2007 Toyota RAV4 power steering goes out



Has anyone found the solution for the power steering going out while vehicle is moving down freeway and all the dash warning indicators come on?


Guy, we can’t see the post you’re most likely replying to on carcomplaints. Can you tell us a bit more about your vehicle history and the problem in case someone can offer some ideas?


Toyota RAV4 2007 122000 MI 4 cylinder base model. Well I’m driving the vehicle down the freeway the power steering goes out and all the dash warning lights come on. This is happened 3 or 4 times so far. When I pull over to the side of the road and turn the vehicle off it corrects the problem. It seems to happen when I accelerate when I’m climbing a hill or Mountain. Any input or direction will be very much appreciated!




You have an electric power steering malfunction, there should be fault codes stored in the power steering control module.


Are you sure it’s just the power steering? It sounds like you might be describing the engine stalling.


yes, if ALL the dash lights come on, the engine may well have stalled. That is not a power steering problem, that is an engine problem.

When the engine stalls, the power steering goes out, and the power brakes go out after a short while.


The engine does not stall.


yet ALL of the dash warning lights come on?


Yes Bill, I have found several other same case incidents now. The battery light has been flashing occasionally as well in the past couple months. I havent paid any attention because it happens now and then and it flickers a couple of times and goes away and I don’t see it all the time. Some say it’s either the battery, or the alternator. I did replace the alternator approximately 3 - 4 years ago. The battery is apx 2 1/2 years old but in the AZ desert heat battery go FAST! Taking it to Auto Zone for a test on both battery and alternator. I’ll let you know the report. Thank you for inquiring from the start.




Dear Nevada, Thank you for your input. Very much appreciated… I kept pressing on and found several other people experiencing the same issue. Was also told that it could be the alternator, and /or the battery.

I do recall seen the battery light flicker on occasion “very dimly” recently but none the less it was flickering. Which goes with the alternator theory. But not to rule out the sugested you mentioned.

I’m a little distrote to the fact it only happens when accelerating going up the mountains. If I go into overdrive several times while climbing “It happens”!

I’m going to go to Auto Zone to have tests on the alternator and battery. Can they also check what you shared or will I have to take it in for that?




If the battery/charging system voltage drops to a critical level the power steering will shut down but at that point the battery is usually too weak to restart the engine.

With the intermittent charging system warning light I suspect there might be a loose battery cable connection at the battery or power distribution center.

Auto Zone won’t be able to access the fault codes in the steering control module, a professional scan tool is required.


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When this occurs, are you sure that the engine is in fact still running.
Many people… because their car is so quiet…think that the engine was still running and they only lost power steering. You may be able to verify this if you have a tachometer.
When all the warning lights come the engine is in fact not running, and as @Nevada_545 mentioned, it is likely that you have a bad/loose battery terminal.



My guess is there’s an intermittent electrical power loss caused by either the battery/cables/alternator, or the ignition switch. Try driving with just a single key in the ignition switch, see if that makes any difference. Sometimes a dangling keychain can damage the ignition switch. Also try pressing on the battery cables in various directions, see if that causes the problem.


Yes I’m sure… lol, I’m still able to drive up the mountain but without power steering and the dash board lights up…Which BTW is kind of dagerious at 65 MPH on mnt roads! I pull over, shut it off, restart it and all is fine. It mainly happens when the engine kicks into overdrive while climbing the mountains where I live.


Did the CEL came on with all the dash board lights?Usually, a problem with the electric p/s will trigger a fault code.

if you have a code reader, it’ll point you in the right direction. If you know you have an electrical issue with your power steering but don’t have a code reader or scan device, it may take some time to find the root of the problem. Examine your fuse box, look for obvious faults with your wires and connections, and check the voltage in your battery. Assuming those actions don’t work, here’s a quick (possible) fix – shut your car off completely and restart it. This helps reset the electrical components, and your electric steering might come back. However, don’t expect this method to offer a long-term solution. Have your electrical steering parts and components examined by a mechanic as soon as possible.


OP already said “I pull over, shut it off, restart it and all is fine.”


No CEL light comes on amongst the dash light that I’ve seen… Heres the over all senerio…

When I’m going up an incline and the car goes into over drive, “especially if it goes into overdrive a few times in a row” the dash lights come on and the power steering goes out. The viehical is still running but no power steering. I pull over shut off the car, wait a few seconds and restsrt it and all is fine. But Scarry stuff @ 60 mph when your p steering goes out needless to say I guess! :confused:


Hello Nevada,
I said all the lights come on …however I stand corrected…As of this afternoon when “I accelerated” “thats when it happens” it happened again the power steering went out and three lights came on ABS VAC and 4WD come on. I pull over shut it off wait a min and it starts up right away and is just fine. The main tome that it happens is when I accelerate and go into overdrive. That’s when it happens