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Toyota RAV4 2008



  • normkolnormkol Posts: 135
    Does anyone else feel the ventilation fan in the Rav4 is weak?

    I just got my 2008 last week, and it struck me immediately that I need to use the 3 or 4 position on the fan, the lower two don't put out much air.

    I checked another Rav4 on the showroom floor tonight, and it is the same.

    Anyone feel the same?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most modern day HVAC systems use the A/C all year around, except with OAT below ~34F, for purposes of dehumidifying the incoming airflow. The SLOWER that airflow moves through the A/C evaporator the higher is the probability it will be cooled to its dewpoint and therefore somewhat dehumidified.

    The second issue is to have the lowest noise level possible.

    I find it best to keep the A/C COMPLETELY disabled during the winter months, run the system initially in automatic until the blower starts up (engine coolant reaches 130F) and then switch the system to MAXIMUM heating and into combined footwell/windshield outlet airflow mode. With automatic climate control systems the blower speed will go into MAXIMUM mode and it is best to lower the speed to reduce the noise level to something more acceptable.

    As the cabin temperature rises closer and closer to my comfort level I incrementally lower the temperature setpoint. That would usually be ~72F If it were not for the need to keep the interior windshield surface above the dewpoint of the cabin atmosphere, WELL above that dewpoint, in the winter months.

    With a significant portion of the WARM system airflow being cooled via flowing over a COLD windshield surface I seem to end up with a long term (greater than 15-20 minutes of travel time) setting of ~75F for a reasonable passenger comfort level.

    Basically I find that the automatic mode goes TOO far in trying to not discomfort passengers with "overly" warm airflow and noisy blower speeds.

    Using the above method I can both bring the cabin much more quickly to a comfortably warm level and prevent (mostly) those instances of sudden windshield fogging for which these systems are famous.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    The fan is not weak, the speed settings are just calibrated differently than you are used to. I think it is nice to have more choices at the lower speeds.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    SDC2 is correct, most modern day systems now use PWM, Pulse Width Modulation, to control lower blower motor speeds, giving an infinite number of speeds vs the old dropping resistor(s) method.

    That, of course, results in the system using those now available lower blower speeds in order improve dehumidification capability and reduce the cabin noise level. Once the cabin temperature, AIR temperature, is near or at your temperature setpoint during the winter months it doesn't take much make-up airflow to keep it there.

    Additionally most new cars are extraordinarily well sealed against air outflow. The theory being that once the cabin atmosphere is "conditioned" then don't let it "escape".

    The fallacy in that design approach, addressing only the issue of cabin air temperature, is that the human body comfort equation is as much due to radiant heating, or lack thereof, as it is to surrounding air temperature.

    You might be entirely comfortable at ~70F in the interior of your home on the coldest day of winter with all the "surround" already heated to that 70F level. But now move yourself nearby a large picture window wherein a good portion of your body's "surrounding" landscape is snow and ice covered and you will undoubtedly begin to feel chilled.

    In your car you cannot "escape" the radiant cooling effects of the surrounding snow or ice covered, or even just COLD, landscape so that otherwise normal 70F temperature setpoint will leave you COLD.

    On a day, or night, traveling with a COLD outside landscape, raise the setpoint to something more in the range of 75F and change the system outflow to combined footwell and windshield airflow. The "warmish" airflow to the COLD windshield will be somewhat cooled before it reaches your face and upper body.

    Personally I have ALWAYS disabled my A/C compressor during the winter months and now that these new systems are so potentially HAZARDOUS if left in operation I am carefull to NEVER allow the A/C to operate during cold weather.

    Thankfully Toyota and Lexus, via new c-best options, have made it much easier to accomplish that rather than getting under the hood to disconnect the A/C compressor clutch wire.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    as much due to radiant heating, or lack thereof, as it is to surrounding air temperature.

    They are not unrelated. When you move yourself over to the large picture window the air temperature is lower. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, there will undoubtedly, be cold air flowing downward off of the cold window surface. But my point is that the COLD outside surrounding landscape, unlike an interior room with no windows, will adversely contribute to human comfort.

    I could put you in an atmosphere of 72F airflow, fully surrounding 72F airflow, but surrounded by blocks of ice, and the net result would be that you feel chilled.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I could put you in an atmosphere of 72F airflow, fully surrounding 72F airflow, but surrounded by blocks of ice, and the net result would be that you feel chilled.

    Obviously. But thermodynamics dictates that the ice will cool the air. The 72 °F airflow simply cannot remain a 72 °F airflow. The same happens to the air when it loses thermal energy due to radiation. However you want to pick the nits, yes, the total environment does affect your comfort.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • normkolnormkol Posts: 135
    What you're saying seems to refer to climate control. I'm talking about manual control.

    Are you saying that the speeds on the fan control are not fixed, that there is some logic to them?
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I have the base model and the speeds are fixed...but there are 5 speeds instead of the 4 all my previous vehicles have had. I do find myself using 2 a lot instead of 1 like I used to...but I have only had short trips so far and this cold winter has me wanting to heat up the cabin quickly. On a longer trips I expect I will drop to 1 once things are warmed up...heading out of town tonight so we'll see.

    But if you turn the fan to the highest setting, I think you will see the fan is just a powerful as any other.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "But if you turn the fan to the highest setting..."

    Not necessarily. In fresh inlet air mode you have the issue of the exhauster port having enough flow capacity to allow the fan to move as much air as it might without the back pressure resulting from a smallish exhauster port.
  • gary59gary59 Posts: 1
    My new 2008 RAV4 (1200miles) has a rattle in the dash, but only on rough roads. We also have a 2001 Highlander, with a glove box latch rattle, but that's not it. Also not any of the loose items stored up front. Any ideas? (Other than stay off rough roads!)
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Could be a lot of things of course...what kind of rattle, metallic, plastic? Could be worth diving under there and making sure the wiring harness isn't close enough to anything to slap against it. They do a lot of strapping to prevent it, but it doesn't take much to rattle.

    The only rattles I have at the moment are from the loose change storage in the console...not really thrilled with that setup. Might have to pad it somehow...
  • redrose1redrose1 Posts: 49
    We are considering buying a new Rav 4 - 6 cylinder.We own a 6 cylinder Subaru Ouback and like the AWD - will the Rav have a similar system?
    Also, we are concerned about the trunk door on the Rav - it opens to the side - how inconvenient is this?
    Would you know how the Rav would compare to the 2009 Forester (turbo)?
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    We did not buy a Rav due to the hatch door. In my opinion it is a dumb design. Opens to the side which is bad enough, but then it also is hinged on the wrong side for the North American driver.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Depends on your perspective I a tall guy I have cracked my head on enough open liftgates to appreciated a swing door. And I rarely park at the curb, so the direction it swings is good for me and works well in my garage for unloading groceries and such, because the door to the house is to the left.

    The RAV is amazing roomy, on a recent ski trip I transported 4 people, a black lab, skis and snowboards and luggage...with the V6 I was passing with ease on 2-lane highways. Got 24 mpg into a howling headwind with a ski rack on top...very few vehicles can do all of that.
  • metmdxmetmdx Posts: 265
    Hi Tidester: How 'bout a new thread starting for the '09 Venza coming out this fall/winter?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    For now we have 2009 Toyota Venza and 2009 Toyota Venza Crossover in the Future Vehicles section. We can add a discussion here as we get closer to the release date.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • If you get the optional leather on the RAV Sport...does it then come with the leather steering wheel?

    I couldn't determine this definitely by reading the brochure. It looks as though you may only get the leather steering wheel on the RAV Limited.
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Unless I am wrong I don't believe you can even get factory leather on a sport model. I am guessing it would have to be added by the dealer so you would get whatever steering wheel the sport usually has.
  • I just got my V6 Ltd Rav4 last month and living in NYC I wanted to get the brush guards for the front and the back to "try" to help minimize scratches. I wanted to get the rear skid bar but does anyone know if I can install that with the tow harness? Someone had told me that I would need to remove the harness to install the bar since it uses the same pre-drilled holes. I wanted to know if this was accurate or not.
  • jonvetjonvet Posts: 3
    I see Toyota makes a very nice looking Ft bumper guard ,they call it a nudge bar. unfortunately they only sell it in Australia and New Zealand, with shipping it's over $700. Anyone know how to get one here or a brand that would look good on a 08 Sport? Thanks, JonVet
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Just curious, but Is it polycarbonate?

    The Aussies are pretty rigid about bullbar specs since the metal non-energy absorbing ones are a hazard to pedestrians. There's a full EU ban on the sale of rigid ones. That may explain why they aren't too common outside of kangaroo country.
  • jonvetjonvet Posts: 3
    I believe it's
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Pretty expensive piece of bent pipe to bolt on.

    Try the SEMA consumer site and check around the Member Directory. EnjoyTheDrive
  • Steve & Tidester I am very interested in buying a new 200999999 RAV-4. Any clue when they will become available. Know Toyota has out the 2009 Matrix and Corolla but I need a 7 seater. Have read up on 2009 RAV-4, now the question is the earliest date I can get one. Need it by mid-July. Thanks lots for your insight.
  • Dealers aren't interested in telling me when the 2009 RAV-4 will be available, we all know they only want a quick sale and a 'tough' question like this is way beyond their interest in answering. How can I get ahold of the SE Toyota big boys who can provide me the answer? Thanks, experts.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't believe that Toyota has announced a ship date yet so it's not surprising that no one is able to tell you when they will be available.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    It's a bit early for the 09 RAV4. I believe a refresh is in the works. I've posted pictures on my CarSpace of what I believe will be the next 09 RAV. The spare tire will be relocated to the bottom of the vehicle. The grille will be re-worked, and also the tail lights. I would expect the 09 Ravs to be in around sep-oct time frame.
    p.s. Toyota misread the market and over produced trucks and suv's. Story was out on Automotive News weekly. That would explain why we have so much inventory on ground right now.
  • hank119hank119 Posts: 39
    We've ordered a Rav4 V6 Limited with leather seats and a tow-prep package. It now looks like such a vehicle may not be available. At least my dealer says the ones listed on the Southeast Toyota website are not his allocation and he'll try to get one from another dealer.
    He does have a vehicle with fabric seats and says he'll be able to replace them with leather if he can't get the Rav4 we ordered.
    My dealer explains that he does business with a really good upholsterer who does this kind of work. Apparently, it's not simply a case of removing the cloth seats and replacing them with stock Toyota leather seats. He reupholsters the seats in the car !
    Has anyone had this dealer replacement of cloth with leather performed ? What were the results ? We're a little leery of this procedure.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Some people think they get better results aftermarket instead of going with the factory leather.

    You could ask the dealer for the shop name and drop by and look at some work in progress. Some people prefer to go with a national name, like Katskins.
This discussion has been closed.