Low maintenance? I think NOT. I have a 2001 RAV4 and this is my second time to replace the catalylic converter which costs about $900. Plus 4 oxygen senors since they were freezed up in the converter, it's another $700. My engine was on for at least 6 times now. I bought Toyota with the same mentality as other people did. I think Toyota might have improved the RAV4 over the years, but NOT year 2001 model. That's when it first came out, redesigned... That's my story, very sad...
I have also had a great deal of trouble with the check engine light on my 2001 Rav4. It began coming on regularly when the car only had 12,000 miles on it. After 18 months and 5 trips to the dealer, they finally replaced the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensors at no charge. 45,000 miles later, the light was back on indicating the same bad parts. This time the charge was to be on me, because the dealer felt that they had adequately taken care of the original problem. I took the car to another mechanic for a second opinion and was told it would be highly unusual for a catalytic converter to fail twice in 80,000 miles. He believed the problem was most likely with the check engine system. I have driven it for nearly 2 years with the light (nearly) constantly on, and the car runs fine. Of course, I don't have the benefit of an early warning check engine system.
There is an issue with the check engine light. Toyota should have sent this recall notice some time between February 07 and now. Error codes p0141 p1346 and p1349 all have been related to this recall. Too bad they do not reimburse all the money for reject inspection stickers and repair cost so your vehicle can pass inspection.
I found a dealer in California who acknowledges an internal problem with the ECU (computer). Toyota called it a "special service campaign", not a "recall". It is a reprogramming, which is free and takes a half hour.
I have a 2001 Toyota RAV4 and bought 3 months ago. I drove a friend of mine 250 miles away and when I got home from my trip, it starting shaking and losing power. I took it for diagnostic and the news was catalytic converter- cost $700 and to do a tune up $500. It is indeed expensive to own a 2001 Toyota RAV4.
We have an 2001 rav4, just replaced the transmission at 119,000 miles along with the ECM $3700.00 later :(
Yesterday took it to the Toyota dealer because the check engine light was on, code says catalytic converter replacement cost $800 with labor, doesn’t really affect operation but if you live in a city with emission restrictions you will have a hard time selling it.
I’m so disappointed with the rav, I drive a 06 Tacoma with no issues so far... knock on wood.
I got rid of my 2001 Rav4 when the transmission went out at 110 thousand miles. 4 months and 3 transmissions later the dealership found it to be the ECM which they replaced for free (still charging me 4200 for a transmission). I had also been in several times over the years for check engine light problems due to the ECM, which were fixed for free.
I now have a Suzuki SX4 which I love.
I have a 2001 RAV4. I bought it new. The check engine light has been on numerous times. At 48,000 miles, the dealership replaced my catalytic converter, and various other parts with that. It was under warranty.
Recently now in 2010, I am at 105,000 miles... and the engine light is ON again. It has been checked by an independent garage... who says the codes are catalytic converter.
I took it to a Toyota dealership, and they RESET the computer. I was sent on my way.
3 weeks later, the check engine light came ON again. Now they say it's the catalytic converter (AGAIN??). They say with labor it's well over $1200.
I have been in touch with Toyota Corporate, who claims that my car is WAY out of warranty, and there's nothing they can do for me! Not good customer service I'd say.
She did offer me $750 towards a NEW Toyota! NO thanks! I explained I cannot get the converter... nor can I get a new one right now. The car is running smoothly... despite the light being ON.
Sadly, I have had Toyotas for 20+ years, and have loved them. I am saddened by the apathy of Toyota Corporate. They will LOSE this customer.
Any help out there???
Unfortunately, I have had the exact same experience, almost verbatim! It is terrible... I live in Missouri, and although the car runs fine, because of the emissions failure of this catalytic converter, I must pay $875 to have it replaced in order to get new plates. I've been a Toyota customer since 1992... they lost me, too! I hope your situation improves.
Toyota quality has dropped like a rock, although it was never really all that good. And they have never cared about their customers. I'm glad to see people buying more reliable American vehicles.
To 16:45: First off, you are very fortunate to have made it to 105,000 miles in a RAV-4 in the first place. That's more than our Japanese imports made.
As for the engine light, go to Auto Zone and have them run the code on it. They do this free of charge and will give you a print-out of the problem. Never trust a dealership or shop, because they will come up with something expensive just to make money. It probably ISN'T the catalytic converter at all. It could just be a loose gas cap. Of course a dealer will never tell you that, because they can't justify charging $1200 to tighten it.
Finally, unless it affects the car in some adverse way, you can just ignore the light. People seem to freak out when these things come on because they think the car will blow up. It won't. In 99.99% of cases, the light coming on signals nothing that will hurt the car in any way. If it runs OK, gets the same mileage, hasn't lost power and isn't showing excessive heat or low oil pressure, nothing will happen (no matter how many scary stories the dealer tells you!!).
My check engine light came on in one of my cars, and I drove it several years and 134,000 miles with the light on. Never a problem. The engine light on my truck was on for the last 3 years of it's life (it was totalled in a crash). Never a problem. It coded as "EVAP system", which is a term meaning "The dealer wants $500 of your money to reset your light".
The check engine light on my current car has been on for two years. It codes as "engine running too cool." Since I live in an area that is consistently over 100 degrees; I'm not upset in the slightest that my engine is running "too cool". My gas mileage actually has gone UP and the car never ran better. Running cooler reduces engine stress, prolongs engine life and reduces oil break-down. Paying $500 to make a light go off isn't worth it to me.