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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned a 2009 Rav 4- 4 cyl awd 190000km for 9 months.

I don't have the history.
Viscous coupler bearing changed recently.

I've determined that the there is a significant rattle/transmission slippage under ONLY the following conditions;

1. vehicle is in Drive
2. slow acceleration under light load (such as against strong head wind or slight uphill)
3. Transmission goes into 4'th gear at about 60 km/h and rpm drops to about 1500
4. as you accelerate and rpm hits about 1650 and a speed of about 65km/h to 75 km/h the transmission tries to downshift to third gear but doesnt! it rattles like crazy, rpms climb to about 2000 and rattle continues. until you either;
1. step harder on accelerator peddle
2. Manually shift to third gear.
3. speed up to about 80km/h


IF it was the solenoid then you would think that shifting to third gear would have same effect?

oil is up to marks and looks clean.

transmission shifts perfect in all gears otherwise.

if you accelerate moderate to hard then all gears work perfect and shifts just fine.

NO codes on OBDII


Ideas?

perhaps reflash the transmission computer?
speed sensor?
 

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My RAV4 did the same thing, but it happens at about 40 mph when i'm just driving around town. Mine is an 2008 4cylinder, 4wd. 105k miles. Bought it used at 104k miles. The tranny fluid was pretty dark, almost black when I bought it. I had the tranny flushed and it seemed to get better over the course of a week or two. The tricky part is that the problem seemed to occur occasionally, not every single time. I'm starting to wonder if maybe it only occured when the A/C kicked on? Don't really know. I don't drive the vehicle that often, so it's hard for me to pin down exactly what conditions are causing the issue. It does seem to be significantly better now. I'm still keeping an eye on it, and I just might change the ATF again in a few months perhaps.

There are a lot of other threads on this forum about guys having the exact same problem. Many guys have said that changing or flushing the ATF has solved it for them. Some of the guys said they had to get a new torque converter, or a whole new transmission. If you find a solution that works for you, please post back! A lot of us would be interested. Most guys post their problems, but not too many guys post their solutions!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just drained and filled the tranny with fresh oil, drove it 120 miles(200km) and no improvement... tranny shifts perfect in and out of all other gears. If you manually shift from 4th to third at the speed mentioned, there is no issue at all either.
 

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Did you use Toyota WS transmission fluid? Since you don't know the service history, there's no telling what the previous owner had in there.
 

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I would have changed the transmission filter before the drain and fill. If this was the first transmission oil change then this was over due long time ago. Cars with high mileage is a big concern since the transmission fluid may not have been changed. You can always do another drain and fill.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is an update. I purchased 4 liters of OEM tranny fluid from Canadian tire. Drain and refill
Result.. not much better but sounded different... so I waited about 100km and did the same thing. I also reset the computer by removing battery ground for about an hour... result... much better! Still happens occassionally but not often. I purchased filter kit and 4 more liters. Plan to have this done soon but not by me as i dont want a messy driveway. Post results soon
 

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Here is an update. I purchased 4 liters of OEM tranny fluid from Canadian tire. Drain and refill
Result.. not much better but sounded different... so I waited about 100km and did the same thing. I also reset the computer by removing battery ground for about an hour... result... much better! Still happens occasionally but not often. I purchased filter kit and 4 more liters. Plan to have this done soon but not by me as i don't want a messy driveway. Post results soon
What fluid at Can Tire is OEM fluid? I highly doubt the transmission filter will make a difference but it does not hurt to get any of shavings out. If you have the 4 cylinder you do know that filter is a screen filter and you can clean it off with brake cleaner. It is a reusable filter not a disposable one and plus that cost over $50 at Toyota.
 

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Thanks for posting your update! I don't know about your RAV4, but for mine the OEM transmission fluid is Toyota's "WS ATF". The WS stands for World Standard. I have read somewhere that the Toyota transmissions are touchy and will work best with the OEM fluid. But I'm sure many guys would also debate that. Just as a side note, whenever I disconnect my battery, my RAV4 runs worse because the engine idle becomes erratic for a few days. It has something to do with the engine's computer having to relearn a bunch of settings. But I also understand that sometimes doing a reset like that can be helpful! After replacing the battery in our old Camry, the car would stall at stop signs for the first day or so, until it relearned it's idle strategy!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The OEM brand is sold at canadian tire and says that it meets or exceeds the WS criteria
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Believe so. You have to be careful as their are at least two different ones that claim to be good for toyota but only one that claims WS standard
 

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Sorry, but if it doesn't say TOYOTA on it, it ain't "OEM". It's their equivalent to OEM, according to them. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. My trans gets TOYOTA OEM.
 

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My point stands, if it doesn't say Toyota on the container, it's NOT OEM. Motomaster might say that it meets or exceeds any standard they want. But it's not OEM.
 

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Personally I do not prefer toyota WS ATF. I like the fully synthetic aftermarket options. In fact when our RAV was new I use to get the "shift into drive clunk". One drain and fill with Amsoil WS equivalent basically got rid of this. Also the "roll a stop sign at 4 mph step on the gas transmission gets confused and harshly downshift to first" issue is mostly gone too.

The linked AFT from Canada oil however is not the right stuff. In fact if you enter your vehicle it says it is not the right fit. In fact I couldn't find a product on that website that said it would work with your RAVs. You need low viscosity stuff that is WS compatible.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Personally I do not prefer toyota WS ATF. I like the fully synthetic aftermarket options. In fact when our RAV was new I use to get the "shift into drive clunk". One drain and fill with Amsoil WS equivalent basically got rid of this. Also the "roll a stop sign at 4 mph step on the gas transmission gets confused and harshly downshift to first" issue is mostly gone too.

The linked AFT from Canada oil however is not the right stuff. In fact if you enter your vehicle it says it is not the right fit. In fact I couldn't find a product on that website that said it would work with your RAVs. You need low viscosity stuff that is WS compatible.
This https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/oem-synthetic-low-viscosity-multi-vehicle-atf-asian-946ml-0281542p.html#srp
is the stuff that I used... since my last post and since I changed the oil, the shifting has continued to improve.

AND BTW.. my trans filter is NOT a screen it is a paper element, so I will do one more change including filter with this oil. I expect continued improvement. facts speak to themselves.
 

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AND BTW.. my trans filter is NOT a screen it is a paper element, so I will do one more change including filter with this oil. I expect continued improvement. facts speak to themselves.
There could be a reason for this because the 6 cylinder has the paper filter. Another reason is that the previous owner changed the filter to an aftermarket filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Update Oct 4, 2019.
Dropped oil pan and changed filter. replaced oil again with aftermarket OEM brand WS equivalent oil. within 1 week the transmission is virtually shifting like a new one. No more slippage, no more rattle, very smooth and all is good.

Considerations;
1. magnets in pan did NOT have any chunky metal parts, just sludge.
2. mileage on vehicle is now 200K
3. I suspect that the oil in tranny was original.
4. I performed a total of three changes (about 13 liters total)
5. I replaced the filter with aftermarket. It DID have a screen filter in the tranny but Ive heard that these screen do accumulate a glaze that can restrict oil flow. Rather than pay mechanic to flush and clean the screen filter, I opted for an aftermarket install.

So there you have it... for my 09 Rav 4cylinder, the solution was to thoroughly flush the transmission. Did the filter make a difference?... I can only say that it didn't hurt.

Also, the canadiantire web site is Not working well and is misleading about oils etc. If you go to the OEM site and look up the oils available, you will get this

 

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Thanks for the update. That is great. I'd really like to drop the pan and filter on mine, but haven't gotten to it yet. The tranny flush that I had done a few few months ago has helped tremendously, almost 100 percent better, but I'd still like to do the filter too.
 
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