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For a 1996-1997 manual transmission all wheel drive RAV4, to lock front and rear drive shafts, a driver has to press "C.DIFF LOCK" button on dash board manually. The owner manual indicates that when do it, the vehicle must stop. As a result, if one wheel spins when the vehicle is moving, all other 3 wheels will lose traction and the driver can do nothing to recover it, until he stops the vehicle, turns on the lock system, then move the vehicle again. It is a big disadvantage. Honda CRV with manual transmission and RAV4 with automatic transmission can lock the center differential smoothly and automatically, when we still keep driving.
When the vehicle recovers from slippery condition, the driver also has to stop it and turn off the lock manually.
It really makes manual tranny RAV4 awkward, comparing with CRV.
 

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The Honda CRV does not have a center diff to lock and beleive me it would be stuck long before that would help you because it doens't even drive all 4 wheels with equal torque even when there is traction. There is no time on the road that you should need the center diff locked. There is no time off road you should have it unlocked. So the situation you describe should not happen.
 

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I also thought the differential lock button was for Manual RAV's only... automatics don't have the differential lock button....
Am I right ?? :roll:
 

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DJ Sueno said:
I also thought the differential lock button was for Manual RAV's only... automatics don't have the differential lock button....
Am I right ?? :roll:
That's right, on the automatic it engages automatically, only after it slips. Actually it doens't engage in the same way, it has varing degrees of lock between the front and rear available where as in the manual you have locked and unlocked.
 

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Right. Specifically, the automatic has a hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the centre diff that can progressively lock up automatically when needed.
 

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Disconnect it because I don't want to hit it accicdently while reaching for the heater controls when the vehicle is in motion (not good for the drive train) .
Unlike the automatic , the manual has to be at a complete stop before you can activate the switch .
From what little I know , there are too many things needed to be done correctly to engage it and if you don't , you can damage the drive train .
I found out the hard way while test driving my first Rav that you can not back the vehicle with the wheels turned while the system is on .
You should have heard the noise it made :oops: :oops:
Another thing I did wrong on the test drive is drive on dry , level roads with the system engaged :shock: :oops: :oops:
Needless to say ..... I didn't buy this one .
 

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sorry dude, couldn't help it!! seriously though, i'm supprised who ever was letting you test drive their rav let you drive witht the center dif locked!! i wen't nuts when my better half pressed the button once while we were driving!!
 
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the CDiff lock will not engage automatically while you are driving. The CDlock on the 99 rav4 will give you an audible warning when it is trying to engage but cannot due to the spinning shaft. its a little beep beep beep beep (soft but you will hear it if the radio is off)..

No need to worry about engaging it while driving, you will notice the light on your dash display anyway. Dont disengage the wire, it helps loads when driving offroad.

Do NOT engage the CDiff while driving on pavement, the front tires will rotate at the same speed and turning will become very difficult as the outside tire needs to move faster but cant and such.

The only time i actually engage and disengage my CDiff is when im staging for my desert runs. I dont think you would want to engage it while driving anyway, unless you are on a paved road and want to move to driving offroad all at once with those high pressure tires (not recomended anyway).....

Its a great feature.
 

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True , in your situtation , it would be , but for everyday urban / city driving it is not needed .
Driving in winter conditions , light off road and river bed excursions , the all wheel drive can handle things fine .
 
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