Car has problems starting (battery?, starter?, alternator?) - Toyota RAV4 Forums
4.1 Faults & Fixes Got a problem with your RAV4.1?
Share it here and maybe even find a solution.

User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
#1 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 12:54 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
(Thread Starter)
Car has problems starting (battery?, starter?, alternator?)

Hello,
I have a 1997 Rav4 Automatic (5 Door). I do not have an alarm system or an immobilizer.

Here is what happens. I put the key in and turn the ignition and a slight click is heard, but nothing happens and all the lights (and any other function that uses the battery) just die. If I put the key back to the off position and put to the on position (before turning to start), you can hear the "door open" beep, slowly start and the lights are dim. What I have been doing as a workaround is forcing the positive terminal connector to shift a little (which ends up making it loose). This resets the circuit breaker (because I can hear the click come from the relay box under the hood). I then can try to start my car again. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes, I just have to repeat all the steps over and over again mulitple times to get it to start.

This started about 5 months ago when my car just all of a sudden wouldn't start and it seemed to be the battery. I replaced the battery and after a day or two, it started doing it again. I brought it into the dealer and they said it was the "starter contacts". I paid $250-$300 to have those replaced and a day later, the same thing happens again. I take it to the dealer again, they now say, it was a loose "hot wire" in the positive terminal. A few weeks later, it happens again. I take it into the dealer again and now they can't find anything wrong with it (After I demanded that something be done, because they charged me all this money to fix things that don't need to be fixed). So, it has been continuing to happen over the past few months. I had to remove the faceplate of my radio, because during driving, my radio would cut off, if I used my blinker or stepped on the brake. My car has cut off on me on the highway, because I had to slam on my brakes, in which I had to quickly pull of the road. It got to be too ridiculous.
I checked all the fuses and checked the terminal connectors. There seemed to be a small amount of corrosion on the positive terminal, so I decided to replace the terminal connector with a marine terminal connector, which seemed to have fixed the problem. However, 3 weeks later and now I am having the same issue again.

I am thinking maybe I should replace the negative terminal connector, to see if that works, but I really think it goes beyond the battery and it's connectors. Something internally (perhaps in the wires) is going on (especially if my car can shut off in the middle of driving, just by pressing the brake hard). I am not sure if this could possibly be the starter, alternator, solenoid (I still don't know what this is), or perhaps a short in one of the wires.

I've searched other threads and seen similar issues that others have had, but not sure if it is the same. Any help, guidence, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
livng2tell is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 03:04 PM
Member
Country: tmc-au's Flag is: Australia
 
tmc-au's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Posts: 173
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to tmc-au
Re: Car has problems starting (battery?, starter?, alternator?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by livng2tell
Hello,
What I have been doing as a workaround is forcing the positive terminal connector to shift a little (which ends up making it loose). This resets the circuit breaker (because I can hear the click come from the fuse box under the hood). I then can try to start my car again. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes, I just have to repeat all the steps over and over again mulitple times to get it to start.
Hmmm. The click youre hearing is not a circut breaker but a relay. The circut breakers in the RAV are simple fuses and once blown they need to be replaced.

How old is your battery?

some things to ckeck:
is there enough liquid in the battery?

If your battery has them, Iift has little inspection caps on top open them up but very carefully because its strong sulphuric acid in there and see if the lead plates are covered with liquid. if not, top it up with distilled water.

Are the terminals of the battery corroded?

is the alternator producing tyhe right voltage ?

Beyond that take it to a good auto-electrcian and get it checked out.
tmc-au is offline  
#3 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 03:58 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
(Thread Starter)
Re: Car has problems starting (battery?, starter?, alternator?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc-au
Hmmm. The click youre hearing is not a circut breaker but a relay. The circut breakers in the RAV are simple fuses and once blown they need to be replaced.

How old is your battery?

some things to ckeck:
is there enough liquid in the battery?

If your battery has them, Iift has little inspection caps on top open them up but very carefully because its strong sulphuric acid in there and see if the lead plates are covered with liquid. if not, top it up with distilled water.

Are the terminals of the battery corroded?

is the alternator producing tyhe right voltage ?

Beyond that take it to a good auto-electrcian and get it checked out.
Thanks for responding. I meant to say "Relay". The fuses have all been checked and none of them have blown.

The battery is only about 5 months old (I bought a new one after I originally thought the issue was my old battery--which was only 2 years old anyway)
There should be enough liquid in the battery. There is a small frosted see-through plastic on the side that shows the liquid level.

I changed the the positive terminal, which looked to be a little corroded (This was the last attempt I made at resolving the issue and has been working for the past 3 weeks, but the issue started up again this past weekend.)

How can I check to see if the alternator is producing enough voltage?

Thanks again
livng2tell is offline  
#4 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 06:23 PM
Member
Country: tmc-au's Flag is: Australia
 
tmc-au's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Posts: 173
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to tmc-au
Re: Car has problems starting (battery?, starter?, alternator?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by "livng2tell
How can I check to see if the alternator is producing enough voltage?
get the car started and out a voltmeter across the alternator output terminals. you should get about 14V potential difference.
tmc-au is offline  
#5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 08:02 PM
Senior Member
 
colchiro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,939
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
All your connections have to be clean and shiny. Any corrosion between the alternator and the battery, will be perceived by the alternator as a battery not needing charging, so it won't even try.

It sounds like they charge your battery and life is good until the battery is low, then you're walking.

Rick
colchiro is offline  
#6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 07:43 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
(Thread Starter)
Thanks for all of your help guys. I'll try the voltmeter and make sure all is clean and free of corrosion and let you know how it works out. Thanks again.
livng2tell is offline  
#7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 01:01 AM
R4W Moderator
Country: DJ Sueno's Flag is: United States
 
DJ Sueno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,457
Thanks: 2
Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Not sure if your problem may be related to it, but something you may want to look into is the Neutral Safety Switch...
DJ Sueno is offline  
#8 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 06:30 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I had the same problem with my 97 Rav4 and it turned out to be the Neutral Safety Switch. Thanks DJ for the post. I've been searching the internet for days trying to figure out what the problem was and this has saved me hundreds of dollars in repair cost. The starting problem on my car was intermittent but had been getting worse because of the cold. I kept having to open up the hood and moving the battery cable to try and restart. All this was caused by me listening to the radio one day in the acc position and moving the key directly to start. I'll never do that again.
jackgray is offline  
#9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 04:53 PM
Advanced Member
 
2001SL2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,962
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
It sounds to me like a really bad short or the alternator not charging.

I would go for checking the voltage while the engine is running, as suggested above

Kurt

Bored throttle body, Ram Air Intake, 2.5" dia. exhaust, DynoMax muffler, Thrush resonator, 9005 low beams... + more
2001SL2 is offline  
#10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 07:00 PM
Advanced Member
Country: hd72m's Flag is: United States
 
hd72m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, North Carolina
Posts: 1,821
Thanks: 25
Thanked 94 Times in 86 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
starting

The key to me is when you move the hot wire it will start. Slice the hot wire cover for about 3 inches and look for corrosion. ravs also have trouble keeping ground between motor and body.
hd72m is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome