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2005 RAV4 2.4L Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2005 RAV4 (base trim) with 75k miles on it. I'm the 3rd owner, and its been in Colorado its whole life. Based on what I saw and the pre-purchase inspection, the car is in quite good shape. It needed a new battery, rear shocks, and some fluids changed like the oil and rear diff fluid. I grew up helping my dad do minor repairs and maintenance on our family car, so I know a bit, but I'm still fairly new to working on cars in general.

I already replaced the battery, and put in new rear shocks. I also have an appointment to get the oil changed, rear differential fluid changed, and a general inspection. I am trying to do as much work on the car myself as I can, mostly because I think its fun, but also to save some money. I know something like an oil change is easy, but I wanted to get the car in to have a full inspection anyway, so I figured I would just have the shop do the fluid changes while it was there.

I already have some projects planned like installing a Viper 211HV module for keyless entry and possibly replacing the radio with something more modern.

Anyway, this car only has 75k miles, and I want to take good care of it and drive it for as long as possible. What sort of things should I be aware of with these 2nd gen RAV4s? What are the common issues I need to look out for? What work is worth trying to do myself and what isn't? I've noticed that the exhaust is pretty rusty, what issues should I be looking out for with that?

Sorry if this is all over the place. Thanks for your thoughts and experience! I'm excited to join this great community.
 

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Welcome, and good find (y)

I own two low mileage 2005 RAVs. What I had to replace on both of them were; sway bar end links, valve cover gasket, exhaust and muffler, yellow stained headlights, and possibly a fuel pump on each of them. I have a suspicion about the fuel pump and 16 year old cars with low mileage, more on that later.

Don't neglect the front differential while you're at it. I have to disconnect the exhaust from the down-pipe to gain access. Rust is a problem for sure, both of my models have tangible amounts of rot underneath. I'm currently unable to align the rear wheels on one of them because of this.

I've replaced the stereo in both of mine with Kenwood DNX695S and DNX697S units, a superior product in many ways to late model factory options.

I'm convinced the oil consumption in these model RAVs is attributed to fouled ring lands on the piston. I accomplished in 2k miles with my second RAV what took me 9k in my first. Frequent applications of engine oil flush (bottles) followed by a drain and fill. Yes, I through a lot of good oil away.

A Vibrant 10633 muffler really wakes the 2.4L up, and a strategically placed Vibrant Ultra Quiet 1140 helps even more still.

Also, I highly recommend Precision Craft if you're interested in seat covers. These babies fit so well they're indistinguishable from the factory fabric. Just be mindful of the options list when ordering, your front seats have side curtain airbags built into them.
 

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Welcome, and super good find!

I find I like the steering wheel-mounted radio controls, fwiw. People often have a hard time getting those to interact with aftermarket head units.

When you have the shop change the oil, make sure you check it before you drive home.
 

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2005 RAV4 2.4L Manual
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome, and good find (y)

I own two low mileage 2005 RAVs. What I had to replace on both of them were; sway bar end links, valve cover gasket, exhaust and muffler, yellow stained headlights, and possibly a fuel pump on each of them. I have a suspicion about the fuel pump and 16 year old cars with low mileage, more on that later.

Don't neglect the front differential while you're at it. I have to disconnect the exhaust from the down-pipe to gain access. Rust is a problem for sure, both of my models have tangible amounts of rot underneath. I'm currently unable to align the rear wheels on one of them because of this.

I've replaced the stereo in both of mine with Kenwood DNX695S and DNX697S units, a superior product in many ways to late model factory options.

I'm convinced the oil consumption in these model RAVs is attributed to fouled ring lands on the piston. I accomplished in 2k miles with my second RAV what took me 9k in my first. Frequent applications of engine oil flush (bottles) followed by a drain and fill. Yes, I through a lot of good oil away.

A Vibrant 10633 muffler really wakes the 2.4L up, and a strategically placed Vibrant Ultra Quiet 1140 helps even more still.

Also, I highly recommend Precision Craft if you're interested in seat covers. These babies fit so well they're indistinguishable from the factory fabric. Just be mindful of the options list when ordering, your front seats have side curtain airbags built into them.
Great advice, thank you! I'll be keeping an eye on all of these things.

Like you mentioned, I believe I will need to replace the exhaust soon. It is significantly more rusted than everything else under the car, and I may have started smelling exhaust fumes during idling, but I haven't been able to confirm if its just my imagination yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I find I like the steering wheel-mounted radio controls, fwiw. People often have a hard time getting those to interact with aftermarket head units.
I've been looking at wiring diagrams for the RAV4, is the reason the steering wheel-mounted radio controls are hard to interface because they are a resistor array? That would make sense then because the head unit would need to be programmed to recognize the proper resistances.

When you have the shop change the oil, make sure you check it before you drive home.
Good advice! I'm going to a highly recommended shop near me that is supposed to specialize in Toyotas, but it's always a good idea to double check everything.
 
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