Question about 2008 Toyota RAV4

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Knowing when 4 wheel drive is "on" in 08 rav 4

I have a 08 Rav 4, but I don't know how to tell when the 4 WD is on or off. I press the "lock" button and the light flashes for a while, stays on and then turns off. How do I turn 4 WD on/off and keep it on/off manually?


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  • Rav4Rose Dec 01, 2008

    Thanks Toyota Ed. Your answer really helped clarify my misunderstanding of the 4WD. I thought it was something that was turned on and off. I guess I shouldn't have pressed the "lock" button while driving - oh well, lesson learned.

  • brig52 Dec 03, 2008

    When the ignition is turned on, there is a brief array of lights on the dash, one of which is the 4WD light. When if ever would this light come on? Just when the locking button is pushed? I was driving on a slippery, very muddy long driveway and there was a bit of a clanking noise as I throttled thru the ruts. I assumed this was when the 4WD kicked in, but from your previous posts...I now assume it was not. Any clues as to what it was? I drive a base model, 4WD.

  • oceanrover Mar 17, 2009

    I have a 2008 RAV4 limited V6 4wd. I stopped for a quick oil change when out of state and was told that it was recommended by the dealer to change out the fluid in the Transfer Case at 15k. The manager then came back and told me that this was a newer toyota so it did not have a transfer case. My maintance book mentions it and the guide mentions the capacity so this does not sound correct. Is there a Transfer Case on my RAV4 or has something new taken its place?


    Mikey in Seattle

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    Your RAV/4 is in 4WD all of the time.

    No matter what anyone else tells you, this is a Full-Time 4WD vehicle. You cannot put it "in" 4WD, you cannot take it "out of 4Wd. The "Lock" is for the center differential; it "locks" the differential so that all 4 tires spin at the same RPM, use this ONLY when stuck. Driving with the "Lock" engaged will damage the transfer case. Please feel free to respond if you have any other questions! Thanks for choosing FixYa.



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You are quite welcome. Don't worry about the Lock button being on a few times, there is a fail-safe that unlocks it.
...My "new" salespeople has told our customers on a few occasions that the 4WD "kicks in/kicks out"...needless to say, they were quickly corrected. Glad to be of service to you today. The graciousness of a FixYa rating regarding my assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for choosing FixYa for the answer to your question.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • Toyota Ed Dec 01, 2008

    Thnaks for the FIxYa. Much Appreciated!



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Ok so my 2009 Toyota rav 4 is always in 4 wheel drive so to speak so then what is the 4 wheel lock button on the dash for?

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The easiest way to tell if you have 4WD is to look under the car for a driveshaft under the rear floor, that is connected to the rear axle. If you have a driveshaft, you have a 4WD vehicle. No Driveshaft, no 4WD. The 2WD Rav / 4 are, for some reason, also called Rav/4s there is no 'Rav / 2"

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Driving with/without O/D

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Toyota rav 4

I work for Toyota, and I will be glad to provide you with the actual answer:

The RAV/4 product is available in two models, a 4WD model and a 2WD model.
The difference between the two is on the 2WD model, there is no driveshaft going under the vehicle to the rear wheels, and no rear differential. There is no "RAV/2"; both models are called RAV/4's.

There is a lot of common confusuion about how the 4WD works. It is full time 4WD. In other words, it is always in 4WD. It does not "kick in/kick out/automatically engage", or anything like that. It is 4WD all of the time. But, when I say "4WD", that is sometimes mistaken for "all wheel drive", and, in this case, the RAV/4 is not "AWD". What this means is that if you raise the RAV/4 up on a lift, and put it in gear, 1 rear and the other side front tires will spin. True "all wheel drive" would have ALL 4 wheels spinning. This is not the case with the Rav/4. What the RAV does have, making up for not having "True AWD" on the 5 speed model, however, is a switch that locks the center differential in the transfer case, which, when engaged, applies a method of "locking" the 4WD system for maximum traction, but it is still not AWD. The automatic version doe not have this ability.
The last "true AWD" vehicle for purchase was a 1970's International Scout.
If you are considering purchasing a RAV/4, that is a very good investement. They hold their value quite well, and are virtually bulletproof; I do not make any "money" off my RAV/4 customers...
Just "gas station work". Very nice cars. I hope that this helps you, please feel free to comment back with any otherr questions...Glad to be of assistance.
Toyota Ed

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