Disable Traction Control on '06 Rav4?

toyota
#1

Is there a way to disable the traction control in the RAV4? My husband’s vehicle is a piece of crud in the snow. He has actually gotten stuck in the driveway several times this winter, while my Grand Caravan with Stow&Go (i.e. low clearance) with traction control powers through with no problem. This is getting to be EXTREMELY annoying.

#2

The traction control system is not the problem, IMHO.

The real problem is that the AWD system on the RAV-4 (and the Honda CR-v) only begin to transfer power to the rear wheels after the front wheels start to slip. By then, it is already too late to get decent traction in many situations.

If anything, the traction control should help to assist the not-so-good AWD system in gaining traction, so I would suggest that you NOT do anything to disable it. If you want to maximize your traction, you need to get a set of 4 winter tires, as they make a HUGE difference on ice and snow, as compared to so-called all-season tires, and with a vehicle like this, whose AWD system is not very good, they will make a really huge difference.

#3

Disabling the traction control will only make the problem worse. Is your husband driving on winter tires? If not, that is the problem.

#4

IIRC you can force the AWD to lock at speeds below 20 MPH or so. This makes getting going in slow situations much easier. There should be a small button or small lever on or near the dash for this. Check the owner’s manual.

As for traction control, I’ve always felt that for people who know how to drive, it’s more annoying that anything else. Anyone who has ever taken high performance driving class or partaken in SCCA Solo or autocross will likely agree with me. As noted above, even in slick situations, it hurts more than it helps.

#5

Toyota’s implementation of AWD is terrible in the 2006+ and they know it. However lucky for you there is an override (look in manual) switch that puts the vehicle into 4wd below speeds of 25mph(shuts of after). My sister thought her RAV4 was an absolute joke in the snow until she asked and found this out in her 2007. Hopefully the 2006 included this “4wd” switch for these situations.

The responses about “traction control system is not the problem” are incorrect.

Interestingly enough a recent review of Toyota’s new AWD SUV states the same thing about the AWD>>> http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123334969172234519.html
I wonder if they included this switch on the Venza and the WSJ author missed it. I know the Sienna AWD system is abysmal also after a recent experience at our ski house.

#6

I asked my husband to check the owner’s manual - maybe I should check up on him ;+). We both got a good laugh out of the review in the WSJ on the crossover - we didn’t read the weekend section until Saturday, after we had pushed his vehicle up the driveway Friday PM. We were in full agreement with the reviewer. This is the first winter in the vehicle and for two people who have lived their entire lives in snowy climes, this vehicle is the biggest disappointment of all vehicles we’ve ever driven - it makes the souped up Bonneville he used to drive look like a snowmachine. Also, it’s a company vehicle, so just has the AW tires I believe - if we can’t find a disable switch, I guess we’ll hit the boss up for winter tires.

Thanks everyone for the info.