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Discussion Starter #1
I have an almost 10 year old (90,000 miles) 2010 Limited RAV4 with 4x4. I've never really used the 4x4 mode before. My pickup truck friends told me I should be running it in 4x4 at least once a month (never heard of this but makes sense). Should I even bother at this point after 10 years.

Also, should I get my front / rear differential oils and transfer case oil changed at this point? (manual says to "inspect" these oils at every interval which is silly for people who don't tow or use 4x4.). Thanks!!
-Mark
Chesapeake, VA
 

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Your 4WD would kick in if the car sense the rear wheel is slipping. This would happen if you are driving in rain, snow, mud, etc. You can turn it on to see if the light come on and test the traction. Most of the time your car will be using just the front wheels like a FWD car.

The owners manual for the US RAV4 do not come with the Owners Manual Supplement which the Canadian models do. In this manual it tells you when to change the fluids for the transmission, rear differential and transfer case.

Every 48 months/64,000 km you need to change the t/c and r/d.
In severe conditions change every 24 months/36,000 km if towing, driving short trips, dusty road or mountainous roads.

ATF change every 72 months/96,000 km.But I would change it around 60,000km so the ATF stays healthier. The transmission is the second most expensive part to replace so you decide if you want to spend more.
 

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Actually the 4WD comes on every time you shift into any gear and stays on until it's not needed whether or not you engage the LOCK button which keeps it on until 25 mph. Otherwise on dry pavement it goes off shortly after the car gets moving. Under slippery or higher throttle conditions it stays on at higher speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! Had no idea it engaged like that under normal driving conditions. Now with 90k miles I wish I've been changing the various oils more regularly.
 

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At 90k you should be OK. Just change your fluids. You can do a complete ATF change yourself in an hour or two.

The 4wd kicks in any time you put it in gear or accelerate from a stop.

The reason truck owners say to use it once in a while is because they can disable the front driveshaft and it will no longer rotate. This makes it more prone to rusting up than our driveshaft which is always turning. Our disconnect is only in the rear differential, but the shaft turns all the time anyway. I love it.
 
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