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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

So my wife and I recently took a trip to our cabin and on our way back as we had to merge onto a busy highway, uphill, I noticed that the car seemed sluggish and would not move uphill quickly, as if it wouldn't downshift to the lower gears to get up to speed. Just yesterday the same type of thing seemed to happen on another uphill ascent (I live in a very hilly area) and the car seemed like it wouldn't downshift to the lower gears or deliver any torque.

Lately it seems like the car hasn't had the same power it did when I bought it 6 months ago, used.

The facts; I bought the car used about 6 months ago with 46k miles on it. It now has 57k. I change the oil regularly. Recently I have smelled very faint "burning plastic smells" in the cabin. I drive in a very hilly area fairly aggressively.

Any thoughts?


Laurence
 

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Year? Engine? Checked transmission fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just realized I forgot that info. 2011 V6. I will be checking the fluid when I get home, but haven't yet.
 

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My '11 V6 does the opposite - we live in a hilly and mountainous area and usually when it even smells a forthcoming grade at highway speeds it downshifts even though it could pull the grade easily in 5th. But at slow speeds (c.28 -30mph) if cruise control has been used t will shift into a higher gear and lock the TC at low throttle settings even on an uphill grade, with RPMs at 1000 - 1200.
 

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Well, I checked trans fluid and it seemed to be at least at the min. hot mark after driving it to operating temp. The fluid seemed a bit dark cherry in color. It didn't smell burnt either.

I will be having my mechanic do a transmission service, filter and all, using Toyota fluid.

Could a dying batter cause an issue like this? Unfortunately there is no date marking on the battery, and this area is know for killing batteries during our hot summers. No idea where my multi-meter is, so I will have it tested early next week.
 

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Well, I checked trans fluid and it seemed to be at least at the min. hot mark after driving it to operating temp. The fluid seemed a bit dark cherry in color. It didn't smell burnt either.

I will be having my mechanic do a transmission service, filter and all, using Toyota fluid.

Could a dying batter cause an issue like this? Unfortunately there is no date marking on the battery, and this area is know for killing batteries during our hot summers. No idea where my multi-meter is, so I will have it tested early next week.
Good thought about the battery, as RAVs are known to be picky about them.
 

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No idea where my multi-meter is, so I will have it tested early next week.
Since I have a few old vehicles, I keep one of these in the glovebox of each. Only $8, they check correctly, test battery output and condition of alternator.
 

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3.5L V6 5-speed auto should never feel sluggish or slow. Its a relatively fast and powerful combo that we can't have anymore. And, the 5-speed is very well and aggressively programmed.

Besides that transmission service, if AWD, don't forget the transfer case and rear differential fluid too.

I would change out the air filter and run a bottle or 2 of fuel injector cleaner at the next couple fill ups.

When in hot weather or when loaded, the chance of engine knocking is high. When towing, or long trips with cargo/people, don't skimp out on quality fuel. Knock sensors triggering would result in timing retard, A/F ratio change, and the associated drop off in power, usually when you need it most.

If cold, the vehicle will purposely short shift and not downshift early enough until emissions systems and fluids are warmed up. Nothing worse than trying to pull onto a highway with the transmission short shifting when pedal is to the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Since I have a few old vehicles, I keep one of these in the glovebox of each. Only $8, they check correctly, test battery output and condition of alternator.
Cool gadget. I will pick a couple up.
 

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3.5L V6 5-speed auto should never feel sluggish or slow. Its a relatively fast and powerful combo that we can't have anymore. And, the 5-speed is very well and aggressively programmed.

Besides that transmission service, if AWD, don't forget the transfer case and rear differential fluid too.

I would change out the air filter and run a bottle or 2 of fuel injector cleaner at the next couple fill ups.

When in hot weather or when loaded, the chance of engine knocking is high. When towing, or long trips with cargo/people, don't skimp out on quality fuel. Knock sensors triggering would result in timing retard, A/F ratio change, and the associated drop off in power, usually when you need it most.

If cold, the vehicle will purposely short shift and not downshift early enough until emissions systems and fluids are warmed up. Nothing worse than trying to pull onto a highway with the transmission short shifting when pedal is to the floor.
The powerful combo is why you chose this over a Subaru. I think maybe I got a bad tank of gas somewhere because I noticed the mileage kind of has suffered too. Maybe the ecu needs reset? Also, the temps here have been 95-110 since experiencing this. I am just paranoid as I depend on this vehicle and can't afford major failures.

The transmission is getting services today and my friend is checking the other associated systems as well. Hopefully the problem is resolved.

Thanks everyone for your input. I will keep this thread updated.
 
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