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Discussion Starter #1
hey folks, just bought my very first car last week: a '97 RAV 4. was searching around online and pretty stoked to see this site exists!

question: my rav has a 4wd button on the dash and i have no idea how it works. the person i bought it off of only had it for a year, and who knows how many owners have come before, but needless to say there's no instruction manual. I'm assuming that when it's pressed in, the 4WD activates but thought i should confirm with someone who knows for sure. also, is that something that can only be activated while i'm in neutral/not moving? or can i turn it on while i'm driving? any guidance would be much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmmmm interesting. i'm in canada, so maybe it's different? i'm also completely car illiterate, so maybe i'm just explaining it wrong. but the person i bought it off told me that it turned it on & off.

attached is a photo i grabbed from google that has the same symbol i'm talking about (it's the button that appears second from the right). does that clarify it at all. appreciate the quick response!
 

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Your RAV4 is always 4WD. This button is used to lock front and rear differentials together (center differential lock). Don't use it on dry pavement, because it creates ''drivetrain binding''. Use it only off-road or on a slippery surface. Press it when vehicle is not moving. If the splines in the mechanism are not lined, they will when the vehicle will start to move.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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On my RAV4 to deactivate I have to push the button again, light goes out, and put her in reverse and back up 20 ft or so, I can feel when mine disengages. To make sure it's disengaged I turn the steering wheel while moving forward, if the steering wheel "rocks" she's still engaged. Backup again a little further to if that happens.
 
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That button is going to get you out of pickle for sure BUT ... only if you have good off road tires...


I have 100,000 miles of every kind of experience with my RAV4. That button and good tires go hand in hand.. :D
 
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