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First time posting and very frustrated.

2011 Rav4 97k

I have the sudder. 2-3 months ago I changed the tranny filter and flushed the fluid. It helped tremendously. The shudder came back about a month later. I did another driveway flush (2-3 quarts is what came out). It helped. The shudder came back again.

I think it's a bunch of crap that Toyota is aware of this problem and putting out sub par torque converters. (From what I understand the Camery has been recalled for this same problem)

Took it to dealer today they said Torque Converter is sticking.... $5600 for new transmittion. Of course I couldn't get them to use the term "toyota shudder" and they'd "never heard of it."

They also tried to get my wife to trade it in after telling her she needed a new transmission. I did NOT appreciate this tactic and made me think they were full of crap to begin with.

Should I have it professionally flushed? Any videos or options on me doing a more thurough flush? Will it help at this point or will it continue to come back?

And I guess my real question is... What happens if I don't replace the transmisstion? Does the sudder get worse until the transmission dies all together?

Am I really going to have to pay $5600 (Plus the $105 I already dropped for them to tell me something I already knew) for a 5 year old vehicle? Is that my only option?

Sorry for the 4th grade spelling.
Sell the car or fix it
 

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Sell the car or fix it
Since his post was from April 2016 and hasn't posted since he's likely done one or the other but we'll probably never know.
 

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Greetings,
As the current FNG here, this is my first post.
(N=new G= guy. 😬)
My gf bought an 07 RAV4 Limited 2.4L a few months ago and we are dealing with what appears to be this issue or similar?
I’ve been reading everything I could find on our issue regarding how we should proceed, and would really love to hear from any who have been through it or can offer some Insight and advice
Car had 104K mi on it (auto-trans), and pulling up the VIN in the Toyota Owners app listed every service visit (39 entries) to the dealership since new.
The guy who sold it insisted on having the dealership do an all systems check up service on his dime before selling it.
Right away my gf started telling me she felt like it was ‘doing something weird, then it stopped’ or “the shifting felt funny“. Always very briefly, but we could never reproduce any kind of a problem when I was in the car. It would run perfect for weeks.

Next came the 3 lights (CE, VSC 4WD). She would get it home and park it til I could check it out. Checked OBD2 DTC’s. Sometimes no code, other times, some combo of emissions EGR/ CAT, etc. Did the obvious stuff. New gas cap, tighten this/that hose, air box wasn’t fully seated, etc. After addressing the issue, I’d pull the 2 ECU fuses to clear codes and car would run great again.
Those same 3 lights would return days later. This happened 3 or 4 times.
Troubleshooting seemed to be pointing towards ECM, w possible dirty MAF?

3 weeks ago she was leaving the grocery store and couldn’t get out of the parking lot.
The trans had seemingly locked up and made some clack clack, ding ding, ‘clicking sound(?) 🤷‍♂️(I wasn’t there)
She shut it off and called me. AAA brought it home on a flatbed.
Dove deep into internet and filtered through hundreds of forum entries, YT vids, service manual etc, took notes.
Battery OK 12.65V when not running. Elec connections good
While sitting in the car troubleshooting w key on or running, I saw erratic behavior w electronics, A few times the doors lockEd/unlockEd, lights on dash blinked, Panic horn activated, etc.
it seemed the ECM was at least part of problem.
Ordered new one programmed to VIN.
Installed it a couple days later. Plugged in provided OBD2 reprogrammer.
Key on, and sat in car touching nothing for over 30 mins.
Key on, then off for 3secs X 5 (according to directions) then
Started car up no prob. Shifted into drive no prob. Drove around neighborhood ok
About 5 blocks from home, gears disappeared and we coasted to side of road.
No fwd gears/ no Reverse.
trans fluid seemed dark, but read correct at temp. (halfway low when cold, so pump prob works(?)
Towed to our very good friend’s auto repair shop several blocks away.
His scanner showed only one code: YAW sensor prob
offhand, he’s leaning tranny. Maybe torque converter?
He’s having a deeper look today.

I replaced the manual trans in my 06 Scion XB by myself but I think this one is beyond my current reach, if the trans IS the issue
I would hate to plunk down $$$$ and this not solve the prob, or it fixes the issue for a bit and something else ruins that one too
I’m reading these threads about flushing, never flush, drain and fill,
Toy ATF WS only/ No, dummy thats garbage! Redline all the way!
blah blah
Whatever is needed, I just want to be sure we aren't guessing about the solution.
I just want my gf to be able to feel safe in her new car that she worked so hard to save up for and just dropped $7200 on.
We went w Toyota because of their reputation (stop laughing!)
We didn’t get the bulletin that they no longer give a shit about that anymore
...but then again, releasing TSB’s isn’t exactly their strong suit these days 🤔😬

Sorry for the novel. Just wanted to get any real vent info out there for a clear pic in case it helps anyone determine our issue.
Thanks for reading!
“ohhhh-whoah what a feeling....it is! You Fu#ked Us!”
(jump)
 

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I agree with DL175 to try to change the transmission fluid. Our transmission has been shifting smoothly after changing the Lifetime Fluid, it used to shift rough and hesitate to shift once in a while.

Try to change it first and see, maybe drop the transmission pan and clean the filter too, then do a transmission return flush to replace all fluid. I think the 2006-2008 2.4L has the mesh reusable filter. We didn't dropped the pan, we just did a drain and fill and return line flush. :D

also, always check the engine oil on the 2.4L, The 2006-2008 2.4L is know to have a high oil consumption. We just monitor and add oil on ours until it does not want to run anymore lol
 

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RetArdvark, the transmission fluid should be changed. Don't know what is wrong with your YAW sensor?
Thanks DL And c00lman!
Changing the trans fluid seems like the natural place to start.
I only was able to observe the trans fluid via dipstick but Getting a good look at what’s in the pan, on the magnets, and in the filter would speak volumes.

Service history states that in May 2018, the previous owner had dealership do a
“Complete drain and refill“ of trans fluid at 94K mi.
I don’t know if there’s a universal or ‘official’ jargon for the 2 or 3 methods of swapping out Trans fluid, but “Complete” would seem to indicate ‘all’ the fluid, like a flush?
whereas “drain & fill‘ is typically draining 4-ish old qts for 4 new ones in 500 mile intervals, or thereabouts.
I’m not believer in so called “lifetime“ fluid. Life of the warranty, perhaps?
As you suggested, c00lman, I agree that the return hose ‘flush and refill’ method is a good call. IDK enough to have an informed opinion, but instinctively, it seems less disruptive to let the tranny pump the old fluid out rather than going w the ”pump machine chemical/solvent flush”. I really couldn’t say for sure.
I wonder which of these methods the dealership utilized back in 6/2018?
Did they exchange ALL of the fluid? Or just 1/5?
It sure got dirty/ burnt fast if it was all brand new a year and a half ago.
20% new seems to make more sense
It would be nice to know what they did exactly.
I’m meeting w our mechanic friend tonight and will be following up w the results regardless of how our situation plays out so that anyone in need of valuable info, who come to a help forum seeking help can actually get it.
I can’t tell you how many dead end threads I’ve read that could’ve saved hours of my life searching for a fkng answer because some selfish dick already got what he wanted and didn’t finish the only important part of his story.
“take a penny, leave a penny”
That IS how these forums work, amIright?
Big thanks to everyone that weighs in!
Your voice seriously matters to me and all who come here looking for answers
 

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DL 175
BTW, I didnt know what to make of that DTC code for the YAW sensor either.
I don’t recall ever seeming that code come up until after I put in the new ECU and went for the short 5 block drive that ended when he gears disappeared. It wasn’t until the tow truck dropped it at my buddy’s shop and hooked up his scanner that I saw it for the first time.
would the front end being elevated on the tow ride set that off?
Or did it happen before on my 5 block trip?
i did wonder that if the car couldn’t determine its orientation to the ground, could that sensor cut power to the wheels at the torque converter or transmission to prevent damage to itself?
hmmm ...
 

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You could have a mouse problem or something got shoved under the seat. If the computer thinks the car flipped, it could cut out the trans.
We heard back from our mechanic. He sent a video of the removed trans pan showing a good long shot of its contents and highlighting at all 3 magnets.
The super fine metal powder protruded about 3/4“ all around the magnets, but one was much worse than the other 2 as it had lots of metal chunks of gear and godnosewhat else stuck around it and the fluid in the bottom of the pan was a thick silver and gray sludge.
it was a done deal.
We are having a great trans shop nearby put a rebuilt one together for us that should be ready to install in about 4 days. Hopefully the new ECU w the new firmware I put in it and this new trans will be the end of this current round of issues.

I’ll be making regular trans fluid inspections and likely be changing it out around 30K.
We are non-believers when it comes to “lifetime tranny fluid“.

S
 

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I'm glad your mechanic was able to pinpoint the problem and hopefully get it fixed. Regarding posts/threads that have no conclusions or results, don't think they are being selfish, many times they just end up (1) selling the vehicle off or (2) forgetting to finish the thread since they may not be a member anymore. It's unfortunate, but a reality, however, I've seen a handful of posters that do come back and update the thread with the results.

When I dropped the pan around 108k miles, I did see metal shavings as well as the silver/gray sludge, not as bad as you've described that would cause a malfunction. Luckily, I flushed the entire fluild out with 16-qt of Toyota W/S and 20k miles later to this day, it has been shifting smoothly again.
 

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I'm glad your mechanic was able to pinpoint the problem and hopefully get it fixed. Regarding posts/threads that have no conclusions or results, don't think they are being selfish, many times they just end up (1) selling the vehicle off or (2) forgetting to finish the thread since they may not be a member anymore. It's unfortunate, but a reality, however, I've seen a handful of posters that do come back and update the thread with the results.

When I dropped the pan around 108k miles, I did see metal shavings as well as the silver/gray sludge, not as bad as you've described that would cause a malfunction. Luckily, I flushed the entire fluild out with 16-qt of Toyota W/S and 20k miles later to this day, it has been shifting smoothly again.
KTL,
I totally agree with your explanation, that when some folks get the info they need, many are too busy to come back and write a couple lines about what worked or didn’t, and say thanks. Unfortunately, feedback and data are the lifeblood of these forums.
it’s the same attitude that doesn’t let people merge or change lanes while complaining how bad the traffic is. Even if you’re selfish, everybody has to look out for each other in order to get what we need.
i know everybody’s busy, including the people kind enough to help those who couldn’t find answers on other threads and forums because those people were too busy to be bothered as well.
No judgement here, but if someone gives me a jump, I don’t go drive off with their jumper cables
😬
 

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It was a private sale, purchased as is., so no recourse on them.
From our perspective, I don’t believe the previous owner was at fault,
I don’t believe he knew jack about cars. That‘s why he let Consumer Reports and car mags advise him on the best SUV from a company with the best reputation in his price range. To his credit, he took it to every inspection and oil change faithfully and on time precisely as the manual instructed.
Whenever the car acted the slightest bit odd, he had it at the dealership with the company’s ‘experts’ to have it fixed.
When the trans was surging and slipping, it would only happen for a second or two and go back to running perfect for weeks. Even so, he took it to the dealership on his own dime to have it checked out.
The mechanics and dealership said they drove it and detected nothing. No codes. They told him it was fine. He did everything exactly as he was supposed to.
Toyota clearly knew about this problem. The symptoms he described perfectly matched the known issue, and they just shrugged and ignored it when it likely could have been fixed. He paid to have the brake, diff, and trans fluid completely replaced at 94000 mi in June of 2018. Sure doesn’t look like they did that to me ?
Before he would sell it to us, he insisted the dealership do an all points inspection and detailing and paid for it.
They said there were no problems whatsoever.
i wonder if we could go to that dealership w video and the trans and see what they have to say about having changed the trans fluid 10K mi ago?
i don’t know
 

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Thanks for the video, Dim000h.
By no means do I think mechanics in general are all so dishonest, but the thousands of videos out there showing customers being defrauded certainly don’t build confidence in the craft. People don’t generally take the time to purchase and set up cameras in their cars unless they expect they are getting screwed.

As an update to my gf’s RAV4, we ended up getting a rebuilt trans for $2200. The trans shop had to rebuild a case they had on hand, which took a week. When our mechanic friend got it to his shop, he realized a major problem. THEY BUILT THE WRONG TRANSMISSION!
Well, oops.
He had to pull the existing trans, and let them rebuild that one. So we waited another week.
Hopefully it will be ready tomorrow. He had to order another trans cooler due to all the metal shavings it had been running through it, I think? We paid the rebuild shop up front, and It’s looking like the labor to switch it out is going to run north of $2500.
ill report back when we get it back
 

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Thanks for the video, Dim000h.
By no means do I think mechanics in general are all so dishonest, but the thousands of videos out there showing customers being defrauded certainly don’t build confidence in the craft. People don’t generally take the time to purchase and set up cameras in their cars unless they expect they are getting screwed.

As an update to my gf’s RAV4, we ended up getting a rebuilt trans for $2200. The trans shop had to rebuild a case they had on hand, which took a week. When our mechanic friend got it to his shop, he realized a major problem. THEY BUILT THE WRONG TRANSMISSION!
Well, oops.
He had to pull the existing trans, and let them rebuild that one. So we waited another week.
Hopefully it will be ready tomorrow. He had to order another trans cooler due to all the metal shavings it had been running through it, I think? We paid the rebuild shop up front, and It’s looking like the labor to switch it out is going to run north of $2500.
ill report back when we get it back
Your girl friend got unlucky with buying a used car with a transmission problem that now cost near $5000 to repair. It is the worst case scenario but to double down she also has the 2.4 litre oil burner engine. This shows how expensive repairs can cost if the transmission maintenance is neglected.
 

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Yep. And a good example of what happens when people sell vehicles because they need work.

my brother's ex wife just bought a hybrid sight unseen from someone and on the way home the car shut downnand had the triangle of death. Battery is shot.
 

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Did you mean Honda Insight?
No surprise and it's will be worse in future as cars are less quality now and more expensive. North America loosing leadership in technology and manufacturing to China, less well paid jobs, inflation, raising living cost, more people live from paycheque to paycheque with huge debt and they can't afford $5000 car fix.
I see often 2008-2010 Civic hybrids in top trim with low mileage for cheap $3-4k price with nice description in ad how's great the car but usually it's not daily driver. After researching confirm they have trouble with hybrid system till 2010 and require about $5000 for replace that thing.
 

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...she also has the 2.4 litre oil burner engine. This shows how expensive repairs can cost if the transmission maintenance is neglected.
And same time Toyota said transmission not require maintenance and it's okay if engine burn 1 liter oil per 1000 kms or miles. For Toyota's engineers mistakes now customers paying.
 
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