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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2010 Rav4. Keys not even in ignition and I'm getting random headlight and four way flasher strobing. Ocaasionaly in middle of night and battery is then drained. Anyone else run into this?
 

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2010 Rav4. Keys not even in ignition and I'm getting random headlight and four way flasher strobing. Ocaasionaly in middle of night and battery is then drained. Anyone else run into this?
I think I need to understand your definition of "strobing". Do you mean they flash on and off for an extended period of time, or do you mean you caught them giving an occasional flash throughout a 24 hour period.

Leaving the headlights on for up to 2+ hours should not prevent the engine from starting. If your battery is drained from headlights being on, then they must be doing a lot of strobing, or the the battery drain is being caused by something else.

Do the headlights and 4 ways flash at the same time, or do you see one or the other at any particular time?. Do the taillights also strobe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Headlights, taillights all strobing for an extended period, parked no keys in ignition. Light switch off. Often happens and we're not aware of it so it carries on for an extended period and drains battery. This morning my brother and my wife noticed it happening. My wife tried turning light switch off-on and it had no effect. Kept strobing. Must have stopped by itself. Battery was not dead this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've yet to witness it happen, but there were a couple of instances of dead battery recently that we mistakenly chalked up to lights being left on. Then just recently my daughters boyfriend noticed the strobing a couple of times late at night; we had to boost to start the next morning and then it happened again this morning.
 

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The lights should automatically turn off if you forget them, our 2011 does this. Don't know if that's a new feature in 2011, but I don't think so as our '98 Sienna did the same. Neither vehicle was equipped with automatic headlamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The auto headlight feature works ok. I checked on it. This is just an out of the blue strobing of the lights for an unknown cause. Light switch off, keys not in ignition.
 

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Has it been raining any time this is happening or recently rained? Water can get into tight places and make all kinds of unwanted electrical connections...also look real good under the hood and behind the glove box for any signs of rodents...they love eating the rav4 wiring...
 

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I can understand that a defective 4-way switch or a short in the wiring would cause the 4-ways to flash, because there is a flasher unit in the circuit, and this circuit is powered even with the ignition off. Does the strobing rate look to be the same rate that the 4-ways would normally flash?

What is difficult to understand is the flashing headlight,s because this circuit is normally isolated from the 4-way circuit, and there are no flasher units that are part of the circuit.

So my theory is that somehow the 4-way flashers and headlights circuit have become shorted to one another. This might be caused by a defective bulb or faulty LED taillight assembly in which the directional signals and taillights have shorted together.

Can you turn on the 4-ways and verify that they work fine by themselves and that the headlights and taillights do not flash at the same time.

EDIT: RAV4System2 has a good theory regarding water and/or rodents that might be causing this interaction between normally isolated circuits. In this case the inter-connection may not be permanent and only make intermittent connections throughout the day.
 
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