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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a loyal Toyota owner but am starting to look around. That being said I have a 2004 rav4 that I bought brand new. It now has about 135,000 miles on it. I serviced it at Toyota for the first 50,000 then did service myself after. I gave it to my daughter in 2008 and she did most driving around town. Here is the problem. Transmission is acting real bad. I had it in the shop (not Toyota) and they said they thought the ECM may be bad, not sending the signal to the shift solenoid B. Seems car starts off in second, never goes into first and then when it does try to shift it kind of stalls. Then it does shift, not sure which gear but afterwards, runs ok. Until you slow or stop. Then it does it all over again. So, my shop guy tells me I've probably done a lot of damage to the transmission so I may need a computer and a transmission. Needless to say the car is now in my driveway and is not being driven. I'm considering tackling this myself in my spare time. Here is where I am at. I have not opened the transmission yet but I think perhaps I have either a bad b solenoid or a harness issue. Reason I say this is a few months ago before the transmission problem started I had the car in the shop because the shifter would not lock into park. I thought my daughter spilled too many cokes in there and killed it. So the local Toyota shop repaired the shifter. Wondering if some lingering problem may exist with the harness as I've done a lot of web surfing and I think I read the harness leaves the shifter and goes to the shift solonoids. I know there is a history with the 03's and ecms but I am hoping mine may not be this. Any thoughts from you Toyota gurus out there? Right now the car has become a project as I cannot affort to sink 4 grand into a car of this age but I don't want to junk it either. Almost forgot. Shop read a P0776 code.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Disappointed no one has responded. I guess I thought there were some certified Toyota mechanics on this site that might give some thoughts.
 

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No update yet. It's been so dang hot here in SC I've not wanted to open up the transmission. My plan is to open up and get to the valve pack and try and change the valve that controls the first gear. If anyone has any info on how to do this that would be great. If not I'll try and figure it out when I get in there. I pulled the ECM a while back with the intentions of swapping it or sending it for repair but I have not found enough evidence that the ECM problem exists with the 04 as it does with the 03 model. So I put the ECM back in. Afterwards I took the car for a short drive to see if it would report a trouble code as all old codes had cleared, however it did not report any codes. When shifting from park to reverse it is kind of hard but goes into reverse. When shifting in to first and taking off it feels like the car is in 2nd gear, maybe, and when it shifts it is like it goes into neutral and then slams into 2nd or third and afterwards it accelerates fine and shifts into high gear. This repeats once you slow down and the car needs to go into low or stop. So maybe the ecm is not giving the signal for first gear but I am going to take a shot at the solenoid valve in the transmission first.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2004 With transmission problems, ECM is culprit

Ok, I'm back. Long story short the problem with my 2004 RAV 4 with hard shifting transmission was the ECM. I was going to start replacing solenoids but finally got a reply from a guy in Brooklyn named Sergei who acknowledged that some 04 models had ECM problems similar to the 03s but occurred at a higher mileage. So I sent it to him and got it back within 3 days, installed it today and the car is driving great. $220.00. So there you go.
 

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My 2005 has SINCE NEW had shifting and staggering issues when slowing to about 20 to 25 mph and then re-accelerating. That is the exact point when it staggers and bogs down. If I manually drop it into 3rd it fine. I am SICK OF TOYOTA telling me it is normal and denying the problem. Trust me, it is not normal. Now after owning this car for over 11 years, trying to get TOYOTA to acknowledge this issue it seems that it is time to stop beating the dead horse. They are form some reason (probably money) choosing to turn a blind eye to this issue. Not just for me but for many people with the same problem. I am retired on social security so a new car is out of the question or I would be driving something else by now.
Finally I have a P0776 fail to prove the issue since Toyota charged me $150 just to test the car and try to tell me there was no problem. Personally Toyota has fallen off of the pedestal where they rested on their laurels for so many years. If I had the money to purchase another car I would and I guarantee Toyota would not be on the list.
OK, now that I am through whining, I would greatly appreciate any inputs as to the proper way to handle this P0776 fail. Can a single solenoid be replaced or does this require a whole valve body r&r? Does this require great skill and special tools before I tear apart my only car as a somewhere between shade tree and an aircraft mechanic???
Please respond if you have any experience or recommendations. Thanks ahead of time!
 

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Did you ever get the tranny issue resolved?
I just got a 2001 Rav 4 --Good shape / needs little work. My trans is no acting up--Notice LOTS of problems with them. Seems to have ECM/Computer issues. TOYOTA had a recall on them( part of a lawsuit)- Don't know if that recall is still valid. I'll run the VIN on mine.
U-TUBE has lots of Videos on fixing of ECM.
 

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I was having the exact same problems as the OP down to the error code. I took the same route he did and am now back on the road for $200. Thanks a lot OP, I assumed with ours being an 04 with 100k miles the ECM wouldn't be suspect, but because of this thread I took a gamble and it paid off.
 

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Glad you got it fixed Heard lots of horror stories about these trannys. Seen some nasty ECM repairs too. This one company looked like they put glue/epoxy all over the board.
I also changed my ATF (3 X) - used that Valvoline multi fluid, comes in a red bottle. Glad there is a drain plug in pan.
The other thing I noticed with mine, was 2 broken rear coils(springs). There is a piece of rubber around the coil, it must hold water-then it rusts out. wasn't a bad job to tackle, got coils on amazon.
 

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Did you ever get the tranny issue resolved?
I just got a 2001 Rav 4 --Good shape / needs little work. My trans is no acting up--Notice LOTS of problems with them. Seems to have ECM/Computer issues. TOYOTA had a recall on them( part of a lawsuit)- Don't know if that recall is still valid. I'll run the VIN on mine.
U-TUBE has lots of Videos on fixing of ECM.

@chopchop

Ever figure this out? A true recall should still be honored I would think anytime to current owner!
 
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DaneH
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