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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I inherited a 1998 4door 2wd auto Rav4 from my mother in 2011, and I've been driving it ever since with zero problems, and Ive always maintained it well. Last year around April, I had to change the lgnition cylinder, i never had a factory key, only copies, and it finally broke so i switched it out, no problem. Fast forward to summer, and my battery would die when it rained... So it got to where if left to sit my battery would always die, so when i parked it, id simply unhook the negative cable. I knew there was some kind of electrical,drain but had no time (3jobs) to fool with it. One day at work, I attached the cable, turned the car over, it fired,and started, but nothing electrical worked, nothing. Then after about 3 seconds everything electrical came on at once, i didnt think too much of it. Also when it,rained i would get water in the floor pan driver side. So,a week later, i fire it up, and same,thing, nothing electrical, and i,start work at 4 am so had to,find a ride to work. Then the car sits for 6 months. Fast forward to now, i open the car to,find passenger and driver,floor,soaked, and tu can see water at the corner of the sill and the dash, i test the window seal, it has leaks, so i fixed that and am drying out the interior and the dash. I took out the alternator, had it,tested it works beautifully. Ok, so batterry is dead, but if you jump it, it will turn on, you get lights, starting beep, locks, but the signals, radio, heat/ac, windows, instrument panel do not work. Even when you step on the brake,the shifter will,not move from park unless you manually press the button, and i have checked all fuses. Please help me im at my wits end, and i have to,get this car back,on the road. Thanks!
 

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Could be that moisture is causing an electrically draining partial short circuit in the fuse panel or elsewhere. Suggest that you continue to dry the interior but without or with very little heat since heat can cause mold formation. Then after the interior is rather dry use some heat to complete the process and to dry electrical components thoroughly which may be causing the electrical drain because of moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I will continue to dry it out. While driving home in my other car i had a theory. Everything that works electrically now, is,stuff that would work with or without the key in the ignition, its like none of the acc stuff works when you start it up, leading me to believe maybe its a problem with the key ignition? Thoughts?
 

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The problem could be with the ignition key and cylinder but you mentioned that everything worked fine until there was rain. To check those parts it would be necessary to determine whether there is electrical current in the output wires when the ignition is switched on. Perhaps another forum member can help with the specific procedure for testing on the 4.1 RAV. Good luck!
 

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Remove the kick panel down where your feet would be on driver side, the side that flooded, there's a lot of electrical connections there, at least there should be, apologies if they are on the other side in yours, get a can of WD40, unplug everything one at a time, check for corrosion, clean the connections and spray inside any connectors you can't get at with the WD40 to repel any moisture. After that if you still have problems then as Blogson says, you'll need a circuit diagram, a meter or some help from an auto electrician testing all the circuits. Good luck.
 

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Remove the kick panel down where your feet would be on driver side, the side that flooded, there's a lot of electrical connections there, at least there should be, apologies if they are on the other side in yours, get a can of WD40, unplug everything one at a time, check for corrosion, clean the connections and spray inside any connectors you can't get at with the WD40 to repel any moisture. After that if you still have problems then as Blogson says, you'll need a circuit diagram, a meter or some help from an auto electrician testing all the circuits. Good luck.
What Ken has suggested is the most likely place to start, also check your drain bungs on the sills are clear as my sills at one time was filling up with water and soaking the electrical connections behind that kick panel everytime I braked, you will notice a slushing sound when you accelerate and brake if the the sill is holding water
 

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Hi Manny
The drain bungs are on the outside below the door, there will be one at the front and rear of the sill. A small screwdriver will poke them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: car is drying nicely, but ive got a new problem. I started her up tonight to test some circuits, and within minutes i noticed the interior light was dimming, checked the battery, 9.8 volts! Now the engine runs great, and the alternator just tested great at the shop, so I killed the ignition, checked the battery again it jumped back to 11.45 volts lol.... Maybe its a colossall short at the ignition or somewhere? I cant catch a break but still working on it, any advice i appreciate, and thanks for the tips sofar!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Whelp, I took my multimeter to recheck all the fuses, and found that the am1 fuse(kick panel) was blown, even though it looks pristine! Changed it, everything came to life. Thank the lord!
 
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