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#1 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 09:56 AM
rider
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ecm repair

Post: #1 Posted: March 5, 2009, 2:50 pm Post subject: 2001-2003 ecm troubles


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't normally write to anything like this but, my fiance
has a 2001 rav4 with 156,000 miles. Started doing what everyone elses has done
rough and jerky shifts. Checked with the dealer, TSB says new ECM for everything
8yrs or 80,000 miles. Found a website in NY of a shop that said they could fix the factory ECM, for $400.00. I was very skeptical, but that was less than half of the dealer price. Long story short I sent the ECM to them 3 days it was back 30min to install, and everything works fine. It may not work for everyone but it did me.
rav4ecm.net/ for what its worth check it out.
 
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:04 AM
calavish
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Preventative ecm repair

Purchased a 2003 RAV4S with 98,000 miles 4 days ago. Was actually looking for a 2005 and all my research was focused on the 2005 year, but found this 2003 to be in great shape with a leather interior (rare) and at a decent price. After driving the RAV4S home I hit the web and found this issue with the ECM/AT. The vehicle is going to to be used to safely transport loved ones to and from college... get the picture. Even though the shifting of the auto-tranny is smooth as silk I pulled the ECM and sent it to the the shop in NY (see link in previous message). I did allot of checking on this solution and called the business as well. Sent the ECM Monday, received a call that it was repaired by 10:00am Tuesday so I made the Paypal payment, and will receive it (in Alabama) Wednesday before 3:00 PM..... and yes I am tracking the shipment. I'll report back the results of this "peventative maintenance". So far I am impressed by the knowledge and service of this shop. I know it sounds to good to be true, but car guy intuition feels good with this one. Will let you know how it turns out. (I'm new to RAV4World, great site, thank-you all for the informative posts).
 
#3 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 01:34 AM
calavish
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Re: Preventative ecm repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by calavish
Will let you know how it turns out.).
The repaired ECM for my 2003 RAV4S arrived on my door step at 11:50 am on Wed (Shipped it out on Mon 1:22 pm) not bad turn around of less then 3 days. Installation took about 20 minutes. The engine started on the first crank and idle seemed to be normal reading 1200RPM at first and then settling down to 750RPM. The test drive had no real surprises. Under gentle acceleration the shifts were a little high at 3000RPM, but that could have been normal with a cold engine. Drove for about 20 - 30 minutes at sustained speeds ranging from 35 mph to 60 mph. At one stop light the idle drifted a little low around 500RPM, but shifts remained smooth. By the end of the test drive all seemed normal. (Note: I had the ECM fixed as preventative maintenance because the OD had 98000 miles on it.) So far the biggest benefit is peace of mind assuming the changes made to the ECM have defused a ticking time bomb. The repair comes with a one year warranty.

So the bottom line is the repaired ECM did not deminish the RAV4S's performance and my original unit was returned to me (not replaced).

I'll report back if anything changes regarding the ECM Auto Transmission.
 
#4 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 09:22 AM
douglasbram
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Re: Preventative ecm repair

Have 2002 Rav4 with ecm gone bad and possibly transmission. Dealer won't budge so am thinking of what you did, a rebuilt or new part bought off the internet. Couple of questions for you if you don't mind. Can a do-it-yourself weekend mechanic without dealer tools replace the ecm? Does the ecm need to be reprogrammed by the dealer or can I install the new or rebuilt one myself?
May I ask what price you paid for your rebuilt and how that price compared to a new ecu? And last, any thoughts on which part company to buy new or rebuilt?


Quote:
Originally Posted by calavish
Quote:
Originally Posted by calavish
Will let you know how it turns out.).
The repaired ECM for my 2003 RAV4S arrived on my door step at 11:50 am on Wed (Shipped it out on Mon 1:22 pm) not bad turn around of less then 3 days. Installation took about 20 minutes. The engine started on the first crank and idle seemed to be normal reading 1200RPM at first and then settling down to 750RPM. The test drive had no real surprises. Under gentle acceleration the shifts were a little high at 3000RPM, but that could have been normal with a cold engine. Drove for about 20 - 30 minutes at sustained speeds ranging from 35 mph to 60 mph. At one stop light the idle drifted a little low around 500RPM, but shifts remained smooth. By the end of the test drive all seemed normal. (Note: I had the ECM fixed as preventative maintenance because the OD had 98000 miles on it.) So far the biggest benefit is peace of mind assuming the changes made to the ECM have defused a ticking time bomb. The repair comes with a one year warranty.

So the bottom line is the repaired ECM did not deminish the RAV4S's performance and my original unit was returned to me (not replaced).

I'll report back if anything changes regarding the ECM Auto Transmission.
 
#5 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 03:21 AM
calavish
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ECM repair

To douglasbram,

ECM removal and replacement is very easy. If you look at the site I used to have the ECM repaired http://rav4ecm.net/ and click the link "Remove, Pack, Send" you will see an illustration and instructions on how to remove the ECM. The only tools I used were a Phillips head screw driver and a 10mm socket and an extension for the 1/4" drive socket wrench.

Don't get too hung up on the instructions because it was even easier then it looked in the illustration. I removed the glove compartment (2 screws) and loosened the the lower passenger side plastic kick panel for easier access to the lower bracket. Then unpluged the 5 white connectors (no need to mark them because they are unique) and moved some wire harnesses around for better access. You'll see which screws and bolts to remove to get it out. I rotated the ECM with brackets attached to remove it then removed the brackets before shipping. I called before doing anything and asked a few questions such as did I have to disconnect the battery (answer was no so I didn't).

This was so easy I litterally wanted to look at before going to work one morning and pulled it out in 15 minutes, because it was a peice of cake. Take pictures of the brackets when they are assembled on the box just in case you can't remember how they looked when you reassemble. (The place I used turned it around quickly so I didn't need the pictures).

I paid $400 (PayPal) for the preventative repair work when they shipped the unit back. I used Check Engine ETC (http://rav4ecm.net/) because their ebay history was very good with the majority of the feedback receiving RAV4 ECM service. The other shops were cheaper, but didn't seem to have as much RAV4 experience.

I don't know if you could rebuild/repair it yourself. Mine was fixed by Check Engine ETC in about 1 hour right after they received the shipment and they called me to tell me it was fixed and ready to be shipped back (nice service). I did allot of research on the problem and found a guy in Romania that knew how to do the repair... funny thing was the Check Engine ETC Mechanic has a thick accent that sounds Romanian.... there could be a connection. Call them up or email and see what you think. Phone: 718-449-1734 E-mail: chkengine@yahoo.com

I would use them again if I had another 2001 - 2003 RAV4 as preventative maintenance.

Hopefully the Tranny is OK... DO NOT DRIVE IT until the ECM is fixed if you want to save the Tranny.

Hope this helps.
 
#6 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:54 PM
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100% Solution!!!

I preface this by saying you MUST have stopped driving the vehicle very quickly after the transmission started slipping! I don't know how many miles but we probably didn't go more than 10-15 after it started.

I want to echo the last posters comments. Based on his post I made the leap and used the guys at http://rav4ecm.net/default.htm . I had my doubts but it was either that or spend 1500$ at the dealer. I shipped it out Monday 7/27 first thing and 7/29 it was at my door at 11am. I got home from work installed it and took it on a 20mi test drive. NO MORE TRANSMISSION SLIPPING!!! 100% resolved. Granted my wife and I only drove it about 10 mi after it started happening. We parked it and I went to researching on the problem which took me to http://rav4ecm.net/default.htm. I can't tell you how happy I am with the service they provided and the quickness with which they turned the unit around.

Tips:

When removing your ECM just take the 2 nuts off the firewall vs taking all the phillips head screws out. You will have to do some wiggling but it will come out the glove compartment space. The screws they used in mine were so cheap that they all stripped very easily. Also the ones on top of the ECM are incredibly difficult to get to without an offset screwdriver and even then so cheap that they stripped with less than a turn.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:09 PM
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I will reiterate the concept of removing the ECM with brackets attached. I was dumb enough to spend a good 30 minutes trying to unscrew the ECM first, but those stupid little screws are a pain in the ass to remove. Fortunately, after some wiggling the brackets came out and I removed the screws and brackets before shipping. Spent roughly $25 for shipping, added a ton of insurance on it, and away it went overnight. Just got a notice today that they've already shipped it back to me and should arrive tomorrow.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:12 PM
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Awesome

I'm spreading the word on every forum I can find in reference to the Rav4 transmission problem. There is somebody on Ebay offering to reprogram the ECM for like 90$ but I didn't see any real world testimonies about their service. I would suggest you also leave a post here http://www.topix.com/forum/autos/maz...A3/p6#lastPost so others that are following the issue will see another satisfied customer and can rest assured that this does resolve the issue.
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 10:21 AM
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*rebuild*

Hi,
I purchased a Rav4 in July 09 knowing that it was having tranny/shifting problems, however, I was unaware of the history of this common problem and figured I was in for a tranny replacement.

Vehicle symptoms:
- Would work great for approx. 1 day after re-flashing (unplugging computer)
- Hard shifting and double-shifting between 2nd/3rd gears
- Shifting problem gets increasing worse in a matter of a day causing problems in shifting in other gears
- A bit of darkness to the tranny fluid from the shifting problems but I don't believe my clutch is burnt or damaged.

This is my story:

As the Rav4 would work for about a day each time the computer was unplugged we figured it must be the computer (after reading forums such as this) since it would shift fine during the "re-flashed" period.

After reading the feedback for "chkengine" on eBay (he states he can fix the shifting problem in the computer as says it is a hardware, not software problem) I decided to send my computer away (risky) since it was cheaper than the alternative options (replace ECU, replace tranny). Before sending it I had confirmed with him that the 3-year warranty would apply for me as well since I am located in Eastern Canada and he is located in Brooklyn, NY. Cost was $250 US Buy It Now with $30 US shipping, plus I paid $32 CDN to ship it there (not included in sale price). Turnaround time was about 4 days to arrive in NY, repaired and shipped out from Check Engine, Etc Mechanical Shop the same day it arrived, and took about 4 days for me to receive it back (shipped July 23/09 - received back Aug 4/09).

Day 1 (Aug 4/09): So I got my computer back yesterday and installed it at around 5:00PM. Check Engine stated to take the drive for a harder-than-normal accelerated drive for 5-7 miles. So I took a scenic 75 km drive - shifted great for the duration. After I got back, I drove around downtown to see how it performed at intersections - worked great.

Day 2 (Aug 5/09): Drove my car to work today - still working great.

My theory is that if the car runs great for a full week that the problem is considered "fixed". It's still too early to say but so far so good. Smile

Next steps: Will be replacing my tranny fluid and checking the tranny screen to make sure there's no large particles (which would mean tranny was damaged from all the hard shifting, etc).

Feel free to email me at pamallah@pei.sympatico.ca to get an update on how the car is working. I had read a lot of posts here where people would say their Rav4 was working great for the first day/two after having it repaired the same way mine was but no one reported any long term status. So please email me if you want to check in and see how its working in case, like the rest, I forget to post an update.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 11:26 AM
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Well I'll let you know we're 2 weeks from ECM repair on my Rav4 and the problem is 100% gone. I don't think you'll have any problems as long as you didn't drive very far on it once it started.
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