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Also mentioned in another thread, I have 4 3/4 years on my OEM Johnson Controls battery with my V6 and it still passes my and the dealer's capacity tests. Perhaps Toyota should find another location for batteries in RAVs in hot weather areas?
 

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It's not limited to the RAV V-6. The three year mark +/_ was the same for my Accord, Mazda, Buick, Chevy, etc. Keep in mind that down here even when the car is in the garage the daytime temps are 100º or better in there. The battery gets baked almost year 'round.
 

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I didn't acknowledge the fact that the V6's generate more heat under the hood, along with the warm weather down South. That must be brutal for the battery, considering the fact that it probably only sees a colder environment at night and in the less-warm seasons in the South. Generally speaking, what can kill a battery faster, a hot environment or cold environment? Judging from this post it seems that heat does more damage for most people...
 

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There is no question that it's heat. There are literally hundreds of articles written on the subject. In the summer, even at night, the temps in the garage drop to about 85º F or higher.

Cold weather along with cold oil stress the battery more but it's the heat (in the extreme) that deals them a short life.
 

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Ever since moving to the Truckee/Tahoe area, my batteries have been really lasting a long time. I am sure it has something to do with the cold/mild temps. summers don't get higher than 95, 85 is a good hot day. Winters don't often get lower than 25. I have seen -17 but that is rare.

My stock battery in my Truck lasted 8 years. The battery I have in my Z is 10 years old and still going. Not sure how long the battery in the RAV will last. One thing though is that I do not put that many miles on each of my vehilces. I split my solo miles between 3 vehicles (truck, car, motorcycle), and even try to bike when I can. THen I put some miles carting the family around in the RAV.
 

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Some batteries for the U.S. are made in North and South versions. The southern batteries have fewer plates for a given battery size so that more electrolyte can be present, and so have lower CCA ratings than the northern ones. Lower CCAs aren't supposed to cause engine starting problems as high CCAs generally aren't needed. A possible bonus is that the southern batteries weigh less, which could very marginally increase fuel mileage! But one wonders whether all of that helps them to last longer than they would otherwise.
 

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Just changed the OEM battery on my 09 Limited V6 last week. It lasted 7 years and 104,000 miles in Wisconsin. I got more than my moneys worth.
 

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About a week after I bought my 1997 Rav 4 (the first week of January this year/ 3 months ago,) I had to put a new starter in it. A few weeks later, I went home to walk the dogs. Went back to the car to find it wouldn't start. Tried to jump it repeatedly, but all attempts failed.

Got AAA out to the house about a week later, and they were able to get it running. Within 3 days, the car- literally- stopped while I was driving it. After about 20 minutes, though, it started back up. I took it immediately to Walmart (I was passing Walmart when it happened) and had them replace the battery. While I was waiting, I read on one of these forums that if the car stops in-motion, it's probably an alternator issue.

Auto-Zone tested my alternator, and sure enough, it wasn't putting out enough volts. We installed a new alternator, and everything seemed fine.

Then last week, it happened again. The car just stopped, within a few minutes of starting. Now, it won't start at all.
....
Thanks for that heads-up on the alternator.

I have a cheapo voltmeter plugged into the ciggy lighter in my right elbow rest/storage case. I run the cable through the molding and have the voltmeter sitting in the change box forward of the storage case. It is brightly lit and very easy to read.

I noticed one day that the voltage was a bit low (norm seems to be 13.9 - 14.0) Can't remember what the low volts was, but I am keeping an eye on it. (Not sure what the Rav voltage warning threshold is triggered by)

BTW I think I have y'all beat. I have a 2007 with the original battery. I used to live in the northern part of Canada where I have seen -39 degrees (-40 C is the same Celsius and Fahrenheit Brrrrrr) The car was only there one year and was mostly in a heated garage. Then I moved to Ottawa Canada for 6 years where it sat outside. Now I live on the we(s)t coast in a Pacific maritime climate.

To be fair I plug a charger in often and it has a desulfating circuit in it.

Sulfation of the plates is part of the problem, as well as excess temperature differential between the outside air temperature (surrounding the battery) and the individual cell temperatures. If any individual cell gets more than 10 degrees F different than the OAT you are gonna have a dead cell as the plates will warp.

I suspect that a battery really should have a cooling system just like the engine and especially in the southern (hot) areas. I'm sure all of the bright lights on this forum could whip up something....

Another problem is all the gizmos that drain the battery when the key is off. In aircraft terminology these gizmos are operating from the 'hot battery bus'. (Hot means it is always on regardless of the ignition key, bus is the battery terminal, another bus would be the one activated by the key) These items gradually build up a small amount of sulfur on the plates, which is the devil to get off. I had a desulfator that worked quite well, but it died on me, as well as the guy who made it. :crying Not all desulfators are created equal.
 

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Hi, i didnt read the entire thread but i own a 2010 RAV4 BASE model, when cold it takes two attempt to my remote start to start the vehicule. When electric systems solicited like LSD when rolling how snow electrical problems seems to appear, my headlight seems to dim a bit for a fraction of second. i was thinking to change the battery for a more efficient one. My question is, is it really the battery the problem or other related electrical part? Thanks!
 

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...it takes two attempt to my remote start to start...my headlight seems to dim a bit for a fraction of second...
Very similar symptoms of my 2009 base model--and it was a bad battery out at 4 years. Fairly common lifespan for the original OEM battery.

Your battery is 5+ years old--get it tested and most likely immediately replaced. When they start to go, they can die fast. You can read through the thread for replacement recommendations--the CostCo Kirkland battery (size 24F) is good bang for the buck.
 

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Hi, i didnt read the entire thread but i own a 2010 RAV4 BASE model, when cold it takes two attempt to my remote start to start the vehicule. When electric systems solicited like LSD when rolling how snow electrical problems seems to appear, my headlight seems to dim a bit for a fraction of second. i was thinking to change the battery for a more efficient one. My question is, is it really the battery the problem or other related electrical part? Thanks!
Yes, I'm pretty sure replacing your battery will solve both your remote start problem as well as the headlight dimming. If it's the original battery, better to replace it now than wait for it to fail at the worst possible moment.
 

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Hi, i didnt read the entire thread but i own a 2010 RAV4 BASE model, when cold it takes two attempt to my remote start to start the vehicule. When electric systems solicited like LSD when rolling how snow electrical problems seems to appear, my headlight seems to dim a bit for a fraction of second. i was thinking to change the battery for a more efficient one. My question is, is it really the battery the problem or other related electrical part? Thanks!

I wouldn't replace the battery for those issues alone. Does the vehicle start fine when not using the remote start? How old is the existing battery? Headlights dimming for a fraction of a second is normal as the system takes a moment to adjust to the sudden current draw from the starter motor, as lights on household circuits can momentarily dim when starting a motor with a large current draw. Before replacing the battery it should be capacity tested - some auto parts stores will do that for no cost, but make certain that they aren't simply going to try to sell a new battery.
 

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Hi, i didnt read the entire thread but i own a 2010 RAV4 BASE model, when cold it takes two attempt to my remote start to start the vehicule. When electric systems solicited like LSD when rolling how snow electrical problems seems to appear, my headlight seems to dim a bit for a fraction of second. i was thinking to change the battery for a more efficient one. My question is, is it really the battery the problem or other related electrical part? Thanks!
Are you saying that you get warning lights ?
 

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The battery have more almost six year. The car start fine every time when i start "manually". I've notice accumulation of acid on the existing battery pole. For the headlight dimming problem i will explain: when my RAV is rolling on snow and the traction control system enter in action the car seems slow the headlight deem the time of the traction control system in working on. The battery is old so i changed it today for a Motomaster Eliminator. I'll see if the problem appears again when the traction control system goes on. I don't have any warming dash lights on. I hope i'm clear since i'm frenchie :p. sometimes i regret to have bought a base non AWD model. Seriously a pain on winter. ( i wanted space in first place)
 

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Too bad you didn't get a load test on the old battery, then you would have known for sure. In any case, 6 years is good length of service for the original, according to a lot of folks with RAVs. And the acid on the terminal is not a good sign.

As for using the traction control system to see if your lights dim, click and read through this old thread--others have noticed this, probably due to the extra load of the ABS and VSC systems:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/97-4-3-exterior/68880-lights-dim-vsc.html

Let us know how your test goes--I may mess around with that myself when I get a snow day. Enjoy some peace of mind with the new battery.
 

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Too bad you didn't get a load test on the old battery, then you would have known for sure. In any case, 6 years is good length of service for the original, according to a lot of folks with RAVs. And the acid on the terminal is not a good sign.

As for using the traction control system to see if your lights dim, click and read through this old thread--others have noticed this, probably due to the extra load of the ABS and VSC systems:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/97-4-3-exterior/68880-lights-dim-vsc.html

Let us know how your test goes--I may mess around with that myself when I get a snow day. Enjoy some peace of mind with the new battery.
Many thanks! I'll get a look at that old thread :) glad to have people to help out.
 

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I just had to replace the battery in my 2012 - 52k miles, 3 years 5 1/2 months. I'm surprised it went this soon. I figured I'd get 4 - 5 years out of it. I guess they don't make batteries as well as they used to. Or, maybe it's all the additional electrical accessories newer cars have. Not sure, but all is well now. I had the symptoms described here (slow starting).
 

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OMG i just installed LED headlight bulbs 9005 and 9006 and i just change the intensity of the fan and the headlights blinks a bit everytime . I'm starting thinking my alternator is dying.I'm i wrong?
 
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