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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed new brake shoes at 54k miles. I belive the guy who installed the wheels back on the car maybe torqued the wheel too much.
What coolant should I use to do a complete DIY Coolant flush? I bought this car when I was 16 so I am really excited about her!!!
Do you also happen to know what part number the AC Hoses are? My A/C is broken and the compressor works, so I am guessing that there is no refrigerant in the system.
Thanks,
rav4 1
 

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'99 RAV4.1, 3MZ-FE, E250F 4x4, Torsen Dif
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I installed new brake shoes at 54k miles. I belive the guy who installed the wheels back on the car maybe torqued the wheel too much.
What coolant should I use to do a complete DIY Coolant flush? I bought this car when I was 16 so I am really excited about her!!!
Do you also happen to know what part number the AC Hoses are? My A/C is broken and the compressor works, so I am guessing that there is no refrigerant in the system.
Thanks,
rav4 1
Getting 1/2, 3/8. and 1/4 inch torque wrenches are good to keep on hand. I always re-torque my wheels after someone messes with them because they usually just use an impact wrench at a shop and over torque the lugnuts bigtime.

Coolant, I usually just use regular Prestone antifreeze and distilled water not the 5 year stuff because you should flush your radiator every 2 years because the coolant becomes acidic causing corrosion issues and the lubricants/anti-corrosives tend to breakdown. I dilute it with distilled water depending on where I am either 70/30 (in a very cold environment or 50/50 anywhere else. ONLY USE DISTILLED WATER when diluting antifreeze, tap and well water usually has a lot of minerals and chemicals in them that is not good for the cooling system.

See http://www.rav4world.com/forums/83-4-1-general/257858-easy-parts-searches.html for your A/C hoses
 

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Do you also happen to know what part number the AC Hoses are? My A/C is broken and the compressor works, so I am guessing that there is no refrigerant in the system.
Thanks,
rav4 1
The AC system has a low pressure limit switch that won't let it run if the Freon level is too low.
If the compressor runs and the system is not cooling then you could just be low on Freon. With the AC set to max cooling are you seeing bubbles or streaks in the sight-glass?
The sight-glass is a small glass lens that lets you see into your AC system, on the Rav4 it is on top of the dryer in the left front corner of the engine bay. Adding Freon to a system that is just low, is easy.

If you do need to replace a hose, after removing the Freon from the system(requires expensive equipment) you will need to pull a vacuum and remove all the air from the system, before installing new Freon. This is not usually a beginners DIY job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Where is the dryer that you are talking about? Is it next to the battery? Can you send me a picture of the sight glass lens?
Thanks,
rav4 1
 

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It would be hard to take a picture that would mean much as it is a hard part to see.
On mine the battery is the right rear of the engine bay, right side of the car and toward the rear of the car.
Follow the AC line across behind the radiator and it drops down by the overflow tank you will see it go behind an electrical connector, look toward the front of the car, right next to the connector, and you can barely see the sight-glass. Left front of the car sort of between the radiator and the headlight, just back a little. Just enough room for you and a flashlight to look down at the glass.
 

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I agree with Roundabout: your best bet likely is to check the refrigerant level. This is very easy -- and there are two routes you could go, depending on how much you want to spend.

The cheaper route (about $20) is to buy a can of R-134a recharge at Walmart or Advance Auto or wherever (a product such as "EZ-Chill") that has a little pressure gauge on it. There are videos on youtube and on the manufacturer websites regarding how to use these products, but basically you'll just locate the LOW pressure port (gray cap marked "L"), start the engine, turn on the AC, and check the pressure via the low pressure port when the compressor is running. Since you mentioned that your compressor works but isn't running, then you can just add a little refrigerant; if the compressor is disabled by the low-pressure kill switch, then it will kick on for very short spurts as you add refrigerant (and thus disengage the switch).

At that point, you'll know the compressor is okay, but the refrigerant is low. Add refrigerant, while monitoring the pressure when the compressor is running. The pressure will draw down significantly as the compressor runs, and will kill again around 22 psi: be aware that the Rav4's compressor runs on rather short cycles by design, so don't expect it to run continuously, and don't be fooled by this cycling into adding more R-134a than needed! The low side pressure range is 22.8 - 36.3 psi when the compressor is running.

The more expensive route entails the same process, but just requires more precise equipment (long term, this is probably a better way). This route is to go ahead and buy a AC manifold gauge for $50 or so, which will allow you to check both high and low side pressures (again, there are plenty of videos of this process on youtube), and which will allow you to use pure R-134a cans for refilling. The advantages of the gauge set are that you can add pure R-134a and/or compressor oil in a more controlled fashion. (I'm [pretty sure that anything you buy as a "recharge kit" such as EZ-Chill or AC Pro or whatever will have additives, including compressor oil; this is good or bad, depending). If you are going to try to replace any AC components yourself, you'll need to buy the manifold gauge anyway because you'll have to do a full discharge and re-charge. I agree with Roundabout that such an undertaking isn't exactly a beginners DIY, and there are environmental rules for refrigerant collection.

Regarding the coolant, I recommend to use only the Toyota Long-Life "Factory Red" Coolant, part number 00272-1LLAC-01. I say this because I am, honestly, just a Toyota fluids fanatic. I also think that Toyota seals are ultra-finicky and that Toyota fluids are premium and totally worth the extra money. The Toyota coolant last for years and years, so its worth the extra $5 or $10. Please note that this is not the Toyota "Super Long Life" Coolant, which is pink, and which is a pre-diluted, and which is not appropriate for 4.1's. You'll need the non-diluted Red "Long Life" Coolant.

I also think that using a non-diluted coolant is actually much easier than using a pre-diluted (or 50/50) because you're not going to get all the coolant out, even if you bother to open the block drain (if you want to open the block drain, its on the left rear side of the block -- but I wouldn't bother messing with it if its not leaking). You can save yourself the trouble and get a full flush by just doing this:

1.) Get 10 gallons of distilled water (as eodgator mentioned, this is very important).
2.) If your coolant level with your old coolant is perfect and you know its bled, skip to #3. If its low or you don't know that its bled, bleed it (Lisle funnel recommended, see the DIY below) and add distilled water till you know it is at the proper level -- "proper level" means the coolant will be right up to the "throat" of the radiator opening, about an inch down from the very top where you fasten the cap when the coolant is cool.
3.) Open the radiator drain valve and record the volume of what you drain. Don't bother with the block drain. You should get about a gallon (3.8 liters) or so.
4.) Refill with distilled water, run the engine to normal temp to open the thermostat and heater core, shut it down, and drain again. Refill and drain doing this process till the distilled water is coming out clean and doesn't smell sweet.
5.) Calculate how much undiluted coolant you need to add: the system capacity is 8.0 liters for manuals and 7.7 liters for automatics. Subtract the volume you recorded in step #3 from the capacity, and that's how much distilled water will still be in the system. For example, if you have an automatic and you got about a gallon (3.8 liters) from radiator, then you know that 3.9 L of water are in the block (7.7L - 3.8L = 3.9L). That's pretty close to 50% water, so just add 3.8L of pure coolant and you'll be just under 50/50. If you want a higher mix, then run the engine again and drain a little of what's been mixed, and add a little more pure coolant (you can do math to get it right where you want it). Then, add 50/50 mixed coolant to the reservoir so its mid-way between the high and low marks.

Here is a DIY for replacing the thermostat, which is a process that requires a coolant drain, so you can see the radiator drain point and coolant system bleeding process:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-...e-your-thermostat-get-your-cab-heat-back.html

Please note that it is very important to bleed the system for 20 to 30 minutes after refilling -- you'll be surprised how many little bubbles can hide around that little block. Also, if you have an original radiator cap, I would recommend you replace it at this time: I just had to replace a failed cap on my '00 (17 years ain't bad!) and replaced the cap on a '99 as a precaution. The part number is 16401-7A470 for the 98+, and a lot of people on this forum who have the '96, '97 have switched to the '98+ part because its a 1.1 bar instead of 0.9 bar cap.
A good place to buy Toyota parts is Local Parts | Local Parts Shop - Auto Parts online wholesale parts - accessories -- they have really good prices.
Good luck and have fun with your Rav!
 
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