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I’ve read all over online that the rear diff. breather can get stuck causing pressure buildup. I just noticed that my diff is leaking oil right where the axle goes into it. I’m assuming a seal is bad, or the pressure built up and started forcing its way out. I looked EVERYWHERE and cannot find this breather valve!? I have a 2010 Rav4 Base 2.5L AWD. Does this model even have one?? I’ve seen pictures online of the diff and they point out where this breather valve is and when I check on mine, it’s not there. What am I missing? Thanks!!
 

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This past summer I had the rear differential out of our '06 RAV4 while replacing the rear subframe. At least on mine there was no valve. It did have a part metal-part hose vent tube that was routed over by and up along side the gas filler pipe.
 

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I’ve read all over online that the rear diff. breather can get stuck causing pressure buildup. I just noticed that my diff is leaking oil right where the axle goes into it. I’m assuming a seal is bad, or the pressure built up and started forcing its way out. I looked EVERYWHERE and cannot find this breather valve!? I have a 2010 Rav4 Base 2.5L AWD. Does this model even have one?? I’ve seen pictures online of the diff and they point out where this breather valve is and when I check on mine, it’s not there. What am I missing? Thanks!!
The breather cap is on top of the differential near the rear axle boot. You must have the vehicle on ramps or jack stands. There is very little room on the top so it is hard to put your hands up there.

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The breather cap on my 2008 was like the picture above. I couldn't see it or reach it by hand. I had my brother in law (toyota tech) help me change it. We had to remove the driveshaft, lower the diff and pry the old one out.Then try to
pry/force the other one in. Not easy with the diff still attached to the vehicle but obviously possible.....
 

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On our 2006, I was able to reach it by hand enough to soak it and unstuck. like the other posting, there's no space in there to replace it if it's stuck really good.
 

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I like to run a hose up high on any vent tube. Rear diff, front diff, transfer case, transmission, etc...

If you ever have to drive through water, it can save you thousands.
 

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Has any of you tried to remove one of the axles like the rear passenger side axle to get a good access to free the stuck breather vent?
 

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Has any of you tried to remove one of the axles like the rear passenger side axle to get a good access to free the stuck breather vent?
You need to drop the rear differential if you want to replace the breather vent which is a lot of work. Another option is replace the fill plug and use that to make a new breather valve. I will be doing that soon.
 

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I don't know if dropping one of the axles will get you better access. The breather is tight against the undercarriage and very little room to even see it. My brother in law (toyota tech) helped me replace that breather in my garage. If you remove the diff bolts on one side (left side looking forward) so it hangs down a bit, you can get access to pry it up and out. Then use a deep socket to push in the new one. It comes out hard and goes in hard. My brother in law says he always tries to do it that way to save time, but sometimes has to remove the diff and work at it on a bench.
I wasn't aware of adding a breather tube extension at the time, but I think that's a good idea.
 

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I replaced the breather valve in my 2011 without dropping the differential.
The part number of the breather is 90930-03235 (about $4 at the dealer).

Removal
I cut an opening in the floor under the trunk area. You need to remove the second tray piece closer to the rear seat (secured by four philips screws, two per side, the piece is held in by a couple of snap connections-just pop it up with your hands after removing the screws). The breather valve is approximately 19" from the left trim piece as shown in my photo, just right of center (about 3/4"to the right of the center line) underneath the scrunchy duct tape looking material.

Initially, I cut a round hole about 1" diameter (big enough to get a socket through). I then realized that the breather was not threaded in and I would need more room. When that wasn't big enough, I cut a rectangular flap that I could bend open to the right. I tried to get a small pry bar under the lip of the breather but no luck (and the angle was tough with the small opening).

Today, I cut a larger square flap that I could further bend open towards the rear seats. I purchased the $25 slide hammer at Harbor Freight and tried to use the square attachment that has a slot. I opened up the slot a bit with my dremel to the point that it would fit around the width of the breather under the breather lip. This also required making that opening on the slide hammer attachment taller to accommodate the movable part of the breather. However, I was still unable to get this underneath the breather lip - too little room between the lip and the diff. I think the press fit of the breather has the lip very close to the differential.

I then used the slide hammer to lift off the movable cap of the old breather. Underneath the check valve piece was all gummed up with corrosion. Even though the movable cap of my breather was free (from me messing around with it a few months ago) the check valve was not moving (no way to see this unless you break off the movable cap part of the breather).

With the breather cap removed, I then drilled out the center of the breather (first with a bit the same size as the opening in the new breather, then one size larger), stopping to remove debris from the drill bit. This got the hole larger to the point where I could now use the seal pulling hook that came with the slide hammer. I did have to make the hook a bit shorter so it would fit inside the hole in the breather, but I still left a bit of a lip on the attachment so it could grab the underside of the breather. One photo shows the slide hammer with the modified hook and the last piece of the breather that I hammered out.
It took a number of slide hammers, but I eventually got the rest of the breather out. I only saw a few bits of metal down in the hole into the diff which I sucked up with a straw taped to a shop vac. I will probably change my rear diff oil after it circulates a bit to get any metal bits to the drain plug magnet.

Installation of new breather
I used a 14mm deep socket on an extension to install the new breather with a few taps of the hammer. I did smear some anti-sieze around the edge, but hopefully I will not have to deal with it again.
After install, I bent the flaps of metal back and used some foil tape to seal it up and then covered that with some duct tape. Too bad these breathers are friction fit. If they were threaded in like the rest of the breathers I would have had this wrapped up long ago. If I had not already purchased the breather from the dealer I might have considered buying a Tacoma breather and figuring out the thread side to tap the hole for insertion.
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That is one big ugly hole. I think a round hole would have been cleaner and covered with a rubber cap. I guess if your vent is crumbled it maybe an option but I just used the fill plug and created another vent. You read it here.
 
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