusable for many, if not most people. Load it up with two or three guys and cargo for a trip and you're WAY over the limit. This also creates some serious liability issues if an accident occurs when the vehicle is loaded beyond specs.

    I'm looking at the RAV4 for that reason.
  • I changed my brakes a couple of months ago and ever since I have had a vibration in the drivers side front, when I drive down the interstate starting at 70 mph and lessening vibration at around 80 mph. My tires have been balanced 3 times and the last time I had them rotated. It has also developed a noise when braking (very loud-deep sound. There is no pulse in my brake pedal-I even had the rotors turned. I also checked the caliper and it seemed free-not sticking. Anyone else have this problem or any solutions?
  • newski3newski3 Posts: 42
    I just test drove a 2006 Rav 4 with a 4 cyl and 4 spd automatic trans and noticed a slight jerk when it shifted from 1st to second. It did it each time I started from a stopped position. I mentioned this to the Toyota sales guy who was riding with me but he didn't respond. I'm curious if all Rav 4's do this or was it just this particular SUV? This dealer had a V6 model (5 spd auto trans) but it also was out on a test drive so I wasn't able to drive it to compare with the 4 speed. I thought this very unusual for almost every magazine review I've seen on any Toyota car/SUV indicates how smooth the transmission is. Has anyone else observed this in a 4 spd auto??
  • I had the same problem with a 2003 Ford Taurus. It turned out to be a known problem when I brought it into the dealership. They had to install some cover around the air conditioning unit or something like that (under the hood). After that was done, there was no more flooding on the passenger-side floor.
  • Hi there, i have been hear lots of rattling noise from my spare tire cover. i took it back to toyota and they said they insulated more for me, but still has the same noise. i am waiting to hear from them again on how to fix this annoying problem. my rav4 2005 never ever made this noise. i was wondering if any of ya'll have been having this experience. it's when the motor is running, not even with a/c or radio on . thanks for any and all input.
  • dmh1dmh1 Posts: 4
    From the research I've done, apparently the 06 RAV does not have a rear window that opens or even lifts up. What is the sense in this? It is enough of a problem that I would eliminate it from my options even tho I love Toyota quality and handling. Anyone know if the 07 will have a functional window for those trips to Menard's and Home Depot?
  • dmh1dmh1 Posts: 4
    The Edmunds site indicates the towing capacity for BOTH the 06 RAV4 and Highlander with same size 6 cyl engines is the same at 3500#. Comparatively, the 2.4 L 4cyl RAV4 tows at max 1500#, which sounds reasonable to me. But the 2.4L 4cyl Highlander lists a whopping 3000# max towing capacity. Can anyone make sense of this for me, or is it an error?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Engine displacement is only one factor in towing capacity. The Highlander is a heavier vehicle than the RAV4.

    tidester, host
  • daisy03daisy03 Posts: 4
    Do you think paying $17,500 for a 2002 Rav4 with the L package and 47,900 miles on it is overpriced? I have not seen the vehicle yet, but from what I hear the current owner hasn't had any problems with it, and it is in good condition. This is the price he got from the dealership that he bought the Rav from. Kelly blue book prices the vehicle from $14,915-$12,590 but prices it from $15,550-$18,125. Thanks!
  • turns out the spare tire cover has to be in a secured slot otherwise it gets that noise. all is well now :D
  • rferrerrferrer Posts: 3
    I am thinking of buying wife an RAV4 but keep hearing about excessive wind noise, engine whining and rough shifting.... We live in Dallas so it will be "normal" city/highway driving.... Wife just likes the look of small SUV's.

    This will be first SUV as we have always driven Honda sedans.

    Any input will be greatly...greatly appreciated.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The AD in NADA stands for Automobile Dealers, and the scuttlebutt is that NADA prices favor the dealers. Banks like their numbers too because they can use the higher numbers to justify bigger car loans.

    Kelley has a separate book for dealers so you have to pay attention to that too.

    What is the "Kelley Blue Book" Price?

    Best bet is to appraise it here. :shades:

    Steve, Host
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Post this in the 2006 forum. From what I understand, you'll find it quiet and smooth, especially compared to Hondas.
  • dmh1dmh1 Posts: 4
    Thanks - I had thought about vehicle wt, but didn't know how that factored in. I'm thinking then that I could tow a 1500# pop up tent camper with the 4cyl with 2 people in the vehicle. Is this a reasonable expectation?

    Basically, I'm looking for a safe tow with low fuel consumption. Any idea about fuel consumption with a 4 cyl engine when towing? We currently have a Dodge Ram 1/2 ton truck with heavy duty towing package. We get 15 mpg but when pulling that little tent camper, it goes down to 10 or 11 mpg on flat terrain. It's gotta go! Appreciate any responses, especially related to personal experience.
  • We were looking for a 2006 RAV4 but might just use the $30,000 to buy two used Toyotas; a 2001 Tacoma PreRunner & a 2001 AWD RAV4 automatic. However I'm finding a lot of negative reviews for the RAV about rattles, poor stereo sound, poor gas mileage & lack of power for passing. Are these problems common to the 2001 RAV or just from a few dissatisfied drivers? And can we expect these two 2001s to be reliable for the next 5-10 years? Any thoughts/suggestions? :confuse:
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Posts: 194
    I agree with you 100% this is why I drive a honda cr-v.
    the rear window flips up manually or with the remote.
    Some people do not understand this feature.
  • I own a 2001 RAV4 AWD and the gas mileage is very poor. I don't have any problems with rattling noises, but I do have problems with the CD player; it skips quite a bit.

    I thought about purchasing a new 2006 RAV4, but am thinking about other manufacturers at this point. I might wait until the new CR-V comes out next year.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I have a 2001 RAV4 auto trans AWD, bought new, with just over 70k miles. No problems, and I hope to keep it for at least another 5 years.

    EPA mileage rating is 22-27 mpg, which I find to be accurate. My overall average is about 24.5 mpg. I exceed 28 when driving all day on the interstate at 55-69 mph.
    (I drive with a light foot, and drive mostly in flatlands.)
    A lot of the complaints were from new buyers who had green engines.

    I didn't have any problems with rattles, although more than a few buyers had the "dash rattle." There was a TSB on it, and that fixed the problem for some.

    I think the sound system is just fine. Then again, I'm not a person who makes the rear storage area into a bass speaker and tries to rattle the fillings of pedestrians.
    I think the radio range is decent, and I like that the system has both CD and cassette.

    You need to drive one to see if the 2.0 liter has enough passing kick for you. If not, the 2.4 liter starting in the 2004 (I think) and forward is pretty strong, but of course would cost more than a 2001.

    Hope this helps.

  • artcbartcb Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Rav4 AWD (sport) with only 33,000 (wifes tender Arizona and Florida) miles that has the horrible Bridgestone Duellers. We have the 235/60R16 100H size. They are LOUD and worn worse than any tires I have ever owned. I have scowered the internet (including for input on a good replacement that is A) QUIET, B) has long tread life, and C) maybe will give us better gas mileage (at least not worse than 18 - 20 combined hwy/city. QUIET is most important as these are so loud you cant talk inside. PS... Toyota tells me to replace with Duellers and I walk away from them.

    First Question: Does anyone have any suggestions on replacment tires that they have been REALLY happy with for this size on a AWD? Please give me size and speed rating you bought.

    Second Question: I have read several owners that have bought the Michelin HydroEdge and have been really REALLY happy. The problem I see is that its only T speed rated and not H. Has anyone here done the T rated for at least 15,000 miles and been ok with them?

    Thanks alot for the feedback!!!!
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Believe the T rating is good for 118 mph. So should be good enough and the lower speed rating will likely give better snow traction.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I agree with suvshopper4. Our '01 has been great, it did have the cowl rattle, but it was fixed under warranty with the TSB at least 4 years ago and it has been silent ever since.
  • I have a mechanical question. We just bought a 2006 RAV4 base model, 2WD, V6 this evening. On the way home at certain freeway speeds the thing pulled from side to side every few seconds requiring constant steering correction (making it hard to concentrate on traffic). When a slight road bump was encountered the front end shimmied for a brief time. It does something else that may be related -- when stopped and slightly turning the steering wheel from side to side it "catches" at top dead center. Does anyone know if this car is broken or if this is how the RAV4 behaves normally? Needless to say I deeply regret getting it and hate myself for not test driving it several miles.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Check the tire pressures to rule that out. Often the dealer techs forget to air them down, and usually the tires are over-inflated so they won't flatspot while sitting around waiting to be sold.

    Steve, Host
  • The tires measured from 32.5 to 34.5 psi. I plan to take it back to the dealership, driving it slowly, and hope they find something.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    That "catch" at steering center is more than a tire pressure problem.
    Something is wrong, and it sounds dangerous.

    As you say, time to drive *slowly* to the dealer.

    Good luck.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I have AWD, and I replaced my OEM BS Dueller H/T 687 tires at 31k miles, even though they had a little tread left; after the last couple of 5-6k mile rotations, they were lub-lubbing for a few hundred miles until they smoothed out.

    Tire choices in the 215/70x16 size (I got the standard steel wheels) are limited.
    The tires I bought were the Yoko Geolandars H/T y816b, speed rating S (99 mph, I think). I chose them partly due to decent buyer reviews, and partly due to very reasonable pricing.

    After 39k miles, they still have some tread life left, altho I am not sure about grip (I don't drive hard).

    They are not overly noisy, in my estimation. Certainly we can talk ok while driving at speed.

    I'm curious about Michelins too. Worth the premium price? It really is hard to compare, because most new tires would probably sound quieter than old tires, even the same exact model.
  • Thanks both for the responses. I took it to the dealer and traded it for a Camry. They can fix the problem at their own pace. I'm sad because the RAV4, if functioning correctly, would have been lots of fun, but I just plain don't have the time to deal with the issue. It was worse when I drove it back to the dealer, especially on curves requiring quite a battle with the steering wheel oscillation to keep it going where it was supposed to go. I hope they fix it instead of just reselling it to someone whose safety would be at risk. So at least from my point of view, although now without the car of my dreams, "case closed."
  • cmkcmk Posts: 59
    I have a question. The rear spoiler that comes on the 2001 L trim level, is it easily removable? Or is it bolted on and stuff?
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