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Toyota RAV4 Battery and Electrical Problems

I have had two batteries go dead in my new 2006 RAV4. They have it in the shop now to determine what is draining the battery. Any others with the same problem, or a solution? Also, if it fails a third time, isn't that considered a "lemon"?


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Also, if it fails a third time, isn't that considered a "lemon"?

    No. It just means that they haven't discovered the root cause. Something could be draining the battery or your alternator may be malfunctioning. It is also possible that you are the 1 person in 100,000 who gets three defective batteries in a row - someone's got to be the one! ;)

    Regarding lemon laws, the definitions vary from state to state but generally apply to the vehicle itself and not appurtenances like windshield wipers and batteries. The applicability of lemon laws will depend on the root cause of your problem and the state in which you reside.

    tidester, host
  • 2003 Sequoia has a dead battery. Dealer says defective battery; replaces. More dead batteries. Lights still work, radio stations still set, clock still right. Dead battery; can't be jump started.

    Then car starts dying while it's being driven. All kinds of lights on. I, of course, take photos of the 'problems.'

    Two Toyota Dealers and California Corporate says nothing is wrong; cars won't start if not run for one/two weeks (depending on whom you speak with). I actually taped the phone call with Toyota Corporate and imformed the 'Customer Service' Manager I spoke with I was doing so. I offered to let the newspaper know so they can alert all the people whose cars are at the airport. Toyota Corporate said go ahead. They directed me to disconnect the fuses under the hood next to the battery if leaving the car not running for more than one week. I asked where this information 'existed' since it wasn't on the owners manual or on the Toyota website. 'No where,' was the Toyota Corporate response.

    Formal Toyota case started. Two more dealers later, one will actually was willing to look at the car - almost 18,000 miles on it now and I actually expected it to run. I was a very difficult customer.

    What did they find? Electric harness bad, probably from factory, and that's what the problem was all along. Is it fixed now? Not completely. Great dealer; horrible previous dealers, dangerous company (Toyota).

    Toyota doesn't participate in the BBB arbitration system so it's lawyer time. In the snowy mountains of November the car isn't safe. It's new car time.

    Anyone else experienced this? I bought a Toyota for ski country because all my friends and neighbors there had such great experiences with their Toyota's. But now everyone has been through this nightmare with me and, I hope, will think long and hard before purchasing Toyota's in the future. Machines don't always work but customer service and dangerous behaviors are the result of much larger problems.

    Sounds to me like the posting from tidester, July 15, 2005 may be having the same problem with their 2006 RAV4.

  • my battery just died ..i actually did not drive my car for two weeks and it was juat sitting in the cold weather...i was told that when a car sits for two weeks in the cold below 32 degrees that it will not start but i think my problem is wiring as well...mechanics don thave all the mechanic insists that i get a new battery but my wires in the trunk are shredding...i can just imagine how much that is going to cost me?? i have a 2002 toyota corolla
  • I'm sorry to hear about your very similar experience. Since my electric harness was replaced by the great Toyota dealer in Ontario, Oregon, I have not had any more battery' problems. In fact, the Sequoia just sat for more than two weeks at sub-zero problems starting at all.

    1. How to get someone to 'test' your Corolla given that they say nothing is wrong with a vehicle that won't start after two weeks?

    2. How to get Toyota to address their 'belief' that automobiles do not start if left sitting for one (dealer statement) or two (Toyota Corporate) statement weeks.
    - It's not true with Toyota's, unless there is something wrong with them
    - It's not true with any other brands
    - It's not the 1960's anymore; a time when it might have actually been true
  • mr2girlmr2girl Posts: 1
    My RAV4 was bought in September 2001. I have had 3 batteries, 2 were replacements for "faulty" ones. I have had to call out the RAC (here in the UK) several times to start the car, thereby losing my no-call out discount and have twice had a flat battery at the airport car park after leaving the car for 12 days or so. If the car is left for more than 4 days it will not start. Okay, I have only clocked up 14,000 miles in 5 years but I had an MR2 classic sitting outside for days on end for 10 years with no problems. The car is waiting to be collected from a Toyota garage this afternoon after being on a trickle charge all night as it was only holding a 20 per cent charge. The new manager has told me that the ALARM drains the battery (present battery is 16 months old and was last checked about 3 months ago for the same problem). Now I am only going to alarm the car when it is parked in a public place. At other times I am just going to use the key to lock the doors - all 3 of them - what a drag! Will see if this works. Perhaps others could try this if they still experience problems.
  • rkljajicrkljajic Posts: 7
    I wish we could find some attorney who wanted to look in to this. My friend just purchased a fan-cy LEXUX sedan and it won't start after three (3) days. They told her any longer than 3 days needed to be plugged in to an electric outlet. She's attempting to get the Dealer to take the car back, full money refunded.

    Something is wrong with Toyota/LEXUS electric system. When it's all going to come out is the question.

    We all own many cars at many homes in many countries. This problem is only happening with Toyota/LEXUS. It is a problem and it can be life threatening (in my case). I'm not going to drop it until it's fixed for everyone.

    If you know of others with this problem, PLEASE let me know!

    Beth :lemon:
  • Hello-

    I have a 97 Rav4 and the horn became stuck while it was sitting in my driveway. I disconnected the battery for lack of a better idea. I would like to disconnect the fuse, but I don't know which one it is because I do not have an owner's manual. Does anyone know which fuse is the horn? Thank you.
  • After leaving my 2006 RAV4 on the driveway for five days, my RAV had a dead battery. I was able to jump start it and took it to the dealership to have this problem taken care of. After two days, it was determined that snow melted off the hood of the vehicle and moisture travelled through the firewall to an electrical harness and caused a short in the system. I was informed that a "bulletin" was sent out to dealer service departments concerning this problem.
  • I am replying to my own message due to the fact that I was given more facts on my problem. It seems that my problem was caused by a faulty "seal" in a windshield I had to have replaced(repair not made at dealership). I was told that the faulty "seal" caused moisture to seep down the firewall of my RAV4 and onto a wiring harness causing the "short". After learning this, I must say my dealership has been very cooperative with me concerning this problem and I just wanted to get this information out to others and to correct my original misinformation.
  • lloyd11lloyd11 Posts: 1
    My wife has a 2005 Rav4. She went out to go to work to find that the front windshield wipers don't work.

    Fine, blown fuse, no problem. I look in the manual, look up the information and look at the fuse block to find the slot (#35) empty. No fuse.

    We have recently had a remote starter put in (Circuit City) and the wiring is a mess.

    All of that aside, has the fuse block changed since the manual was written? I don't see how the fuse could just not be there.
  • cinciravcincirav Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 RAV4 experiencing intermittent starting problems. About once per week for the past 3 months the vehicle won't start. Turn the key, lights come on but then nothing. I sometimes hear 1 click, but wife says she hears nothing. We can try a few times and sometimes on the 3rd or 4th or maybe 10th attempt, it will start. My wife thought she noticed a correlation to the brake pedal pressue, ie. when it was soft the car wouldn't start, but if it felt hard, it would. I've since disproved that theory since a few times I'd press on the brake pedal first and pressure would build up, but the car wouldn't start either.

    We brought it to the dealer who can't replicate the issue, so they won't do anything.

    A previous car I had experienced a similar problem before I had the starter replaced, which eliminated the problem.

    The car is still under warranty and the dealer won't do anything since they can't reproduce it.

    Anyone know of this problem or have any suggestions?

    I'm thinking it won't get solved til something actually fails and we're stuck somewhere.

  • rkljajicrkljajic Posts: 7
    After three dealers wouldn't look at the car and said they also couldn't reproduce it a fourth, and wonderful and very professional dealer, Steve's Hometown Toyota, not only looked at it they quickly identified the very scary and life threatening mechanical problems. They were surprised it ever started/ran based on the very bad electric system. No problems since thanks to Steve's.

    Needless to say, it was not a fun process, Toyota Corporate didn't/wouldn't help, it cost me thousands of dollars with an 18 month old Sequoia, it was covered under warranty of course and I'd rather walk across America than purchase another Toyota.

    Good luck!

    Beth :cry:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My guess (bet, really.) is that the starter circuit is not "completed", closed, due to the shifter "park/neutral" microswitch being out of alignment. Next time it happens step on the brake and move the shifter to the neutral position and try to start the engine. Or move the shifter out of park and then back into park.
  • sanpransanpran Posts: 3
    I have the exact same problem. Unforturnately, dealer can't reproduce the problem and therefore not willing to do anything. Yesterday it rained and my car would not start. This morning when the tow truck guy tried it the third time it started. May be it has something to do with the moisture?. Please let me know if you found any solution. I bought the car in Oct 2006. May we we are stuck with a bad batch!!
  • sanpransanpran Posts: 3
    Thank you for the suggestion. You must be right. My wife is in the habit of changing to neutral at traffic lights. This may have put the circuit out of alignment.
  • bbffbbff Posts: 2
    I have been having the same problem. In the past 3 weeks on 2 seperate occasions my car has not clicks. The first time I jumped the car and it started. The second time I had it towed to the dealership and they were able to start the car the next day. The were unable to find anything wrong....I am soo frustrated b/c I know it will probably happen again. They said they can't determine the problem when the car isn't having the problem. Not sure what to do?
    I have a 2007 RAV 4
  • sanpransanpran Posts: 3
    Change the gear to neutral and then try to start. Should work.
  • apandeapande Posts: 1
    My 2006 RAV4 would not start at certain times. I have to move the Park gear a little and it instantly starts. I had a feeling that this had something to do with the Park gear or if it has some sort of sensor. This has never happened at the dealership so they have not been able to do anything.
  • bg617bg617 Posts: 1
    Have a 2001 Rav 4 w / about 138,000 miles. Every once in a while (about every 15-20 starts) the car starts fine but I have no electronics. No guages, no wipers, no radio, no lights, nothing except the dome light and the indicator on the dash if I open the door. I also can not get the car out of park. Usually within 15-20 mins it seems to "reset" itself and everything comes back and I can go on my way. I can't seem to find a pattern and, of course, the dealer can find nothing. I even left the car with them for a week and of course the car worked perfectly the whole week they had it. They think I'm crazy and will do nothing. National Toyota is even more useless. I have owned Toyota since 1988 but if I can't fix this it is the last one I will own. Any ideas out there?
  • janyboyjanyboy Posts: 1
    I have that same problem, It would start but I have to prolong it during first ignition ... if not it would not start at the first click..... but the difference is it would start right away after its initial prolong starting if I restart the car... it will only happen again if the car is park for over 6 hours.. if park only for a shorter period it would start right away....I brought it already to the dealer but they can't find any problem.... and I know its not the battery coz I tested it. Now they wan't me to leave them the SUV(Rav4 06') for a day so that they can encounter the problem first hand(to the fact it only happens on first start),its still under warranty but they wont give me a service vehicle that i can use. I video taped myself during the problem and the're still not convienced....but thank you very much for the info on the shifter sensor. I will give details tomorrow if I start the car and it works... Thanks again to everyone
  • 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: 10,059
    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
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