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#1 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 11:36 AM
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Radiator flush?

My mom had my 1998 Rav4 for about 4-5 years before I had it. I've had it for about 2 years and in the 4-5 years my mom had it, I highly doubt she got the radiator flushed and filled with fresh fluids. It has almost 114K miles on it now. Is it a good idea to go ahead and do this? Should I wait until summer? What other things should be flushed out and freshly topped off? I never realized that my mom never really took care of the car.

I had the spark plugs and wires were replaced in late winter/early spring of 2007 and timing belt was replaced (yet in good condition) at 96k miles in October of 2006.
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:55 PM
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Do it!
I used the same toyota coolant in my rav, as I had to replace the radiator in a camry we had, it was plugged up from old or mixed coolants, to the point it boiled the coolant and blew the hoses off.
It was owned by a friend of my son's, then my son had it, then I got it.
It was a real mess, but it runs like a top now, we sold it to a friend of my wifes son...250,000 miles and it does not leak or burn oil, the auto trans shifts like new.
Even the AC gets cold enough to freeze you out...
My son got it for $250.00, I got it for $250.00, we sold it for $250.00....


So that is why I used the Toyota coolant in the rav, and flushed it out good with water.
The coolant wears out, prevents corrosion and rust, and lubes the water pump seal.

Also do the trans lube, differential lubes, and brake fluid.

A little maintanance and the rav will do 300,000 miles no problem.

Brett
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 06:21 PM
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How much do you think all of that will cost me? The lubes and fluids and the labor at a dealership? I know dealerships are overpriced.. WAY overpriced.. My mom takes her 4Runner to the dealerships to get everything done (even a friggin oil change.. no thanks) so its kind of engrained in me.
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:12 PM
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I cant say, as I do all my own work.
I did timing belt (full job with water pump and rollers), rear shocks, all the fluids changed, new belts, new front brakes (disks and pads), new fuel pump and filter, and new tires, plus undercoating and painting under the rav.
Tires were the most expensive things at about $400.00.
The rest of the stuff cost me about another $400.00.

It drives like a new rav, and I dont expect any problems for 90,000 miles.

Besides the tires, the dealer cost would likely be about $1500.00?
Maybe more...

And they might not actualy do all the work...

But with maintanance, Toyota's will run a real long time...

Brett
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 10:00 PM
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At 114K, I can already say that my car is outrunning a lot of other cars out there. I love my Toyota and I actually looked into a Dodge at one point (trading in the Rav) and then quickly realized this was a stupid mistake.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 10:25 PM
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Doing your own maintaience is fine, but be prepared to squezee and twist your fingers/hand/arm into places and ways your fingers/hand/arm can't fit or naturaly reach into. I hate working on my Rav beacuse of this. I guess im too used to Jeeps and 4 wheel drives....I can fit the top portion of my body into engine bays from under-neath! and sit down instead of laying down to work on transmissions! Just be prepared to work in odd ways when working on your Rav, and good luck.

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#7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 07:57 AM
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Its best to get a car that has a 4 cylinder engine, but was also sold with a 6, they have loads of room under the hood and are a joy to work on (camry).
The rav was never designed for a 6, so its tight but not bad, you just have to remove stuff to get at things, most cars are like this now.

I like the small size, it lets us get through some really small trails in the woods where a big 4wd would not get through, at least not without its mirrors attached and any paint left on the sides....

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#8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: Radiator flush?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeAnn
My mom had my 1998 Rav4 for about 4-5 years before I had it. I've had it for about 2 years and in the 4-5 years my mom had it, I highly doubt she got the radiator flushed and filled with fresh fluids. It has almost 114K miles on it now. Is it a good idea to go ahead and do this? Should I wait until summer? What other things should be flushed out and freshly topped off? I never realized that my mom never really took care of the car.

I had the spark plugs and wires were replaced in late winter/early spring of 2007 and timing belt was replaced (yet in good condition) at 96k miles in October of 2006.
I can actually give you an almost exact price quote right now. My dealership is pretty close the the average, but its still probably not going to have the same labor as yours, so the prices will be close but not exact.

1. radiator flush (BG-brand flush system) kit is 39.99 and its about .8 hours labor @ $100/hr = $119.99
2. spark plugs depend on milage and driving style, so they will have to be checked, but its about 30$ for the wires, and 25$ for the plugs, and its .5 labor for all of it = 105$
3. toyota says to replace t-belts every 90k miles, so your good.

all in all, your looking at just under 230$ for the plugs, wires, and coolant flush. personally, id say just flush it yourself. go to walmart and get a prestone flush kit and save yourself the money. same with the plugs and wires, they are some of the EASIEST parts to change yourself. im sure one of us can walk you through it, too.

as you can see, parts are pretty cheap (well, considering what your getting), its the labor that really kills the price. i know, its a real pain. it really annoys the hell out of me too, seeing as how they charge customers that much on labor, and we dont really get any of it, its all going to the dealership.

other things id say look at are going to be your brake fluid and bleeding your brakes, transmission fluid, and check over your suspension. other than that, you should be looking pretty good.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 10:18 AM
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The wires and spark plugs were actually changed almost exactly 1 yr ago. I'm also wondering about my transmission.. I just really want things to be in tip top shape, or as close to tip top as possible. My fiance says not to get it flushed (tranny) because if no one has done it in a really long time, then it will knock particles loose and ruin my transmission.. This sounds a little weird to me.
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 11:00 AM
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I dont like any flush fluids, I just flush the coolant system out with water, I pull the lower radiator hose off and let it pour out, it takes any sediment with it.

The acids and so on they use in the flush fluids are not needed unless things are really bad, then they wont do much, its a lot better to dump the coolant every 5 years and replace it with the same type coolant.
You dump the coolant, fill with water, run the engine till its warm, not hot, then dump the water, then add the 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water.

On an automatic trans, I like to remove the pan, clean the magnets that collect steel, replace the filter, and top up with new atf of the same brand that is in there.
I go with the OEM atf, as most transmissions these days work best with it, generic stuff may give hard or sloppy shifts.
I did the above on the camry at 220,000 miles on it, and with more than 250,000 miles on it now, it still shifts like a new car.


Then, you can drain the trans every year or so and top up with new fluid, that is about 3 quarts.

I do not like the rip off flush services where they mess with your hoses and pump the old stuff out and new stuff in, that does not clean the filter, or magnets, and can disturb stuff that gets into the valves in the trans, plus you may screw up the hoses, and they charge a lot.


For manual transmissions and differentials, I would change the gear lube every 5 years or so, using the weights the maker recomends, buut I like Mobil 1 synthetic stuff.

I get crap (mostly from shop owners or people who make money from it) by saying I never use any sort of fuel injector/system cleaner.
I have had many cars and trucks go over 150,000 miles without ever using anything, and they run fine and pass inspection no problem.
That is another rip off in my book, as are alignments most times.
Unless you have odd tire wear, or some problem, I would not let them touch it.
I KNOW there are shops around here that give you nice before and after printouts, and do nothing at all to the car.


Brett
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