2002 Toyota Rav4 Transmission question - Please help!

Tiny
JWELO
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA RAV4
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 77,000 MILES
I have a question about transmission. I have 2002 Toyota RAV4, automatic transmission, front weel drive (I think, I know it's not 4X4). Over the past few weeks I noticed that when my car is parked and I swith the gear from N to R or D I feel the hard "bumping" what I would call but when I switch it to 1 or 2 gear the switch is smooth and seems normal. When I drive slow like up to 45mph, from time to time my car will slow down to almost a stop while I still have my foot on gas and then I can hear like it's trying to change the gear and after it changes it, it pushes me forward. I am a single mother who got laid off of work and I am planning to go to the mechanic soon but anytime I go to one I feel like when they see me, they see big $ in my eyes. I am writing to you because I hope you can give me some pointers on what this problem might be and how I should go about looking for an honest mechanic, cause I know they are out there. I pray to God I won't have to replace the whole transmission. Thank you for your help.
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 12:52 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
BILLYMAC
  • EXPERT
Hi I am ver sorry about your job and I don, t want to be the bearer of yet more bad news. This prob is in the trans. I would reccomend going to your local trans shop and get the trans scanned. This is a test with a computer that tells. What is going on inside the trans. This will give you an idea of how much it will cost to repair/there is no way to tell if a mechanic is honest but you can cut the odds down a little. Talk to people in your town see who everyone is useing. Look at the shop is it organized clean and have a lot of equip. Ask questions talk to the owner of the buis don, t allow anyone to do any repairs. Until you have a written estamate and are happy
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 1:16 PM
Tiny
PIFF
  • MEMBER
I had the same symptoms with my 2002 Toyota Rav 4 at 88,000 miles and it turned out that it wasn't a transmission problem at all. It was an ECM (engine control module) malfunction. Basically, the ECM is the engine's computer system. In the 2002/2003 Rav4 models, when the ECM malfunctions it gives inconsistent signals to the transmission and this causes the transmission to buck when shifting. Toyota did do a recall to reprogram the ECM in these cars a couple of years ago but even after reprogramming, my ECM still failed. Fixing/replacing the transmission will not solve this problem. Only replacing the ECM solves this particular problem. It can also be tricky to diagnose because the computer must throw off a diagnostics code but it is the computer itself that is malfunctioning so it doesn't always register a code. It is under warantee up to 80,000 miles. Hope this helps!
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Saturday, June 6th, 2009 AT 5:39 PM

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