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#1 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 02:11 PM
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Rav4 stuck in 4 wheel drive

I am looking at buying a 1998 Rav4, but the only problem is that it is stuck in 4 wheel drive and will not come out. The previous owner was told that it was a transmission problem and the part would cost $1200 to fix plus labor. Anyone have this experience with this vehicle and is there a cheaper solution? Any info on the problem would be helpful. I will be looking at the vehicle this evening.

thanks in advance
8)
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 03:44 PM
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Just fyi, the 4WD RAVs cant be taken out of 4WD mode. What they are likely talking about is the center differential wont unlock. I believe the 4WD system on the RAVs sends more power to wheels that have less traction. The center diff can be locked in to force 1/2 of the power to the front wheels and the other half to the rear wheels. Any of the more experienced members on the forum plesae correct me if I am wrong here
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherdave
Just fyi, the 4WD RAVs cant be taken out of 4WD mode. What they are likely talking about is the center differential wont unlock. I believe the 4WD system on the RAVs sends more power to wheels that have less traction. The center diff can be locked in to force 1/2 of the power to the front wheels and the other half to the rear wheels. Any of the more experienced members on the forum plesae correct me if I am wrong here
I agree with you thinking it would be the center Dif. Lock instead because as you say, a 4WD RAV is ALWAYS a 4WD RAV and there is no way to turn it off. However why would the place doing the work say there is a Transmission problem, and not just say it is the center Differential Lock?? Also, wouldn't the Center Differential Lock be a part of the Transfer Case, and not the transmission?

smiley - Can you get more information from the shop/previous owner about what the problem is? What "part" needs to be replaced? Something doesn't seem to add up....
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 09:55 PM
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More information about locked 4 wheel drive

The issue is :

"the actuator in the transfer case does not have enough vacuum" this is from the transmission shop.

I took the vehicle out for a spin, it seemed to drive fine except for really tight corners. I have had several 4 wheel drive vehicles and this didn't seem like it jumped on dry payment in the corners like my old 4x4's. If I press the "center lock button" it will light up and pressing it again turns the light off.
How do I know if it is engaged when the button is pressed, can you really tell the difference in driving?

I am begining to think that it is not in the "locked" position and it is not even coming on.

I have never owned a rav4 before, so it is hard to tell what this vehicle drives like in tight turns, do they all seem to "jump" a little in a tight turn. Even without pressing the Center lock button.

Thanks for your help again. I would like to hear any experiences with this system.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-16-2009, 03:16 PM
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I have had to lock the diff on my RAV on a few occasions in the winter. When the differential was locked, it felt like there was less get up and go as if I had put an extra 300 lbs in the car. Not enough vacuum could simply be a leak somewhere in the vacuum line. I never noticed any jumping in tight turns personally on my RAV. And a question I have for the more experienced mechanics on the forum, does the diff mechanically lock in the on/off position with the vacuum to just move the diff into the lock/unlocked position? Or is a constant vacuum required to hold it in the lock or unlock position?
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 06:44 PM
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Test Center differential lock Manual trans.
-use a lift or jack stands so all 4 wheels can spin
-apply park brake
-start engine and idle (clutch in)
-turn on diff lock
-in second gear slowly release clutch
-engine should stall

-redo test with diff lock off
-only front wheels should spin (engine will not stall)

this is the test to ensure it is working properly

if the transmission shop says its is not getting enough vacuum pressure I would check that the differential lock solenoids are working properly (getting power, all the hoses are in good condition and that the actuator is not leaking ect) there is not many components for the center lock system and should be relativity easy to figure out whats wrong.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 07:14 PM
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to answer your question anotherdave. The actuator uses vacuum to both lock the center diff and hold it in the release position. . I haven't had a rav's actuator apart yet but it is very common design feature to have a spring on one side of the actuator diaphragm to keep the actuator from floating in between positions (very bad $$$, it will destroy the splines in the locking mechanism ) in case of loss of vacuum or a damaged diaphragm.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 03:23 PM
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ive seen this rav4 posted for cheap but to fix the problem, better looking for something that is in proper order especially if you are not quite a mechanic like me.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 06:45 AM
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Just found this as I'm haveing the same problem on a 94 Rav4....
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 12:16 AM
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Is the center diff constantly locked?
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