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Buying a 2008ish Rav4


Honitonman
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Hi Rav4 Newbie question please.  We currently have a Gen 3 Hilux Surf (3.0L Diesel) that we have decided to "shrink"  by swapping it for a 2008ish Rav4.  We know lots about the Gen2 and Gen 3 Surfs, have had them for 10+ years, but we know zip about Rav4s.  Can someone point me to a list of things to look out for when buying a vehicle of 2008 ish vintage?  Thank you everyone  🙂  

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The DCAT engines of the time had a risk of cylinder heads warping, so Toyota replaced many under a warranty extended for that reason.  You might look favourably on one with an engine replacement. 

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15 minutes ago, Dippy said:

The DCAT engines of the time had a risk of cylinder heads warping, so Toyota replaced many under a warranty extended for that reason.  You might look favourably on one with an engine replacement. 

Better refer to:

for the actual list of affected engines. A diesel from around 2008 could be considered a risky prospect, though those that are still running well today could well be considered "safe bets", and we never really knew the extent of the problem.

Petrol RAVs are generally considered pretty bullet-proof.

 

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I have a 2008 2.2 DCAT T180 diesel. One of the best cars I have ever had. Very reliable - sadly now an electrical problem - but I can forgive it that after 7 years or so of trouble free running.  I think the engine thing is misplaced. For sure a few folk may have had issues, but in has to be taken in context to the vast majority that have not. Nothing particular to say about it except it does everything pretty well. Personally I would look out for excessive rust underneath, particularly suspension arms and cross members, a smokey exhaust - usually turbo on its way out, knackered shocks, and any DPF issues. I would also bin any horrible run flats and exchange them for proper tyres. Saves unsprung mass also. Rubbish side hinged rear door - for Yanks - and a bit plasticky inside, but other than that a hoot to drive, economical for its size, good in snow and lots of toys - all of which still work.      

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13 hours ago, Dippy said:

I don’t refer to Charleyfarley’s thread, partly as it’s 600+ posts to wade through, partly as I consider it has an unnecessarily  pessimistic tone. 

Folk need read only the first post which accurately and concisely describes the issue - it's pretty factual and there's nothing "unnecessarily  pessimistic" about that. That things later descend is just a feature of social media ...

Importantly, it doesn't single out the D-CAT engine - rather it cites: Those vehicles fitted with AD diesel engines:

  • Avensis with 1AD or 2AD (Prod. Date: Apr 2005 to Feb 2009)
  • Rav4 with 2AD (Prod. Date: Jul 2005 to Dec 2008)
  • Auris with 1AD or 2AD (Prod. Date: Sep 2006 to Sep 2009)
  • Verso with 2AD (Prod. Date: Apr 2005 to Nov 2008)

And it doesn't describe the issue as "cylinder heads warping" - rather it cites: 

  1. Oil consumption worse than 0.5 litre per 621 miles (1,000 km)
  2. Overheating & Head Gasket failure due to carbon deposits on the pistons

But, as I stated above, "we never really knew the extent of the problem" and there is a danger of being over pessimistic. The "How Many Left" site gives a good indication of the number of cars still on the road ... 

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The important thing really is do you have the sort of motoring profile to keep a modern, common rail, intercooled, turbo diesel (& emission-equipped if a D-CAT) happy? When things do go wrong on these from any manufacturer they go wrong expensively which is why I have said for years that I don't recommend running one out of warranty unless you are prepared to pay for those repairs

Other things to note:

turbo diesels still best for towing

they will increasingly be banned or penalised from cities & towns under Low Emission Zones

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