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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Babson, Thanks for the info. I'll give him a shot and i'll let you all know what happens.
  • I had a 1997 REV and had no trouble at all with it. I liked the new 2001 so I got one. I have had the rattle in the dash worked on three times, a rattle in the rear speakers worked on once, the power door locks have not worked twice for me I have had them checked but nothing repaired. The ride is hard and the wind makes driving hard difficult at times. The motor does not run very well when cold it acts like a motor with a choke that is set wrong had this worked on but no help. The trans. does not shift into high for quite awhile unless I speed the REV up to 45 mph or more. The trans shifts down when I put on the brakes going down a hill and will not shift back up until I speed up to 45 mph or more. The dealer told me when I bought the REV that it had driving lights and that I could get a roof rack for it but when I got it home I found that it did not have driving lights and I also found out that I could not get roof racks for it. The dealer will do nothing about this. I bought the REV from a dealer in York PA. Has anyone else had any of these problems and have they had any luck getting them fixed. Sad in PA.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Re Newton post #64

    You might try going to

    A lot of people posting there have the dash rattle problem. Some have had it resolved, and they can tell you about the Tech Service Bulletin Toyota put out on this problem.

    Also addressed there are hard ride, roof racks, and cold idle speed.

    About the hard ride, check your tire pressure. It should be 29 lbs psi, but a lot of RAVs leave the dealer's over-inflated (mine were over 45 all around). It seems Toyota puts a lot of air in the tires for the boat ride over to the US to avoid flat-spotting the tires, and the dealers aren't checking this before selling the RAVs. Getting the pressure right might cure your problem. It has worked for others.

    Good luck.


  • dwrichadwricha Posts: 24
    To Dimka448, Thank you for providing that informative website. I will be well better informed on buying a new car for my wife. She currently has a 1993 Honda Prelude in which we purchased new. It has 145K miles and I have to admit, it runs strong and it's in excellent shape.
    I have a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser and I personally wouldn't consider any other SUV out there except a Land Cruiser or Lexus LX470. Now that my wife has mentioned that she really like the Toyota Rav4, being that the Prelude is in great shape, I'm thinking that it maybe time to start researching, and so far, I'm very impressed with the Rav4 and Toyota's build quality,not to mention, the more important safety features of the Rav4. Toyota's don't come cheap and if you're not an informative consumer, some dealers will try and drain you for every dollar they can get out of you. So it's best to do your homework before walking into a dealer to negotiate a price.
    I see a lot of positive from you owners of the Rav4 and that's a good sign for me to start looking into trading in the Prelude for the Rav4 and not get taken. This email is just to thank all of you Rav4 owners that has provided enough infomation to help in my decision making process, in choosing this particular vehicle. They hold their value, and they are build well, I can see this with my Land Cruiser. Thanks to you all!!!!!
    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!!!!
  • I have recently had a problem with my 1998 RAV4. I noticed that my speedometer was getting quite jumpy and after a while, the speedometer didn't get over 30mph. During a snow storm I put my truck into 4WD and when I got home, I couldn't disengage it. I took the truck to the dealership for service and they told me that the speed sensor needed to be replaced and that was tied into the problem with disengaging 4WD. Unfortunately, I have replaced the speed sensor and the truck still isn't fixed. The dealership is now telling me that the transmission needs to be fixed. Please let me know if you or anyone you know has had this problem.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    You also might try the Forum.1 (first generation RAVs) section over at

    (or are they backslashes? I forget.)

    Between that site and this one, you may find your answer.

    Good luck with a fix.


  • dyasudadyasuda Posts: 1
    Just wanted to send out two very big thank yous because I just picked up my Titanium Silver 5-speed 4x4 RAV4 Limited last Friday. The first one is to Dianne, the Carson (California) Toyota fleet dealer who gave me a great deal. She beat Edmund's TMV by a whole bunch! Couldn't find any car buying services on the internet that could beat her price. Not only did she give me a great price, but she made the whole process as easy on me as possible and never tried to sell me any extras at the end of the deal. For a first time new car buyer, she couldn't have made the whole process any easier on me. Thank you to Nader too, who works with her. The other big thank you is to all of you for the endless amounts of invaluable information that is provided in these discussions here on I could never have confidently made a deal on this car without all the knowledge that all you out there supplied to me. Thank you everyone!
  • I am in the market to buy my first brand new car. Mine has recently been totalled in a rear end collision. The problem is that a good friend of mine said he could get me a 2001 RAV 4 with a ton of options for $21,000. This is a great price (only about $500 over what the dealer pays). However, I am a law student that won't graduate until the end of the month. I also don't have a job lined up. The payments that I could possibly afford would have to be extended overa 60 or even 72 month finance period, which he said he could do. I would be able to buy the car out at any time without a penalty, and could refinance at any time. I guess I am just leary of buying a car over 5 or 6 years, but I don't want to pass up this good of a deal on a car that I really like. What would any of you do in this situation?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    In your situation, I hope I'd have the patience to wait. If you need to look at a loan with a 72 month term, maybe you can't really afford it. Debt can be a killer; it really eats up a lot of people.

    Who knows, a year from now you might have a decent income and be able to afford a new RAV (if that's still what you want), and they might be going for dealer's invoice at the end of a month, model year, or such.

    Maybe you could consider picking up a low-mileage used vehicle for now, one coming off lease after 3 years or so, which would be much more affordable. And if you want to sell it in a year to buy something new, you won't have to take a big depreciation hit.

    Sorry if I am coming off as too sensible. I know what it is like to have a new car jones.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I'd buy a used beater if I had to have a ride (esp. if I had student loans too) and get my job and rent under control first. Great car deals come down the pike every 5 minutes. Hey, you asked for opinions:-)

    OT, this link link may be of interest.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Board
  • argo77argo77 Posts: 3
    I've had my new RAV4 with automatic transmission about three weeks now. I've noticed a hesitation on a couple of occasions now when I re-accelerate. The engine is not cold. Is this due to the the "newness" of the vehicle or should I have this checked out?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "rugged bumpers"?
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    argo77, what do you mean by 're-accelerate'?

    I also have an '01 auto trans RAV. I've noticed that a few times when I've slowed down from cruising speed, then tried to speed up again (re-accelerate?), the RAV doesn't readily respond. It seems like the maybe the tranny stayed in 4th or 3rd gear, rather than downshifting. I'll have to pay attention next time as to what the speed is when this happens. Possibly the RAV is programmed to do this to some extent, for fuel economy. Is this the kind of thing you mean?
  • jeildjeild Posts: 8

    A bit more readable than the first link posted (that font is waaaay too small for me!), plus there's a nice picture of our beloved RAV getting its rear window smashed... (ouch!!).

    I just want to find out everyone's reaction after reading this article. Were you aware of this when you bought the car? I know I was... I saw those crash tests on TV and even though I knew RAV had this problem, I was willing to live with it, as long as I had the full spare when I get a flat.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Wow. Looks like a very expensive fix. I hope my crash luck holds up (knock wood). I've never plowed into anything (knock wood). And I've never been rear-ended (knock wood) other than a tap.

    I still like the vehicle, very much. I don't know if having the bumper bash info before my purchase would have kept me from buying my '01 RAV4. I did call my insurance agent before buying, and found the rates reasonable. But who knows? They may rise now.

    I do hope that occupant safety was a prime consideration when designing the RAV. I am told that generally Toyota does pretty well in this department.

  • argo77argo77 Posts: 3
    Exactly right on my terminology. I have
    experienced this on slowing down to make a turn. Thanks for you reply.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    argo77, #73 & #79

    Yeah, I understand. I'd like to be able to anticipate when this bogging down / locked tranny feeling will happen, so I can hit the Overdrive Off button, and at least be sure I have 3rd gear available. I can't drive like a fiend the way it is!

  • jeildjeild Posts: 8
    I think the article was meant more for the insurance companies than for rating the safety of the vehicle. Getting very expensive repairs on the car versus bodily injury in a crash are two distinct things. It seems to me that the trend nowadays is that vehicles have "crumple zones" rather than bumpers that withstand impact (I'd rather have the vehicle absorb all the impact than being whiplashed by bouncing off of something). The only thing safety-wise that I'm disappointed in is the lack of side airbags (I heard even Echo comes with this as standard equipment).
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    jeild post #81

    I agree with you about the bumper bash and how it may not adversely affect personal safety (even possibly enhance it), but I wish I could be sure that Toyota intentionally traded off bumper damage for energy absorption via crush zones, to protect occupants.
    Or was the bumper bash test damage strictly the result of Toyota's cost-cutting?
    I sure hope the results of this bumper bash do not cause my insurance rates to go up, but I really think they will.
  • kwh66kwh66 Posts: 1
    My wife and I have been looking for a vehicle to replace her old, beat up '89 Honda Civic. We started with the Subaru Forester, the Honda CRV, the Mazda Tribute, and the RAV. Each vehicle had compelling strengths as well as weaknesses (actually, I hated the CRV all around). We loved the pep of the Forester, but it was too small and, in my opinion, an ergonomic dud (cupholders and controls poorly positioned, lateral leg room was poor up front). We loved the relative spaciousness of the Tribute, but prefer manual transmissions over automatic. In the Tribute, if you want a 5-speed, you have to settle for the base model with it's puny 130hp engine. So, we test drove a Tribute LX V6 automatic (200hp). Again, we HATE auto trans for the same reasons that are mentioned by others above. The Tribute (automatic) was no fun to drive, but we kept it as a standby should we not have any luck getting a RAV.

    We spent more than two months trying to find a 5-speed, 4WD RAV4L with ABS, no leather, no sunroof, 5-spoke alloy wheels, roof rack, and keyless entry. The 5-speed, ABS combo proved very difficult to find in my region (I live in central New Jersey). On a trip to my credit union to get my financing, I mentioned our difficulty to the loan officer, and she recommended we check out Bob Ciasulli Toyota on Rte. 36 in Eatontown. That was this past Saturday. It's Wednesday evening and our new RAV4L is sitting in the driveway as I type this! If you're in the area and are looking for a hard to find RAV, stop by there and see Marv Badach. He found and delivered what we wanted in no time. Because of the demand in our area, dealers aren't moving much, but we worked out a deal for $22,500. I can live with that. Let's hope we're spared the rattles and vibrations others have had.

    P.S. I test drove an automatic RAV4L and knew that I would rather pass on the RAV altogether than settle for the auto trans. It just didn't cut it.
  • rav4ravirav4ravi Posts: 1
    I saw this forum and immediately become a member to share my experience.

    I also face this problem of re-acceleration.(Refer #75). How to avoid this behavior ? Whether Toyota knows about this ? Shall we ask Toyota ? Whether it is fuel economical to use cruise control for short distances (say 5 miles)?

    My feelings:
    1.I am proud of having a RAV4 which is my first vehicle purchased in USA
    2.RAV4 '01 is not having the thermometer which the lower end models (Carolla) have.
    3.The spare tyre seems to be difficult to remove (even with 2 people)
    4.The mudguards could not prevent the mud splashing over the body
  • scnamescname Posts: 296
    Hi: I'd like to get an age sampling of RAV4 owners. I'm 44, male, don't plan to buy the RAV4 because it looks like a teenager' car. Everything else about RAV4 is very good.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Hi rav4ravi,

    Welcome to Town Hall (I like your user name <g>).

    Until another owner steps in with some replies to your questions, you may want to look around the Recalls, Technical Service Bulletins, and Other Good Stuff links for other info about your RAV4.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    scname, post #85, reply re age:
    I have an '01 RAV4; I am 51 (and I look it, alas).

    You really think it looks like a teenager's car?
    Someone else here (maybe you?) told a shopper not to buy a RAV if you are an "old" guy, that you'd just look silly. Harumph.

    At first I thought the new RAV looked like a third-world truck (Malaysian?), but the styling grew on me, and I bought it. No regrets.

  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Age - my brother has a 2001 rav4 and he's around 44.
  • gsogymratgsogymrat Posts: 97
    Has anyone towed with their RAV4? I test drove a 4x2 L and was pretty impressed. I have a small pop-up camper and I would like to be sure that it could pull it.
  • I have sold rav's to people from 18 to 73 and they all buy it for diffrent reasons. You just have to figure out if it is right for you
  • Most of my CA Rav4 buyers are 18-35. Oddly enough, the out of state buyers for me for Ravs are older.

  • engageengage Posts: 5
    I am intending on test driving a Rav4 but am wondering about how roomy the driver's seat is.

    I am Six foot three inches tall and am wondering if someone with my height can comfortably fit into this car (I tried to test drive a Ford Escape for instance any my legs couldn't fit under the steering wheel). Any comments and/or sharing of experiences would be appreciated.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    re engage, post #92

    I am 5'11", and have long legs (although I seem to favor sitting a bit more forward than most people my height). Anyway, I find my '01 RAV has enough legroom for me. I have the steering column and wheel adjusted most of the way up. Seat comfort on a 4-hour ride was decent (and I have a bad back).
    FYI, rear legroom is pretty good too. I checked that out because when I go out with friends, I like to drive, and I wanted them to fit comfortably in the back seat. Good ingress/egress.
    Headroom is very good (although I do not have a sunroof). And the console storage compartment lid provides a good-enough right armrest (unlike the Tribute and CR-V).
    Happy hunting.
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