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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,


I'm considering buying a 09 with 150KMs.


I have a couple of questions that the sales person wasn't able to answer so I created an account to ask the experts.


1st question
The revs seem to drop a lot when you let off the throttle. I'm guessing this is a CVT tranny? I've never driven one but if it is a CVT is this normal? I did notice the gas pedal felt different also - very soft.


2nd question
I tested out the 4 wheel lock from a stop and it felt as though the power was cut in half - it still moved but didn't feel anything like it did with the lock off. I know the power is being split so I would expect some drivetrain loss...is this normal?


A couple extra questions
The lever in the trunk is broken to make the seats come down...is this a DIY fix?
Is there any known issues with the key in the ignition...it took a couple of tries at first...maybe because I was new to it but it did raise some concern.


I'll be getting this for my wife but I think I will enjoy it more...I test drove one about 6 years ago and I was impressed with the power that it always stayed on my radar.


Any input is appreciated.


Thanks
 

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Welcome! No CVT, transmission is five speed for the V6. Power normally isn't split with the AWD models - it's front wheel drive and for AWD models power is applied to the rear wheels only when needed, as in slippery conditions and in a couple of other situations. Don't know of a trunk lever to lower the seats - there are latch switches at the upper outside seatback on the rear seats. What is meant by "issues with key in the ignition?" - not certain that I understand the question.
 

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The rear wheels are automatically engaged when starting from a stand still, but there should be no loss of power...the rav4 uses an electronic clutch system to engage the rear wheels so power to the rear can range from 0% up to 45% depending on what the computer decides...blogson if you look on the left and right sides of the cargo area about half way up you will see levers mounted into the panels...you pull that lever towards the rear and the back seat for that side will completely fold down for simple one handed operation...I don't know of any key issues...could be a new or worn down key causing the issue...the rear seats release using a cable and if you search this site I'm pretty sure you will find more info about fixing it...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Guys thanks for the quick response. Rav4system, thanks for clarifying the levers in the trunk for Blog.


So the power should be the same? with 4 wheel lock engaged? If definitely didn't feel like it - it felt like 50% cut in power...this was from a 2 second test though.


Ignition key has me a tad concerned as this could be the beginning of an expensive problem


What about the revs and how far they drop? When I first drove it I noticed it and told the guy something isn't right...Do these rev a bit different or is there something else going on? Thanks for the clarification on the 5spd tranny.


Didn't sleep much last night thinking about this.


Thanks guys
 

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On dry roads there should be no difference with the 4WD LOCK engaged or not. And since the rear drive engages at least for a short time every time you take off most of our members never use the button. The LOCK automatically disengages itself above 25 mph (40 kph).

Not quite sure what you mean by the revs dropping. At what speed? It may just be the transmission upshifting to save fuel. Does it downshift and take off like a shot when you floor it? That's my transmission test. :)

Also don't understand the key issue and have never heard that one in six years here. Does it jam & not turn or not start when it does?

An issue that often comes up with the Sport model is the ride quality that many members find harsh and hard to live with after a short time of ownership. If that's a potential concern take a longer test drive on rougher roads.
 

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The key issue might be the same one I'm having......turn the key and no start until you wiggle the shifter or go through the gears then back to park. I'm having it looked at today. Thanks to Junebug finding the TSB for me as it appears that the neutral safety switch is the problem.

Sometimes the levers to fold the rear seats are working properly but you have to give the seat back a little shove for it to fold.

This is the TSB that Junebug found for me here on the forum, I just couldn't seem to locate it.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/106-4-3-tsbs/77579-tsb-0348-09-intermittent-no-crank-no-start-09-30-09-a.html

Both cars are well past the time/mileage limit but it does point out the problematic part. I'll find out today if the Platinum warranty covers it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses guys,


The iginition issue is getting the key to slide into the ignition it felt like it needed to be fiddled with - I even rotated the key to make sure it wasn't something I was doing...I did, after I got it I tried several times and it seemed fine I even tried again when finished with the test drive. Just concerned that they previous may have had a ton of things weighing the key down.


Revs - this is a bit tricky to explain but on acceleration everything seemed fine and when I would let off they would drop right down which is normal...but when I would tip into it the revs didn't seem to move much but when you step in more the revs would return...I haven't seen revs behave like this in any of my cars so I thought it was a CVT thing but it's not a CVT tranny.


The 4 wheel lock does have me concerned...I may have to arrange a test drive on a lower KM same model and see if what I am experiencing is normal.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that there is no physical connection between the gas pedal and the engine so very light pressure on the pedal may not get you the response from the engine that you're looking for...many people have noticed and gotten used to how the v6 is...tons of power in a light package...I definitely don't think the throttle response is as good in these as it would be with a cable...takes a while to get used to it and avoid the neck snapping, jackrabbit starts...
 

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As with any used purchase I would setup an independent inspection with a mechanic and ask him those questions and show him your concerns.
 

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Yes Rav4system, I did think that - I need to try it out again and see...but I did step on it more to test and when it wasn't punchy it raised a flag...again this could be my own error due to not being familiar with the lightness of the pedal.


Nouse that's a good point...I do have a second inspection done whenever I by a used vehicle.


I googled the transmission whine as mentioned above and that has me concerned. I didn't notice anything - I did turn the radio off and tried not to engage in too much conversation...I was distracted by the revs and kept trying to figure that out...I think another test is in needed.
 

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The rear wheels are automatically engaged when starting from a stand still, but there should be no loss of power...the rav4 uses an electronic clutch system to engage the rear wheels so power to the rear can range from 0% up to 45% depending on what the computer decides...blogson if you look on the left and right sides of the cargo area about half way up you will see levers mounted into the panels...you pull that lever towards the rear and the back seat for that side will completely fold down for simple one handed operation...I don't know of any key issues...could be a new or worn down key causing the issue...the rear seats release using a cable and if you search this site I'm pretty sure you will find more info about fixing it...

Thanks for the explanation about the rear seats- I misunderstood the question. Probably shouldn't be watching Stanley Cup hockey matches while engaging with RAV4World! :serious
 

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Thanks for the responses guys,
The iginition issue is getting the key to slide into the ignition it felt like it needed to be fiddled with - I even rotated the key to make sure it wasn't something I was doing...I did, after I got it I tried several times and it seemed fine I even tried again when finished with the test drive. Just concerned that they previous may have had a ton of things weighing the key down.
Revs - this is a bit tricky to explain but on acceleration everything seemed fine and when I would let off they would drop right down which is normal...but when I would tip into it the revs didn't seem to move much but when you step in more the revs would return...I haven't seen revs behave like this in any of my cars so I thought it was a CVT thing but it's not a CVT tranny.

The 4 wheel lock does have me concerned...I may have to arrange a test drive on a lower KM same model and see if what I am experiencing is normal.
Ignition switch might just need some lubricant(silicone or graphite)to smooth the key insertion.
I'm trying to understand your "rev" issue. When you're done accelerating and level off to a constant speed, the transmission will shift into the top gear(5th in your case). If you step on the accelerator very lightly, it'll stay in 5th gear and it won't accelerate or "rev" very much. When you step on it harder, it will downshift to a lower gear, the engine will speed up and you'll begin to accelerate faster. If this mirrors what you feel is happening, then this would be normal.
 

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Ravenuer - yes that's a good explanation of what is going on...it seemed to level off much lower than what I'm used to with our CRV and doesn't immediately respond to light throttle inputs...but yes when pushed in it jumps up nicely. It sounds like this is just normal operation.
 

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I've never had to lube an ignition switch, we were having problems with the locks on our CRV and I used graphite lube and it didn't help much..and eventually the key wouldn't go in the lock...thus the concern with the ignition...if could be my unfamiliarity with it again something to be tested in another test drive.
 

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With light throttle the V-6 shifts into 5th at exactly 45 MPH/72-73KPH. If you're not watching the tachometer it's likely you won't even notice. The key problem is not something I've ever noticed and we own two RAV V-6 cute utes. Both are front wheel drive so I have no experience with the 4WD button.

If the key slides easily into the door locks (and works) then it is likely the ignition switch itself.
 

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Thanks Texas - you gave me something to compare it against to see if the problem happens with the door lock. The vehicle does look nice and it has been rustproofed as there are holes with the plastic inserts.


A funny tidbit I'll share with you guys. After he takes my liscense and photo copies it he tells me he used to live on the same street and he was close to the park and graduated from the elementary school in the neighbourhood...So when I ask him what his street number was he couldn't recall ha ha - he pulled a number twice as high as the highest number...Dealers gonna deal.
 

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About the "rustproofing" - are you certain that the holes with plastic inserts aren't the openings which every RAV has in the lower rocker panels and are for shipping transport tie-downs? Dealers are supposed to plug the holes with the supplied rubberized inserts prior to delivery to the customer.
 
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Blog, you could be right I would have to check that again - the holes did go up higher than the just the rockers though.. and the rear doors had them too.


Did a drive by last night and noticed the rear exhaust tip was bent down so someone has backed into something at some point most likely...I could hear the exhaust a bit when driving and thought that was the nature of the "sport" but I think further inspection is needed...I'm going to try to get down there today for another look.
 

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Blog, you could be right I would have to check that again - the holes did go up higher than the just the rockers though.. and the rear doors had them too.


Did a drive by last night and noticed the rear exhaust tip was bent down so someone has backed into something at some point most likely...I could hear the exhaust a bit when driving and thought that was the nature of the "sport" but I think further inspection is needed...I'm going to try to get down there today for another look.
I would second(and third!)what nouse said earlier....get a thorough inspection done by an independent mechanic.:serious
 
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