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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday my RAV4 (2012) wouldn't start, and having previously read the thread
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-...tery-causes-slow-starting-other-problems.html
I was pretty certain it was the battery as it was a OEM Johnson Controls battery, at slightly over 3 years. The battery seemed to quit with absolutely no warning, as I was running errands and the RAV had started fine at the previous four stops. I tried turning the key three times, and nothing happened, so I was able to get it started by someone who offered to lend a battery pack (AAA was going to be over an hour wait). When driving the RAV out of the parking lot it made a sort of clunking noise that sounded like it came from near the foot pedals (I'm guessing this may have just been some security thing because, when I started it with the battery pack connected, the brake pedal locked--but I wanted to add this info in case it's a symptom related to the main issue described below).

I replaced the battery yesterday evening with a Toyota True-Start Battery made by Interstate Battery, then attempted to start up the RAV. It started seemingly as usual, ran for a few seconds, then the engine died (faded, not sharply cut) and left a bunch of dash lights on (oil light, check engine light, battery light and at least one more in that vicinity of the display--I should have photographed it but didn't have my phone with me then). I did also notice that the dash lights were brighter than they'd been with the old battery. I took a couple of minutes and set up a camera to video it if it happened again, then tried to start the RAV a second time. This time it started and stayed running, so I drove it briefly around the neighborhood (about 5 minutes) rather than take it too far from home, but it ran totally as usual--nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I tried googling this issue but didn't get any definitive information.

Is it normal when installing a new battery for the next startup to be like this, and is it just doing some sort of computer-reset thing? Or is this something I should be concerned about and take the RAV in to a mechanic?

The RAV is my first car so I apologize if this is a dumb question. Thanks in advance for any advice/experience regarding this!
 

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When disconnecting the old battery some of the computerized presets would return to default, unless whoever removed the original battery had kept the system connected to a current source in the meanwhile. That could account for your first start after installation apparent anomaly - the system has some relearning to do. If your RAV now starts and runs normally then there most likely is nothing to be concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Blogson!!

Yes, it was not connected to a current source when the original battery was removed (I just disconnected and pulled out the old battery and put the new one in, then reconnected it, as my dad had showed me on his older Toyotas). I'll take the RAV out on another round of errands around town, then if it still runs normally it'll go back to being my commute vehicle. I was hoping it was just a reset thing, but I didn't want to drive it too far if there was a known issue. Hopefully it's start 3 will be identical to start 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to update, my RAV seems to be completely back to normal now :). Very glad there aren't any problems, after the scare it gave me with that weird startup!
 

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Good to hear that all now is well with your RAV!
 

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Kauri,
My original 2009 Rav 4 battery went out 2 weeks ago after almost 6 years of service. Vehicle ran fine until one morning it would not turn over.

Installed new battery and on first start -up it ran for a few seconds and died. I waited a few more seconds and started it again and it has run fine ever since.

It must be some computer reset or re-calibration procedure.or delayed fuel pump activation, as it felt like it was fuel starved.
 

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When you remove the battery, the engine computer (ECM) loses all its parameters and goes back to the factory defaults. When you connect the new battery it takes a little time for the computer to re-learn all the parameters for your particular engine. Same for the transmission, you may get some clunky shifts at first, then everything will eventually smooth out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for all the information!

I'm totally unfamiliar with the computer systems on newer cars, having grown up with my parents' older Toyotas which honk when the battery terminals are reconnected but apparently have minimal or no resetting to do when a new battery is installed.

My dad showed me how to do the general maintenance on his Toyotas, but the RAV is "too complicated" for him, so I'm very grateful for all the info and everyone's helpfulness and excellent advice on this forum.
 
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