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The blue smoke is a well know problem with the head gasket for RAV4. However, I am not loosing any oil, but the Coolant is very dirty (brownish to black). Does anyone know what maybe causing this? Do I need to do a engine swap or is it just rubber gasket needs to be changed.

BTW, yesterday my car was shaking and it stalled when I was in stop and go situation.

Thanks,

Joan
 

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abstractj said:
The blue smoke is a well know problem with the head gasket for RAV4. However, I am not loosing any oil, but the Coolant is very dirty (brownish to black). Does anyone know what maybe causing this? Do I need to do a engine swap or is it just rubber gasket needs to be changed.

BTW, yesterday my car was shaking and it stalled when I was in stop and go situation.

Thanks,

Joan
Blue smoke at startup is more indicative of valve seals....which seems to be a common problem....
If you're concerned about the motor and you think you're coolant and oil are mixing, you may want to get a compression test done and then a leakdown if necessary.... also get an oil change and possibly flush the coolant.. when was the last time you had oil change or coolant flushed ???.
Also, you could check before starting up the car , open the oil cap and look and see if the oil looks any different... it would look like chocolate milk and possibly start caking on the oil cap if the coolant and oil were mixing together....

Just my .02 cents....
 
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The blue smoke start up is fairly common on our RAVs. But, that black/brown coolent has got to go!! And if not already, change to a synthtic oil, or high-miliage type, it has solved the problem for some. :wink: Just an idea... 8)
 
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Yeah, most here have mentioned something with the blue puff. I tried something called AutoRX, which many of it's users have mentioned did great things for leaking valve seals, but not for me. :( I think it's a design flaw based on the material used to construct the seals...

Recently, the puff seems to have lessened and I'm currently attributing that to the Shell Rotella 5w40 oil I'm running in there now...

Now, the best way to check for coolant in the oil, IMO, is to run an oil analysis. Google up a company called Blackstone Labs, they are who I use and they'll tell you more than you want to know about your oil. Alternatively, if you have a shop, they might have the test strips that can test for ethylene glycol in the oil...not sure what percentage those register at though...

In any case, you need to get that coolant out of there. I'm wary of flushes, either forced water or chemical. You should really change your coolant every two years or so. Just drain and refill...you might have to do this a few times in order to get everything out...

Shaking and stalling...well, tuneup? Water in the fuel? Bad coolant temp sensor? Start with the easy stuff...

Bogatyr
 
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I was told my mechanic that they have a new method of changing the valve stem without pull the whole block off. They were going to charge me $450 for it. I guess they've recently done it for a Camery. I might consider it when my Rav4 gets really bad.

Oh as for the shaking and stalling I guess it was a bad spark plug wire and distributor cap needs changing. Hope it's not a hard job.
 
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valve seals...i encourage you to replace the seals or have a professional do it. :wink:
 

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abstractj said:
I was told my mechanic that they have a new method of changing the valve stem without pull the whole block off. They were going to charge me $450 for it. I guess they've recently done it for a Camery. I might consider it when my RAV4 gets really bad.
Did they tell you what the new method was exactly?
 
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abstractj said:
...Oh as for the shaking and stalling I guess it was a bad spark plug wire and distributor cap needs changing. Hope it's not a hard job.
No problem. :) Changing the wires, and cap is pretty easy to change on our RAVs. Also, you might want to think about new plugs while your doing it too. :wink:
 
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New method... :roll:

While I have seen a new tool out there that retains the valve when changing the seal, there is always the "rope" method. Just stuff as much rope as you can into the combustion chamber to keep the valves from dropping down past the point where you can't retrieve them...

Bogatyr
 
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Hi guys, long time. I think I might be able to help you out on this.

The blue puff of smoke does not neccesarily mean the RAV4 is consuming oil. It just mean the mixture in the cylinders are too rich at start up. For real consumption of oil, a white smoke is the real deal.

The shims in the RAV4's 3S-FE engines are pretty tough and can run for up to 200,000km without replacing. Generally, replacing them is a no go unless you want your head gasket replace as well and give the entire engine seals a good replace.

As the engine gets older and wears out a bit more, use thicker synthetic engine oil. Like Castrol RS 10W-60, Mobil1 5W-50, Penzoil Synthetic 5W-50. These are pretty good for high mileage engines, and once you've used it, you will realise the engine will be a lot quieter as well.
 

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The oil filter in the RAV4 has a rubber prevent flow-back. I have found when I start seeing a little smoke, if I change the oil and oil filter (use Toyota filter and 10W-30 oil), the smoke goes away for a while. Make sure you use the right filter type for each year as they changed filters in one year.
 
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kidong said:
The blue puff of smoke does not neccesarily mean the RAV4 is consuming oil. It just mean the mixture in the cylinders are too rich at start up. For real consumption of oil, a white smoke is the real deal..
Don't think so - blue smoke for oil - black is overfueling - white can be condensation , on a turbo car it is oil burning post combustion (ie: in the turbo exhaust)

Blue at start up means a slight leak that collects in the cylinders - rings - but generally from valve guides

I agree though it ain't worth worying about - I think people see less of a problem with synthetics as they tend to burn cleaner
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Bluish smoke at the start is a common problem. Can't fix it. Oil residue. But if blue smoke continues even with a warm engine. It's the valve stem shims. You need 16 of them. Have the entire engine remove and new head gasket, shims as well. Big money.
 
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