Early models have a C.DIFF AUTO button that, when depressed, prevents the center differential from locking. When no button is present (A540H transmission), the multiplate clutch always operates in AUTO mode.
Proactiveautomatic all wheel drive. Front wheel drive in normal conditions, torque transfer to rear via electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch. The clutch can be manually locked using the button on the console.
When turning RAV4 into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance, detecting steering angle and lack of yaw rate in Sport Mode (and detecting lack of yaw rate in Normal and Eco Mode).Dynamic Torque Control has three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto Mode, RAV4 delivers power primarily to the front wheels under most driving conditions, switching automatically to AWD only when needed. By only engaging the rear axle and delivering power to the rear wheels when needed, Auto Mode helps enhance fuel efficiency and reduce drivetrain wear.
In Lock Mode at lower speeds, RAV4 essentially has a full-time AWD system with power delivered to all four wheels. At speeds below approximately 25 mph in Lock Mode, up to 50 percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels, enhancing traction and helping RAV4 “dig” through sandy or muddy conditions. Lock Mode reverts to Auto Mode when vehicle speed passes approximately 25 mph.
Sport mode can provide smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance. Under certain conditions, Sport Mode can automatically deliver up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels.
In Sport Mode, the AWD system also can apportion power based on input from the steering angle and yaw rate sensors of the Vehicle Stability Control system. When turning into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each of the four corners of the vehicle. Under braking in a straight line in Sport Mode, power delivery to the rear wheels can be momentarily suspended to best leverage the benefits of ABS and VSC.
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Selectable all wheel drive system (full-time all wheel drive system with 4x2 capability). VF3AM transfer case. Lever-operated 4Hi, 4Lo (2,48:1), and N modes. 4WD button engages and disengages the all wheel drive. Corporate 8-inch IFS front axle is engaged using Toyota's ADD (Automatically Disconnected Differential), which is similar to other companies' CAD systems. Electro-mechanically operated rear differential lock (optional) in 8-inch solid axle.
Figure: Toyota's ADD (Automatically Disconnected Differential) in the front axle (23KB)
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On GS, the center differential is locked when in low range (2,49:1 ratio). This behavior, however, can be overridden by installing an OEM center differential switch. The wiring for the switch is already available in the car. 
Optional front and rear manually lockable differentials.
Figure: toyota land cruiser 80 gear levers (194KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 80 logo (104KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 80 us (276KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 80 differential lock switches (65KB)
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Full time all wheel drive with lockable centre differential. It can be locked in high ratio while is locked automatically when low ratio is engaged. Prado models have LSD at the back while Colorado have lockable rear differential - there is a turn switch on the right near the ignition key.
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Full-time all wheel drive. Full-time two-speed four wheel drive system with manually (button) lockable differentials - center and rear (opt.) The case is similar to previous generation Land Cruisers
Figure: toyota lc100 (71KB)
Figure: Toyota Land Cruiser 100 transfer case (96KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 100 (630KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 100 center diff lock (53KB)
Figure: toyota land cruiser 100 gear levers (108KB)
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Land Cruiser 120/150/Lexus GX470, Toyota 4Runner (only Limited V8 & 2010 Limited V6), Toyota FJ Cruiser (manual transmission only), Toyota Hilux Surf (year2013)
Torsen T3 (40/60) center differential with manual lock, low gear, hill descent control system (? Source)
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Full-time all wheel drive. Full-time two-speed four wheel drive system with lever-operated 4Hi, 4Hi locked, 4Lo locked and N modes. Optional electrically (button) lockable rear differential - colorado (95) model only.
The Sienns description (three open differentials) is correct only for 2004-2010 model years. The current generation has no centre differential, driving the rear via a clutch instead; this is presumably the same system as the RAV4 III.
August 31, 2011 - 01:57
I have a 2002 Toyota Rav4. The rear differential seems to be leaking fluid. How difficult is it to replace the seal? Thanks.
Reply to jim
November 10, 2011 - 01:34
not difficult at all.. if you have tools.. the bolts either are 12 or 14. most likely 14mm.. take those off, gently pry with flat head screw driver all the way around. use a dye grinder with a coarse biscuit to take off the old gasket seal then apply new silicone and reinstall, fill with new gear lube till it starts leaking thru the filler hole. this is assuming it's from the back of the diff not the front. if it's the front then it's a whole different way and if you are not experienced in doing this type of job, take it a shop that'll do it for you. hope this helps.
ASE certified toyota tech.
Reply to jim
March 16, 2014 - 17:21
It depend on where the leak is coming from? rear differential big cover has not gasket but only a trace of liquid gasket sealand.
Reply to jim
March 16, 2014 - 17:35
Jim, believe me I just resealed my 2002 rav4 awd rear differential and first you have to remove all fluid before you remove the #14 bolt then you will remove the old silicone with a razor blade since there is not gasket and if you use a grinder you will remove the mirror like face of both parts, believe me I just did it to my rear differential and by using liquid gasket maker after you clean both faces with maybe acetone every thing will ok.
February 11, 2011 - 16:59
The RAV4, at least in the USA from the 2006 model year, lost its center differential.
Toyota replaced it with a wet clutch pack at the rear axle, before the rear differential. [open front & rear]
Toyota did add a manual lockup function via button, but is likely overridden by the computer above a set speed. rav4world.com
January 26, 2011 - 23:25
2010 RAV4 falls into this category:
"Advanced electronically controlled all wheel drive systems can be pro-active and lock the traction device even before wheels start to slip - the need of all wheel drive is determined in real-time, based on the information that is collected from different sensors (i.e. g-force sensor, accelerator pedal position, etc.)."
September 08, 2010 - 22:39
A Toyota 1994 80's serier's land crusier transfer case change out?
I got the 4WD full time 6 inline engine with auto transmission land crusier US. stly. i got a H for high gear and n for out of gear and L for low.. i want to put a 2WD & 4WD transfer case on instead one that came from a same model SUV would i need to modfiy any thing besides the shifter ?and will it fit? and there are no side buttons on the wheels for the center lock thats on the dash and the cars got 2000.000miles rounded down..