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Discussion Starter #1
Recently my 1996 RAV4 2wd FWD has been running rough and dying intermittently, a CEL came on so I went to AutoZone and had the codes ran. Turns out there was a misfire in all 4 cylinders, YIKES. So I replaced the spark plugs and wires, but the problem persisted. Since then I have
- Replaced fuel filter
- Replaced IAC valve (and controller) tried cleaning it but that didn't work so it seems like the next step was to replace it
- Replaced a vaccum hose that looked like it may have issues
- Replaced the battery (not totally relevant but it needed replacing so I'll go ahead and list it)
- Cleaned throttle body
The strange part is that the car will run OK when you first crank it and the idle speed is about 1500RPM for the cold idle, but if you drive it around it will switch to warm idle and any time you come to a stop it will start running very rough and then die. Trying to crank after it stalls is very nearly pointless, unless you have your foot on the gas it will crank run for a few seconds then die. it seems to be OK if you just don't stop while its in warm idle but as soon as the foot comes off the gas the car will stall. I have done a lot of research on it but I am stumped. The CEL has not come on since I replaced the spark plugs and wires so I am not sure what it could be. Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Will
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Check the cam position sensor
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Did you get her fixed or still having problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry about that this last week has been hectic with the semester winding down and finals about to start. No unfortunately the RAV4 is sitting in my driveway quite dead right now. I took it to go put some gas in it and on my way back could not get it started at all. I could sort of pump both petals and move it a few feet but I ended up pushing it the last block into the driveway. I am honestly not certain how to check the CAM position sensor, but I bought one of the Bluetooth code readers off of amazon and the RAV doesn't show any codes, so I am at a loss. Any more ideas or do you think its time that I look for a new vehicle?
Thanks,
Will
 

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Could be a lot of things, but two easy ones to check: air filter anything but clean? "I took it to go put some gas in it and on my way back could not get it started at all." -- I'll assume that means it stalled-out on you on the way back from the gas station -- loosen the gas cap. Giant sucking sound, and starts up after a short cranking? If so, replace the gas cap with a new OEM one. Let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah it's doing the giant sucking noise when I loosen the gas cap. How'd you know? Sorry for the questions but what would make it not run because of the gas cap? Also yes the air filter is clean, I cleaned it when I replaced the fuel filter? and again when I did the IAC valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, so I tested the gas cap. I ran it until it started stalling out, then I loosened the gas cap and it cranked right up and ran for another couple minutes without much issue. I then replaced with an OEM gas cap and it seemed to improve but it would still stall intermittently, I guess the next step is a fuel pump check?
Thanks for all the help guys I appreciate it,
Will
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok so I went ahead and replaced the air filter. I bought a fuel pressure pump but if we are being honest I have no idea how to use it. I could not find a port to hook it up to on the RAV, so do I need to go to the fuel pump and hook it into the outflow on the pump? also how would I be able to tell if I had a clogged inlet sock? should I just pull the fuel pump and check? Or would it just be best to assume the fuel pump is the problem and replace it, I can get a new one here in a few days for under $40. The videos I've seen on replacement do not seem particularly difficult, but you said to be very careful, just because I am working with a car and its gas tank or are there additional dangers? Sorry for taking so long to post I just got done with finals and have one more paper to round out the year.
Thanks for the help guys,
Will
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Did you fill up from different gas station lately? Bad gas may cause issue.
No, I have been filling up at that gas station for a few years, but come to think of it the problem did start a few months back after I filled up at a kind of sketchy gas station not near where I live.
The car may be nearing the end of its life, but I'm not ready to give up yet. My parents originally bought it a few years ago just so they could put liability only insurance on it and that would be cheaper than listing any of their kids on their car. But it turns out that after I've been driving for a few years, I like it at least as well as any of their cars. Hence being here and trying to save it, aside from not running the car is in great shape :D:D:D and the only other issue is an oil leak tat I plan on fixing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I swapped the radiator and coolant temp sensor last year, but I haven't seen it giving errors with the temp. It runs within operating temp,and when it's hooked up to my computer it shows the coolant as well within the reasonable temp range.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Ok so I went ahead and replaced the air filter. I bought a fuel pressure pump but if we are being honest I have no idea how to use it. I could not find a port to hook it up to on the RAV, so do I need to go to the fuel pump and hook it into the outflow on the pump? also how would I be able to tell if I had a clogged inlet sock? should I just pull the fuel pump and check? Or would it just be best to assume the fuel pump is the problem and replace it, I can get a new one here in a few days for under $40. The videos I've seen on replacement do not seem particularly difficult, but you said to be very careful, just because I am working with a car and its gas tank or are there additional dangers? Sorry for taking so long to post I just got done with finals and have one more paper to round out the year.
Thanks for the help guys,
Will
The fuel pressure gauge should have an adapter that you can connect to the engine side of the fuel filter easily or you'll have to buy an adapter; one side screws into the top of the filter, one to the fuel line that you removed that went to the filter, and finally one port for your gauge to attach. From the symptoms it really sounds like a fuel pump but just throwing parts at a problem can get real expensive. BTW The fuel filter is under the large relay box on the left strut tower, you will probably have to remove some air intake parts to gain access.

See my troubleshooting threads I posted here for more ideas.

- http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/256529-test-dont-guess-when-fixing-your-rav4.html

- http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/256217-no-start-diagnosis-fasttec-method.html

- http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/256153-how-tell-if-your-fuel-pump-bad.html

And several others.

Good luck, keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, I will try and test it on Tuesday (big paper, and work tomorrow) I will update with results. If it is the fuel pump that's not a huge deal, like I said I investigated and I can get a replacement for like $40. I am just trying to get it running solid again before I leave for the summer. From what I read the fuel pressure should hold between 40-50psi or did I read that wrong? I did watch the videos and they were pretty informative, Thank you for those. I would not have been so quick to replace all of the parts I did, except that most of them needed it anyway (vaccum hoses, gas cap, battery, spark plugs, I'll admit the air filter was dirtier than I thought). Oh well live and learn or die stupid, I've still spent less money than taking it to a mechanic and I've gained a lot of valuable knowledge in the process. So even if I fail to fix the car I still came out with that.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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IF you replace the fuel pump, a word of warning about taking the access cover off of the fuel tank, the phillips head screws may be quite rusty and easy to strip, use something like b'laster several hours before attempting removal, and use a good fitting screwdriver with good blades or you are in for a rough time. You may need to tap the screwdriver with a hammer to get it to seat well.

If the screws are rusty I would highly recommend replacing them.

Take a look at the condition of your rubber fuel and vapor lines while there, they may need replacement, after all they are about 20 years old.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
A word of warning about taking the access cover off of the fuel tank, the phillips head screws may be quite rusty and easy to strip, use something like b'laster several hours before attempting removal, and use a good fitting screwdriver with good blades or you are in for a rough time. You may need to tap the screwdriver with a hammer to get it to seat well.
Yeah I wish I had realized that just a little bit beforehand. It was not as bad as I feared because they were all 8mm and I had an 8mm wrench handy. Only one of them stripped bad, but I think I'm going to go get out the old thread gauge and order some new ones before I really button her up.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok well after testing I am sure enough that it is the fuel pump that I am going to replace it. Unfortunately I took a summer job in Texas so I'm riding a bus there and living there for the next 3 months come Saturday and I won't be able to replace the fuel pump before then. After I get back I will replace the fuel pump and update you guys on whether or not the car runs.
Thanks,
Will
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Ok well after testing I am sure enough that it is the fuel pump that I am going to replace it. Unfortunately I took a summer job in Texas so I'm riding a bus there and living there for the next 3 months come Saturday and I won't be able to replace the fuel pump before then. After I get back I will replace the fuel pump and update you guys on whether or not the car runs.
Thanks,
Will
Good luck on your summer job, let us know when you get back and are working on her.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry it has taken so long to post, but I did not manage to get the RAV4 up and running until just recently. After I returned from summer I finished replacing the fuel pump, but the issue persisted. At that point I was stumped and I took it to a mechanic I know. His diagnosis, a leak in the seal above the crankcase was causing oil to spray onto the (newly replaced) timing belt. Over the year or so with the oil spraying the belt the belt had actually stretched enough that the CAM was out of position (he told me it varied from 7-15 degrees). All of that was causing the misfire codes, and explained why the car would run in the closed loop cold idle, but not the warm open feedback idle. The total damage for the repair? $500, It was totally worth it in my opinion, I mean the mechanic said that when he was going over everything it all looked solid, so I am hoping that it will hit 300,000 before anything else major happens. I am happy to say that I have put 500 miles on her since I got her back and she is running as strong as she was 40,000 miles ago!

Thank you guys for all your help!
Will
 
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