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Toyota RAV4 Battery and Electrical Problems



  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I've had my '09 Rav4 Limited, V6, 4x4 for 4-1/2 years and the original battery still shows green on its window.
  • robidrewrobidrew Posts: 3
    Hey all
    We are having similar problems with our Rav4, Limited Edition, 2011. About 3 months ago, our son left a light on overnight. No surprise, the car wouldn't start. Tow Truck came, boosted it, let it run for 30 minutes. When we turned it off and tried to restart, nothing. It was towed then to a dealership. They said the battery was dead, replaced it.

    Things were fine until Tuesday. My wife drove it at 8:30 pm. Started it (with the car starter) at 10 pm. Got into the car, got called back inside for something and she turned off the car, shut the doors, locked it. (You get the idea). 45 minutes later when she went back outside to restart the car, it was completely dead. Nothing. Tow truck driver came, connected it to a battery but couldn't get it to start. He said the battery was fine, showed lots of juice in it, but could not get it to start. Towed it to a dealership. 4 days later, we are told it was a battery problem (again). They have replaced the battery again.

    Here is the kicker-we were told that the problem is that the car isn't driven enough. That to expect this to happen again and again unless we invest in a trickle charger (sp?) and charge it once a week, or take it out on the highway once a week for a long drive.

    I have a hard time believing this especially after reading so many other stories of battery problems. This car is driven at least every other day, but it is mainly short distances. There are only 11000 km on it and this was proof according to the service guy that it isn't driven enough. He said you would have this with any car and it isn't specific to Toyota. Has anyone else been told that with their Rav 4s? My wife is the driver and doesn't drive any differently than she did with our previous car (Honda Fit 2008) and we never had this happen. Any thoughts would be appreciated. We are seriously considering selling and buying something else.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited May 2013
    You do hear similar complaints now and then and it's usually with newer cars with more electronics. Here's a recent tread on Edmunds Answers from a newer Ford owner with dead battery issues.

    Anyone else?
  • robidrewrobidrew Posts: 3
    Thanks for the link. A very interesting read.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I have a '97 and a '99 in my garage, and both cars sit for weeks at a time (I basically drive the '97 just for 4 winter months). Yet they always crank.

    I have a trickle charger and I guess it'll get plenty of use when we finally break down and buy a new car (hm, I guess "break down" isn't the best word choice there. :shades: ).
  • robidrewrobidrew Posts: 3
    Isn't that ironic.

    I did email Toyota Canada and this was their response:

    "Thank you for your recent email.

    Your Toyota dealership is responsible for determining if the condition meets the criteria for coverage under warranty, and we fully support their advice. As such, anything your Toyota dealership advises, Toyota Canada would stand behind their decision.

    We thank you again for taking the time to write."

    So they completely didn't address the concern or answer any of my questions. We talked to family and friends this weekend and no one could believe we are having these problems. We heard example after example of people leaving their cars for extended periods and starting no problem. And here our car is driven almost every day! Unfortunately, we just don't trust our Rav anymore and since Toyota Canada has ignored our concerns and the dealership has, we are going to sell. Now we just have to figure out what to buy instead. It's a real shame.
  • waynewalwaynewal Posts: 4
    Just got a RAV4 6 cyl - 2010..... sorry to hear there's battery problems.
    I usually drive min 30 mins and usually more like 60, except the ocassional 5 min trip to the store.

    It's not a v6 but the honda was next in my book after the rav4.

    Hate to move down on gas mileage, but was then looking at the Sorento and the Tucson.
  • nafi2013nafi2013 Posts: 1
    I have a Toyota rav4 2007 limited , I had the car for 3 yr and lately I have been parking under a tree which caused my sunroof drainage to collect dust and leaves, basically water leaked into the driver side looking thru the forums I was able to fix it but now I notice that the radio cutting in and out and the a headlight wouldn't turn off automatically yesterday but this morning was working great and everything els works fine.
    I am guessing that the water got into it, did anyone els had the same problem and if so how was it fixed, is it possible that its just a fuse since the fuse box is located by the driver side or its electrical. I will greatly appreciate your response
    Thank you
  • shareinfoshareinfo Posts: 1
    I also had this exact problem, which began as a mystery... It was clear that the problem occurred when it rained. I have a RAV 4 2010 Limited only 26,000 miles. Happened twice beginning in May 2013 and then in June. Began with locks not working properly, beeping noises in error, radio skipping, and then battery died on the morning I had a speaking engagement... Thank God my daughter was visiting with a car and drove me. Later on a jump successfully started the car. The dealer listened to the symptoms as though it was a strange unknown problem and replaced the battery no charge. Problem seemed resolved until a month later, big rain occurred and symptoms returned. I figured the rain was somehow causing problems. Noticed leak from sunroof and water on passenger seat. However, the dealer wanted to assure it wasn't some other matter. Finally, the problem was narrowed to water getting on the electrical harness. The harness was maintenanced and problems seem to be resolved for now. The dealer was very thorough and accommodating - I am grateful. However, this is a very scary vulnerability; for, the electrical harness problem seems to drain the battery, affect the locks, kills the radio intermittently, and basically affects the general operation of the vehicle. I do not know if I will purchase another car that has this vulnerability - regardless of the make or model. Thank you for your post, this really helped me to understand and see that this is a known vulnerability.
  • I have a 2010 Rav4 which I consider the worst car I have ever had but that is not why I am posting. I am looking for help. My lease is up the end of this month and last night after I shut off the car, or at least the engine the push button stayed lite as well as the dash board lights and nav. I tried to start it again but the pedal was hard and nothing happened. I could not turn off the electrical system without disconnecting the battery terminals. This morning I reconnected the terminals hoping that the system would reset itself but nothing different. I disconnected the terminals again and left it all day till just now and still the same problem. I have 55,000 miles on it so I am well out of warranty and really don't feel like fixing a car I am returning the end of this month nor repairing a car I consider way over priced for the cheap piece of crap it is.

    So does anyone have any clue as to what I can do short of paying the dealer?
  • gbuckogbucko Posts: 3
    My wife and I purchased a 2011 Rav4, Limited Edition, on November 5, 2011. No problems with the vehicle, around 17000 miles, until Saturday Morning, July 20, 2013. Went out to start and move the vehicle in my driveway and I noticed the following.
    1. The evening before there were a stream of severe thunder storms that passed through our area in Harrisburg, Pa.
    2. When I touched the handle on the driver door, it opens without making any noise. In fact all of the doors locks were open. I always lock the vehicle when I am finished using it.
    3. Upon sitting in the drivers seat and pushing the start button with the brake depressed absolutely nothing happened.
    4. Every electrical device in the vehicle was in an off state and the dash was blacked out.
    5. Contacted, Toyota Care and they have a local tow company come out and using a booster he finally got the vehicle to start. He indicated that the alarm system was active on the vehicle and that the battery was totally dead. Suggested I drive the vehicle to my Toyota dealer and have them change the battery.
    6. Followed the tow guys advise and took the car to my Toyota dealer. The service advisor swore that they had never heard of the problem I was having and spent the afternoon charging the existing battery. Picked up the Rav4 at the close of business. Rep said that Toyota called for recharge only and no battery replacement.
    7. Car started and ran fine until the evening of Tuesday, July 30 when my wife and I were out shopping and after gassing up and running to the grocery store, when we got back in the vehicle, I noticed that the door locks opened without me touching my key or even touching the door handle. We go in the vehicle and I failed to start at all. The alarm light was flashing very fast red and the battery light was on my gauge lights. Nothing was working and we were again unable to start the vehicle.
    8. Called Toyota Care and while giving them information on where we were and the problem, after about 30 minutes, I decided to try to start the car again and it started.
    9. Car ran fine and I made an appointment for today, Friday, 8/2/2013.
    10. Car has been at the Toyota dealer since 7:30 am this morning. It is 4:06 and it is still at the dealer and they have not returned my calls.

    Very disappointed in the Dealer and Toyotas lack of response to the problem with the vehicle. Did I mention that I have keyless entry and starter on the vehicle. They do no good at all when the vehicle is disabled.

    Is there anyone out there with similar Rav4 problems?
  • That is a classic example of a bad battery. The RAV4 with its electric power steering is dependent on a strong battery--the Limited with push button start even more so. The dealership should have performed a load test on the battery and replaced it with a new one since you are still under the factory warranty. My original battery started getting weak after 2 years, taking a little bit longer to start. I took it to my dealer, they said it failed the load test and installed a new Toyota Truestart battery under warranty. You might want to try finding a better dealership.
  • gbuckogbucko Posts: 3
    The first time it went in, the battery was completely dead. No lights or displays in the vehicle. The Toyota care tow driver put the battery booster to finally get it started and recommended I not turn it off until I could get it to the dealer. I drove it to the dealer, and they charged the dead battery. Afterwards, they tested the electrical system and everything was ok. The second time that I had the problem with the vehicle, I took it in to the dealer and they had it an entire day. When I went to pick it up, the service paperwork was still on the Reps desk and the request was still open. The electrical check test showed no problems with the electrical system. The tech rep sent a Technical Service Request in to Toyota on Friday, August 2 and expected to get a reply by Tuesday or Wednesday. Well it is Wednesday, August 7, and I have not heard from the dealership as of 9 AM. I really love the RAV4 for many reasons, however I have totally lost confidence in the RELIABILITY of the vehicle. I cannot trust it to startup every time I get into the vehicle. My wife and I are planning a couple of trips within the next month, and have no Idea whether the problem will occur again. Toyota refuses to replace the battery since the tests came back within their specifications and no Errors are indicated on the computer system for the vehicle. If it goes one more time with no resolution, Pennsylvania has a Lemon Law that may help me.
  • I have a '07 RAV 4 Limited. Purchased new in August of '07. The car ran fine for 2 years, then had to have it towed to the dealership as it was completely dead. New battery was installed and it ran fine for another 2 years. Dead battery again, so I bought a new one through NTB. Once again, it ran great until 2012. I returned to my car after shopping one day and it wouldn't start. Called AAA and had them come jump it. Testing indicated the battery was going bad, so went back to NTB and had it replaced under warranty. A couple of months later, battery was dead again. When AAA jumped it, the car started but would barely go.....10-15 MPH. Limped into the dealership and was told it was something to do with the engine. Toyota made the repairs and I picked it up the next day. Starting a couple of months after that, my battery died. At that point, I had it towed to the dealership. They told me it was just a dead battery and that I must have left the lights on overnight. (NOT!) Took the car home and, after 4-5 weeks, the car was dead again. AAA - jump start. Car ran fine. A couple of months later, dead battery - AAA ... jump start. Then after 11 days, dead battery again and, again, AAA jumped it and checked the battery. The battery was fine. Just no power getting to it. Drove to dealership, explained, again, what was going on. Left the car with them and had to rent a car to get to work. At the end of the day, they could find nothing, so asked to bring it back in the day after Labor Day for them to run a "drain" test. Took the car back in, rented another car, and left it overnight and all day on Wednesday. THEY HAVE NO CLUE AS TO WHAT IS MAKING MY BATTERY DRAIN. CANNOT FINE ONE THING WRONG. Is this crazy, or what? It's a TOYOTA and I'm having TOYOTA mechanics work on it................they haven't a clue! I will say one thing positive about this experience - I'LL NEVER BUY ANOTHER TOYOTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • On September 11, the Rav4 was inspected and I once again asked that the techs run a test on the battery. Inspection went well with no issues and the battery test indicated no problem with the battery.
    On Saturday morning, September 14, my wife and I went to breakfast and made stops at the post office and went to get a few groceries at the Giant food store on 277 Hershey Road in Hummelstown Pa 17036. We finished shopping in the store and loaded up the Rav4 and tried to start it at 9:45 AM. All that occurred after pushing the start button was for it to click and then nothing. Retried several times and nothing. Called Toyota Care and the operator indicated that Mid Atlantic Auto would be out to tow the Rav4 in about 1 1/2 hours. Tried to restart intermittently with no luck. After receiving the call that the tow was 1/2 hour away, I tried to restart one more time and it finally restarted at 10:55 AM. Called Toyota Care to cancel the tow and proceeded to drive and drop my wife off at home and then proceed to the Toyota dealership. The customer service rep logged the RAV4 in for service and he indicated that the rep who had previously handled the problem would be in Monday morning, September 16.
    Up to this point I had received no service reports to show that the Rav4 was in fact in for correction of the problem. Weekend rep indicated that the other rep would handle getting me copies on Monday.
    September 16. Went the entire day without my car or even a call from the dealership. Called at 4 PM and get the rep handling the problem. He indicated that he did not know that the car was even there until noon and then proceeded to start it and took it in for test on the electrical and battery. He indicated that no problem was showing up. He asked that I leave it overnight and on Tuesday, 9/17, he would contact Toyota again about the problem. Afterwards, he would call me and let me know what was going on.
    Really frustrated at this point.
  • I have a Toyota Rav 4, Limited, 2010.
    While I'm driving, the security light goes on. When I stop the car, I have difficulties to restart, the green light on the push button doesn't come on. I went to my Toyota dealer, and they don't know exactly what may be the problem. They suggested to change the ignition switch and if the problem reoccurs, to change the ECU module.
    Has anyone else experienced the same problem?
  • yota16yota16 Posts: 2

    @jerseyman26 said:
    I have a 2010 Rav4 which I consider the worst car I have ever had but that is not why I am posting. I am looking for help. My lease is up the end of this month and last night after I shut off the car, or at least the engine the push button stayed lite as well as the dash board lights and nav. I tried to start it again but the pedal was hard and nothing happened. I could not turn off the electrical system without disconnecting the battery terminals. This morning I reconnected the terminals hoping that the system would reset itself but nothing different. I disconnected the terminals again and left it all day till just now and still the same problem. I have 55,000 miles on it so I am well out of warranty and really don't feel like fixing a car I am returning the end of this month nor repairing a car I consider way over priced for the cheap piece of crap it is.

    So does anyone have any clue as to what I can do short of paying the dealer?

  • yota16yota16 Posts: 2

    This is for jerseyman26. I cant believe im reading some of this about the Rav 4. Theres no such thing as a perfect car. You must not realize what u have. Toyotas are one of the most reliable vehicles on the road with the best resale value. The Rav 4 is one of the best vehicles that Toyota makes. It will actually make u a better driver. Go get yourself an Equinox or Escape and see what kind of problems u have. If u buy a new one, you will lose have of the value as soon as u leave the lot and you will be so upside down, youll never be able to trade. You talkin about overpriced, the Limited Escape is around 37 grand. Wow! You can buy a new 4-Runner for that!

  • Have a 2011 Rav4. Moved car from one parking spot to another yesterday. Parked car and went on about my business. Went to start car this morning and engine cranked but would not start. Rav has 57,000 miles on it.Has regular maintenance, lights all came on dashboard. also has keyless entry and ignition system. Any ideas where I should start looking to correct this problem
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Original battery? If so, most auto parts stores will load test yours for free.
  • Forgot to add that it is a Rav4 Limited. Also Brake pedal seemed stiff when trying to start car.
  • i have one RAV 4 modele year 2005 ,with a model of 7Q2340-P its streering becom hard intermitantly for nothing whil driving before three months in addtion to that before one day its charging system fail to work and its charging indicetor(battery symbol) light lits up please advice me the solution
  • Kennybob54Kennybob54 houston txPosts: 1
    I bought my niece a 2003 Rav 4, 164k miles. I test drove the car (5-10 miles)and it performed great. She picked it up today and took it home (30-40miles) It drove well 0n freeway and in stop and go traffic, but stalled after she got off the freeway, (maybe 30 miles into trip) It shook and stalled, but restarted right away. I don't know how old the gas is, but looking for ideas for troubleshooting, New gas? gas filters? Ideas?
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