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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 1996 Rav 4 Auto, which has been fine for many years. I have just noticed that it's starting to 'bog down' when accelerating, it basically doesnt want to accelerate , but after a while it will pick up again and off it goes.

It also appears to happen particularly after slowing down, and then accelerating,

Any ideas ?

I will be doing some more 'testing' to see if i can reproduce it reliably.

Thanks
 

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Is your check engine light on?
Check the fluid in your Transaxle(dipstick behind passenger front tire) and transmission to make sure they are ok. Check air filter element to see if its excessively dirty. Start with some simple things first.
Does it struggle to start, or stall when at a stop light?
 

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Assuming an engine problem and not transmission, ditto on the simple things first including reading the codes and a basic tune up. And a new fuel filter, and check to see if the gas cap is venting.

If still happening then plugged cat, fuel injectors, etc., are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi thanks for the replies,

1) I had checked the transmission fluid and that was fine
2) No warning light on the dash, (is there a way to check that the warning light itself is ok ?).
3) Starts fine and idles fine, doesn't stall or anything.

After a little more 'testing' it only happens after slowing down and then speeding up again, and happens around the 2100 rpm mark, which appears to be just below the RPM where the auto kicks up a gear. If I accelerate from stop to 100kms (60mph) there is no problem.

It's just a bit worrying as it mainly manifests itself after slowing down for a round-a-bout. So what would have been a safe gap for me to accelerate onto and through the round-a-bout, suddenly (and randomly cos it doesn't always happen) isn't the gap i thought it was 'cos my car has bogged down and wont pickup again , often after i'm actually through the junction.

I read somewhere something about a sticky EGR valve. Given it's intermittent nature is that a possible culprit ?

Will probably start with replacing air, oil and fuel filters as they need doing anyway. Really hope it isn't a gearbox issue as that's likely to be in the 'get a new car basket' given it's age.

Thanks
 

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Stuck open EGR valve is one of the many things ...

Does the "kick down" function work? Cruising, then stomp on the gas (e.g., to pass), engine revs up, trans downshifts one or even two gears?

Also check to see if you have either or both of the trans-performance buttons on the dash or the T-handle pressed in. Both are usually out/off.

But could also just be the well-known problem that these 3SFE 4.1s were/are underpowered ... :-( Do the maintenance items anyway.
 

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What happens if you downshift manually? Does the tachometer track the speedometer? Does it accelerate better?
Also do LugNut's kickdown test in Drive.
 

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We have a 1996 Rav 4 Auto, which has been fine for many years. I have just noticed that it's starting to 'bog down' when accelerating, it basically doesnt want to accelerate , but after a while it will pick up again and off it goes.

It also appears to happen particularly after slowing down, and then accelerating,

Any ideas ?

I will be doing some more 'testing' to see if i can reproduce it reliably.

Thanks
Hi David,
Where do you live, states or UK? I had a similar issue a few times in my 2005 and it appears to only do it when I use cheaper supermarket fuel, recently I did try to see what happened during steady fast dual carriageway driving and the EML did eventually come on. I did change the air filter this time and have stopped using cheap diesel, not that its particularly cheap!
I read it my be related to a lack of lubricants in cheaper fuel and Suction control valves not working so well as a result. As they are expensive I tried to avoid causing it again and since changing air filter and better fuel it has never occurred again. I am no mechanic but your issue may be similar. Just a thought that may help.
Regards
Neil

Sent from my SHIELD Tablet K1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually I live in New Zealand, so right hand drive like the UK.

I've been putting up with the behavior, as time an money are scarce in my house. But today it seems to have got worse, serious lack of power and almost 'hoping', as power comes on and then off, then on, then off, but again, it's intermittent. I always use Shell petrol, not supermarket stuff.
 

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'99 RAV4.1, 3MZ-FE, E250F 4x4, Torsen Dif
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Check
- Fuel pressure
- Vacuum
- Spark

Does your car have a OBDII port? If so check your codes, you can get a cheap reader that will interface with your phone with a app like torque.

If funds are an issue, and I do understand, you may be able to rent specialized tools from your local parts store. Many parts stores rent tools in the states.
Tune up - ways to save
- Pull your spark plugs, number them by cylinder when you pull them so that you know where a problem is if you find one, and inspect them:
-- Are the electrodes in good condition, not eroded? Copper spark plugs last only 5,000 to 15,000 miles, platinum lasts around 50,000 miles and iridium ones go 75,000 plus miles. Longevity depends on driving habits, how well other systems are working, type of plug. I've tried many different plugs in various cars, marine engines, and small engines and I am convinced NGK plugs are the only ones I will ever spend money on. I even bought expensive Pulstar plugs and they were terrible, worst plugs ever, all their sales pitches are lies. Two out of four plugs failed on a marine engine in less than 100 hrs! One failed in my RAV in less than 5,000 miles!
-- Are they gapped properly?
-- Are any different than the others?
--- Wet, is it oil or fuel? Smell it, feel it. If fuel, you aren't getting spark to that cylinder.
--- If all are dry and not dark your plugs, wires, distributer, coils, etc. are probably okay
- Check your spark plug and coil wires, inspect for cracked insulation, check resistance
- Check your distributor cap for wear, damage, and carbon tracks
- Check your rotor for wear, damage, and carbon tracks
- Check your coil for output, stick a screwdriver inside a spark plug wire, secure it about 1" away from a ground point, in low light turn over the engine, observe that the spark jumps and the color of he spark, repeat on all wires. A bright blueish light is good, a orange or red light is a weak coil.
Fuel system - By the way rarely is the problem a fuel filter unless you get some really bad fuel or you've been sabotaged. Fuel issues are usually fuel cap, damaged/corroded fuel lines, and/or fuel pump. Get hold of a fuel pressure tester and see what your fuel pump is doing
Check the intake system
- Check the intake hoses, are they securely connected, are they cracked or damaged?
- Check the filter box
-- Is the air filter clean and installed properly
-- Is the intake passage clean, and not blocked with debris
-- Is the box and lid itself in good repair, is the lid on properly
- Throttle body
-- If it is really dirty it could be a problem, take it off and clean it
-- You have some cooling line hoses going to it, you should replace those if you haven't in awhile
-- There is a line going to the evap cannister (if your's have one) make sure it's connected and not clogged (I doubt this would be part of your problem)
Vacuum system - this can be frustrating to find a leak, or malfunctioning VSV, but you will need to check all the connections and lines. I replaced all mine with silicon lines because most had hardened and gotten brittle, some had dried and were cracking after all unless you have changed them, they are all over 20 years old. You should also check the VSVs.
EGR system - clean it, clean it well
Camshaft position sensor - this will make an engine run rough - check it for proper operation and resistance
Driveshaft position sensor - not likely because the engine won't run at all if it is disconnected or broken, but I wanted to point it out

You didn't mention anything about engine temps, but engines will often run rough if too cold or hot, were engine temperatures where they ought to be?

Good luck and keep us posted
 
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