Sign in to follow this  
GemmaLessinger

Rav 4 2003 Gx Automatic - Delay In Lower Gears Changing And Loss Of Po

Recommended Posts

Hi

I am new to the owners club however have had Toyotas for years and up until now had excellent history with them and always been a big advocate for them. I had a Rav 4 which was brilliant and foolishly I sold it because I didn't think I would need it as I was getting a company van. BIG MISTAKE as I still really needed a big car to get around in (I live in Cornwall and have 2 big Labradors to cart around!). So I bought another Rav (same year and model as my old one) which I collected on Saturday. The garage I bought it from did say that it had been sat there for 3 months and not really been started so I test drove it, seemed a bit clunky but that was to be expected I thought. But now I have driven it for a few days there is definitely something not right with the auto gear change, it is fine in higher gears but when going from 1st to 2nd it is very clunky and takes a while sometimes before it changes, meaning the revs are going really high. This isn't happening all the time but a few times in a journey. Also I noticed that it is loosing power going up hills, I know from my previous Rav which hills it can manage and this new car is really struggling to get up them.

I have got it booked in for a service on Thursday and mentioned to them it may need a gear Oil change and told them the things I have noticed. But from reading a few posts on here I am now concerned it could be the ECU - am I being paranoid or could this just be where the car has been sat not being used for months and the gear Oil being a bit low? Also the car was completely drained of petrol when I picked it up so all kinds of crud from the tank has probably worked its way into the engine which may not be helping....

Can anyone help???

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

I am new to the owners club however have had Toyotas for years and up until now had excellent history with them and always been a big advocate for them. I had a Rav 4 which was brilliant and foolishly I sold it because I didn't think I would need it as I was getting a company van. BIG MISTAKE as I still really needed a big car to get around in (I live in Cornwall and have 2 big Labradors to cart around!). So I bought another Rav (same year and model as my old one) which I collected on Saturday. The garage I bought it from did say that it had been sat there for 3 months and not really been started so I test drove it, seemed a bit clunky but that was to be expected I thought. But now I have driven it for a few days there is definitely something not right with the auto gear change, it is fine in higher gears but when going from 1st to 2nd it is very clunky and takes a while sometimes before it changes, meaning the revs are going really high. This isn't happening all the time but a few times in a journey. Also I noticed that it is loosing power going up hills, I know from my previous Rav which hills it can manage and this new car is really struggling to get up them.

I have got it booked in for a service on Thursday and mentioned to them it may need a gear oil change and told them the things I have noticed. But from reading a few posts on here I am now concerned it could be the ECU - am I being paranoid or could this just be where the car has been sat not being used for months and the gear oil being a bit low? Also the car was completely drained of petrol when I picked it up so all kinds of crud from the tank has probably worked its way into the engine which may not be helping....

Can anyone help???

Thanks

Hi Gemma & welcome to the club.

You could be right about it being the ECU but if you have only just bought it from a garage it would appear not to be of merchantable quality required by the various Sale of Goods acts and I would suggest that you get it back there sharpish and demand your money back as the best solution. Failing that tell the garage that they have 48 hours to put the car into roadworthy & merchantable condition or you will have a replacement vehicle of similar age & spec or a full refund.

If it is the well-known ECU fault, it should not be driven until properly diagnosed otherwise the box could destroy itself.

IMHO there is simply no way that a reputable trader should let a vehicle out in that condition. More to the point, why wasn't the car serviced before you took delivery?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the club Gemma,

As Jim says take the Rav back 'pronto', unless you bought it in a 'sold as seen' arrangement which I doubt.? I would be sat outside with the car when they open for business tomorrow morning. Rectification may well be costly so 'stick to your guns'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the club Gemma,

As Jim says take the Rav back 'pronto', unless you bought it in a 'sold as seen' arrangement which I doubt.? I would be sat outside with the car when they open for business tomorrow morning. Rectification may well be costly so 'stick to your guns'.

I don't think a recognised trader can get away with "sold as seen" anymore unless it is a legitimate trade sale to another recognised trader. I'm no expert but I think that the various amendments to the Sale of Goods acts protects the consumer no matter what when buying from a recognised trader.

AFAIK, only private sales are exempt from Sale of Goods provisions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, I am going to contact the garage in the morning. The trouble I have is that I bought the car in London and I live in Cornwall so I cant just pop back tomorrow to return it. I also drove it all the way back from there yesterday which is when I noticed the problem....but by doing that its probably caused a lot more damage so I am definitely demanding my money back. He knew as well that I was based down here and would be driving it back so if he did know the problem was there then he should be shut down and not allowed to sell another car....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, I am going to contact the garage in the morning. The trouble I have is that I bought the car in London and I live in Cornwall so I cant just pop back tomorrow to return it. I also drove it all the way back from there yesterday which is when I noticed the problem....but by doing that its probably caused a lot more damage so I am definitely demanding my money back. He knew as well that I was based down here and would be driving it back so if he did know the problem was there then he should be shut down and not allowed to sell another car....

Good luck, Gemma. Let us know how you get on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone

After all your advice I contacted the garage I bought the car from and due ot the distance he agreed to pay for the repairs that were needed to the car upon reciept of Toyota's diagnotic report. The test showed up lots of problems main one being a faulty air sensor which they said would have been causing the loss of power/gear changing? I did tell them about my suspition of the ECU fault but they dismissed it. I had everything fixed (paid for by the dealer I bought the car from) and for a week the car was fine. Then it started struggling up hills and completely lost power trying to go up one so took it straight back into Toyota. They checked it and said they couldnt find any fault - almost implied it was my driving before they took one look at my face and realised they should NOT go there... So their solution was to change the transmission Oil. This did make the gear changing much smoother and again for a few weeks it was fine, but still quite slow going up hills. Then this weekend it completly lost power when trying to get up a hill, and from then on had very little power at low speed even on flat ground. I managed to get it home and have now (foolishly) sent it to Toyota again for them to look at it, by recovery vehicle. I am convinced its this ECU problem so shall I just get the car back from Toyota (I am sure they will find somethign else they "think" it is) and just get my ECU repaired??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Gemma.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell us more about the power loss climbing hills (and now on the flat). As the car starts to struggle - does the box attempt to change to a lower gear or does it stick in 3? What happens if you select 2 when climbing a hill - any better? This could be an ECU fault but on the face of it could also be a torque converter fault.

It sounds as if the problem was present when the car was passed into the trade - standing around for a few months shouldn't be an issue. The danger in giving a trader an opportunity to rectify a significant fault is that it's never simple and takes time so that it's easy to go past the point where you can reject the car. My view is that it's best not to get involved and to reject a significantly faulty car ASAP - the'll be plenty of other good cars around.

A trader cannot deny you your legal rights by selling a car as seen - though it's fine to point out minor deficiencies. Yo'll find that to keep on the right side of the law - dealers will sell dubious cars "for spares or repair" in order that they don't have to meet their warranty obligations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone

After all your advice I contacted the garage I bought the car from and due ot the distance he agreed to pay for the repairs that were needed to the car upon reciept of Toyota's diagnotic report. The test showed up lots of problems main one being a faulty air sensor which they said would have been causing the loss of power/gear changing? I did tell them about my suspition of the ECU fault but they dismissed it. I had everything fixed (paid for by the dealer I bought the car from) and for a week the car was fine. Then it started struggling up hills and completely lost power trying to go up one so took it straight back into Toyota. They checked it and said they couldnt find any fault - almost implied it was my driving before they took one look at my face and realised they should NOT go there... So their solution was to change the transmission oil. This did make the gear changing much smoother and again for a few weeks it was fine, but still quite slow going up hills. Then this weekend it completly lost power when trying to get up a hill, and from then on had very little power at low speed even on flat ground. I managed to get it home and have now (foolishly) sent it to Toyota again for them to look at it, by recovery vehicle. I am convinced its this ECU problem so shall I just get the car back from Toyota (I am sure they will find somethign else they "think" it is) and just get my ECU repaired??

Hi Gemma,

I would like to understand something about this "lost power" issue.

1. Is it the case that the engine struggles, i.e. the revs actually die off or

2. is it that the car is unable to drive up a hill, etc. even though the engine is revving sufficiently? in other words, although it is an auto, does the problem seem like a slipping clutch were it a manual gearbox?

The Toyota main dealer attitude sounds typical - they tend to be in denial re the auto ECU issue - and they seem to have said/done all the things that I would have expected in that situation (I'm surprised that they haven't suggested a new gearbox which would of course require a new ECU otherwise the same problems would occur!).

If the problem is like 2 above rather than like 1 the, yes, remove the ECU and send it to ECU Testing who can test it and if it has the dreaded ECU fault, repair it permanently. If you look at the website it gives you all the info re docs required, how to send it, etc. It takes about 4 days and it is essential that the first time you use the car after the ECU has been re-installed, that you follow the instructions that ECUT send back with the repaired unit to the letter.

Good luck & keep us posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi firemac

The rev's seem to stay the same, its just literally like it doesnt have the power to get up the hill...When it has had its few really bad moments (where I have pretty much had to do a uphill start from stopping) it kangeroo's like you are in a manual and are trying to start off in 3rd. To be honest I havent noticed if just before those moments it has actually dropped down in gear or not. It does seem to drop down when just trying to cruise up a hill, eg I am going 50/60mph + and approach and try to go up a hill on an A road or motorway. But it has a complete lack of power when you start to go up it, the car still moves but it goes about 20mph up it...

Hope that makes sense?!

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi firemac

The rev's seem to stay the same, its just literally like it doesnt have the power to get up the hill...When it has had its few really bad moments (where I have pretty much had to do a uphill start from stopping) it kangeroo's like you are in a manual and are trying to start off in 3rd. To be honest I havent noticed if just before those moments it has actually dropped down in gear or not. It does seem to drop down when just trying to cruise up a hill, eg I am going 50/60mph + and approach and try to go up a hill on an A road or motorway. But it has a complete lack of power when you start to go up it, the car still moves but it goes about 20mph up it...

Hope that makes sense?!

Thanks

Hi Gemma,

The kangaroo comment is pertinent, I believe. When it does this, is it "violent", i.e. accompanied by banging noise or a thumping sensation? If so, those are classic ECU failure symptoms. The fact that the engine itself isn't losing power points to the problem being in the drivetrain. As gjnorthall has said, it could be a slipping torque converter but, as far as I'm aware, the TC isn't a weak spot on the 4.2 so, although that could be the problem, it sounds to me like the box/ECU.

Bearing in mind that the cost of a new/refurbed box & ECU will be rediculous and checking out the TC won't be cheap either, I think that sending the ECU to ECU Testing is the next logical step. They will test it and if it is not faulty, they will only make a nominal charge (£25, I think). If it is faulty they will repair & guarantee the unit. When they examine it they will contact you to advise whether it's faulty and to arrange payment - make sure you ask for the TOC member discount (10%, IIRC).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gemma,

it's a no brainer to send your ECU to ECU Testing!

I can vouch for their very good working practices (being only a satisfied customer, no other connection with them.) I had a host of issues with my autobox, a 2001 4.2 RAV. The mechanics & hydraulics of the box was suitably sorted by a very good company in Doncaster, but other issues then transpired which were purely and simply the ECU.

I removed mine from the car and posted on a Monday evening. Three text/e-mails and two telephone conversations later, I re-fitted the ECU by Thursday lunchtime I 'ran it in' as ECU Ltd. stated on their instructions and it's been a dream ever since!

Test the car on winding twisty hilly roads, just sit back and marvel at how the box performs when everything is as it should be, sheer magic! It's a very clever unit as it does 'learn' how you drive and responds accordingly.

Anyone out there who has an issue with a 200/2004 RAV auto, then get the ECU sorted first by ECU Testing Ltd! It will save you an awful lot of grief!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this