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Discussion Starter #1
Went to start the '97 Rav today and it cranks over great but won't start. I checked for spark by pulling out a plug wire and putting my spark tester in. It looks kind of like a spark plug with a ground clip on the side. You clip it to ground and crank and it'll spark in the end if there's spark. No spark. I checked all the fuses I could find and they all check out good. I checked for any codes with my scan tool and there are no codes. Do these cars have a crank shaft position sensor? If those go out I know the ecm won't send the signal to spark the plugs because it doesn't know the engine is spinning and it doesn't know where cylinder 1 is. I searched for crank position sensor and can't find anything. Maybe this car doesn't have one. Any other ideas where to check? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I just found out Autozone lists a crankshaft position sensor by Wells, part #SU4043. Their price is $100. Too much to just buy and put in hoping that's my problem. Now that I know this car has one I gotta figure out how to test it. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, found this info, I'm getting closer:

CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR


On your 1997 TOYOTA TRUCK RAV4 4WD, the CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR is:




UNDER HOOD, CENTER, FRONT ENGINE AREA, MOUNTED ON LOWER FRONT OF ENGINE BLOCK
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I found one more tidbit in my search. I need to hook up my scan tool and set it to show rpm's and try cranking the engine. This might show if my crank sensor is working. I'm out to the garage now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, I don't see any rpm's on my scan tool while cranking. I think I can see the sensor down on the engine right behind the crank pulley. Between the main crank pulley and the a/c compressor. There is a wire connector mounted on a metal tab just above it a few inches. I can't figure out how to get the plug apart to probe the wires and see if there is a signal. It looks like it makes an a/c voltage signal while the crankshaft is spinning and the sensor can be measured for ohms, although I can't find what the ohms should read on it. It looks like to get to the sensor to change it I need to pull out a big plastic shield that blocks access to it from behind the right front wheel. Looks like about a 10mm bolt holding it into the block. Anybody else have their sensor go out? Looks like I'm the only one on this topic. Bummer for me.
 

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yap, the sensor is down by the crank pulley. you can see it if you lift the car and remove the lower plactic cover on the side of the motor, it's on the front side. check the wire for cuts & nicks first coz thats easy to fix.

never had to change the sensor before (& there is an engine trouble code for a defective sensor coz it is checked at start-up!) but a mechanic once broke one of the teeth of the pulley when he changed the timing belt and it ran like a dog!!

could be that the clamp holding the sensor has come loose or something & it cant 'see' the teeth on the pulley any more. like i said, a busted sensor will give an error code & engine warning light.

good luck bob & let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Peter. I'm getting closer I hope. I'm now leaning more towards the ignition coil being bad. The guy at my parts counter seems pretty knowledgeable and he said these Toyotas are notorious for coils going out. He said the crank sensor doesn't hardly ever go. And since I don't have any codes that makes me lean away from that. I pulled the cap off and cranked it to watch the rotor spin, should have thought of that first to make sure the timing belt isn't broken. Now I have to check the ignition coil. I'm looking through my service book for the specs on that now. Keep watching and posting with advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, the primary resistance spec for the coil is .36-.55 ohms. My coil checks out at .6 ohms. The secondary resistance is 9.0-15.4 kohms. Mine I think is showing 12 kohms, if I have my meter set right which is a big if there. Does that seem like the primary resistance if far enough off to make for a no spark condition? A new coil is $122 and only can be found at the dealer, and they even have to order one in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think they would tell me the same thing as my readings on my ohm meter tho. I ordered a coil at the dealer so I hope that fixes it. If that isn't it I guess I'll have a spare coil then since I don't think they will take it back since it's electronic parts.
 

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they'll do a dynamic test. i did the same on my old corolla by adjusting the contact point until it was almost closed then tapping it with the plastic end of a screw driver. you can see the spark at the plug if the coil's ok. you just got to find a way to "make-then-break" the current through the primary winding. besides, an open coil is usually really open with infinate resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay. I found the test procedures to check the pickup coil in the distributor. Just have to perform those tests. I also found some tests to do on the ecm which will hopefully make sure that's okay and the procedure I found then says to replace the ignitor if the ecm and distributor check out okay. Doesn't look like anything hard to check, just need to hook the meter up to various things. They don't really list any checks to do on the ignitor itself that I can find. All the test procedures tell me that if everything else I check is okay then replace the ignitor. The ignitor is $160 at the parts store. If the pickup coil inside the distributor is bad it says to replace the entire distributor. And that's only available at the dealer. I haven't priced that yet but bet it's gonna be high!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, here's the update. The distributor pickup coil checked out just fine. The air gap was just a bit larger than spec but not far enough to matter. All the tests on the various pcm wires checked out fine. So, I bought a igniter at the parts store. Found one for $130. Since I had allready bought the coil and can't return it I decided to replace both the coil and igniter at the same time. I figured no sense replacing the igniter and taking a chance at damaging it with the out of spec coil, even tho it's not likely to do so. So, I put them both in and the car started right up. I guess I'm learning a bit about these ignition systems now.
 

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good work bob. maybe you could post all the tests & things you've learned for our reference (& so we don't have to go find it ourselves). it's not often an ignition system goes down!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Too much work to post here. I have the official Toyota service book and the steps are listed there. I also checked on Alldata and they have the identical tests listed there. It looks like they just copied them directly from the service book. I'll just be available for questions if somebody else has a no spark condition they're trying to solve.
 
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