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How to Change the Coolant in a RAV4

Updated February 21, 2017

The Toyota RAV4 needs the coolant replaced every 40,000 miles under normal driving conditions. If you use the car for towing or frequently driven in stop-and-go traffic, the interval increases to every 25,000 miles. Coolant runs through the radiator and controls the temperature of the engine. As it runs through the engine, it acquires heavy metal deposits and can eventually harm the engine if left unchanged. Replacing the coolant requires only a few tools and about 30 minutes of work.

Open the engine bonnet of the RAV4 by pulling the hood-release lever under the steering column of the vehicle.

Locate the coolant tank in the engine cavity. This is a large, clear tank full of pink fluid positioned in front of the engine on the passenger side.

Place a collection pan with a minimum 5-qt. capacity underneath the coolant tank beneath the vehicle.

Unscrew the lid on the coolant tank. Use a clamp removal tool to disconnect all three of the tubes that run from the coolant tank to the engine. Wait for the fluid to fall from the tank into the drain pan below the vehicle.

Reattach the tubes to the tank. Pour 2.5 qts. of coolant into the tank. Screw the lid back on and close the engine bonnet.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Clamp removal tool
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About the Author

Matt Scheer began writing professionally in 2005. His work has appeared in "The Daily Texan" and "The New York Tribune." Scheer holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in history, both from the University of Texas. He is also a certified Yoga teacher and Web designer.