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My girlfriend has a 2004 RAV4 L with 12K miles. About 4 weeks ago, she began to have difficulty on start up... especially in the morning. The engine would turn over, but not start immediately.

She had been using 87 octane. I thought she may have purchased some bad gas. Once the tank was empty, I added some Chevron gas additive and filled up with premium. The problem improved, but it did not completely go away. I filled up with another tank of premium... and then on the third week, I added another Chevron treatment with a full tank of premium fuel.

The problem remains. The engine has to turn over at least 3 times before start up... but may be as many as 5-7 times. Acceleration seems normal... though I think it is not as strong as it once was.

She has had zero problems with the Rav4 prior to this. She has had regular oil changes at the dealer every 3-4K miles.

Has anyone had any experience with this issue? Any advice before we head to the dreaded dealer.

Thanks
 
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Good evening,
My 04 L model has the same condition, started late last spring, started fine during the winter, now turns and turns on first dailey start. Is fine after first start. I tried fixes similar to yours whitch have helped some. I have not been to Toyota as yet, they will certainly need it overnite and it just might start tight. I have not found it as a problem on line until you.

Jim
 

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I was actually in the forum searching for this problem!!

I've taken my RAV to the dealer with this problem and left it with them overnight, but it was fine when they started it so they couldn't find any problems/answers.

I heard it could be related to the fuel pump pressure, so that's what I will try next.

Did any of you fix or or at least find out why it does this?
 

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titan613 said:
She had been using 87 octane. I thought she may have purchased some bad gas. Once the tank was empty, I added some Chevron gas additive and filled up with premium. The problem improved, but it did not completely go away. I filled up with another tank of premium... and then on the third week, I added another Chevron treatment with a full tank of premium fuel.

The problem remains. The engine has to turn over at least 3 times before start up... but may be as many as 5-7 times.
Is your Rav a 2.0 or a 2.4 liter? Our manual specifies, at least for the 2.0 liter engines of Ravs distributed in our region, to use only 95 octane and above. I'm not sure about the 2.4 liter ones. Hopefully 2.4 li owners can confirm, or you can confirm through the manual, if 87 octane is quite ok. Not familiar as well what octane level is premium in your area, and if this was sufficient already to rule out fuel.
 
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Same here... actually had the problem quite a year or 2 ago. i was using Shell unleaded. But after that incident it dissappeared. Just yesterday it appeared again... hard starting in the sense that it cranks a bit longer than normal for you to start ur engine again. after that incident its all quiet again. But for the meantime i'm using Shell Velocity just to narrow down the problem.. that it could be just the quality of fuel that i'm using.
Anyone knows what the reason for this hard cranking thingy?

Also if there's something worng with the fuel pump or fuel system... will it light up the check-engine light?
 

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mikelsy said:
Same here... actually had the problem quite a year or 2 ago. i was using Shell unleaded. But for the meantime i'm using Shell Velocity just to narrow down the problem.. that it could be just the quality of fuel that i'm using.
Yes, Shell unleaded and super premium are both below the 95 octane rating required by the Rav's 2.0liter engine. I think they're just 93. Do you still have the problem after using continuous Shell velocity (95 octane)? You can try switching to Petron XCS or Caltex Gold (both 95 octane) for sometime and compare?
 
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Ditto!

I have had the same exact problem with my 04. Every morning for the past month. But starts fine every other time that day. I have tried parking uphill, downhill, level, checking battery, etc. I had initailly thought that it may have been something the dealer did when I brought it in for 60k service 2 months ago.

I have been filling up at the same Shell station, regular. Maybe it is the gas? I know that they can incorporate up to 10% ethanol into the gas. I am going to run this tank until it is on fumes and then fill up somewhere else. However, I have not had the same problem with either my 06 F150 or my 00 Firehawk, both fueled at the same station, although the Firehawk takes premium. Maybe Toyotas have sophisticated palates!
 
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