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Buy used or keep old Rav4 and repair transmission for $4-5k?

08-18-2022, 11:54 AM
Hello all,

I have a 2009 Toyota Rav4 v6 with 127k miles and an automatic transmission. Recently I had the transmission fluid flushed and found out it was a huge mistake as it totaled the transmission essentially. It still runs but has shifting issues and the trans repair shop said after dropping the trans pan that the fluid was silver (indicating metal shavings in the trans fluid). This means the trans has a limited lifespan and needs to be repaired / rebuilt. This would cost anywhere from $4k-$5k.

The car is in great condition otherwise and I think would last for years. Im debating just trading this Rav4 in and buying another used Toyota instead but I cant decide if its better to just pay to repair the transmission and keep or trade in. Trade in value is about $7500 as long as it keeps running.

What should I do?

08-18-2022, 05:42 PM
Do you like the vehicle? That is the ultimate question… If you enjoy it and it suits your purpose, then putting $4000 into it for another 210000km / 130000 miles is worth it - not to mention that a new vehicle, or a new-to-you vehicle is going to be more expensive. Plus, you know the maintenance history on this one and know that it is good otherwise.

I am wondering if you have ever changed the transmission fluid. The RAV4s with the V6 have been known to have problems with transmissions, and I heard that a frequent change of about every 48000km / 30000 miles greatly extends the life.

Also, definitely shop around to see what a replacement transmission, or a rebuilt transmission costs. There should also be some new ones floating around that you might be able to get hold of, which would be my choice.

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