Toyota RAV4 Charging System Malfunction: Do this

We all can agree that RAV4 is a wonderful car. We like it some much that we went in-depth into its features in this blog. 

But, the Toyota RAV4 charging system malfunction is an issue that needs to be addressed. The battery drains fairly quickly, and this is what you need to do.

In this article, you will find out what exactly you should and should not do when your RAV4 battery has problems.

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What Does Charging System Malfunction Mean in a RAV4?

Toyota RAV4 Charching System Malfunction

Basically, it means the car battery is dead. If the battery is dead, the car will not start. 

Let’s talk about it.

To fix the problems, you need to understand the battery first. Here is some quick information about it. Also, see the list of the problems and their solutions down below. 

RAV4 Battery Discharge Problem 

Here are a few tips which will help with your car’s battery. Knowing how to manage the battery’s health is essential for any car owner.

You should inspect your battery to verify that it is in good working order.

When you stop and turn on your Toyota Rav 4, you must measure it.

While stationary, measure the volts of the battery 

To begin, find the battery in your vehicle. This is often seen at the front of the vehicle. If you have any worries, though, you may examine your Toyota Rav 4’s owner’s manual.

Then, to determine the voltage, use a multimeter. You can find one online for about $10.

Connect the black wire to the black terminal and the red wire to the red + terminal to use the multimeter. The car must be off to prevent any damage to you or the car.

If the multimeter reads 12 volts when turned off, your battery is in good shape. So the battery isn’t the source of the discharge problem. We recommend that you visit a garage to get the problem diagnosed.

At starting, check the voltage of the battery 

Examining the charging system is also a good idea.

Disconnect the multimeter from the battery and start the engine in this case. The voltage should be between 13 and 15 volts. If you have more or fewer volts, we recommend seeing a repair to have your charging system inspected.

True, if the latter fails, your battery is damaged.

Before replacing the alternator, have it examined. 

List of the 3 common Problems

There are a few common issues that may arise. We have compiled the top three situations with their corresponding solutions.

#1: Even when you charge the battery with a charger, it keeps showing as discharged. What should you do?

If you can charge your battery with a charger and start your Toyota RAV4, the problem is clear. The problem lies in the alternator.

The only solution for this situation is going to see a mechanic.

#2: Your car turns off and it won’t start, even if the battery has been charged. What should you do?

If you managed to charge the battery and start your car, but it turns off after a while, then the problem is clear. 

The problem with charging the battery of your Toyota RAV4 is that it no longer holds the charge.

Check the next few things:

  • Headlights – if they show full brightness, the problem is not there.
  • Attach the voltameter –  the battery is completely charged if the voltmeter registers between 12.65 and 12.77 volts. If your battery isn’t charged, you’ll need to take it to a repair.
  • Age – if your car is of age, that might be the reason for its fault charging.

#3: Your battery is no longer working, but it is brand new. What should you do?

If you bought the battery in the near past, and it drains, the problem must be the alternator. 

RAV4 new battery not working

It can’t be your battery, which is brand new and hence holds a charge.

The second option is that your electrical system has a ground someplace. Please take your RAV4 to a mechanic to check the alternator and electrical systems.

What Causes Charging System Problem in Your RAV4?

There are several problems that might occur when charging your car. Here are some of them:

1. A Discharged Battery

A dead battery is one of the most prevalent symptoms of a charging system failure. You’ll need to figure out what’s causing the problem first.

If the battery is old, it may not be able to keep a charge.

A vehicle battery lasts two to five years, so if yours is older than that, you may need to replace it.

It’s not difficult to test the battery, but it’s better if you take it to a workshop.

Corrosion can reduce the conductivity of the terminals. Which then results in a low charge state.

2. Malfunctioning Alternator

The alternator generates the power. But, the voltage regulator regulates something else. It regulates how much of that electricity goes to the vehicle’s charging system.

The car’s electrical system is twelve volts. So, if the alternator had no influence over it, a greater voltage output would be workable. This is what occurs if the voltage regulator fails. The overvolt condition might harm the battery or other elements of the car.

But, the voltage regulator may limit the voltage more than it should. That will prevent the battery from charging. It would also prevent the rest of the electrical system from functioning.

For example, let’s say you are driving at night with the headlights. If your alternator isn’t producing enough power, the battery will provide extra.

This might lead to a battery that is either undercharged or dead. Have a professional inspect the alternator for good operation.

3. Worn Out or Broken Belts

A damaged alternator belt or one that is so worn that it slides is another typical problem.

So, what causes the system to act as if the alternator isn’t working?

The belt is not spinning fast enough. That makes the voltage output to drop.

What are the signs of a broken belt?

  • The belt is breaking while driving
  • The car is overheating
  • The dashboard warning lights are turning on
  • The steering is getting heavy


You are all set for detecting and solving your car’s charging problems.

If any of these solutions are not helping, please contact your dealer. You should not open the electronics or manipulate the car parts by yourself.

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Psst: Do You Know The RAV4 Hidden Menu?