Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2017 Toyota RAV4 - Dead battery

Battery goes dead if car not driven for 2 days. Have had to have it towed 2xs in 1 week. Dealer finds no leaking & says battery is good but I need to start it every day or every other day & not do just short trips…30 minutes plus trips needed to charge they say. This is the first time this has happened since purchasing new.
Never happened w/old battery and this is a NEW a new 12V battery from April 2020.

Has the battery been tested? Batteries do fail prematurely. Likewise the alternator. It might be coincidence and there’s nothing wrong with your battery. You could also have a “parasitic draw,” where something is draining your battery even when everything is nominally shut off, but my money’s on a weak battery.

1 Like

Does that vehicle have a conventional alternator, or does it use a DC to DC converter to charge up the 12V battery from the traction battery?

This is a hybrid, not an EV, right?

Hi. No, not a hybrid. Just regular car…probably not an EV either but those were the only 2 options on site.

I don’t know…I had it charged by AAA twice + the hooked it up to portable unit with cables. Then, dealer charged it but I wasn’t there.

Hi. New battery was installed april 2020 but dealer said it cld have been affected by a lot of short trips…being turned on and off. He offered to replace it for free even though they found no issues with leaking or getting it fully charged. I am thinking I shld just take that offer.

What is there to think about ? This one does not seem to do what it should so just let them replace it.


@cdaquila Carolyn could you remove the letters EV from the heading as this does not seem to be an electric vehicle.

I think either you have developed a power drain or bad battery. We have a 2017 Rav4, Can sit for a week or 2 and most trips 5 miles or so and no problems

That was a jump start, road service is not going to recharge your battery for 4 hours in your driveway. If the car didn’t start 2 days after the jump start the reason might be that you didn’t recharge the battery.

1 Like

Tell us how you drive the car. How many times per week? How far do you drive it? How long does it usually sit between trips?

That is the key, IMHO.
Not long ago, we had a post from someone who was mystified that his battery kept going dead, because he “drove around the block” :roll_eyes: in order to recharge it.

I am confident that our friend, Marnet, is more knowledgeable than that person, but–still–the key, I think, is how far/how long she drives it before parking it again.

1 Like

Indeed. If you drive 100 miles per week in one trip, your battery should stay charged. If you drive 100 miles per week total in 50 trips, not so much.

1 Like

The dealer has offered to replace your battery for free because there’s a good chance it’s the reason for the problem. It’s not like you’re cheating him. While I don’t always agree with Volvo, this is a proverbial no brainer.


It takes at least 6 hours to thoroughly charge a discharged car battery.
There are no shortcuts.
A jump, quick charge, short drive etc. will get it going again, but the battery won’t be healthy without a full charge.

1 Like

Harbor Freight is selling a trickle charger for $5.99, with good reviews if you believe them.

I think that is way over typical car use. I am in the 20 to 30 minute range.

You took my reply out of context:

By “flat” I mean fully discharged. Maintaining a nearly full battery takes less time.

My car wouldn’t start while in the other side of town. It was towed to a nearby shop and the battery was replaced. It worked for a short while, then wouldn’t start. The new battery was bad. This one was replaced by another that was bad. Finally, the third replacement worked. Both malfunctioning replacements were replaced at no cost to me.