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Toyota RAV4 Battery and Electrical Problems



  • This worked for a while. Now the starter won't stop unless I disconnect the battery. The motor stops if you turn the key to off. If you turn it back on, the car starts. The starter motor just churns until you remove the positive cable. What now?
  • Hi folks,

    Here is what is going on with my Rav4 (2006 V6 25K miles):

    Right blinker just stays on. Had the flasher relay replaced at one dealership. Everything good. 1 week later, it comes back. Right blinker just stays on. Took it to another dealership and they are just scratching their head thinking it is a short somewhere. I do have a remote starter on the car.

    Has anyone heard of an issue like this before?
  • I have a 2006 Rav V6. It wouldn't start this morning. I have no electronics on most indicator on the dash, except "Check Engine", "Oil", and the door indicator if I open the door. radio is on. It was raining last night. I am not sure if it short or other problem. I will try the tips here if I am got lucky.
  • I have a 2008 RAV4 and i have been having starter problems for the past 3 months. i bought the car in april 2008. basically, it takes several tries before it starts (once every two weeks or so)... sometimes it takes up to 30-45 before it finally starts. I took it to the dealer and basically they can't do anything about it since it starts for them without any problems. They wanted to keep my car overnight/ weekend but questioned why i needed a a rental. I still have no answers. This a a major safety issue. i have a 15 month old and the chances of us getting stranded somewhere are too high because of this car. I bought a new car/ Toyota because of i wanted something i could count on. I should have stuck to Honda. I never had problems with them.
  • Bought a 2002 RAV4 automatic 2 weeks ago with 75,000 miles on it. Last night I had a friend move it using spare key. Several hours later when I went to start it, it would not start and the green lights behind the Drive, Reverse and Neutral lights on the dash (showing what gear you are in) flash while the key was inserted. Removed the battery cable for 5, then 30 minutes and it did the same thing. Now the keyless entry won't work either. Tried to start in neutral and park with same result. Lights, radio, etc. still work fine. The car just wont turn over (no noise whatsoever).

    I felt it may be a problem with an anti-theft system, so I disconnected the battery cable hoping to reset the system. I tried both the spare and original key with no luck.

    If anyone has any idea what my problem might be, please help or post an 800 number that I can call Toyota to ask about this.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Do you happen to have another "chipped" key on the same keyring...??
  • No, its the only car key on the ring. Only other keys are standard metal house keys.
  • vircliffvircliff Posts: 1
    Gt probs w my brand new car n the mileage is only 24k n wr on our vacation, drinving d car and suddenly it stopped n everything inside r not working, found out battery dead instantly n tried to jumpstart for an hour,still not charging,end up taking the battery to autozone n same thing not charging, and of course buying a new battery as we hve to go back to los angeles from Oakland,CA.We hve 15k maintenance prior to our travel n everything r ok. A month after we got d car,we smell something s burnin n the car after drinving for an hour n d said, its normal n after all we got stock ion the street. Took the car to Toyota of Pasadena n d said,battery s ok n of course is ok coz its a brand new one n that i ran into a plastic container that's melted inside thats why is burnin,I said no...something is wrong with it,told me i can leave car for a week but d would nver gve me a loaner car. Stupid.....I bought a brand new car coz i dont wnt to be lft on the street but here end up in a dark. Anybody has d same problem w 2008 rav4 Sports?Am very angry and scarred for our safety.
  • 30ford30ford Posts: 10
    I bought and installed a Sirius radio in my RAV4 and immediately noticed a whine that varied with the speed of the motor. I researched and was advise to 1) wire directly to the battery - DIDN'T WORK, 2) install Snap Choke Core from Radio Shack - DIDN'T WORK, and 3) install a PIE power noise filter - DIDN'T WORK. Yesterday, I got out and put the RAV4 nose to nose with my Explorer. I took the leads to the battery loose (from the RAV4) and made a jumper to the electrical system of the Explorer. Every combination of running an not running of the 2 vehicles was tried. NO whining noise. I appear to have an electrical problem in my RAV4. Any ideas???

    From what I'e read from other folks listing here, Toyota has many different electrical problems. They sound like Mercedes and their electrical problems. I think our vehicles are getting extremely complex.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    From what you describe, I would guess that the source of the noise is your alternator and or battery with emphasis on "guess." When you run your RAV4 off your Explorer you seem to be getting adequate power so your RAV4 alternator is working without a load.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • 30ford30ford Posts: 10
    Thanks for the reply "tidester". That's what I keep thinking. My wife and I got on the net and found a service bulliten from Toyota. It is TSB No. AU004-07. I only refer to it to prove that Toyota (including me) has a problem. Toyota initial fix is with the AUX cable. I'm not sure that's right. The big point is that Toyota will not tell you about the TSB unless you call their attention to it. Makes me nuts. The Service Rep. at the dealer wanted to charge me for trouble shooting time and to say the least, we didn't end up liking one another (HA). Anyway, the RAV4 is at the dealer and they can scratch their heads for a while. I'm giving them until Friday afternoon and then I need it back for a few days. The slots in Biloxi are calling me.

    Thanks angain for your very fast reply.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Do let us know what you find out!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lizzie06lizzie06 Posts: 6
    Hello all. I am new to this forum, but so glad I found it, since I am learning from all of your posts. I bought my 2005 RAV4 brand new from Carmax, it was less costly as to opposed to buying at the local dealership in my area. It only has 37,000 miles on it and had not had a problem until recently. My car continues to leave me stranded! This has occurred 3x in May! Twice I was driving and it shut down on I-95, very scary, I am lucky I was not killed or someone else. The 3rd time, I was parked at a grocery store in my town, and when I returned to my car, it would not start! I left my car there, very angry, and walked the 3 miles homes carrying my purse & groceries. Once again,I called the Toyota dealership, same one where I had my car towed twice from I-95 (very expensive) and it was towed once again on May 31st. I am currently 'car less' and hoping to get a loaner. I am a visiting nurse and this is getting very frustrating re-scheduling my visits due to car issues, very scared I am going to break down again on I-95 and/or break down or not have my vehicle start in a bad part of the city where I have to visit some of my patients.
    The first time the mechanics told me it was a computer glitch and I had a bunch of codes that did not make sense when they ran the diagnostic checks nor did it cut out on them when they test drove it. The 2nd time my car was towed, I told them that my passenger side floor was wet & smelled like mildew...could it had been the rain (we had about a weeks worth of rain), could my ECU be shorting out? They said my the hoses in my sunroof that runs down to the ECU were clogged, so they dried everything thoroughly, ran some more diagnostic test & test drove again, drove fine for them. Now, my car is at the dealership again and they believe that it is possible that the harnesses or hoses (sorry, not a mechanic) were not sealed properly while at the factory and this is causing the water leakage...since once again my passenger floor is wet and smells bad! They said, they are unable to figure this out, so they will have to consult with the 'Water Man'?? I said, who is the 'Water Man', they said it was someone they use who is an expert in water leaks. My warranty of course expired with the 3 years, I do however have the 6 year power train warranty....but none of the above is covered. I have always had Toyota's and never had a I am wishing I never bought this and I have one more year of payments and this car would have been paid off. I am broke, struggling in this economy as most of us are, just to pay all my bills and my Visa is just about maxed out. I have called the main Toyota office, but they have never heard of this problem with the car not starting or shutting down?!! I feel duped and just scared that once I get my car back will quit on me again. Any help appreciated. Thanks so much!
  • 30ford30ford Posts: 10
    Man, I'm sorry you're having such problems and that you're in such a perdicament. I've not had any mechanical problems with my RAV4 (crossed fingers). The Auxillary Input business for my Sirius radio probably would have remained undiscovered if I had not tried installing the Sirius. It sounds like you have a lemon, but sice you bought it from CarMax, I doubt you'll be able to do anything with a lemon law (if you have that in your state). Your only hope is to get some financing and get a different car. Good luck.

    By the way - thanks for the heads up on your problems. I'm going to be watching mine and if it starts some funny business, it's gone.
  • rkljajicrkljajic Posts: 7
    Sorry to hear about your ongoing nightmare! I, too, had all this happen between 18 months and 36 months of ownership. And I purchased the Sequoia new! It turned out to be the cars electric harness; the dealer who finally found the problem said they were surprised it had ever run at all. I had the same things happening: driving 70 miles per hour and the engine would die! So dangerous.

    Toyota Corporate didn't care, has never apologized for my many life threatening situations and because the problem was found after 36,000 miles I missed the lemon law rules in my state. From what I understand, also not being a mechanic or electrician, is that the electric harness runs the computer system for the vehicle. It was not the battery, the cold, the alternator, etc. Once the electric harness system was replaced, never another problem!

    If you could find a lawyer who wanted to get involved, I'd love to be part of a suit. Irritating is one thing but life threatening vehicles that shut down on superhighways! I'll never buy another Toyota again; vehicles have problems but the service and Toyota Corporate were so bad I'll never subject my family and friends to such potential dangers in the future!

  • lizzie06lizzie06 Posts: 6
    Hi Beth. Sounds like we both have experienced the same life threatening problems with our Toyotas! I also bought my vehicle brand new, I figured with a brand new would not have someone elses' problems...humph, not so in this case! I have the same lemon law in my state that you mentioned, since my car was at 37K when it started having the problems I mentioned.

    When they found it was the electric harness, did they ofter to pay for it or did you have the extended warranty?

    The service rep from my local dealership called yesterday evening leaving a voice mail on my home phone which said...."we have it narrowed down to either 2 harnesses or the ECU that could be causing the problem, still the car will not start and not sure if your extended warranty will cover this or not...but will let you know in a day or so". Humph!

    When I purchased my car brand new in 2005, I did purchased the Platinum Extended Warranty. I went in my filing cabinet & found all the paperwork. It states I paid $849 extra for the Platinumm Extended Warranty and it is a folder that has what it covers and the crap that it does not cover. It even says they will pay for towing and loaner cars...where this dealership told me since it was not power train related, they would not pay?!? Well, I think they are incorrect and I am going to go to battle with them.

    Oh yeah, since May my car has a mildew smell where apparently I had water leakage on the passenger floor and I wonder if they will be able to get that smell out?? I kept telling them after the 2nd time it broke down....there is water on my passenger side floor & it smells...would this be making my car shut down??

  • lizzie06lizzie06 Posts: 6
    The lemon law is already passed the mileage, doesn't matter whether I purchased it brand new at Carmax or not. I also purchased the Platinum Extended I am hoping the current repairs are covered; the previous ones were not. Definitely monitor your car if your passenger floor becomes wet & smells like mildew, car loses power & shuts down while driving or if if will not start. Very dangerous! Take care.
  • rkljajicrkljajic Posts: 7
    When they found it was the electric harness, did they ofter to pay for it or did you have the extended warranty?





  • lizzie06lizzie06 Posts: 6
    Glad to hear they paid for it. I am hoping it will turn out the same for me, but I am at 37K, yet I did purchase the Platinum Warranty that covers for 6 yrs/ 60 or 75 K (don't have my folder in front of me). As you one apologizes...I don't think they can EVEN IMAGINE what it is like shutting down on I-95 and praying you don't get hit by other cars going at 70 mph or more! Not to mention finding friends to take you to the dealers, getting a car to borrow, taking you to the grocery store, being stranded until someone tows you, paying for towing and missing work too!!

    Do you know of any attorneys? I don't know any who would take a case like this. I am just ticked that I am going to end up with a stinky smelly mildew car when it is all over. They could not get the smell out the first time, and it is still in the shop now...who knows! I am just scared to drive it again...because how will I know it is actually fixed...they told me 2x it was fixed before..yeah right!
  • 30ford30ford Posts: 10
    Well, after all is said and done, the information contained in Toyota Techincal Service Bulletin #T-SB-0067-08 appears to be right on. The dealership ordered the parts per the bulletin, installed them (in about 15 mins. after gettting them) and the problem (a nasty whine in the sound system) disappeared. I still don't understand why the problem would stop when I put it on a different poser source. Oh well, it's good to be retired. On to the next project.
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