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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2010 Rav4 4 cylinder with auto transmission.

I have noticed a slight grinding sometimes when going up a hill and it has to shift into a lower gear. This is happening between 35 and 45 mph, so I am thinking it is between third and second.

I hear the grinding for 2 or 3 seconds. It doesn't lurch or shudder the car; but I do feel a slight vibration. And sometimes I can go several days without hearing it. But it might be because some days I drive at highway speeds most of the day. It's like it's trying to decide what gear it needs to be in. If I let up on the gas, or push down for more, it settles right away into one gear or the other.

The atf was flushed in May 2015 by my mechanic. This started happening in October. I had my mechanic look at it and he noticed that the fluid level was a little high (apparently his guy had put a little too much in), so he drained it. But it didn't really improve.

I'm debating whether to take it to a transmission place to look at it. I don't want to take it to the dealer. Or could this be a simple adjustment? Would resetting the ECU by removing the negative lead be in order?

I read where some on the 4.2 2nd Generation forums are replacing the ECU/TCM. Could this be the issue for a 2010 in the third generation? Any other options or tests that anyone can think of?

Or am I being paranoid and shouldn't be worrying about it?

Thanks for your help!
Videot
 

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I have a 2010 Rav4 4 cylinder with auto transmission.

I have noticed a slight grinding sometimes when going up a hill and it has to shift into a lower gear. This is happening between 35 and 45 mph, so I am thinking it is between third and second.

I hear the grinding for 2 or 3 seconds. It doesn't lurch or shudder the car; but I do feel a slight vibration. And sometimes I can go several days without hearing it. But it might be because some days I drive at highway speeds most of the day. It's like it's trying to decide what gear it needs to be in. If I let up on the gas, or push down for more, it settles right away into one gear or the other.

The atf was flushed in May 2015 by my mechanic. This started happening in October. I had my mechanic look at it and he noticed that the fluid level was a little high (apparently his guy had put a little too much in), so he drained it. But it didn't really improve.

I'm debating whether to take it to a transmission place to look at it. I don't want to take it to the dealer. Or could this be a simple adjustment? Would resetting the ECU by removing the negative lead be in order?

I read where some on the 4.2 2nd Generation forums are replacing the ECU/TCM. Could this be the issue for a 2010 in the third generation? Any other options or tests that anyone can think of?

Or am I being paranoid and shouldn't be worrying about it?

Thanks for your help!
Videot
I've never been a fan of flushing trans fluid. Being that the guy overfilled it, perhaps he didn't use the correct type of fluid either. If nothing else, I'd do a simple drain-and-refill using Toyota atf. Then another one a month or so later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ravenuer!

This garage used the BG flush, and so I assume that they used BG ATF.

I saw this discussion: Opinions on BG synthetic ATF vs. Toyota WS | ATF, Differential, Trans, Brakes, P/S | Bob Is The Oil Guy which has a link to a compatibility PDF for BG312 which it shows as being compatible with Toyota WS.

In your opinion, if they did use 312, would that make it the "proper" fluid? Or do you feel that Toyota WS is the only proper fluid to use?

I will be asking my garage which fluid they used in there.

Take care,
Fred
 

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I started having shifting issues after draining and filling with WS oil. Had the transmission flushed (hooked to a machine) and all solenoid, shifting, code number issues disappeared. This was for the V6 5 speed AWD Rav4, 2011.


I would only use the Toyota or WS oil for these transmission for sure. You can have them drop the pan to see if there is metal debris.
 

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Thanks Ravenuer!

This garage used the BG flush, and so I assume that they used BG ATF.

I saw this discussion: Opinions on BG synthetic ATF vs. Toyota WS | ATF, Differential, Trans, Brakes, P/S | Bob Is The Oil Guy which has a link to a compatibility PDF for BG312 which it shows as being compatible with Toyota WS.

In your opinion, if they did use 312, would that make it the "proper" fluid? Or do you feel that Toyota WS is the only proper fluid to use?

I will be asking my garage which fluid they used in there.

Take care,
Fred
Fred, IMO, I would only use Toyota WS. That's the only way to be sure. I've never had a problem using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!

To update everyone, I have scheduled an app't tomorrow at my mechanic for them to drop the transmission pan and see if there are any chunks of metal. He mentioned that you will almost always find shavings in there, but that chunks are an indication of a problem. He will then refill with Toyota WS.

By the way, he says that he used Synguard, which he looked at the specs and said that it's a World Standard fluid and that the list said it was for the RAV4. The only ones it said it wasn't for was CVT transmissions. Nonetheless, I asked him to refill with Toyota WS, which he said he would do.

I will keep you posted.

Take care,
Fred
 

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Thanks!

To update everyone, I have scheduled an app't tomorrow at my mechanic for them to drop the transmission pan and see if there are any chunks of metal. He mentioned that you will almost always find shavings in there, but that chunks are an indication of a problem. He will then refill with Toyota WS.

By the way, he says that he used Synguard, which he looked at the specs and said that it's a World Standard fluid and that the list said it was for the RAV4. The only ones it said it wasn't for was CVT transmissions. Nonetheless, I asked him to refill with Toyota WS, which he said he would do.

I will keep you posted.

Take care,
Fred
I don't doubt that there are some brands of ATF that are compatible. Just as some are not. I just find it a whole lot less complicated to use the OEM stuff. And yes, other brands might be cheaper, but it's not like you're doing this every week.
I'll be curious to see how you make out. Good luck.:thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Results

My garage dropped the pan yesterday and found a "very clean" pan. They said there was very small amount of very fine shavings on the magnet; which he described that it was like "etch a sketch" dust. So there's nothing going on in the transmission.

At my insistence, he did a drain and refill with Toyota WS.

I've only heard the noise twice; both times on the way home from the garage. I haven't heard the noise today at all in driving around town, probably about 25 miles today. I even tried to get it to make the noise and couldn't.

I'd like to drive it around a little longer before I call this "cured", but prelim results are looking good! I'll give you another report in about two weeks, because I'll be gone most of next week.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Follow Up

So far (2.5 weeks later), I have yet to hear any slippage.

I went to my garage yesterday (for a problem on another vehicle) and mentioned the improvement to my mechanic. He smiled and said that he had talked to the Synguard rep and he didn't believe that his fluid was the problem. He told him that I would report back one way or the other. I told him (with a kidding smile) to tell him that I want my money back. He said that he would talk to the rep about doing that. So I guess we'll see if Synguard stands behind their product.

So for those who may be reading this thread in the future:

Toyota WS Transmission Oil is worth a try if you are having slippage issues and you (or a mechanic) used a different oil.
 

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So far (2.5 weeks later), I have yet to hear any slippage.
I went to my garage yesterday (for a problem on another vehicle) and mentioned the improvement to my mechanic. He smiled and said that he had talked to the Synguard rep and he didn't believe that his fluid was the problem. He told him that I would report back one way or the other. I told him (with a kidding smile) to tell him that I want my money back. He said that he would talk to the rep about doing that. So I guess we'll see if Synguard stands behind their product.
So for those who may be reading this thread in the future:
Toyota WS Transmission Oil is worth a try if you are having slippage issues and you (or a mechanic) used a different oil.
Thanks for the update. I can't see them refunding your money, but great if they do! Hopefully you'll be good to go. Like I've already said, there are all kinds of opinions on this subject. I just use the OEM stuff and get on with my life!:thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Follow Up

I had a second drain and refill done about 6 weeks ago. Now there's hardly any slippage at all. There really is a difference using Toyota WS Fluid.

Thanks to all for your help.
 

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Syn Gard ATF (not WS compatible)

Thanks!

To update everyone, I have scheduled an app't tomorrow at my mechanic for them to drop the transmission pan and see if there are any chunks of metal. He mentioned that you will almost always find shavings in there, but that chunks are an indication of a problem. He will then refill with Toyota WS.

By the way, he says that he used Synguard, which he looked at the specs and said that it's a World Standard fluid and that the list said it was for the RAV4. The only ones it said it wasn't for was CVT transmissions. Nonetheless, I asked him to refill with Toyota WS, which he said he would do.

I will keep you posted.

Take care,
Fred
I Googled Syngard and there is a company called Syngard that makes synthetic atf but not for Toyota vehicles. Valvoline also has a Syn Gard but it is not made for Toyota either. (not sure what the most asian vehicle transmission type means?)

http://syngardoil.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PDS-Syngard-ATF-Plus-4.pdf

http://content.valvoline.com/pdf/hd_syn_gard_atf.pdf

Therefore the wrong transmission fluid appeared to be used in your vehicle causing problems if it is one of the the two Syn Gard above fluid.

This is probably why everyone is scared of aftermarket atf and go back to WS. The OP should get money back as this is not even WS compatible.

So if you are mixing Syngard with WS that is not the best to have in your transmission. A drain and fill does not get all the oil out since some will still be left in the torque converter. So right now you have a mixture of Syngard and WS.
 
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