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2004 Rav 4 Battery Problems


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As i am a newcomer to this i hope it is clear.
I bought the Rav 4 new in Feb 04, and since that time have had the Battery go flat on numerous occasions.
It has been back to the dealers several times, (its in right now)!
A new Battery was fitted last time, and we thought that was the end of the problem, not so simple!, thats why its in right now.
Over the 41/2 years we have been told by the dealer things such as:-

1.. Youre not giving it a long enough run!!
2.. When its summer dont use the A/C !!
3.. They are all like that !!

They went as far as showing my other half how to remove the main fuse on top of the Battery?
When i pointed out that it would take off line amongst other things the Alarm, and in the event of the Rav being stolen,
what did they think my insurance would say, of course there was silence.
I also asked them that as it took 8 to 10 days of no use and it was flat, how is anybody able to leave their car at say, Heathrow
for a 2 week holiday without calling the AA upon return to be able to drive home, (the mind boggles)
Thats when the fuse removal advice came in !!!

Please has anybody any help !

To keep this in perspective the Rav is perfect in every other way

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The Battery problems on the forum have been talked about a few times. Try a search through and there is a few answers of sorts. The fundamental thing about batteries on petrol RAVs is that it is one of the smallest batteries found in cars.

A good auto-electrician could test the car to establish what current is being used when the car is sitting parked....quite easy!! A Battery has a capacity usually termed in amp/hours - and this can be used to find out how long the Battery can run the clock; alarm; etc. Batteries also come with different capacities - although this option I think is more prevalent in slightly larger batteries. I have 2 high capacity (large amp/hour) batteries I use for the landrover, and for jump-starting other cars and the charge lasts a long time.

I think it was Hoovie who mentioned the sort of trickle charger using a wee solar panel as 1 solution - or in the good old days, you used to get a winder (starting handle :lol: ) - which is fitted to both the landrover and the Humber Hawk.

Basic things like the alternator working ok should be checked, and whether the correct charge is getting to the battery - eg a possible fault/bad connection in the loom restricting the charge to the battery. Can the car cope with air-conditioning; headlamps; radio etc; full fan and fogs on all at the same time??? Or does the engine have to be running at 10,000 rpm before it will cope?

Even a battery left disconnected should be kept in good condition and many classic car nuts use a trickle charger to keep the battery healthy.

Basically it must be frustrating to have bought it new and for it to have problems for so long. Do dealers employ auto-electricians? Bit like asking a joiner to fix a central heating fault I suppose :wacko:

Oh - and welcome to the forum! Need pics and details of how often you polish the car to satisfy some of the nuts on here

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I posted a similar problem to this and was VERY frustrated with the situation.

MY personal conclusion is that

a ) the Battery is not quite man enough for the job , but gets by (so the next time I need to get a new Battery and pay for it out my own pocket, I will be getting a more hefty one). I suspect your RAV is a Petrol? the Diesels have a significantly larger capacity Battery and it is that one I will be getting when/if the time comes.

b ) the alarm system does take a fair bit of juice from the system and if the car is left for 2 weeks, chances are it will not start

c ) Jumping starting the car needs to be followed by a decent run to get it charged up again. The last time this happened to me, I jumped started the car and drove to my Dealer - so did about 12 miles or so - so they could check the battery. The battery was tested as good but in a low charge state. I drove home again (another 12 miles) and next day it started fine - so I reckon maybe a 25-30 mile journey should charge it up reasonably?

Repeated very short journeys with no long runs will probably take its toll on the battery charge as power is being taken by the alarm, and by starting the car, and not enough charge is being put back.

so re the advice from the dealer ....

1.. Youre not giving it a long enough run!! - Could well be true!!

2.. When its summer dont use the A/C !! - stupid advice!

3.. They are all like that !! - well, yes they are it would seem, given this is a common question here.

You Dealer sounds a bit silly in a way with his advice - disabling the alarm to cut power is one one to 'sort' it, but hardly ideal!

My problem has gone away as I have started to use my car a bit more frequently (more then once a fortnight!) so I have to conclude the basic car IS ok and it is a characteristic I have accepted - not ideal, but there it is.

If I went back to my previous usage pattern, I would almost certainly buy a trickle charger and in my own case, as my car is outside and I would not want a mains lead running out to it, I would get a solar one.

Like you said, apart from this, you RAV is perfect in every way, so my best suggestion is not let this one flaw wind you up (I havd put this problem on mine to the back of my mind - until typing this reply :rolleyes: )

Welcome to the forum and like Bothy says, post a few pics and tell us a little more about your RAV4 :thumbsup:

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  • 4 months later...

Would just locking the car with the key rather than the buttons not set the alarm and hence save power, if you're not using it for a couple of weeks?

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Would just locking the car with the key rather than the buttons not set the alarm and hence save power, if you're not using it for a couple of weeks?

simple answer - stick an ammeter across the Battery in this state and see if there's any drain. I doubt it would be much different.

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simple answer - stick an ammeter across the battery in this state and see if there's any drain. I doubt it would be much different.

No not much! :rolleyes:

.......then spend 5 minutes changing the fuse in the ammeter or longer trying to remove the now welded leads from the Battery and the lump of modified plastic that used to be the meter.

What Bothy really means is put the ammeter in series with one of the Battery leads......slip of the keyboard?

I doubt it will make much difference either.

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£4k in Feb & its yours !

The hardest part is

A - Paid £6695 in March 08 :crybaby:

B - Dont really wanna sell it but a 2nd company car is too good to turn down :D

C - after tax & Mot soon - There is absoloutley nothing wrong with it :thumbsup:

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so lost about £2.5K - £3k in a year? You probably bought just at the wrong time with the old credit crunch about to hit - unlucky :(

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