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Toyota RAV4 and OBD Codes for RPM

I have a 2009 Toyota RAV4 from which I'm getting symptoms of unintended acceleration. The predominant symptom, of course, is the excessively high RPMs. I was wondering whether RPMs is among the data that the vehicle's computer monitors and records.
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babyb00mer
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babyb00mer
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2 Solutions
 
BlueThundaCommented:
To my knowledge it does not, however if you have a scanning tool attached you can record live data which includes RPM.

If you're dealing with acceleration issues I suggest taking your car to a mechanic. This problem could pose a serious threat to your safety if it gets worse or happens at the wrong time. I'd also like to point out that there was a recall in early 2010 for the '09 RAV4 dealing with the speed controller and the accelerator pedal. See link below, and hope this helps a bit ;)

http://www.automobilemag.com/am/2009/toyota/rav4/recalls.html
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
You are correct. My vehicle was included in the 90L and AOA recalls. I have reported the problem at least three times, and had both of those services performed on my vehicle. Unfortunately, the symptoms are intermittent, and not reproducible. I was hoping that the vehicle's computer might contain some evidence.
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BlueThundaCommented:
Sorry, as far as I know RPM's aren't included with data the system stores, but you might have it scanned to see if it's thrown any codes at an AutoZone or similar since it's free. With problems of this type it can be several things, but I haven't driven it or popped the hood so it's hard to diagnose specifically. Here are my best guesses.

ECM - Many earlier RAV4 models had problematic ECM's and had some similar issues. In this case, whether defective or malfunctioning from a problem such as water getting inside, this could be the root of your problem. Getting it re-flashed at the dealer or replaced is the fix.

Air Intake System - O2 sensors, MAF sensor, or other. If any of these are bad it can cause performance changes including higher RPM levels, drops in gas mileage, or sluggish/surging acceleration. Getting them replaced is usually the solution, but sometimes merely cleaning the MAF proves effective and isn't too difficult to do. Scanning tools can detect the airflow and O2 levels from those sensors, so if you get it checked they might be able to spot some value that looks off.

Throttle Body - The TB can get seriously dirty over time, causing changes in idle speed and air intake levels. This commonly causes lower idle speeds but never say never when it comes to these things. Getting it cleaned will fix it. It could be an idle adjustment issue as well, but I think it's electronically controlled on the RAV4, in which case it uses a motor-controlled valve to adjust it. This can go bad or get stuck though, so it would need to be cleaned or replaced if that's the cause.

I would suggest starting with checking the sensors since they're the cheapest option to explore. I was under my car today trying to troubleshoot wiring to my fuel sending unit and gauge, so you're in good company! Hope you get it figured out ;)
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I have tried suggesting that they re-flash or replace the ECM, but, although I understand the concept, I didn't know what it was called. Armed with the correct terminology, I will approach them again. These all sound like great suggestions, which should be coming from Toyota. I wish they would show more initiative, but I understand why they aren't. On the other hand, I'm trying to avoid paying the ultimate price to prove that there's something wrong with the vehicle.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Your problem should be covered by Toyota service / recall (if listed as a recall model)

Be firm with your Toyota Dealership and get the results / service you deserve from your Toyota dealer.

Hpe ths hlps.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Michael...

You are right. I'm anticipating a battle. It has already been suggested that the the recall service is all they're obligated to do.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Your car is too new? to be suffering from problems related to "wear & tear"
Unless it has been driven though hell....the problem must be a production fault that your dealer must cover.

Good luck
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Right again. My vehicle is two years old with just under 28,000 pampered miles on the odometer. I first reported the problem when I took it in for its 5000 mile scheduled maintenance.
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Michael-BestCommented:
One thought...
Is there any chance that dirty / bad or the wrong fuel (or non fuel) was put into your tank?
A new fuel filter or even a fuel tank flush should fix it if that may have happened.

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Michael-BestCommented:
Since you "first reported the problem when I (you) took it in for its 5000 mile scheduled maintenance"
Then you are covered under your cars warranty.
Demand results from your dealer...threaten legal action if they do not take you seriously.

Best of luck.

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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Oh, and one more thing. The customer relations representative offered to let me "trade it in." That doesn't make sense unless it's under the current terrms.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Go to your dealer and state thet you are prepared to make a consumer complaint to the Attorney General's office.
 
Consumer complaints against car dealerships are investigated by the Attorney General's office in the state in which the dealership is located.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Attorney_General

Hpe you get results
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I'm at the Toyota dealership. I suggested those test recommended by BlueThunda. They told me they couldn't reload the ECM software and that they couldn't replace the ECM without some justification. They reminded me that they haven't been able to reproduce the problem, to which I responded that I have no such requirement. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. When the subject of the recall came up, they told me that it was a proven farce and was most likely due to operator error! Hmm, perhaps during the course of the conversation I had insulted them.

Eventually they did concede that there is an another device that they can attach to the vehicle that will record additional data. I asked them what it would take to make that happen. I suspect they're going to need a little nudge.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Once again they found nothing. No codes were retrieved and they could not reproduce the symptoms. They refuse to connect  an event data recorder, so I'm going to try another Toyota dealership before I escalate.
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BlueThundaCommented:
That's ridiculous, I hope you have better luck with your next try. The ECM isn't THAT difficult to swap out or so valuable that they should make such a fuss, where's the customer service? There are businesses that have websites devoted to repairing ECM's from earlier RAV4's because it was that much of an issue.

I look at it like this - if they're so sure it's not the ECM, then why don't they just replace it to satisfy a customer who's experiencing problems they can't figure out? Since they're sure it's fine, they'd only be trading one good one for another, and the labor involved would be negligible. They can ship the "good" one they remove back to the parts warehouse. Also strange that they can't re-flash it, unless you meant they wouldn't do that without reason either.

Either it's just another example of not accepting responsibility until they have to, or they're really super sure of themselves and it actually is something else, which they can't pinpoint.

Make sure to keep track of when it does it, and any details about what you're doing at those times. Speed, weather, gear shifting, how hard you're pushing on the gas pedal, etc. Then, even if they are no help, you'll have something to tell a different mechanic that may point them to the problem. I did read one post on a site a while back where a similar problem was from someone's cruise control malfunctioning, not that you need more possible problems at this point.

Once again, I wish you luck though ;)
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Except for the financial aspect, I don't get it either. It's not like anything I've suggested would cost that much. Especially an EDR. That part is reusable and would be returned to them after it has served its purpose. I have found another dealership which, at least initially, seems amenable to deploying an EDR. I'll let you know how that goes.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
While my car is in the shop having some body work done, the perpetrator's insurance company is providing temporary transportation in the form of a Ford Edge. One of the things I've noticed is that it's much easier to stop the Edge than my RAV4. I guess that could be for any number of reasons - including better brakes on the Edge. In the RAV4 it's often a struggle to convince the car to stop - even when it's not exhibiting the extreme behavior characteristic of unintended acceleration. Not being a mechanic, my best guess at what might causing this is that the idle is set too high.

Prior to purchasing the RAV4, I drove a standard transmission for fifteen years. Consequently, I gave myself time to get accustomed to the sensations of driving an automatic again. After two years, however, I really doubt that what I'm experiencing can be attributed to operator inexperience.

Anyway, after I get my car back from the body shop, I will resume my pursuit of an answer to the acceleration problem.

By the way, I really like this Ford Edge!
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Michael-BestCommented:
Did you read my suggestion "13/10/11 10:40 AM, ID: 36959751"

Your will get the results you deserve (proper dealership service) if you:

Go to your dealer and state thet you are prepared to make a consumer complaint to the Attorney General's office.
 
Consumer complaints against car dealerships are investigated by the Attorney General's office in the state in which the dealership is located.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Attorney_General

Hpe you get proper dealer service soon.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I did... read it, that is. Thank you, Michael. I haven't forgotten.
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Michael-BestCommented:
Good luck then, on your issue with your (cars) dealership service.

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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Although this issue has yet to be resolved, I have received valuable feedback. I don't want to leave this question hanging while I pursue a resolution.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I just wanted to update those who contributed to this post.

Mr. Best, you were right. I have contacted the Bureau of Automotive Repair department of the California State Attorney General's office. Their initial response was encouraging, but I had filed against the wrong entity. On their advice I refiled with a regional office. That office requested additional documentation, which I have provided. The ball is in their court.
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