RAV 4 V6 and brakes - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-22-2011, 10:47 PM   #1
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RAV 4 V6 and brakes

Just got the RAV back from 39,000 kilometer service.
They called to say that I had only 25 per cent left on my front brake pads.
Cost of new pads and machining the rotors came to $258.25.

Service manager was concerned that this was required at 39,000 since the RAV has huge front disc brakes.

The likely suspect is the trailer, and that I don't have the trailer braking, via the Prodigy brake controller, turned up high enough. The Prodigy manual explains how to arrive at the proper setting. I'm not going to try to explain here. You need a clear road and somebody to watch the wheels on the trailer. I am going to turn up the braking to the trailer and I am going to test it.

It's important to get it right so you don't have to pay for expensive brake jobs on the tow or on the trailer.

baglo
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

Do you do a lot of city driving with your trailer or is it a mountains thing? Here on the prairies, we often drive for hundreds of km without touching the brake pedal.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

I avoid the brakes. I like to slow down well ahead.
But to answer your question ( from Wikipedia ):

Coquihalla Summit (el. 1244 m.) ( that's 4,081 feet - and my home is about 270 feet ) is a highway summit along the Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia, Canada.[1] It is the highest point on the highway between the cities of Hope and Merritt.

Most of my trips involve the Coquihalla or Hope/Princeton and mountain ranges.

Given my light foot on the brake, there are two suspects. One is that I don't have the brake controller set high enough to utilize the trailer brakes. The other is my daughter, who drives the vehicle more than I do. She is now attending university in Halifax so we'll see if that makes a difference.

I think I have the brake controller set too low.

Speaking of the Coquihalla, I was towing my tent trailer with my Subaru wagon, coming down the 'snow shed' section. I was in the extreme right lane and found myself approaching a semi with four-way flashers, doing about 40 kph. I was doing 80.
I couldn't pass because there was a stream of cars passing me doing 110 kph. I had no alternative but to brake. The Old Bag noted the burning smell, but I dismissed it as coming from the semi.

It wasn't. It was me. Glazed a set of brake pads that I'd had installed a couple weeks before.

Didn't help that the discs on that car were about the diameter of the lid off a can of Campbell's soup, and about as useful.

baglo
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

I put 152000, kilometers on my last truck and when I traded it in I still had 40% of the brakes left to use.

I learned to drive fifty some years ago on a standard transmission, and was taught to use the gears and the engine to slow down.

I still use the engine to slow down with an automatic transmission simply by dropping it into a lower range, works great even with a trailer.

A simple rule of big rig drivers is, use the same gear going down a hill as you would need going up a hill, saves your brakes.

With my new truck, I have a choice of standard or automatic transmission, I use the standard when going down hill even when pulling the trailer, saves the breaks.

By law truckers are required to use their flashhhers when going slow up a hill.

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Old 09-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

There are differing opinions about gearing down. Everybody agrees it saves on brakes, but some maintain that it is cheaper to replace brakes than to suffer extra wear on the drive train.

baglo
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

I'd rather replace break pads (or the whole breaking system for that matter) than a transmission.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
There are differing opinions about gearing down. Everybody agrees it saves on brakes, but some maintain that it is cheaper to replace brakes than to suffer extra wear on the drive train.

baglo
Hi: gbaglo...This depends on the angle of decent. On a 12-15% grade I needed all brakes on full+ geared down...just to comply with the STOPsign at the bottom. Trouble was we had to climb back up to The Blueridge Parkway and go down the other side. Brake fade was very apparent!!! Alf
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:17 AM   #8
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

Our new truck as well as the last one came with the heavy duty tow package, and a class four hitch.

The drive chain and trans mission ars designed to take the load.

The only time you have to worry about the drive chain is if you "Chip" your engine up to high, then you can cause problems.

Doug
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:41 AM   #9
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

The owner's manual for our TV, an 09 Dodge Caravan with towing package, specifies that we should shift to a lower range when going downhill.

For instance, we come down the Coquihalla southbound holding an indicated 90 kmh in 4th (a 6-speed transmission), and seldom have to touch the brakes, even on the steep grades by the snowsheds. This is the same gear as we'd use to go up, typically at about 3200-3500 rpm.

I used to work in auto service departments in the 1950s when automatic transmission were new, and I don't think those transmissions could take a lot of shifting up and down -- consider the original GM Hydramatic, whose design dated back to 1937. It had three planetary gearsets and a fluid coupling; shift points were controlled by a manual link (the throttle valve rod) extending back to the transmission from the throttle pedal. With all those bands and clutches releasing and engaging mechanically, it could be pretty rough, especially on a 3-2 or 2-3 shift. We had one in a 1952 Hudson Wasp when I was a teen.

Modern computer-controlled transmissions modulate their shifts much better. Also, if there's harm it's done at the moment of shift; that's why owner's manuals tell you that if the transmission starts to shift up-down, down-up, up-down (as in going up grades) it's essential to select one range lower so it's not working its "innards" so hard. Settle in a low range going up a steep hill & stay there; the same applies to going downhill.

We keep our Prodigy controller set on about 6 volts (Reace's recommendation) and b.1 or b.2 on the freeway (b.2 if in mountains) but sometimes take the boost right off in the city.Our brakes are lasting well, according to the servicing dealer, and we've 84000 km on the car, about 25000 of them with the trailer in tow (and much of that is in the mountains).
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: RAV 4 V6 and brakes

I just got the word that I will need new front pads at the next oil change (at around 45,000 miles or 72,400km) on my 2010 RAV4. About 20,000 miles towing...
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