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Soup Dragon

Ecu Or Transmission Fault.

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Hello everyone.

This is my first post.

Help needed.

Anyone know if My ECU is the root of my Rav4 problem. It's a 2001 5door 4x4 20L VVTi AUTO

What's happing is it keeps changing down to first gear every time I turn a corner. My speed is anything from 5mph to 15mph when this happens. It has even shifted down to first gear going down a hill at about 15mph when lightly pressing the accelerator to pick up speed. When this happens it's usually right at the top of the rev-range and it changes back up to second straight away. Or is this typical of the rav4. Going up the gears it does seem to hold on to first for a long time. Was wondering/hoping if there was a kick-down switch/cable that's not integrated with the ECU that might be an easy fix. Also there is a whining noise in first gear, Iv'e been told it's probably bruised bearings in that gear and eventually it will need to be replaced.

I'm suspecting this has happened with over use caused by the fault.

Recently I changed the transmission fluid and filter to give it it's best chance of longevity.

I was quite shocked at the price Toyota wanted for the transmission filter £85 plus the VAT.

After a bit of Google-ing I found one on Amazon.com the USA site. Got it including all post for £24 There was one for £19 but wasn't 100% sure it would fit.

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Hello everyone.

This is my first post.

Help needed.

Anyone know if My ECU is the root of my Rav4 problem. It's a 2001 5door 4x4 20L VVTi AUTO

What's happing is it keeps changing down to first gear every time I turn a corner. My speed is anything from 5mph to 15mph when this happens. It has even shifted down to first gear going down a hill at about 15mph when lightly pressing the accelerator to pick up speed. When this happens it's usually right at the top of the rev-range and it changes back up to second straight away. Or is this typical of the rav4. Going up the gears it does seem to hold on to first for a long time. Was wondering/hoping if there was a kick-down switch/cable that's not integrated with the ECU that might be an easy fix. Also there is a whining noise in first gear, Iv'e been told it's probably bruised bearings in that gear and eventually it will need to be replaced.

I'm suspecting this has happened with over use caused by the fault.

Recently I changed the transmission fluid and filter to give it it's best chance of longevity.

I was quite shocked at the price Toyota wanted for the transmission filter £85 plus the VAT.

After a bit of Google-ing I found one on amazon.com the USA site. Got it including all post for £24 There was one for £19 but wasn't 100% sure it would fit.

OK now after a bit of research I think my ECU is at Fault, especially as my engine is starting to get more noisy/rattly and idle speed sometimes dropping. Classic ECU problem apparently. Iv'e found an ECU on ebay that's been fixed in the USA (not the brooklyn man) and has got a guarantee, Its had its software updated/mapped over there. Was wondering if it wouldn't run so well in the UK, there petrol/gasoline is a much lower grade then our fuel. (i know you can get more power by remapping) Or will the software adapt or just not make any difference? Apparently The car-key memory chip can be exchanged/swapped over on the ECU providing they are the same part numbers. Any one know where the car-key chip/component is located on the ECU or what it looks like. Someone said they could do the swop for £100 if it looks easy think I would have a go at it. Or I could get toyota to recode my keys at £62 plus VAT each.

Any reply's welcome.

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Personally given the faults you describe I would liase with the guys at Brooklyn to confirm the fault, then send it in for repair. Turn around has been reported to be reasonably quick and you are guaranteed that it will be compatible with all the systems fitted to your car. (Don't forget the ECU interfaces with more than just the engine and gearbox).

I have read horror stories in the past of the problems involved moving ECU's between cars, even in almost identical spec cars.

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I would just have a chat with a transmission specialist. Gear changing on an automatic is controlled by fluid pressure and fly weights. I think the ECU fault might just cause more than the fault you describe. I have never heard the term bruised bearings unless something is lost in translation.

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If an Indie transmission man diagnoses the ECU at fault, I would deffo go down the road Ian suggests....get YOUR OWN electronics remapped / repaired back to YOUR OWN car.....and welcome t'forum.

Big Kev

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Personally given the faults you describe I would liase with the guys at Brooklyn to confirm the fault, then send it in for repair. Turn around has been reported to be reasonably quick and you are guaranteed that it will be compatible with all the systems fitted to your car. (Don't forget the ECU interfaces with more than just the engine and gearbox).

I have read horror stories in the past of the problems involved moving ECU's between cars, even in almost identical spec cars.

Yes the more research I do, the more problems are coming to light. Looks like switching ECU's between cars is a bit of gamble, it might work fine or might need toyota to reset some gear change settings. Iv'e exchanged some e-mails with the brooklyn man through ebay. He said the symptoms are classic ECU problem, he could fix and and keep the old software. He looks like the best root to take, but Iv'e heard you can be unlucky and it can get held up at British customs for weeks. Even for a short time I'm going to need a car to take the kids to school and stuff. So exploring that one with family and friends.

I really think Toyota should compromise a bit over this design fault. They could easy sell the ECU at cost, you wouldn't feel so aggrieved. Instead they want to pull your trousers down = £1000 to fit. They tell you about all sorts of problems if you don't use them.

And with out even looking, they say over the phone I would need a new gear box £4000 out of the Five Ecu's they replaced at there dealership (Bromley) 4 needed a new transmission.

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If an Indie transmission man diagnoses the ECU at fault, I would deffo go down the road Ian suggests....get YOUR OWN electronics remapped / repaired back to YOUR OWN car.....and welcome t'forum.

Big Kev

Thanks Big Kev

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Just a thought, but are there any warning indications on the dash. Also, is it possible that the o/d overdrive switch has been pushed, as that makes a big difference to the gear changes. :disgust:

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Just a thought, but are there any warning indications on the dash. Also, is it possible that the o/d overdrive switch has been pushed, as that makes a big difference to the gear changes. :disgust:

No lights on dash, The engine management light was on a few weeks back, but i unplugged the Battery to clear it, and it hasn't come back.

Good point about the O/D switch, but no always dive with it on. Just tried it with it off no difference maybe a bit worse.

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