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2018 RAV4 Problems – Watch Out For The Squealing Brakes! 

2018 RAV4 Problems – Watch Out For The Squealing Brakes! 

Car shoppers need to be aware of the 2018 RAV4 problems before buying this model year. By recognizing the braking concerns, lack of stopping power, electrical concerns, and sunroof and windshield durability issues, drivers can make a smart decision when purchasing a new or used vehicle. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Let’s discuss the biggest 2018 RAV4 problems, the replacement prices for these faulty parts, and the overall 2018 RAV4 reliability when compared to similar cars on the market. 

Biggest 2018 RAV4 Problems

  • Brake Squealing and Lack Stopping Power $350

As you know, the brakes are one of the most important components of any vehicle since it is in charge of stopping and slowing down your car on time. Keeping your brake system in good condition and working optimally is one of the best ways to ensure that the vehicle is working properly and saves you from the severe 2018 rav4 problems. 

Causes of Brakes Squealing

Brake Fluid Leak 

A common cause of brakes malfunctioning is usually the result of a fluid leak. Since a typical car brake system is composed of four main parts – brake master cylinder, brake lines, brake calipers, and brake drums – the brake fluid leak’s location will usually be in one of those brake system locations. 

  • To properly diagnose a brake fluid leak, you must locate the origin of the leaking point. 
    • The best way to do this is by parking your vehicle on a level surface. Observe the position of the brake fluid that has accumulated under the vehicle. 
  • A mechanism that can alert you to a brake fluid leak is the bleeder bolts. These parts allow brake fluid to flow out of the system. If you have had some work done on the brakes in your vehicle, it might be that one of the bleeder valves was left a little loose and causing the 2018 rav4 problems.
    • In this case, you will need to tighten the valve to stop the fluid flow and prevent the brake fluid leak from growing. 

Brake Fluid Leak Symptoms:

  • Brake Light – This light can alert the driver to the brakes’ problem since the warning light illuminated on your dashboard is easily noticeable by the driver. It might not necessarily mean that you have a brake fluid leak, but it can be a sign of other 2018 rav4 problems.
  • Puddle of Brake Fluid – If you notice a small puddle of brake fluid near the wheels, a brake fluid leak is usually occurring in your vehicle. If the brake master cylinder leaks, it can be difficult to determine whether your car is leaking brake fluid, transmission fluid, or motor oil. 
  • Brake Pedal Depresses to the Floor – When you have a brake fluid leak and a problem with the brake master cylinder, you may experience a brake pedal sink, causing the brake pedal to go to the floor and other 2018 rav4 problems. 
  • Poor Stopping – Poor braking can be attributed to issues like brake pads, rotors, calipers, and other issues within the braking system. Most people usually notice that the poor stopping causes the 2018 rav4 problems, making it imperative you check your brake fluid reservoir to see if you have a brake fluid leak

Soft Brake Pedal

A brake pedal that is functioning should feel firm and should provide ample stopping power. If you notice that your brake pedal is going to the floor when you press it to stop the car, this can be a sign that something is wrong in the banking system. A soft brake pedal can cause 2018 rav4 problems and an unsafe situation for you and your passengers. 

Causes of a Soft Brake Pedal:

  • Air in Brake Lines – One of the leading causes of a soft brake pedal is air in the brake lines. The air in the lines can prevent the brake fluid from flowing properly and traveling correctly. Fluid or air in the brake lines can cause the brake pedal to be soft and spongy, causing the 2018 rav4 problems.
  • Damaged Brake Line – Since the brake lines are made of steel in the tubing over time, the crust can build up on the lines and cause corrosion. Over time, the rust can cause small holes and damage in the steel tubing to develop. If you lose brake fluid in your engine, this can lead to a loss of hydraulic pressure.
  • Leaking Disc Brake Calipers – Similar to brake lines in your car, the disc brake calipers can also become corroded with rust. The brake disc calipers clamp the brake pad down against the brake rotors to slow down the vehicle by pressing on the wheels. If the brake disc calipers become corroded, the internal piston seal can leak brake fluid and cause the 2018 rav4 problems. 
  • Electrical Issues – $200 to $6300 

The most common electrical issues that cause the 2018 rav4 problems deal with charging the electrical system in the hybrid models. The symptoms come on suddenly and do not leave wonders with much time to get to a gas station or civilization point. The main concerns focus on the software codes appearing, with Toyota charging anywhere between $200 and $6300 to change the electrical harness. 


There Are steps you can use to replace the wiring harness to fix the 2018 rav4 problems.

  1. Photograph the Current Wiring – make sure you know the current wiring and the wire connections and routing. Use masking tape to label each wire connector.
  2. Disconnect the Battery – disconnect and remove the battery to ensure that you do not undergo any electrical damage while working on the vehicle. 
  3. Remove the old harness – Remove the main and bulkhead connectors located on the firewall. This is where the engine harness connects to the main car computer. Most of the engine connections are snap-in, making it easy to remove in just a few minutes. 
  4. Place the car on jacks – lower the car onto the jack stands. Remove the wire connections from under the engine. Isolate and separate the harness to prevent electrical issues.
  5. Label the new harness connections – label the new connections using masking tape to prevent any tangled wires. 
  6. Install the new wiring – install the new wiring harness and get all of the plugs connected. 

3. Windshield and Sunroof Issues – $200 to $900

Owners of the 2018 RAV4 indicate that the windshield and sunroof have obvious defects in their design that cause them to malfunction with just minimal use. A glare occurs on the windshield that causes the driver’s vision to be impeded while driving in sunny weather. 


Other windshield concerns refer to spontaneous explosions, cracks, damage, sunroof cracks, and durability issues that lead to some of the most severe 2018 RAV4 problems. 

Problem #1: Windshield Chip 

Steps to Repairing a Windshield Chip:

  • First, you should cover the chip in packing tape to prevent dirt from getting inside the chip and make it difficult to repair. Only clear packing tape should be used to prevent leaving marks and debris on your windshield.
  • Second, avoid washing the car, especially with cold water. If you are in an environment where it is consistently raining or in colder weather, we recommend leaving your car inside of your garage and not driving it until you repair the chip.
  • Third, you should monitor and take note of the internal pressure placed on the windshield. Since the windshield glass is tempered, any pressure from the inside of your car can cause the chip to spread into a bigger crack easily. 
  • Avoid touching the glass, pushing on the chip, and doing anything that can cause the chip to become a bigger issue and cause further 2018 RAV4 problems. Try and keep the glass in your vehicle in good condition, since some old junk car glass is recyclable. 
    • Fourth, don’t put any glue or adhesive substances into the chip. Despite some remedies you might see online that are supposedly going to repair the chip, this shouldn’t be done. Certain mixtures of solutions you might find are ineffective and make a chip repair very difficult since debris will gather in the chip. 
  • Lastly, try and repair your chip as soon as possible after the windshield chip occurs. If you leave the chip alone, it can burst into a series of tiny cracks, or grow into one long crack across the span of your windshield. This will turn into a costly repair that can lead to further 2018 RAV4 problems. 

Windshield Chip Repair Cost:

  • If the repairmen and auto body workers see that the windshield chip has spread and the windshield is no longer structurally sound, they will recommend a full replacement. 

Problem #2 – Sunroof Control Module Damage

A sunroof in a vehicle is typically any kind of panel on the roof of your car that lets in light, air, or both to come into the vehicle at the same time. Used to allow wind into the car or let the sunshine come in during warm summer days, the sunroof is a common feature on family cars in modern times. 

  • The sunroof lets in light to the car’s interior, brightening up the passenger area and letting in some warm air. Electronically-powered sunroofs use various sensors positioned in the electrical apparatus to control the operation of the sunroof. The sunroof control module controls the glass panel on your vehicle’s roof and uses a motor to open and close the sunroof.
  • The sunroof control module is in charge of directing the motor based on signals and directions from the various sensors placed around the sunroof. The sensors detect any damage and then send these signals to the module, preventing damage to the sunroof motor and regulator. 

Symptoms of a Faulty Sunroof Control Module:

  • Since the sunroof control module is in charge of the sunroof operation, the module can also take any faults present in the sunroof system. Unfortunately, since these parts are tied together, they are likely to become damaged at the same time. 
  • The warning signs or commonly damaged parts of the sunroof are lifting, closing, closing or lifting without being told by the driver or preventing closing due to an obstruction that is not there. If you notice any of these issues in your sunroof operation, you will have some of the most common 2018 RAv4 problems. 

Sunroof Window Replacement Cost:

  • The low end of the sunroof glass replacement comes in at $250, while the average price is $500, and the highest price for this repair is around $750. 
  • For those who also need to replace the top mount sunroof, which has a glass panel that slides and tilts, drivers can expect to pay between $700 and $1,200 for the total sunroof control module replacement cost and sunroof glass cost. 

2018 Toyota RAV4 Reliability

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 earned the #12 spot in the 2018 Affordable Compact SUV category – but unfortunately did not earn as favorable rankings in other categories when stacked up against the tough competition. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 problems meant this model year earned low rankings in each of the following categories:

  • #17 in 2018 Affordable SUVs with 2 Rows
  • #19 in Used Compact SUVs $15k to $20k
  • #26 in 2018 Affordable Crossover SUVs
  • #27 in Used SUVs with 2 Rows $15k to $20k
  • #47 in Used Crossover SUVs $15k to $20k


The Car US News Scorecard gave this model year a ranking of 7.9 out of 10, with the critics’ rating coming to 7.6, the performance coming to 7.2, the interior to 7.5, the total cost of ownership to 8.8, the safety rating coming to 9.3, and the reliability rating earning a 3.5 out of 5. 

The Bottom Line

Drivers need to know the top three issues regarding the 2018 Toyota RAV4 problems before they purchase this model year!