Toyota RAV4 remote start not working (11 reasons and solution) – ProVsCons (2023)

Remote Start is a handy feature that comes free with most RAV4s.

This article explains 11 reasons why your RAV4 remote boot not working and their possible solution.

Toyota RAV4 remote start not working (11 reasons and solution) – ProVsCons (1)

Less than 1/4 tank full

If your Toyota RAV4 is low on fuel and has less than a quarter (1/4) tank, remote start will not work.

This is a safety feature that Toyota has implemented to prevent damage to the vehicle, so you don't accidentally start the engine and run out of fuel, which could damage your RAV4.

the doors are unlocked

If the doors of your RAV4 are unlocked, the remote start will not work. Therefore, first lock the door using the remote control or the Toyota app. Then try to start the engine remotely again.

The hood and trunk are open

Make sure the hood and trunk are closed. If these are open, remote start will not work.

The alarm has been activated

If for some reason your RAV4 goes off the alarm, remote start will not work.

It's a security feature. The alarm sounds when a burglar or thief tries to break into your RAV4. In this scenario, the RAV4 disables the remote start function.

Your Remote Connect trial has expired

If your RAV4 does not remotely start, your subscription to the Remote Connect feature has probably expired.

If you bought your RAV4 after 2017, you need to pay to activate the remote start function. It's ridiculous, but now you have to pay to make your RAV4 key fob work.

The dealer probably didn't tell you about this road when you bought your RAV4. Probably because they wanted to showcase the feature but didn't want to reveal that it's a paid subscription.

Do you still have the window sticker on your RAV4? If a "Remote Connection" package is present in the window label, this proves that your remote boot is not working due to the expiration of this signature.

Unfortunately, if remote start no longer works due to the end of the trial period, there is no other way to access this feature unless you subscribe to Toyota's "Remote Connect" package.

Remote Connect costs $8 per month or $80 ($6.67) when paying for 12 months.

The remote connection self-test was started when you bought your RAV4 from a dealer. So if you bought your vehicle on February 20th last year, your Remote Connect trial expired on February 19th this year.

It's unfortunate, but everything is a subscription these days. Toyota makes us pay even more for this remote engine start feature, which is disappointing.

On the other hand, Tesla also offers remote connectivity services through its mobile app. But it's totally FREE. But in Toyota's case, it's a signature.

Toyota originally offered a 3-year free remote start trial, but now only offers a 1-year trial. Therefore, it is likely that your long-distance subscription has expired.

An alternative solution is to install an aftermarket remote start kit in your Toyota RAV4. It will be cheaper in the long run than paying Toyota $8 a month for this feature.

However, if you are already subscribed to Remote Connect and your subscription has not yet expired, then one of the following is probably why the remote start of your RAV4 is not working.

The RAV4 must be in the park

Sometimes, when we come to a complete stop, we turn off the engine before putting our RAV4 into Park (P).

If the RAV4 is not in "P", remote start will not work.

The smart key must not be inside

When attempting to start your RAV4 remotely from the Toyota app, make sure the smart key is not in the vehicle.

The remote start function will not work if you leave the key in the RAV4.

12V battery is low

If your RAV4 12V battery is low or dead, you will not be able to use the remote start function. 12V powers all of your vehicle's electrical components, including the starter motor. In this case, you should change the 12V battery.

However, if your 12V connection is new or you have recently changed it, the alternator may not be charging the battery properly. Have it checked by an experienced technician at a Toyota Service Center.

No cellular service (for RAV4s built after 2017)

The newer RAV4 remote start works differently. In the previous generation, when you pressed the button to start the engine, the key fob communicated directly with the vehicle to start the engine.

However, on newer RAV4s, when you press the remote control, it sends a signal to the vehicle to start the engine. The RAV4 then sends an API call over the cellular network to the Remote Connection server for authentication. If the server responds with an authenticated code, the RAV4 engine will start.

If you are in an area with no cellular service to the RAV4 cloud service, you will not be able to authenticate the remote engine start command. So remote booting your RAV4 will not work.

problems with the key

If you are able to start your RAV4 remotely using the Toyota app but you cannot start it remotely using your key fob, there could be one of several reasons why the remote start is not working.

The Smart Key Fob uses low-level radio waves. In the following scenario, remote start may not work using the smart key.

  • The Smart Key Fob battery is dead.
  • You are near a TV tower, an electric power plant, a radio station or an airport.
  • Other radio keys are used nearby.
  • If you have tinted glass with metal particles.

Der Toyota Remote Connect-Server hat Probleme

Toyota builds great vehicles, but it's not a software expert. The cloud server and the software they create have many problems. Sometimes the remote start doesn't work because of these cloud servers.

Whenever we use the remote start feature, the RAV4 communicates with Toyota's server to ensure we have an active subscription. If you cannot communicate with the server, remote boot will not work.

In our experience, contacting the local Toyota dealer to resolve the issue was unsuccessful. Everyone, even Toyota customer service, has no idea about these scenarios.

Redefine your RAV4 electronics

Toyota's on-board electronics are problematic. Sometimes it doesn't work properly. Some owners have reported that after resetting the electronics, the remote start works again.

Resetting the electronics is easy. First locate the 12V battery in your RAV4. Then remove the negative battery terminal for 10 minutes. Then plug it back in. Hope "remote start" works again without problems.

However, if this is not the case, the problem may lie elsewhere.

Toyota app does not show remote start

Not all Toyota RAV4 have a remote start function. If after installing the Toyota app and connecting to your RAV4, the app does not show a remote start option, most likely your RAV4 does not have this feature.

Toyota RAV4 with Audio Premium and Audio plus only has remote start functions.

However, sometimes the app may not show remote launch due to technical and server related issues. Toyota is known for server crashes.

If you know that your RAV4 is equipped with a remote start function, we recommend waiting at least a day. If the problem is related to Toyota's cloud server, it will be fixed within a few hours.

Why does Toyota charge for remote starting the RAV4?

Toyota recently started charging for remote starting. This is mainly because Toyota wants to build a recurring revenue stream for the company. But it's unacceptable that they included the remote engine start feature in the Remote Connect subscription.

Understandably, Toyota wants to charge fees for using its app. However, charging money for using the key fob is illogical.

Just a few years ago the line cutting revolution was underway. But the movement has now morphed into a subscription-based economy. Everything is a subscription these days.

All companies are trying to create a SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. It offers a reliable source of income that goes beyond selling hardware.

Toyota is trying to move in that direction. That is why they have launched five subscription services for their vehicles. These are:

  • safety connection
  • service connection
  • remote connection
  • WiFi connection
  • target assistant

Each of these services costs $80 per year or $8 per month. So if you want all these packages for your RAV4, it will cost you $400 per year or $40 per month for monthly subscribers.


Why won t my Toyota remote start work? ›

For remote commands to work, your vehicle needs adequate cellular connectivity and an active Remote Connect1 subscription. Please ensure that the doors are locked using the key fob, and that your vehicle has sufficient fuel (above the low-fuel level indicator) for the Remote Vehicle Start feature to function.

How do I reset my Toyota remote start? ›

Press the Lock button on your remote car starter. Within five seconds of turning it on, turn your key back to the "off" position (or press the start button again). Repeat the on-off cycle three more times—you'll do four in total.

What can cause Toyota RAV4 not to start? ›

The most common reasons a Toyota RAV4 won't start are a dead battery, an alternator problem, or failed starter.

How do you start a Toyota RAV4 with a dead key fob? ›

Fortunately, your Toyota Smart Key contains a regular metal key inside of it in case the key fob battery malfunctions or dies. Simply push the button on the bottom of your key fob to retrieve the metal key, and you'll be able to unlock your doors in the traditional manner.

What causes remote start to stop working? ›

Reasons Your Remote Start is Not Working:

Too Many Remote Start Attempts. Coolant and Oil Pressure. Unlatched Hood. Hazard Warning Lights.

Why won't my remote start my car anymore? ›

If your remote starter system isn't working properly, try replacing the battery in your fob. You can find replacement key fob batteries at Batteries Plus. Most remote starter fobs run on 2032 lithium coin cell batteries. This one may seem obvious, but if your vehicle is not in "Park" your remote starter will not work.

How do I reprogram my key fob to start my car? ›

Programming a Push-Button Starter
  1. With the fob in your hand, get into the driver's seat, closing the door behind you. ...
  2. When you're ready, press your car's start button 15 times in quick succession, with no more than two seconds between each attempt. ...
  3. After the 15th button press, push the lock button on your fob.
Feb 10, 2021

What does it mean when your car won't start but the battery is not dead? ›

Broken or Damaged Ignition

If your headlights can turn on, but your car won't crank, that means that your battery is charged, but either the starter or ignition is the problem. If the starter or ignition is the problem, a starter engine can be jumped by using a charged battery.

Why won't my car start but battery is good? ›

If your car won't start, but your battery is fine, chances are you have a bad alternator. This is another charging system issue, like a dead battery, that won't let you start your car.

What does it mean when your car won't start but everything else works? ›

It's most likely you've got an issue with the battery. Modern vehicles rely heavily on electronics and need a certain voltage for the engine to start.

How do I turn on my Toyota remote starter? ›

In order to remotely start your Toyota, press the lock button on your key fob three times. Be sure to quickly press the lock button the first two times, while holding the button for about three seconds for the third time.

How do I remote start my Toyota key fob? ›

Press the LOCK button on the remote. Press the LOCK button a second time within 1 second. Press the LOCK button again, this time holding it for 3 seconds. The vehicle will start.

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