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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I’ve got an issue (possibly two) that I’d like some advice on. Starting around December, our RAV4 (V6, FWD, 89k miles) started randomly losing power steering while driving. All of the lights would turn on in the dash and the speedometer would drop to zero. This started after getting our alternator replaced (remanufactured Duralast). The issue would go away by restarting the car, but most of the time it would cause the ABS/VSC/TRAC/BRAKE lights to go on afterwards. However, prior to the this incident those 4 lights have intermittently been on, it was read as having an issue with the left rear speed sensor. I have also had the issue (once) of solely the power steering light going on when starting the car and not having power steering. The loss of power steering while driving has not occurred since the weather warmed up (last time was around March/April), and I’ve noticed that the car usually acts up like this within 10 minutes of driving. It usually does not do it when the engine is warm. Additionally, lately the ABS/TRAC/BRAKE/VSC lights have been on and ABS always activates while braking

My question is, could this be due to a bad alternator/battery? The alternator was checked prior to installation and was giving the right voltage output. The battery is just over 2 years old. A static test was done on the battery and it tested fine. There is no squeaking from the belt. Could this all be due to the bad wheel speed sensor? Could it be a combination of both?

I really don’t want to just throw parts at the problem and hope for the best. I’ve been to a few mechanics who have no idea what could be causing it, some say a bad speed sensor has been shown to do wonky things in some cars, so it could be that.

I have scoured this site and found JuneBug’s compilation of dash lights, with 5/5 people stating that the combination of the four lights was resolved with replacing the speed sensor (https://www.rav4world.com/d1/attachments/mods/photos/RAV4 Diagnostic Lights.pdf) but I have also found other posts where people have said replacement of the sensor did not do anything.

I guess my main question is, can a damaged/defective REAR speed sensor cause issues with the power steering going out? We plan to sell this car in the next few months and I really don’t want the next owner to get screwed over, financially or by getting into an accident.

A few more details: we’ve owned this car since new, no flooding, accidents, etc.
Video of loss of steering/dashboard lit up:

Thanks guys. And I’ll be sure to actually update this after going through fixes rather than just leave without letting you know what happens

EDIT: Are we required to replace the full hub for the rear speed sensors? The parts guy at the Toyota dealership was confused if I would need the full hub assembly or just the harness. I can only find a plug-in sensor for FWD models on partsgeek, no other site, so I wanted to confirm if that will work
 

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2007 sport v6 203k miles
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It looks like for 2wd rav4 the rear “skid control sensor” is a part built into the rear hub itself so you will have to get a new rear hub If the sensor is bad. Do you have a scanner that can read Abs fault codes? It is now just a complete guess what turned the abs lights on without knowing what codes was stored in the system.

Also if you have access to Toyota techstream software that will enable you to read the stored freeze frame data right when the power system error occurred. intermittent problems are really difficult to diagnosis.
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offically when the power supply to the power steering ecu is out of range of 10 to 14 the power steering computer will store an error code and turned off power steering according to the service manual. Do you think the rebuilt duralast alternator intermittently produced a sudden power surge that caused the ps system shutdown?
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I'd do a triple compound check on the battery including monitoring its voltage while the issues are happening.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I would recommend replacing your battery. Read this other thread I started:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies, guys. Just ordered a beck and arnley rear hub bearing with abs sensor and I replaced the battery. Again, we won’t know if the battery fixes the issue until it gets cold again, but I do definitely remember when I went to autozone a couple months ago, they said the battery tested “a little low, just under 12.6 volts” so maybe that WAS the issue. Regardless I’ll keep a voltmeter in my car and when the issue comes up again I’ll check. There’s a chance that it’s the alternator, and I’m only saying that because I read on a del sol forum that someone with a reman duralast alternator had a flickering battery light right after replacement, so I’m just considering that as a possibility. It definitely sounds like a voltage error, as the one time the power steering light solely went on, I had some, but not full power steering. It was just decreased. Thanks again for the help. I’ll let you guys know if the issue arises again. If you don’t hear from me, it was the battery. I’ll try to post an update in a month or two and again when the temperature drops below 50F
 
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