Question about 2002 Toyota RAV4

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Shuttering or transmission shifting hard or long between 1st and 2nd gear

My wife has a 2002 toyota rav 4 with about 91,000 miles now on the odometer. We had it since 2003 or 2004. It has always been Toyota dealer ship serviced. She has been having a problem off an on for a couple of years with a shutter while while driving between 5 and 30 mph. Unfortunately while it is at the Toyota Dealership service dept, they cannot duplicate the problem even with me in the car. I had called Toyota Corp about 8 months ago and opened up a case but unfortunately the ECM extended warrantee expired at 86,000 miles I was told. I worked for this Toyota Dealership for 17 years until they were purchased by another company. I was in Sales and Service. I am still loyal to the car and the dealership mechanics. They know their stuff and I understand issues with (PROBLEM CANNOT BE DUPLICATED). I unfortuntaly feel that this problem could be causing further issues to the transmission. I need advice. I know that there are many issues with other customers with the same problem that I have and I know of a few personal friends with the same problem. They paid for ECM's and transmissions and it cost's THOUSANDS!!!. Please advise.

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After about 6 visits the dealer finally was able to duplicate the issue with the shuttering, lack of acceloration at slow speeds below 30mph and note that the problem is intermittent! The mechanic was able to confirm my belief that it was the ECM to the transmission finally. There is a bullitin that Toyota issued back in 2006 if the Check engine light comes on and draws a code for the ECM, (my CEL never came on "EVER") however Toyota should have made it a Recall because once it gets worse the result is that the damage it causes to your transmission is irreversable. And the dealers will not at that point blame it on the ECM but will say your transmission is out of warrantee. To everyone who experiences this problem, please please please, get the ECM replaced and do not wait for the dealer to tell you they have to experience the problem. Once my ECM was replaced with the updated ECM the car runs like new. I pray that it has not caused any damage to the transmission. At this time and it has been about 2 months now, after replacing the ECM the transmission shifts beautifully. For all dealers that tell you it is the transmission, you may want to have them replace the ECM with the updated ECM and contact Toyota after you have it done. The part is about $1300 and diag and labor is $200. This is better than a $5000 to $6000 transmission! Please note that Toyota may help you with a partial reimbursement only if you have religiously serviced your car at a Authorized Toyota Repair Facility. Please let others know about my results and good luck.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

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If you have had this concerne for quite a while and it has been documented at the dealership, I would get into contact with Toyota customer relations.

If your dealership opend a case file with Toyota and it has never been resolved(no further contact to Toyota) then they(Toyota) are most likely under the impression that the problem is resolved.

I hope this makes sense.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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