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Hello. New to the forum.

My Wife and I just inherited a 2002 Rav4 from my Mother-in-law this past week. It has 52,256 miles on it. Body's immaculate and it looks like they kept up with the maintenance. According to her notes in the maintenance log, the oil and filter's recently been changed. At 38,800 miles the transmission fluid (doesn't mention filter though), coolant, and differential lube was changed. We live in Pennsylvania and it just passed inspection this past January. I changed the air filter, ran a can of Seafoam through a full tank of fresh fuel. There's a little rust occurring on the underside. I have the professional Woolwax (equivalent to Fluid Film) gun with wands and will thoroughly treat the undercarriage this summer, so hopefully the rust won't progress. From what I'm able to determine on line, this vehicle has a timing chain that does not require any maintenance. Is that correct? I'll likely change the oil and filter soon, switching over to Mobil 1 full synthetic as that is what I use in all my vehicles. Maybe change the serpentine (accessory drive) belt too. Several years back I replaced the links on the front stabilizer bar for her as they were starting to make noise when you'd hit a bump.

Anything anyone can recommend that I also consider doing soon?

Thanks.
 

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Since it sounds like it may have sat a bit. I would

bleed the brakes
check the brake pads
replace the coolant, inspect the coolant fins
inspect the water pump from below make sure coolant isn't weeping out.
drain and fill the transmission fluid 3 times (drive around between each drain and fill) Valvoline MAXLIFE ATF
upgrade to a blue tooth stereo - I prefer Crutchfields - they provide the installation kit and wiring harness, instructions
check for power steering leak where it attached to the steering wheel linkage.There is seal that will eventually leak

generally inspect brake lines for rust, various hoses for cracks, etc. Don't be surprised if there is exhaust pipe rust from sitting.

sounds like a nice pick up!
 

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are you in the rust belt ?
Yes. Why?

As mentioned in my original post, I'm in Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh area). There is some early (minimal) rust on the undercarriage and I will be treating that with Woolwax this summer. Once something's treated with Woolwax, the rust does not progress. I even pump it into the rocker panels and the subframe. I shoot fluid film into the door bottoms so it coats the seems.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. Any known problem areas on these things? Also, I do believe it has a timing chain so I don't need to do any maintenance there. Meaning, no timing belt replacement needed. Am I correct about that?

We have annual state inspection here in PA and it was just inspected not even 50 miles before I got it so I know the brakes are OK. You mentioned changing the brake fluid. Is there a specific reason other than optimal brake performance? I usually only change brake fluid on passenger cars when ever I have to open the brake system to change a caliper, brake hose or line.
 

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fresh brake fluid in the system is required to remove moisture in the system, the fluid also breaks down with temperature. if its still "clear" and not brown then your fine.
 

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One can buy an inexpensive brake fluid tester (something like $5 -$6) from Amazon and other sites, tests the fluid for water content. Brake fluid as used in the RAV4 is hygroscopic, so it attracts moisture. Should be changed when indicated as water reduces the brake fluid boiling point and so could affect performance as well as corroding internal brake system parts.
 

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One can buy an inexpensive brake fluid tester (something like $5 -$6) from Amazon and other sites, tests the fluid for water content. Brake fluid as used in the RAV4 is hygroscopic, so it attracts moisture. Should be changed when indicated as water reduces the brake fluid boiling point and so could affect performance as well as corroding internal brake system parts.
of course its no that much more money for brake fluid, friend on the brake pedal and bleed out the brake lines.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. Any known problem areas on these things? Also, I do believe it has a timing chain so I don't need to do any maintenance there. Meaning, no timing belt replacement needed. Am I correct about that?

We have annual state inspection here in PA and it was just inspected not even 50 miles before I got it so I know the brakes are OK. You mentioned changing the brake fluid. Is there a specific reason other than optimal brake performance? I usually only change brake fluid on passenger cars when ever I have to open the brake system to change a caliper, brake hose or line.
I'm a little late here(either my first post or one of my first here, I'm generally a lurker), but you are correct that the 1AZ and 2AZ engines have a timing chain so you don't have to deal with a timing belt interval. My 2004 is almost at 200K and I don't think the chain has needed any attention.
 

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I'm a little late here(either my first post or one of my first here, I'm generally a lurker), but you are correct that the 1AZ and 2AZ engines have a timing chain so you don't have to deal with a timing belt interval. My 2004 is almost at 200K and I don't think the chain has needed any attention.
to stop the rust I live in Minnesota so I deal with rust all the time clear coat stops to rust instantly it's cheap and easy. As far as the timing chain goes you should not need to do anything to it.
 

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2003 with 163,500 miles on her; Original Owner.
Full Synthetic Oil: Yes
Oil Filter: Personal Preference. I use Fram ExtraGuard.
Bleed/Flush Brakes: As mentioned, do it.
Undercarriage CrossMember: Clean, Inspect and treat any major rust spots and/or trouble spots. They are notorious for rushing through guaranteeing a replacement in the future(mainly applies to Rust Belt Land). Treat with Naval Gel for protection/priming.
Misc: Download the Owner’s Manuals and follow maintenance schedule. Standard DIY stuff applies as needed.

Overall you have a good start on it from the reads of it. Just take care of her.
 
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