Rava 4

pushed the 4x4 in put will not stay on if the light goes out does that mean i have no 4x4

Say what?

Get in snow or mud and floor it and have someone see if rear tires spin.
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If you read the manual, it may be the locking button. The RAV is always in awd, but allows you to lock up the center differential for hard going in deep snow/mud. It may disengage the lock automatically, like a Honda Pilot above a certain speed, which is good, The light then goes out. I’m going by friend’s Pilot…you could read manual and call dealer for clarification if needed.
It’s a good feature and you could learn how and when to use it.

To clarify what dagosa said, the RAV always has the ability to go into AWD, and it will do so if it detects wheel-spin from the front wheels. Normally, it runs as a FWD vehicle in order to save gas, but the AWD can and will “kick in” a milisecond after you begin to lose traction.

For dealing with poor-traction situations at low speed, there is a “lock” button on the RAV’s dashboard. By pushing that button, the AWD system is permanently engaged–until you reach somewhere around 25 mph, or until you shut off the engine. Anytime you go over 25 mph or anytime you need to shut off the engine, then it is necessary to push the “lock” button again if you want the assurance of constant AWD at low speeds.

If someone wants AWD at all speeds in order to deal with snowy conditions on a frequent basis, and especially if they have to deal with hills, the RAV and the CR-V are not the vehicles of choice, due to their “on again, off again” AWD systems. For more traction in bad-weather situations, the OP needs to look toward Subaru or Audi vehicles which have true full-time AWD systems.

As dagosa suggested, the OP needs to read the Owner’s Manual. There is a wealth of information there on virtually anything that you would need to know about how to operate the vehicle.

It’s amazing to me that people will push buttons without any idea of what they do or under what conditions they might cause damage.

We live on a snow covered mountain, have a RAV and can tell you system is “on” all the time and seamless as was my Subaru and works well. CRV is not as much which is less variable with clutches in the rear diff that disengage. Neighbor with Pilot struggles more on hills w/o lock button engaged.

They all differ in their approach and with rav and subaru having some power to both front and back but differ by %, most in front. My older 96 Subaru manual drove around with 60% rear which was great for handling. The problem is that in heavy going the Torsen style limited slip is constantly trying to prevent wheel spin which is problematic, especially with a throttle cutoff used with the stability control.

The lock feature attempts to stabilize power to a pre determined ratio, often close to 50%/50% front to rear to allow some wheel spin and not over stress the system. The problem is that when you add a button to the uninformed, even if it’s to help performance, you create problems for those who may be unwilling to properly use it.

The linear drive system of a subaru is actually more in line with w rear wheel drive car, making it possible to send as much as 80%+ or more power to the rear wheels, making them better handlers than the RAV or CRV which are compromised by their fwd set up.

That’s why IMO, the best drive train for the money, is the SUBARU.