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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • well, the mechanic we take it to, that my husbands family has gone too for over 20 years, did not put the mileage or vin# on the receipt, in addition to this the dealer is saying that since some other things were not done (his example was not all spark plugs had been replaced) this might be an example of lack of maintenance. But when my husband asked if any of the "other things" might be related to the engine problems, the dealer said no. We're taking it up the corporate ladder now, because we did get the oil changed regularly, which they are saying is the main cause of the problems. We are also going back to our mechanic who hopefully has better info on his receipts than what he originally gave us.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    Not having the mileage on the oil change receipts?!?!? I think you can kiss the money goodbye. You have to have decent proof of oil changes, no matter who does it, and that includes the basic info like miles AND date of oil changes.

    Your mechanic may be good, but I am a little skeptical of someone who does not record this information. I have a hard time blaming Toyota with anything related to sludge just because no one can provide real proof, and also because of the two guys I talked to who work at a large dealer. Just my opinion.


    By the way, the spark plugs on 2001 thru current Ravs do not require (per the manual) spark plug changes until at least 80,000 miles, so that dealer is full of it. Although I would change them sooner, but that's me.


    Seriously, I wish you the best of luck. Also, congrats on the new baby.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    No mileage and VIN on the receipts could be the kiss of death. Does your mechanic keep electronic records? Maybe those are more complete. Do you have the date on the receipts? Does the date record show reasonable maintenance? I was told that people getting the fix under the sludge policy only had to show proof of one oil change per year!


    Also, what about the people who change their own oil? Other than the date of the purchase of the oil (if they keep those receipts) would be documented. Can they deny warranty to someone on the basis of lack of maintenance if they change their own oil?


    One other comment, Cindy, the amount they are quoting you is outrageous. I would estimate it is about double what one would expect to pay for a rebuilt or new engine. If you do replace the engine, I would not give the Toyota dealership one penny of that money.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    There's something wrong with the whole situation. There is a big part of the puzzle missing. As some have stated, key pieces of information are required before anyone can arrive at solutions and/or blame. Here are few questions. Who actually drove the car in for oil changes? The first mechanic couldn't find anything wrong with it? Toyota offered to install a used motor on a 2002 for $6,000.00? Something just doesn't add up.
  • My husband drove the car in for the oil changes. The first mechanic we had it towed to (mainly because triple A would only tow 10 miles and this was the only mechanic we knew, through my husbands father, in the area) didn't try to go further than changing, checking the oil. Right away, when the oil light stayed on after the oil change, he told us we needed to take it to a dealer or different mechanic, as they are simply a shop that specializes in tires, wheels, and the like. He isn't our regular mechanic.

    When the dealer finally told us toyota would not warranty it, my husband asked what is the next step. Now, when he first called after the dealer did the initial diagnosis, the service rep said it didn't pay to speculate about price yet, wait and see what toyota would do. My husband pressed for some kind of rough price, even saying could it be a $400 job or $4000? He was told that it could be either, or somewhere in between, but again, wait to hear from Toyota. On Weds, when my husband called the dealer and was told that Toyota said no warranty, my husband again asked what would the price be to fix it. After some lengthy technical jargon about what was wrong, he said basically it will need a new engine, at $8000, or "sometimes they could get a used engine, from a car that didn't have a lot of miles on it" for $6000. Without trying to be argumentitive, my husband basically said $8000 for a 4 cylinder engine on a 2002 car was crazy. And $6000 for a used engine was ridiculous. But this is exactly what he was told by the dealer. We've tried searching online for rebuilt and remanufactured engines for 2002 Rav4's, but couldn't find anything. But most used engines seem to between several hundred to several thousand. But none near as high as $6000.


    After speaking with Toyota on Weds (not the dealer, but someone in corporate, who we called after getting the bad news from the dealer) they told us to go back to our mechanic and see if he had records. He did in fact have records, 3 of which had the mileage on it, which we've made copies of. Toyota told us that they put an order in with the dealer and that they are required to call us within 3 business days (monday being the 3rd day), and once they called we will most likely be faxing any other records/receipts. Toyota corporate seemed very friendly and helpful, so perhaps that will make a difference. What we should have done (besides have better records altogether) was simply write the mileage on the reciepts before we faxed it to the dealer, but we assumed that the dates would be enough.


    Another thing that the dealer also mentioned as a problem on the receipt was my husbands last name rather than mine. Why this should even be remotely an issue is beyond me, but it seems that from the get-go they were looking to justify not being able to warranty the engine.
  • My wife purchased a new 2004 RAV4 L about 8 months ago. In the morning following a cold night (sub 20 degrees), the automatic tranny initially refuses to shift into the last gear or overdrive at highway speed. You have to decelerate the vehicle to sub 20 MPH and then re-accelerate. The tranny will usually shift up through the gears normally. On occasion, you have to repeat the deceleration step. Of note, pressing the OD override button... or manually shifting into a lower gear has no impact.


    I noticed the issue about 6 weeks ago. Her RAV4 is normally relatively quiet, but the excess engine rev was noticeable. The tach registered about 3500-4000 RPM at 60 MPH which is obviously not normal.


    We are new to this site. I read through several months of postings on this forum and found nothing related to this issue. We are headed to the dealer tomorrow for an oil change and we plan to bring the issue to their attention. Does anyone have experience with this issue? Is there a solution?


    Please advise.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    The car is operating the way it is supposed to. The transmission is locked out of overdrive until the engine is warm enough. This is to more quickly warm the catalytic converter. Check your owner's manual - this is explained in there. Also, all newer automatics from other manufacturers do this.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    If you change your own oil, save all receipts for buying the oil and filters, and keep a log book of the dates and miles of when you change the oil and filters, as well as other maintenance. I usually buy a year's worth of oil and filters - you don't have to buy oil and filters each time before you do your oil changes. Just keep the logbook. This is sufficient for the warranty.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Cindy, It looks like you are handling the situation in an appropriate fashion. Hopefully Toyota will replace/repair the motor under warranty (I think they should). If they don't, I would suggest that you obtain everything from Toyota in writting including the diagnosis and reason for not covering (it may not be related to the oil changes). Producing a written statement from the mechanic that performed the oil changes may also be beneficial (particularly if you plan on taking them to court). Keep copies of everything. Pleading your case in a rational fashion based on facts should assist you in winning your case (getting angry and loud may be detrimental). Good luck.
  • good news!!!Toyota covered the new engine. still want to find out exactly what happened, but thank my lucky stars they did the right thing.

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    Wow! That's great! I guess even the most reliable car producer makes a mistake every once in a while.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Good for you. Toyota did the right thing. Although Toyota has a reputation for manufacturing reliable vehicles, anything can happen. It is mechanical and that's why there is a warranty (peace of mind). I guess you could "By the way, what caused the problem? Just curious." with the dealer. What's important is that they did the right thing.
  • can anyone tell me a site to download a free owners manual for a 99 toyota rav4: only seem to find places that want to sell and then send the by regular mail.. thanks.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    That is great news Cindyc. I would like to know what happened, too. Did they ever determine if this "mud" was "sludge" or "gel"? I am glad Toyota valued you as a customer!
  • new4new4 Posts: 1
    Hi all,


    Just purchased a RAV4 4 Dr. 4WD on Saturday 2/12/05 for a Valentines Day gift for my wife.


    I found the engine noise in the interior to be very loud, almost like a Diesel Auto...


    I say this because a co-worker of mine purchased a 2004 RAV4 late November 2004 and the engine noise inside and outside doesn't seem anywhere as loud.


    Any ideas, please
  • Take the RAV 4 back to the dealership. Something is wrong with it. I have one and the engine is quiet.
  • HELP! Surely I can not be the only one with this issue. For the last 4 years in the winter the driver side door lock will periodically freeze shut in very cold weather. If you click the unlock button on the key fob all doors unlock EXCEPT the driver door. If you enter the car you can not even manually flip it. The key will not open the door either. If you run the car until the cabin warms up then it eventually may be manually flipped or will open if you hit the key fob or unlock switch.


    Any ideas what causes this to happen and only on this one door? Better yet, what might be a fix...


  • Moisture in the lock? Do you park outside and does the driver's side get hit with wind/rain/sleet? Try positioning the car so that the driver's side is protected.
  • Yes the car is outside, along with my Camry and every other car on the block. No others ever had this problem. Like I said, not only can you not use the key but the lock button will also not flip.
  • I took my wife's '03 RAV04 in for the third time to fix the dash-rattle. Upon closer inspection, I was told later, that the noise seemed to be coming from behind the instrument panel, with either the air vent-tube or other plastic parts
    clanging together. The NVH tech. took it this time and seemed to fix it right. So far, so good, after one week, no noise from the dash in hot-cold weather, or going over rough-smooth roads, or anything. My wife is elated finally, as these little noises drive her crazy. After the dealer-cowl fix, complete dash-removal and insulation, and instrument panel removal and insulation, it seems that this may have done the trick. If not, then at least I've got a well-insulated dash area. If you have similar noises
    under warranty insist that Toyota fix the problem.
    Don MCgill Toyota did for me. I know that the service advisor probably got sick of dealing with me, but he never denied hearing the noise and persisted with the tech. until it was fixed. Kudos to Don McGill for not denying a problem and recognizing that it should be fixed.
  • moesmoes Posts: 1
    I have a Toyota Rav D4.
    When I start the car the engine is stationary on 1500 and it drops and drops after a few minutes until the engine turns off.Can anyone help me or give me some information.
  • We have the same problem with my wifes '97 RAV4. Have not found a fix for it yet. Had a mechanic take apart the door and grease it up but it still froze latter that year. No solution found yet.
  • i believe that the 2002 rav 4 all wheel drive we have is experiencing the same symptoms ....have you resolved this issue?
  • jordijordi Posts: 1
    I need help and how.
    I have a Rav4,2004 auto. for more than a year this February. I loved the car and had no problem until last week. I was in a down town street parked waiting for my wife to buy something when I dicided to go to park someplace else near where she was shopping. I depressed the gas pedal to go slow, instead the car went forward accelereted like if I had step on the gas hard.
    Good thing no car was comming, otherwise it would have been an accident.
    I took my wife and went home very nervous. I did not tell her anything.
    Two days latter I went to do the groceries and when I was parking in the parking lot head in I tried to park right in the middle of the lines I was crooked I put the reverse and slightly deppress the gas pedal, my god the car accelerated even more than the first time hiting the left rear end against the firehydrant that was in back of me. This is only a second but I do not wish anybody to go through that. I applied the brakes and it was like if they did not exist, finnaly in terror I applied the hand brakes, almost to late.
    Since then the car is parked and I only go there every day to warm it up. I live in NJ and we are having snowfall almost every day.
    I made an appointment with the dealer for nex saturday, but I feel bad having to tell him that the car accelerated by itself, he might think I am nuts.
    Please advice me, I am even afraid to move the car now.
    I only have 3000 miles, mostly is city drive, my wife and I. We are both retired.
    I had a Matrix for a year before I traded it in for the Rav4, reason, two inches more front leg room. I am 6'4". I should have stayed with the Matrix.
    Please help me with this mess.
    Jordi Sama

    P.S Excuse my English, it is not my mother language.
  • cindyc,

    im from the philippines, and i have the same problems with my RAV4, really same as your case(engine sludge?). We have made some talks with our dealer here but they do not seem to care. Our RAV4 has only ran about 65,000 miles, just three year old. And now the engine is dead and we cannot use our RAV4 for 2 months already. What seems to be quite interesting with our case is that, the engine died out only around 15 days after its last periodic maintenance, the cause was engine sludge. We really dont know for sure yet if its accumulated engine sludge or it was just really because the engine of our RAV4 was really prone to engine sludge. To think that the one doing our periodic maintenance is the dealer, they should have spotted the problem or sludge before it got worse if they were really doing their job. By the way, they were using Amalie Oil. when the sludging happened. Is this a good quality oil? We are quite in limbo here because the dealer does not have any options but for us to pay for the repair or to change the engine. They were very cold and heartless the letter that they sent us.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    The NHTSA recently closed an investigation of unintended acceleration in several Toyota models. Aside from any possible mechanical malfunctions in your RAV4, is it possible your floor mats or footwear somehow interfered with proper operation of your gas pedal?

    tidester, host
  • rav4urav4u Posts: 21
    I read on one Toyota tech website that the sludge problem was a result of a redesign of the breathing system in the crankcase. The engines can't breathe well enough so sludge starts clinging to the parts. It has happened to vehicles that were well maintained according to the tech that runs the site. I thought Toyota had solved the problem, but hearing it resurfacing now is pretty disturbing. How long will it be before the resale value drops on Rav's? I hope I don't see it happening to the 2004's with the 2.4 liter engine.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    While you are still under warranty, your best protection is to get all of your oil changes at the most frequent recommended interval at a Toyota dealership. Their argument in the earlier sludge fiasco was that owners weren't changing their oil. If an owner had proof, they ignored it. They can't ignore it if they are the ones changing the oil and maintaining the vehicle.
  • Redo of Rav4 Coming for 2006 Model Year, All I have heard is that it will have a 285hp engine.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Toyotaguy2 : Do you mean a 185HP engine, as 285HP would be more powerful than most of the Toyota truck line ? Also, it would make the most powerful compact SUV bar-none and would even out-class some mid-large SUV's in power.
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