Question for automotive dopers re 2012 Rav 4

To add a remote start to a 2012 Rav4 do you need to open the housing of the steering column? I was under the impression you did yet the plance that installed it said they did not touch the steering column.

Probably not. All that is needed (generally) is the starting circuit wiring; turning the key just energizes wires that comes out of the column under the dash. Some late model vehicles even have connectors in the wiring for this if it is a factory option (don’t know about the RAV4).

The cars I’ve seen with remote starters on them (and the one that I installed) have it all done under the dash. A wiring harness is spliced in down there. All of the wiring in the column travels under the dash and through the firewall. If you get down on your hands and knees you’ll probably see the module they installed above where your left foot rests. It may tucked up pretty high, but that’s about where it should be.

Thank you for the replies. The dealer I purchased the car from added an aftermarket remote stater. Ever since then the plastic housing that I think is called a steering column clam shell cover separates and comes down blocking where I put the ignition key in. I’ve had to push it back up but it falls down again. I strongly believe that they damaged it when they added the remote start but have no proof. I

A)Is the car under warranty? If it is, I would just bring it in, regardless of the starter and have them fix it
B)Have they looked at it? If not, don’t call, just drive over one day, bring it right into the service bay and when the Service Writer walks over and asks if you have an appointment say “No, but I had a remote starter installed a few weeks ago and now the steering column keeps falling apart, I’m not sure if they forgot to put a few screws back in or what, but I was hoping someone could take a quick look at it since I was just driving past” Say it really nicely. Don’t be mad, or accusatory. Don’t mention that you’ve called before, just drive in and nicely ask someone to take a look. IME, there’s a good chance they’ll take a look, pull a tech over, he’ll take a look, see the problem and if you’re lucky, put a few screws in it and have you out the door in a half hour. Oh, that’s another thing. You’ll say you were ‘just driving by’ but block off a half an hour or an hour in case they do have time to fix it right away.

Car is no longer under the original warranty. (Yes I drove over 36K mikes in one year) It is under a Toyota extended warranty. The issue is the remote starter was installed over a year ago and when I had my first oil change I mentioned the problem but nothing changed and it wasn’t a hassle to just push it back up.

After a year of this I was tired so when I was at the dealer closer to my job I asked them to look at it and that’s when they told me the clips were broken. Since the only service I had on it were either under the hood maintenance (oil changes, filters etc) and the remote start I am confident the problem occurred at the original dealer.

I blame myself 25% for this issue and the original dealer 75% because if I had kept up on them I wouldn’t have waited a year to complain.

I don’t believe the person at the original dealership who said they didn’t need to open that panel to install the remote start because I believe they had to attach to wires around the ignition slot to add the 3rd party starter.

They also didn’t cancel the extended warranty when I asked them to because they lied to me about their cost on it (found same Toyota warranty at a lower price from a different dealer and bought it from them after telling dealer 1 to cancel the warranty which was never done. The dealer by my job told me I had 2 extended warranties on the car). My understanding is Toyota charges all dealerships the same amount for the extended warranty and then the dealership marks it up.

At this point, you may just want to price out the broken part and replace it yourself. You might find out it’s only $90 and not worth the hassle of dealing with the dealership. Even if you can get them to agree to fix it, you’ll have to order it, wait for it to come in, then sit in the waiting room for an hour, then still be mad at the first dealership for lying to you all this time. For all that, you might just want to spend the $90 and replace it yourself.

ETA, make sure you get the Upper and Lower parts if you need both…or just the part with the broken clips if they sell them separately. I’d take the whole thing off and give the clips and the part the clips go into a close look to see what exactly is broken.