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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bear with me, I'm new to Rav4s so I'm trying to figure stuff out as I go. Hoping to get some pointers here from someone who knows more.

I picked up a 98 Rav4 at auction, the 4x4 auto which survey says is the a540h. It seems to run and drive ok, albeit a bit slow and rough going into reverse, so I go about changing all fluids and filters, but when I get to dropping the tranny pan I find this:
Finger Gesture Thumb Nail Gadget

I'm told it looks like a check valve, so I drop the valve body and sure enough:
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Automotive tire Vehicle

My first question is whether this is a big issue. Is this why reverse is slow to engage and sudden when it finally does? Aside from that, I tested my solenoids and found this guy to be DOA:
Wood Sleeve Gas Automotive wheel system Auto part

Household hardware Wood Finger Thumb Gas

Wood Gesture Finger Eyewear Thumb

Hand Fluid Finger Thumb Nail

Computer hardware Automotive design Electronic engineering Auto part Personal computer hardware

Finding a replacement for this solenoid has turned up nothing on Autozone or Rockauto, so I was wondering if anybody knew a better way to look it up and find it. None of the transmission solenoids I look at seem to match it

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
See if you can find the part here on

If not then I would try a Toyota dealer parts counter.
I think I found the part as far as the broken valve, according to page 126 in the doc Elle linked its the B1 Control valve. I think I found the parts I'll need for that:

I did find the solenoid in the lower valve body diagram, the problem is all the solenoids come up as 85420 which doesn't help much

I think the solenoid pictured in the first post may be what the A540H service manual calls the "lock-up solenoid." Go to . Proceed to pdf page 122 (document page AT-85).

I am not certain, but I think some sites also call this the:
"SLD solenoid"
"ST solenoid" (see A540H Solenoid Identification).
"shift solenoid valve SLD" (from service manual section 1996Rav4diag.pdf)

This photo adds more confusion:

I am trying to be mindful of A540H trannies where AWD is present vs. those without AWD.

These might be aftermarket replacements:

KNote72, what are the wire colors on the electrical connector for the solenoid pictured?

Also, can you remove the bracket and look for a p/n on the solenoid?

Regarding reverse, from wikipedia and other sites: The A540H "has a weak reverse – prone to noise and failure – failure included problems with 1st brake."
That first diagram really helped narrow it down, it actually looks like mine for once. Seeing some diagrams online supposedly for the A540H the valve bodies looked different so I was getting thrown off like something wasn't adding up. It's definitely the ST solenoid.

Mine doesn't have any 4x4 switch or button, only a "ECT PWR" shift mode selector, if that helps narrow down whether its AWD or 4x4. I wasn't aware there were different versions of the A540H, I thought the 540H was the AWD and the 540e was 2wd.

That specific part is out of stock but I did try this one which appears to be the same type of part TCC solenoid
It LOOKS like it fits at first glance, but the offset on the solenoid doesn't line up with the fluid port. If I can get the direct oem part thru toyota then that would be great, across a few different vehicles now I've been getting a string of non-oem parts that either don't fit or are faulty, I thought I escaped that when I quit stopping at Knechts and went with Rockauto.

I'll see about trying to get the bracket off, see if there's an actual p/n on it. Also the wire going to that solenoid is yellow (no 2nd wire since I'm assuming it's grounding thru the valve body).

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Knote72, my mistake regarding the A540H. Every A540H serves AWD (and not FWD). I corrected my post above.

Regarding the use of "AWD" and "4x4" on the first generation Rav4: See How to operate 4wd (rav4 1996) , post #3 by Mick Hatzo, and the links he provides. I play loose with the descriptor "AWD." Mick's links also address the ECT button.

After looking at a lot of Toyota parts sites and A540H sites, I am thinking the better bet is to maybe forget about getting the OEM part for now. Instead work with one of the many automatic tranny re-build shops on the net to get the right part. Your photos are excellent, and I bet the folks at the re-build shops can nail this down and tell you how to get the part.

I might also be digging through youtube for videos on re-builds of A540H transmissions. I have not had a chance to do this yet.

I checked my wiring diagram for the 1998-2000 Rav4. Just in case there is yet another name [wink] for that solenoid for which you provided multiple photos. If you want the wiring diagram, go to , post #18 and download the attachment 1999Rav4wiringsearchable.pdf . The wiring diagram's pdf page 66, in the lower left, shows a yellow wire connecting a solenoid on the transmission to pin 17 of the engine computer's largest connector. On the wiring diagram pin 17's label is "S1". And because I would hate for today's post to be boring, pin 16 is labeled "ST".

For the archives: For the 1996-1997 Rav4, the computer pins and wiring colors for the auto tranny solenoids are somewhat different.
I did manage to find this video on testing the solenoids
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" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I notice at 12:20 on the box it says "Aisin 85420-32111" but can't find anything related to that. Would I call up a toyota dealer for that p/n?

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think you nailed it. One can google on just the p/n and see this is a Toyota OEM p/n. (I think you and I have the "85420" part of the p/n memorized at this point.) Aisin is a well-known OEM parts manufacturer for Toyota.

The and site for the SXA11 frame (A540H transmission) call p/n 85420-32111 'transmission solenoid assembly no. 2.' I believe this is the same as solenoid valve SL, a.k.a. the lock-up solenoid. notes that
85420-32111 replaces {85420-32121, 85420-32120 and 85420-32110}.

Right next to this p/n the and sites list 85420-32102 'transmission solenoid assembly No.1.' But this is kind of misleading: Googling the latter p/n shows two solenoid valves connected. I think 85420-32102 consists of the two solenoids connecting to the computer's S1 and S2 pins, as shown in the wiring diagrams.

Are you sure the wire connecting to the valve you want is yellow? Might it be yellow with a black stripe? If it is yellow with a black stripe, then this is solenoid valve SL, at least according to the 1996 diagnostics manual and 1996 and 1999 wiring diagrams.

Can you say which valve the attached drawing indicates your valve is?

The 1996 Rav4 service manual section for the A540h appears here: . I think this service manual section is quite helpful for finding the solenoids.

I see also that doing the following google search of the site can turn up some of the more commonly needed solenoids for the A540H :


I am putting this and more info on my web site, in the "Automatic Transmission Notes" guide.
The wire connecting directly to the solenoid is just yellow, however on further inspection the wire on the wiring harness plugging into the trans is yellow +black stripe. Based on the diagram you attached it's in the location of the SL solenoid, however this contradicts one of the previous diagrams you linked which labeled it the ST solenoid. This is ones of the areas where I've been getting confused.

I originally did find the parts on rockauto namely the Pioneer 771015 which is SUPPOSED TO be the right part, the problem is it doesn't fit.
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