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I have a 2015 Rav4 XLE with 3730 miles on it. Today I filled up with gas (tank was 1/4 full at time of fill up, so was not totally empty) and then on the drive home from the gas station the CEL started flashing, the AWD light and the TRAC OFF lights came on. There was a lot of hesitation upon acceleration and shuddering. I barely made it home. I called the dealership (as it was 1:30pm on Saturday and I knew the service dept closed at 3pm) and the tech had me check the gas cap. I honestly couldn't tell if it was loose or not, seemed ok to me but who knows as you don't turn it very much before you hear the one click that indicates it is closed. In any case, I know it is closed now for sure. And yet if I try to start the car, it BARELY starts, lots of sputtering and finally catches only to shudder and die within 1-2 minutes. Needles to say I am extremely frustrated. I have an appointment to take it into the dealership on Tuesday (I have to work 12 hr shift Monday, 6am-6pm) but I am beyond irritated that my BRAND NEW CAR is already having to be taken into the shop. Thank goodness I have another vehicle I can drive, one that I inherited, but still...I'm kinda pissed.

Anyone have experience with this? Can a loose gas cap cause this much hassle, cause the vehicle to not start or to die a minute after starting?
 

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Seems to me that was the same set of symptoms I had when a coil pack went bad on my 4.3 6V. Frequently over filling the tank can cause an evap canister problem, do you keep adding fuel after the pump clicks off? If so over filling is a common cause of problems, when over filling the evap canister is filled with fuel instead of vapors and has to be replaced I believe. Lose cap doesn't usually cause poor engine performance that I'm aware of and the fault clears after tightening/replacing the cap.


http://www.rav4world.com/forums/123-4-4-general/148585-check-engine-light-awd-light-after-only-500-miles.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have only tried adding more fuel after the pump turns off twice, both times fuel slopped out of the car so I didn't do it again. But I did not do that today when I filled up.
 

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Yes, it sounds like you got gas with water in it. Go back to the station and report it to them. They can check their tanks for water.
 

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Well I wouldn't doubt it, as when I drove back by that gas station one hour later (in my other vehicle) they had the pumps covered with yellow bags that said "OUT OF ORDER". So that would suck for me, as I paid for a full tank of crappy gas.
 

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Well I wouldn't doubt it, as when I drove back by that gas station one hour later (in my other vehicle) they had the pumps covered with yellow bags that said "OUT OF ORDER". So that would suck for me, as I paid for a full tank of crappy gas.
This happened to me once. You need to file a complaint with them so they can reimburse you for any repairs. Keep an eye on that station, you may see a fuel testing truck there in a day or 2.
 

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JuneBug: I went to the station tonight and reported my problems, of course they don't believe it is their gas, and of course I paid cash and do not have a receipt. Also, we recently had flooding here and I just found out this gas station was under the flood waters last week. Fantastic. I'm wondering what to do now, and is this going to cause major problems with my fuel system and engine...problems that won't be covered under warranty and be real expensive to fix.
 

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JuneBug: I went to the station tonight and reported my problems, of course they don't believe it is their gas, and of course I paid cash and do not have a receipt. Also, we recently had flooding here and I just found out this gas station was under the flood waters last week. Fantastic. I'm wondering what to do now, and is this going to cause major problems with my fuel system and engine...problems that won't be covered under warranty and be real expensive to fix.
See another thread where a guy's wife put Diesel in the tank.

$850 to drop the tank and drain it and change the plugs.

But in your case, DEFINITELY file a claim with the station. They deny it, but they are now shut down, and your dealer will tell you if there's water in the fuel.
 

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Most underground tanks at stations are required to have a gauge that detects water in the gasoline. That is not to say they aren't lying to you or sold you bad gas knowingly, but you can bet they knew if there was water in the gasoline.

Depending on which state you live, they are required to shut down if the water gets too high of a percentage.
Back in the mid '80's, I worked part time at a gas station/convenience store. Every night we would use a very long wooden dipstick to measure the level in the tanks. We had some stuff in a tube that almost looked like peanut butter and we would smear a little of that on the stick. If it changed color, there was water in the tank. I never saw it change color.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went back by there again today and the yellow "OUT OF ORDER" bags are still covering all of the pump handles except two, the two farthest from where I got my fuel (I don't know if that matters or not). On New Years Eve this area was flooded and I know that this particular gas station was flooded, I have pictures some of my family members have sent me of the flooded station. It has been dry for at least a week and I honestly did not think anything of getting gas there yesterday, I have no idea if the recent flood could have somehow gotten water into their underground tanks, but it's mighty coincidental. Also, I have spoken with the gas station attendants twice now, two separate ones, and they both deny they have had any other complaints. They tell me they put the "OUT OF ORDER" bags on the pump handles because they had a problem with the pumps themselves, not pumping the gas properly. I do not believe this as one hour before they put the bags on the handles I pumped my gas WITH NO PROBLEMS PUMPING. I will tell you that when I drove back by the station the first time, one hour after I had pumped the gas, the gasoline delivery truck was there and the pump handles were covered with the bags. Again, I didn't put 2/2 together at that point, but it makes me wonder if the underground tanks were low on gas, and I pumped some of the gas in the bottom of those tanks, which COULD have been contaminated with water (as water will settle to the bottom of a gasoline tank). Just a theory of mine, but I will be calling the owner of this station tomorrow. Right now I am leaving my car sit, driving my extra vehicle, and will be taking the car to the dealer to have the tank drained. Curious to see what comes out of it.

Who would I contact in my county or state to report this station if there is water in the gas? I hate the thought of this happening to others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will be contacting the owner of the station tomorrow, he is a local guy who my husband knows very well. Hopefully he will make it right if it comes down to it. Lucky me, I paid cash for the gas and so did not think to get a receipt. I am just hoping this does not cause permanent damage to my vehicle.
 

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I paid cash for the gas and so did not think to get a receipt.
Most stations have video.
They don't save it forever... a week or two tops, but if you give the owner the exact date and time, they may be able to find you.
 

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Who would I contact in my county or state to report this station if there is water in the gas? I hate the thought of this happening to others.
Impossible to say, since you have given us no clue as to where you live. Please fill out your user profile by going to the user control panel.
 

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My friend got some crap gas while on vacation and a repair shop sold him an additive to add to the gas. He said he put it in and it took a while before it started running properly but it soon cleared up and ran good enough that he was able to make it home. Might be something to look into. I am not sure if an additive called "Heat" will get rid of the water or not. Looked it up - Iso-Heet absorbs 5 times more water than conventional gas-line antifreeze. There may be something out there better than this product and that would be better than a trip to the dealer.
 

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Hmmmmm...... why not siphon the gas out yourself? Get as much as you can out into gas cans (two 5 gallon cans should do), then take that to the gas station and let them test it. I have seen kits somewhere that allows you to test the gas for water; can't remember where. Use Heat (alcohol) to fish the rest of the water out after filling it with good gas again. Water in the gas shouldn't do too much to the car itself. I have to admit, my first thought was diesel fuel instead of gasoline. In very cold climates, the water just freezes and the car won't do much of anything..... Good luck.:serious
 

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Hmmmmm...... why not siphon the gas out yourself? Get as much as you can out into gas cans (two 5 gallon cans should do), then take that to the gas station and let them test it. I have seen kits somewhere that allows you to test the gas for water; can't remember where. Use Heat (alcohol) to fish the rest of the water out after filling it with good gas again. Water in the gas shouldn't do too much to the car itself. I have to admit, my first thought was diesel fuel instead of gasoline. In very cold climates, the water just freezes and the car won't do much of anything..... Good luck.:serious
Have you tried siphoning gas from a modern car lately? They put baffles in the filler tube that prevent you from getting a hose down to the tank. Been there, done that.
 

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Have you tried siphoning gas from a modern car lately? They put baffles in the filler tube that prevent you from getting a hose down to the tank. Been there, done that.
In the worst case, you might have to get underneath the RAV4 and disconnect the fuel lines there, and drain it that way.
 

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In all the years that I have worked on cars I have never had a "bad gas" issue. Though someone always suggest it as a culprit. I have always found a real problem. I do not deny that bad gas might exist. But I think that the get bad gas from a gas station hypothesis happens very infrequently.

I was voicing my bad gas concern on a repair thread when I had a failed primary O2 sensor on a 2000 Subi outback. Car would buck and lurch not accelerate. One ex gas station attendant wrote, that when he was a kid and worked at a gas station he would steal gas and let his friends do so too. At the end of the evening he would measure the amount of gas in the tanks. If the amount measured did not add up to the sale receipts, he would "kick the hose" over and add water to the tank. He even claimed to have gotten pretty good at estimating gallons/minute flow rate of the hose. Says that no one ever complained about "bad gas". I am sure he works in Congress now. But many other people chimed in and either agreed that they had done similar or had heard of others do the same, with no apparent issue.

Good thing that your car is under warranty. Let the dealer figure it out before jumping to any conclusions. I am sure underground tanks have safeguards to prevent water intrusion from flooding.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yesterday the owner of the gas station admitted that there were multiple other people with problems with their vehicles coming forward. He had the gas at the pumps tested and sure enough there was water in the gas. My car is at the dealership now and they will be draining the tank and testing it today. The owner of the gas station said he would pay for any work done on my car and anyone else's affected by this. About 20 state road maintenance trucks got gas there too and have had problems. Remember we have recently flooded and that gas station was under flood waters. Maybe this caused water to get into the underground tanks? I don't know. But all I know is at least the gas station owner is going to do what's right. Thank goodness.
 
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