Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just went to start my 2011 Rav4 V6, and it won't start. It cranks over great, but just will not start. The "Electric Power Steering Warning" light is illuminated on my dashboard, so I am guessing that has something to do with it. The EPS warning light is the on that looks like a steering wheel with an exclamation point next to it.

I don't know if this matters or not, but just just before the engine would not start, I was loading a trailer attached to the car. My driveway has a bit of a downhill slope, so the car certainly felt the bouncing.

I hooked the car up to a code reader, but it says there are no codes stored. And of course, this kind of thing happens the night before I am supposed to leave on a trip! Grrrr.....

Any ideas would be very helpful about now! I am sure hoping this is something simple like a fuse. Most DIY projects require some sort of blood offering in the way of scraped knuckles, etc. I have managed to get through so far with no such injuries. Maybe I need to cut my finger and let it drip onto the engine?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The battery is fine, the engine turns over with no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hmmmm.... I've been doing a little researching, and it appears a power steering problem won't prevent the engine from starting. From what I have read so far, it sounds like it may be a fuel pump issue.
 

·
Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
Joined
·
16,614 Posts
The battery is fine, the engine turns over with no problem.
The starter on your RAV4 will turn over the engine "just fine" down to 8 volts. However, if your battery cannot deliver 12 volts while cranking, then it cannot initialize the computers or turn on the fuel injectors, or run the electric power steering. I would be willing to bet a new battery will solve your problem. I started this thread a long time ago:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
A Harbor Freight multimeter is like $5 and it can pinpoint many problems related to battery and alternator by just reading the voltage. Sometimes they have coupons for free multimeters, I have one on each car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,379 Posts
If the battery is suspect it should be load tested for capacity and many auto parts stores will do that for no cost. A simple voltage test with no load on the battery does not give a useful picture of how well the battery actually functions in use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
You have the load there - the starter. I put the meter so I can see it from inside the car and crank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,379 Posts
Measuring battery voltage while using the stater is useful, but proper battery load tests put more of a load on the battery than does the starter and are a better determinant of battery condition.

PS - Dr. Dyno uses a starter load test which consists of multiple tests using the starter several times and measuring the battery voltage at each application of the starter. That would certainly work, but IMO would shorten battery life if the battery continues to be used in a vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The resting voltage for the battery was 12.6V this morning. That is after several attempts to start the car last night. When I crank the engine, the voltage drops to 11V. It cranks hard and fast. I really don't think it is the battery, it's only about 6 months old.

A couple times when cranking, I could hear the engine shudder slightly, as if it was trying to start; like it got just a bit of fuel.

I located the fuel pump relay, and swapped it with the identical relay in the fusebox. Still won't start.

The car is low on fuel, and parked pointing down hill I'm my sloped driveway. It's a long shot, but could the sloped driveway and low fuel have moved the gas away from the pickup? Hard to believe Toyota would design a car that would not start on a hill.

The "Electric Power Steering Warning" light is still on. In other threads I have looked at, this does not seem to prevent the car from starting, indicating this may not be the problem. However, I also find two simultaneous failures after the car sits in my driveway for 3 hours a bit hard to swallow as well.

I accidentally put this in the General section. Can we get it moved to the Mechanical Section?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
When I crank the engine, the voltage drops to 11V.
That's good voltage!
The car is low on fuel, and parked pointing down hill I'm my sloped driveway.
My driveway is the same way. If you would let the car roll down, will it go in the street or will still be in the driveway partially?
Or you can just add fuel from the lawnmower canister (I assume you have one).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
If I let it roll down, it ends up in the street. I will add a couple gallons to test this theory, but I am not confident. After looking again, the driveway does not really slope THAT much.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,897 Posts
Moved to Mechanical.
Yes your cranking voltage is definitely good.
Hopefully it isn't just low on gas. That's one of the most embarrassing "problems" to have. As I recall one member had to drop his tank to figure that one out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
I am paranoid about gas level, if I am at the last quarter tank I am looking for a gas station. I like to know that the fuel pump is cooled by the fuel around it.

My wife? Sometimes I take her car and I find that's on gas fumes. If the "low gas" light is not on she's fine...
 

·
Registered
2007 sport v6 203k miles
Joined
·
42 Posts
If I let it roll down, it ends up in the street. I will add a couple gallons to test this theory, but I am not confident. After looking again, the driveway does not really slope THAT much.
is your low gas light on now? i routinely drive until the low gas light comes on and never have a problem. The low gas light comes on at around 13.5 gallon and i have had to put as much as 15.5 gallons into the tank sometime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
People that run their tanks low on fuel often ,are asking for trouble. Creating condensation in the tank and ruining your fuel pump prematurely, because the fuel cools the pump are just a couple.
A co worker actually told us the other day that he was pissed because his car said that he still had 12 kms left before the fuel ran out and he ran out while driving?????
With no codes , it may just be starving for fuel. Interested to hear what adding a few gallons of fuel does.
 

·
Registered
2007 sport v6 203k miles
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have ran the tank low almost on a weekly basis until the low gas light came the past 9 years. so far I don’t have a problem yet. There is a good reason of me doing this. i have a commute of 55 miles daily between nyc and nj. there used to be a 40 to 50 cent a gallon gas tax difference between ny and nj (that was before nj gas tax hike in 2019. There is only 20 cent difference nowadays). So whenever it is possible I always filled up just outside where I work in nj which is much cheaper than the gas station in neighborhood gas station in nyc. Considering now the car has just over 203k New York City mileage without any fuel pump related issues i don’t think I need to change my habit. nowadays I fill up once a week just as the low gas light turns on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Well, It seems being low on gas, and parked on an incline is enough to keep the fuel pump from picking up gas. I put two gallons in the tank and it started right up. The ESP warning light went out as well. I would like to know how a car that thinks it's out of gas triggers an EPS warning.

I am glad that is all it was, though I am a bit surprised. I wasn't THAT low on gas. The fuel light had not come on, and adding two gallons to the tank brought it up to the quarter tank level.

Yes, it is just a bit embarrassing to have the culprit turn out to be "low on gas". I won't admit to 'out of gas' since there was still fuel in the tank! My wallet, on the other hand, is extremely happy!

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Maybe now you'll join me in the paranoid group that doesn't like the tank less that a quarter full ;)
People that live and park in flat land areas might tell you otherwise, but that's just their limited experience.

PS: The Gen3 fuel tank is very long, installed longitudinally under driver side. With the fuel pump pickup in one edge, towards back. My driveway is slanted the same way (if I drive my cars on a pair of mobile ramps, the vehicles are horizontal). If I am low on fuel, I always park it with the front upwards, so the gas is pooling to the pickup.
You can even experiment parking it both ways and see what the fuel level says.
 

·
Registered
2007 sport v6 203k miles
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have been stuck in the traffic on NJ bound Bayonne bridge which has a steep 5% grade with low fuel light and didn’t have a problem. And that was with the front of the car pointing downward also. BTW the NY bound side too has a steep 4.85% grade.YMMV
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top