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Discussion Starter #1
When going from park to drive, anyone noticing a brief pause and then a "kick" when the 4cyl it engages in drive? We have a Limited. This happened on our old truck, too, although it was worse there. It may be that since I've driven this now, I'm less deliberate about putting it in gear (took awhile to get use to the gear movement), but I don't think that is the case. It's just that, especially when started cold, it kind of kicks into gear. I didn't notice this for the first 800 or so miles we had the vehicle. Nothing major, just not as smooth as it was before.
 
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i notice that on my sport too, but right away. it currently has 350 miles on it. i just thought i didnt press on the brake hard enough or i shift too quickly. now i just try to be cautious, step on the brakes hard and slowly shift...seems to make it better.
 
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Huh, just happened to me today for the first time. I reversed out of the driveway, shifted into drive, and *bam* - the transmission engaged with a sharp kick and a nasty clunking noise. I thought for a moment that I was still rolling backwards and shifted too soon, but I'm certain that I was at a full stop. Too many of those incidents and I'll be driving a Corolla loaner car for a few days.
 

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its happened to me too. Heres whats happening. With the Rav, you must be 100% stopped before you put it in drive. Trust me guys. Im an engineer. You are not comming to a COMPLETE stop. If you come to a complete stop and maybe even wait a split second then put it in gear it will not happen:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Me 2, reverse to drive is when it happens. We've had a 4cyl camry for years and I've never once noticed a kick with it. Yes, when you fully stop and wait a sec, then put it into drive, it does cut down on the kick, but even then it still kicks a little and I hadn't noticed that for the first couple hundred miles. I had that on a truck a few years ago and it was a transmission problem. I'm going to also try pushing in on the brake harder and see if that does anything (even though I am definitely 100% stopped), and also try messing with the speed that I'm moving from R to D.
 

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In my car, hard engagement happens when the PCU decides to idle high (although there is no "nasty" noise). It has nothing to do with engaging while stopping. This normally happens when the engine is cold. The the darn tranny engages so slowly, that when going from the reverse the engine has time to flare back to high idle and jerk. But even when warm, it sometimes idles above 1K. I'm not bothered by it, but my wife noticed.
 

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This is not what happening to ours. I first noticed it while backing up and while I was still moving (bearly) I put it into d. At idle, this normally would never be a issue as i have done to to many cars over the years and it never has... But if ya try this in a Rav, it will bang into gear harshly. If i make sure the truck is completly stopped it does not do it... Its only done it once so I did not really take notice if it was already warmed up or not..
Also try the brake thing. The extra time it takes to push the pedel down furthur may be enough time to stop it..


zaitcev said:
In my car, hard engagement happens when the PCU decides to idle high (although there is no "nasty" noise). It has nothing to do with engaging while stopping. This normally happens when the engine is cold. The the darn tranny engages so slowly, that when going from the reverse the engine has time to flare back to high idle and jerk. But even when warm, it sometimes idles above 1K. I'm not bothered by it, but my wife noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Zaitcev's description sounds familiar- it definitely is worse when it's colder. So it sounds like this is not something worthy of getting serviced, it's just something to live with and get adjusted to. In fact, given that many are noticing it, I don't know if there's really anything they could do to service it anyway.
 
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Haven't noticed it in mine at all...........yet.
Only about 400 miles on it though. It was 15 degrees here this
morning and it didn't seem to affect it . I guess time will tell.
 

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Hasn't happened to me yet. I have just over 1000 miles and I've been driving in temps ranging from -8F to +40F. I rarely come to a complete stop when going from R to D.
 
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I haven't had this problem. Only have about 260 miles thus far, however. The coldest I have driven was about 30 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So is it worth calling service about the kick when moving from reverse to drive? Basically what happens is that when going from reverse to drive, it takes maybe a second longer than normal to go into drive and then it "kicks."

Is it just the way the vehicle is made or is it something worth having checked out since it may indicate a more serious problem?
 

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I would take it in to have it on record that you did complain about it. Its a pretty good bet tho that they are gonna say thats it is 'normal' which I do not think is.. Mine has not what you discribe. It only did it while I was actually moving backword and I dropped it into D. Has not done it since.. Don't forget that you have 3 years and 36k miles to have it fixed so maybe it will go away..
 
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I would also say it can't hurt to have it checked out. I'm up to nearly 700
miles and cold morning starts in the teens without any kick yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I called two dealerships today and talked to the service dept. The first guy basically said that there wasn't much they could do about it and not to worry about it. Just let engine warm up for a few minutes. The second sounded like he's gotten these calls before, and forcefully stated that this kind of clunking into gear is to be expected due to the Rav's gear ratio (I don't know what that means, but that's what he said). He thinks it is something that will improve as the engine breaks in. We have about 1500 miles right now. It may be that some of you in colder climates are experiencing the same thing that I am, but it's not bothering you at all. It's a milder version of what I've experienced in the past when the transmission is slipping (except that nothing goofy is happening once the car is actually changing gears... it's only occurring when it is first switched into drive.

Just overall I'd say that the Rav is not as smooth switching into drive as our Camry, and perhaps that is because it is wound a little tighter. Even hitting the gas pedal, it's far more responsive than our Camry (which I kind of like now that I'm used to it). I don't even know enough about cars to be dangerous, but i'm wondering if they are related.
 

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hmm. Thats about what I thought would happen...

Ya know what *could* bo an issue?? Its a drive by wire throttle and if the throttle position sensor is out of adjustment or defective the rpm could be too high to allow a smooth gear change.. At what rpm does it climb too when it happens and does it happen from park to drive OR from reverse to drive?

oh and the gear ratio has NOTHING to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One thing I noticed is that when starting the vehicle the RPM is immediately 1500 and stays that way for a minute or two. After that it slowly lowers and ends up below 1000. I didn't notice it kicking that much when putting it into gear. I don't recall the RPM being that high upon first startup with other vehicles.
 
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