Car suddenly won't start. - Page 2 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like a faulty alternator to me, but I suppose it could be a bad battery as well.

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#12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LaLady29 View Post
I have a 2011 Rav4 that is only 2 years old. Without warning, it suddenly won't start. Yesterday I was able to jump start it. Today it won't even jump start. I have read it might be the battery. My neighbor said it might be the starter. I don't have a lot of money right now so I want to know what I am looking at (I could do the battery myself)
It's the battery. My original battery was replaced at 25 months under warranty by the dealership. The Toyota replacement battery started failing also after 25 months. I replaced it with an AutoCraft Gold battery from Advance Auto. Be sure to choose a battery with at least a 3-year free replacement warranty!

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#13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 12:57 PM
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DO let us know what the fix was please.

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#14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:37 PM
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Battery.
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#15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 04:53 PM
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before replacing the battery (like i did, which was unnecessary), just wiggle the shifter and try again.

it might not be it, but a easy check.
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#16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 96ek View Post
before replacing the battery (like i did, which was unnecessary), just wiggle the shifter and try again.

it might not be it, but a easy check.
Good thinking, but the " The second you turn the key, the dome lights dim and flicker" statement does not go with that theory.

I would put a battery charger on it. Then with the freshly charged battery, immediately get the battery load tested. Many auto parts dealers or other places that sell batteries will do that free.

If the battery tests bad, buy a battery. If the battery tests good, then look to the charging system to see why the good battery was not kept charged.

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#17 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 04:47 AM
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Any suggestions? It is 1,000 miles out of warranty, but I did buy the extended warranty. Fifty miles from the dealership even if I could get it started! Thanks!

Sometimes you can get a good fair repair. Since you are only 1000 miles out of the basic warranty I think it is worth a shot to see if the dealer would replace it free. I would call them on the phone and see if they would, if they would, I would have it towed .
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#18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:11 AM
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I see some folks say they had the battery replaced under warranty and it went bad. Someone mentioned a 3rd battery since 2008. There are a few threads discussing batteries. Warranty or not, I would dish the cash out and purchase a completely different battery from an auto parts store.

My wife just rolled her 2006 Mazda that we bought new exactly 6 years ago. Still had the original battery after 6 years and 118,000 miles. I had my old 4Runner for 8 years from 105k to 189k miles, never changed the battery that was in it. Had a 1996 Nissan we bought in 1998. I replaced the battery sometime in 1999 with 60k miles on it. That battery went with the car when I sold it in 2009 at 169k miles.

If the battery is a known problem, don't waste time with watranty replacement. Spend the minimal money for piece of mind and buy a good aftermarket.
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#19 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 AM
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Batteries take maintenance as refilling the wet cells with distilled water every few months. When the wet cell gets low on water the lead compound is high and dry. Over time the battery loses its capacity, say from 400Ahr, (Amp Hour) to 200 Ahr and can't have enough energy in store to crank the starter especially on cold days.

My 2011 Rav3 exhibits the very same battery downfall. Every 3 months or so the cells need replenishing of water. Pure water, distilled water, not much but enough to cover the cell's plates. Without replacing the water that is lost through chemical reaction the battery will over heat, the plates will warp and with use and time become no good as a source of power or a storage tank.

Although the charging system is 140A when the battery loses capacity, the battery won't take a charge no matter the charging size. Battery, lead acid types are very fussy, very self destructive especially when they get low in their electrolyte levels. As these batteries charge and deliver amps they suffer a loss of lead that goes to the bottom of the battery. These blackened lead deposits over time will short out the battery. This is their lives untill dead.

If looked after and if the environment is not too harsh a wet cell battery can last about 8 years, but it takes constant preventive work as: cleaning terminals, tightening connections, verifying wires and cables, up-keeping battery fluid, washing the battery and its enclosure, no excess vibration.

Many people find it easier to replace their battery every 2-3 years or even replace their car every 2 years and let another owner look after it while they drive a new or under warranty car.

If money is not tight, I agree but when money is an issue learning what to do, when to do it does save you money but your work load is increased. The battery used in today's cars is more important than ever because it is always under a load. A load from your alarm, radio, computer or ECU, there is never a time when your battery can rest become fully charged. So doing a full recharge every so often will bring that battery to a float charge then you can test it.

Testing a battery you need a multi-meter and a hydrometer, but the battery hydrometer which is about $10 and looks like a turkey baster is a must. It tests the battery acid and compares that to pure water. A fully charged battery when tested this way indicates for each cell whether each cell is good, not so good and bad by the resultant number. Pure Water = 1.0, A good wet cell = 1.25-1.3 and as the number drops to 1.0 the deader that cell.

Good cells have a higher voltage around 2.1 VDC, 6 cells are in series and all add up to 12.6 VDC. But as cells are good bad or in the middle the total voltage changes.

Add to this the ampacity of the battery, ie. how many amperes will the battery deliver? Even a dead battery can read 12V but will deliver minimum amps. This often happens when you notice the lights are bright but the starter clicks or moans. Light take far less amps than the starter.

The starter motor is designed to work at a large load, starting a cold engine and needs a good battery delivering 100's of amps if not 1000.s. Then when the engine is running the alternator can begin giving these amps back to the battery but only at a maximum of 140 A, so it is going to take time to shove all these amps back into that battery.

As long as the battery is in good shape the transfer of amps back and forth works well, but if anything hinders this exchange the battery suffers, the wires or cables and connections suffer and then it all falls apart and the car stops DEAD.
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#20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLady29 View Post
Yesterday it jump started right away. I didn't even turn the other car on. When I got home and turned off the engine it was total darkness. The outside lights, inside lights, everything went out. This morning when I tried to start it, the lights dimmed and there was no sound. My neighbor tried to jump it from his truck. The first time you heard the faint clicks. The second time it tried to turn over. Then we were back to nothing. It would never jump even with him revving his engine. Cables are clean and tight.
This explanation spells starter to me ,not battery. If you connect another known good battery, unless the cables or connections weren't good, it should have at least turned over.

Your battery gets charged by your alternator. If you suddenly have battery issues, the alternator could easily be the culprit.

Many Rav owners have had battery issues, seems most likely part ,or all of the problem.

Have your battery "load tested" for free and go from there......good luck.

Kevin

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