Toyota RAV4 > Tune-up and routine maintenance > Introduction


1. This Chapteris designed to help the home mechanic maintain the Toyota RAV4 for peak performance, economy, safety and long life.

2. Included is a master maintenance schedule, followed by sections dealing specifically with each item on the schedule. Visual checks, adjustments, component replacement and other helpful items are included. Refer to the accompanying illustrations of the engine compartment and the underside of the vehicle for the location of various components.

i. 2a Engine compartment component locations

1. Brake fluid reservoir
2. No. 1 fuse/relay block
3. Air filter housing
4. Battery
5. Engine oil dipsticks
6. Engine oil filler caps
7. Coolant reservoirs
8. Windshield washer fluid reservoirs
9. No. 2 fuse/relay block
10. Spark plug and ignition coil

Toyota RAV4 Tune-up and routine maintenance Engine compartment component locations

i. 2b Engine compartment underside component locations

1. Engine oil filter
2. Front suspension strut unit
3. Front disc brake caliper
4. Ball joints
5. Drive axle boots
6. Engine oil drain plugs
7. Automatic transaxle fluid drain plugs

Toyota RAV4 Tune-up and routine maintenance Engine compartment underside component locations

i. 2c Typical rear underside component locations — 2WD models

1. Muffler
2. Exhaust system hanger
3. Shock absorber
4. Rear disc brake
5. Fuel tank

Toyota RAV4 Tune-up and routine maintenance Typical rear underside component locations - 2WD models

3. Servicing your vehicle in accordance with the mileage/time maintenance schedule and the following Sections will provide it with a planned maintenance program that should result in a long and reliable service life. This is a comprehensive plan, so maintaining some items but not others at the specified service intervals will not produce the same results.

4. As you service your RAV4, you will discover that many of the procedures can — and should — be grouped together because of the nature of the particular procedure you’re performing or because of the close proximity of two otherwise unrelated components to one another.

5. For example, if the vehicle is raised for any reason, you should inspect the exhaust, suspension, steering and fuel systems while you’re under the vehicle. When you’re rotating the tires, it makes good sense to check the brakes and wheel bearings since the wheels are already removed.

6. Finally, let’s suppose you have to borrow or rent a torque wrench. Even if you only need to tighten the spark plugs, you might as well check the torque of as many critical fasteners as time allows.

7. The first step of this maintenance program is to prepare yourself before the actual work begins. Read through all sections pertinent to the procedures you’re planning to do, then make a list of and gather together all the parts and tools you will need to do the job. If it looks as if you might run into problems during a particular segment of some procedure, seek advice from your local parts counterperson or dealer service department.

Owner’s manual and VECI label information

8. Your vehicle owner’s manuals were written for your year and model and contains very specific information on component locations, specifications, fuse ratings, part numbers, etc. The owner’s manual is an important resource for the do-it-yourselfer to have; if one was not supplied with your vehicle, it can generally be ordered from a dealer parts department.

9. Among other important information, the Vehicle Emissions Control Information (VECI) label contains specifications and procedures for tune-up adjustments (if applicable) and, in some instances, spark plugs (see Emissions and engine control systems for more information on the VECI label). The information on this label is the exact maintenance data recommended by the manufacturer. This data often varies by intended operating altitude, local emissions regulations, month of manufacture, etc.

10. This Chapter contains procedural details, safety information and more ambitious maintenance intervals than you might find in the manufacturer’s literature. However, you may also find procedures or specifications in your owner’s manual or VECI label that differ with what’s printed here. In these cases, the owner’s manual or VECI label can be considered correct, since it is specific to your particular vehicle.

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