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Discussion Starter #1
Is there any way to boost fuel economy for my RAV4, (getting about 25 highway mpg)? I am also wondering what to check for since my car has been getting a little hard to start and there is a loud knocking sound from the rear of the car when I brake very hard. Any ideas?
Thanks,
rav4 1
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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You didn't mention mileage, transmission type, or if you have a 4x4 so I'm throwing everything out there.

Don't take her to a dealership unless you have deep pockets. Do it yourself (see youtube for a lot of really good maintenance videos) or find a reputable mom & pop shop to do the work.

When was the last time you did a full tune up? Spark plugs (I recommend NGK #3764 Iridium Spark Plugs -- BKR6EIX-1), filters, maybe plug wires, PCV valve.

How about the last time your timing belt was replaced? If you replace the belt, change the water pump at the same time because you don't want to have to go back in there.

Replace ALL vacuum hoses, 20 year old vacuum hoses are hard, brittle and often cracked, leaky vacuum lines will cause all sorts of issues. See - http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-4-1-d-i-y-modifications/255961-vacuum-line-replacement-high-temp-silicone-lines.html

Clean the EGR valve, throttle body, and fuel injectors
Change ALL fluids:
- Change oil if it's due
- Change Transmission fluid/gear oil (depending on automatic or standard). Smell it, does it smell burnt (very bad), what color is it, if brown or black it's overdue, rub it between your fingers does it feel gritty, if it does, it's overdue? Don't backflush an automatic transmission, this is very bad.
- If 4x4 change the rear differential gear oil. Look at it does it look like it's leaking from the axles or the driveshaft area, if so you need new seals.
- Change brake fluid if it's been two years since it was last changed or if it is dark. The fluid absorbs moisture, breaks down, and becomes acidic
- Change the power steering fluid
- Change the radiator fluid if it's been more than 2 years, don't waste your money on 5 year radiator fluid, radiator fluid becomes acidic over time, the lubricants and corrosion inhibitors break down.

How about those rubber fuel and evap lines? 20 year old fuel lines can be a major safety problem.

The rubber brake lines are probably overdue replacement if they haven't already been replaced.

The transmission cooling hoses are another failure point, I lost my manual tranny due to a blown line. See - http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-4-1-d-i-y-modifications/245377-making-your-own-manual-transaxle-cooling-hoses.html

As far as the loud knock from the rear when braking. That can be really bad, you may have a brake failure imminent or it could be a worn out suspension component, I don't know because I haven't heard it or felt it. Either way, a sudden brake or suspension failure on one side could cause an accident.

If you have never replaced engine, transmission, or rear differential (if 4x4) mounts? My rear differential mounts were totally shot on mine. Worn out mounts can damage your transmission, wear on your driveshaft (4x4) and cv joints, rear axles (4x4) not to mention it can effect car handling.

I don't mean to scare you, but a nearly 20 year old vehicle needs some maintenance to prevent breakdowns. Being that I don't know anything about the condition of your RAV I listed things that I had issues with. Click on my garage (at the bottom of my ID box on the right side) and you'll see everything I've done to bring mine back up to speed and to make her the way I want her.

If any of this helped please click thanks. Keep us posted about your progress and good luck with her. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your advice. My car is a automatic with FWD. I have changed the transmission fluid, timing belt+ water pump, spark plugs, new front rotors and brake pads + new rear brake shoes. I just changed the oil and the VSV Valve as well. New exhaust system and rear shock absorbers replaced at 52k miles, (car has 67k miles now). Tires rotated at 65k miles.
Thanks,
rav4 1
 

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Premium Member
1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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2,044 Posts
Wow, that's a real low mileage RAV4! Sounds like you are taking good care of her, the only things to do is clean the throttle body and EGR, and change all belts and hoses including those pesky vacuum lines. Change the brake fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid.
 

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Premium Member
1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
Joined
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2,044 Posts
You say you have new brake shoes, did the noise at the rear start after the brake shoes were changed? If so, it may be misassembled brake components or failed brake shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
New brake shoes

I installed new brake shoes at 54k miles. I belive the guy who installed the wheels back on the car maybe torqued the wheel too much.
What coolant should I use to do a complete DIY Coolant flush? I bought this car when I was 16 so I am really excited about her!!!
Do you also happen to know what part number the AC Hoses are? My A/C is broken and the compressor works, so I am guessing that there is no refrigerant in the system.
Thanks,
rav4 1
 
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