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My check engine light has been on for about 3 weeks now. As it is a very busy time of year, I have not had a chance to check into it yet. I did double check to make sure the gas cap was on tight, but that does not seem to be the issue.

Of those of you who have had their check engine light come on, what has been the culprit? Is there a way to 'reset' the light to see if it comes back on? Will unhooking the battery 'reset' it? I have to do that anyways as my battery is nearly dead (enuf to light the cabin lights, but not enuf to start) and I have to put on a new one tomorrow anyways.

I'm just not looking forward to paying to have someone hook it up to a computer just to tell me what is wrong :lol:
 
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The Light

I drive a 2001 Rav4. My light came on as I was on a road trip. I went to the nearest dealer. The lady who checks the cars before they were serviced checked the gas cap, the hoses that lead to the air fillter and then pulled some fuesed in the fuse box. The light was still on so she marked it for service. The service man came to drive it to the bay and the light was off so they sent me on my way. The did not seem to concerned that the light came on. The did say that if it came on again it was probably a computer glitch that they would have to update.

My light later came on so I did the same stuff she did but I changed my air filter (it was pretty dirty) the light went off. I think my check engine light will come back on soon. I will try to take it to the dealer when it comes on again. This time I don't plan to stop my plans for the light as I did last time.

My boss drives a 2000 Rav4 and has been driving with the check engine light on for the past two years now.

I too would like to know how serious the light is,
 
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:wink:
Guys,

Anytime when check engine light is coming on an error code is being generated. Your service man should have a small gadget that connects to your car ECM (computer) and read that generated code. There is no visual way to validate severity. Usually a sensor is not providing a proper signal, but the fact that your engine is still running shouldn’t be a sign of low severity. Your engine combustion recipe could be affected (oxygen sensors, air sensors, etc.) or something else.
Get a good Toyota dealer and they will read that error code for you even if your light went off meanwhile. The code stays there and it can be cleaned only with a special procedure.

all the best,
Marian
 

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had it happen to me in the middle of a 6 hour road trip.

The light just went on, called Toyota roadside assistance, ask me a bunch of questions making sure that the car is still up for travelling. Drove the rest of the way back and had it checked the next day.

Turned out it was an issue covered by a technical service bulletin (TSB) so i wasn't charged anything for that. :) its a good thing too, having the code read costs $80 bucks (!!).
 

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Heya Guygadbois! I also have an '01 RAVie, and my check engine light popped up suspiciously after 40K miles. I have an OBD reader and checked the code, and since it was still under warranty I brought it to my dealer knowing what the ECU was complaining about. Turns out the computer needed to be reset(I think updated too), and of course they didn't charge me a thing. You can also reset it yourself by disconnecting your battery for at least a few minutes. When I reset mine, the same code came back immediately.

If I'm not mistaken, there's at least a few others who had their lights come on suspiciously after 40K as well, in which case the dealer also reset or upgraded the ECU... for free of course. You should check with your dealer to see if they'd charge you just to read the trouble code, or else chances are you know someone who owns the ODB reader.. takes all but a few minutes to plug it in and check the code. My guess is that your dealer will not charge you as well.

Hope that eases your pain a little. Good luck, and Happy RAV'n! :p

..ChimChim


Guygadbois said:
My check engine light has been on for about 3 weeks now. As it is a very busy time of year, I have not had a chance to check into it yet. I did double check to make sure the gas cap was on tight, but that does not seem to be the issue.

Of those of you who have had their check engine light come on, what has been the culprit? Is there a way to 'reset' the light to see if it comes back on? Will unhooking the battery 'reset' it? I have to do that anyways as my battery is nearly dead (enuf to light the cabin lights, but not enuf to start) and I have to put on a new one tomorrow anyways.

I'm just not looking forward to paying to have someone hook it up to a computer just to tell me what is wrong :lol:
 

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My 4 cyl in-line 2001 Rav4 with 56,000+ miles is having problems with the OBD II reporting pending codes and Catalytic Converters are not ready since August 2004. Mass is one of those states that have gone over to using the OBD II for emissions testing and if your's happens to not work, you are in for a really rough time. I have taken it to the Dealer in Tewksbury and asked them to look at the computer, but all they wanted to do was to replace the air filter and the PCV valve and clean the throttle body for $280. I declined the work and replaced the air filter and PCV myself for $25 and took it back to the gas station for a retest and the OBD II is still not ready after 200 miles the first time and 1000+ the second time. The State EPA office referenced on the inspection report was able to setup a one time exemption after several complaint calls about the dealer, but later this year when it is due again I'm going to get screwed.

The first time the check engine light came on was 15 months after purchasing it new from the dealer, at around 22,500 miles, which the dealer flubbed around with on the first visit and after I returned for a second visit, performed the EL1011 which flashed the ECU - the repair documents do not refer to the Oxygen sensors being replaced but I think I remember noticing the tags looked clean and they told me that they replaced the 4 sensors.

The latest problem started at 53,000 when the check engine light came on while on a 400 mile trip, after the first 200 miles. When I got back from that trip, took it in for the Mass State Inspection, which it promptly failed (with the check engine light on there can be no other failures in the OBD II in order to pass). The inspection report (which has more information than the dealer was willing to print) indicates that the Cats, Evaporative system, Oxygen Sensors and Oxygen Sensor Heaters are not ready, and there were no codes stored. I have had NO battery problems, and have NOT disconnected the battery.

The State recommended that I try one of the Diagnostic centers which specialize in emission problems. I have had them look at the problem and they suggest drilling into the exhaust system and place sensors to determine if the Cats are not operating, removing the on-board sensors from the equation. It also appears that the computer is loosing the accumulated data and not allowing the codes to propagate out, continuing to call them pending codes.

Finally, 10 days ago the Check engine light came on again, and this time I have purchased a NoteBook computer, an OBDII interface with software and was able to read the codes to be P0420 and P0430 - Catalytic efficiency below threshold (both banks). Now if I could just find somebody who knew anything about what that could mean ... there is a guy on the ToyotaNation forum that has fixed the problem - only he did not specify how - only that it was the Valve Assy, Vacuum that caused it, and he has not responded in the last month.

It seems to me that this should Toyota's problem soon. Just because the local dealer is an idiot, I will have to pay to take it to the next step of isolating the problem somewhere between the Catalytic converters and the computer, which, I was told, the manufacturer has a Federally mandated responsibility to 70 or 80K.
 
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i have the same problem

got it in Feb. of 2004. the light came on in june or july and has been on ever since.

:shock:
 

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ragingbear99 said:
P0420 and P0430 - Catalytic efficiency below threshold (both banks). Now if I could just find somebody who knew anything about what that could mean ...
Have you looked in our TSB section?

Catagory 2001-202 -
ECM Calibration Update - M.I.L. "ON" DTC P0420/P0430 and Enhanced Engine Performance (PDF) EG010-02 (April 2002)
 
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Have you checked your gas cap or refilled the fuel tank? The engine light will go on if you don't tighten the gas cap completely (make sure it clicks) after refueling.

My "check engine" light has come on twice. First time was 2 weeks after I bought the car (@ 36,000 miles), and it turned out to be the charcoal canister (I think the code was P3040). Once replaced everything was fine for a year, then the light came on again (@ 56,000 miles). This time they tell me that the catalytic converter burnt out (codes P0420 & P0430). Luckily it was fully covered under the extended warranty. They replaced the cat converter, 2 air fuel sensors, & 2 oxygen sensors.

This recurring problem surprises me quite a bit, since this is my 4th Toyota and I had almost no problems with the previous cars. I think this 2001 RAV4 is going to be much higher maintenance than my 1994 Tercel (which ran for 8 years with NO engine repairs).

Suggestion: If you want the computer diagnostic without the dealer fee, see if you have any "Auto Zone" stores in your area. They have diagnostic readers & the employees know how to use them, and they don't charge for it. They will tell you which codes appear. Look the code up on the internet and you will know more than the mechanics when you bring it in for service!
 

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The 2001 Ravs are notorious for having a problem that is linked to the emissions system, engine computer, and/or catalytic converter. I experienced it first hand last year, and thankfully it has been covered under warranty so far. It's more of a hassle than anything else because the repairs are covered by the warranty to either 80 or 100K miles depending on the warranty you have.

For myself and most of the people I have talked to that had the problem, it's a progressive issue that develops over the course of several thousand miles.

In the case of my Rav, it all started with the CEL light going on at about 20K miles, I think. I forgot the exact mileage everything occured at so bear with me. Took it into the dealer and they reprogrammed the ECU; I thought it was fixed, and it was for a good 15K miles I think.

CEL went on and off a few times between 30-50K miles, and every time I wanted to take it into the dealer, the light would go off before I got to take it in. The problem was that all the local Toyota dealers had an appointment lead time of a week or more, so every time the light went on and I called them up to bring it in, it would be a week or so before I could get an appointment. I got the brilliant idea of just keeping a running appointment for as long as I could by calling and rescheduling the same appointment over and over again. Well it worked finally and I was able to get the Rav to the dealer while the light was still on.

By the way, I had scanned the codes at Auto Zone and found it was the P420 and P430 each time the light went on, but the dealer wouldn't take my word for it so the light had to be on whenever I took it in.

Well I finally took it in to the dealer last summer at about 50K miles, and they didn't give me any crap about "oh we'll reset the computer again" which never works. They found the cat was clogged (I assume as a result of the problem) and replaced the whole unit, 2 A/F sensors, 2 O2 sensors, and reprogrammed the computer. It was a $1600 job completely covered under warranty.

It has been working fine since, and I hope the problem was solved for good.

Not to say whenever the CEL goes on with a 2001 Rav it is this problem (I think Liz had an issue with just a sensor that was easy to fix) but this problem is quite common.
 

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I should add that the service technicians told me what they think is causing this common problem (I guess they've seen it a few times). This was not a definitive answer as far as I am concerned, but can help explain some of what happened. I also looked up the problem in my Toyota service manual and have come up with some sort of summary.

The main problem causing the trouble codes that I had was that the cat was running below efficiency, which ultimately was caused by the cat becoming burned up and clogged somehow, thus not being able to convert the exhaust gases. I assume it was burned up by the a/f mixture running consistently lean, but that's just my own theory.

The 2 air/fuel ratio sensors located before the cat measure the a/f ratio of the exhaust gas entering the cat, which repeatedly changes from rich to lean during the normal operation of the engine. The 2 O2 sensors located after the cat measure the amount of heated oxygen in the exhaust leaving the cat, which rises and falls corresponding to the changes in the a/f mixture, however the "oscillation" of the o2 sensors is much more slow than that of the a/f sensors. The ECU then compares the signals from the a/f and o2 sensors to determine whether signals are rising and falling at the appropriate rates. If the signals from both sets of senors are rising and falling at the same rate, then there is something wrong with the cat. The ECU keeps a log of the signals over time to determine whether or not there is a problem.

This is what is know as a feedback loop, it's simple logic used not only in engineering but also in flow charts. It's just a method for checking something.

In the case of my Rav, one or more of the sensors could have been defective in the first place, causing the cat to burn up over time. Or the ECU itself may have been wrong, sending bad information to the engine to burn lean.

Who knows for sure.
 
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Jeff said:
I got the brilliant idea of just keeping a running appointment for as long as I could by calling and rescheduling the same appointment over and over again. Well it worked finally and I was able to get the RAV to the dealer while the light was still on..
That is too funny. The computer stores the last few codes, whether the light stays on or not. If the light comes on, then goes out the code is still there. insisting that the light actually be on before they will service is... just...insane How dumb are these people?

I swear toyota has more problems with astoundingly stupid dealers then they do with their cars.

I have an early 01. The light came on, I knew what it was (read the TSB on this site) The light went off before I got it into the dealer. They reprogammed the computer, no problems. Note the emission warranty is much longer than the regular warranty - 5yrs/96000miles in Californiia anyway.


JON
 

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I think the problem was that it was resetting itself (not talking about the light but the memory).

Also, I figured the computer stored the codes even if the light goes off, but I wanted to be able to take the Rav into the dealer and say "the check engine light is on so fix whatever's wrong". I found out long ago the less information you give the dealer the better, because they use it against you. I didn't want to say "well the check engine light has being going on and off lately" because they would just reset the computer and send me on my way without fixing anything.
 

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As you might be able to tell, I haven't had a lot of good experiences with 'stealerships' back in my home state of New York. However I seem to have found a decent one here in New Hampshire.
 

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Happened to me today.. again!

Just a random relavant post.. I was driving home early this morning and the check engine light came on again. I'm around 45K miles now. Just checked the codes now and they are P0420 and P0430 ... again..

I previously had the same codes pop up about 3 or 4 months ago(around 40K miles), took it to the dealer(understandably they didn't take my word and checked the codes themselves)... "fixed" it, and now it's back. Their fix included "upgrading the ECU".

Anyways.... back to the dealer tomorrow.. Still LOVE my RAVie.. even with this inconvenience. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim
 
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4 Igniters replaced in one go!!

When the engine light came on my RAV, I was told that the 4 igniter modules require changing. I paid over £600 to get them diagnosed and replaced the parts.

In my opinion, it's very unlikely that the 4 parts of tha same fail at the same time. The dealer insisted that the parts are faulty according to the fault code they have read from the computer. I'm not convinced, therefore I have kept all the old parts which I have back off the dealer.

The fault developed when the car had covered 32,000 miles, and it was just one month outside the warranty period. Therefore I had to pay out of my pocket. I'm not impressed with the car in general, hence No More Toy. This will be my last one, but will have to bear with it until I have some money for the next new car.

NoMoreToy.
 

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Hello Jeff, Chimster, and everyone.

Yes, I had several encounters with the check engine light and the P0420 and P0430 engine codes. My advice: be persistent and document, document, document everything.

The first check engine light was gas cap-related. The the dealerships kinda blew it off. When the check engine light came on again with the same two codes, the dealer I took it to reprogrammed/reset the ECU per the TSB mentioned earlier in this thread. So far, so good, with little change in performance, slightly leaning toward better performance.

Several months later the check engine light lit again, but with a different code. That was resolved by replacing the thermostat (not under warranty, of course). Two weeks later (and just past the 80k or 85k mile end of the emissions warranty), the light and the P0420 and P0430 codes returned, and so did a diagnosis of catalytic converter malfunction. That was resolved by replacing the catalytic converter and all four sensors (2 O2, 2 airflow?) embedded in it. I recall that was in August.

Because I had documented all the previous work resulting from check engine lights (all at Toyota dealerships, all within the warranty periods), because I had the extended warranty (which doesn't cover emissions), and because I was firm in pointing out the obvious repair history, TSBs, etc., they handled most of the repair/replacement under warranty. I paid for labor ($200-300--I'd have to look it up), they paid for parts (>$1200).

My RAV is now past 97500 miles, and it seems to work fine, but there's one catch: the gas mileage has decreased by about 3/4 mile per gallon since the converter and sensors were replaced. I was hoping that MPG would increase, not decrease, with the new converter. Hmmmm... :roll: :roll:
 

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Yes my gas mileage went down by about 1 MPG since my catalytic converter was replaced also... oh well...
 

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Liz said:
Hello Jeff, Chimster, and everyone.

Yes, I had several encounters with the check engine light and the P0420 and P0430 engine codes. My advice: be persistent and document, document, document everything.
Heya Liz'alicious!! AWESOME information to know!! I have a feeling I may be going down that path as well, considering the ECU "upgrade" didn't seem to work for me my first trip to the dealer.

Just curious.. do you happen to have the approximate mileages your light first started coming on? Mine was suspiciously at 40K the first time, and just 2 days ago at about 45K. Not sure yet if it's coinkydink or not, but they numbers look too incremental for me not to ask. I'm definitely documenting everything.. I keep all of the work orders from my dealer, so hopefully I'll be well prepared if my RAVie takes the same path as yours. Happy RAV'n!

..ChimChim
 

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P0420 and P0430 update

Just a little update... Picked up my RAVie yesterday from the dealer, fully expecting they'd have to replace the catalytic converter. No surprise that they said they need to do it. They said the catalytic converters on backorder and would take 5-7 days to get, which to me means other RAVs are having the same problem. I(WE!) am(ARE!) not alone! :D

I have the extended warranty and don't have to pay anything. Man this is such a "simple" car to own. It baffles me how people can complain so diligently about rattles, squeaks, and squeals when our road bretheren from Dodge having 600K, and of course GM having 1.5M(Million!) cars recalled within the past few weeks. Lemme rephrase that. I realize people, in general, will ALWAYS find something to complain about.. it's human nature to feel that they deserve better... however what befuddles me is the fact that the common RAVie complaints aren't the variety that warrant many(most?) other vehicles(*cough* AMERICAN *cough*) to have nation wide recalls issued.

Okay I digressed again, and this wasn't even in response to a post. :O Which by default means no one will read it. Karate Explosion!

..ChimChim
 
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