The Redesigned 2013 RAV4

Go Places with the 2013 RAV4. Whether you’re looking for a reliable ride to work every day or transportation to your favorite golf course, this adaptable vehicle has everything you need to get you to your destination. With 73.4 cu. ft. of cargo space and rear folding seats, the 2013 RAV4 has ample space for camping gear, golf clubs, soccer equipment, or whatever your extra-curricular activities may be. If your driving conditions are less than perfect, the AWD system and traction control is a plus.

Rollout for the new Rav4 will begin in February and it features a complete redesign of the vehicle. Changes include a sleek and modern appearance, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, and a new 6-speed automatic transmission. The interior has soft-touch accents and available French stitching as well as comfortable seating for 5.

Be sure to check out and browse through our new RAV4 selection and also accessories for your new RAV4. Just click here or hover over the “Service and Parts” tab and click on “Shop for Parts and Accessories” link. Next, choose the vehicle you wish to shop for and you will receive results for accessories ranging from audio and video to wheels. If you are shopping for parts, there is a form at the bottom of the same page which you can fill out to request a specific item.



What do the sidewall markings on my tire mean?

English: tire identification diagram showing v...

English: tire identification diagram showing various labeling features, English terms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 25 2012 • frequently asked questions

The sidewall markings on a tire provide descriptive information about the tire’s design.

Step by step let’s interpret the sidewall markings on the tire image example below by reading clockwise from P215/65R16, which is located on the lower left-hand corner of the tire illustration:

  • P – Passenger vehicle tire
  • 215 – This number specifies the width in millimeters (i.e. 215 mm)
  • 65 – This number is the Aspect Ratio, the ratio of sidewall height to width
  • R – Radial
  • 16 – This number designates the tire’s diameter in inches (i.e. 16″)
  • 89 – This number indicates the tire’s load-carrying capacity, known as the Load Index; as the number for the load index increases so does the load-carrying capacity (All passenger car tires in the U.S. are also marked with their actual load limit in pounds)
  • H – This letter denotes the Speed Rating, the maximum tire speed under controlled test conditions (H” in this example is one of several types of speed ratings)
  • Treadwear – Wear rate of the tire determined by field testing following a government specified course
  • Traction – How well the tire stops on wet roads in government tests, graded using the letters AA, A, B, or C with AA being the highest in performance
  • Temperature – The tire’s resistance to the heat generated by running at a high speed in government tests, which is also graded using A, B, or C with A being the best
  • psi (pounds per square inch) – The maximum cold inflation rating for the tire
  • DOT (Department of Transportation) – This symbol indicates the tire meets or exceeds United States DOT safety standards; the letters and numbers following the DOT symbol provide information about the tire manufacturer, tire size, and the date it was manufactured

For information on tire size and pressure specific to your vehicle please refer to Tires in the index of your owner’s manual for the appropriate page numbers. Additional tire information is also available in the tire section of the DOT website.


5 car noises you should not ignore

It’s easy to say that you don’t have money to fix some of these small problems now, but wait a little while and these small problems turn into money hungry monsters. You’ll be paying a lot more later on down the road.

1. Increased thwacking sound as your vehicle accelerates.

Your tire is dying. The tread on the tire is departing and pieces of it are whipping the inside of the wheel well.  In some instances, large pieces can become dislodged and mangle the exterior or underside of your vehicle, causing more damage.

2. High-pitch screeching sound under hood

A high-pitched screeching sound that comes from under your hood and matches engine speed is often a serpentine belt in its last hours of life, but there are many other belts which may also be the culprit. Belts which power many other devices including water pump, power steering, air conditioning compressor, and alternator. A screeching belt will eventually break and leave you stranded. Fix this if you want to use your vehicle to get you from point A to point B.

3. Squeaky brakes

When your brakes are screaming at you every time you use them, the brake pads or shoes are at the expiration date. The screeching comes from a tab of metal built into the pad that becomes exposed as material wears away. If you do not replace the pads or shoes and this noise goes away, head to the service department today because a new noise will begin…

4. Grinding noise

Now the squeaky brakes have stopped, but you haven’t fixed them. The next sound will be a powerful grinding sound which means the last of the pad has ground away and the metal backing plate is now pressing directly onto the brake disc. Your safety has now been compromised because trying to slow down your car will be less effective. The repairs will now be more expensive now because the discs will have to be replaced as well as the pads and or shoes.

5. A loud sucking sound

When you’re at a gas station and begin filling up your gas tank, you may hear a sucking sound coming from your vehicle. This is due to a gas guzzling monster that is your vehicle, slowly sucking your bank account dry and replacing it with empty fumes. Do yourself a favor and visit us at and find a gasoline sipper. It will definitely save you money down farther the road.

Toyota Helps College Graduates with Rebate

Graduating college is a great accomplishment, but where do you go from there? Finding a job in today’s economy can be a real struggle, but once you get hired, getting there just got a little easier. Toyota  Financial Services and Toyota Motor Sales provides a $1,000 rebate to qualified college graduates on a list of new vehicles. The Prius C is the latest and first hybrid available for this Graduate Rebate Program. Other vehicles on the list include: Camry (excluding Camry hybrid), Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, Tacoma, Yaris and new Scion models.

Graduates who qualify for the $1,000 rebate will also be eligible for the College Graduate Finance Program (applicable for all new Toyota/Scion models) which offers other incentives like:

  • No money down when financing and no monthly payments for the first 90 days on select finance programs on all new untitled Toyota vehicles
  • Competitive APRs on all new untitled Toyota vehicles and Toyota Certified Used Vehicles
  • Waived security deposit on lease
  • And of course, Toyota Care: a 2-year/25,000-mile, whichever comes first, complimentary worry-free maintenance plan with roadside assistance

To learn more, visit or

Graduates within the last two years, or within the next six months who qualify are eligible for The College Rebate Program until January 2, 2013.

Raising the bar on technology – 2012 RAV4 EV

Coming to a select number of Toyota stores in California later this summer, the RAV4 EV has an approximate driving range of 100 miles. It charges in about 6 hours with the use of a 120V/40A battery charger. It’s an all-electric SUV in which the driving performance and load capacity is equal to and exceeds in some areas when compared to its gas powered counterpart, the RAV4 V6.

This creation is the result of a collaboration between Tesla Motors and the Toyota Motor Corporation. The design team has focused on producing an electric vehicle with remote charging capabilities, advanced interactive displays and aerodynamic styling for the most enduring EPA estimated driving range rating of any non-luxury EV. This SUV also achieves 0-60 MPH in seven seconds.

With the contribution of Tesla’s technology savvy and Toyota’s design, engineering and production mastery, the RAV4 EV is a powerful addition to the Toyota inventory which was developed in just twenty two months.


By Rapid Auto Group - Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota Posted in RAV4, SUV

What is Traction Control?

ImageIf you were expecting a cloud of artificial smoke to conceal your vehicle from onlookers or nitro boosters to shoot your car up to unfathomable speeds after pressing this button, then you are wrong. What it does do is help your vehicle accelerate without spinning the wheels on slippery surfaces.

In the winter months when roads are covered with ice and snow or whenever tires find it hard to grip the surface on which they are traveling upon, this option applies a brake to the spinning wheel and allows the other wheel, which has traction, to proceed. This is similar to the anti-lock braking system, but in acceleration scenarios only. Special sensors determine if the speed of one tire is rotating faster than the other and apply brake to the proper wheel. Some vehicles reduce engine power to the wheels that are slipping.

Traction Control is a safety option and the only reason I believe the option should be turned off is if your vehicle is stuck it snow. If your vehicle loses engine power to the spinning wheels, that could make it harder to dig your way out. The same goes with braking spinning wheels, as the wheels may be able to dig down to the gravel or whatever is under the snow to gain traction. Check out some great vehicles with Traction Control here.

Toyota and BMW work together on a new sports car

Imagine a racing car with the capabilities no man has ever encountered. A racing car found only in a science fiction movie in which Anakin Skywalker may have won the Boonta Eve Classic in a galaxy far, far away. O.K., I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but a racing car like this may not be too far from existence.

In December of 2011, Toyota and BMW made a deal to work together on an array of new technologies for the near future. There has already been an existing partnership between the two major car companies, but this further ties them together for upcoming attractions. The four areas these two titans will be converging on are: fuel cell development, powertrain electrification, lightweight and carbon fiber technology and a sports car architecture.

I can imagine so many possibilities stemming from this partnership and I’m sure whatever happens, it will be incredible. Maybe I’ll be going to the moon sooner than expected.

What is the minimum octane rating gasoline that I should use in my vehicle?

Our “current model” year vehicles have the following unleaded fuel octane rating recommendations:

4Runner 87
Avalon 87
Camry 87
Corolla 87
FJ Cruiser 87
Highlander 87
Land Cruiser 87
Matrix 87
Prius 87
RAV4 87
Sequoia 87
Sienna 87
Tacoma 87
Tundra 87
Venza 87
Yaris 87

6 common tire myths debunked

By Mac Demere | Popular Mechanics – Mon, Jul 9, 2012 5:08 PM EDT

Here’s a very informative blog I thought I should share. For more information, contact our service department at

Tires are arguably the most important component on your vehicle. They are, however, among the least understood features. Allow me to list and pop a few common misconceptions about tires.

1. The tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in my new car makes sure my tires are adequately inflated.

The truth: TPMS isn’t required to issue a warning until pressure is 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation. That’s “well below the pressure required for safe driving,” according to AAA and “barely adequate to carry the vehicle’s maximum load,” says the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association. TPMS is intended as a last-minute warning before imminent tire failure, not as a monitor to make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Buy a quality tire gauge and set your tire pressure to at least the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation, which is found on the driver’s door jamb. I’d rather you set your tires 3 or even 5 psi high rather than 1 low. Tire-pressure gauges can be inaccurate, and tires leak as much as 1 psi per month. Higher pressure improves hydroplaning resistance and, if you’re like many folks, you may not bother to check your tires again for six months.

2. When replacing only two tires, the new ones go on the front.

The truth: Rear tires provide stability, and without stability, steering or braking on a wet or even damp surface might cause a spin. If you have new tires up front, they will easily disperse water while the half-worn rears will go surfing: The water will literally lift the worn rear tires off the road. If you’re in a slight corner or on a crowned road, the car will spin out so fast you won’t be able to say, “Oh, fudge!”

There is no “even if” to this one. Whether you own a front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive car, truck, or SUV, the tires with the most tread go on the rear. Don’t believe it? Watch this.

3. A tire is in danger of bursting if pressure exceeds the “max press” number on the sidewall.

The truth: The “max press” number has nothing to do with a tire’s burst pressure. The “max press” and “max load” numbers indicate the pressure at which the tire will carry the maximum amount of weight. A new, quality tire will not pop at an even multiple of the “max press.” I’m sworn to secrecy about the exact burst pressure, but I wouldn’t hesitate to double the “max press” of any new passenger-vehicle tire on a new wheel. But hitting a big pothole at super-high pressures may cause a failure.

4. The “max press” is where the tire offers its maximum cornering grip.

The truth: If you didn’t read the previous point, do so now. Many law enforcement officers cling rigidly to the misconception that the “max press” is secret code for maximum at-the-limit traction. It’s a coincidence that many low-bidder tires offer increased grip at 40 or more psi. But that’s all it is: a coincidence. If I were going to race a stock ex-cop Ford Crown Victoria on street tires on a road-racing circuit, 45 psi front, 35 psi rear wouldn’t be a bad place to start. (The tail would be, in Nascar lingo, too loose for safe street driving.)

5. Low-profile tires fitted on large-diameter wheels improve handling.

The truth: The short sidewalls of low-profile tires enhance the tires’ response when the driver first turns the steering wheel. That gives the driver the (often false) feeling the tire has tons of grip. But after that initial movement, it’s the tread compound—the stickiness of the rubber—that determines how well the tire grips the road. Also, the combination of a large-diameter wheel and low-profile tire is usually heavier than the original equipment. This means the suspension may not be able to keep the tire in touch with the pavement.

6. All tires with the same designation are exactly the same size.

The truth: Think all 225/35R19s (or whatever tire size) are exactly 225 millimeters wide and their sidewalls are exactly 35 percent as tall as the tire is wide? Not exactly. And unlike what’s commonly believe, these designations are not about production tolerances.

All the tires of a specific part number or stock keeping unit (SKU) can be can be slightly wider or narrower than the nominal width and their profile can be slightly taller or shorter than the stated percentage. Why? A wider, taller tire puts more rubber on the ground, which is good for a performance tire. A shorter, narrower tire uses less material, thus reducing costs in a business where profit margins almost never break into double digits. So tiremakers might scrimp a bit here and there. It’s a bit like how a 2 x 4 is not, in fact, 2 by 4.

Toyota Camry Ranks Number 1 on’s American-Made Index for Four Years in a Row has ranked the top American made cars built and produced within the United States. They look specifically at the sales, where the parts of the vehicle come from and where the vehicle was built. If a vehicle has a domestic parts content rating below 75%, if the parts come from outside the U.S or if  the vehicle has been discontinued without a U.S.-built successor, then it is disqualified.

The Toyota Camry is built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown, Ky., and at the SIA (Subaru of Indiana Automotive) plant in Lafayette, Indiana. It has been Toyota’s best-selling for 10 years running. The Sienna was ranked fourth, which is made at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana in Princeton. The Tundra is ranked seventh and is made at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio.