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Has anyone noticed how dirty it gets under the hood of our 2004 RAV4's? Also, have you noticed how much debris in the form of small particles make it into the cabin and are deposited on the dashboard? I have never seen anything like this before. It's so bad, don't laugh, that I find myself routinely washing out the engine compartment. As for the dashboard debris, I guess the air filter we have in place is for the air conditioner only, which reminds me, I had better check.
 

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It's not any worse than any other car I've had.
 
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It's the worst I've ever seen. Could it be just the 2004 model year? The fact that I'm routinely washing the engine bay gives you some idea of the problem. I never tailgate so it can't be that.
 

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I'll have had mine for a year in May and my engine bay is actually still in pretty good shape. I'll clean it this Spring anyway so it stays that way. The only thing I get on the dash is plenty of ordinary dust. I blame that on the really dark dash color...I figure with a lighter dash like in my '96 the dust just isn't as visible.

Becky
 

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So what you're saying is that if I don't want to get my Rav dirty I shouldn't go down to Rhode Island? Darn, I was just planning a trip down there.

All of the air going through the HVAC system goes through the cabin air filter, whether it's heat or a/c, fresh or recirculated.

You have to remember this time of year is the most dusty and dirty time of year in New England, because of all the sand and salt that piles up on the roads.
 
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By all means Jeff, come on down, spend a few days. Hey, we’re due for a couple of inches of snow, which will be followed by a couple of inches of salt. After that, you can check under the hood and tell me what you see. I get disgusted every time I lift the hood. I've even installed a hot/cold water mixing faucet outside so I can attempt to keep the Rav somewhat clean.
 

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Do you drive in the dirt with your windows open?
The cabin air filter is a hepi-filter and will stop very fine particles though I usually put my A/C to recirculate when I see dust clouds in my path.
 

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I like Rhode Island, I was just kidding... :lol: Have a few friends who went to URI and J&W too.

I think pictures should be in order...because then we could do a real evaluation of the problem, otherwise we're just going to keep shooting opinions around.

What I've been trying to say is that I do think my Rav gets a little dirty (both inside and out), but I always just thought it was normal like any other car. I think a person's opinion on that topic really depends on the cars they have driven in the past, because that's what they are comparing the Rav to.

For instance, I used to drive a GMC Yukon, and although it would stay pretty clean inside, the engine bay would get dirty quickly. On the other hand, I had a Volkswagen that had a clean engine compartment but would get filthy inside.

I got rid of the inside air filter in my Rav, because I found it really didn't improve anything, and I got tired of replacing the $25 filter. During the dusty months I cut a piece of Home Depot filter material to fit the size of the filter frame, which catches the bigger particles like sand, bugs and leaves. Plus it is really cheap and doesn't clog as fast.

During the summer I drive around with my front windows rolled down 90% of the time, only rolling them up in the rain or so I can use the a/c when it gets real hot out. My Rav still doesn't get any dirtier with the windows rolled down than it does with the windows rolled up.
 
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Windows are always up. I’ll try to post pictures. I like Jeff's air filter idea. I have not yet inspected or changed the filter yet, maybe its time.
 

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I have to agree that the interior of my 2004 RAV4 does get grit and dust especially on the dash board. I have what is called an OAK or TAN interior so it doesn't really show it. After reading these postings I ran my hand over teh dash board and there was a lot of dust and grit. I always ride with my windows closed. My car does not even have 5,000 miles on it yet. Thank God it is not black like my 1991 black Celica GT which I loved dearly until my Mother totalled it driving me to the doctor last Spring. There has to be a solution to this. I too use the AC most of the time even with the heat on. So where is all the dirt coming from??
Has anyone asked Toyota about the problem? The person owning the 2005 states they do not have the problem. We need to put our heads together on this one. COME ON RAV'S!
 
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I don't have a problem with my 05 taupe interior. However I do have ordinary dust.
 

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Just a question. Do any of you all actually clean the dust off? :D I mean, sounds like you guys swipe your hand, feel the dust, and just leave it like that and expect it to clean itself off. :? You do have to dust the car's interior just like your home every once in awhile, you know. I clean my car at least once a week or every two weeks depending on weather so I never really noticed too much dust buildup. Course, that's me and I like to keep the interior all nice and tidy unlike some friends I have whom I'm even afraid to step into the car with cause it looks like you can take bacteria samples from their car's interior.
 
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I keep my(the wife's) RAV spotless! I don't even like it when the floormats are dirty, have to shake them out. Just the other day I said to her, Honey, when you sneeze in the car, cover your mouth, your getting it all over the gauge cluster and interior. She replied in a loving tone, kiss my a** sweetheart. What a girl, I think I'll keep her.
 

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Every car in the world is going to get dirty no matter what. As is every engine bay. It depends on where and how you drive. Here is a solution: just keep cleaning your car. If you can't be bothered get someone else to do it :wink:
 
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After removing the air filter for the heating/air conditioning, I found that a mouse had set up shop on top of the filter (found many seeds, fecal matter, and pee) and also chewed through the filter in several places. Obviously, vermin can gain access to the inside of the heating/air conditioning system, NOT GOOD! I installed a wire mesh screen under the filter (screen window material) and replaced the filter with polyurethane material used for filters in air conditioners. I cut the filter material to approx. 8.5" x 7.75". The wire screen should prevent vermin from exiting the heating/air conditioning and getting into the cabin. I also placed a mouse glue trap on top of the filter in order to capture the little bast**d. I am not pleased to learn that the design in the RAV allows vermin access to my passenger compartment. If that little vermin ever showed his face to my wife, she would have exited the vehicle irregardless of the speed she was traveling.
 
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