Author Topic: '09 Rav with 78k - Transmission "Glitter" & Codes  (Read 1318 times)


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'09 Rav with 78k - Transmission "Glitter" & Codes
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:50:30 PM »
I'll try to keep this short, and appreciate feedback/advice!

We were driving my wife's '09 Rav4 AWD Base Model (2.5 liter 4cyl VVT-i, 4AT transmission, attached full spec sheet) with 78,000 on the thruway on Christmas in NY with very high winds in single digit temperatures with cruise control at about 74mph when all of a sudden cruise dropped and the check engine, 4wd, and traction/vsc (little car with skid marks) lights went on.  I brought it to Toyota and they said it showed P0741 and P1578 (one tranny related, one brake related).  Toyota felt strongly it was the torque converter seal and contacted my extended warranty company (not through toyota) for approval for the expensive job.  The extended warranty company pushed back and made them run a number of brake diagnostics and after a day and a half of extra diagnostics going back and forth with the extended warranty company, Toyota cleared the codes, drove it, said no lights came back on, and the only thing of note at this point is the transmission fluid has metal shaving that look like "glitter" and they recommend a transmission fluid flush.  I had the transmission fluid flushed by the same dealership on 3/11/17 with 63,472 miles at the time.  24 hours ago they were pretty sure it was the torque converter seal, but now with the codes not showing back up, they recommend either simply doing the flush, or doing nothing and driving it to see if anything comes back up.  Here's what worries me the most, is why are there metal shavings that look like glitter only 9 months and 14,000 miles after a flush?  If it matters, we bought it used from a non-Toyota dealership about 2 years ago with about 36k miles and are completely up to date with diff fluid, transfer case fluid, ATF, and oil changes.  The vehicle is also completely paid for.  We prefer to drive our cars into the ground when fiscally appropriate - my 07 prius has 194k miles on it.

I guess I'm looking at 4 options here:
1. Pay the diagnostic fee, do nothing, drive it and see if it throws the codes again
2. Do the flush, drive it and see if it throws the codes again
3. 1 or 2 and drive it up until right before the extended warranty runs out and sell it based on tranny failure fears
4. Sell it now based on tranny failure fears

Thoughts?  Am I missing any viable options?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 04:51:47 PM by cdgreg »

inline five

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Re: '09 Rav with 78k - Transmission "Glitter" & Codes
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 10:08:05 PM »
Sell, but I'd feel bad for the recipient.

A pump seal generally doesn't just go out and when it goes it causes a transmission fluid leak. What you are saying and what they are saying don't add up.

Metal in the transmission fluid is extremely bad news.

I hate transmissions and will be glad when I own a car without one. Wife has a Prius too, great cars which lack a typical transmission. Can't wait for all electric drivetrains.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 10:12:38 PM by inline five »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: '09 Rav with 78k - Transmission "Glitter" & Codes
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 04:33:56 PM »
metal in transmission is somewhat normal depending on amount - there typically is a magnet in transmission pan that helps collect it.  I had an Audi with all the lights coming on.  In my case it was the ABS control Unit which controlled ABS, AWD, etc causing all the lights to come on.  It was also intermittent.  Ultimately replaced with a rebuilt unit.  Your mileage may vary but it would be worth paying attention to.  You will get better responses on Toyota Rav4 forum boards.  I am sure someone else has had the same problem