'06 RAV4 2.4L - Anything to Know for Maintenance?

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My son and his wife just bought an '06 RAV4 FWD 2.4 liter Automatic. I've never really been around one of them. It's been a few years since I've owned a Toyota. Since I suspect that I will be the one they consult for maintenance and care, is there anything I need to know? A little online research shows that there are at least two recalls that my son should make sure were completed - a rear tie rod, and an airbag cable in the steering column. There are a couple other recalls. The floor mat/accelerator pedal issue, and one related to a missing wheel load capacity label. One website (carcomplaints.com) gives the '06 RAV4 a "Beware of the Clunker" rating. It appears this is based upon a high number of complaints to NHTSA, and the number of recalls. The leading NHTSA complaints are regarding high oil consumption, and clunking noise when steering. Are these common issues with this model? I know the '06 was the first year of an update to the RAV4. Are there other issues that need to be watched for? Any advice will be appreciated. I tried to talk them out of this, as I have heard that the '06-'09 RAV4 is not exactly up to what most would expect from Toyota. So I'd like to know what advice to give my son and his wife.
 
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steering clunking maybe related to Toy TSB RE: intermediate steering shaft needs upgrading. high oil consumption with 2.4L 4 typically due to owner's neglect. 1st one is fairly easy to deal with (if you have the technical know-how, about 200bux and 1/2hr and you are done for the rest of the vehicle's life); 2nd one is the deal killer. (*note: I do not buy oil burning higher mileage Toyota, period) Good luck. Q.
 

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Originally Posted By: Quest
steering clunking maybe related to Toy TSB RE: intermediate steering shaft needs upgrading. high oil consumption with 2.4L 4 typically due to owner's neglect. 1st one is fairly easy to deal with (if you have the technical know-how, about 200bux and 1/2hr and you are done for the rest of the vehicle's life); 2nd one is the deal killer. (*note: I do not buy oil burning higher mileage Toyota, period) Good luck. Q.
I haven't seen the car yet, and won't until Christmas, when the kids come. They did test drive it, so I doubt they have the steering issue. I just noted that it is a reported condition. Not sure about oil consumption either. It isn't a high mileage car. Only 57k miles. I guess they will find out. This does worry me, though. My son is not one to check oil level regularly.
 
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Not the best choice in cars very cheap feeling compared to GM Ford Chrysler Hyundai or Honda. Ok for gas mileage and i know someone who survived a high speed rear end crash that flipped it twice and both the driver and passenger made it out alive although still in pain 3 years ago
 

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Originally Posted By: crazyoildude
Not the best choice in cars very cheap feeling compared to GM Ford Chrysler Hyundai or Honda. Ok for gas mileage and i know someone who survived a high speed rear end crash that flipped it twice and both the driver and passenger made it out alive although still in pain 3 years ago
From my research, it appears that, for a 2.4 liter, the fuel economy is good. Not great. But good. The RAV4 is rated very high for crash safety. That is nice to see, as my son's young family is important to me. I looked up the Owner's manual, and noted that 5W-20 and 0W-20 are the recommended oils, with Toyota giving a nod towards 0W-20 for improved economy and easier starting in cold weather.
 
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Here is my experience with a 2006 Rav. Change the transmission fluid now if it hasn't been done, and at 60k thereafter. I like Maxlife or Amsoil ATL for this application.
 

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Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Here is my experience with a 2006 Rav. Change the transmission fluid now if it hasn't been done, and at 60k thereafter. I like Maxlife or Amsoil ATL for this application.
Have you heard of transmission issues with the RAV4, if the ATF isn't changed regularly? The car has about 57,000 miles on it, so it's just about right for ATF change anyway. Would you change the filter at the same time? Is this a standard drop the pan to drain it design, of does it have a drain plug?
 
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just drain-n-fill a few times and you'll be fine. Not aware of any AT gearbox issues on those RAV4, unless previously been abused. Q. p.s. 57k, might as well replace the PCV valve and run some DELO and see if it helps clear any previous issues that the engine may have. BTW: when we bought my wifey's 04 camry used, it already came with 56k on the odo, and no oil burning issues...now it is over 200k.
 
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Originally Posted By: BHopkins
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Here is my experience with a 2006 Rav. Change the transmission fluid now if it hasn't been done, and at 60k thereafter. I like Maxlife or Amsoil ATL for this application.
Have you heard of transmission issues with the RAV4, if the ATF isn't changed regularly? The car has about 57,000 miles on it, so it's just about right for ATF change anyway. Would you change the filter at the same time? Is this a standard drop the pan to drain it design, of does it have a drain plug?
I haven't heard of any issues with transmissions that have been cared for. Drain and fill it four times with some driving in between. Don't worry about the filter, if there is one. Maxlife is a good ATF, and is inexpensive.
 
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I have a 2008 2.4L automatic FWD Rav4 bought new now at 91,000 miles. Mine is one of the oil consumers which is related to weak piston oil rings. The only fix is re-ring the pistons. There is a tsb with the vin number series effected. My steering doesn't clunk so that is a non-issue for me. Oil: I have used synthetic 5w20 since new so the engine is pretty clean and it has just started to consume at about 80,000 miles. The engine takes 4.5 quarts at change time so I just fill with 5 quarts and it uses about 1/2 quart in 5000 miles. Simple. I change the ATF with a fluid extractor out of the dipstick tube every 30,000 miles and get out 4 quarts and replace with only Toyota WS ATF. Trans still shifting fine. Take your in to a dealer and have them check for any open recalls or ecm reflashes. Keep the fuel system clean with a new air filter every 25,000 miles and a techron cleaning as well. I change the engine coolant every 50-60,000 miles and serpentine belt at 70k. Change the pcv valve at 100k. Join Toyota nation You can expect to drive that Rav at least to 200k.
 
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Originally Posted By: BHopkins
Any advice will be appreciated. I tried to talk them out of this, as I have heard that the '06-'09 RAV4 is not exactly up to what most would expect from Toyota. So I'd like to know what advice to give my son and his wife.
I disagree. Our is a shared car for my 3 daughters so it has 91,000 "teenager miles" and several fender benders. It has taken a real pounding and keeps giving right back. It will end up going to College with our 16 year old and then get traded when she graduates. I estimate it will have about 150-160k on the clock. We have used it to move two kids in and out of dorm rooms at two different Universities loaded to the roof with a car top carrier and 3 passengers. Never a miss. It has only failed to start once when the factory battery made in 2008 gave out this fall. So it has been a reliable vehicle all the way around and the girls feel safe driving it.
 
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Originally Posted By: BHopkins
Is this a standard drop the pan to drain it design, of does it have a drain plug?
It has a drain plug.
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Don't worry about the filter, if there is one.
There is one, and I WOULD worry about it for the following reason: Jim Allen has stated, from an SAE paper he bought, that most wear in an automatic transmission occurs in the first 15,000 miles from new, and it is this wear material the filter is designed to collect. If the vehicle hasn't had the filter changed in 57,000 miles, I would get it out of there, but then the filter should not need changing again after that.
 
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Filter or strainer? I changed what I think was the original filter on my Tundra, and it had nothing in it that I could see. Not hard to change, assuming no issues with warping the pan or the gasket. But it was good to drop and check the magnets, and due to the shape of the pan the only way to fully drain the pan. The worst looking fluid appeared in the spots where it would not drain from.
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
Filter or strainer?
According to the folks at rav4world.com it's a filter. I guess I'll find out when I do my sister's...
 

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Originally Posted By: Doog
Originally Posted By: BHopkins
Any advice will be appreciated. I tried to talk them out of this, as I have heard that the '06-'09 RAV4 is not exactly up to what most would expect from Toyota. So I'd like to know what advice to give my son and his wife.
I disagree. Our is a shared car for my 3 daughters so it has 91,000 "teenager miles" and several fender benders. It has taken a real pounding and keeps giving right back. It will end up going to College with our 16 year old and then get traded when she graduates. I estimate it will have about 150-160k on the clock. We have used it to move two kids in and out of dorm rooms at two different Universities loaded to the roof with a car top carrier and 3 passengers. Never a miss. It has only failed to start once when the factory battery made in 2008 gave out this fall. So it has been a reliable vehicle all the way around and the girls feel safe driving it.
I'm glad to hear your appraisal of your RAV4. Hopefully my son and his wife have similar reliability. There is plenty of reviews that I have found online that have given me worry. Two of my other sons have also heard a lot of negative comments about the RAV4 not being Toyota's finest. And a friend of the family, who owns a body shop, doesn't speak too highly of the RAV4. In regards to doing body work on it, he calls it a tin can. So I'm relieved to hear positive feedback.
 
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