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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
So im going to make this long story short (or at least try). My tonka (rav) used to be my grandfathers car but since he had other cars for work and what not he did not have the need to keep driving it so he left it in the driveway out in the sun for a very long time. After 6 months or so maybe more he decides he wants to turn on the rav (he revs the **** out the engine on cold start) and boom goes the dynamite the head had seized or something i dont remember what it was he told me. After a long time at the shop, the car came out running great (or at least i thought it did) so i decided to drive up and down through the island.

Everything worked great until my grandpa decided to give me the rav and from there it all started going downhill. Someone crashed my rav on the drivers side and it had misaligned the chassis. It was still driveable so i drove it just to get to the places i needed to go. After insurance gave me the check i immediately took it to the shop to have it fixed. It came out great and shiny. Ill try to post pictures of the before and after.

Anyways, i noticed that the car was overheating going uphill so it turned out that the radiator fan wasn't oem and that it was not big enough to cool the engine and whoever fixed it before had a brilliant idea of punching holes through the radiator to ziptie the fan. Bought new oem radiator and fan.

Next it started shutting off at stop lights and in various circumstances on the freeway. Turned out fuel pump was bad and clogged; replaced that.

Next my dashlights started going crazy and dimming started smelling like something was burning while driving to a far place at night. I had to turn off the headlights and use the emergency signals to get to my destination. Turned out my car phone charger had burned the outlet cable which came to no surprise because my phone was charging really fast. Replaced burnt cables and took the outlet fuse out as a reminder not to use it.

Up next, it started leaking oil really badly and didnt notice until the oil light came on and off. I immediatly left the rav at the shop. Turned out oil retainer seals were bad so i made a deal that for 650$ he would put new seals, spark plugs, water pump and new belts and clean the engine.

Now it recently started leaking on the same side but not as much. Throughtout all these things my motor mounts have been bad causing intense vibrations at stoplights so i just put in neutral until it turns green. The rav has been at the shop for 2 weeks now and no diagnosis yet will be expecting it any day during this week. Im planning to change motor mounts, transmission mount and getting whatever is leaking fixed. So i guess the question is am i doing something wrong that it keeps having faults? I feel like i have done every possible thing i can do to keep the rav on the road but its still not at a 100%.

Any type of advice or recommendation is greatly appreciated.
 

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Ok, I see your Rav is a 1999 and I would imagine some pretty good miles on it. I would say parts are just wearing out and sometimes when it rains, it pours!
 

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I would say a combination of bad luck and poor maintenance by previous owner/s. Nothing major though, so worth keeping.
 

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Well ... sounds as if you are not a DIY'er on heavy (engine, etc.) work, so it make sense that things are getting very expensive. It hurts to say but these 4.1s are getting very old, so if you can afford it I'd recommend a new car with a long warranty. And sell that 4.1 to someone who will restore it or at least part it out slowly so that other 4.1s can live.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thats the thing my Rav barely has any miles for that year. Im not sure of the specific miles but it is around 137,000 miles so it still has a lot of life left.

Yeah my grandfather doesn't properly take care of his vehicles and i know this because he gave my uncle a GM and at the beginning it worked great and after a while it all started breaking down and it was due to poor maintenance and bad mechanics. (cheaping out on parts and overcharging my grandfather parts and labor)

I do work on the Rav as i have a little background on fixing cars but when its heavy like an oil leak or something that requires taking the engine apart then i just go on the safe side and take it to the shop. I did change the radiator and fan, as well as the fuel pump and brakes and the other stuff ive done to it but it almost always has been being supervised by my dads friend who is a master technician.

Im not looking to get rid of it because my grandfather gave it to me and even though its a money pit it still has sentimental value.
 

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This sounds like one of those cars you'd jump at to buy if someone advertised it with all the recent repairs.

I pulled that one on a friend of mine who really liked his car but was getting tired of all the repairs, some major, and the $$$ he was putting into it. I set him up real good! Told him I knew of a car like his the owner might be willing to sell. He was interested. Then I listed all the repairs the owner had done recently and that the car was in near perfect condition. Now he's really getting excited, "When can we go look at this car?!" I said, "You're driving it."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol thats awesome! Im willing to bet that if i sell it i would probably get good money for it considering how much time and money ive put into it.

The only problem other than mentioned above the rav has is a check engine light with code P0446 that has something to do with emissions so i just erase the code. Other than that it is almost new because i also installed 4 new jbl speakers with an aftermarket radio, window tints on all windows, HID lights (It gets really dark and theres almost no street lights around where i live) but had to take them out because i got pulled over) and 4 brand new tires.
 

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Bad / cheap maintenance.
Bad / cheap repairs.


You can't blame the RAV4. So sorry but be patient. It will come around. 0:)
 

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Here's a video on the error code in Toyotas; I haven't watched much of it though:


If you are ready, willing, and able, maybe this is a good vehicle for learning how to rebuild an engine (again ...). You'll need a clear garage with concrete floor, a sturdy engine hoist, and other special parts, but once you learn how to do it the next big engine problem that scares away 99.9% of folk doesn't seem that big to you!
 

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Personally, my major reason for having a RAV is to be able to drive it and assume that it will be reliable so that I won't have to spend $$$$, either Puerto Rican or U.S., on repairs with lots of downtime, nor lots of time in the shop or wherever repairs and rebuilding are done. If that were my vehicle I would sell it and obtain something newer and with proven maintenance and reliability records.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome video thank you!

Im slowly gathering the tools and what not to do that. After much thought, im gonna start searching for another car. Somewhat modern around 2006 and up and putting the rav on the side of the house so i can absolutely fix it with almost everything new.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That would make more sense since it is already a 17 year old car and given the problems that have occurred that would the smartest route but im honestly not a big fan of modern cars. I rather just rebuild it slowly at my garage and learn on the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finally heard from the mechanic. It has a bad steering pump, bad hose and a bad mount and all that will be fixed for 487. Sounds like a good deal right?
 
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