Used Toyota RAV4 from 2012 to 2018 - all faults

BY CONVEYOR: from 2012 to 2018

BODY: 5-door station wagon (SUV)

ENGINES: 2.0 L, 146 HP, Gasoline, Manual, Front Wheel Drive 1986 3ZR-FE

2.0 l, 146 HP, gasoline, manual transmission, four-wheel drive (4WD) 1986 3ZR-FE

2.0 L, 146 HP, Gasoline, CVT, Front Wheel Drive 1986 3ZR-FE

2.0 l, 146 HP, petrol,(CVT), four-wheel drive (4WD) 1986 3ZR-FE

2.2 l, 150 HP, diesel, automatic transmission, four-wheel drive (4WD) 2231 2AD-FHV

2.5 l, 180 HP, gasoline, automatic transmission, four-wheel drive (4WD) 2494 2AR-FE


DRIVE: front, full

RESTYLING: 2015 - renewal of head optics, lights, radiator grill, tailgate, front and rear bumpers; refreshed center console, steering wheel and dashboard.

CRASH TESTS: 2013, EuroNCAP. The overall rating is five stars. Protection of adult passengers - 89%; child protection - 82%; pedestrian protection - 66%; security assistance systems - 66%.


Hood vibration on the move is sometimes encountered on older cars, when the factory sealant, bonding the bonnet frame and its panel, which starts to "play" at speed, dries up.

Squeak or crunch of door stops is a common thing, they are changed quite often. Experience shows that lubrication only accelerates the failure of mechanisms (the manufacturer himself also prohibits this procedure), since this causes more dirt to get on them.

The headlights of the restyled Rav4 were marked by two drawbacks. The first one is incomprehensible whitish traces inside the buildings. Moreover, this was observed on new machines. True, dealers managed to install new headlights on most cars even before they were handed over to customers. The second drawback is the possible appearance of small cracks along the edges of the front of the headlights. They arise from internal stress in the housings due to imperfect manufacturing processes. The upgraded headlights entered the assembly line only in May 2018.

On cars manufactured from October 2015 to March 2016, the fifth door electric control unit sometimes fails. The manufacturer even conducted a recall campaign to replace this module with a modified one, which affected about 2,500 cars. The control element burned out in the block, if something prevented the door from closing, it simply could not withstand the increased current.

The windshield is not the most durable - it can crack in the cold when the heating is turned on. This is especially true for crossovers of the first years of production. Most often, cracks appear on the outside of the glass at the bottom.


the 2.0 engine of the 3ZR-FE series is mechanically reliable and has no obvious weaknesses, with the exception of one drawback. On the first cars, an engine was installed with the Valvematic system, which changed the lift of the intake valves (similar to Valvetronic in BMW). Usually, already at 50,000 km, its expensive and non-repairable actuator (aka control unit) refused. When restyling Valvematic, they decided to remove it - and they did the right thing.

The 2.5 2AR-FE petrol engine is familiar from the previous Camry and does not suffer from serious problems. And under the hood of the RAV4, it behaves even better. Firstly, leaks of the crankshaft oil seals have become isolated. Secondly, the rumble of the phase shifter on the intake camshaft has practically stopped. If on Camry and some Lexus, the clutch was often changed even during the warranty period, then on Rav4 this operation was practically forgotten.

Diesel 2.2 is problematic.

The cylinder head gasket quickly loses its tightness. This leads to increased consumption of oil and coolant, as well as significant fouling on the pistons and piston rings. As part of the warranty repair, in addition to the gasket, modified pistons and rings were installed. By the time the restyled crossovers appeared, the manufacturer corrected this mistake.

An equally dangerous malfunction is overflowing fuel injectors. They were formally modified in June 2015, but in fact, all RAV4s are at risk. Any modern diesel engine is extremely sensitive even to a slight excess of fuel, and here faulty injectors literally watered the cylinder walls. Diesel fuel enters the sump and accelerates the degradation of the oil, and with it the wear of the engine, and in some cases even reaches the burnout of the pistons.

leakage of the front cover of the engine to 30,000-40,000 km on cars manufactured before the end of January 2015. So if you're looking for a diesel-powered crossover, don't even look towards the RAV4.


Six-speed automatic Aisin U760 series

A feature of many Aisin models is sensitivity to overheating. This does not mean design flaws - you just need to monitor the cleanliness of the cooling radiators (flush at least once every 60,000 km) and behave wisely on the road. The valve body is the first to suffer from overheating (body deformation is possible), which leads to more global damage.

During operation, wear of the torque converter lock-up clutch linings is inevitable, the products of which get into the oil. Therefore, it is worth updating the fluid at least once every 60,000 km.

Moreover, the lock-up clutch on the RAV4 lives much longer than on the Camry with a similar automatic - a modified torque converter and updated software were even released for it.


The RAV4 has a CVT with the K111F index, which is paired with a 2.0 gasoline engine. It belongs to a large family of units that can be found on various Toyota and Lexus models. And if there are many complaints about them even during the warranty period, then the K111F and it is on the Rav4 behaves almost exemplarily, as far as this word is generally applied to CVT.

Even minor ailments of any CVT (for example, increased noise, acceleration delays and jerks) indicate that you will have to invest heavily in repairs. Therefore, in no case save on a full-fledged diagnosis. Even the most successful CVTs have a limited resource, and their full restoration is very expensive.

Vehicle interior

Condensation can form on the roof panel and drip down the pillars or through the shade and sun visor mountings. The reasons for the appearance of moisture are in the features of the body structure and interior ventilation. There is only one recipe: to glue the ceiling with soundproofing sheets.

The leather upholstery of the front seats is not of the highest quality. Cracks and creases appear fairly quickly on the outer side ridges of the pillows. The lifespan of the upholstery directly depends on how carefully the driver and passenger sit in the seats or leave the passenger compartment. Only the cushion lining is used for replacement, its foam base is not punctured.

Plastic "plays" always when the interior warms up, excessive mobility becomes audible.


Oil leaks on the bevel gear housing are a typical pattern for many crossover models with a range of over 100,000 km. Fortunately, the RAV4 breaks the tightness of the rear cover, through which the right-hand drive passes, and not of the internal oil seals. To re-seal it, you do not need to remove and disassemble the assembly.

A fairly common defect is the noise and vibration of the rear wheel clutch. Inside its housing, the shaft bearing wears out over time, which leads to irreparable internal damage to the unit: it has to be replaced as an assembly

On cars manufactured before May 2014, there are old-style silent blocks (split) in the rear trailing arms. This design was intended to improve ride comfort, but because of this, the suspension became unnecessarily soft, and it often punched on bumps. Silent blocks of a new sample (monolithic) gave the suspension more rigidity. Unfortunately, the original parts are not available as separate parts, so the suspension upgrade means replacing the trailing arm assemblies.

As with many Toyota models, the rear brakes require periodic maintenance (preventive maintenance)

The rear stabilizer struts hang very heavily from the lower arm, so they can easily be broken in half if you are sloppy off-road.

The front stabilizer bushings can squeak even at low mileage. The only way out is replacement. Moreover, the new rubber bands live much longer than the factory ones, although the manufacturer has not modernized them.

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