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I have a 2010 Rav4 sport with around 45k miles on it that is exhibiting intermittent no crank no start and the horn honking randomly when the car is off. Below are more details including recent services performed on the car:

Monday 1/2: Firestone wheel alignment
Monday 1/2: AAA test battery and starter (bad battery & good starter), replace battery
Saturday 1/7: Toyota Dealership Power Window Master Switch (PWMS) recall, Wiper Motor Link Corrosion recall, Rear Outboard Seatbelts recall, address TPMS light, top-up engine coolant

On Sunday 1/8, I drove the car in the morning with no issues. In the evening, I mounted a new dash camera and plugged it into the 12V socket near the cup holders. I went to start the car and it would not crank, only making a single click sound. Several lights on the dash light up (battery, power steering, etc). My headlights seem to have full power and do not fade when turning the key. I unplugged the dash camera, and tried to start it again again with the same results (no crank, single click). I also tried shifting in and out of drive and neutral with the same result (no crank, single click). Then I tried to jump the car with the same no crank result except now it didn’t even make the single click sound.

I parked the car to leave it alone since I am traveling out of town this week. That evening, the car’s horn started going off intermittently every 3-8 hours in 10-50 second bursts. I didn’t know it was my car since it is parked in a garage with many other cars. On Tuesday, my girlfriend tried to start the car and it started without any problems. She drove it around for 20 minutes and then parked it, she immediately tried to start it again after parking it and it once again exhibited the no crank condition. She heard it honk after she turned it off. She checked to make sure the horn wasn’t sticking and I walked her through pulling the horn fuse - she was very frustrated at not being able to find fuse #10A :D.

I realize some details but may be irrelevant but wanted to include them just in case. I appreciate any guidance you can provide on how to track down this issue. I really doubt that the dash cam would have shorted something (wouldn’t the cigarette lighter fuse have blown first) but it seems like the issues started after trying to install it. The horn issues also started after trying to jump the car so that could have been the cause instead? I will likely drive/tow (depending on if it starts) it to either Toyota or Firestone once I'm back but would like to try to narrow down the issue myself especially if it is something small like a relay.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Welcome to RAV4World! We need a little more information from you. Is there an alarm system installed? Is there a remote start installed? How about trailer hitch wiring or any aftermarket electronics apart from the dashcam? You also mentioned a jump start. Could the jumper cables have been reversed? This has been known to cause many problems including the horn sounding and blown fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello, thanks for the welcome RAV4World is a wealth of knowledge. To your questions:

-There is no aftermarket alarm system installed
-There is no remote start installed
-It is a regular key start, not a push button start
-There is no trailer hitch
-In general, I have made no alterations or upgrades to the car
-The only other aftermarket electronic apart from the Dashcam is a Kinovo Bluetooth adapter that is plugged into the 12v socket in the center console and the 3.5mm aux port. I have used this accessory for 2+ years without problems.
-Regarding the jump start, I was careful to the connect the cables to the correct terminals in the correct order. I did connect the dead-battery-negative-cable to a nut on the heat-shield (I think that's what it is called, see the attached picture - not my exact car but indicative). Is that the problem, that nut is not grounded? I did not hear/smell/see any fuses pop. Attached is a picture of my driver side fuse box, I don't see any of the large glass fuses are broken.

I'm thinking what happened is I had a neutral safety no crank no start condition or some other problem that caused the no crank like a starter solenoid. Then when I tried to jump it, I blew some fuse(s) causing the intermittent horn problem? I'll be home tomorrow and can do some more poking around and would welcome any suggestions where to start!
 

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Suggest checking and cleaning the cable connections and battery posts, and if that doesn't resolve the problem, also cleaning the cable and terminal connections at the starter relay and the starter motor. Corrosion can result in intermittent electrical current flow and that can cause the symptoms which you are experiencing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. Some updates:

-I don't think it's the neutral safety switch, tried starting with moving the shifter all around to no avail.
-Checked the battery - 12.53 V
-Checked fuses across driver side and passenger side, none were blown
-Battery posts and cables are clean and tight (had a new battery installed recently)
-This morning I banged on the starter and it started


I'm having the starter replaced today. Will ask them to look at the the cable and terminal connections at the starter relay and the starter motor. Hopefully that will address the intermittent no crank but we will see if the intermittent horn honking continues. Will provide an update.
 

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Replaced the starter and that solved both the no crank issue and the random horn blowing issue. I've since plugged the dash camera back in with no issues as well.

In 8 years I've had around 4 batteries and now a new starter. I wonder when the alternator will go.
 

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Good to hear that the problems have been resolved. If you live in a hot climate area owners report lots of short battery life experiences. Starter issue is odd - in more than 60 years of vehicle ownership I've never had a starter go bad . . .
 

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Replaced the starter and that solved both the no crank issue and the random horn blowing issue. I've since plugged the dash camera back in with no issues as well.

In 8 years I've had around 4 batteries and now a new starter. I wonder when the alternator will go.
Glad to hear it! But not getting the connection with the horn blowing.:confused:
 

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Glad to hear it! But not getting the connection with the horn blowing.:confused:
That's why I didn't suggest anything.

The horn circuit is the basic circuit that has been used for decades. When the button on the steering wheel is pushed, it completes a circuit to ground and the relay operates, sending voltage to the horn units.

The RAV4 has introduced one small modification. The wire that goes to the horn button is also connected to the ECM. So now the ECM can also ground the wire whenever it sees the need to operate the horn.

The horn in my 2008 never went off, so I didn't know what this connection was for, since my Limited did not have a factory alarm system.

The OP was asked if he had an aftermarket alarm system, and he said no. It is possible that a factory alarm system was added sometime after 2008 that I was not aware of. I should have raised that question, but assumed it did not have an alarm system or the OP would have mentioned it. Without the existence of an alarm system I could not explain the reason for the blowing horn so I just stayed away.

I assume that the OP's starter problem was dropping the battery voltage and making the ECM unstable, which grounded the horn wire occasionally.

Can anyone confirm if the 2010 had a factory alarm? What other reason would the ECM require control of the horn?. Keep in mind that this connection to the ECM was visible in the 2007 wiring diagrams.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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The RAV4 has introduced one small modification. The wire that goes to the horn button is also connected to the ECM. So now the ECM can also ground the wire whenever it sees the need to operate the horn.

The horn in my 2008 never went off, so I didn't know what this connection was for, since my Limited did not have a factory alarm system.
Rick, you never set off your panic alarm? By pressing and holding the red button on your key remote, the horn will sound and the flashers will flash. Occasionally I've bent over to pull a weed or pick up a piece of trash in the yard, and somehow the button gets pressed in my pocket and sets it off.
 

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Rick, you never set off your panic alarm? By pressing and holding the red button on your key remote, the horn will sound and the flashers will flash. Occasionally I've bent over to pull a weed or pick up a piece of trash in the yard, and somehow the button gets pressed in my pocket and sets it off.
Your absolutely right. I had totally forgotten that relationship between the ECU and the horn ,despite the fact that I set off the alarm many times by simply squatting down.

In hindsight I would now suspect that the OP's problem of the intermittent horn was caused by low battery voltage making the ECU unstable (i.e. operating erratically). The low voltage may have been caused by the starter drawing excess current, but that doesn't explain why the battery voltage was low after shutting down the engine when presumably the alternator had recharged the battery. I'm thinking the problem may return.
 
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