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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Rav4 World community,

I live in Costa Rica and have an Automatic 1996 Rav4. I'll start off by saying that the majority of cars here are manual and thus there are not many mechanics who even know how to work on an automatic transmission. About 6 weeks ago I was driving up into the mountains and the car began to act a little weird. A bit later the whole car started shaking and jolting. I left it sit for a bit, and then turned it on and was able to keep going, if managed to die 50 meters up the road from the only Toyota dealership in 50 miles so that was convenient at least. They told me it was transmission issues, and that only one dealership in the country works on automatics trannys.

I was able to get the car to another mechanic in the area who happens to be one of the only ones that works on automatics. He told me that the gear box had burned up. He did a complete rebuild, replacing all the internal components and had the computer checked to make sure it was still in working shape. Not long after the car started losing power going uphill. At the end it turned out to be the Torque Converter in the Clutch that was causing all the problems. It was in such bad shape it was irreparable, so they got a second hand one and fixed it up. I got the car back last week.

Now over this past weekend the A/T Oil Temp light came on when I was driving on some not too taxing roads. It's odd because I did two trips to test the car where if it would overheat, it would (a couple thousand feet of hill climbs over about 150 miles). I read that if you leave the car to cool down it will go off, however in my case even two days later with the car not having been driven, the light still comes on as soon as the car is on.

I'm wondering if this is most likely just a faulty sensor, or if it could be symptomatic of more problems. I'm hoping to take it to the mechanic again, but having a second opinion helps (and with it being the holidays they're not working very much for the next two weeks).

Edit to add: Oddly enough when the gear box did actually overheat a few times the A/T Oil Temp light never did come on which is what makes me think it's just a faulty sensor, but given my limited mechanical knowledge I prefer not to trust my judgement.
 

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*Lock-up clutch in the Torque Converter is what you meant ;) and that probably happened when the transmission burned up the first time, and no one checked it.

And it could very well be a bad sensor, but it could also be more than a few other things: bad fluid pump in the TC, tech left the trans fluid cooler lines pinched off (happens a lot more than you'd think). Your best bet would be to take it back to the shop that did the work in that situation. Let us know what happens!
 

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*Lock-up clutch in the Torque Converter is what you meant ;) and that probably happened when the transmission burned up the first time, and no one checked it.

And it could very well be a bad sensor, but it could also be more than a few other things: bad fluid pump in the TC, tech left the trans fluid cooler lines pinched off (happens a lot more than you'd think). Your best bet would be to take it back to the shop that did the work in that situation. Let us know what happens!
Thanks. I have little mechanical knowledge and to compound it I have to translate what I'm being told from Spanish into English. Makes for a lot of vague terminology. They checked it out and said it was just a temperature warning and suggested a separate radiator for the transmission fluid. As I was driving back there for the appointment a few days later the car started losing power and slipping, etc. Seems like the repaired Converter part didn't get repaired very well. The mechanic decided to just change the entire transmission out instead of trying to troubleshoot it again. Seems to be running well now.
 
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