Last post on Dec 03, 2011 at 8:50 AM
You are in the Toyota RAV4
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Toyota RAV4, SUV
#1738 of 2127 problems with 2002 toyota rav4
Jan 29, 2005 (7:01 pm)
having a problem with our 2002 toyota rav4, oil changed last in oct 2004. driving home on jan 23rd, the oil light came on then pulling off the road, every indicator light went on then the car stalled out. had the car towed to a mechanic that said the oil was like mud, then had the car towed to a dealer where it sits today, and they can't tell us what is wrong with it. looking online we see this is a common problem with certain toyotas from 1997-2002 that toyota recognized, we are wondering if anyone out there knows anything about it???
#1739 of 2127 Re: problems with 2002 toyota rav4 [cindyc]
Jan 31, 2005 (6:51 am)
Actually, the sludge problem occurs if you do not change oil often enough. Certain Toyota engines MAY have been more prone to developing sludge, but only if the oil changes were not often enough. I have talked to two Toyota mechanics (at a very large dealership) that say they have never seen even one single sludge case that was legit. They said it was always a case of owner neglect, and people on this website have said the same thing.
I am not saying that this is your fault, but just clarifying what you saw about the 1997-2002.
How many miles on the car, how many miles between oil changes, how long (months) between oil changes, has filter always been changed, who did the oil changes???
#1740 of 2127 Re: problems with 2002 toyota rav4 [cindyc]
Jan 31, 2005 (10:57 am)
The RAV motor is not included with the sludge problem. Are you the original owner of the RAV? How many miles are on it? Was the oil changed on a regular basis? The answer to these questions should help determine what the problem is. The RAV has a pretty reliable engine. However, anything is possible.
#1741 of 2127 problems with 2002 toyota rav4 by cindyc
Jan 31, 2005 (11:34 am)
Truth be told, there are a number of reasons why your Rav4 engine oil could have become "like mud".(BTW,That engine wasn't one of the ones which was alledged to have problems.)
As Mcdawgg says, lack of, or extended oil changes
are by far the most common reasons for sludge development.
And yes, there has been considerable discussion about sludge in the past.
In spite of what some insisted, it eventually turned out there was far more hype than substance to the controversy.
When the dust finally settled, it also became clear that Mcdawgg's assessment and experience is as close to the truth as it gets.
In your case it's difficult to provide any kind of helpful information without more information from you AND your dealer.
When an assessment by your dealer is made on what the cause (or causes) might be, it would be interesting to hear what was determined.
#1742 of 2127 Re: problems with 2002 toyota rav4 [cindyc]
Jan 31, 2005 (1:17 pm)
Cindyc, Can you describe the "mud"? Is it the color of a chocolate milkshake (such as when water or coolant mixes with oil) or more dark brown, almost black and tarry looking?
The others are right in that the Toyota engine sludge campaign was limited to certain models and years and does not include the Rav-4. If you maintained your engine according to Toyota specifications and developed sludge, then you could have recourse through the new car drive train warranty, if still in effect. Toyota has placed inserts in some vehicles stating specifically that the warranty will not cover sludge. If that is the case, and again, if you maintained your car according to Toyota's specifications, then the next step would be lawsuit or arbitration.
#1743 of 2127 rav 4 problems
Jan 31, 2005 (2:14 pm)
We did get the oil changed on a regular basis, and this family has been going to the same mechanic for over 20 years. the car had about 45,000 miles on it. Most of the miles were put on it in the first year, but the last year and a half, we didn't drive it as much. we have 4 oil change receipts for 2004, the last one was in october, and I had a baby on october 20, so we really haven't driven a lot at all since then. By what little the dealership is saying, we are guessing the car needs a new engine. we don't know what we are going to do, it seems unacceptable that a car we bought new and had oil changes regularly in would die like this.
#1744 of 2127 av 4 problems by cindyc
Jan 31, 2005 (3:04 pm)
For what it's worth Scoti1, I think it's a bit premature to speculate at any length about what little is known so far.
As I understand it, the first mechanic said oil was like "mud", which can mean many things.
The car "stalled out", which can also mean a bunch of possibilities.
Now the vehicle is at the dealer being diagnosed, and the owner apparently hasn't yet received any info as to cause, effect, or repair cost.
Speculating about the color of the "mud", or dispensing advice about sludge at this juncture, might raise unwarranted concerns.
I would like more info, especially what the dealer has to say, before raising any flags. I have some ideas about what might be involved with this problem, but without more details it might unduly confuse things.
These people are (justifiably) worried, and I think it's unwise to create additional concerns at this point.
#1745 of 2127 Re: rav 4 problems [cindyc]
Feb 01, 2005 (6:12 am)
By the way, this would still be under warranty - 5 years/60,000 miles. So you should have nothing to worry about, as long as the proper maintenance was done. But we are all curious...
#1746 of 2127 Re: rav 4 problems [mcdawgg]
Feb 01, 2005 (7:57 am)
mcdawgg, I would hope it wouldn't be an issue, except for that nasty notice Toyota places in the owners manuals about not covering sludge under warranty. If it isn't sludge, and the engine has been maintained properly, then yes, the warranty should take care of it. My recommendation is to take it to the dealer, cindyc, with all of your backup maintenance information in hand.
Also, cindyc, I am still interested in the appearance and consistency of the mud if you have that information.
#1747 of 2127 Re: rav 4 problems [scoti1]
Feb 01, 2005 (8:20 pm)
Unfortunately the car is over an hour away from us. We were driving home from my mothers when it broke down, and even though we have AAAplus, they would only tow it 10 miles because of all the snow we had. The mechanic we had it towed to first couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, so we towed it to the dealer where it has sat for over a week. we faxed all the oil change receipts to them, but they are saying they are useless because the mechanic we take it to didn't write the mileage or vin# on the receipt. My husbands family has been going to this mechanic for over 20 years, so I don't think he did anything shady like not really changing the oil. our warranty is for 75,000 miles 72 months, we are under both. We have a newborn baby, and my Honda was stolen less than 2 weeks before the Rav broke down. We are both working and taking care of a newborn with 1 rental car and can't really get down there until we have some info to go on. Toyota has said they will call us every day, but don't. We end up calling them, they say they will call us back, but don't. No matter what happens, we are getting rid of that car when we get it back. I just pray they do the right thing.