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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, new RAV 4.1 owner and general car noob here

I just got my rav back from the shop (transmission fluid flush) and thought it would be a good idea to test everything out, including the center differential lock. Not knowing how the center differential lock works, and its proper applications, I did a brief drive around my neighborhood with it on to see if I could tell the difference in handling/steering (I learned later that this is a huge no-no).

I couldn't disengage the lock immediately, so I searched the forums for a solution and learned that you have to reverse the car to disengage it. I also learned that I might have ruined my differential lock.

So I looked under the car to see if anything was bent, and it looks alright. I didn't exceed 15-20 mph while driving with it on, but I did make some tight turns. It was probably less 3-5 minutes of driving with it on.

Guys, did I destroy my new beloved car pls halp
 

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If your lock still works (on/off), all should be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really? I should have noted it's a 1996 2 Door. To switch it off, I had to reverse about 20-30 feet. Is that normal?
 

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That's what I have to do to be sure my F-250 4X4 unlocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm starting to think it might not have even locked - the steering didn't feel decidedly different. It did beep when I had it locked and stopped beeping after I unlocked it, but I didn't really notice any other indicators. Is there a surefire way to safely determine if it's working properly?
 

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Is there a surefire way to safely determine if it's working properly?
Mash the gas on grass. If you can spin any tires it isn't working.
 

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'99 RAV4.1, 3MZ-FE, E250F 4x4, Torsen Dif
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I have to reverse mine several feet in a straight line to unlock it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
eodgator, is there a consistent way to tell if yours is engaged?

Edit: I actually just went out and tested mine. I turned it on and back off, one single quick beep to let me know it had unlocked. Turned it back on, inched forward a few feet, and turned it off again, and that time it beeped a few more times before unlocking. I guess that means its fine and not damaged?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What did they charge for the trans flush samlo?
Like $80 USD, I just took it to my local jiffylube because I had coupons. Ran muuuch smoother after though and they looked over the underside of the car for me and topped off the oil too
 

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If your lock works, you will feel ''drivetrain binding'' when doing a tight turn. If it's not locking, it will turn very smoothly (as normal).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If your lock works, you will feel ''drivetrain binding'' when doing a tight turn. If it's not locking, it will turn very smoothly (as normal).
Sorry if this is a dumb question - can I carefully test the lock like that on pavement without damaging it or the drive train? Right now if I engage/disengage it, I can hear the engine rev slightly to power the vacuum to turn it on or off.


if it is messed up, what are my first steps towards diagnosing/fixing it?
 

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Most likely you damaged nothing. Find a slippery surface (it doesn't need to be ice, a gravel road will do) and, as already suggested, stop, turn the wheel all the way and accelerate for 4-5 meters. Then, do the same maneuver with the centre differential lock on. You should feel the steering wheel heavier.
I made the same mistake (only much worse) in my early days of driving the Rav. I accidentally pushed the diff lock switch instead of the hazard lights switch to turn off my flashers. Then drove for 10-15 km on pavement wondering if I had a power-steering failure. Due to my seating position, the indicator on the instrument cluster was obscured by the steering wheel. When I realized what was going on, I was devastated. Fortunately, from then on (70000 km later), I haven't noticed any issues with the drivetrain or the diff lock function.
That being said, I do NOT condone driving on tarmac roads with centre differential lock on.

More food for thought:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/83-4-1-general/249825-lock-diff-awd.html
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/186810-4wheel-drive-beeping.html
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-...245433-central-disconnect-wont-disengage.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Mick, thanks, that definitely put me at ease regarding the center differential lock! I'll give it a test this week.
 
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