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I have the exact same problem :( it started 2 days ago with shifter getting stuck in park. After a few minutes of trying to start the engine, it worked fine for a couple of days. Last night I got stranded in the parking lot of a store. All lights come up (ABSm VSC, break, tire pressure, oil and everything ) and cannot move the shifter. Read on internet to press the small lever on the shifter console to move the shifter. IT worked but the steering wheel lost pwoer. Some how managed to get home last night with all lights on and no power steering. IT was very hard to drive but it was just 2 miles , so I managed. This morning I had to tow it to a mechanic. When it landed there everything was perfect, but showed speed indicator problem. Mechanic did not find anything wrong, so he reset all lights, cleaned the battery and when I was about take it back home , BAM, it happened again. After that, they spent hours investigating but couldn't find anyting. I have left my car there and they still dont have a clue. Mechanics seem to testing all possible things. Now they are saying they have to remove the steering wheel and check what is wrong.
I am at a loss here! just dont know what to do. They dont even know how many more days its going to take to figure out and fix what is necessary.

Any thoughts or suggestions please? I am totally stranded!!!
 

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I have the exact same problem :( it started 2 days ago with shifter getting stuck in park. After a few minutes of trying to start the engine, it worked fine for a couple of days... Now they are saying they have to remove the steering wheel and check what is wrong.
I am at a loss here! just dont know what to do. They dont even know how many more days its going to take to figure out and fix what is necessary.

Any thoughts or suggestions please? I am totally stranded!!!
REPLACE THE BATTERY! It's as simple as that! Your mechanic doesn't know what he's doing!
 

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Thanks for your reply Junebug. Mechanic did the load test on battery, cleaned it thouroughly since it was a little corrdoed, tested terminals and confirmed that everything looks perfect. Do you still suggest that I change the battery and see? Perhaps I will call him tomorrow morning and ask him to put a new battery and test.
Thanks
 

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Thanks for your reply Junebug. Mechanic did the load test on battery, cleaned it thouroughly since it was a little corrdoed, tested terminals and confirmed that everything looks perfect. Do you still suggest that I change the battery and see? Perhaps I will call him tomorrow morning and ask him to put a new battery and test.
Thanks
What your mechanic may not realize is your RAV4 has electric power steering which places a HUGE load on the battery. I have heard of batteries that had intermittent shorted cells that would be fine one minute and fail the next. Read this thread:

Sticky: Weak battery causes slow starting and other problems
 

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Thanks for sharing the thread. Makes sense. I will call him first thing tomorrow morning and ask him to replace the battery. Keeping my fingers crossed until then. Thanks much
 

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Discussion Starter #27
A while back I had some problems that were associated with the electrical bundle that is wrapped around the steering wheel bundle, but the problems were much different than the battery light flashing and loss of power. My local shop replaced the bundle and that cleared things up.


Any other ideas what may be causing a flashing battery warning light with a brand new battery and functioning alternator?
 

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Got a plug in reader and it's all as it should be. I cannot get the dang battery light to flicker and driving 2+ hrs with my son isn't safe when I've lost steering twice. I'm white knuckled every time I go anywhere now.

On another note, I did the parasitic draw test and it's showing a short somewhere. I pulled all the fuses but none affected the volts. I'm not sure where to go from here. I have looked and cleaned all the grounds and any wires that looked dirty.

Will the cold and long drives make a battery act up? I'm going to just replace it with a good battery. Any suggestions?

Should a shop be able to diagnose, or should I take their advice and not go in until it's a constant issue. They said they can't diagnose intermittent issues. 😑
 

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On another note, I did the parasitic draw test and it's showing a short somewhere. I pulled all the fuses but none affected the volts. I'm not sure where to go from here. I have looked and cleaned all the grounds and any wires that looked dirty.
Find and fix what you know is wrong. Anything beyond that is wild guesses. You may need a friend who has a little more electrical savvy. Taking it to a shop is asking for a big buck bill.
 

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To JuneBug - My mechanic put a new battery and it still did not work :( Now he is investigating further and says that it could be some thing to do with relay switich. he checked ignition switch seems to be ok. he is going to check relay switch which may not be communicating to the computer. huh! exhausted. vehicle is not in a driving condition :(
 

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Find and fix what you know is wrong. Anything beyond that is wild guesses. You may need a friend who has a little more electrical savvy. Taking it to a shop is asking for a big buck bill.
I am going to take a long trip in 2 weeks. Hopefully I can get it going and head straight to a dealer... I will update as soon as I know anything. As for now it's driving A-ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Could a bad voltage regulator cause the battery light to blink for a new battery?


Just reaching for straws here. I know it's not a cheap part, so not sure I'm willing to take the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Took the Rav back to the shop for more checks on the electrical system and left it overnight so they could see the blinking battery light when the engine was cold. It turns out that they found the alternator was sporadically spiking, especially when the engine was first started. The alternator was replaced under warranty (about a year old).


So we'll see if the problem is now fixed.
 

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Took the Rav back to the shop for more checks on the electrical system and left it overnight so they could see the blinking battery light when the engine was cold. It turns out that they found the alternator was sporadically spiking, especially when the engine was first started. The alternator was replaced under warranty (about a year old).


So we'll see if the problem is now fixed.
Please let us know if it fixes it! I found something at harbor freight that measures voltage on battery and alternator. Seems my alternator is the issue too. It spikes and cuts out randomly for a few seconds here and there. Really weird! Glad they were able to catch it messing up.
 

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Blinking battery light and warning lights

I have a 2006 I4 and I have experienced both these problems with these results:


1. Blinking battery light when engine cold - battery guy told me that it is probably a loose serpentine belt that slips when cold and not when it warms up. Have put belt spray on it and that stops it for a while. Could also be a weak tensioner causing the problem.


2. On another occasion after driving a few blocks when cold all the dash lights came on and I lost power steering. The dealer is a few blocks away so I limp in there (wrong thing to do). He tells me later that the I should replace the ABS Actuator, there is an internal failure in the ABS Actuator. $1609 later I got my Rav4 back.
Yeaaa.
 

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I have a 2006 I4 and I have experienced both these problems with these results:

1. Blinking battery light when engine cold - battery guy told me that it is probably a loose serpentine belt that slips when cold and not when it warms up. Have put belt spray on it and that stops it for a while. Could also be a weak tensioner causing the problem.

2. On another occasion after driving a few blocks when cold all the dash lights came on and I lost power steering. The dealer is a few blocks away so I limp in there (wrong thing to do). He tells me later that the I should replace the ABS Actuator, there is an internal failure in the ABS Actuator. $1609 later I got my Rav4 back.
Yeaaa.
Well, I hope it's fixed but I really do doubt it. Unless the actuator is putting a severe load on the battery, it's a battery/charging system problem.
My approach: Fix what you know is wrong and maybe other "problems" go away. If the belt was slipping why didn't you get that fixed first. I bet tensioners are less expensive than actuators.
 

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Well, I hope it's fixed but I really do doubt it. Unless the actuator is putting a severe load on the battery, it's a battery/charging system problem.
My approach: Fix what you know is wrong and maybe other "problems" go away. If the belt was slipping why didn't you get that fixed first. I bet tensioners are less expensive than actuators.


Well, the blinking battery light was a later issue and I told that story to maybe help others with a similar problem. The flashing dash lights coupled with the loss of steering and the trip to the dealer that cost $1600 is my main concern. I am curious if anyone else has had to replace the actuator in their RAV4. Like you I think that that was not the problem, however that is the only thing they did and there were no further problems.
 

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I am curious if anyone else has had to replace the actuator in their RAV4.
I've been here almost six years and can't remember any other ABS actuator issues being reported.
 

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To JuneBug - My mechanic put a new battery and it still did not work :( Now he is investigating further and says that it could be some thing to do with relay switich. he checked ignition switch seems to be ok. he is going to check relay switch which may not be communicating to the computer. huh! exhausted. vehicle is not in a driving condition :(
Did you ever find out what the problem was? My car is doing the same thing
 
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