Alternator -- Computer Controlled ... ? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
4.3 Mechanical Intakes, Exhaust, Tune-ups, 4x4 system, Suspension, Brakes, etc.

User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Country: tonycrouch's Flag is: Australia
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NSW
Posts: 36
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
(Thread Starter)
Alternator -- Computer Controlled ... ?

I was wondering if someone might be able to shed some light on this query I have.

I recently went and saw my local auto electrician to see if they were able to fit both an Anderson plug for my camper trailer to the rear of my 2012 Rav4 ... and ... a rear cigarette lighter socket (above the current one) that was connected to the battery via a shut-off solenoid ... so it would run whilst the car was turned off ... but would turn the fridge connected off to allow you to still start / crank the vehicle.

My auto electrician whilst saying that he's done heaps of late(r) model cars, he was fearful that the new Rav4 may have a computer controlled alternator.

His explanation of this was (similar) to the following :

1) the ECU reports on the current status of the battery and altenator.
2) ECU sets the charge at which the alternator should charge the battery .
3) Once the battery has been fully charged, the ECU *may* under certain contains let the alternator drop its charge from 14.5V to just above 12V.

My auto-electrician stressed that this was a big down fall, that would cause the fridge in the rear of my Rav4 (and battery in my camper when it's attached) to possibly go into shutdown mode due to low input power.

Because of this ECU controlled alternator output, he stressed I'd need a DC to DC converter (incl a shutoff solenoid) which retails for about $500 (Australian).

He did comment though, that if the alternator *WASN'T* ECU controlled we'd be able to get away with using a far cheaper unit (ie. $150 Aus)

I just wanted to check to see if anyone knew who / what controlled the alternator on this new Rav4.

Overall his cost for doing the rear cigarette lighter and anderson plug for the camper was all bar $1000 ... does anyone have any thoughts on this ... as I thought @ the time it was perhaps a little steep ...

Many thanks,

tonycrouch is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 05:23 PM
Senior Member
Country: arries289's Flag is: United States
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Fl
Posts: 486
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
There have been issues with the alternator charge dropping out on a few members cars (mine included) when charging is viewed realtime (like with Scangauge). I've seen battery voltages as low as 11.9V. So, in my case, I don't think the ECU is controlling it. I believe it to be a flaky voltage regulator. RAVs also have a decoupler pulley that may play a part in this.

2007 Red Limited V6 4WD
w/ Tow package
arries289 is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 12:58 AM
Senior Member
Country: RF Overlord's Flag is: United States
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 341
Thanks: 0
Thanked 20 Times in 19 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Originally Posted by tonycrouch View Post
Overall his cost for doing the rear cigarette lighter and anderson plug for the camper was all bar $1000 ... does anyone have any thoughts on this ...
Yeah, my thought is that you got robbed, mate. I don't know the prevailing prices for that kind of work in Oz, but that sounds mighty high for a power point and a trailer connector...

As to your alternator question, I don't know the answer, but maybe you could ride around with a voltmeter and see what happens under various conditions.

It's actually my sister's, but I'm the family wrench.
RF Overlord is offline  
Sponsored Links
Gear in this thread - Powered by O'Reilly Auto Parts

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome