2019-2024 RAV4 HV Maintenance Schedule. What’s Required?

Congratulations on buying a 2019-2024 RAV4 Hybrid/Prime – one of the most popular and reliable SUVs on the market! Like most Toyota’s models, it’s a car we approve of and recommend to those who ask.

Like all vehicles, the RAV4 hybrid requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity. In this article, we’ll discuss the maintenance schedule for your RAV4 hybrid. We have some opinions that differ from Toyota’s maintenance recommendations. When there are differences between the Art’s Automotive maintenance recommendations and Toyota’s, we’ll point them out and explain our reasoning.

What does the maintenance required light mean on the 2019-2024 RAV4 hybrid?

The maintenance required light on the 2019-2024 RAV4 HV and Prime is just a mileage counter. After it’s reset it returns after 5,000 miles. It doesn’t indicate that you’re due for a certain type of service, only that you need at least a 5K Service. Please don’t make the mistake of only doing 5K services. 1 out of every 3 times the light appears you’ll need something other than a 5K. The only way to know is with records.

Where can I find a scheduled maintenance guide for my RAV4?

If you’ve misplaced the warranty and maintenance guide that came with your RAV4, you can view the electronic version for free on Toyota’s website here. You’ll need to sign up for an account though. Everybody wants your information these days.

Here at the shop we subscribe to Toyota’s information service for all service manuals, software updates, service bulletins, and even the maintenance schedules.

Mileage or Time?

In the warranty and maintenance guide that came with your RAV4 hybrid all of the service intervals have both a mileage and age recommendation. For some of the maintenance items the mileage is more important, for others the age is more important. However, while the car is still under warranty it’s probably best to use the “whichever comes first” approach to avoid any potential warranty issues.

Do I need to have my RAV4 HV maintenance done at a Toyota dealership?

It’s not required (or necessarily advisable) to have your RAV4 serviced at a Toyota dealership. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty act of 1975 states that no manufacturer may require maintenance at a particular service brand of service center. That said, dealership employees will often imply that maintenance can only be performed at a dealership while under warranty.

What is necessary is to do at least the minimum required services and to use parts and fluid that are appropriate for the car. These days fluids are a very big issue. There are so many different specialty fluids and using the wrong type of fluid can do damage to a vehicle quickly. Likewise, buying sub-standard parts can cause problems. So, while you’re not required to buy a Toyota air filter to maintain your warranty, you are responsible for any damage caused by an inappropriate part. For an example of how tricky it can be to vet a part, check out this article on seemingly identical oil filters.

Below is our summary of the required maintenance for the 2019-2024 RAV4, including the service items we and Toyota disagree on.

5K Service

Every 5,000 miles: At this interval, you’ll want to change the oil and filter, rotate your tires, and check the brake linings. Regular oil changes are arguably the most important maintenance item. Not changing the oil regularly can lead to excessive engine wear and oil seal leaks.

Also, motor oil is consumed while driving and many people fail to check the oil level regularly. If you’re one of those people and you push the limits on your oil changes, you increase your chances of running out of motor oil between 5K services and destroying the engine.  

Tire rotations even out the tire wear which results in increased tire life.

15K Service

Every 15,000 miles: In addition to the oil change and tire rotation Toyota recommends additional inspection beyond just checking the brake linings. We use our own inspection list that includes a lot more than the inspection list in the Toyota Maintenance and Warranty Guide.

30K Service, 60K Service, 90K Service

Every 30,000 miles: At 30K Toyota recommends all of the service items from the 15K service plus replacing the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. The 30,000-mile interval is where we and Toyota start to disagree about your RAV4 hybrid’s service needs.

At 30K we recommend replacing the following in addition to the service items outlined in the maintenance guide.

Transmission fluid

This is the fluid for the hybrid transaxle. 30K replacement may be a little conservative as the fluid often doesn’t look that bad at 30,000 miles. However, one could make an argument that that you don’t want to keep driving until the fluid looks bad. We’ve found that the fluid starts to turn around 45K.

If you’d rather get the a bit more life out of yours transmission fluid, we say to replace it at least every 60,000 miles.

When does Toyota say the RAV4 hybrid transmission fluid should be changed? Never! Unless you tow with the vehicle, in which case they recommend replacing the transmission fluid every 60,000 miles.

MGR fluid

If your RAV4 HV is a 4 wheel drive model, we recommend replacing the MGR (rear motor generator) fluid with the transmission fluid.

Brake fluid

If you had a Lexus, Toyota would recommend replacing the brake fluid every 30,000 miles. Since you have a Toyota, and Toyota vehicles are purchased for fleets where total cost of ownership is an important purchasing factor, Toyota has no interval for brake fluid replacement. However, we certainly recommend it every 30K, just like Lexus, Honda, and Subaru do.

Hybrid battery inlet filter

In fairness, Toyota actually says this should be inspected every 5,000 miles and replaced every 20K, but that’s stupid. Here’s why. Unless you’re running a dog walking service and there’s hair all over the inside of your car, it’s not going to be dirty at 5K. Also, if we check it every 5K the clips and plastic are going to be worn out prematurely. You can only remove and install plastic clips so many times before they start breaking.

The HV battery inlet filter is a paper filter on the RAV4; it’s not a cleanable screen. We recommend just replacing it every 30K along with the cabin filter and engine air filter. If you have an extra dusty car, maybe replace it more frequently. If you wait too long you’ll get a hybrid battery cooling maintenance warning. If you do, adjust your interval to about 50% – 70% of the time it took to clog.

100K Service

100,000 miles: At 100K miles Toyota recommends replacing both the engine coolant and the hybrid inverter coolant. After the first replacement at 100K, Toyota recommends replacing the coolant every 50K thereafter.

120K Service

120,000 miles: The 120K service is the biggest of the maintenance services. It includes everything in the 30K / 60K / 90K service, plus the spark plugs.

The end of the RAV4 HV service schedule

Once you reach 120,000 miles you’ll start again at the beginning of the service schedule. The only difference will be the coolants for the engine and the inverter, which will now be replaced at both 50K and 100K.

How much does RAV4 scheduled maintenance cost?

Each service varies in price depending on a number of factors. Whether you want to do the minimum required or everything we recommend is one variable, but there are others. Oils and fluids fluctuate, just like the price of gasoline. Filters and other parts seem to be on a never ending march to unaffordable, just like everything else in the Bay Area. So basically what I’m saying is I’m not going to put a price on our website because it will be wrong very soon.

If you call and tell us how you’d like us to do the maintenance on your RAV4, we can give you an exact estimate in writing via email or text.

How do you reset the RAV4 HV maintenance light?

A line drawing of the meter control switches on the left side of the steering wheel on a 2019 Toyota RAV4 HV.
Meter control switches. (Image courtesy of Toyota Motor of North America)
A line drawing of the combination meter information display on a 2019 Toyota RAV4 HV
Information display on combination meter. (Image courtesy of Toyota Motor of North America.)

Time needed: 1 minute

To reset the maintenance required light on the 2019-2024 RAV4 hybrid and Prime:

  1. Press the right arrow or left arrow on the meter control switches until the gear icon is displayed

  2. Select the gear icon

  3. Press the up or down arrow on the meter control switches to select “vehicle settings”

  4. Press and hold the OK button

  5. Press the up or down arrow on the meter control switches to select “scheduled maintenance”, then press OK.

  6. Select “Yes” and press OK

Owner’s Responsibilities

While it might be nice to have someone else handle all of the maintenance in exchange for cash, the driver also has some responsibilities.

Checking the motor oil

How often do you need to check and add motor oil? It really depends on the individual RAV4. Toyota says that it’s normal for the engine to consume up to 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles (it’s not, but that’s their policy).

If you come to us every 5,000 miles and you never check your motor oil and you have one of the “normal” RAV4 HVs that burn a quart per 1,000 miles, you’ll run out of oil between changes and ruin the engine. Even if your car doesn’t burn and extreme amount of oil, it’s common for engines to drop below the minimum oil level between oil changes. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking the oil periodically. Once you’re familiar with how much oil you car uses, you’ll know how often to check the level.

If you need to add motor oil, add 0W16 motor oil. If you have trouble finding 0W16 you can also use 0W20 motor oil to correct the oil level. It’s always better to have full oil with the wrong weight than low oil with the right weight. Don’t worry too much about weight if your oil is low.

Checking the tire pressure

It’s normal for tires to lose 1 PSI per month. Your TPMS sensors won’t report low tire pressure until your tire pressure is 30% below the set pressure because that’s where it starts to make a big difference in tire life and safety. However, when the tire pressure is low the fuel efficiency and tire life are reduced. It pays to check your tire pressure.