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Having just bought a 1997 RAV 4 its in the garage at present prepping revamp of brakes ,discs pads and shoes for mot. plus welding work to be expected of this age.my question is this as i drove it there  as its automatic how does the 4 wheel drive work i could not see a selector to input it..does this mean its in constant AWD..Can i select to 2 wheel drive.is there a hi n low for deep snow ect.no hand book came with car...thanks wayne.

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I'm not quite sure about your model, but mine does not have hi/lo selection, nor is it possible to select 2WD.  How it works is that the front is always driven, and there is a  coupling between the propeller shaft and the front diff, which transmits torque to the rear wheels if it detects that the front is slipping (presumably by detecting that the prop shaft is turning slower than the input of the coupling).  I think it is a viscous coupling, so no electronics involved.  I think all 4WD RAV4s are "permanent" 4WD/AWD and none have hi/lo.

I have not encountered snow since I got it, but it does work in soft sand.  I just felt a slight hesitation as the fronts started to slip, and then it was gone, and the car pulled through the soft patch.  But it's not really a proper off-roader - I wouldn't take it on a serious, steep, slippery or rocky track, but it should be ok on muddy or snowed-over tarmac.

I'm not sure yours is the same.  There is a statement relevant to the first generation in Wikipedia, that "Models with manual transmissions that are FWD will have a cover on the dash where in Automatic Transmission models would have the ECT Power button or the Center Differential Lock on Manual Transmission models with AWD."  If you have neither, yours may be 2WD?  You could ask the garage to check whether it has a propeller shaft.

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There's a useful history in this Toyota blog post: History of the Toyota RAV4

A 1997 will be a mk 1 or RAV4.1 and has a permanent four-wheel drive transmission if supplied in 4WD form. As Ian says, it was also available in 2WD form ...

(I suspect that an automatic would be 4WD but can't be sure ...)

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If you do have an ECT Power button, this tells you that it just shifts the gear change rpm points - nothing to do with 4WD.

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10 minutes ago, IanML said:

If you do have an ECT Power button, this tells you that it just shifts the gear change rpm points - nothing to do with 4WD.

The electronically controlled transmission (ECT) was introduced with the 4.3:

  • 4.1 - permanent 4WD
  • 4.2 - permanent 4WD with viscous coupling
  • 4.3 - electronically controlled AWD so 4WD at low speed and FWD at higher speed
  • 4.4 - as 4.3 if driven by an ICE; intelligent AWD will rear axle driven via an electric motor if a hybrid
  • 4.5 - intelligent AWD will rear axle driven via an electric motor (aka E-Four) as they are hybrid only
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59 minutes ago, IanML said:

I'm not quite sure about your model, but mine does not have hi/lo selection, nor is it possible to select 2WD.  How it works is that the front is always driven, and there is a  coupling between the propeller shaft and the front diff, which transmits torque to the rear wheels if it detects that the front is slipping (presumably by detecting that the prop shaft is turning slower than the input of the coupling).  I think it is a viscous coupling, so no electronics involved.  I think all 4WD RAV4s are "permanent" 4WD/AWD and none have hi/lo.

I have not encountered snow since I got it, but it does work in soft sand.  I just felt a slight hesitation as the fronts started to slip, and then it was gone, and the car pulled through the soft patch.  But it's not really a proper off-roader - I wouldn't take it on a serious, steep, slippery or rocky track, but it should be ok on muddy or snowed-over tarmac.

I'm not sure yours is the same.  There is a statement relevant to the first generation in Wikipedia, that "Models with manual transmissions that are FWD will have a cover on the dash where in Automatic Transmission models would have the ECT Power button or the Center Differential Lock on Manual Transmission models with AWD."  If you have neither, yours may be 2WD?  You could ask the garage to check whether it has a propeller shaft.

ahh at last its coming together ian many thanks,my dash board has an ect button i press it lights  up ect not a clue what it does yet so im in 2 wheel drive till needed then detects slip goes to awd. yes 2 prop shafts am i right  wayne

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42 minutes ago, philip42h said:

The electronically controlled transmission (ECT) was introduced with the 4.3:

  • 4.1 - permanent 4WD
  • 4.2 - permanent 4WD with viscous coupling
  • 4.3 - electronically controlled AWD so 4WD at low speed and FWD at higher speed
  • 4.4 - as 4.3 if driven by an ICE; intelligent AWD will rear axle driven via an electric motor if a hybrid
  • 4.5 - intelligent AWD will rear axle driven via an electric motor (aka E-Four) as they are hybrid only

Hi phillip so my- a 1997 rav 4 model gx  4.3 as i see it four wheel drive at low speed then  changes 2 wheel drive after what speed 30 mph for example can you explain the ECT button what does it stand for what does it do when should i use it thanks  wayne

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1 hour ago, philip42h said:

There's a useful history in this Toyota blog post: History of the Toyota RAV4

A 1997 will be a mk 1 or RAV4.1 and has a permanent four-wheel drive transmission if supplied in 4WD form. As Ian says, it was also available in 2WD form ...

(I suspect that an automatic would be 4WD but can't be sure ...)

ok thanks ill do research on history plus mine im told is the rare targa top 2 sunroofs pop out store in back. how rare are they its in turquoise blue proberbly too old to value as im keeping it any way doesnt matter.but i do like to save scrap metal lol...

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1 hour ago, IanML said:

If you do have an ECT Power button, this tells you that it just shifts the gear change rpm points - nothing to do with 4WD.

yes it does have ect button lights up green on dash when pressed i cant feel a difference ??.. explain its principle rpm points im not clear on that section thanks wayne

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1 minute ago, RAVISHING 4 said:

yes it does have ect button lights up green on dash when pressed i cant feel a difference ??.. explain its principle rpm points im not clear on that section thanks wayne

You know when you drive a manual transmission, you choose when to change up a gear, and if you are trying to accelerate hard (traffic lights Grand Prix?) or climbing a steep hill, you will delay changing up until the revs are quite a bit higher.  Also, when descending a steep hill, you will change down at higher revs to get more engine braking.  The ECT button does this for you - it moves the rpm at which the box chooses to change gear to higher values.

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38 minutes ago, IanML said:

You know when you drive a manual transmission, you choose when to change up a gear, and if you are trying to accelerate hard (traffic lights Grand Prix?) or climbing a steep hill, you will delay changing up until the revs are quite a bit higher.  Also, when descending a steep hill, you will change down at higher revs to get more engine braking.  The ECT button does this for you - it moves the rpm at which the box chooses to change gear to higher values.

okay ian thanks so its like a sport mode longer changes in gear on an automatic just for more umph but its not an economical button for saving fuel.. here as its lpg i can give it some throttle now, not to worry about mpg..lol. what does ECT equate to, its definition..

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5 hours ago, RAVISHING 4 said:

Hi phillip so my- a 1997 rav 4 model gx  4.3 as i see it four wheel drive at low speed then  changes 2 wheel drive after what speed 30 mph for example can you explain the ECT button what does it stand for what does it do when should i use it thanks  wayne

Your car is a 4.1, the term relates to a Rav 4 then the .1 .2 describes what version e.g mk1, mk2 etc

Versions are:

4.1 Mk1 Rav4 1994-2000

4.2 Mk2 Rav4 2000-2005

4.3 Mk3 Rav4 2005-2012

4.4 Mk4 Rav4 2012-2019

4.5 Mk5 Rav4 2019-

 

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On 1/26/2021 at 2:07 PM, philip42h said:

There's a useful history in this Toyota blog post: History of the Toyota RAV4

A 1997 will be a mk 1 or RAV4.1 and has a permanent four-wheel drive transmission if supplied in 4WD form. As Ian says, it was also available in 2WD form ...

(I suspect that an automatic would be 4WD but can't be sure ...)

great story to read that was phillip on history of the rav 4.a great concoction of toyota cars combined that really works.

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