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.
- 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 email@example.com
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.