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I recently had to replace an electrically dead alternator on my daughter's 2007 RAV4 at about 88,500 mi. I tried to buy the parts to rebuild but the lead time was > 5 days so i opted for a rebuild by a local company that I've had good experience with. The first rebuilt I put on lasted 1000 miles and i had to haul it home again after the battery light returned and stayed on. The second rebuilt was a Wilson which I thought might be a better quality but it started flashing the Battery light for a few seconds to a few minutes within the first 3 starts after installing it. I monitored the battery voltage for a few hours as I drove and noticed that it varied a lot more than my 2010 or 2001 Camrys. I was not okay with this as my daughter lives 7 hours away and drives a lot, in areas with little or no cell coverage.

So I went back and got a Denso Rebuilt as that was the OEM brand and with that one I noticed a similar voltage variation from 12.25-14.45V depending what I was doing with the gas pedal, but no battery light flashes. I did a google search and then read about smart charging systems that off load the alternator during hard accelerations and steady driving when the battery is near full charge, and load it up when deccelerating in an effort to save fuel. It would seem that the first two rebuilts did not have the correct voltage regulator to handle the signals from the ECM that manage the smart system. It is up to 1500 miles now on the Denso and so far so good. Hopefully that will lick the problem...
 

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Welcome, and thanks for your report. Hopefully the first and second rebuilt alternators were guaranteed and that you were refunded your costs for both.
 

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Thanks for this information, I'm sure it will help others when they search for alternator fixes. Do you know which Denso unit they put in? Reason I ask is that in the States we had two different alternators, one of which outputs quite a bit more amperage for accessories and was included with the tow prep package here. I believe in Canada all vehicles were equipped with this package as a default and that would be helpful to know
 

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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I have an issue where I would like some help.

I have a 2007 RAV4 with V6 engine and towing package. Recently I was playing with my Scangauge, which I use in a gauge mode to show me 4 parameters at once. One of these parameters was a vehicle voltage. I have never monitored the voltage before. To my surprise the voltage is fluctuating from 12.2 V to 14.5 V when driving the car. It depends on the position of my foot on the gas pedal. With my foot off the pedal and vehicle coasting the voltage is 14-14.5 V (battery is charging). When I drive steady on the highway, the voltage is around 13 V (practically no charge, but alternator provides output). When I accelerate, the voltage drops to 12.5-12.2 V (no charging at all, I am driving on a battery). There are also plenty of conditions, where the voltage has a mind of its own - it does not obey any rules.

It is very similar to the OP description above. I have looked at the service manual and wiring diagram, but could not find a good explanation. It looks like my alternator is controlled by ECM with the help of Battery Current Sensor. I do not know what is it programmed to do and I feel a little uneasy driving long distances knowing I am driving on a battery power.

I wonder if any one of you did the voltage monitoring while driving. What was the outcome?
 

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My car's alternator died. It's a 2008 RAV4 Sport 4wd with the 2GR-FE 3.5-liter V6. The battery light came on upon start and then stayed on. I did a quick video how-to with some tips on how to remove the alternator. Here it is.

 

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I did a Alt Replacement on my 07 Rav about a year ago, I went with the Denso and so far, no problems. Replacement was pretty easy.
 
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