How to Replace Valve Seals on a Toyota Rav4

Written by heather finch
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The Toyota RAV4 is known for its high reliability ratings. Proper care, maintenance and repair is paramount to the functioning of a vehicle and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your car will get you where you need to go without the call to a towing company that accompanies malfunction. Replacing the valve seal covers on a Toyota RAV4, or any vehicle, requires knowledge about the mechanics of cars and the proper tools and equipment.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Wood block
  • Hammer
  • Acetone
  • Clean rag
  • RTV sealant
  • Valve cover seal

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park your car, pop the bonnet and use the wrench to loosen and disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.

  2. 2

    Unhook the electrical connectors on the ignition coils.

  3. 3

    Use a wrench to undo the nuts that hold the wiring harness on the valve cover. Move the ignition coil wiring harness to the side so you can detach the spark plugs from the ignition coil pack.

  4. 4

    Detach the hoses on the valve cover.

  5. 5

    Take off the valve cover mounting nuts using the wrench and then remove the valve cover. If you have problems because the cover is stuck, put a wood block on the side of the valve cover and lightly tap it with a hammer. Do not pry the valve cover off because you may cause damage.

  6. 6

    Remove the old seal on the valve cover and fit a new one in its place.

  7. 7

    Clean the surfaces where the valve cover and the valve cover gasket meet with a clean rag with acetone on it. Make sure you remove all oil and residue to prevent oil leaks.

  8. 8

    Put a small amount of RTV sealant on the cover-to-cylinder head joint of the timing chain.

  9. 9

    Place the valve cover back on and tighten the nuts and tighten to 96 inches per pound. The nuts should be tightened in 3 equal steps.

  10. 10

    Reattach the hoses, wiring harness and electrical connectors. Hook the battery back up to your RAV4.

  11. 11

    Start the car and let the engine idle. Inspect for oil leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult a repair manual for instructions specific to your RAV4 if you are driving a 2004 or newer vehicle.
  • Do not attempt to change the valve seals if you are not familiar with auto mechanics.

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