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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought I'd make a new thread to introduce myself and the car. After searching for a while, picked up a new-to-me '11 Rav4, Limited trim with the 3.5L V6 and AWD! I've had this car on my radar for a while as a potentially near-perfect family and daily driver that is still enjoyable to drive. My parents have had outbacks that I've enjoyed, and while I considered the car, really liked the looks and features of the 4.3 gen Rav4 a lot better!

The car had about 85k miles on it, relatively high for a '11, but given that our '07 Corolla has ~195k and still runs like new, I wasn't too worried about it. I drove about 6 hours or so to pick it up and drove it all the way back down without a hitch!

I'll be posting all my maintenance and questions here, unless I've got issues, happy to be here and hope to be a contributing member!

Initial thoughts:

- Was hesitant on Blizzard Pearl (looked a little too cream-y in pics) but it looks great in person. Really like the metallic flakes in the paint
- Exterior was very clean for a car with 85k - maybe some dings here and there but overall in very good shape
- Interior of the car was well appointed, but the condition of this one was so-so. Good amount of scratches on the trim and overall just not that clean, and didn't come with floor mats. May consider getting it detailed
- Car drives very well. Never drove a car this tall before, so I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of body roll. The V6 feels fine, decent amount of power and torque but a little slower than I would have thought for a car with 270hp. Not complaining though, has enough to get me around
- Has a weird "bark" from what I believe is the exhaust vibrating around 2400rpms, if I give the car a bit of gas. Doesn't matter hot or cold, so I'm not entirely sure what it is
- No transmission whine so far that I can tell, though a few other odd noises
- Some undercarriage rust to be treated, relatively minor
- Did a decent 23mpg on the way back, for winter gas and what was probably mainly a tank of gas from November. Hoping to hit 25mpg solid with a few adjustments and normal fuel. Fuel will be tracked here
- Some odd transmission/awd noises here and there, but used to cars making noises (I autocross a modified '06 Evo)
- Came with nearly new Yokohama Avid Ascend in 225/65-17. Looks to be a decent tire









Upcoming:
- Floor mats
- Mat for the rear when seats folded down?
- Remove cross rails or roof rack entirely
- Lose some weight on the car (remove spare)
- Fix some of the undercarriage rust
- Complete fluid flush: oil, trans, t-case, rear diff


Thanks for the read! Will update things here!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks! first thing going on is the transmission I believe is making a grinding noise. will take a video when I can
 

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Discussion Starter #4
took the rav4 for some snow test driving today! performed all right - drove with all the traction control stuff off - in a straight line take off, the car went sideways a lot more than i thought it would, but overall it performed pretty well, especially when driving at speed. I did some low speed turning in the parking lots, the car didn't really rotate in that situation unless i had the 4wd lock on, after which it performed more like a traditional 4wd car.

from what i read, it sounds like it's some form of haldex based on the pdfs on the site, but still performed decently, though i can definitely see a full time 4wd system performing a little better in the snow.



 

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I love the RAV4 in the snow. What I don't like is the touchy ABS. It reacts too early on snow/ice.

I drove a 2015 Nissan Rogue for 2 weeks and the ABS only reacted as a last resort; that's the way it should be.

Also, hate the brake pedal feel. It sinks almost completely all the time.
 

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Sorry, but couldn't see a vehicle in the snow pics. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I love the RAV4 in the snow. What I don't like is the touchy ABS. It reacts too early on snow/ice.

I drove a 2015 Nissan Rogue for 2 weeks and the ABS only reacted as a last resort; that's the way it should be.

Also, hate the brake pedal feel. It sinks almost completely all the time.

I'm definitely in agreement with you, I enjoy how this car does in the snow.


sounds like you may need a brake fluid flush - actually, I may need one as well, and maybe some stainless steel brake lines up front.

Sorry, but couldn't see a vehicle in the snow pics. :)
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #10
took the car to the dealer today - they had it for a while inspecting that jarring noise I get around 2500rpms - they heard it, and they're stumped. they are thinking it's the transmission...




looks like it may be a good thing I got that extended warranty...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
if anyone is following along,


according to the dealer the driveshaft was loose -- causing the rattle I heard. driveshaft was loose because one of the bolts on the center part was cross threaded and not tight. they had to drill it out and retap it, and apparently the noise is gone.


they suspect the driveshaft was disconnected when the previous dealer did work on the rear diff, which lost oil when one of the seals failed...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Xpel clear bra and new headlights in! Struggling with techstream but will get there. Would like a free weekend to do the fluid changes but those are looking pretty hard to come by...

Also, I may have the transmission whine - I'm not sure, for me, drivetrain noises on a car with AWD are pretty standard. But as I've got a can of white lithium grease, why not?
 

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