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My aunt recently passed, and she left her '99 Rav4 2WD for our family to use. We've enjoyed driving the car so far, but we've noticed one thing about the car. The so-so mileage. I read on the EPA's website that car should get 24 city/29 highway, but I've gotten nothing near that. The past couple of times that I've filled up, I've had between 18-20mpg. I'll admit, that I can be heavy on the gas sometimes and that I use that ECT button, but I don't accelerate rapidly or drive at high speeds on local streets.

So would anybody have a clue as to what could be wrong? The car is nearly 7 years old, but it only has 17,000 miles, and my aunt was the only owner of the car.
 

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17000 Miles !!!! There is your problem. Its not broke-in yet. It should be almost there but I suspect that its been sitting around for most of its life. I'm sure it will get better the more you drive it.

The Oil should be a good colour and the air filter should be clean. Check it out. If not replace both.

Another thing that may be a problem is that it may have sat too long with the same gas in it and it may have gummed up the injectors/fuel pump/fuel filter or any other part of the fuel system. May want to have the fuel system cleaned by a professional shop. Small price to pay for years of service to be had from the RAV that is practically new.

Sorry to here about your Aunt but I'm sure you'll get to enjoy the RAV for years to come with the proper maintenance.

Later. M :wink:
 
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With "economy" style driving I get 28mpg out of my 99 4x4x manual transmission.
Check tire pressure, that makes a lot of difference.
 
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The only time I ever get 30+ mpg out of my 97 is when I keep it b/t 55 &60 mph for long stretches. Other than that it's b/t 23 & 26 mpg which is still good for stop and go. The only solution is to slow down, but who wants do that? It's difficult. Enjoy your RAV!! :D :D
 

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I am one of the few people that obeys speed limits. Which here, is very good because the Rav loves doing 55mph (as does virtually every other Toyota I have ever driven). Which reminds me of something exciting that happened today. I was doing 30mph in a 30mph zone with no overtaking. I looked behind me and (I kid you not ) there was an Aston Martin. Behind that was a Lamboghini, behind which was a Harley, behind which was a Porsche 911. They all looked rather annoyed as they followed me for about 2 miles doing 30mph unable to get past. Then as we approaches a dual carriageway I thought I would step on the gas and leave them for dust. I am pleased to report that each and every one of those vehicles kicked my ar$e!.....even with the ECT in power mode and a K&N filter! :D :? :( :cry:

 
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Hi,

I have a 96 3dr Rav4. According to my calculations (which are prob wrong :lol: ) I'm geting 13mpg. But I do rev the engine lots and most of my driving is start/stop in traffic.

After reading, everyones post, I'm a bit more worried, lol. I think i should try doing an 'economy' run on a full tank and see how it goes. I think around 20mpg sounds about right for a 4.1, with mixed driving. But if the car has only done 17,000miles, its prob needs a little time to adjust to its new driving patterns or maybe try disconnecting the battery and let the ecu reset itself so that it can learn the new driving habits? (I might be completely wrong, so please correct me if I am :)) But doing this will reset the radio also (just thought it mite be valuable to know this)

Cheers,
Jimmy
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Just recently I have gained over 10mpg on my RAV.

I bought the car in January with 88,000 miles on it. There were dozens of things wrong with it, not to mention that it had the wrong size tires on the car. I changed the tires to 225/70/16s (granted those are the wrong size two, but the tires that were on the car before were so smal they looked like they belonged on a small Honda coupe or something). I noticed I was getting "bad" gas mileage: around 17mpg. I immediately flushed all of the fluids, changed the oil, changed timing belt, water pump, and all outer belts just as a matter of maintenance. It had no effect whatsoever on the fuel economy. I then changed the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, fuel filter, replaced the stock air filter with a K&N. All of the above seemed to make a very small difference in performance and it upped my mileage by 1mpg.

I then decided to reset my ECU, so I disconnected the battery (both positive and negative terminals just to be safe :) and let it sit there while I ate lunch. I then started up the car and immediately felt a difference. The car "coasted" a lot smoother, had more power, idled better. and now I am getting an average of over 28mpg with mixed driving conditions. I could not be happier. I have never done one single thing to any car in my life that made such a huge difference in performance.

I am guessing that my RAVs ECU was running the car based on all of the old settings in order to compensate for worn out parts, despite the fact that I had just replaced nearly everything. I am also guessing that the ECU was functioning based on the settings it received when the car was driven with the wrong size tires on.

Either way, I am now getting 28mpg simply because I disconnected my battery and ate lunch. I would suggest it to anyone and everyone considering how easy it is, and how many people are getting bad fuel economy with their RAVs.
 

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On the ECU reset, I have always thought about doing this but wouldn't it have averaged things out and adjusted anyway over time (e.g. 40 starts) even if you had not disconnected it?

Pulling the leads off the battery may have just cured a dodgy battery connection.
 
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I suppose the dodgy battery connection is a possibility, but if it was a bad connection in the first place wouldn't I have most likely been spontaneously losing all my radio station presets? Would a battery connection that is bad, but not bad enough to reset my radio presets, and/or ECU have any effect on fuel consumption? Either way, simply disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it has made a world of a difference.

I was under the impression that the ECU logs 40 starts and then simply stores those (as opposed to throwing out the oldest and keeping the newest every time you start the vehicle). Not sure about this. I'd like to know, however, because if it wasn't an ECU reset that has drastically changed my car then I'd like to pinpoint what exactly it was.
 

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I'm tempted to try this now just for the fun of it to see what happens. I'm not having any real fuel economy issues - it's not great but it's not terrible - or performance issues, though. What kinds of things does the ECU store that would be removed from its memory by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes?
 

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jimmyajames said:
Hi,

I have a 96 3dr RAV4. According to my calculations (which are prob wrong :lol: ) I'm geting 13mpg. But I do rev the engine lots and most of my driving is start/stop in traffic.

After reading, everyones post, I'm a bit more worried, lol. I think i should try doing an 'economy' run on a full tank and see how it goes. I think around 20mpg sounds about right for a 4.1, with mixed driving. But if the car has only done 17,000miles, its prob needs a little time to adjust to its new driving patterns or maybe try disconnecting the battery and let the ecu reset itself so that it can learn the new driving habits? (I might be completely wrong, so please correct me if I am :)) But doing this will reset the radio also (just thought it mite be valuable to know this)

Cheers,
Jimmy
I'd say your calculations may be wrong, coz 13 MPG is VERY poor :D

Mine gets around 26/27 MPG city driving.................but that drops a bit on the highway, where the low gearing really hurts fuel economy.
 

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Try also changing the fuel filter. Also If you RAV is an older one aside from having AWD you are also driving an aerodynamic brick. Handy hint - throw away your calculator, buy a Foo Fighters CD and scream to it until you train yourself out driving a RAV like a Lambogini! Seriously Fuel filter, tyre pressures, air filter and regular diff oils and tranny oils changed. Don't wait until reading another post about a whining noise. That may be your worn out tranny and diffs.
 

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i assume that when you post in a thread from about 5 years ago that your tip is not going to land by those who have written something here.

Your comment about the aerodynamics are a bit odd. You don't buy a RAV4 for it's aerodynamics. It's not a race car. It's a car meant for normal every day comfortable drive and some medium offroading.
Greetz

Pim
 
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