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My wife's Rav4 is going to run out of warranty next year, and she is wondering if she should keep it longer.

I enjoy working on my Land Rover, kind of have to, but she gets tired of having to deal with issues. So far we have has a rear diff, and some electrical issues.

For you guys/gals with over 60k in miles, how are they holding up? Are you experiencing a lot of mechanical issues?
 

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I'm having a few annoying problems with my 09 base 4 cylinder RAV with a bit over 80,000 miles on it. I just recently had the alternator fail (totally locked up and smoked, taking out the 120 amp fuse). Last year I had to change the rear 02 sensor, and just 2 days ago the front A/F 02 sensor failed. Now the upper radiator hose broke at the Y junction spewing out the pink anti-freeze. My wife wants to get rid of it, but I can fix most of the stuff.


The big problem is parts availability while on the road out west. The Toyota dealer in Landon, WY had no alternator and required 4-5 days for delivery. After checking at every parts store, I was able to get NAPA to overnight a remanufactured unit. It took a couple of hours to replace it behind the store, but the big problem was replacing the 120 amp fuse. That took about 3 hours of work, requiring complete disassembly of the fuse/relay panel to get to the bolts that hold the fuse legs that go into the center of the panel. This is a terrible design.


Two days ago the front 02 sensor threw a code for low voltage to heater. The vehicle still drives, but you don't have cruise availability. I am in Livingston, MT and no one has it in stock. I had Car Quest overnight it from Bozemen, MT. The Toyota dealer in Bozemen had it for $202.00 (35 miles away), but I got the same Denso sensor from Carquest for $110 with some discount coupons. I changed the sensor in the Carquest parking lot.


Now I see that the upper radiator hose has a small nipple for the tank attachment hose that is a plastic casting and it is broke off flush. Toyota does not have the part in stock anywhere in Montana and it will be a 4 day wait to get one. Dayco and Gates make an aftermarket assembly but it has to be ordered. I should get it from Carquest tomorrow.


I'm pretty disappointed in the reliability and quality of my RAV4. I would have expected to go well over 100,000 miles before having any of these problems.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Sorry to hear about your troubles, John. My 2008 has a little over 53K miles and haven't had a problem since the extended warranty ran out. But 80,000 miles is nothing to a Toyota--the alternator should have lasted longer than that. Just out of curiosity, was your RAV made in Canada or Japan?
 

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Since my '07 I4 is north of 174k miles (last 48k are mine), I'll throw in my two cents. At this mileage, things will have to be replaced here and there.

The alternator had to be replaced. A tech picked up a wobbling noise coming from its failing bearing; it took me an afternoon to replace.

The engine has not consumed oil since it got a service campaign rebuild at 154k miles.

The transmission TC shudder appeared a few months after I bought it. A complete fluid and filter change made the shudder disappear. It's been over 1k miles since the change, and it still shifts and locks up quietly. Had I figured out that it was the TC sooner, I would not have waited so long. Lesson - don't neglect ATF changes. For your wife's RAV4, I'd suggest replacing the Toyota WS ATF with some WS-compliant synthetic fluid; there's a whole discussion about that in 4.3 Mechanical. At the mere 60k miles your wife's RAV has, you may as well get an auxiliary transmission cooler.

I started to get Check Engine lights around 160k; the oxygen sensors needed to be replaced. It was not required, but I replaced the spark plugs around 162k miles.

I would say it has been about 80k miles since the previous owner changed the water pump. That might be the next part needing replacement... or... The one thing that has me a little worried is a slow oil leak around the front pinion joint. That may also be the next major piece of work.

While things are expected to wear out at higher miles, that is a given. It has also been quite resilient in the face of some of my idiocy. In spite of all its flaws, I would have no qualms about driving my RAV cross-country. Also, there is something to be said about having a vehicle for its lifetime and knowing its complete history.
 

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It is the Canadian made model.
 

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At the mere 60k miles your wife's RAV has, you may as well get an auxiliary transmission cooler.
if you tow, the cooler might be a good thing, but if you don't it might actually cause problems, in Canada it gets pretty cold in winter, and with the aux cooler the transmission temps don't get high enough to remove condensation from the oil and to reach optimal transmission temps, so I have to put a bag over my cooler in the winter...
 

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if you tow, the cooler might be a good thing, but if you don't it might actually cause problems, in Canada it gets pretty cold in winter, and with the aux cooler the transmission temps don't get high enough to remove condensation from the oil and to reach optimal transmission temps, so I have to put a bag over my cooler in the winter...
You can get transmission cooler that has a pressure bypass for colder climates so the oil can flow better when it is cold and then opens up fully when it warms up. B&M and Hayden makes them. The Hayden one just came out last year.
 

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My wife's Rav4 is going to run out of warranty next year, and she is wondering if she should keep it longer.

I enjoy working on my Land Rover, kind of have to, but she gets tired of having to deal with issues. So far we have has a rear diff, and some electrical issues.

For you guys/gals with over 60k in miles, how are they holding up? Are you experiencing a lot of mechanical issues?
You don't indicate which year and engine your have, but overall the 2009+ RAVs are usually rated as best for reliability by many reputable sources. My 2009 4-cyl has been nearly flawless, with the only thing being a $92 A/F sensor this year at 95k-miles. Easy fix thanks to this forum. Not that it really matters, but it's Canadian made and fit and finish is awesome, paint holding up very well.
 

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You can get transmission cooler that has a pressure bypass for colder climates so the oil can flow better when it is cold and then opens up fully when it warms up. B&M and Hayden makes them. The Hayden one just came out last year.
my B&M has that, but it still doesn't get up to temp
 

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I have a 2010 V6 Limited with 125,000km. I got it at 43000km so have done most of the mileage, almost all of it out of warranty

The non standard maintenance issues I've had are:

- 3 out of 4 shocks needing replacement + Front wheel bearing at 75000km
- Backup camera intermittently not working in the cold ontario winters
- Parking brake cables seizing
- Radio volume randomly going up/down occasionally. Although touch wood this hasn't happened for a while now


Right now it runs very well. It's a Toyota so I'm expecting with proper maintenance it will last as long as I want it to.
 

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Sorry to hear about your troubles, John. My 2008 has a little over 53K miles and haven't had a problem since the extended warranty ran out. But 80,000 miles is nothing to a Toyota--the alternator should have lasted longer than that. Just out of curiosity, was your RAV made in Canada or Japan?
I'm curious. Is there a known quality difference in Canadian vs Japanese made RAV4's?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I'm curious. Is there a known quality difference in Canadian vs Japanese made RAV4's?
Not that I'm aware of. It's just that 2009 was the first model year to be built at the Woodstock, Ontario plant.
 

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The only thing that gave up on my 2008 I4 RAV4 is the alternator. At only 70K miles. That was unexpected. Apart from that, no issues.

I've never had one go out at 80,000 miles on any other car that I owned. I would have expected at least 120,000 miles. I never got a battery light until the vehicle died on the side of the road. The first thing to go was the electric power steering. Then the dash started flashing and finally went dead.


It appears that the alternator shorted internally, overheated, and fried a bearing. We were able to get it jumped and charged for 15 minutes from the other vehicle. We made it 8 miles to our destination and when we stopped, the belt was burned and you could smell it burning. I had to buy a few tools at NAPA to change it out on the side of their store, but the toughest part was replacing that 120 amp fuse.


The sad thing about this episode was that the Toyota dealer did not stock the alternator and would not be able to get one for several days. Breaking down on the road when you are on vacation is miserable.
 

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I've never had one go out at 80,000 miles on any other car that I owned. I would have expected at least 120,000 miles. I never got a battery light until the vehicle died on the side of the road. The first thing to go was the electric power steering. Then the dash started flashing and finally went dead.
It appears that the alternator shorted internally, overheated, and fried a bearing. We were able to get it jumped and charged for 15 minutes from the other vehicle. We made it 8 miles to our destination and when we stopped, the belt was burned and you could smell it burning. I had to buy a few tools at NAPA to change it out on the side of their store, but the toughest part was replacing that 120 amp fuse.
The sad thing about this episode was that the Toyota dealer did not stock the alternator and would not be able to get one for several days. Breaking down on the road when you are on vacation is miserable.
A dealer not stocking a common replacement part like an alternator is very poor indeed. Glad you made out ok.
 

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'07 Base V6 AWD w/tow package, bought new 10/96, current: 110K miles

Issues:
- 2015: Rear portion of exhaust and muffler rotted away; replaced myself for <$100 (Known issue and some have had it fixed for free AFTER warranty expired, depending on your location). We live in N. ID w/its winter driving, but not the rust-belt issues I've read about.
- 2015: Water pump started to leak; replaced by dealer ~$250 (believe it or not they were cheaper than my usual shop)
- 2015, 85K miles: Noticed the cold-startup rattle on the 2GR-FE (known issue). Just living w/it. Threw in some STP engine oil treatment during last month's oil change, which helped a bit...but appears to be coming back.
- 2011(?); Replaced the intermediate steering shaft (?) which is part of TSB but no Recall. Got dealer to fix for 50% off >> "Goodwill".
- 2010 (?): Clunk when backing up. Never had it diagnosed. Don't know if it's the rear diff or brakes (we don't use the parking brake) or?
- 2008-ish: Stock non-JBL head unit/stereo started to fail - screen went blank and buttons didn't work. Usually when temps were over 80°, but then most of the time. Replaced w/BT/iPhone compatible deck.
- 2007ish: Right-front fender clunk/noise. Another TSB that never bothered us enough to fix...but a Tech noticed it, too. It's either 'fixed itself' or we just don't notice it anymore.

Other annoyances/concerns: All the recalls (and RE-recalls - fix same issue 1 or 3 times!) and other TSB's that have afflicted this generation.

Otherwise, I love the V6 power (0-60 6.5 seconds + passing), AWD, mid-20's MPG (only 1 less than I4, FWIW) and size is just right for our needs (empty nesters). It's definitely more fun to drive than our '03 V6 AWD Highlander.

Would I buy another new? Not sure. Would I buy used? Only if I had maintenance history and could verify the cold-start rattle.

I believe the '09 (?) V6 was updated to address the rattle and the oil-burning 2.4 was replaced w/the 2.5.....so buying newer may avoid some issues.

GL,
TD
 

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The sad thing about this episode was that the Toyota dealer did not stock the alternator and would not be able to get one for several days. Breaking down on the road when you are on vacation is miserable.
Too bad that it was not a planned repair. I find that orders from RockAuto.com (USA) take only 2 days to reach my front door in Ottawa, Canada!
 

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After driving around with a patched upper radiator hose (small hose that junctions was spliced with a barbed vacuum line splice), I found a quick oil change place with no business this morning that agreed to replace the assembly with my supplied hose (ordered from Carquest) and my supplied anti-freeze (the pink stuff). They did the job immediately because the car was cool since I only had to drive 100 yards from my motel parking lot. They only charged me $30 and it appears they bled the air out properly. I'm glad I did not have to do this on the side of the road and now I can drive back to Florida with confidence that the plastic splice won't split open on the Interstate;


Who ever thought that plastic in the cooling system was a good idea? After 9 years of heat/cooling cycles, vibration, and pressure, the fitting was doomed to break. Add to that... the tiny hose connects to a moveable horizontally mounted engine on one side and fixed frame at the other end. Even though that is an S shaped hose to absorb the constant flexing, everyone knows that rubber hardens over the years and loses its flexibility. This is something I would expect from a GM car.... not a Toyota. Shame on the designers.
 

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I've got about 93,000 on it and had to replace the downstream 02 sensor again (fairly easy job in the driveway on ramps). In all fairness, I replaced the OEM with a cheap E-Bay off brand unit which lasted about 3-4 years. The new one is also an el cheapo, but it has taken care of the of the O2 code. THe E-Bay units are under $13 and are direct fit. Here is the link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Direct-Fit...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The OEM units are about 6 times that cost, so I'm willing to take a gamble with quality. Besides, the original OEM only lasted 3-4 years as well.

Most everything else is working good on the vehicle, but I do have a cold start whine that lasts a couple of minutes and fades away. I'm suspecting the tensioner pulley bearing and hope it is not the water pump. I'll probably wait to see if it gets worst. Has anyone had a serp belt tensioner go out on a 2.5 yet?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD w/tow package. - I always buy mint used and only choose the top model...maybe just more HD power train & better reliability / over the base 4 cyl. model. (??)
- bought used 2.5 years ago (from a doctor), with 55,600 miles & 1 year remaining on extended warranty.
- currently @ 98,100 miles = 158,000 Km Canadian
^^ Wife averages 17k miles / year.

In last 1.5 years, without a warranty / besides synthetic oil changes:
a) rear brake kit installed (new premium rotors & ceramic pads)...$300 spend
b) aluminum heat shield over-top of muffler, started to vibrate / drilled in a couple self taping screws...$0 spend
c) broken rear stabilizer axle link, right side...UAP/NAPA part $90 & half hour labour...$130 spend

^^ Last 1.5 years, saw 25,500 mile usage / with a total spend of $430 incl. normal brake work...or only $130 not planned...extra warranty's can be a poor ROI, on reliable brands.
- our TOYOTA is so perfect & reliable, even motor & trans. silk smooth & SUV fun to drive / winter traction, like a tank
- Land Rovers are mechanical nightmares, don't let wife confuse the two / the Brits can keep-em
- so for a small $130 repair bill / I have saved 18 monthly SUV payments, not buying new

My favorite Cadillac Quote:
- a rich man buys a new Caddy
- a richer man drives a used one
 
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