Toyota RAV4 Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Toyota RAV4

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Toyota RAV4 Problems

Automatic Transmission May Not Shift Correctly at High Mileages

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

Software update to correct false catalytic converter failure

Toyota released a software update to fix a problem that caused the Check Engine Light to come on. Before the update, the computer would report a problem with the catalytic converter when there wasn't one.

Rough Running Conditions and Smoke From Exhaust

The head gasket may fail due to a defect in manufacturing of the cylinder block.

On this vehicle, the head bolts are known to pull the threads out of the engine block, allowing the head to slightly lift, and causing head gasket failure. Symptoms may include:

  • Overheating
  • White smoke from exhaust
  • Rough running conditions and/or inability to start or idle
  • White or cream colored oil on dipstick
  • Check engine light 
  • OBD Trouble Codes P2181, P0300

When the head gasket fails, the bolt holes for the head bolts must be repaired before the cylinder head can be remounted. 

This issue is not always preventable, but to help avoid it, never run the engine if the engine temperature is ever above the normal range. 

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Toyota RAV4 Questions

My car revs but no speed is it the clutch or throttle cable (1 answer)

256000 miles

WhY won't my brake lights go out after engine is off (1 answer)

Brake lights are staying on after I turn off car.

Please advise me as to how to remove my back seats. (1 answer)

I would like to know how to get my two back seats out. They are suppose to come out without any screw drivers or any other tool.

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Toyota RAV4 Recalls

Rear Suspension Arms Loosen And Fail

The rear tie rod adjusting lock nuts may not have been properly tightened after servicing. The rear arms may loosen and fail as a result. Dealers will replace both rear suspension arms and encapsulate the lock nuts free of charge to resolve the concern.

Seat Heater Wiring Shorts And Causes Fire

For vehicles equipped with aftermarket accessory seat heaters, the seat heater elements may short circuit when the seat cushion is compressed, and result in a fire hazard. Dealers will disconnect the seat heaters and refund the purchase price of the seat heaters free of charge to resolve the concern,

Load Carrying Capacity Label Incorrect

The vehicle certification label may indicate the improper load carrying capacity rating for the vehicle. This is because accessories were added to them after the vehicle was built, changing the available load that the vehicle can handle carrying. Vehicle owners will be provided a corrected label and dealers will aid in installing them free of charge to resolve the concern.

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Toyota RAV4 Reviews

I purchased my 2003 Rav 4 in 2006 with just over 30k miles. It had/has been maintained as recommended. It is a 5 speed manual transmission, which I have driven for more than 30 years of experience driving. I have had to replace two catalytic converters, an O2 sensor, a rear barring, the clutch, and now it is making a rattling noise. Each time I have not wanted to take on a new car payment, but ...
2014 RAV had the RAV at the coast for 2 weeks the rear brakes developed rust so that a continuous low thumping was heard when applying the brakes. Dealer said it was a problem for them on the coast. Cost $140 to have them polish the rust off-after that no thumping. Probably cheap china part.
Just completed two years with the car. Have 20,000 miles on it now and no issues. MPG has been 30 on highway and 26 combined and 20 intown driving

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