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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My wife and I are looking to buy a RAV4 2009 or newer.

I was told on this website it's best to avoid 2008 or older because of an questionable engine problem of being an oil burner (by the way, does everyone agree with that?). Anyway to afford a 2009 we may have to find one that is 120,000 miles or more.

How does the RAV4 hold up at a higher milage?
Could one with 120k miles last us 5-6 years?
Are there any mileage milestones where things need to be fixed?

Thank you!
 

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True of the '06-'08 four cylinder, it's just not worth the risk.
As far as a high mile '09 or newer it would depend on the maintenance performed over the years just like any other used car. Buying from a private owner that maintained impeccable records would be a decent bet.
 

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So the oil burning problem doesn't exist if we get a V6 ('06-'08)?
That is correct. However there are other things to look for. Some models had a whining transmission (mine did) and multiple recalls. Assuming no noise in the tranny and recalls/maintenance have been done properly they're pretty hard to hurt.

The transmission whine was irritating as hell but I've never heard of any transmission problems associated with the whine. Our other '08 V-6 never had the whine at all. Mine got a reman transmission under warranty.
 

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So the oil burning problem doesn't exist if we get a V6 ('06-'08)?
Our '06 V6 with 125K doesn't use a drop of oil and I haven't heard of any that do. The '06 and some early '07s did have an issue with failing ignition coils, but unless you find one with 50K on the clock that problem has most likely occurred and been resolved, as it has on ours.
Same with the transaxle whine, ours never had it and those that did have very likely had it fixed.

Also probably the greatest % of 4-cylinders don't burn oil. And if they do apparently Toyota will fix it, but that's a pain you may not want to work thru. But there again it may have been fixed already or be non-existent. Good info from the seller goes a long way here. I'd avoid the car flippers who know or care ZERO about a vehicle's history.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We test drove a 2007 yesterday. The engine had a little sound to it, hard to describe, but the dealer told us it was the overhead cam.

Does anyone know about an overhead cam noise?
is this a typical sound?
 

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Which engine friend? Both engines are overhead cam models.
 

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My last five cars have had OHC engines. I've never noticed any odd noises including the 3.5l in the RAVs we have now.
I take that back, the one time I did it was a water pump going south in her RAV. As far as regular operational noises, never.
 

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No detectable DOHC noise with my V6 RAV. The last cars we had which had noisy OHC arrangements were Saturns, which had very noisy OHC drive chains.
 

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We test drove a 2007 yesterday. The engine had a little sound to it, hard to describe, but the dealer told us it was the overhead cam.

Does anyone know about an overhead cam noise?
is this a typical sound?
As the others have said, ZERO such noise on ours.
As I said before if it's a used car flipper who probably bought it at an auction, be wary. They don't know (or care) anything about the car or what normal is. Just saying anything to sell it.
At minimum drive another V6 first. BTW, it should have taken off like a rocket under my test method which is pedal to the metal until at least 80 mph. If anything isn't perfect I keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, we plan to drive more RAV4 to compare. Thank you!

Does anyone have any more input on a high milage RAV4?

It seems common sense is that high miles won't make too much difference as long as the car was taken care of in it's lifetime.
 

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Yes, we plan to drive more RAV4 to compare. Thank you!

Does anyone have any more input on a high mileage RAV4?

It seems common sense is that high miles won't make too much difference as long as the car was taken care of in it's lifetime.
Looking at a car w/o knowing the mileage would be the best way to assess it's worth. Unfortunately most buyers think the number on the odometer is all they need to know to determine it's value - low is good, "high" is bad. I look first at condition. If every indication is it was well maintained I use the odometer as a bargaining tool knowing that a high number reduces competition - and my price. That way I often don't get what I pay for - I get a lot more than I pay for!
 
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Yes, we plan to drive more RAV4 to compare. Thank you!

Does anyone have any more input on a high milage RAV4?

It seems common sense is that high miles won't make too much difference as long as the car was taken care of in it's lifetime.
I just bought one with 125k miles. Runs like new. I specifically sought out one with high miles because it knocks the price way down and miles don't scare me at all.
 

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I find that getting a carfax or similar report is well worth the price. Also, you can get some history on the toyota owners website. Buying any used vehicle is only a problem if regular oil changes and history aren't documented.
 
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I find that getting a carfax or similar report is well worth the price. Also, you can get some history on the toyota owners website. Buying any used vehicle is only a problem if regular oil changes and history aren't documented.
I would be willing to bet that the typical RAV4 buyer takes decent care of their car. It's the kind of car that many people buy because they've done some research and are looking for long-term reliability. Guessing a RAV4 is is not a typical first car too, so lessons have probably already been learned. Obviously there are exceptions, but buying a used RAV4 is a relatively low-risk proposition, maintenance-wise. Accident/flood damage is a whole 'nuther story though...

Most neglected used cars tend to be entry-level and have had more than one owner, from what I have seen while shopping with my daughter last month. She ended up getting a loaded, accident-free one-owner 2009 Corolla S with 156,000 miles in a private sale from an middle-age Engineer that used it for a long daily commute. Despite an utter lack of official maintenance records (the guy did all his own maintenance like I do), the car was clearly well-maintained and should last along time.
 
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She ended up getting a loaded, accident-free one-owner 2009 Corolla S with 156,000 miles in a private sale from an middle-age Engineer that used it for a long daily commute. Despite an utter lack of official maintenance records (the guy did all his own maintenance like I do), the car was clearly well-maintained and should last along time.
Yep, exactly the categories I'd look for.
Private sale = You get to talk to the person who owned, drove and serviced it for all or most all it's life, not some flipper who knows nothing but tells wonderful stories. You also cut the middle men out of the price.

High mileage from a long commute = easiest miles you can put on a car. Deducts from the price but not from the value. My 2003 Odyssey had 200,000 miles but was one owner who had all service & maintenance done religiously. Price, $1700.

I kinda like the Engineer part too! :thumbs_up:
 

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I kinda like the Engineer part too! :thumbs_up:
Me too. I am one and I love my job. Makes really appreciate elegant/clever solutions and Toyotas are loaded with them.
 

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Me too. I am one and I love my job. Makes really appreciate elegant/clever solutions and Toyotas are loaded with them.
Same "problem" here. Still love designing circuits & mods to make things "work like they should." Example keeping the 4WD lock on above 25 mph. That one worked but triggered the 4WD error light!

Trouble is when I sell a car I have to unmodify it so it won't baffle the next owner resulting in lots of "what's this?" phone calls.

Latest project: A device/circuit for tuning the 2009-2013 Harley Touring models that are mapped by manifold pressure instead of throttle position. Have help on that one. A good friend was the chief analog design engineer for Bose Labs and a Harley and dyno owner. He's up to date on the latest devices available and figured out what I needed in ten minutes on the phone - most of which was spent convincing me he was right!

One suggestions: List your vehicles in your signature. That way people know better "where you're coming from."
 
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