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2010 Rav4, 125k miles, V6 limited with a tow package.

First time poster, so if I miss anything, please ask and I will add what I missed.
The last few months, the transmission has been shifting pretty rough on the car when accelerating, and decelerating etc. The last few weeks, it has gotten worse, where it feels like it is slipping a gear a bit. We had a similar issue with our 2007 Rav where it would jerk HARD like we backed into something HARD and we took it in multiple times while under warranty and they never could make it duplicate it (did it without rhyme or reason) and then we were actually rear ended and the car was totaled at 125k . Back to the 2010 Rav. Then last week, driving at 70 mph on dry road, 80 degrees outside, no rain, sunny weather, on IH35 /paved road and the first light comes on-- AUTO LSD comes on in RED. I don't know if I remember correctly, but it seems like it has been yellow in the past? Not sure. Anyway, I call dh and he says "no big deal. I will check it when you get home." I hang up. Drive another 10 miles/10 minutes and the SECOND LIGHT COMES ON- VSC OFF Indicator light. Now they are both on at the same time. I look down and think, wonder what happens if I hit the VSC OFF? I push the VSC button, both lights go out. Hit it again, both come back on. If I push it, they both stay off indefinitely (through starts and re-starts, over a period of days of sitting, etc.) but if I push it again, they both come back on. :confused:

My questions are these:
1) Are they both supposed to come on at the same time? Are they connected? If one malfunctions, does it lead to the other since the lights came on 10 minutes apart?
2) Would the issue that is causing these to malfunction cause the transmission to upshift and downshift rough?

I have LOVED these 2 Ravs but think I will have to get something else next time because they don't make them in V6s anymore. :crying
Thanks for your help!
WildeKaty
 

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All the symptoms could be caused by a failing wheel speed sensor. W/o consistently accurate speed data the transmission doesn't know how to act. Neither does the Auto LSD or VSC. Reading the codes should tell for sure.
 
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Thanks, Dr. Dyno. I will take it in tomorrow and see what the codes say. I meant to also mention that neither is "flashing" nor is the "CEL" on. I had google'd this prior to posting and it seemed that everyone who had these 2 lights on had the CEL on as well or the ABS on which I don't have either on. just these 2 sad little lights.

Thanks again, Dr. Dyno!
 

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Yes, so sad, those poor lights!
W/o the CEL the fault will be in whatever the Traction Control ECU is called. Won't be an OBDII code.
 
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Thanks, Dr. D! But I am confused now. So are you saying it won't be a failing wheel sensor now? Or are you saying I can't go to AutoZone and get them to read it and now have to go to the dealership?
Sorry. I am not too up on auto maintenance and trying to research this while DH is out of town/without internet. Just trying to get him the best "starting point" so he can do whatever he can for me when he gets back to save a few bucks before we head to the dealership!
 

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The CEL comes on with emission related problems only which this is not so the "standard" OBDII codes that the AP stores will read for free won't be set.

I'm sure they do sell the more expensive "all codes" readers but I don't know if they will use one on your car for free or even know how. I have a $300+ scanner that does but it can take a while since sometimes you have to enter the VIN via a stupid arrow & click method. The whole process may take 20+ minutes.

Toyota will probably charge a diagnostic fee and so may an independent shop but one of them may charge less and will have the proper scanner.

On the other hand unless other lights come on to keep those two company there really is no hurry. Those two features will just be defeated until the lights can be made all better again.
 
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Wildekaty, what the good doctor is saying is that a bad wheel sensor will set a code in the anti-skid ECU. That code cannot be read by a normal generic code reader that can only read engine codes. The dealership will have Techstream software on a laptop that can pull those codes. Or you can use the jumper method and read the codes from the flashing lights in the instrument panel as described in this thread:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/85765-check-engine-light-vsc-4wd-lights-explained.html
 

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Hey Fred, since the LSD light is coming on, seems to me that might narrow down the problem to one of the front wheel sensors, since only those are used on the FWD's LSD system. What do you think?
 

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Hey Fred, since the LSD light is coming on, seems to me that might narrow down the problem to one of the front wheel sensors, since only those are used on the FWD's LSD system. What do you think?
Yep, exactly what I was thinking but wondered why the ABS error wouldn't be on. Figured there's no point in guessing too much, just read the codes & find out.
Had the same issue on a friend's 2003 Buick I was helping him sell. Had TRAC and ABS lights on. After I finally dug around enough with my scanner it was the front left wheel sensor.
 
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Thanks, JuneBug and Dr. Dyno!
I drove it in this morning and they wanted a whopping $130.00 + tax to use their wonderful code reader. The nice service guy saw my dropped jaw, I suppose and then suggested, on the sly, that if my husband were a "handy" man and thought he could do it, it probably wouldn't hurt to remove both front wheels and clean both of the wheel speed sensors, just as you both suggested. He said that way, if that doesn't do the job (because the Toyota dealership, he said, won't clean them, but replace them altogether at a higher cost) then we could either replace them ourselves and see if that works OR bring it in, he said no harm no foul if our method doesn't work and we aren't out any $. The scan is "free" if you let them do the work for you. The tech said he thought it would be about $450 to replace the sensor that is bad. Right away though, he said the same thing, why isn't the ABS or CEL on? OH and while I was driving the 1 hour to the dealership this morning, the VSC light would intermittently go off for a few minutes then come back on for a few minutes then out for a few and on for few, but the AUTO LSD red light would remain lit. The tech said that the only effect of continuing to drive it until DH can get it up on the rack at home would be that if I need traction control for a skid or stuck somewhere, I would not have it and that would be about it.

We live 10 acres off the road and our drive way is all white gravel. Very dusty. DH says what you are saying regarding they may just be filthy is a high possibility. We have to change the filters out more frequently than normal because of our super dusty road. DH does the oil changes and curses a blue streak every time because of the skid plate underneath the front on both my Rav AND our son's Tundra.
 

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Just in case...what is the brand/model of your code reader in case DH decides to get one for future use?
Also, the Toyota tech said their reader not only can see the current error code, but ANY error code that the engine has ever given in the past so if the light were to come on and then I drive it in and it is back out, he would still see that it came on at one time and why the engine asked it to flick on! He said it was specific to Toyota. DH laughed when I told him that on the phone and said, "Yeah...right...." ;)
 

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Just in case...what is the brand/model of your code reader in case DH decides to get one for future use?
Also, the Toyota tech said their reader not only can see the current error code, but ANY error code that the engine has ever given in the past so if the light were to come on and then I drive it in and it is back out, he would still see that it came on at one time and why the engine asked it to flick on! He said it was specific to Toyota. DH laughed when I told him that on the phone and said, "Yeah...right...." ;)
I don't know about "any code ever", but I suppose it could store at least the previous one. I'd be curious about this though.....
I have an Actron 9180 scanner that I haven't used in a very long time so I don't remember if it had that feature.
 

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It does sound like your dusty conditions may very well be the cause. And unless there's a rust buildup like my rear sensors had, maybe just blowing it out with an air compressor would be the fix.

My scanner is an Autel MD802 Plus all systems (not just 4 systems) model. Cost me over $300 a few years ago but they've come down some now. Autel MD802 ALL System OBDII Diagnostic Code Reader ABS airbag Engine EPB | eBay
With it I can read virtually any system on any car. Particularly helpful when I help a friend buy a used car. I just plug it in and find the codes with verbal descriptions from anything wrong.

It will show both stored and pending codes altho older ones are pretty useless since my procedure is to note the list of codes and then reset them and deal with the ones that come back first. Possibly what the dealer meant is just because a dash error light goes off doesn't mean its code has cleared. It will still be there until erased.

As I mentioned I'd have expected the ABS light to be on but not the CEL since it's not an emissions issue.

I avoid the hassle of the plastic dust cover by hanging it on my garage wall. I haven't noticed it getting dusty at all.
 
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Okay, entered your info on Amazon and this popped up. https://smile.amazon.com/Autel-MD802-Maxidiag-System-Multifunctional/dp/B0090B7M2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487708012&sr=8-1&keywords=Autel+MD802+ALL+System+OBDII+Diagnostic+Code+Reader+ABS+airbag+Engine+EPB
Is it the same one as yours? It is $175 on Amazon is why I am asking. It seems like it is half the price of yours and that makes me question whether or not it is legit or the same. ha!

As far as the dust cover, ours has even been replaced 2xs because, again, our gravel road when it rains or ice melts gets chug holes and if you are late getting to or from somewhere and hit it at the wrong angle-BOOM! the little dust cover will pop off. Last year, DH was out of town and our then 17 year old got underneath to help fix it. The plastic "bolts" that hold it in place were gone or broken, can't remember which now and it was hanging, as usual, by a corner. The 17 year old used some plastic ties to keep it in place and we ordered some new ones from here for 85 cents each or something ridiculously cheap. OEM Toyota & Scion Parts Online | Toyota Parts Overstock
That dealer is out of Florida and has better prices on Toyota parts than our dealership in town. Sometimes less than half the cost. Be prepared when you order over the phone though. They always want my VIN number, not just make and model. DH likes that because he knows it is the RIGHT part. We have gotten parts for the Rav, our older Camry, AND the Tundra off here. Nice if you are an OEM person.
 

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Yeah I saw the one you found on Amazon too but I'm guessing it's a 4-system like the eBay seller's other model: Autel MaxiDiag Elite MD802 4SYSTEM+DS Model OBD Diagnostic Scan Tool Code Reader | eBay
And I'm seeing prices of $206 for the ALL and $183 for the 4 on eBay not "half the price." And both are "Make Offer" listings.

True you (or he) may never need to read body or EPS (Electric Power Steering) codes etc, but for $25-30 more why not?
 
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Oh, I meant the Amazon one wasn't legit, not the Ebay one. :) Agreed. For a couple bucks more, why not just get the one that does ALL. I will snap one up for DH and we will see what we find out!
Thanks again, Dr. Dyno-you have been more than helpful my first round on here!
 

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Sounds good.
I just tried mine on our RAV4 and it read 13 different modules in Scan mode in addition to all the OBDII readings. For instance I found out that both driver's and passenger's side solar sensors on my air conditioning aren't working. Maybe that's why the A/C system works so well.
 
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Ok, Dr. Dyno- Don't tell me that!!! About the extra codes! LOL! I had watched a review video on Youtube of your Autel model and the guy had a 2000-some odd Explorer. He was just intending on researching a code for his airbag light I think, and I would guess he received WELL OVER 30 fault codes, etc. of things he had no idea were not working and some modules he had never heard of. ha! ha! I don't want DH to see those and go into freefall because I will make him fix them all or pay a mechanic to!
Also, I had read earlier on the Amazon reviews of the Full Systems one that it doesn't come with a battery, ac adapter OR some type of OBD plug, but it will come with a USB and an OBDII plug. I couldn't see on the Ebay model in your link where those were mentioned as having come with that one either. Do I need to get a battery, ac adapter and that other OBD plug for this so he can hook it up and get started fixing my Rav when he gets back in town or will it work out of the box with the USB and the OBDII plug? I am assuming it powers off the car if you don't have some type of other power to it?

Another information source I read said that the 4 system isn't supposed to be sold in the US at all, but I did see them listed on Amazon so I may just run in to Northern Tool in Town and buy one. My neighbor had come by while I was looking at some and brought back his Harbor Tool and Freight that looked EXACTLY like the Autel MD802 ALL System but it was a harbor freight brand and sold for $90 (minus your usual 20% off coupon) and I thanked him but truthfully, we have never had good luck with HT and F tools.
 

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Thou shalt not panic when one reads a bunch of codes. I'm sure many cars are running just fine with codes that don't matter. A dash light will come on or something will stop working when they do. As I said a code will stay until it's erased even if a one time anomaly set it.

Your other choice is to buy a scanner that only reads what you think you want to see. I'm sure the dealer will be happy to charge you to read any others for you.

There's no way you can go by what these units look like. I've seen the cheap ones at my local HF. Too bad they're not actual knockoffs with the same capability.

Mine came with the OBDII port cable it uses for everything including powering itself. That's really all you need unless you want to hookup a laptop. For that it has a USB-miniusb cable I must have 50 others of, a manual I've never read and a DVD I've never loaded. There is a place for a 12V adapter but none for a battery.

Also be aware that there are small and very inexpensive modules that plug directly into the OBDII port and send their data either by cable to a laptop or bluetooth to a smart phone. I haven't investigated them since I have what I need but I know other members have used them. Maybe they'll chime in.
 
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For instance I found out that both driver's and passenger's side solar sensors on my air conditioning aren't working. Maybe that's why the A/C system works so well.
Fun fact: You will always get that solar sensor error UNLESS the dash is fully lit by direct sunlight. Same as when running the A/C diagnostic on a Nissan.

Oh, and BTW, I was demonstrating Techstream to a co-worker on his Camry, and 4 or 5 old stored codes came up. He remembered having those trouble codes in the past, but they had all been taken care of months back. So I cleared them all out.
 
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