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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

We have a 2006 RAV4 with the 2.4L Limited with 310,000 kilometres

Lately we've been having some strange electrical issues where the battery would just be dead when we returned to the car - this has happened about 3 times in the past 2 months. After a boost it would be fine for weeks.

We've had the alternator replaced twice in the past, and the battery is only 2 years old. I don't think these are the culprits now... I just wanted to mention this ahead of time.

Oh also we have 2 keys and 2 aftermarket fobs. Neither key is original (those are long gone). We also have an aftermarket remote start that worked for a number of years but decided to just quit. The aftermarket fobs I mentioned are from this kit.

What is really strange to me is that just now my wife calls me and tells me that the radio is on (she was driving it about 30 mins before) WITHOUT the keys in the ignition. She had just returned to the car after shopping and the radio was on.

I was very confused to hear that and while still on the phone with her she tells me that she started the car and then the keys fell out of the ignition! I googled this and it appears to be a pretty common issue:

1) Your keys are worn out
OR
2) Your ignition cylinder tumblers are worn out

I was thinking... could this somehow be related to these electrical gremlins we've been having? I'm just a DIYer (brakes, alternator, oil change)... When it comes to diagnosing issues I'm no expert.

Is it possible that if there is an issue with the ignition cylinder could it cause the radio/lights to stay on?

Thank you all,
Greg
 

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Seems like the radio is developing a short and could be draining your battery. It has happened before.
You could remove the fuse to the radio for a start to see if it helps.

Another possibility is that your remote start is acting up. It possible for you to put your remote starter module off.


In any case, with the keys out of the ignition, you would need to connect an in-line ammeter at the battery and check if the current (Amps) do considerably lower when you either remove the radio fuse or put the remote starter off.

If that makes no difference in your battery drain, I would repeat the same exercise with each an every fuse in the RAV4 until I find the culprit. That would tell you which circuit is causing the problem.

There used to be link to the RAV4 4.3 Electrical documents on this forum. Maybe one of the members could share the link on this thread. It would show you which components are connected to the different fuses.

The keys falling off is completely separate issue.
 

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1) Your keys are worn out
OR
2) Your ignition cylinder tumblers are worn out
If one of these things was true, then I think there are only 2 possible scenarios. That is you would be able to turn the ignition switch without a key in the slot, or you wouldn't be able to turn the switch even with a key in the slot. Not being able to turn the ignition on with the key would be obvious by now.

Check if you can turn the switch without the key in the slot. If you can, then perhaps the ignition is being accidentally left in an operating position when the key is being removed.

Also check if you can remove the key in any other position, other than the OFF position, and that the steering wheel locks.

Also never assume that the battery is OK. It only takes a few seconds to measure it's voltage while under load, and then measure again when the engine is running to check if the alternator is working.

Since the remote start has become defective I suspect that this may be the cause of your problem. You should try and locate the module and unplug it to see if it resolves your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Seems like the radio is developing a short and could be draining your battery. It has happened before.
You could remove the fuse to the radio for a start to see if it helps.

Another possibility is that your remote start is acting up. It possible for you to put your remote starter module off.


In any case, with the keys out of the ignition, you would need to connect an in-line ammeter at the battery and check if the current (Amps) do considerably lower when you either remove the radio fuse or put the remote starter off.

If that makes no difference in your battery drain, I would repeat the same exercise with each an every fuse in the RAV4 until I find the culprit. That would tell you which circuit is causing the problem.

There used to be link to the RAV4 4.3 Electrical documents on this forum. Maybe one of the members could share the link on this thread. It would show you which components are connected to the different fuses.

The keys falling off is completely separate issue.
Thank you for your reply.

I will start with the fuse to the radio as well as trying to disable the remote start module entirely. I have a feeling i may also be losing my keyless entry doing this (since the key fobs I use are from the remote start).

Strange thing is that everything is intermittent. The vehicle will stay in the garage for a few days and be perfectly fine.

Next we'll take it out and drive an hour away and when we return the battery will be dead.

If there is any electrical schematics available I would certainly benefit from those.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If one of these things was true, then I think there are only 2 possible scenarios. That is you would be able to turn the ignition switch without a key in the slot, or you wouldn't be able to turn the switch even with a key in the slot. Not being able to turn the ignition on with the key would be obvious by now.

Check if you can turn the switch without the key in the slot. If you can, then perhaps the ignition is being accidentally left in an operating position when the key is being removed.

Also check if you can remove the key in any other position, other than the OFF position, and that the steering wheel locks.

Also never assume that the battery is OK. It only takes a few seconds to measure it's voltage while under load, and then measure again when the engine is running to check if the alternator is working.

Since the remote start has become defective I suspect that this may be the cause of your problem. You should try and locate the module and unplug it to see if it resolves your problem.
Thank you for the reply.

I have thrown my multimeter on the battery and I have gotten a steady 11.8-12V with the vehicle off, and another 13.4-14.4 with the vehicle on and varying loads.

I will inspect the ignition cylinder. This is a first to me. I've never found the keys to fall out, or experience difficult inserting/turning/removing the key.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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old toyotas are known for this issue, keys wear out and come out... this one is a little new for it though, get another key made and see if that solves the problem.

I'm thinking your key is coming out without the ignition in OFF, so the battery is being drained by lights or other electricals being on.

I had this issue on my old 84 Supra, got a new key made based on the worn out key I had (mind you that was also an aftermarket key) and the new key never had issues coming out again.
 

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Thank you for the reply.

I have thrown my multimeter on the battery and I have gotten a steady 11.8-12V with the vehicle off, and another 13.4-14.4 with the vehicle on and varying loads.

I will inspect the ignition cylinder. This is a first to me. I've never found the keys to fall out, or experience difficult inserting/turning/removing the key.

Thanks,
Greg
a fully charged battery is 12.6, and 12.0 is considered under 50%.

when the alternator is running 13.4 to 14.5 is normal...

so you either have big load draining the battery to 12v when the alternator is not running, or you battery is not good anymore.
 
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