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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

I recently found the board. Great stuff!

I bought a 98 L Auto about 8 months ago. It only had 58 K miles (I hope that the odometer was not tampered with) and for the most part, I'm happy with the car.

A problem that came and went was the check engine light. The culprit has always been Code P0401 Insufficient EGR flow. For the last couple of months the light has remained on. The car runs fine. Can I ignore it and live the check light on or should I try to fix it? Is it the valve or sensor? Anyone know to diagnose and pinpoint the problem? If I ignore it, could it have any effect of my mpg? (I"m averaging ~20-21 City).

Also, when should the timing belt be changed? Some say at 60k, some say at 90k.

TIA, Sig
 

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I wouldn't ignore it, for the simple fact it will eventually casue problems, and that is not good. First I would chack the vacuum hoses to the EGR make sure they are not disconnected, broken or leaking.

Well, I checked my manual for you and it suggests theat possibly the EGR itself is bad, the vacuum switching valve is bad (VSV) or MAP sensor. The EGR also has a filter inside the top of it you might wanna check, the top just pops off. The VSV is attached to the back side of your airbox as well.

I'm gonna include a couple of links to some pics with insstuctions on how to test the EGR and VSV. This is if you want to do this yourself. **The SSV they refer to in the page on the EGR is just a jumper wire to connect the 2 terminals.**

If you would like I could also email you the pics at full size. Just send me an email with your address in it. Hope it helps ya
Oh yeah, your RAV could have a few things different, but should be just about the same for the most part. Cuz my RAV is a '96.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y258/dnylrq/71bbede9.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y258/dnylrq/d04a08fd.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y258/dnylrq/23175d4a.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y258/dnylrq/c35656c6.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y258/dnylrq/fda58909.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dnylrq,

I finally got around to fixing my car.

Just for the heck of it, I took it to my local dealer for an estimate before I tried to fixed it myself. The service rep told me I needed to replace the EGR valve, the modulator and the vacuum switch. The quote... $850!

I used your images and I was able to pin point the problem. The Vacuum switch was bad. $65 for the part and about an hour and a half of my time, problem is solved!

Thank you very much!

Sig
 

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Wow, more than a month later :p I forgot all about this. :lol:

Hope she doesn't give ya any more problems. BTW, did you ever do anything with your timing belt?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I was trying to ignore it... you know, hoping it would go away :lol:

The timing belt? I wasn't sure if it was a 60K or 90K mile maintenace item. I know most guys says to replace it at 60K. Although it can't hurt to have it done 60K, the manual says 90K. http://smg.toyotapartsandservice.com/pdfs/truck_service_98_45.pdf

"Tiiming belt replacement only required for Special Operating Condtion 3 as indicated on page 30 of this supplement."

They define Special Operating Conditions as:

1. Towoing a trailer or using a camper or cartop carrier.
2. Repeated short trips of less than five miles in temperatures below freezing.
3. Extensive idling or low-speed driving for long distances ind heavy commercial use such as delivery, taxi or patrol car.
4. Operatiing on rough, muddy , or salt covered roadss.
5. Operating on unpaved or dusty roads.
 

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Yeah, well so they say.... I'm at 104K miles and still going on mine. Trying to decide if I want to do it or have toyota do it. Plus I got a high flow water pump I want in, and alos want to get a better oil pump and new radiator. But then if I do the engine swap, those things would be a waste of money. Decisions, decisions...... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After all the horror stories I did my Honda's timing belt at the recommended 90K. But you know, the original belt looked just fine and it seemed like it could have lasted much longer.

I'll probably do (or have it done) the RAV when the water pump starts to go.


If you're gonna do an egine swap, then yeah, all that stuff would be a waste of money. How seriously are you thinking about it?
 

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Totally serious. Just gotta keep saving loot to do so. I'm looking at a 3sgte out of the 2nd gen MR2. Maybe keep the stock engine for some small mods for the side.

The nice thing about the 3s-fe is that if the belt breaks, no damage will occur (non-interference). :D So no big deal, just that you are stranded wherever your RAV wants to leave you :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought about that also. But I can't have my car become a money pit. For now I'll just keep it running and do a few minor affordable mods. I just ordered an Addco rear sway bar kit. Keep us posted if you ever do it.
 

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That timing belt was one of the reasons I bought a Rav4 instead of the CRV. The Honda engines are interference engines so if they break a timing belt it'll likely cause valve damage. Of coarse, there were other reasons for the Rav too. Good job on the vsv replacement.
 

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Ok,

I can locate the EGR VSV by feeling for it from down the passenger side back of engine and following the hoses from the modulator. I can see it by peering in the passenger side wheel well. Problem is I can't actually remove it from either of those positions. I tried removing the battery to get a little more room from the top but I still can just barely reach the modulator with my hand.


Anybody else have a 4WD model and removed/replaced the VSV? Did you remove the intake? How were you able to get to it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For me (2WD), the easiest way to reach it was from the bottom.

Here's the part from my 98:

 

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I checked on my 4WD again this morning and did not see how it could be done with removal of various things. I have the exact same part in you picutre and can see my old one on the car too but can't get in to it.

Anyone changed out the VSV on a 4WD model. How did you get to it?
 

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I found the answer to my own question on another forum. I'll post here how hard it is once I get a chance to try it out.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t32479-2.html

"Here's how to get to the VSV switch.
It's on the back of the engine, roughly in the middle. There is a plastic tube with 2 vacuum lines that run down to it. There is also one electrical plug on it.
1) Remove right wheel.
2) Unbolt the right tie-rod from hub, leaving the other end connected, and use some string or wire to tie up out the way. Turn the hub to the right to give a little more access.
3) Remove the brace that runs from the throttle body to the bottom of the engine (2- 14mm bolts). The upper bolt can be had from the top of the motor reaching down using a box wrench. The bottom bolt using a socket.
4) You should now have full access to the switch. I found it best to sit inside the wheel well and using your left arm, blindly reach in and feel for the switch and single bolt that holds it in place. Try a 1/4 drive with a 12 mm 6 point socket.
It's realy hairy in there so make sure your down on the bolt before you attempt to turn it, you'll easly round it off. I chewed mine up pretty good b4 it broke loose and had to put a new one in."
 
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I am in Toronto. The list price from Toyota dealer is CN$145 + tax. Of course, the mechanic can get discount from the dealer. It says 0.5 hour job. But it is just 10 minutes job after putting on the hoist.

If you have a ramp to put the car little bit higher, you can see the part from underneath the car.. it is in the middle, and right besides the engine... if you have the right tool, it is very easy to take out the part and replace it.. No need to take off the wheel or cover.


Btw, there are two VSV, one is the one besides the engine. Another one is besides the gas tank. The dealer list price in Canada for that part is $98+tax. Make sure you get the correct one
 

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I finally got a chance to change out my EGR-VSV on my 98 4WD.

Time required: ~30 minutes
Tools required:
1) Jack and jack stands
2) Lug wrench.
3) Needle nose pliers (cotter pin removal and fuse puller)
4) 17mm socket or wrench for tie rod end
5) Tie rod removal tool and hammer
6) 12mm socket & ratchet
7) 3/8” universal adaptor for socket
8) Wobble extension set
9) Optional vacuum pump and helper or a 6’ long piece of vacuum hose if no helper.


With the 4wd model you cannot access the VSV as it is located on the back of the engine and it blocked by transfer case components.

I turned the steering wheel all the way to the right to give me the most space where the tie rod goes under the body. I set the parking brake and chocked the rear wheels then jacked the right side up and pulled the passenger side wheel off (Note jack stands were used as a safety back up. Never trust a jack alone unless your don't mind a car falling on you.)

Then I used a tie rod removal tool and removed the tie rod. (Do not beat on the tie rod itself hoping to pop it free unless you have this tool.) Don’t twist the tie rod once you have it removed or you will be realigning your wheels.

At this point you can lie down on some cardboard or a creeper. I laid in the wheel well with my feet pointing to the front of the car. Use a flashlight and you can see the VSV and the attachment bolt. It is on the back of the engine block up and to the right side of the passenger well; kind of hidden behind some power steering hoses.

I used a 6 point 12 mm socket, a spring loaded 3/8" drive universal joint, and a couple wobble extension to give me over a foot worth of reach to get the ratchet on it. I was able to get the socket square on the head of the bolt, which is a must because that sucker was on tight.

After I had the short 12mm bolt out, I removed the wire. Look at the replacement VSV to determine which side of the connector to press to remove. Take note of which vacuum hose goes where. When I pulled the hoses, they came off at the hard plastic hoses coming across the frame not at the VSV itself. (If you get confused there is a diagram on the underside of you hood showing which hose from the EGR and the EGR-modulator go to the which end of the VSV. Use a vacuum pump or a long piece of hose attached to the hoses coming down from these components to figure out which hose is which. On mine the hose closest to the engine went to the long hose on the right side of the VSV and the hose closest to the firewall went to the short hose on the left side of the VSV.) Sounds confusing but it isn't if you pay attention.

I found it easiest to get the 12mm bolt started back in place to attach the VSV to the engine. This was a PITA and requires a bit of patience and luck. Then connect the electrical connector and vacuum hoses back into place. Put the nut and cotter pin back into the tightened end and put the wheel back on.

You can reset the ECM by pulling the fuse in the driver's side black box under the hood. My Check Engine light no longer has not returned after I have driven it for over ~1000 miles. My gas mileage has improved from ~20-22 to ~25-29. That translates to 75-100 miles more out of a tank of gas. Well worth it!
 

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Well, since I've eliminated all the other possibilities it appears the VSV is faulty or clogged on mine too. Unfortunately, after 2 hours of trying, I can honestly say there is no way any human being could possibly get to it the using the method described here. I can't even touch it with a snake light much less get a wrench in there. It must be because I have air conditioning. I think it's going to be easier to take out everything on the right side of the engine than to take apart the A/C so that's what I'm going to do, when I have a whole weekend to do it. For now I'll just keep reseting the light with my scanner ever couple of days :)
 

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Mine has air conditioning and 4WD and that sure worked for me. Are you sure that you are looking at the right thing under there? I am average height and have average armspan and it was a pain to find/reach with my hand but doable.
 

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Ledges said:
Mine has air conditioning and 4WD and that sure worked for me. Are you sure that you are looking at the right thing under there? I am average height and have average armspan and it was a pain to find/reach with my hand but doable.
Maybe the 1999 is different but I'll have another go at it, it's not really a big deal right now because it's throwing the code maybe once a week but there's no difference in idle or milage yet.
 
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