RAV4 won't start with good battery - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 12:43 AM
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RAV4 won't start with good battery

I had this strange problem, which occurred twice already - rav4 engine doesn't start, but battery is good. When it happened the first time, removing and inserting the ignition key helped. But the second time, the only thing that made the engine start was ... pushing the panic button on the key. It smells like a problem with immobilizer chip in the key, though the whole procedure with panic mode (found just by chance) is quite weird. Besides it happened twice only with 3 months interval (if the key is damaged, I'd expect more consistent failures). Had anybody experienced anything like this?
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 08:45 AM
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Re: RAV4 won't start with good battery

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Originally Posted by gogiya
I had this strange problem, which occurred twice already - rav4 engine doesn't start, but battery is good. When it happened the first time, removing and inserting the ignition key helped. But the second time, the only thing that made the engine start was ... pushing the panic button on the key. It smells like a problem with immobilizer chip in the key, though the whole procedure with panic mode (found just by chance) is quite weird. Besides it happened twice only with 3 months interval (if the key is damaged, I'd expect more consistent failures). Had anybody experienced anything like this?
That is strange. If it's the immobilizer, it will turn over just fine but not start. The immobilizer disables the fuel pump. Try using the other key. If that works, you have a bad key. If not, it could be the immobilizer transducer at the ignition switch. I don't know what the panic button would have to do with it.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 09:15 PM
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Well, it happened again yesterday and I had 2 keys. None of them started the car, so it doesn't look like immobilizer. Got the car towed to dealership and as soon as rav4 went from dolly ... it started. I still left the car parked at the dealership. Needless to say that this morning service rep called saying that they cannot reproduce the problem, computer doesn't show anything, so they cannot help. I've asked about wiring, neutral safety - they say it was checked. Don't even know what to do - no doubt the problem will return sooner or later.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 09:56 PM
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I might have missed something but can you clarify if the engine was cranking over but just wouldn't fire up, or did the engine not crank over at all?.

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 11:45 PM
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Engine didn't crank at all, like if starter fuse is removed.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogiya
Engine didn't crank at all, like if starter fuse is removed.
In that case, it's definitely not an immobilizer problem.

Next time it happens, keep the key in the "start" position with one hand, while playing with the shift lever with the other hand. Try it in park and neutral.

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:14 PM
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Also test for a poor connection to the battery by leaving the door open so the dome light is on when you try to start the RAV. If the dome light dims significantly when you try to crank,you probably have a loose connection on the battery post.

An even better test is to see if your headlights dim when you try to start the RAV(assuming you can see your headlights reflecting on a garage door or a wall) .

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#8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:30 PM
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Any update on this? I think we're onto a common problem, but my wife called and said no start on our "new" vehicle. No crank, just key goes to the run position and everything lights up. Very weird and hard to reproduce, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stand back and worry about our car starting random places. Please chime in if you had any success in remedying the problem. Thanks!



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#9 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:03 PM
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Great timing Adam, just wanted to post the update. It happened again today. I followed James' advise to play with shift lever. I was keeping the key in "start" position with left hand and as soon as I moved the lever right, still in the parking slot, the car started. Thanks James! Seems like the neutral safety switch. Don't know why dealership mechanic has rejected this idea.
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:14 PM
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Thanks for the update! I may try to coeherse my dealer to look into the situation because I'm @ 34K... I did buy the platinum extended warranty, so I'm hoping things like that will continue to be covered. Keep us posted, and I'll do the same. Thanks again!



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