2001 Toyota RAV4 from North America - Comments

14th Dec 2012, 10:50

Still disagree with you, and your advice is ill suited for many that may follow your advice.

A low oil pressure light can come on in the dash. And you may run synthetic, and good for you that you can go 150 degrees. Many times lights come on and damage has already been done! They are idiot lights, and I add gauges where possible. Temp and oil pressure at a bare minimum. I am not switching all my cars over to synthetic. And it's a very good idea to change standard oil on short trips and winter if only mild usage. I run all my cars a minimum of 20 minutes weather permitting to warm up and drive. I also drive every few weeks to keep the seals from drying out.

You can do whatever you want, but it's illegal in my state to drive 6 years with check engine lights on. It's an automatic fail.

Lastly, on conventional oil running too cool can sludge an engine. There are a lot of reviews on here with sludging issues, and I will go as far as call it an inherent block defect with cold passages. The owner's manual stretches oil changes out far too long in my opinion. Dusty environments, short commutes where engines do not totally warmed up, or heavy stop and go driving. I also change mine more frequently as I tow a large boat.

Congratulations for driving 250k miles with the lights on. I have yet to meet a mechanic that tells anyone to ignore lights. How you pass your annual inspection is anyone's guess.

I am extremely cautious advising people to circumvent or ignore recommended maintenance on any product and/or vehicles. From the liability or self preservation aspect alone, I will never make those comments.

By the way, teaching someone you care about what an oil light and temp light in the dash is a must; if it comes on, shut down! I just bought my teen daughter a new 2012 Mazda; she got the same rundown as my other 2.

I would hate to see you telling me that with a Cessna on a preflight check! Hey, just ignore the lights, it's cool! Don't everyone, it can be a very costly mistake. And having your car towed in needing a new block is a mechanic's dream job, vs an oil change service.

15th Dec 2012, 07:09

I am glad to see someone else saying this! I have seen other comments here stating that the CEL is just a "pay your mechanic" light and means nothing. The CEL is telling you something and needs to be addressed, if only to pass the annual vehicle inspection. I've also seen comments criticizing changing the oil "too often" if it's more frequent than 5,000 miles or even 7,500 miles. Changing the oil is one of the most basic protections for an engine, and if someone intends to take care of a car and make it last, as I do, then changing oil every 3,000 miles is a cheap way get the most out of a car.

I have been driving my Charger and Barracuda for 25 years on engines that I rebuilt myself, and I ran my Ramcharger to 260,000 miles, and aim to get 200,000 or more out of my current Ford by doing routine maintenance and fixing things that need to be fixed. If these other people want to drive around with their dashboards lit up like a pinball machine and never change their oil, that's fine for them, but I for one shall decline to take their advice.

15th Dec 2012, 10:09

Totally agree with you. I have a classic and 2 sports cars, combined worth deep in the six figures, and I didn't get to that point without taking exceptional care of my cars.

First of all, you can never harm any car with changing fluids and filters well beyond the manual. Just because you run synthetic, doesn't mean the oil filter is fine. It could be clogged and bypassing it due to a dusty environment. Sludge also forms with too long service intervals.

I do as much of my own work as possible, or go to the same individuals that do many of my car club's vehicles. Be wary of the backyard guy that owns the following tools in their tool box.... vise grips, crescent wrench, bailing wire, duct tape and coat hangars in a shiny new box. They may be using the word mechanic quite loosely. Anybody that tells you do a 3 day rule, move on as I have never ever heard that expression.

The best I ever heard was disregard blue smoke as it's a racer! Do your own research before you turn someone loose on your car. It may cost more to fix the damage vs the repair! I am with the Mopar guy on this one.

15th Dec 2012, 16:59

OK, one more time. Check engine lights are NOT oil pressure or temperature lights... PERIOD. They have nothing to do with those vital engine functions. They generally involve very minor and inconsequential things such as a loose gas cap, a tiny leak in an unimportant pollution system line, an engine running a few degrees too cool, or some other such trivial thing. They are incredibly sensitive, and often come on for no reason at all. The light would occasionally come on in our Ford Explorer, and simply running a tank of premium gas would turn it off.

In our area, check engine lights are not considered in the annual inspections, as they have nothing whatsoever to do with safety, and the pollution check is a totally separate test. The check engine part of the test was dropped because the lights are generally always lit on any car over three years old anyway. Checking the codes on these is easy and free, and if they don't indicate a problem, it is pointless to spend hundreds of dollars to make a little light go off.

One of my friends drives a Nissan that had the light on when he bought the car 8 years ago, and it is still on. Another friend had the light come on in his Honda in 2003. It is still on. Four years ago my wife said "Oh, by the way, I've been meaning to tell you. The "check engine" light is on in my car (which I never drive). I asked her how long it had been on. "About three years" was her reply. It's still on and the car is still flawless.

People with tons of money are welcome to spend thousands getting little lights turned off if they want to, but I really have better things to do with my money.

17th Dec 2012, 08:49

Won't cost thousands, and if it did cost a thousand, it's because the cat is now shot. And then you will fail the emissions test. When you sell, plan on taking less for the car. I bought a car cheap that way.

30th Dec 2013, 21:40

I have replaced my cat converter and oxygen sensors SIX times in my 2001. Every twenty thousand miles, the last three I had to pay for, and all six I had to lay the sensors $700 plus due to emissions in MA; I have no choice. I'm looking to see if there is an official recall. I fought with them SIX times. Last time they told me it must be because the vehicle was made in Canada? Really? I don't care if it was made in Timbuktu! I bought the vehicle in the USA?!!

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