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#1 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 11:04 PM
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Check Engine light on

While driving my 2000 RAV4 this afternoon, the check engine light came on for the first time ever at 175,438 miles. I got out and checked the obvious - alternator belt and gas cap which seemed OK (gas cap swooshed so I doubt if it's a bad cap).

Is there any common problem that triggers the check engine light? I'm thinking about borrowing a code puller from my local auto parts store unless someone else has a better suggestion on how I should proceed. Is there anyway else to pull the codes?
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 12:14 AM
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borrowed code reader would be your best bet, although CA has now made loaning those out illegal, wtf? don't know where you are, you may be able to rent one from your local auto store. anything without the code is a guess.

a car that age with that mileage... o2 sensor, map sensor, catalytic converter...

on our rav it was the VSV.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 01:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum both of you. Now then, if the scanner isn't available in your state. you can also try the ScanGaugeII used by almost all forum members. This little instrument can make your RAV4 speak to you. I've been around this forum since is started back in 1996. This little instrument will give you a lot of peace of mind. Keep Ravin.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 10:18 PM
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My local auto parts store loaned me a code puller for free with a deposit. Reader pulled a code P0401 "Exhaust Gas Rrecirculation Flow Insufficient Detected". Parts counter guy suggested that instead of replacing the EGR valve I simply clear the code and see if it returns. He said sometimes a tiny piece of carbon can jar loose and cause a one-time "check engine" warning. I drove the car a lot today and so far so good.

Thanks to those above who responded.
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:36 AM
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Do a search on P0401 and I think you'll find that it's almost always the "VSV for EGR" valve. I had the check engine light on & off for a year and finally got around to putting in a new one. There's a write-up on this forum that has a lot of hints on locating and reaching it. http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=22232

Unfortunately, if you have AWD it's almost impossible to reach. In the end (after many hours) I finally got the electrical connector off (needle-nose Vise-Grips) and then could get the vacuum lines off. I then mounted the new one in a more reasonable location. The old will remain in it's impossible location forever.

People with 2WD can reach it by taking off the right-side wheel.

2000 RAV4 AWD 5-speed
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 03:44 PM
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After I cleared the code, the check engine light came back on again after driving about 70 miles. I took it to an independent Toyota shop who determined the problem to be then VSV which seems to have corrected the problem.
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