It says for me to ask a question, but I want to just share with all, have a 2001 Rav 4, & has 256,000 miles on it, to be short here, just put our 3rd ECM in it,,be prepared!!


Asked by Aug 18, 2014 at 01:05 PM about the 2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Actually, this is the 4th computer, the one sent a week ago, never did the trick.,  this
one didn't seem like it would (as previous 2, did right away) but, as of today, it doesn't
to be hard shifting into 3rd.  When it's cold, it does act up when put in reverse.  No
matter what,  if one wants to keep their car, it's still cheaper than rebuilt, new tranny,
etc. My 2001 Rav 4, is in fantastic shape, doesn't burn a drop of oil, runs great, and I
wish they didn't change the body size too.  People cannot believe my Rav is a 2001.
But, when this one does do it again or if (have a 3 yr, warranty on puter) we are
planning to purchase another car, not sure what brand though. My hubby has done the
ordering and changing, and is a pro now.  Other than this problem, have to say, this car
gave me no other big money problems, but, I do expect some to happen. The first time
this happened to us, was the worse, we felt like we were riding a bunking bronco, and
the noise it made was unreal, and I was so scared.  Past 2 times that didn't happen.
but, after 1rst time, had tranny tray taken down, cleaned (small bits of metal were in
tray) along with filter, and almost 2 yrs. later, started slipping, and again now, this time
which is about 14 months.  Anyone got any suggestions or ideas, by all means, let us
know. Thanks.,  Pat

11 Answers


When you replace the computer it must be "flashed" or programmed to your specific vehicle using your vehicle identification number. You can't just take it out of the box, install it, and it will work. Even after it's flashed a computer must learn your specific driving habits and adjust certain parameters to meet those needs. This can actually take a few days of normal driving. At 256,000 miles a small amount of metal shavings is normal. Especially if the transmission is original. Is your check engine or service engine soon light on? If so, do you have the trouble codes? Please post them and we can help further. HTH. - Jim

2 people found this helpful.

Jim (HTH) This site is very new to me, and I am not computer savvy, so I am hoping this will get to you. I did reply yesterday, and was told that the site was not monitored. I will say, it's been 5 days now, and once the car is really "hot", it works so much better. Today, I used it all day, but when I first left the house, it slipped when I put car in reverse. While using it, the check engine lite did go on, but then it did go off a bit later too. I truly appreciate all you informed about, but, need to know more "trouble codes" Where do I find them?? I don't understand. I don't know what the HTH stands for either. But, I do know that you've told us more than anyone else did, or anything else we've read. It's such a shame, for, other than this problem, this car is a great car. I hope that you will receive this, as I have no idea how else I can respond to you. So, for the second time, I'm going to send it to you. I don't think this is the site for this kind of reply, but, doing so anyway. Pat P.

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Pat, thanks for the kind words! HTH stands for "hope this helps". Trouble codes are stored in the vehicle's computer when the check engine light comes on. The best thing to do to get these trouble codes out of the computer to see what's going on is to visit your local auto parts store. Most Advance and Autozone stores will scan the computer for free and tell you what the trouble codes mean. My guess is that you'll have codes for the transmission. Since your RAV4 is newer than a 1995 model it is an OBD II (On Board Diagnostics, generation two) vehicle. You'll get four digit trouble codes with the prefix "P" (powertrain control module). Anything from a loose gas cap to a failing catalytic converter will cause the check engine light to come on and the trouble code stored in the computer will tell you where to look to fix the problem. I'm thinking since the transmission works better when hot you may have a sticking shift solinoid. Once you get the trouble code(s) please post them and we can go from there. While you're at the auto parts store pick up a repair manual that covers your RAV4. It will have a complete list of these trouble codes and what each one means. They're great for beginners. Please keep me posted and post the codes once you get them. HTH -Jim


Well, since I'm getting a response from you Jim, and am so dumb about getting around on here, gonna reply again to you on here. Thank you for you kindness, and ever so willing to help.I was gone all day today, just got back, took a friend for a surgical medical procedure,and yada yada yada!! All went well. I was checking my cell phone, as have email on it, and thought, oh well, Jim will never get my last reply, and yes, there you were. I will do what you suggested, as I live near so many stores, Auto, Depot, and the list goes on. However, on Monday coming up, going to take it to the mechanic, who couldn't drop the tranny tray this Monday, due to personal reasons, and then will test it after all is cleaned in tray, filter changed, new tranny fluid and whatever else. Again,Thank you so very much, and Yes, far as HTH, it has and is. Of course it was hot again driving it today, and still the same, does pretty well. I'd like to say, it's finally programmed, and working the way it should, but not yet. Anyway, got one more question for you, it was told to me, that when I have the mechanic do the t. tray, add a quart of Trans-X automatic tranny slip-stop & leak fix. Now, I just am not sure if I should or not, was going to ask the mechanic about it, but, you know so much, are so helpful, wanted to run it by you. I'm trying to hold onto the my Rav, because like I told you in the beginning, it looks great, and really has not cost me much all these years. Guess I have been very lucky. Most expensive work I had done on it, was 4 selonoids about 2 or so yrs. ago, and it did cost me, but, had it done at the Toyota service center, so of course, I knew I'd be paying, but with the engine light on, had to go thru emissions, I had to get it done. So, rather then go on and on with what I might do or not, please let me know your thoughts. I think this site, and one's like it,are a great resource of help. Next, (I know, I write book, novels, whatever one wants to call it) but, can you maybe tell me, am I suppose to respond to you here, or where. I mean, I went crazy on this site, to reach you. I truly appreciate all your input, and will await your reply. Since this site has it's rules,understandably, I don't want to say put my direct email address in here, I'm looking to solve a problem,hopefully, not create another one. Guess I'm in the category of, Puters for Dummy's. Hey, I have to be honest here. Thank you again HTH - Jim. One last thing for a laugh, when I use to receive emails that would say end with LOL, I use to think it meant. Lot's of Love, but found out, Laugh Out Loud!!! Thanks for putting up with me!!! Pat - Tap45_68. : ))

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Pat, you can absolutely respond here, in this public forum. That way others can chime in as well. Especially if they've had a similar or the exact same problem. Or this "thread", as they call these computer conversations, may help someone else. With Trans-X it's a crap shoot. I've seen it perform "miracles" sometimes and other times do nothing. Since your transmission doesn't seem to be in that bad of a shape, I'd try it. It may loosen up a sticky solenoid or "shore up" a part in the transmission that has some wear on it now and is causing it to misbehave. The Trans-X can will tell you to add it with fresh fluid and a new filter. Then drive for 100 miles and change the fluid and filter again. Most people just leave the Trans-X in there permanently. One word of caution here. Don't flush the transmission fluid. Just change it. With a flush a cleaning agent is forced through the transmission and all the old fluid and dirt is forced out. On the surface this may sound good but it's not. Especially for an older model with some miles on it. Some of that dirt and crud is actually good for it. This helps parts that are worn keep working by having something to grab onto. So even dirt and crud can be useful! If you want to PM (Private Message) me, click on my user name (js08016) in blue and you'll be directed to be able to do that. Just another option this website offers. By the way, you're more computer advanced than me in that I don't have my email hooked up to my phone. I check it periodically throughout the day. HTH. - Jim

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Jim (HTH), Well, once again, thank you. I have to ask you, what do you do for a living?? I'm asking, due to the knowledge you share. I'm thinking that perhaps you may own or work in an auto garage, but, not sure. I guess at this point, I am going to see what happens on Monday, when I go to see my mechanic. I will let you & others that may be interested on the outcome. What's meant to be will be. Some people may think, why would she want to keep going with her Rav 4, it's just about 14 yrs,.old. Well, I have shared that it's been a good car (SUV) to me, and if I can keep it going a bit more, it's worth it. I've had people ask me about my car, and when I tell them how old it is, they are very surprised. I've taken good care of it, and the body on it, other than a few scratches here & there, does look almost new. I've even thought, maybe since I really love this car, I'd go for a new engine, this is just a thought, because I love everything about this car,. I can't speak for others, but I live in CT, one of the New England States, where we have 4 Season's, and when it snows, this little bugger goes thru it, like there's nothing on the road,. I feel so safe in this car. Also, it's never been garaged, so I do wax it from time to time, guess that's why the body looks good,.Well, I can go on and on, but enough for now, but will let you know Jim, plus others who read here, how it turns out. BTW, I gave a try to your private email, wrote to you last night, went to send it, and I goofed somewhere. It wouldn't go thru, said something or other, so I tried again, and still wouldn't let me send it, Something about a Catchet or the like, so I gave up., Again, bad computer skills,. Have a great day!!! Pat

2 people found this helpful.

Hi Pat, you're welcome glad to help. I actually work at a NAPA auto parts store. I've been reading about, studying, and working on (American) cars for the past 35 years. Now, my Nephew, who's a car guy too, is teaching me some things about foreign cars. BMWs in particular. He's with BMWs like I was at his age with Cadillac, Lincoln, etc. He's 24 and a mechanic at a local shop. Guess it runs in the family. I'll definitely be looking forward to hearing how you make out on Monday. Hope it's good news! Have a great weekend. -Jim


Jim, Wow, you are really into cars, and a nephew to boot too. I can remember when my two son's were into cars. They even started to work on an old GTO, but, funds weren't the greatest to finish with it, but, I'll tell you Jim, they both loved learning, and now are both in their early 40's, & one can call it whatever they want, bragging etc. but, there's hardly anything they can't do, not only with cars either. Recently, one of them installed a backup camera to make it safer for me to back up etc.I can tell you stories that you wouldn't believe, (maybe you would, since you're so knowledable) but, it would take too long. So, we'll leave it for now, that once I am done at the mechanic's Monday, you will definitely hear the results. I have gotten use to driving it as is, but it's just one more thing to think about having to do while driving it. Same back to you about having a great weekend, Keeping my fingers crossed. Pat

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Jim (HTH) well, I'm happy to let you know, I just got back from taking my Rav for a nice long ride, on a nice long pathway, and it is doing Great. The mechanic did what he had to do, and did it, just as you said, then he changed the Filter, which was quite a mess, and Craig, my better half, told him to put the amount needed of the Tran-X , and let me tell you something, it rides like brand new. I can't believe it.So, you may have some ideas here, and in the back of my mind, I am expecting that some time down the road, the "puter will go again" but, I'll worry bout that when or IF it happens again. I am happy, because right now, I really didn't want to buy another car, and I can go on and on about that, but don't want to, so let's just say, in a short while, there is a car waiting for me, from one of my son's, and it's a 2014Subaru XV- Crosstrek, he needed for a new job commute, until he can get a new truck, as he has an old truck, but it's been great to him. that is a 1999 Dodge Ram Sport. So if you think about the entire situation, why buy another car, if I don't need to. But, of course, that too would of worked out, for one of my grand-daughters, because in less than 2 yrs. she'll be getting her license, so my other son and I would of worked out something. So, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed here, but not going to be so afraid to drive it now. Jim, Thank you so much for all the HTH info. you gave to me. I will keep in touch here and there, and will recommend this site to anyone who may need help. Listen, if I can be of help, which I doubt, please don't hesitate to ask me. In my book you've been (SMH), let's see if you can figure that one out!!! If you give up, just ask me. I do know that you are happy for the way things turned out. Pat

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Pat that's so awesome!! YAY!! I'm very glad to hear that. Let's hope you get many more "miles of smiles" from your RAV4! Be sure to let it know we're shooting for the 300,000 mile mark...........and beyond! I keep vehicles forever too. I bought a '93 Chevy Caprice new and owned it until June of 2012. I sold it to a young guy at work for $500.00 and he loves it. Best wishes to you and your family! Come back and see us again! -Jim


Thank you Jim, and I am hoping it makes it to the 300,000.miles too. I use to LOVE Chevy Caprice's, but never owned one. It seems my family use to buy Pontiacs, of which, there's no more. I am sure the young guy that you sold it too, is very happy. Just wanted to respond back, and let you know, and all others who are on this site, that I think you are a great guy, and more than helpful with my situation. I am very thankful for all of your feedback, and know, that you will help many others, and probably have already. If anything should change, I will be sure to return. I wish you & yours the best right back. There should be more people like you on this earth. Take Care Jim. Oh yeah, the SMH I wrote previously, stood for, SO MUCH HELP from you. So long for now. Pat

1 people found this helpful.

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