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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

Can someone please help me diagnose and fix my 2001 rav4 please?

Today out of the blue it just stopped working.

I went to start the car and it just wouldn't start..

Battery sounded strong.. no lights left on.. was cranking over but wouldn't start..

Any ideas or help please?

I remember having a few issues with my previous rav4 which was a 1996 and it took me 6 months to work out what the problem was as no mechanic could work it out. Turned it my old previous rav4 wasn't getting any fuel as the wiring was gone somewhere between the fuel pump and battery or something like that. It was starting when I was spraying carbie cleaner into the air intake box or whatever it was called.. and I had to get an ex friend to help me hot wire the fuel pump to the battery to get that one to work again. That 1996 rav4 died slowly.. it would randomly start then just wouldn't anymore.. this current 2001 just stopped working today out of the blue!

Anyways, I don't know what the issue with my current 2001 rav4 is, nor where this air intake box is on this car, nor which tube to spray it into - if is was not getting fuel? Maybe it is a completely different issue like timing chain/belt? Or something else electrical?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm not having a good year and can't get my car to a mechanic nor know of a good or reliable one. I don't really trust them after them not being able to diagnose my old 1996 one anyways!

Thanks
 

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Can you hear the fuel pump turn on when you turn the key to first position?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
no.. should I hear it from when I'm sitting in the driver's seat.. or when next to the fuel tank cap?

I don't really remember hearing it when it was working though lol
 

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Remove your oil filler cap and look inside while a helper cranks the engine. If you don't see anything moving in there, then the timing belt has snapped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hi I remember you :p

which thing exactly should be moving please in there?

I noticed there is a higher bit centre to right.. and then a lower bit on the left next to it.. I was looking last night at that part when I took the oil cap off last night in the dark.. but wasn't entirely sure.. and tried to compared it to my dad's working car...

in my dad's the higher part to the centre right doesn't move.. but the lower to the left does?
 

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You should see some part(s) moving while the engine is cranking. Doesn't matter which ones. No movement at all = broken belt.
 

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There is no timing belt on your RAV4, and you won't see nothing in your oil cap because there is an oil baffle. These were very good ideas, but don't apply in your case.


Check every fuse... it can be as simple.


If you can have an OBD2 code reader, scan it to know if there is a trouble code. It can be a faulty crank sensor or cam sensor. A faulty coolant temperature sensor can also create a no start condition.


After cranking the engine, remove a spark plug to see if it is wet or smells gas.


You can also look if there is spark.
 

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It' s a mistake... 1AZ-FE is a chain driven engine.
 

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Yeah - seems that I recall that Toyota switched to using chains with the 4.2 generation . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
and what about the idea of spraying carbie cleaner in the intake box to see if car starts? that was suggested to me many years ago with my old rav4.. but many say that is not a good idea..
 

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Don't know what is contained in the Australian carb cleaner you have used, but if the engine starts after spraying it into the air intake the basic problem is most likely because of a malfunctioning petrol fuel pump and/or the petrol injection system. If the "cleaner" contains ether it can be explosive, so it has to be used with care. That sometimes is used in the U.S. and Canada to help start diesel and petrol engines in very cold weather.
 

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Don't know what is contained in the Australian carb cleaner you have used, but if the engine starts after spraying it into the air intake the basic problem is most likely because of a malfunctioning petrol fuel pump and/or the petrol injection system. If the "cleaner" contains ether it can be explosive, so it has to be used with care. That sometimes is used in the U.S. and Canada to help start diesel and petrol engines in very cold weather.
Do they still sell the ether based starting fluid? I haven't seen any of that since the early '70's. I often spray carb cleaner into my gas powered lawn equipment to get them started when stubborn.
 

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Hi, did it just stopped working with a warm engine or was the engine cold when it not wanted to start ?

If it stopped with a warm engine it maybe is the "crankshaft position sensor"
 

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The other way I've checked for a potential lack of fuel issue is sticking a propane torch (unlit) into the intake. Much safer than spraying something in and will often make an engine idle.
 

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Do they still sell the ether based starting fluid? I haven't seen any of that since the early '70's. I often spray carb cleaner into my gas powered lawn equipment to get them started when stubborn.
Yes, JuneBug -- its still available! Though I believe the intended use remains for engines with carburetors. I use Pyroil Starting Fluid on an old 1970's Wisconsin 4-cylinder engine that's in my old skidsteer, and it works like a charm! But I would not use it on a fuel-injected engine, or anything with flow/emissions sensors.

Talstails, can we get a little more information? Do you have any Check Engine or other dash lights? Was there any unusual behavior while the engine was running, the last time it was? Have you checked all the fluid levels, and checked the coolant level by looking into the radiator (you should be able to see coolant as soon as you remove the cap)?

I wouldn't spray anything into your air intake because the 4.2's have an MAF sensor which would be damaged by carb cleaner, and starting fluid is very volatile. Access for the fuel pump is located under the rear left-hand seat: that's where you can listen for any action.
 

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Do they still sell the ether based starting fluid? I haven't seen any of that since the early '70's. I often spray carb cleaner into my gas powered lawn equipment to get them started when stubborn.

Starting fluid is still sold in the U.S. and the can I got at Walmart (Supertech brand) a couple of years ago has a kazillion warnings about explosiveness and not breathing the vapor along with the contents listing which includes diethyl ether. But this vehicle is in Australia and I have no experience there. Does that carb cleaner contain ether? - One would think that if it does that should be shown as an ingredient, especially if there is a user problem and a poison control center needs to know.
 

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Starting fluid is still sold in the U.S. and the can I got at Walmart (Supertech brand) a couple of years ago has a kazillion warnings about explosiveness and not breathing the vapor along with the contents listing which includes diethyl ether. But this vehicle is in Australia and I have no experience there. Does that carb cleaner contain ether?
I just looked up the MSDS on Super Tech Carb Cleaner (which is the one I have) and it consists of acetone, toluene, methyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. No ether either. :)
 
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