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Hello

I owned a Saturn for 13 years until I crashed it and now am still on my second-ever car, a 2005 RAV 4 sport (manual transmission) I’ve owned since 2005. I love her! She has been so good to me! (Knock on wood) A replaced clutch and some other minor repairs are all she has needed. But now at 180K miles she’s going thru oil like crazy. I need to take her in. Any ideas what causes this and questions I should ask of mechanic? can she keep going or is it time to move on? Do you recommend service at the dealer or independent? I know very little about cars and am single mom — having a kid, safety is always an especially huge concern. Then again, with a new car you never know what’s going to break, whereas my car, I feel like I know her. Power windows sometimes don’t work (but usually do if I turn engine off then on again), water is dripping from undercarriage ( but I think that’s the ac working hard in fla), and the check engine/ tire pressure / dash lights won’t turn off ( last year they couldn’t diagnose why, because everything w car seemed fine). I was hoping to get to at least 200k - maybe even 300 —but kinda nervous! How many years/miles are you guys getting out of yours? Are Any new cars this good?
 

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Define "going thru oil like crazy". A quart or two between oil changes?... More?

Could be just the PCV valve is clogged and needs changing. That's cheap and easy to do. But take it to a good independent mechanic shop and have them check it out. I could be needing an engine rebuild/swap, which is not cheap, like $2-3000.

The tire pressure light is usually the sensors in the wheels. They're part of the valve stem. They have a battery which dies, and it's not replaceable. The sensors must be replaced and the car reprogrammed to "see" them. Best to do when it needs tires. Sensors are ~$50-100 each.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice. Last couple oil changes I’ve been alarmed — there’s almost NO oil when it’s time to take it in. I thought I was just being slack about getting it changed on time. Then recently I drove from Miami to North Carolina w oil change right before I left. Checked it in NC a week later before driving back to FL and again it was down by the “L.” Added oil. Been back home a few weeks and thought to check it again yesterday and same thing, it’s down to the L. I added three quarts and will monitor what she does the next few days. I work from home so most of my driving is short trips around town a few times per week, but I do have to go to Tampa or Orlando (3 or 5 hour drives) every few months.
 

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"it’s down to the L. I added three quarts and will monitor what she does the next few days. "
Careful adding too much oil, reason being that above normal oil pressure can cause oil seal leaks.
Three quarts added to L level seems a lot.

Verify PCV working normal.
 

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Agree with CJ1, just add oil to get to high mark on level stick. I have a 2004 Honda Pilot, I am adding oil at about the same rate. I take a quart of oil on trips long trips, check it now every time I fill up with gas. 200,000 seems like an easy put. Understand the code for the check engine light - usually emissions related.
 

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1. first thing you need to do is to routinely check on oil level and refill as indicated. If you do not know how to, learn
2. you have a Sport package, not a V6 that RAV4 SPORT had?
3. you need to find a friend who is good mechanic. Ideally, learn how to DIY yet, friend is best option. Not for free - a dinner, nice gift.. Be nice. But that's you best option for vehicle upkeep.
4. oil consumption. Normally, it is valve cover gasket leak. Either outside the cover or, dripping down onto spark plugs and burnt out inside the engine. That has to be inspected and repaired. Unless your piston rings caked with crud so much that you have resulting oil blow by burn out. Or, leaky engine gasket. Then, it is engine overhaul and cost prohibitive for not DIY person.
5. find a reputable local imports indy. Never go to dealer.
 

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good advice from Ukrkoz, I replaced the valve cover gasket as well at 192000 miles on my four cylinder '03, the original gasket was hard as a rock and leaking as Ukrkoz stated. A mechanic will charge $150 to $250. A good independent repair shop will be much less expensive than a dealership.
 

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If it's four cylinder, cover gasket is about 30 min job to the tune of about $30 expense and buddy with some basic tools, if you can't DIY. 4 cyl is very easy to do. Plus, you replace spark plug tubes seals, what is normal oil leaking area on any Japanese cars past certain mileage.
 
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