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Engine Coolant Replacement Interval and General Information for DIY Discussion

12288 Views 31 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Tazio Nuvolari
I've been reading a lot of different information about when one should change the engine coolant. After much research, below is what I've found. I'd love some constructive feedback from anyone who has experience with DIY engine coolant changes. This information may also be helpful to others when it's time for them to have their coolant replaced.

Interval: First change should be at 100,000 miles or 5 years (whichever comes first), after that, every 5 yrs. or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first)

Coolant: I'll be using Toyota OEM 50/50 Prediluted super long life antifreeze/coolant (pink cap)
OEM Toyota Coolant

Now for the questions I have....

1. Does anyone know how much coolant is needed for the Rav4H? The coolant is sold in 1 gallon jugs and I'd like to know how many I should have on hand before starting the process.I believe the car will take approx. 2 gallons.

2. I believe to drain the old coolant, we have to locate the radiator draincock which is typically found on the bottom of the radiator. I believe on the Rav4H it's actually connected to one of the hoses. Below is a picture of the draincock I believe needs to be opened to drain the old coolant. Can anyone confirm this?


3. Under the hood, there's two reservoirs nearby. As per the owner's manual (page 572-573), the one on the left is the engine coolant reservoir, and the one on the right is the power control unit coolant reservoir. Once I drain the coolant, do I need to add new coolant to both of these reservoirs or can I just add it to the engine coolant reservoir and it'll flow into the power control unit coolant reservoir as it fills?


4. Is there anything else I should know about engine coolant changes? I'm a newbie but I do know that you should never open the coolant cap on a hot or recently driven vehicle.

P.S. I've found "The car care nut" youtube challenge extremely helpful since the host is a master toyota mechanic. Below is a link to his video on coolant that I based this thread on.

Youtube: How to maintain your Toyota Part 2 Engine coolant and Transmission fluid
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My only issue with the procedure in the posted PdF s relates to the coolant trapped in the heater core. How do you get old coolant out when engine is off and cold? Are any check or control valves open so it can drain by gravity with the engine coolant? Also how are you supposed to refill the heater core with new fluid? Are you supposed to set the dual climate control to a high temperature to allow it to enter the heater core? The Toyota instructions say nothing about this.
Thanks for the pdfs. The coolant replacement procedure in the first two appear to be for the gasoline engine coolant. The others relate to hybrid components. Assuming the ICE gas engine RAVs use the same procedure as the hybrid gas engine, for the gas engines this is really a simple and straightforward job. Nothing exotic that a DIY guy could not do. Simply drain radiator and engine and refill. Only unusual thing is the rigamarole about "engine coolant filling mode" which seems to simply involve revving the engine while in park -- though it does not explain how this would remove air bubbles unless they just get "burped" into the reservoir while you rev and hold at 3000 RPMs. These instructions though strangely don't say anything about the heater core on the gas models I assume because the hybrids use a different heating system? I think that in a couple years there will be a bunch of YouTube videos showing the procedure. The 5th gen RAVs are too new for anyone to have changed the coolant unless they use their car as a taxi.
It appears to me - that the "engine coolant filling mode" is something you turn on via techstream - not just rev the engine. Maybe someone can confirm - it isn't all that clear.

Still, it seems pretty simple - if you have techstream?
bumping this thread in case anyone has reached the interval to perform a coolant fluid change. I'd love to hear feedback from anyone who's done this service successfully.
What is the source for this?Do you have anymore info? Are you supposed to fill the radiator and the reservoir separately and then do this EGR fill? Is there any follow up air bleeding or "burping" procedure?
The Car Care Nut guys "how to" video on hybrid coolant replacement:

What is the source for this?Do you have anymore info? Are you supposed to fill the radiator and the reservoir separately and then do this EGR fill? Is there any follow up air bleeding or "burping" procedure?
It's a screenshot from one of the Care Care Nut videos I made for future reference when the time comes to do it on mine.

You fill the radiator, and I assume, once the radiator is full, coolant will start going into the EGR hose. If you see coolant coming out, you reconnect the hose. After that you fill the reservoir and start the bleeding procedure.
If you keep the RPM's over 1500 the car will enter into coolant change mode and open the necessary valves.
He didn't say anything about a follow up bleeding procedure, but it doesn't hurt to do another one the next day - take off the radiator cap and raise and keep RPMs over 1500 to get some extra air out in case there is any still left in it.
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The Car Care Nut guys "how to" video on hybrid coolant replacement:

Thanks for sharing this video. I believe I may have seen it in the past as I follow him on youtube. I have some time before I'll need to perform this service, hopefully by then some DIYers will have success with the process and can share their experience here on the forum.
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If I followed the video correctly...

Disclaimer: Make sure the heater and fan are OFF.
Step 1: Remove the plastic covers at the bottom front of the car.
Step 2: Locate the radiator drain plug, using a tube, drain all coolant form the radiator. Once coolant is drained, close drain plug?
Step 3: Locate the eGR valve hose and disconnect it from engine bay.
Step 4: Connect overfill funnel to the radiator fill slot.
Step 5: Keep adding coolant to the funnel until you see coolant come out of the eGR value hose, and then reattach the hose.
Step 6: Ensuring you have at least half your funnel filled with new coolant, put Rav4 Hybrid in Maintenance mode, and depress the gas pedal all the way down to get the RPM's around 2000. Make sure coolant level in funnel remains at least 1/2 full, don't let it get too low.
Step 7: Cooling fan will cycle on and off TWICE.

I've been wanting to learn how to do this so I can DIY my 2019 RAV4H next year when it hits 5 years. I'd be more comfortable with the process if there was a video of the exact process on a RAV4H. Has anyone seen this process done on the RAV4H? Lastly, anyone know exactly where the eGR valve hose is located for 2019 rav4H?
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Lastly, anyone know exactly where the eGR valve hose is located for 2019 rav4H?
The same location.

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I apologize for a slight de-railing of this thread but I could not resist. That photo shows how dusty, water stained and nasty the engine of our 5th generation RAV4s get if you do not install the rubber weatherstrips over the headlights to seal the large gap below the hood. Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive fuel system
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