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Toyota RAV4 (pre-2006): Problems & Solutions



  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    My sympathies, tpinma.

    I have read, on a RAV-specific site, that the Transmission Control Module is one cause of RAV tranny problems. Some people say they have had the TCM replaced (~$1,200, I think, same as yours), and their problems ended.

    If I understood correctly, the TCM is part of the Engine Contol Module, located on the firewall behind the glovebox.

    In my case, the invoice for the re-man tranny work did not reference the TCM, so I suppose they did not replace it. And a year later, no return of the problems.
    Fingers crossed, since the re-man warranty was for just one year.

  • mdeveaumdeveau Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 Rav 4 L series, bought recently from a good friend who gets factory required maintenance, etc every year...very anal fella

    Anyway, I discover (after problems with NEW tires) that rear alignment must be completely redone. (needs rear lower control arm and support arm, bushings, bolts and adjuster plates, PLUS new tires must be replaced). Toyota serviceman believes it came from the factory this way, but dealership who has serviced it over the years says it has never had an alignment done. I've done TWO front alignments in two weeks. I see in these posts that this is a problem Matrix owners are dealing with...anyone see this on their RAV4? I do not have $2000 to do these repairs and am pretty p.o'd. Friend says he's never heard of this problem.
    If we don;t repair then we will be buying new tires at least once a year.
  • mdeveaumdeveau Posts: 3
    Sorry...guess I should have put this in the previous message title (#33)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I never had an alignment done until just recently (2001 AWD RAV4), when a 4-wheel alignment was included as part of the 90k mile dealer service.
    Never had any uneven tire wear, either.

    Hope this helps.

  • msjwpricemsjwprice Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 rav 4 love my car until last few weeks transmintion trouble. i have spent 2300.00 and drove it 2 days same problem took it back and now its the computer. IS there anyone to call with toyota alot of message on this is about computer problems. and my bank account is empty now. my rav has over 100k on it but its paid for and i really want to keep it. :sick: :sick:
  • sbgirl3sbgirl3 Posts: 1
    This exact same thing just happened to me!! I am so appalled; I have not yet paid for the ECM to be replaced, but I'm going to have to because I need my car back for work. I am SO appalled that this has happened to so many people and it is not yet a recall. I had to take a loan out to pay for these repairs, I feel completely robbed by Toyota. I am not going to give up until something is done. I could not be more furious.
  • markbcmarkbc Posts: 4
    Sorry, never followed up on this site.. .

    I was abroad (with my RAV4) I did not have much time to work on the problem with the local mechanics. I did ask the local (overseas) Toyota dealer to see if they noticed hesitation, but they did not. My 2004 RAV4 was a new model there, although starting in 2007 the RAV4 has become popular there.

    My solution was simply to continue to drive it and factored in the hesitation. Only once in a while was the hesitation pronounced enough to bother me much: usually on those occassions when I needed fast acceleration for traffic purposes (avoiding cars, people animals etc...), or on those occassions when when I switched to another car (including my office Toy Landcruiser) and did not see the same lag (press gas pedal count to one, two sometime up to three before feeling the car respond by accelerating). The effect was less frequent when the car engine was warm/normal operating temperature, but it also occurred when warm.

    My milage was low --driving only about 2,800 miles per year in (mostly) medium to heavy city driving.

  • foxy45foxy45 Posts: 1
    Hi, can anyone please help me???
    I got Rav 4 2.0 GX Wideboy/MAX (1995) engine 1,998 cc, petrol automat
    The problem is i can't get it running. Battery has gone dead and it seems to have messed up the imobiliser and it wont start. I have had the jump leads on it but it wont start it turns over ok but thats it. A friend of mine said that the imobiliser might have affected the ecu...

    What do you think? Can you help me? Really like this car...

  • My problem is a little RAV has only 50k miles and am told it needs a new tranny. I just had the fluid drained and replaced (it was black), and also there are metal particles in the tranny. The mechanic also says it's burned and basically blown out (omg!) and I'm freaking a little. I have no symptoms, shifting probs or any lights going on...yet. Otherwise, the car runs like a champ. Does this scream DEFECT to anyone else? I'm going to get a 2nd opinion but am expecting the same result. Any opinions as to a diagnosis? Pls help!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I would not replace the tranny if there are no symptoms.

    It cost me US$3,600 plus tax to have the dealer put in a remanufactured unit, but my RAV tranny made the vehicle undriveable. Major slippage and seriously rough shifting.

    Good luck with your second opinion.

  • arupparupp Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,

    I would really appreciate some help if someone could lend it. I own a 2001 RAV4 with 91,000 miles on it. Recently it started making a noise that three mechanics cannot seem to agree on. Here is the description:

    The Noise:

    The car is making a relatively loud high-pitched hissing noise that sounds like it could be either (a) air sucked through a system incorrectly or (b) a piece of metal lightly scraping against another piece of metal.

    The Conditions:

    The car makes the sound only when it is (a) idling (AC on or off) and (b) when the gas pedal is being pushed after it has been not touched (i.e., when accelerating) or when it is coming back to that position (e.g., when I let it go because I am going downhill). In other words, the noise is not there - and definitely not simply overpowered by engine noise - when the gas pedal is pushed down (except for the first few millimeters).

    The Analyses (so far):

    One mechanic thought it was the tensioner or associated belt but replacing both the tensioner pulley and the belt did not fix it. Then he did not know. Another mechanic thought it might be the injection system but was not sure either and suggested living with it for now. One Toyota mechanic thought it was the tensioner at first but then thought it might be air. He later concluded that it was the throttle body that needed to be replaced for 1500 dollars.

    However, the second mechanic could not believe that they could be sure about this - he thinks it might simply be their best guess and merely a "broad attack fix" so to speak. All mechanics seemed to agree, though, that there is nothing dangerous happening and that the car would not be damaged if I ignored the noise. As a scientist, it drives me nuts not to know what it is, though, and of course I am afraid that I will have to spend 1500 dollars one day as we simply cannot afford that with our young son right now.

    I am not sure whether this makes sense but if anyone could help I would appreciate it!

    Thank you very much!
  • A 2001 RAV4 I bought my daughter in 2006 has been diagnosed as needing both an ECM and a transmission. My Service Rep said, "I called my Toyota Rep on this and they're going to pick up the parts as a one time thing." Of course I'm still looking at over $2,000 in labor. The car has 86,000 miles. I read on another board that this combination problem is pretty common. It seems Toyota is acknowledging the problem to some extent, but short of initiating a recall. If they do a recall on this in the future, can I get my $2,000 back?
  • The passenger side rear tail light burned out on my 2004 RAV4 Sport. Went to my manual for instructions to remove and replace. The bulb was not where shown in the manual. Located the outlet, but was not able to get it out. Seemed blocked by side metal. Anyone else had to replace this bulb? Thanks for any and all help.
  • The Check engine light appeared and AutoZone read the error as P0171. A second code was P1133 which points to an Air/ Fuel Sensor circuit response ( open or short circuit or poor electrical condition).

    60 miles ago we had the ligth come on and the Toyota service replaced the EGR valve. The light re appeared driving out of the Toyota dealer's shop and they brought it back in for some connection to the tail pipe. The car gets less than 30 miles a month on it.

    Can anyone tell me what I can expect at the dealer's service tomorrow?
  • Can someone help me? my 2001 Rav4 all of a sudden, has NO power. Check engine has been on for awhile, and Autozone says its the cat converter. It ran fine, and they said not to worry about it. Now that it isn't running right, I checked the tailpipe, and NO exhaust is coming out when Idleing. Is it the cat converter, and how big of a job is it to replace it?
  • HELP!!Well I am planning on buying a Used RAV4, but by looking at your commemts I am frightened by what you say about yours. So I need help, from experts like you, Is it really worth buying a used RAV4? If so, What year? How many miles should it have? What should I check for? I would be extremely grateful if you are honest, and sincere when replying. Its my first time looking (in the process of buying) a car, so I need all the help I can get.
  • My RAV4 is 2002. It's been my only Toyotaa (I drove Ford Taurus x 3 for 10+ years). According to it's recent Toyota check-up, it's in pretty amazing shape. Both myself and it's previous owner are on the road a lot, so I basically live out of it. It gets its regular check-ups, whether I can afford it or not. At 170,000 miles and 8 years of Maine winters, it's held up pretty well. There have been little things, but nothing to make me never trust a Toyota again. I do wish they were a little less pricey.

    As for the recent recalls, I personally believe Toyota is taking responsibility and putting things right. They will hopefully learn their lesson of never sacrificing the details to advance business expansion. The media has simply got a bone they can't let go of.

    Have you looked at what KIA and Hyundai have to offer? Their new car deals are pretty amazing and far less pricey than Toyota and Honda. We recently bought two new KIA (sedans) in our family and the info on KIA's quality/service is very good (they are owned by Hyundai). Just a thought.

    Hope this helps!
  • I have a 2004 RAV4 Automatic and I have about 36000 miles on it driving in Washington DC, Hanoi Vietnam and now California. Overall it is ok. BUT...
    The gas mileage is not so good (20 city, 22 highway). The maintenance has been ok, no major problems --but I do have two complaints.
    #1. Almost since puchasing it new in 2004 there has been a lag in acceleration. press the gas count one-two and THEN the car accelerates Dealers claim there is nothing wrong with that, but it is not even consistant. Sometimes --usually when the engine is warm and running for a while- there is no lag and other times I have a noticable pause between press and response. This is a problem if you drive in crowded city traffic and conditions changes in seconds. I have seen no clear good fix for this -others have mentioned it, and there is one part that I could pay to replace (a computer module whose name escapes me at the moment) for ~$1,800 or $2,300 but I am not going to try that -non guaranteed action.
    #2. Quality is not so hot. Once in a rain storm and driving in about 18 inches of water my right front tire went into a pothole of about 10-12 inches. This bent the rim of the tire (no other damage) and since I was driving less than 10 mph (really!) I was disappointed that an all-wheel drive small suv can be so easily damaged.

    finally, it is a bit noisy when you drive over 60. Not that I do that much, but when on the highway I notice the wind noise is quite a bit louder than other cars I have owned or dirven.

    I won't buy another RAV4 and am not so hot on Toyota's "nope...there's no problem with it." approach to individuals like me who are not perfectionists, but do think there are sometimes problems even with new cars ;-(

    When I have driven this 10 or 12 years (I am sure it will last that long --it does have that much quality), I will buy a different brand -maybe Hyundai or even Honda (but Honda's are quite pricey for what the provide ).
    Good luck! &

    hope this helps!
  • anyone know if the 05 or 04 Rav4 with auto trannie was sold in a 6cyl or supercharged in any way?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Only 4 cyl for those years. Starting in 2006, 6 cyl became optional.
  • joe280joe280 Posts: 2
    trying to find the location of the b solenoid on the 2004 rav4 trans...please help...thnx
  • joe280joe280 Posts: 2
    can any one help me locate the b solenoid on my 2004 rav4.there is a total of five solenod in the transmssion.can not find any info in any repair manuals that tells me what solenoid is what...please help..thank you...
  • Since I purchased this car in 2006 I have had problems with driving in the rain. It skids so easy. Tonight I was stopped on a hill, there was a light rain, and when I slowly excellerated the car start to skid and not gain traction. Each time the auto lsd light came one. This happened since I have had the car. It is a 4 cylinder, two wheel drive.
    thanks for your help.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    edited November 2012
    Could be cheapo or worn tires.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    At 131,000 miles, my 2001 RAV (awd, auto trans) is still running well. It did get a reman trans at 81,000 miles, not eligible for mfr help, unfortunately.
    Front disc pads replaced at 6x,000 miles, rear drums not yet.

    There is still no other small vehicle that has easily removable rear seats leaving enough floor-to-ceiling room to swallow whole 2 adult road bikes without their wheels removed, so I'm hanging onto it. I still get around 28 mpg on the highway. Plus it was paid for long ago.

    Oh, and I still need the cassette player on occasion.
  • cmac99cmac99 Posts: 1
    This is a problem with the 01 Rav that Toyota is fully aware of as they were sued by a class acton in the state of Michigan. I had the same problem you experienced BUT I found out the computer was bad before the Dealer sold me their $4000 trans.

    I think the mechanics knew about this also but chose to take $3000+ of your dollars first.There was nothing wrong with your seals only the computer.

    Check the suit in Michigan. I got a refund from Toyota for the $1200 I spent on the computer.
  • I own a 2005 Toyota Rav4. I have to park outside, without a garage, since I live in the city. One day, in the very cold winter, I went out to turn on my car and realized that I didn't have to have my foot on the brake to put my car in drive. I know that I have had to in the past because, in moments of absent-mindedness, I have tried to put the car in drive (from being in park) and been unable to until I place my foot on the break. Since I was waiting for the car to warm up for awhile, I didn't have my foot on the brake this time, and when I put my car in drive it began to move forward... So next week I have a long car ride ahead of me - just wanted to make sure this wasn't a sign of a larger problem, say, early brake failure or anything like that. If anyone knows why this is happening, let me know!

  • Sp5Sp5 USAPosts: 1
    Here's one for the books. Have a P1155 code, which should be an open heater on B2S1. Well on the mid year 2001 they made changes to the car and started adding 2002 parts, like the heater assy in the car, only one many things I have found. Well the code P1155 on these cars is really the B1S1 O2 sensor. Checked by ohming out the 2 blacks wires to confirm. Toyota in 2003 apparently sent out letters to have you come in and get ECM reprogrammed, I never got the letter. So 250 dollars later, still have the problem, ( insert all pertenant explitives here), so if your Rav4 is within the time frame, check the ohms on the black wires, if good should be between 1.1 to 2.2 oms when cold, if bad it will show open. Toyota the new Ford
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