How to Remote Start Your Toyota RAV4

Wondering how to remote start a 2021 Toyota RAV4? You'll need the Audio Plus package on select Toyota RAV4 trims.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Edited by Amy Bobinger
You can start your
Toyota RAV4
remotely using your key fob or the Toyota app. For a key fob remote start, you’ll need to use the following sequence: click the “Lock” button twice within two seconds, then hold it down for three seconds. 
  • Remote start capabilities are available for most 2023 Toyota RAV4 models, with a free one-month trial included with most purchases.
  • RAV4 owners can start and stop the engine remotely using either their key fob or the Toyota app’s Remote Connect feature. 
  • Remote start can help to warm your RAV4 up before use, but it could also increase fuel consumption.

Toyota RAV4 remote start: using a key fob

To perform a key fob remote start on your RAV4:
  • Click the “Lock” button on your key fob.
  • Click it again within two seconds.
  • Press and hold the "Lock" button for three seconds.
  • Your RAV4’s turn signal lights will flash, and you’ll be ready to go!
If you just wanted to test the remote start out and didn’t intend to hit the road, press the “Lock” button again and hold it for at least two seconds to turn off your RAV4. You can also press the "Unlock" button to stop the engine.
If you forget to hit either button, your engine will automatically turn off after 10 minutes without any activity. 
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Toyota RAV4 remote start: using your phone

For a more tech-savvy approach, drivers who pay for Toyota Connected Services can take advantage of the RAV4's Remote Connect feature to start the car with a smart device, such as a phone or smartwatch. Here’s how:
  • Download the “Toyota” app from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Tap “Sign-in” and then “Continue” when the driver’s login permission screen appears.
  • Once you’re logged in, add your RAV4 in the app and activate Remote Services.
  • From there, press and hold the “Start Engine” button on the app’s home screen.
  • Next, you’ll see those familiar flashing turn signal lights signaling the engine starting.
Just like the fob-based feature, the engine will turn off automatically after 10 minutes, but you can also see a timer in the app displaying how much time is left until the engine drops off.
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How to turn off the RAV4’s engine remotely

The RAV4 loves to give you options for turning your car on from a distance, and turning it off is no different. There are two ways to give your engine a rest remotely using the key fob:
  • Press the “Unlock” button on the key fob, or
  • Press and hold the ”Lock” button for two or more seconds.
With the first option, the engine will stop and the hazard lights will flash twice. Using the “Lock” button, the same will happen, but the hazard lights will flash only once. The latter is the more secure method since the doors will remain locked after the engine is shut off.
If you’re an app user, all you need to do is press and hold the “Stop” button in the Toyota app for one second, and you can resume coziness indoors in a flash. 

Toyota RAV4 remote start tips and tricks

Before you skip off into a temperature-regulated paradise with your remote start feature, we’ve got some crucial tips to help you make the most of the RAV4’s technology:
  • Opening the door when the engine is running after a remote start will shut down your engine. Make sure to leave a key inside while you’re getting ready to go!
  • Your RAV4 will default to the conditions you had it in when it was turned off, and frigid mornings can follow scorching afternoons—especially in the springtime. To avoid getting hit with A/C on a 45-degree morning, leave your RAV4 in Auto Mode.
  • Need more than 10 minutes to gather up your snacks and laptop for work? Repeat the remote-start process to extend your engine’s running time.
  • Prevent your engine from shutting off automatically by keeping your hood closed, the shift lever in “Park,” the doors locked and closed, and the brake pedal steady.
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To set up Toyota’s remote start function on your phone, simply: 
  • Download the Toyota app to your iPhone or Android device
  • Open the app and hold down the “Start Engine” button 
  • Wait for the app to connect to your vehicle 
  • Remember that the engine will shut off automatically after 10 minutes
In addition to the RAV4, the following Toyotas offer remote start capability:
It’s a quick, three-second process with the fob-based method, and it can take only one second if you utilize the Toyota app.
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