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I "inherited" a 2007 Rav4 when I got married a few months ago. Water pump started to go last week. Wasn't leaking, bearing was starting to go and making awful sound. Car has 134,000 miles on it. Wife told me that the original water pump had crapped out a few years ago at 70,000. After searching around on this site about water pumps on the Rav4, I learned a couple of things. Apparently the water pumps on this year of Rav4 are crap and the water pumps are a bitch to replace. After reading numerous posts about how spendy it was to replace the water pump or how the engine "supposedly" has to come out, I decided to replace the pump myself.

I ended up getting a water pump from NAPA for $66. The pump came with a new gasket as well. Also picked up a Haynes manual for $20. The manual gave excellent step by step instructions on how to remove and replace the pump. Pretty much you have to remove the serpetine belt, pulley from tensionor, idler pulley, overflow tank, motor mount on that side (i supported the engine from below with a floor jack). The manual says to take off the crankshaft pulley, but I didn't. I made getting to a few bolts a pain, but not difficult to remove. I pulled the water pump out from the top. The A/C lines on that side of the engine make getting the motor mount and water pump and little difficult. I think had I taken the crankshaft pulley off, the pump may have dropped out the bottom. In any case, I was able to jack up the motor a little bit to make more to remove the pump.

All in all. This took me about 8 hours, but that includes running to NAPA a couples of times and a buddy dropping by to BS. I probably could do this in 4-5 if I have to do it again. If anybody has any questions about this, I'll be happy to answer them.
 

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Wow, that's quite an accomplishment! I changed a water pump on my old Honda Civic years ago, but that was a piece of cake compared to a V6 RAV. And yes, the Toyota service manual says, step 1--remove engine! Congrats!
 

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Thanks for this writeup jr46895! :thumbs_up: I've added it to my RAV4 folder.
Our '06 has 102,000 miles so I'm sure I'll get to do this job sometime.
What's extra helpful is how you got around some of the steps.

I'd seen so much discussion I was about to buy a pump on eBay to have on hand. But they are $92 on sale. Good to know $60 at NAPA. A reminder to ALWAYS shop around.

I wonder if Toyota actually pulls the engine or just uses that step to crank up the flat rate. :eek:
 

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Thanks for this writeup jr46895! :thumbs_up: I've added it to my RAV4 folder.
I wonder if Toyota actually pulls the engine or just uses that step to crank up the flat rate. :eek:
Do Toyota service people pull the engine if the water pump replacement is covered by warranty?
 

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Do Toyota service people pull the engine if the water pump replacement is covered by warranty?
My 2008 RAV was brought back to the dealers (while still under warranty) for the the oil hose recall. I was told to come back in two hours and the work would be done.

When I returned two hours later, they told me they had replaced the water pump as well, since it showed signs of leakage. So the pump can certainly be replaced in less than two hours.

Now if the RAV was out of warranty, I assume that would require the engine removal.
 

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Some Dealers will remove the engine on the V6 models but most don't do to the fact that it cost more and takes longer. I have talked to a couple of the Toyota mechanics at the dealer I go to and they say it takes them 4 hours to change the pump.

I am on my third pump now and I can do it in the same time.
 

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I "inherited" a 2007 Rav4 when I got married a few months ago. Water pump started to go last week. Wasn't leaking, bearing was starting to go and making awful sound. Car has 134,000 miles on it. Wife told me that the original water pump had crapped out a few years ago at 70,000. After searching around on this site about water pumps on the Rav4, I learned a couple of things. Apparently the water pumps on this year of Rav4 are crap and the water pumps are a bitch to replace. After reading numerous posts about how spendy it was to replace the water pump or how the engine "supposedly" has to come out, I decided to replace the pump myself.

I ended up getting a water pump from NAPA for $66. The pump came with a new gasket as well. Also picked up a Haynes manual for $20. The manual gave excellent step by step instructions on how to remove and replace the pump. Pretty much you have to remove the serpetine belt, pulley from tensionor, idler pulley, overflow tank, motor mount on that side (i supported the engine from below with a floor jack). The manual says to take off the crankshaft pulley, but I didn't. I made getting to a few bolts a pain, but not difficult to remove. I pulled the water pump out from the top. The A/C lines on that side of the engine make getting the motor mount and water pump and little difficult. I think had I taken the crankshaft pulley off, the pump may have dropped out the bottom. In any case, I was able to jack up the motor a little bit to make more to remove the pump.

All in all. This took me about 8 hours, but that includes running to NAPA a couples of times and a buddy dropping by to BS. I probably could do this in 4-5 if I have to do it again. If anybody has any questions about this, I'll be happy to answer them.
-So what is the napa part number for the pump assembly? Is it an exact replica of the original Toyota, or did you have to alter it somewhat?
 

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JR, did you have to remove the front or rear motor mount when u jacked up the engine? Or are you talking about the motor mount in the engine bay by the passenger fender? I saw some videos on YouTube and the rear lower two bolts on the engine mounting bracket seem to not clear the frame rail and AC line.

Thanks
 

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Thanks for this writeup jr46895! :thumbs_up: I've added it to my RAV4 folder.
Our '06 has 102,000 miles so I'm sure I'll get to do this job sometime.
What's extra helpful is how you got around some of the steps.

I'd seen so much discussion I was about to buy a pump on eBay to have on hand. But they are $92 on sale. Good to know $60 at NAPA. A reminder to ALWAYS shop around.

I wonder if Toyota actually pulls the engine or just uses that step to crank up the flat rate. :eek:
I just bought a 2017 Rav4 4cyl.
Does anyone know if pulling the engine (or the 4 Hours plus) also applies to the newer Rav4--2017?.
Previously, I had changed my water pumps myself and upgraded to a Stewart Water Pump---but in BMW's. It cost twice the price, but all the plastic parts (that wear) are replaced with stainless. Also the propeller instead of being plastic was metal. The water volume flow was much greater. Much better Pump--but I do not thing Stewart Pumps make it for Toyota's. Just looking at the OEM Pump and the Stewart, one would see a big difference.
I am thinking that if all this work (ie pull the engine/ 4 hours) has to be done, why not upgrade to a better, quality, Pump---that will provide much longer service. Has anyone upgraded to a better Water Pump rather than the OEM.
 

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Pulling the engine only referred to the V-6. They did find a work around. Both of ours were replaced with no engine removal.
 

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I must have a freak good water pump my 06 Rav4 v6 has 200k miles and the original water pump. Was thinking of replacing but it sounds like a pain I guess and maybe I did get one of the few good ones knock on wood.
 

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Well, my 2006 V6s original pump lasted 141,000 miles but I guess that's not a record.

Changed it yesterday and plan on writing it up with a few tips that would have saved me time. I don't have a Chiltons and the youtubes I looked at skipped important info. I tend to just figure jobs out as I go - keep the old neurons humming you know.
Anyway, a couple initial thoughts. There's a lot more working room in the RAV4's bay, specifically between the engine and the right side inner fender well, than in the Accord or Odyssey I've changed timing belts on. The RAV4 doesn't take any "tight spot" wrenches or working where only small oriental hands were intended to reach.

The ONLY REASON I can imagine you'd need to pull the engine, a massive job, would be to remove the pulley from the water pump. What you do instead is detach it and move it out of your way as needed to get to the bolts under it. Then it comes off when you take the pump out. (Then remember to drop it over the new pump on the install.)
Bought my pump from Amazon for $46. I prefer eBay or rockauto for $10 less but wanted Amazon's to get their free 2-day shipping with Sunday delivery. Yeah right! I've got the car mostly apart Sunday and get the pump Monday at 4:30 PM. Called to P.O. to ask where it was a few minutes earlier. It worked! The mail truck came down the road while I had them on the phone.
 

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Here's how I changed the pump on my 2006 V6 including a few of the mistakes that cost me time.

1. Remove engine cover. Note that I didn't disconnect the battery.

2. Drain the radiator. It's the yellow handle on the driver's side of the radiator. I attached a short hose to the spigot.
2a. Remove the top cover over the radiator. It covers from fender to fender. Push the center of the 9 plastic pins in about 1/4 inch and they pop right out.

3. Unbolt the reservoir and move it to the right. No need to remove the hoses.

4. Jack up the right front wheel and put the car on a jack stand. Remove the wheel.

5. Remove the vertical plastic cover that blocks view of the crankshaft pulley. Release these three plastic pins by prying the centers out about 1/4 inch. (I did this later whereas earlier would've made seeing other bolts easier.)

6. Use a floor jack under the oil pan to relieve weight on the motor mount.

7. Remove the motor mount. It's comes off in two pieces, an aluminum one bolted to the engine and a steel one attached to the body with three bolts. It has an aluminum "elbow" mounted in rubber and fastens to the engine piece with a nut on a stud and two bolts. (There's also a small steel brace on top that has to come off.) Had a hiccup here.

8. I removed the five obvious bolts and the nut but the mount wouldn't budge. Turns out there's another stud pointing downward at the rear of the two aluminum pieces. Was probably the most difficult nut to get at in the whole job. It took just the right length extensions and a deep socket stuck up from inside the wheel well next to the crank pulley.

9. Once the "hidden" nut was off the steel/rubber/aluminum mount piece lifted right off. I removed the base aluminum piece that sets on the frame under the steel piece to afford more working room. Next the piece on the engine comes off with about five bolt of about six different lengths. Don't mix them up.

10. Remove the thermostat housing and attached piping with a hose on each end. A little coolant will run out of the block but most of it will be in the piping you just removed.

11. With the serpentine belt still on loosen the four water pump pulley bolts. Another bo-bo here as I removed the belt first making loosening the bolts harder. Release the tension on the belt by twisting the lower idler/tensioner pulley counter clockwise by its pivot bolt. Slide the belt off and release the pulley.

12. Remove the pulley by turning the pivot bolt clockwise (left handed thread) and its spring mount (normal thread). Remove the other (top) idler pulley (normal thread).

13. Remove the WP pulley bolts but don't try getting the pulley off. You can't w/o removing the engine.

14. You are now ready to remove the WP. A fair amount of coolant will leak out so before proceeding I jammed a small wooden block between the edge of the oil pan and the frame so I could remove the jack to make room for my large drain pan. (It's a Home Depot one sold for mixing cement.)

15. Remove the WP. It has a mix of 10 & 12 mm bolts and the ones under the now flopping pulley are the most fun.

16. Now the infamous "reassemble in reverse order."

17. Remember to drop the WP pulley over the new pump's flange before installing. My kit came with two new o-rings so I used them. After you get the new pump installed install the pulley back onto it.

18. Before reinstalling the tensioner note the small hole at about 5 o'clock. After reinstalling it and its pulley use a wrench on it's pivot bolt to twist it toward the rear and insert an Allen wrench thru the hole and into the slot behind it to lock the pulley released to facilitated reinstalling the belt. Reinstall the top idler pulley. Reinstall the belt. Release the pressure on the Allen key, remove it and let the tensioner take up the slack. Be sure to tighten the four WP pulley bolts at this point.

19. Refill the system with coolant. You should have seen the bleeder tap near the motor mount. I loosened it until a solid stream came out. Check the reservoir level after the engine cools off. It should be near the LOW level. Double check the level after a few heat cycles.

All in all a fairly easy job partly because you aren't jammed up for room as on a Honda timing belt change.
 

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Belt tensioner

Hi,
Thanks for the instructions.
I’m going to try replacing the belt tensioner tomorrow.
Do you need to lift up the engine to access it?
How about removing the alternator and AC compressor?

Thanks!
Here's how I changed the pump on my 2006 V6 including a few of the mistakes that cost me time.

1. Remove engine cover. Note that I didn't disconnect the battery.

2. Drain the radiator. It's the yellow handle on the driver's side of the radiator. I attached a short hose to the spigot.
2a. Remove the top cover over the radiator. It covers from fender to fender. Push the center of the 9 plastic pins in about 1/4 inch and they pop right out.

3. Unbolt the reservoir and move it to the right. No need to remove the hoses.

4. Jack up the right front wheel and put the car on a jack stand. Remove the wheel.

5. Remove the vertical plastic cover that blocks view of the crankshaft pulley. Release these three plastic pins by prying the centers out about 1/4 inch. (I did this later whereas earlier would've made seeing other bolts easier.)

6. Use a floor jack under the oil pan to relieve weight on the motor mount.

7. Remove the motor mount. It's comes off in two pieces, an aluminum one bolted to the engine and a steel one attached to the body with three bolts. It has an aluminum "elbow" mounted in rubber and fastens to the engine piece with a nut on a stud and two bolts. (There's also a small steel brace on top that has to come off.) Had a hiccup here.

8. I removed the five obvious bolts and the nut but the mount wouldn't budge. Turns out there's another stud pointing downward at the rear of the two aluminum pieces. Was probably the most difficult nut to get at in the whole job. It took just the right length extensions and a deep socket stuck up from inside the wheel well next to the crank pulley.

9. Once the "hidden" nut was off the steel/rubber/aluminum mount piece lifted right off. I removed the base aluminum piece that sets on the frame under the steel piece to afford more working room. Next the piece on the engine comes off with about five bolt of about six different lengths. Don't mix them up.

10. Remove the thermostat housing and attached piping with a hose on each end. A little coolant will run out of the block but most of it will be in the piping you just removed.

11. With the serpentine belt still on loosen the four water pump pulley bolts. Another bo-bo here as I removed the belt first making loosening the bolts harder. Release the tension on the belt by twisting the lower idler/tensioner pulley counter clockwise by its pivot bolt. Slide the belt off and release the pulley.

12. Remove the pulley by turning the pivot bolt clockwise (left handed thread) and its spring mount (normal thread). Remove the other (top) idler pulley (normal thread).

13. Remove the WP pulley bolts but don't try getting the pulley off. You can't w/o removing the engine.

14. You are now ready to remove the WP. A fair amount of coolant will leak out so before proceeding I jammed a small wooden block between the edge of the oil pan and the frame so I could remove the jack to make room for my large drain pan. (It's a Home Depot one sold for mixing cement.)

15. Remove the WP. It has a mix of 10 & 12 mm bolts and the ones under the now flopping pulley are the most fun.

16. Now the infamous "reassemble in reverse order."

17. Remember to drop the WP pulley over the new pump's flange before installing. My kit came with two new o-rings so I used them. After you get the new pump installed install the pulley back onto it.

18. Before reinstalling the tensioner note the small hole at about 5 o'clock. After reinstalling it and its pulley use a wrench on its pivot bolt to twist it toward the rear and insert an Allen wrench thru the hole and into the slot behind it to lock the pulley released to facilitated reinstalling the belt. Reinstall the top idler pulley. Reinstall the belt. Release the pressure on the Allen key, remove it and let the tensioner take up the slack. Be sure to tighten the four WP pulley bolts at this point.

19. Refill the system with coolant. You should have seen the bleeder tap near the motor mount. I loosened it until a solid stream came out. Check the reservoir level after the engine cools off. It should be near the LOW level. Double check the level after a few heat cycles.

All in all a fairly easy job partly because you aren't jammed up for room as on a Honda timing belt change.
 

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Thanks for all the tips! Really helpful. The nut on the stud you mentioned in #8 is a 14mm. Also, the torque spec for the water pump bolts is 69 inch lbs. according to video on youtube. Good luck getting a torque wrench on most of those bolts! Finally, the job would have been much less exhausting if I had a helper. Doing it alone took lots of extra time. But worth it. Engine is so much quieter now.
 

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Update! So shortly after doing the water pump, the belt tension pulley seized up, burning up the new serpentine belt I put on....I think that pulley was on its last legs, and the new belt finished it off...anyway, it is NOT possible to buy just the pulley (don't ask why, but I suspect corporate greed) You have to buy the entire tension assembly (around $200 for a good one) The problem is all I needed was the pulley. So after crawling around in the mud at several local u-pull-it junk yards, I gave up and bought the assembly. I am hoping I can remove the pulley and NOT have to install the tension part....to do so requires removal of the radiator, alternator, and compressor! The tension piece is bolted BEHIND these components...trying to avoid all that extra work for a part that is still good...Cheers!
 

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If you can unbolt the new pulley from the assembly why couldn't you just swap out that part?
 

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If you can unbolt the new pulley from the assembly why couldn't you just swap out that part?

My thoughts exactly Dr.D.....however, nothing is ever that simple...
I unbolted the pulley from the $200+ tension assembly, only to find that it was different on the inside. It had a smaller diameter bolt than my original. So, it would not just "swap" like I was hoping. I wound up knocking the old bushing out of the bad pulley, and using my shop press to press it in to the new pulley. So lucky that it fit, and I did not destroy the bearing pressing it in. I then had to experiment with various size shims (washers) with my original bolt to get it to work right (otherwise the pulley was smashed against the block and would not turn. Put it all back together and kept my fingers crossed! So far so good! Avoided a HUGE job...for now!
 
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