ECU or Transmission: 2003 Rav4 Hard Shift/Slow Acceleration/Shaking

Asked by Nov 29, 2016 at 05:14 PM about the 2003 Toyota RAV4

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My mother bought a used 2003 Rav4 with
automatic transmission a few years ago and, in the
past month or so, it has exhibited the hard
shift/shaking and slow acceleration associated
with the infamous Toyota ECU/ECM defect in the
resistors in the 2001-2003 automatic transmission
Rav4s. I have been doing a lot of research on the
topic and have learned about the ECU defect and
how it affects the transmission and shifting of
gears, the class action lawsuit against Toyota over
the defective ECU that was resolved a few years
ago, and how to fix the defect by soldering certain
resistors.

In doing my research and speaking to specialists
at one of the ECU repair companies, it sounds Luke
the first thing we should do is fix the ECU and see
if that resolves the problem. It sounds like it fixes
the problem in 99% of these cases. If it doesn't,
then we can have the transmission checked out.
But the Toyota dealership my mother took her
vehicle to is claiming she needs both a new ECU
and a new transmission because they got the 5
diagnostic codes showing a problem with the
solenoids' shifting. But according to my research,
those are false codes that occur when there is this
ECU problem.

I have also spoken to a local mechanic with a good
reputation in town who thinks the problem is both
the ECU and the transmission. He thinks either the
defective ECU made the transmission give out
prematurely or the messed up transmission
affected the ECU.

My question is, since we know if you keep driving
these vehicles with this ECU problem, it will
eventually ruin your transmission, how do I know if
it's just the ECU that needs to be fixed or if there is
now also a problem with the transmission? Is there
any way to tell myself, armed only with a
diagnostic code reader? Should we tell whoever is
going to make the repair to just fix the ECU and
leave the transmission alone for now?

No answers yet

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Search Toyota RAV4 Questions

Toyota RAV4 Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 2,500
#2 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 1,320
#3 Robert Mitchell
Robert Mitchell
Reputation 980
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda CR-V
813 Great Deals out of 59,357 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Highlander
481 Great Deals out of 25,067 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Camry
1,101 Great Deals out of 96,247 listings starting at $1,250
Used Toyota 4Runner
320 Great Deals out of 20,548 listings starting at $2,295
Used Toyota Corolla
871 Great Deals out of 74,381 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Escape
1,110 Great Deals out of 90,469 listings starting at $1,295
Used Subaru Forester
254 Great Deals out of 22,778 listings starting at $1,499
Used Toyota Tacoma
616 Great Deals out of 35,102 listings starting at $2,155
Used Honda Accord
812 Great Deals out of 81,598 listings starting at $899
Used Honda Pilot
461 Great Deals out of 19,638 listings starting at $599
Used Nissan Murano
363 Great Deals out of 22,811 listings starting at $1,800
Used Hyundai Santa Fe
276 Great Deals out of 16,689 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Civic
669 Great Deals out of 77,405 listings starting at $1,000

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Toyota RAV4 For Sale
42,066 listings starting at $21,614
2016 Toyota RAV4 For Sale
81 Great Deals out of 2,768 listings starting at $17,699
2015 Toyota RAV4 For Sale
100 Great Deals out of 3,388 listings starting at $13,750
2014 Toyota RAV4 For Sale
121 Great Deals out of 3,405 listings starting at $13,185
2013 Toyota RAV4 For Sale
125 Great Deals out of 3,287 listings starting at $11,320