2001 RAV4 - is it likely the ECM or the transmission?

10

Asked by Jul 15, 2014 at 01:48 PM about the 2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

At the time of the class action settlement in January, 2012, we had 166,000 miles on our 2001 RAV4, so didn't qualify for the enhanced warranty.

One day last month, the automatic transmission wouldn't shift out of 1st gear.  My husband turned right around, and we had it towed to the dealer, where we've been satisfied with service in the past.

Before that morning, there were NO symptoms of anything wrong with the transmission.

The dealer said it could be the ECM or the transmission, and the only way to find out was to replace the ECM for $1100.  If it wasn't the ECM, we were out the $1100 because they couldn't take it back, even if it was in the car for a brief time while in their shop.

The settlement said that, if there was a harsh shift condition of the automatic transmission, or the Malfunction Indicator Light (check engine light) was on and had with the following computer codes: P0750, P0753, P0755, P0758, and/or P1760, then the repairs would be covered, if the vehicle qualified, which ours doesn't.

Does not shifting out of 1st gear qualify as "a harsh shift condition"?  None of those codes came up.

This car has been a champ, and we'd like to keep it, even though it has 188,000 miles on it.  Is there a way to tell if it's likely the ECM or the transmission?  Again, before the morning it wouldn't shift out of 1st gear, there were NO other symptoms of anything wrong with the transmission.

Many thanks

3 Answers

20

I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM WITH OUR 2002 RAV4. THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE ECM WHICH CONTROLS THE SHIFTING OF THE AUTO TRANSMISSION. I TOOK THE BOARD OUT MYSELF AND SENT IT TO CIRCUIT BOARD MEDICS ( QUERY ON GOOGLE...I THINK THE NAME IS CORRECT..I WOULD HAVE TO LOOK IT UP NOW) THEY SERVICED THE BOARD I RE-INSTALLED IT, FOLLOWED THEIR DIRECTIONS FOR RE-BOOTING IT (DRIVING / SHIFTING ETC) AND HAVENT HAD A PROBLEM SINCE. I BELIEVE THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER FIRM IN THE STATES THAT DOES SAME WORK..MAYBE OTHERS BUT THERE WERE TWO THAT CAME UP WHEN I GOOGLED THE ERROR CODE WITH RAV4 TRANSMISSION I THINK. gregg.shaw@sasktel.net

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

Hi Rick, Thanks for your response. After more research, we're doing something similar. On Angie's List, I found a highly-recommended mechanic that works on imports. He's agreed to take out the ECU, ship it to Check Engine, Etc. in Brooklyn, NY, which seems to get good reviews, and then reinstall it. Total cost: $393.71 plus shipping. Here's hoping this works as well for us as it has for lots of others.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

All owners RAV4 2001-03 have similar problems so welcome to the club. If you have such kind of problems you will need diagnostics. The answer of dealer is to replace the ECM but it is the most expensive way to go. When I got into this situations I read revues on the internet and found the service. My car was diagnosed there and got needed repair. If you need you could see all information on the website http://www.shop.modulerepairpro.com/ 5911 Lemona ave. Van Nuys 91411 phone (818)235-1095

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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