I wish I could afford the 2006 RAV4 Toyota Service Repair Manuals, but they are too cost prohibitive to just replace an alternator. There are a total of four service repair volumes:
Description Pub No.
Volume 1 RM01M2U1
Volume 2 RM01M2U2
Volume 3 RM01M2U3
Volume 4 RM01M2U4
All four volumes are currently priced at $518.13 and available directly from the dealer according to Toyota Parts and Service. Supposedly they total around 4,000 pages.
Now compare that amount of knowledge for one year of a car (both L4 & V6 engine types) to the Haynes manual (92082)
that covers 15 years (1996-2010) of a car (both engine types) in 336 pages or the Chilton manual (68670) that does it in 400 pages.
I think there might be some information missing but the real question is can I still use the $23 dollar manual to get the job done?
Luckily with some internet research I was able to fill in the gaps of my understanding how to replace a 2006 Rav4 alternator.
My first issue was that the pictures in the Haynes manual of the belt tensioners are taken at angles that I could never see from my perspective.
Also, none of various Haynes pictures of Rav4 tensioners matched what was in my 2006 Toyota Rav4 with a 4-cylinder engine. All the pictures show a bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley. I don’t have a bolt with a hex head. I have a round bolt that uses a T50 Torx (star) bit. Great!
After examining the torx slot, I realize it is too shallow. You could never use it to turn the tensioner clockwise to release the belt tension.
Google to the rescue! I figured I wasn’t the only 2006 owner encountering this issue and I was correct. I Googled:
2006 rav4 alternator tensioner correct
Using a generic search caveat-ed with “correct” I was able to find a YouTube video (link below) that solved my torx mystery. The torx is NOT for removing tension on the belt. There is actually a casted (fixed, boss’d) 19mm hex bolt head next to the tensioner pulley that should be used.
What the tensioner looks like from the bottom with the 19mm socket wrench attached:
What it looks like from the top with the 19mm socket wrench attached:
The YouTube video can be found here: “The Correct Way to Remove the 2005 Rav4 Serpentine Belt”
This looks like the serpentine tool belt set featured in the YouTube video. I may have to pick one up for next time!
Research Nugget: Use an extra condition or context words to help narrow searches. Such as: “correct,” “wrong” or “problem.”