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2006 Rav4 Tachometer Reading

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I've had my '06 RAV4 for two weeks now. It has 600 miles, and is getting about 27mph--mixed city and highway (but mostly highway). 2.4l, 4cyl, 2WD. My question has to do with the tachometer reading. At 65-70 miles per hour, the tach usually reads 2500rpm. However, some days--especially after it sits for a day or so without being driven, it'll tach at 3500 rpm for the same speed. Any idea why this is. Granted that the engine is still very new, but I'm curious about the inconsistency. I would appreciate any insight into this. Dealer says that I should get 30+mph on the highway after engine break-in. BTW, this vehicle is awsome and has some serious power for a little engine!

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when its driving at a higher rpm is the engine warmed all the way?

 

Yes, it's completely warmed up. I can even start it after a half hour, warm it up, and it'll still tach at 3500 rpm for 65-70mph. However, the VERY NEXT DAY (as in this morning!) it'll be back to 'normal' with a tach reading of 2500rpm for the same speed range. Also, didn't mention earlier, but I don't have overdrive.

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I'm not sure what you meant by not having overdrive. The stadard 4 speed automatic transmission for the 4 cylinder RAV4 has overdrive. But the condition you are seeing sounds like an overdrive issue or lack of overdrive. The days that you get the tach up to 3500RPMs - what happens when you back off the gas a bit - does the RPMs drop? How often you vary highway speed - or do you lock it in a set speed? Are you running any extra accessories during the different times (defrost, A/C, powering other devices, etc.) ? With 600 miles - the car should be a good way into being broken in and the ECM should have learned a baseline for the driving conditions - but it may be just a case of an over-sensitive kickdown to the transmission (sometimes by pressing the gas pedal a little more will cause the transmission to kick out of overdrive or lockup mode in response to the pedal). Might also be a feature of drive by wire in the new RAV4.

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I'm not sure what you meant by not having overdrive. The stadard 4 speed automatic transmission for the 4 cylinder RAV4 has overdrive. But the condition you are seeing sounds like an overdrive issue or lack of overdrive. The days that you get the tach up to 3500RPMs - what happens when you back off the gas a bit - does the RPMs drop? How often you vary highway speed - or do you lock it in a set speed? Are you running any extra accessories during the different times (defrost, A/C, powering other devices, etc.) ? With 600 miles - the car should be a good way into being broken in and the ECM should have learned a baseline for the driving conditions - but it may be just a case of an over-sensitive kickdown to the transmission (sometimes by pressing the gas pedal a little more will cause the transmission to kick out of overdrive or lockup mode in response to the pedal). Might also be a feature of drive by wire in the new RAV4.

Thanks for the response. Should have said "no ECT" button instead of overdrive. On the 3500rpm days, when I back off the gas, the readings reduce to around 3000, just like on the 2500rpm days, when I back off the readings reduce to around 2000! I generally vary speed on the highway, and no, there are no extra accessories running during the different times. Also tried to "kick out" the transmission to shift into a higher gear by depressing the gas pedal.

 

What is "drive by wire" and "lockup mode"? I also reported this to the dealer, but I'm not optimistic they'll come up with a ready answer. If I drive it every day, it's fine! Just on the day after it sits, it shows 1000rpm's more than it should....

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I'm not sure what you meant by not having overdrive. The stadard 4 speed automatic transmission for the 4 cylinder RAV4 has overdrive. But the condition you are seeing sounds like an overdrive issue or lack of overdrive. The days that you get the tach up to 3500RPMs - what happens when you back off the gas a bit - does the RPMs drop? How often you vary highway speed - or do you lock it in a set speed? Are you running any extra accessories during the different times (defrost, A/C, powering other devices, etc.) ? With 600 miles - the car should be a good way into being broken in and the ECM should have learned a baseline for the driving conditions - but it may be just a case of an over-sensitive kickdown to the transmission (sometimes by pressing the gas pedal a little more will cause the transmission to kick out of overdrive or lockup mode in response to the pedal). Might also be a feature of drive by wire in the new RAV4.

Thanks for the response. Should have said "no ECT" button instead of overdrive. On the 3500rpm days, when I back off the gas, the readings reduce to around 3000, just like on the 2500rpm days, when I back off the readings reduce to around 2000! I generally vary speed on the highway, and no, there are no extra accessories running during the different times. Also tried to "kick out" the transmission to shift into a higher gear by depressing the gas pedal.

 

What is "drive by wire" and "lockup mode"? I also reported this to the dealer, but I'm not optimistic they'll come up with a ready answer. If I drive it every day, it's fine! Just on the day after it sits, it shows 1000rpm's more than it should....

 

Drive by wire is an electronic throttle control. Instead of the accelerator physically pulling the throttle body open with a piece of cable, the accelerator is a switch that actuates an electronic device that opens and closes the throttle body. This improves fuel economy because the electronic throttle can ignore the slight movements of your foot and keep you at a steadier speed than is possible with a non-electronic throttle. ECT is electronically controlled transaxle or transmission. Basically all this means is that the car has a computer program that tells the transmission what to do instead of the old way which used vacuum and other methods to determine when to do what. The ECT is much more reliable and efficient, as well as better performing. The ECT also allow for an efficient overdrive, all though, this can be "locked out" by pressing a button on the shifter or dash (depending on model) Overdrive should normally left on, the Lock Out mode should only be used when the car is excessively shifting between overdrive and drive.

Edited by the99contour

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For how many miles or minutes do you drive your car when it stays out of OD and spins at 3500 RPM?

 

Even if the temperature gauge shows normal, the transmission takes much longer to reach normal operating temperature and the ECT may block OD for several minutes after starting the cold engine in the morning.

 

Freezing winter temperatures will only compound the issue.

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Eureka! I think I figured it out. The automatic shifter has a slot that reads "3-D". During the times that the tach was reading 3500, I was in 3rd gear!!! (left 3rd; right "Drive"; same slot). The overdrive won't kick in if the shifter is in 3rd gear. I guess I should add a corallary to that legendary guidance on test taking: RTFQ (i.e., read the ____ question). The corollary is: RTFM, or "Read the ____ manual"!

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Eureka! I think I figured it out. The automatic shifter has a slot that reads "3-D". During the times that the tach was reading 3500, I was in 3rd gear!!! (left 3rd; right "Drive"; same slot). The overdrive won't kick in if the shifter is in 3rd gear. I guess I should add a corallary to that legendary guidance on test taking: RTFQ (i.e., read the ____ question). The corollary is: RTFM, or "Read the ____ manual"!

My response would have been that at some point when it was reading the higher RPM that it was still in the lower gear and the transmission (automatic) did not up-shift. It seemed like the only explanation and I did not have a cause for it, until you mentioned the 3-D. I have had cars with transmission problems and at various times it would not shift. As a result the RPM would remain high and it would get worse gas mileage. I usually just thought it was the transmission wearing out and the internal belts or gears loosening up. I am not a tranny guy and not too familiar with how they work internally, just the responses felt by the car as it is driven. BTW - I always read every word in the manuals after I get a new car and try to figure out what it all means. Sometimes you can discover some neat things that your car or it's accessories can do that you would not have thought of.

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