How To Make RAV4 Ride Smoother

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The Toyota RAV4, renowned for its reliability and versatility, has long been a favorite choice among SUV enthusiasts. However, some drivers have reported experiencing a rough or bouncy ride in their RAV4, which can be quite frustrating. 

If you’re one of those individuals facing this issue, fear not! Here, we will delve into the reasons behind the rough or bouncy ride in the Toyota RAV4 and provide valuable insights on how to make the RAV4 ride smoother. 

Whether you are a current owner seeking relief from discomfort or considering purchasing a RAV4 in the near future, this will guide you to make an informed decision or get rid of the issue. So buckle up and get ready to uncover the secrets of achieving a more comfortable journey in your beloved RAV4.

What Causes Toyota RAV4 to Ride Rough

The suspension system’s main components can lead to a rough or unstable ride in a Toyota RAV4 as they gradually deteriorate or suffer physical damage. Furthermore, there are other possible factors to consider. Let’s examine these primary causes first.

Broken Strut Assembly

The strut assembly, which is a modified shock absorber, is typically used for the front wheels of modern vehicles. Unlike rear wheels that have regular shock absorbers, front wheels have strut assemblies that contain coil springs in addition to gas or liquid. 

These coil springs enhance the assembly’s shock absorption capabilities. Given that the front wheels carry the weight of the vehicle’s engine, this additional shock absorption element is crucial for ensuring a comfortable ride.

Lack of Lubrication

Proper lubrication is essential for the effective functioning of the suspension system, just like other vehicle components. In case of contamination or leakage in the suspension oil, the lubrication becomes inadequate, resulting in inefficient and rough movement of the suspension parts. Consequently, the suspension loses its ability to absorb road impact effectively.

Damaged Shocks

Shock absorbers function as components of the suspension system that effectively mitigate the impact of shocks. These absorbers serve as a connection between the suspension and the car’s frame. 

Comprising a cylinder filled with liquid or gas, they respond to external forces and road impacts by moving back and forth. This movement encounters resistance from the liquid or gas within the cylinder, which minimizes force transfer to the car’s body. 

Consequently, passengers in the vehicle experience minimal discomfort from road irregularities. However, if the shock absorbers become damaged, the suspension loses its ability to absorb shocks, resulting in passengers feeling every bump on the road.

Related: 5 Best Shocks and Struts for Toyota Rav4 | Top In 2023

Over Inflated and Bulging Tires

Maintaining proper tire inflation is crucial, as overinflated tires can lead to a rough and unstable driving experience. Excessive air pressure prevents the tires from being flexible and absorbing road impacts, resulting in a bumpy ride. 

Additionally, bulges on the tires can greatly affect the smoothness of the drive. If you observe sporadic bounciness while driving, it is advisable to check for these issues.

Read also: 6 Toyota RAV4 Suspension Problems You Should Be Careful About

How To Make RAV4 Ride Smoother

How To Make RAV4 Ride Smoother

Having a smooth and enjoyable ride is crucial for your RAV4. Whether you’re driving in your local area, speeding on the highway, or venturing off-road, a comfortable ride is essential. 

If you’re experiencing a bumpy ride, there are several effective methods to enhance your ride quality. Below, we present some of the most effective techniques to achieve a smoother driving experience in your RAV4.

Repair or Replace Your Suspension Parts

The suspension of your RAV4 plays a significant role in determining the smoothness of your ride. To enhance your suspension, it is advisable to begin by considering the replacement of your RAV4’s shocks and struts. Similar to other parts of your vehicle that wear out, these components also deteriorate over time.

Generally, if you notice excessive bouncing while driving on rough roads in your RAV4, it indicates that your shocks or struts are worn out. To ensure a smoother ride in your RAV4, it is crucial to replace your shocks or struts in pairs if you decide to replace them at all. 

Whether it is the rear ones, front ones, or all four, make sure to replace them together. If you only replace one and neglect the other on the opposite side, it will result in an uneven ride and wear on the components. 

Additionally, another aspect of your suspension that can affect ride quality or produce irritating noises when worn out is the sway bar and its associated parts. 

While it is uncommon for the sway bar itself to require replacement, the bushings and end links that hold it in place can wear out over time. When these supporting parts deteriorate, the sway bar becomes less effective in performing its function, leading to increased body roll.

Choose Correct Tires

Not all tires possess the same characteristics. Performance tires often consist of softer compounds, which enhance traction but also lead to elevated road noise and decreased tire lifespan. 

On the other hand, touring tires are specifically engineered for typical driving conditions, such as highways and urban areas, where speeds usually do not exceed 75 to 80 miles per hour. 

These touring tires provide a smoother ride, exhibit greater longevity, and may even contribute to improved fuel efficiency. If you reside in an area with snowy weather conditions, we highly recommend utilizing winter snow tires specifically designed for cold climates. 

This type of tire greatly enhances traction, ensuring your safety on snowy roads. Additionally, it is essential to consider the tire’s quality. Opting for the cheapest available tire may compromise the comfort of your ride. However, this does not imply that you must spend a fortune to obtain high-quality tires. 

Exploring various options and seeking the best value is generally beneficial rather than solely focusing on the lowest price. A dealership or a reliable tire shop can assist you in making the appropriate purchase for your RAV4, resulting in a smoother ride experience.

Be Cautious About the Ride Height

The height of your car plays a significant role in the smoothness of your ride, which may appear peculiar. Typically, when a car’s body aligns closely with the wheels, it signifies a firmer suspension to prevent it from hitting bumps too hard. 

While this may enhance the car’s appearance, it comes at the expense of a less comfortable ride. This characteristic may appeal to enthusiasts seeking precise handling, but it may not be ideal for drivers who prioritize comfort. If you are looking to improve the smoothness of your RAV4’s ride, consider adjusting its height accordingly.

Ensure Proper Wheel Alignment

To enhance the smoothness of your RAV4 ride, consider getting a wheel alignment. This involves adjusting the angles of the wheels and tires in relation to the vehicle and road. 

When the wheels are not properly aligned, it can compromise the performance of your vehicle, affecting its handling and ride comfort. To perform this alignment, a skilled technician will use an alignment rack to lift your vehicle in the air. 

They will then employ a special set of cameras attached to the wheels to maneuver them through various motions, allowing a diagnostic computer to measure the angles. 

If the measurements fall outside the specified range, the technician may adjust the steering and suspension components to bring them back within acceptable limits. Alternatively, if any steering or suspension parts are worn or damaged, the technician may recommend replacing them for optimal performance.

Related: Do You Need an Alignment After Replacing Struts?

Replace Damaged Anti-vibration Elements

Examine the underside of your RAV4 to determine if the anti-vibration components require replacement. Consider utilizing new body bushings to safeguard the chassis against vibrations experienced on rough roads. 

Another technique to minimize vibrating effects is to stack two rubber rings on the coil springs. To prevent noise generated by the rubber, ensure that the rings are coated with grease before installation. If you prefer using a single layer of rings, ensure that the existing rings are in good condition. If not, replace them with new ones. 

Final Words

There are several steps you can take to make your Toyota RAV4 ride smoother. Start by ensuring that your tires are properly inflated and balanced, as this can significantly impact the overall ride quality. 

Additionally, consider upgrading your shocks and struts to ones specifically designed for a smoother ride. Regular maintenance, such as getting regular wheel alignments and checking for worn suspension components, is also crucial in maintaining a smooth ride.