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Hi! New to the forum, but been checking it out for a couple months now. Bought a 98 RAV4L (100k miles) the last week in August this year. Seemed like a dream car until tonight! ...
On the way home from the gym we were stopped at a traffic light and I noticed that the engine was idling around 1500RPM (it was well warmed up). I tapped the gas (and released) and then it idled around 2000RPM. Another tap & idled at 2500RPM. (I'm rounding here, but it's not far off the mark.) Eventually, without touching the gas pedal, it drops slowly back down to around 1500RPM, but never down to where it normally idles when warm (800RPM maybe?).
I've seen some people mention "sticky throttle body" in another thread (which is what I thought, too). Also, there's no "check engine" light which would be consistent with a mechanically sticky throttle. But has the "sticky throttle" syndrome ever happened to anyone this suddenly (over the course of less than 2 hours)? In addition, has a sticky throttle ever kept the engine from ever going all the way back down? I suppose something may have dislodged suddenly, but it still seems fishy.
Any other ideas?
Todd
 

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It's not the same symptom, but in my ol' '98, when it got up in miles, and whenever I got off the throttle in a hurry it would close and jam slightly. It would then take excessive foot pressure to move it out of the idle position and then it was ok. Took the hose off the TB and nailed the inside with carb cleaner and scrubbed with an old toothbrush where I could reach. Never had it jam again.......
Try it......can't hurt anything.......
 

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Not to say that this is your problem but I went i for an oil change one time and the mechanics pulled the Oxigen censor out to show me that it needed to be changed.
The next day i started the car and the engine reved like hell.
I shut it down, pulled out the sensor and shook it and the problem went away.
 
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Thanks for the replies.
I thought about following the throttle body cleaning instructions from another thread, but didn't really suspect that was the problem, since onset was so sudden, pronounced and repeatable. Also, I almost bought a scan tool, but didn't want to spend that money (over $200 for one to make it really worthwhile, in my humble opinion) since I'm not really a mechanic, just a bit of a tinkerer trying to educate myself. In the end, though, I figured I'd ultimately pay for the scan tool AND a repair, and I couldn't afford both this week. (Eventually I want the scan tool anyway! 8) )
Finally, I needed it fixed...yesterday. Well, at least by Monday or Tuesday. So I ended up bringing it to a dealer.
Now I'm really worried I'm being taken advantage of. They first tried to replace the Idle Air Control (IAC) motor, but said the new one pegged all the way open, too, which is what "burned out" the first motor. So, after more testing, they determined that the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) was giving a bad signal, etc. etc. etc...until, finally, I need a whole new TB (something about the inner plate & it's all an integral unit), etc, etc, etc. $1200+tax, may not be around Boston, may have to come from Calif. or Japan.
It all could be true. But my general inclination is to not trust dealers in general, so I'm always skeptical. And if I cancel the repair, I'll still owe them a fair amount just for the diagnostic fees. And if they're right, I'll pay someplace else a similar amount, plus a tremendous hassle with the pick-up/drop-off, drop-off/pick-up (I work very early to very late, so this is an issue).
At least we got a "loaner." Hmmmmmph.
Todd
 
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OK. I called the shop back to plead that they double check the O2 sensors, coolant temp sensor, etc. He said they did all that. The problem is that one of the hinge pins on the throttle body plate has worn down and broken so that the plate is now 'stuck.' Although this is very unusual (which he admits), at least it makes sense to me. No electronic malfunction (sensor) is going to change this mechanical defect. It also explains why a whole new TB would be necessary. So I have some peace of mind, I think, since it all makes sense now. Just too bad it didn't happen 2000 miles ago, or it wouldn't be MY problem...We've only had it for just over 3000 miles, and the warranty was 1500k! Oh well. That's why I stay away from Vegas. :roll:
I'm sure it's still over-priced, but you expect that from a dealer.
Todd
 

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Surely the dealer can get a decent TB from a salvage yard instead of ordering from Japan.......You're making me nervous with the cost of a new TB..... :roll:
 
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Dude, just do the damn thing yourself. Go to a wrecker and get a 3S-FE engine throttle body. Replace the entire one. Cheap and easy and will cost you like 200 bucks total. a few screws to remove and coolant pipes, that's it.
 
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Bluenoser said:
Surely the dealer can get a decent TB from a salvage yard instead of ordering from Japan.......You're making me nervous with the cost of a new TB..... :roll:
As far as I know, dealers don't do used. Other shops, I'm sure. But not dealers. What if the used part doesn't work? Everyone would sue the dealer and want it re-done for free! So I can't blame them for this policy in such a litigation-happy society. They have a "cook-book" that tells them what they have to do, and they stick to it - from testing to parts.

Dude, just do the damn thing yourself. Go to a wrecker and get a 3S-FE engine throttle body. Replace the entire one. Cheap and easy and will cost you like 200 bucks total. a few screws to remove and coolant pipes, that's it.
Dude, not everyone (even if they're moderately mechanically inclined) is comfortable with this sort of thing. I try to understand as much as I can about the engine. I read the Haynes. I read this forum, and check out others about cars. I can do my air filter and spark plugs, but I am not a mechanic. I don't have all the "proper" tools, and I can only work on the street outside my house - in the cold, while it's light out, on the weekend, and when it's not raining/snowing. ANYTHING goes wrong along the way, and either I or my fiancee can't get to work the next week. I can't risk that, even though there would be great satisfaction in doing it myself! And this repair had to be done ASAP, which made it even more necessary to go to the dealer. Sometimes, it's just necessary for regular folk to pay the premium commanded by the dealer. :roll:
Todd

p.s. - On driving home after the repair (about 3 miles), the engine raced again as soon as I got to my street. :evil: Back to the dealer...Could not duplicate the problem. I got to talk to the mecahnic 1 on 1, and he seemed like a very honest guy, and he spent several hours (literally) trouble-shooting and driving the RAV which made me feel better. He (and his Toyota hotline) suspected a pocket of air in the coolant temp sensing line (which was disconnected during the repair) that "fooled" the ECM. The car has been 100% fine since. I only mention this as a reference in case someone here replaces the TB, or works on the coolant system and is looking for info on a similar unreproduceable high-rev situation.
 

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I realize dealers are different everywhere, but up here where it isn't as sue-crazy yet :? , they'll see if they can get you a used part if you balk at the new part price........as long as you realize that they offer no guarantees with it, you have to deal with the salvage yard if it has a problem, and most of them are ok if it's a reasonable length of time.
Having said that.....that was my experience with my VW dealer over the years, .....haven't tried it with the Toy dealer....yet..... :roll:
 

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Did you notice your temperature gauge go right into the red ont he way home? That happened to me when I got an air pocket in there, due to some water int he system freezing over night. The engine idled at about 2000 until the ice melted and coolant was allowed to flow over the sensor. I've since replaced the collant fresh antifreeze.
 
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