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2015 RAV4 Problems – Watch Out For Engine Control Module Failure! 

2015 RAV4 Problems

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV that has been produced by Toyota from the 1994 model year until the present. Designed for car owners that want the benefits of an SUV, like increased room and higher visibility, along with the maneuverability and performance of a compact car, the RAV4 is a versatile and reliable option. However, the 2015 RAV4 problems deter some owners from purchasing this model year. 

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The 2015 RAV4 is in the fourth generation, with the model years produced between 2013 and 2018. The body style is a 5-door SUV that contains various engine types and two transmission choices, with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic hybrid. 


Even with this model year undergoing a facelift, with redesigned LED front and rear lamps, updated speedometer dials, and a full-color multi-information display, this doesn't take away from the multiple 2015 RAV4 problems.


Let’s go over the most concerning issues in each category, such as the engine, brakes, transmission, exterior, EVAP system, and electrical system. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – Engine

Engine Control Module Failure

Fix: Replace Engine Control Module

  • The price of replacing the engine control module is typically around $1,000 – which is very expensive but fixes the severe 2015 RAV4 problems. The cost of hte labor is between $80 and $100 since this procedure is around one hour of work, but the cost of the parts is very expensive, coming in at around $850-$900 total.

Metal Shavings in Oil 

Fix: Engine Flush

  • If you find the metal shavings in the engine oil are the main concern for the Toyota RAV4 engine, then you will need to perform an engine flush. This procedure costs anywhere between $7 and $19 for a 16-ounce bottle, without factoring in the price of the replacement oil filter and the motor oil. Replacing the oil filter typically is between $65 and $125, helping fix the 2015 RAV4 problems. 

Oxygen Sensor Failure

Fix: Replace Oxygen Sensor

  • Replacing your oxygen sensor is generally between $113 and $478 if you get this procedure done at a professional or local mechanic’s shop. However, if you find you can do the car DIY knowledge yourself, the cost to replace the oxygen sensor is between $20 and $94. The cost of the parts of the oxygen sensor is typically between $20 and $100 on average. 

Premature Engine Failure 

Fix: Rebuild Engine

  • To fix the excessive oil consumption in the Toyota RAV4, along with the other 2015 RAV4 problems, owners will sometimes have to rebuild part of their engine to keep the car running safely and reliably. The typical repair cost for the engine rebuild is around $2,040, with this procedure generally happening at around 103,000 miles.

Oil Leaks

Fix: Replace Hose, Pan, and Piston Rings

  • To fix the oil leak in your car, most drivers are fortunate to find that oil leak repairs are typically quick fixes. Simple fluid leak repairs usually range from around $20 for a new oil filter, to a more costly price of around $200 for a new oil gasket.
  • If you find more extensive damage in your fuel or oil system, the total price will be between $400 and $600 to replace the hose, pan, and piston rings and fix the 2015 RAV4 problems. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – Brakes

Brake Failure

Fix: Replace Master Cylinder 

    • Many owners of the 2015 RAV4 have complained about the vehicle’s inability to stop and interoperability when it comes to the owners pressing down on the brake pedals. 
      • Various car owners of the 2015 RAV4 detail how they believe the issue comes from a faulty master cylinder. 
    • Regardless of the cause of the brake failure, owners report the brake pedal sink to the floor and do not cause the vehicle to slow down at all.

How to Avoid This Issue: 

  • Unfortunately for 2015 RAV4 owners, this issue is not consistent in every model produced by Toyota. Therefore, the best thing you can do is put your vehicle through a test drive to identify some of the 2015 RAV4 problems. 
  • Make sure you bring your car to a mechanic to see any other 2015 RAV4 problems with the master cylinder, braking system, or safety system. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – Transmission

Unintended Acceleration 

Fix: Replace Accelerator 

  • There have been many issues with Toyota vehicles unintentionally accelerating. At the same time, drivers operate the car, causing an increased crash risk due to the drivers not being in control of the speed.
  • Owners experience this situation quite frequently with the 2015 RAV4, citing that this issue seems to have the same symptoms as the concerns with the lack of braking. 
  • Toyota claims the problem has to do with a sticky floor mat and faulty accelerator in their car, causing the 2015 RAV4 problems;
    • Replacing the accelerator costs between $130 and $200, with the labor costs ranging between $70 and $90 and the parts between $50 and $120. 

How to avoid:

  • The best way to avoid one of the most common 2015 RAV4 problems is by ensuring the floor mat in your car is fitted to the proper location before driving. 
  • Test drive your vehicle to make sure there are no issues, including sudden acceleration or trouble braking. 

Starter Not Working Properly

Fix: Replace the Starter Motor

    • One of the most common 2015 RAV4 problems is a faulty starter motor that causes the starter to click. The starter motor contains a solenoid inside of the mechanism that is supposed to be pushed out at the exact same moment that you are turning the starter to turn on the car. If the solenoid does not function correctly or gets stuck during use, you can hear the starter clicking without the engine being able to turn over. 
      • The faulty starter motor that can cause the starter clicking can be caused by a poor wiring connection, wiring coming loose, or a poor earth connection.
      • In addition, there can be a defective solenoid that can cause the starter to click. If the solenoids get overheated, this could mean that your starter motor is unfortunately broken beyond repair. 
  • Replacing a car starter averages between $344 and $562, with the labor price between $128 and $163 and the cost of the parts between $216 and $399. 

Buzzing and Clunking Noises

Fix: Replace Transmission Front Seal 

  • If you hear certain noises in your car, especially if they are coming from under the hood, like humming, clunking, or buzzing, then this usually shows that there is an internal issue, like a bad bearing or planetary gear damage that can harm the transmission over time. Buzzing can also be due to a low transmission fluid level, a broken seal, or internal surfaces that have become damaged over time. 
  • Replacing the front seal on your transmission is typically between $00 and $1,000 depending on the severity of the other 2015 RAV4 problems. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – Exterior

Paint Chipping and Rust Formation

Fix #1: Repaint Exterior

  • Owners of the 2015 RAV4 report that the body is especially prone to chips, scratches, dents, dings, and paint damage after only minimal use. With most of the RAV4’s being almost new or brand new, the frequency of the 2015 RAV4 problems with the exterior bring into question the quality of this car model.
    • In addition, owners complain about the formation of rust on unfinished parts of the RAV4, like the doors and the hatch areas. 
  • Although this is a relatively cheap fix at almost all auto body shops, the frequency of this exterior concern should not be happening in new cars. 
    • Owners spend between $1,000 and $3,500 to completely paint the entire exterior of their car, with drives needing to spend at least $2,500 to obtain a high-quality, ‘showroom’ paint job. 
    • If owners have to get rid of rust on their car, rust removal costs an average of $500 to help restore the vehicle to a usable condition. 

How to avoid;

  • Make sure you frequently check the lower and inside of the door panels for any rust formation. 
  • Along with the lower and inside door panels, inspect the inner part of the rear hatch and panels to see if rust forms along with spots that frequently are exposed to outdoor elements or get wet over time. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – EVAP System 

EVAP System Concerns 

Fix: Replace Canister Purge Valve

  • The canister purge valve is a part of the evaporative emission control system that works to keep vapors in the right spots in your car and functions mainly to bring the stored and housed vapors into the engine during internal combustion after being stored in the charcoal canister. If the charcoal canister is not working correctly, this can cause the 2015 RAV4 problems.
    • As we know, the evaporative emission control system fits a huge part of your car and keeps your emissions in check and working smoothly. The EVAP system contains a vapor canister purge valve that manages the quantity and quality of fuel vapor that emits from the charcoal canister in your vehicle.
  • Replacing the purge valve typically costs between $99 and $355, depending on the type of car you own. To fix the 2015 RAV problems, drivers can expect to pay at least $100 to fix the EVAP system in their vehicle

How to avoid:

To determine if you need to replace the purge valve, you should know how to test the part and determine if it is faulty or broken. 


If the vehicle service manual recommends that you apply battery voltage to the purge valve terminals, you can determine which end provides an audible click. The next step is to test if the purge valve closes properly and does not show any leaks during use. If the canister purge valve is leaking, you will need to replace the purge valve to fix the 2015 RAV4 problems. 

2015 RAV4 Problems – Electrical

Loose Battery Terminals

Fix: Replace Battery Terminals

    • Loose battery terminals on the car battery is one of the most common 2015 RAV4 problems. Someone could cause the loose battery terminals by forgetting to tighten the terminals after a repair, causing the connectors and terminals to corrode or rust after use. When the car is turning over and trying to start, it can require a lot of power from the battery.
    • Some symptoms of loose battery terminals can cause the starter clicking in valve problems starting the vehicle. If any corrosion happens along with the battery terminals, this can interfere with the connection. The vehicle might have trouble starting, followed by the starter clicking sound when the key is turned. 
      • In addition, a loss of electrical power can be a symptom of a loose battery terminal, which usually happens when the terminal is severely corroded or has broken, and causes the starter clicking. A severely corroded terminal does not make a good electrical connection and can cause a loss of power. 
  • Replacing the battery terminal typically costs between $262 and $293, with the labor costs between $75 and $95. The cost of the parts to fix the battery terminal is usually between $187 and $198. 

The Bottom Line

By being aware of the most common 2015 RAV4 problems, like issues with the engine, braking system, transmission longevity, EVAP system, and exterior aesthetic concerns, drivers can determine whether this car is a smart purchase for their current needs. 


Learning the issues to look out for, signs and symptoms of RAV4 problems, and the methods you can use to avoid these issues will help drivers make an educated decision about whether the 2015 RAV4 is a smart car to buy. 

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