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Toyota RAV4 Maintenance and Repair



  • "00 Rav4,auto,2wd,50k miles, shakes very noticeably side to side when driven, not front to back. Tires visibly and hand checked-- roundness good,drive shaft squared visibilly,level on flat ground. Suggestions and recommendation concerning shake much appreciated
  • Dear Amy,

    I have a 2006 Rav-4 that has problems worse than that! Right when I drove the car off the lot the check engine, VSC, and 4wd lights came on. I took it back to the dealership thinking maybe it was just as simple as resetting a code, and they told me the fuel sensor was bad. Got that replaced, but then several weeks later, all the lights came on again, and stay on for several days. I took the car back to Toyota, and then they told me it was the gas cap not tight enough. Lights were out, but then then all came back on a little while later. Took the car back again (3rd time!), and they told the fuel sensor had failed! Got that replaced, but now I am sellng the car. Consumer Reports may like the RAV-4, but I believe there are some real problems with this car. When I saw your post, it remined me of the problems I having.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Really, you are selling it?
  • I have the 2006 V6 and love it even though my radio has gone to the Greek writing again...they will fix it. Keep on the dealership, they will fix it...don't hesitate to call Toyota Customer Care....they will get it fixed for sure.

    Jimmy Drew
  • I have a 2006 Toyota Rav4 V6 base model. Got it almost a year ago and just turned over 16k on the odometer. Since about October, I've noticed a loud knocking sound coming from what seems to me like the driver's side rear area of the car, perhaps the wheel area - suspension? I've had my local dealership look at it - they drove around in it, had a guy lying down at the back listening for the noise - they couldn't find the cause of it. They did safety inspections, said the car was fine. The noise has continued to be there in some capacity but I just lived with it. Sometimes it seemed like the noise dissipated all together. Well today, it seems like the noise is back and it's HORRENDOUS, and it's worse at lower speeds and driving over bumps in the road. It's driving me nuts, but it seems like my local Toyota dealership can't figure out what it is. It almost sounds like my bumper is about to fall off, but when I look underneath, I see nothing hanging, nothing visible that would make me think that it's the cause of this noise. Has anyone else experienced this issue? I trawled this forum and found issues with droning noises (that's not what this is), and one where a popping noise was coming from the front, not the back. If anyone has heard of this problem or has had a similar issue, what did you do to get it fixed? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
  • Does the noise happen on flat ground, no bumps? At what speed do you start to hear it? Does it change when you brake at all? Is the noise cyclical, as in rotation of a tire type? Is there any pattern to it or is it irregular? Hard hitting like swinging metal on metal or another sound type?

    If it happens at slow speed, find some rough brick like surface or speed bumps, roll your windows down and have someone outside the car as you roll by to determine approx location/corner of car it comes from.

    Wiggle all parts, including the exhaust pipe(s), heat guards, anything that moves, to see if it makes any noise.

    Rev4 2006 4WD, V6, Limited, 9500 miles
  • We get the droning noise *only* when the gas tank is below a 1/4 tank, and it is relatively loud and low frequency in harmonic. So my guess is it a harmonic vibration manifesting at the gas tank, sound produced by vibration translated through the chassis to the gas tank, or the fuel pump as some have mentioned in the droning posts. Toyota are you listening? I will be mentioning to our service advisor in next week or two when we go in for 10K service.
  • Thanks for replying. The noise doesn't occur on super smooth surface, it's pretty much things like potholes, cracks in the road that will cause the sound. If I'm driving 70 down the freeway, I don't hear it, more than likely due to surface noise drowning it out, but if I'm tootling between 30 or 40 miles an hour, then any slight bump will cue the noise. There isn't any pattern to it really, and sometimes it's almost like it's gone, like whatever is knocking about got caught up somewhere and doesn't make a peep until it gets dislodged again. It sort of sounds like metal on metal, but denser. Your comment of "hard hitting like swinging metal on metal" would describe it best. I had my husband drive it today, and I asked him if he heard it, and he said "sort of"!!!! Whatever...

    I will try all the things you mentioned to see if we can't pin this thing down. It's just frustrating because at times it's really loud and of course it's never loud when it's been at the shop to be looked at...

    Many thanks for your input.

  • Hi Julie,

    Just focus on nailing down if it is a specific wheel/corner of car and look for clearance issues between parts, brackets on tailpipe etc. If the Toyota guys looked at it on a rack, then the suspension is not loaded up and the space between parts is not the same. We ran over a nasty pothole once, probably 6+ inches deep, and the sound we heard was like something hit the underside of the vehicle, *hard*. I thought something broke, but apparently not. It probably was the suspension travel hitting the maximum point and ramming the rubber or metal stop point. Yours happens on small bumps so it is not that. Try finding a place with a rough surface where you can drive left and right tires over it independently to help narrow things down. Or your favorite pothole and run each wheel through it...try 10mph vs 30.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Note to those who have experienced the droning noise while idling or at low speeds: a TSB (EG002-07) was released on 6th Feb. regarding this issue.

    The title of the TSB is "Whine Noise from Fuel Pump" and applies to 2006 and 2007 RAV4s (applicable VIN ranges are listed in the TSB).

    The work involves removing and replacing the fuel pump resistor with an updated part.
  • Excellent news! Is there a website to monitor for these TSB's?

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Subscribers can get them from Tundra Solutions. Some eventually are posted on R4W as well. Another recent TSB covers the "radio displaying strange characters" issue that some people have had.
  • Thanks, will look there. We had our radio changed out twice, so far the 3rd one is working ok.
  • My second one just went bad too...this is not good for the Toyo image. I will also call Toyo Customer Care and report it. Nice, they change it out, but I have no confidence that the radio will work for a very long sad..

    Jimmy Drew
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    I think the Toyota image can withstand a few bad radios, which are manufactured by a different company anyway. You can reference TSB AU001-07 at your dealer - it shows the affected VIN ranges. Replacement radios that also went bad were probably manufactured before they had the fixed radios available.
  • Toyota approved it for their vehicle and charges a hefty amount for it. Also when something breaks and is replaced you expect it to be "fixed". Toyota should have made sure of that. No excuse for their image can stand a few pokes or not. I love my V6 RAV4 ..but because of the V6. If it were a 4 cylinder I would have taken the CRV....Toyota is slipping and it is obvious in the RAV4.

    Jimmy Drew
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Not as far as I'm concerned - my RAV4 has been excellent and is exactly what I expected from a Toyota. It would take a lot more than a bad radio display to shake my confidence in the vehicle.
  • The 2006 RAV4 is good vehicle. The V6 motor pulls hard, but the suspension and drivetrain are overhwhelmed at full throttle, with significant torque steer and lane change issues of the same nature I noticed in the Xa car models when I test drove them years ago. The hatch opening sideways is also not desireable; its better to swing it up and provide shade on sunny days and protection from rain etc. on lousy days when loading the vehicle. We have had the radio swapped out 3 times, a piece of trim replaced, about to have the fuel pump serviced per the TSB posted. The electrical system is under powered, when you read the manual it says you can deplete the car battery running the defroster and seat heaters while driving, which is silly, the charging system should be replenishing more than the electrical draw on the system. Brakes are ok. Road noise is significant.

    We paid 31K for Rav4 Limited V6 and for a price like this the larger things above should not happen if quality control is doing its job in the design and production phases. I know from being in high tech development, and going through similar processes, Toyota *knew* about these items when they shipped the product. Their management, like any company's, statistically analyze the field risk of occurrence of defects and make the ship/no ship decision for the product on said data. Toyota's problem as covered in the media is management was cutting corners on defects, not reporting them up the food chain, and Toyota was getting burned by increasing customer reports of product defects. Toyota hopefully is correcting these issues and we are using the warranty period to make sure they fix *everything* we see as a defect in our vehicle. Bottom line is we like the vehicle and for my fiancee it works well. It no doubt will be a good long term vehicle for her.

    For me as a performance driver, its design issues currently do not work well for my style of driving. I am used to vehicles that are rock solid when you mash the gas, enter a corner, etc. I have fun driving it but I will not drive it in the same manner as my 1999 Merc ML430 for instance, which is uncanny in its ability to stick to the road and corner as an SUV.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    I agree with your comments on handling - there's nothing particularly remarkable about the RAV4's abilities in that area. Most of the RAV4's fun factor is controlled by your right foot, although I think there's a case to be made that the 2GR-FE is too much engine for the the RAV4 - case in point, the aforementioned torque steer. However, at less than full throttle it manages well enough.

    As far as defects go, the only one I can lay claim to is the fuel pump whine - and that seems to have gone away by itself a few months ago. Nothing else about the vehicle has given me any reason to doubt its assembly or component quality. It's too bad not everyone has had the same positive experience!
  • but where can you find the TSB reports for various cars/etc....? Yes, I love the RAV4 is one terrific engine that is probably one of the best in the world. (I read that somewhere). Toyota is slipping and unfortunately it really comes to view in the vehicle that I bought. Yes, the Sport is a very ruff ride.

    Jimmy Drew
  • Owners manual says that during first 1000 miles, "Do not drive for a long time at any single speed, either fast or slow." Any ideas on what a 'long time' means? Half hour, 2 hours, six weeks...?
  • What I took it to mean was don't drive it for 1000 at one speed at the beginning. So I postponed my cross country trip while I drove it on the freeway and around town until I got 1000 miles on it. Actaully, I postponed my cross country trip until I had 3000 miles on it.
  • My recently purchased RAV4 has a vibration that is felt throughout the vehicle (seat and steering). After two trips to the Toyota dealer (wheel balancing and road force tests), the dealer says all 2007 RAV4 4wd v6's have the same problem and do not know what to do about the problem. They also said the 4 cylinder models do not have this problem. Has anyone else run into this problem?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Turn off the A/C and see if the vibration abates. To improve FE Toyota is now using a variable displacement A/C compressor and there seems to be some indication that owners are expereincing an unexpected level of vibration from that.
  • I have not used the A/C (it's winter and cold here). The vibration is most noticeble at speeds around 50 mph and above.
  • My 01 RAV4 remote control won't unlock the door on the driver side but unlock OK on the ones. Does anyone have the same problem? Do you know how to reset it? Any advice is appreciated.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You may think you're not using the A/C but if you have automatic climate control....

    And even with the manual control the A/C will run, with the indicator OFF, in any of the defrost/defog/demist modes unless the OAT is below ~35F.

    In cold weather my system spends a lot of time in the partial defrost/defog/demist mode. That's the only reasonable chance of preventing windshield fogging during cold weather in ANY Toyota or Lexus vehicle.

    But my dealer sat the two c-best options wherein I can completely disable A/C during the winter months.
  • I posted a message about this issue at the 4Runner site: the owner's manual states that "...a two way radio, cassette tape player or a compact disk player..." could interfere with the SRS and front air bags operations.

    Is there anybody who ever used a walkie-talkie in a 2006 RAV-4? Does it interfere with the electronic ignition/alarm?

    I intend to buy a walkie-talkie capable of transmitting up to 13-15 miles - do I need a license? (I never had one before).

    Any advice is highly appreciated! =Andrew17
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    "But my dealer sat the two c-best options wherein I can completely disable A/C during the winter months."

    What does the first part, "sat the two c-best options" mean?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Ooops, my southern upbringing.

    My dealer set the two c-best options.
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