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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had to replace the battery yet?

I just did this morning. There was little to no warning that the battery was going out. :shock: After waiting an hour and a half for the AAA tow truck to show up to jump start my car, I drove to the local (near work) Toyota dealership and bought ($$$ :roll: ) a new battery. Had I had more lead time, I could have bought a battery at my preferred local (near home) dealership, from my automotive electrician, from an independent shop, or even from an auto parts store.

If you've replaced the battery in a RAV4.2,...

Did you have any lead time (days or weeks, not hours) or warning that it was dying?

What kind of battery (brand, estimated life, etc.) did you buy and why?

Here's the rhetorical question: what were the engineers or designers thinking (were they thinking?) when they made that stupid opaque plastic piece that covers the battery so you can't get to it easily, can't see the battery terminals, and can't see the battery indicator window? :evil: :? :shock: :( :cry: :roll: Oh, yeah, you also can't remove the plastic stuff with the advertised coin. I'm definitely glad that I always travel with tools--you've gotta pry that sucker off with a screwdriver to gain access to the battery.

Ahhhhh, that's better! Sometimes a good rant is in order.
 

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Sorry to hear about your woes this morning. :cry: I've changed the battery in my '98 RAV and it is a cinch job. No plastic covers or anything. :D

I believe most current batteries do not have the peek-through windows and caps that you can remove and top off the liquid as in the old school batteries. At least the one that I have in my RAV now is basically run 'em till their dead.

As for the plastic shield over your battery, can you just remove it and leave it off. :?: Usually I keep a brand new spare battery at home just in case either my wife or my RAV's battery dies. Now that I remember, I just replaced my battery last year because my car's alarm system was acting up; after replacing the battery it worked fine again. :D
 

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My 96 RAV is on its 2nd replacement battery right now. A good investment is a voltmeter gauge. This way you can keep an eye on your battery without having to physically use a multimeter across the terminals.
 

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Derek said:
Sorry to hear about your woes this morning. :cry: As for the plastic shield over your battery, can you just remove it and leave it off. :?: :D
You could, but then you'd have a huge hole where part of the cowl should be which is visible from the outside.

As for taking it off, it is somewhat a chore the first time, but once you know what you're doing, it's a inch with a coin to open up the tabs and then just pry it off with your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:oops: Well, I didn't happen to have a meter handy. I didn't even bother to ask the dealership to check the system. Let's see,... almost 4 years, just over 100,000 miles, inability to crank (at all)... unless the alternator or wiring suddenly and freakishly gave out, I'd suspect the battery. Can't be sure, but it's not that unlikely.

Oh, and Slayer's right about the gaping hole in the cowl if you remove that plastic piece that covers the battery.

Derek, it's not anything refillable, just one of those indicator dealies that glows slightly when there's a stored charge and goes dark when there isn't.

Jeff, thanks for the link. Somehow I missed that thread.
I think Ravster got a better deal on the battery at Pep Boys :roll: , assuming the quality and cold cranking ability are comparable. Given how much work I was missing that morning, driving all around Anaheim looking for a parts store or an OK independent dealer didn't seem like a great idea at the time. Oh, well!
 

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Liz said:
:oops: Well, I didn't happen to have a meter handy. I didn't even bother to ask the dealership to check the system. Let's see,... almost 4 years, just over 100,000 miles, inability to crank (at all)... unless the alternator or wiring suddenly and freakishly gave out, I'd suspect the battery. Can't be sure, but it's not that unlikely.

Oh, and Slayer's right about the gaping hole in the cowl if you remove that plastic piece that covers the battery.

Derek, it's not anything refillable, just one of those indicator dealies that glows slightly when there's a stored charge and goes dark when there isn't.

Jeff, thanks for the link. Somehow I missed that thread.
I think Ravster got a better deal on the battery at Pep Boys :roll: , assuming the quality and cold cranking ability are comparable. Given how much work I was missing that morning, driving all around Anaheim looking for a parts store or an OK independent dealer didn't seem like a great idea at the time. Oh, well!
When your battery is dead doens't necessarily mean it needs to be replaced, mine is almost 6 years old, I have killed it by leaving the dome light on or by leaving the stereo running but all it needs is a charge. In answer to your previous question, no, batteries do not usually suddenly just give out. You usually start to have trouble starting it if it has been sitting a few days but it starts fine after sitting only a few hours and then finally it won't start at all without a boost, if you start your car at regular intervals then it is going to seem like it failed suddenly when it fails to start. Shorts in the system, faulty switches and corrision between the terminals can cause the battery to discharge, if you have left your car sit a day or two with the new battery and it stills starts, then there are probably no shorts in the system.
 

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Maybe

Maybe an occasional battery service would have extended your battery's life.

You know, clean the terminals, replace the anti-corrosion pads...

RAV on.
 

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Liz said:
Has anyone had to replace the battery yet?

<snip>

Did you have any lead time (days or weeks, not hours) or warning that it was dying?
Happened twice to me on 2 different cars, no warning signs, no symptoms, just sudden, total failure of electrical.

Most recent situation was I drove to bank, all OK, go to leave bank - no, can't leave bank; dead battery.

Intense heat and intense cold are murder on batteries. And "factory eqpt" batteries tend to be around 2-year life expectancy.
 

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Funny this topic came back up cause just the other day I had the radio on and the park lights and my battery ran flat in about an hour. This is the third time this has happened to me but I just wait 5 mins. and it starts reluctentley. I have had many vehicles and the battery life on this OE is the pits. I'm gona pull it out and replace it this fall before the cold weather comes.

The battery is small it seems and I had another vehicle with close to the same problem (pet peeve). A 2003 Honda Accord. The battery was very small in it and didn't seem to be worth the powder to blow it to hell. Much like the one in our Rav's.

Anyway stay cool. Be Safe! M.
 

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Guys, i think I have got a theory on those RAV 4 batteries. Let me see if you all agree with me. When they designed RAV they forgot to design the battery and the place to put it. When they finally realised , it was too late. The only place that they could find to place a battery was under that silly cover in the corner where no one would look (so that their mistake would not be discovered, not at least before you had bought the car and paid for it!). The only battery that would fit in that cramped up place was the smallest and the thinnest battery of its kind with the lowest ampere hour in the market, that they could find. The amp hour of this battery is even lower than that in the baby corolla! To make matters worse for us they purposely designed the battery cover so that we could not get to the battery, thus preserving their little secret. You got it, it's conspiracy all the way! But unfortunately for Toyota, some our more resourceful members at the RAV4 world com using all their skills and wits (and coins, pliers, screw driver, nails and what not) have exposed their little secret! :D
 

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I guess the battery expectancy life depends on how you maintain or check your battery. Expectancy life of a battery should be as long as you are paying for your RAV4. In my case, the next month after I finish paying for my RAV4, the battery went south. I didn’t want to reinstall the OEM battery because of the load of accessories I installed. So I went to Consumer Report to check who was the big dog in batteries for my specific RAV4 model. Exide and Interstate were the once. So I went to Interstate website and asked which would be the best battery for my RAV4. I bought the MT-75DT. Why I didn’t go with a more powerful battery? Space. Since then I’ve installed even more accessories, and it works fine. Now, if you are thinking of installing a more powerful battery always consider the space available for it to be installed. BTW, I hade to change the Battery installation kit for a bigger one. Also, watch for Hood clearance once you install it.

http://www.ibsa.com/estore/search.asp?N=21+4294754334+4294753950+2147384747&Ntx=&Ntk=&Ntt=&Ns=product+Type|0&Nu=Part+Number&mscssid=DJMB87MFECVS8HT41PBSRDC887TC1X2A&js=1
 
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Battery went south

Battery went south...

Actually battery life in the south is a lot worse than in the north.

Heat is a major component in battery failure, not the cold. I had a battery actually crack in less than a year (Nissan product), living in Maryland.

If you live in South Florida, you might be expected to replace your battery every 2-3 years, where as if you lived in Upstate New York, you might get 5-6 years out of the same battery.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your battery regularly - don't wait for it to die, depending on where you live, more often if you live in a very hot climate. If you live where it's very cold in the winter, get a battery with a High Cold Cranking rating, because batteries loose their efficiency when it's very cold.

I carry a battery booster box under the front seat of the RAV4 just in case I need a boost, because I'm out in the back woods. These things are about the cost of a tow truck jumper boost, and it fits perfectly under the driver's seat of the RAV4.

In Canada, they actually sell 70W battery blankets, that you plug in overnight, to keep the battery at normal temperatures.
 

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RAJ: I love the conspiracy theory :lol: :lol: :lol: ........got any on what happened to JFK.....could be a movie in it..... :wink:

The original battery was 7 1/2 yrs old when I traded my '98 this spring so I couldn't understand ppl saying their's were failing in 2-3-4 yrs...... But I agree with what Parkway is saying about heat being harder on them than the cold, with extreme cold being the exception. I have used battery blankets in the past, and I'm convinced they work better than block heaters. I think the loss of CCA in moderate cold is more a factor than oil thickening in cold starts. Maybe this ackward battery enclosure is to keep it away from under hood heat.........1st gen batt was in the open....

Want a "great monitor"......friend of mine was in the States last fall and picked me up a digital in & out thermometer & "voltmeter" at Radio Shack. Slimline mount went above drink holder, sensor wire went out to front tow loop (low as possible to avoid rad heat). Plugs into cig lighter now (hard wire later) and is lit whenever key is on. Has an icing sensor that comes on too soon, so it's switched off. It has two side by side displays, that are mode selectable. Not available at Cdn Radio Shack...... Do I sound enthused.... :roll:
"Voltmeter" is the keyword here.....
 
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An old trick

Battery blankets - there's another Canadian Tire item you can't get in the US.

Where I live we get tons of snow, but it rarely gets below -5°F, so I probably don't need to plug the car in.
 

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tbe battery in my RAV also suffered a sudden death after 2 yrs. and 26,000 miles. it was the original cheapo factory-installed battery. and yes i live in the south with all the hot weather plus my wife drives it to work everyday (the RAV is really hers, i'm just the one modding it :D) but the distance from our house to her work is so short that there probably isn't enough time for the alternator to recharge it. all these may have been a factor that contributed to the battery's demise. there was no warning or any indication that it's dying. it just won't start the next day after being driven the whole night before. luckily this happened at home.
the car was still under warranty so i had it towed from my house to the dealership where we bought it (just 2 minutes away!) and they replaced the battery, everything was free of charge, the towing, battery, labor. i could have replaced it with an Optima but hey, that would mean money out of my pocket, i'll just wait for it to die too then i'll get the Optima. :)
 

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DA-A-A-H........
Thanks for not pointing out my error!!!
I happened to be under the hood today and noticed the 2nd gen battery is just as exposed to engine heat as the 1st gen, only diff is the stupid cover........the rest of it is open to the engine compartment.......
 

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Re: An old trick

parkwaycruiser said:
Here's an old trick I learned living in Quebec when it's -40°F/C out.

Before starting your car, turn on your headlights for about a minute or so. This draws about 10 amps from the battery and that current draw warms the battery up a bit. Then turn off your lights and start the car. A warmer battery will now have more cold cranking power than a cold battery.

Battery blankets - there's another Canadian Tire item you can't get in the US.

Where I live we get tons of snow, but it rarely gets below -5°F, so I probably don't need to plug the car in.
Sorry but I have difficulty in swallowing this theory. If drawing few amps from the battery warms it up and in a way energizes it to liberate more energy then each cranking motion during the cold start process should produce better cranking power with each attempt. BUT as we all know the battery dies a little bit more with each attempt. Can some one please explain?
 

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Except cranking is going to take alot more then 10 amps, thereby draining the battery faster then it can heat up, plus cranking the engine is only for a few seconds, you would need a substained draw to allow all of the battery to heat up, pretty much what I think would happen would a small draw would start the chemical reaction that produces electricity, and as a by product of many reactions produces heat. This heat allows the reaction to grow freeing more power for when you attempt the heavy draw of a crank.

I'm not saying it works or not, but I can see a plausable explination for it.
 
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