Gears in my RAV4 shift in a “funny” way

Paul, I recently bought a Toyota RAV4 2007 but the automatic transmission shifts in a “funny” way. Sometimes it seems to delay shifts while other times, it shifts faster.
Could my gearbox be faulty? Perhaps it needs service but I cannot make sense of the user manual (which is in Japanese) to determine which oil to use. However I see the word CVT on the gearbox dipstick.
Patrick Kalule

Patrick, CVT (Continously Variable Transmission) found in many newer Honda, Nissan and Toyota vehicles is an automatic gearbox with a different design and construction from the conventional automatic transmission.
CVT uses elastic bands instead of the conventional gear bundles, to continously vary automatic transmission ratios in different driving conditions (cruising or uphill) without changing speed.
This eliminates the need for step by step gear changes, that is, from first, second, third and so on while maintaining optimum speeds for low load operation.
CVT is designed to enhance car efficiency (engine power and fuel economy) while giving the driver a seamless and smoother driving experience regardless of driving style (gentle, hurried or cruising).
CVT transmission response feels and operates differently when compared with conventional automatic gearboxes. Although the CVT gearbox may sometimes feel like its slipping that is part of its seamless shifting pattern.
Refer to the Toyota dealer in Kampala who will confirm the mileage at which you should service your CVT gearbox.
This gearbox uses special CVT oil which the dealer usually stocks. Dont use any Automatic Transmission Fluid to service your CVT gearbox.

What negative side effects would this have on my engine? Driving a manual car downhill on gear with engine off. This increases engine brakes on a steep descent instead of the engine screaming and brakes being over used?

Mr Okello, it is dangerous to roll downhill with your manual transmission gear engaged and the engine switched off unless you are an offroad stunt master wearing a helmet.
Your brake performance, which relies greatly on engine vacuum, will be shut down when you switch the engine off. You will also loose the benefit of the engine brake as a relief of brake load to your foot brake system.
I had the opportunity to work with Land Rover many years ago. I used to teach offroad drivers how to safely manoeuvre their Land Rovers down a 45 degree slope in reverse or forward gear with the engine running to provide engine brake and better control.
To execute this manoeuvre, the engine should be left to idle (without accelerating) and the vehicle left to roll down safely in Gear 1 or Reverse with no use of the foot brake. In this situation, the foot brake can cause skidding and loss of control.

Hi Paul, I have had a Toyota Noah Town Ace for a year and half with the full 4WD and I sold it. I am interested in buying the Toyota Premio super is it a good car?
Henri kam.

Dear Henri, the Toyota Premio is a five-seater with two wheel drive as opposed to your previous Noah’s eight seat capacity with the go-anywhere 4WD option.
Nevertheless Toyota Premio is a popular vehicle because of readily available engine service and general repair parts.
There is good availability of new and used body panels or accessories in the event of accident repair. Your fuel economy will improve because the Premio is lighter than the Noah and has better aerodynamics (less drag) due to its lower body profile.
In case you are buying the Premio locally get a reliable mechanic to inspect the engine and automatic gearbox.
Poor maintenance history with irregular oil change and counterfeit filters can lead to serious engine or gearbox damage.
Very dirty engine or transmission oil with a burnt smell or sludge could be a sign of serious damage.
Try to verify the mileage, if it is after 100,000kms confirm that the costly timing belt and fuel filter replacement has been done.

Sir, I am seeking your opinion on my vehicle . It is Land Cruiser Prado box body. It is leaking oil and the seals were tightened twice but leak again. I have to keep adding oil and water in the radiator . Now, it produces white smoke. Too much smoke and it is an embarrassment. What can I do to put it right? Thank you.

Dear sir, to eliminate oil leakages around your engine replace all the oil seals around the engine and start using heavier monograde diesel engine oil, for example, Shell Rimula 2.
It is also obvious that the cylinder head gasket is damaged and allowing coolant fluid to seep into the engine combustion system and get burnt with the fuel.
That is why you see white smoke. This can be fixed by confirming the condition of the cylinder head and replacing head gasket.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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