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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2006 RAV4 V6 Limited with about 171,000 miles on it. I bought it about 20 months ago when it had 135,000 miles on it.

It was wonderful at first, but in April of this year I started a job where I put a lot of miles on my vehicle (around 5,000 miles every six weeks).

Since April, I've spent over $2,000 replacing the front and rear brake pads, battery, alternator, passenger front ball joint, and four new tires. I also get an oil change nearly every month.

About six weeks ago, the struts got noisy and I was quoted $800 to replace those, then about two weeks ago the A/C went out and I was quoted $1200 to fix that, then a few days ago I heard a clicking sound coming from the engine and got trouble codes P0012 and P0014. I'm actually afraid to get a quote for that because I'm scared it will be in the thousands.

This car is paid for and still holding a trade-in value of about $4,000.

So tonight, I got to thinking that I may need a new car. But I've had such horrible experiences with dealerships in the past, this time I decided to go through my credit union just to see if I could get approved, and I was approved for $16,500 (I said I was looking for a used vehicle).

So now the car shopping begins. I was telling my sister that I still want another RAV4, because I do like the car. I just think that with all the wear and tear because of my job, the repairs are coming faster than I can afford to pay for them. My sister thinks I'm crazy and should look for something else.

What are your thoughts? Would you purchase another RAV4? Which years are the best years?
 

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I have a 2016 I bought used because it had the 6 speed transmission. Until the 8 speed straightened out or the CVT proves itself I won't get another. There are more than a few bad reviews out there to tell me Toyota needs new management that is serious about quality again like they once were.
 

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No more V-6 means no RAV for me but I'm retired and have just under 30K miles on my '08. In your case a four cylinder makes more sense but skip years 06,07,08. Those years have the 2.4l oil burner engine. By zeroing in on another RAV you might miss a real bargain in another brand, look at everything.
 

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I would buy a used Lexus RX 350 (08-12) for my next purchase if it was today. The used Lexus offer V6 plus prices are not that much more. The newer Lexus have changed their body styling and the older ones are dropping rapidly in prices near the RAV4 prices.
Example: I saw a 2010 Lexus RX 350 with 130,000km for $13,500 (CAD).

So drhealyourself, if you buy some thing used expect to replace parts that are getting worn.
If you want something that has the highest reliability then take a look at a used Lexus.
 

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Agree with RTexasF. Almost identical circumstances. Suggest looking at everything which is available and which meets one's needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your input. I have a budget that I'm staying within, so right now I'm looking closely at the Ford C-Max, the Nissan Rogue, the Buick Encore, the Ford Escape, and the Chevrolet Trax.

But I'm going to keep my RAV4 as a second vehicle. Unfortunately it may have to stay parked for awhile until I get it fixed.
 

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I would buy a used Lexus RX 350 (08-12) for my next purchase if it was today. The used Lexus offer V6 plus prices are not that much more. The newer Lexus have changed their body styling and the older ones are dropping rapidly in prices near the RAV4 prices.
Example: I saw a 2010 Lexus RX 350 with 130,000km for $13,500 (CAD).
My oldest daughter just bought a 2015 RX350 to replace her troublesome Odyssey and got a great deal on the Lexus. It's got everything, plus it looks and drives like brand new. If I were to replace my V6 RAV4, the only RAV that would interest me is the hybrid version. And if they come out with the plug in hybrid RAV4, I'd probably go with that.
 

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Definitely, never been disappointed with any of the Rav4s I've owned including my '19 which has been perfect with the exception of the cold engine noise of the new D4S engine and lack of hood insulator which I remedied, 8sp transmission has been flawless, but even those that have had the low speed shift issue have been happy after the recent PCM update TSB. I would've preferred an HV, but they weren't available at the end of my lease, still might get one in a couple years, but if they offer the Rav4 PHEV that's being tested in Europe right now, it may just sway me, love our '18 Prius Prime.
 

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.................Would you purchase another RAV4? Which years are the best years?......
I can only speak for the '14 year model RAV4 since that is all I have experience with. But I will say it has been a great car. Reliable - no breakdowns. Easy to work on which is a big plus since I do my own PM services. Just hit 55k and 5 years of ownership -- only thing I had to replace was the tires. Had 4 installed at the 50k mark. Of course I replace the wipers as needed, and engine air filters, & cabin filters annually. Still running the original battery but I am thinking of replacing it soon before my luck runs out.

So I guess what I'm saying is the '14 has been a great year for us. But IMHO, I do think the quality of Toyota in general is slipping.
 

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I love mine. Would like to upgrade to a 2018 Adventure or SE model. My 2014 is nice but I’d like a next to new to keep clean.
 

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A piece of good news in regards to my RAV4: the clicking sound coming from my engine turned out to be because I was out of oil.

I get my oil changed nearly every month, and just got it changed a few weeks ago. I've never had any problems with my oil level being low.

But today my oil light came on, and when I took it to the shop, they said whoever change my oil the last time use the wrong sized gasket. So my oil has been steadily leaking out until it was all gone.

They were kind enough to replace the gasket and refill the oil for me.

Now my car is running like new, even though the AC still doesn't work and I do still need new struts. But overall it took the pressure off to buy a car this week, even though I may still go through with it as I need a second vehicle.
 

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Like two other posters above, I am awaiting eagerly for the hopeful arrival of a RAV4 PHEV in the USA next year (or the year after?). I just hope that they put a bigger battery pack in it than the tiny 8.8-kWh battery pack in the Prius Prime, which allows it to get only up to 25 miles of all-electric driving. (The 2019 Chevy Volt has an 18.4-kWh battery, giving up to 53 miles of all-electric range, for comparison.)
 

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I have a 2006 RAV4 V6 Limited with about 171,000 miles on it. I bought it about 20 months ago when it had 135,000 miles on it.

It was wonderful at first, but in April of this year I started a job where I put a lot of miles on my vehicle (around 5,000 miles every six weeks).

Since April, I've spent over $2,000 replacing the front and rear brake pads, battery, alternator, passenger front ball joint, and four new tires. I also get an oil change nearly every month.

About six weeks ago, the struts got noisy and I was quoted $800 to replace those, then about two weeks ago the A/C went out and I was quoted $1200 to fix that, then a few days ago I heard a clicking sound coming from the engine and got trouble codes P0012 and P0014. I'm actually afraid to get a quote for that because I'm scared it will be in the thousands.

This car is paid for and still holding a trade-in value of about $4,000.

So tonight, I got to thinking that I may need a new car. But I've had such horrible experiences with dealerships in the past, this time I decided to go through my credit union just to see if I could get approved, and I was approved for $16,500 (I said I was looking for a used vehicle).

So now the car shopping begins. I was telling my sister that I still want another RAV4, because I do like the car. I just think that with all the wear and tear because of my job, the repairs are coming faster than I can afford to pay for them. My sister thinks I'm crazy and should look for something else.

What are your thoughts? Would you purchase another RAV4? Which years are the best years?
I think you need to find a good local reputable Toyota mechanic and fix you existing RAV4. Stealerships will rob you blind. I would however recommend using OEM parts
 

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I have a 2006 RAV4 V6 Limited with about 171,000 miles on it. I bought it about 20 months ago when it had 135,000 miles on it.

It was wonderful at first, but in April of this year I started a job where I put a lot of miles on my vehicle (around 5,000 miles every six weeks).

Since April, I've spent over $2,000 replacing the front and rear brake pads, battery, alternator, passenger front ball joint, and four new tires. I also get an oil change nearly every month.

About six weeks ago, the struts got noisy and I was quoted $800 to replace those, then about two weeks ago the A/C went out and I was quoted $1200 to fix that, then a few days ago I heard a clicking sound coming from the engine and got trouble codes P0012 and P0014. I'm actually afraid to get a quote for that because I'm scared it will be in the thousands.

This car is paid for and still holding a trade-in value of about $4,000.

So tonight, I got to thinking that I may need a new car. But I've had such horrible experiences with dealerships in the past, this time I decided to go through my credit union just to see if I could get approved, and I was approved for $16,500 (I said I was looking for a used vehicle).

So now the car shopping begins. I was telling my sister that I still want another RAV4, because I do like the car. I just think that with all the wear and tear because of my job, the repairs are coming faster than I can afford to pay for them. My sister thinks I'm crazy and should look for something else.

What are your thoughts? Would you purchase another RAV4? Which years are the best years?
I have a 2007 RAV4 sport V-6 that I bought a little over a year ago. It had 180,000 miles on it. So far, I've changed the oil and I did have to get a new AC compressor. I bought one on Amazon (denso OEM) for $260 and a mechanic installed it and charged the system for $500. I also had to buy a driver's-side sun visor, which I got on eBay for $35. The check engine light went on one time and I hooked up my scanner and found out there was one bad coil. I bought one for $25 and put it on myself. That's been the extent of repairs. I did buy new tires, although they weren't that necessary, so my total cost of repairs for year really wasn't that high... considering the total mileage.

This is my second RAV4 and I would buy one again if I could find a V-6(and built in Japan). If not, I would probably save enough to get a Lexus RX 350. The new hybrid RAV4's are nice and get great gas mileage but even if I could afford one, I wouldn't get one because the cost of repairs is insanely high and parts for older Rav 4's are everywhere. 2012 is the last year that the RAV4 came with a V-6 gasoline engine. If I was going to get another one, I would hunt for one of those. The four-cylinder engines are much easier to work on but the V-6's are fun to drive and can haul almost anything no sweat. I don't drive anywhere near as much as you do and they don't use any salt in this part of Oregon, so cars hold together pretty well. I bought mine for $6900 and it still has a resale value of $6500. I will probably keep it until it hits 250,000 miles.
 

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I have a 2006 RAV4 V6 Limited with about 171,000 miles on it. I bought it about 20 months ago when it had 135,000 miles on it.

It was wonderful at first, but in April of this year I started a job where I put a lot of miles on my vehicle (around 5,000 miles every six weeks).

Since April, I've spent over $2,000 replacing the front and rear brake pads, battery, alternator, passenger front ball joint, and four new tires. I also get an oil change nearly every month.

About six weeks ago, the struts got noisy and I was quoted $800 to replace those, then about two weeks ago the A/C went out and I was quoted $1200 to fix that, then a few days ago I heard a clicking sound coming from the engine and got trouble codes P0012 and P0014. I'm actually afraid to get a quote for that because I'm scared it will be in the thousands.

This car is paid for and still holding a trade-in value of about $4,000.

So tonight, I got to thinking that I may need a new car. But I've had such horrible experiences with dealerships in the past, this time I decided to go through my credit union just to see if I could get approved, and I was approved for $16,500 (I said I was looking for a used vehicle).

So now the car shopping begins. I was telling my sister that I still want another RAV4, because I do like the car. I just think that with all the wear and tear because of my job, the repairs are coming faster than I can afford to pay for them. My sister thinks I'm crazy and should look for something else.

What are your thoughts? Would you purchase another RAV4? Which years are the best years?
I have a 2019 and would not buy another. I have to plan further ahead to pass or merge and the noise is TERRIBLE. But I do love all the tech and the good gas mileage, especially after finally given up my Lexus sedan (requiring premium) after 17+ years.
 

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A piece of good news in regards to my RAV4: the clicking sound coming from my engine turned out to be because I was out of oil.

I get my oil changed nearly every month, and just got it changed a few weeks ago. I've never had any problems with my oil level being low.

But today my oil light came on, and when I took it to the shop, they said whoever change my oil the last time use the wrong sized gasket. So my oil has been steadily leaking out until it was all gone.

They were kind enough to replace the gasket and refill the oil for me.

Now my car is running like new, even though the AC still doesn't work and I do still need new struts. But overall it took the pressure off to buy a car this week, even though I may still go through with it as I need a second vehicle.
Unlikely you were 'out' of oil, but dangerously low. The light is not a quantity indicator, it's an oil pressure indicator. Your pressure dropped (making the noise) as a response to the level becoming too low.

Unfortunately, that's a prime recipe for internal damage, depending on how long, hard and hot it was driven in this condition. Tip. You need to learn how to check the oil, weekly, yourself.

You list a pile of 'breakdowns'. Not sure what you expect from a purchase you bought at 135k and have taken 20 months of driving from, but nothing you listed is unusual for 171k OR a 17 yo vehicle. While I too always buy used, I shop for 40k or less in mileage, and typically sell (never trade) at about 135k, before the bills start coming in. BTW, none of that really has anything to do with being a RAV, it has everything to do with being an older higher mile vehicle. It happens to them all. (Regardless of the magical Subaru ads you see!)

As far as the Lexus350 goes, I agree they are pretty plush and can be a good purchase value in the right year range, they are not economical MPG high mile commuter vehicles. You'll do well to get in the low 20's. There is a 2011 70k version sitting the garage right now. And if you like that class of vehicle, but find it a touch out of budget, the Highlander is it's brother. Same driveline, less glitz (and less to break). I just put a new college student in our '04 140k model (he has a short commute) and unless he beats it up, it should easily last his 4 years and a beyond.

If a RAV is your desire, you should be able to find a '13-'14 in nice trim and modest mileage for around what your CU approved. Assuming you want to dig in your wallet that deep. I just bought (to replace the Highlander) a '14 Limited with 44k and almost flawess condition for about amount. From a dealer no less. Loving the 25 mpg city driving compared to the Highlanders 17mpg!

Good luck.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Unlikely you were 'out' of oil, but dangerously low. The light is not a quantity indicator, it's an oil pressure indicator. Your pressure dropped (making the noise) as a response to the level becoming too low.

Unfortunately, that's a prime recipe for internal damage, depending on how long, hard and hot it was driven in this condition. Tip. You need to learn how to check the oil, weekly, yourself.

You list a pile of 'breakdowns'. Not sure what you expect from a purchase you bought at 135k and have taken 20 months of driving from, but nothing you listed is unusual for 171k OR a 17 yo vehicle. While I too always buy used, I shop for 40k or less in mileage, and typically sell (never trade) at about 135k, before the bills start coming in. BTW, none of that really has anything to do with being a RAV, it has everything to do with being an older higher mile vehicle. It happens to them all. (Regardless of the magical Subaru ads you see!)

As far as the Lexus350 goes, I agree they are pretty plush and can be a good purchase value in the right year range, they are not economical MPG high mile commuter vehicles. You'll do well to get in the low 20's. There is a 2011 70k version sitting the garage right now. And if you like that class of vehicle, but find it a touch out of budget, the Highlander is it's brother. Same driveline, less glitz (and less to break). I just put a new college student in our '04 140k model (he has a short commute) and unless he beats it up, it should easily last his 4 years and a beyond.

If a RAV is your desire, you should be able to find a '13-'14 in nice trim and modest mileage for around what your CU approved. Assuming you want to dig in your wallet that deep. I just bought (to replace the Highlander) a '14 Limited with 44k and almost flawess condition for about amount. From a dealer no less. Loving the 25 mpg city driving compared to the Highlanders 17mpg!

Good luck.

Good luck!

My RAV4 is a 2006, so it's not quite 17 years old yet. You got a great deal on that '14 RAV4, I've been unable to find one anywhere close to being that cheap.

I'm definitely worried that the loss of oil caused some engine damage. How can I tell the extent of the damage, if any?

I am in the process of purchasing a 2017 Buick Encore with only 35,000 miles on it. But I will be keeping the RAV4 as a second vehicle.
 

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My RAV4 is a 2006, so it's not quite 17 years old yet. You got a great deal on that '14 RAV4, I've been unable to find one anywhere close to being that cheap.

I'm definitely worried that the loss of oil caused some engine damage. How can I tell the extent of the damage, if any?

I am in the process of purchasing a 2017 Buick Encore with only 35,000 miles on it. But I will be keeping the RAV4 as a second vehicle.
You are correct. 14 model years old, the '20's are up. My bad.

Best to keep your fingers crossed. There may be no significant damage. Just depends.

If you start having oil consumption problems, a compression check would be in order. If you hear a deep rhythmic 'knock' from the engine that varies with RPM, bearings are suspect. IE there is no real way to tell short of a tear down or the appearnace of other symptoms. And it's not worth the cost/effort for the tear down. Best wishes for a healthy motor!
 
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