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Discussion Starter #1
I'm picking up a 99 RAV4 tomorrow and I'm excited to join the family. I'm pouring through these forums and excited to find this community and it's wealth of knowledge. I'll be the third owner and it is an AWD 5-speed with 130k miles. I'm pumped. The paint could be better, but theres no rust and I'm already planning on repainting the rims. Only real issue is a CEL... which I believe has something to do with O2 sensor because it seems to run perfectly. Time will tell.
 

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Hi,
You may want to check what is called the ("VSV Valve). It can also set off the CEL and it is located underneath the RAV4 at the bottom of the engine. Let me know if you need any other help.
Thanks,
rav4 1
 

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Congrats! Get the ODB-II codes read and report the numbers here; AutoZone will do it for free if you don't have a scanner.

Lots of basic maintenance to do, most likely. RockAuto.com for most of the aftermarket parts, including the upstream O2 sensor (NGK or Bosch are my preferred brand, "direct fit" versions). Air filter, spark plugs, wires, PCV valvc, ...

Don't forget to give the braking system a good inspection. Clutch and timing belt/water pump/thermostat may be on the horizon too.
 

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Thanks for the advice, I wish I had a scanner tool because there is not an AutoZone in the immediate area. I asked the owner if they had performed any of the servicing mentioned and he said he had not, that other than the light it had been running fine. To be honest, I feel he doesn't want to sell it, that it is out of necessity that he is, so I trust that it's in good condition - he seems to love it. I can handle most of the suggestions myself, but for example, should I replace the water pump for preventative maintenance or just be ready/expecting it to fail? I am hoping the CEL is the VSV. I read the sticky and believe I can handle that. Once again, thanks.
 

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Have a TSC near there? If so, pick up one of these:

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/performance-tool-diagnostic-scan-tool

If not, order one of the same from eBay, Harbor Freight, etc. (different colors, brands)

Do the water pump, timing set, and thermostat at the same time, when any one of them is going bad or if it has been ~60,000 miles since the last timing belt change. Read here about doing them -- some significant tools are required, e.g., a super heavy duty air gun to get the crank bolt loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ultimately, the 1999 ended up not being a great deal for me. I found a clean 98 for a much better price and condition. My RAV4 does have the issue with 5th gear, which I am eager to tackle, but other than that it runs great. I can tell it has had routine maintenance and it has no CEL. It does have some extra things that I have not seen often while researching. It has a spoiler that directs air down over the rear door and factory rocker guards. Once again, thanks for the advice and the welcome.
 

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Didn't happen.... no pics !!! :D
 
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