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Discussion Starter #1
I took my vehicle to the dealership and unbelievably they returned it to me without a cabin filter and without and air intake filter!

I did not notice this until many months later a few weeks before the next servicing was due!

The vehicle shudders when stoped like the RPM drops to 500 and feels like it will shut down. It does not really shut down, but it feels bad. This happens when in park or when in drive with my foot on the brake like at a stop light. Any idea what this could be? I'm wondering if they screwed up my vehicle due to no air filter.

Also, inside the car smells kinda funky and I'm wondering if it could be crap stuck in my evaporator core or something around there. When I turn on the air conditioner I do not really smell it though so I guess the smell could be coming from somewhere else. Should I flush my core?

What do you guys think?

I had a huge argument with the dealership and they said they would never return it to me like. Basically they did not charge me for the new filters, but they did not accept responsibility and I had to accept it because I can't really prove it.
 

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Sounds like a careless mechanic who went to lunch and forgot what happen or talking and not concentrating on the job.

Have a look at the MAF and throttle body to see if they need cleaning. There must be dirt blown around inside the air cleaner box.
 

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That's why I change simple things like air filters myself. It's much cheaper, takes 5 minutes, and you know it's done right. NOBODY cares about your vehicle as much as you.
 

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I took my vehicle to the dealership and unbelievably they returned it to me without a cabin filter and without and air intake filter!

I did not notice this until many months later a few weeks before the next servicing was due!

The vehicle shudders when stoped like the RPM drops to 500 and feels like it will shut down. It does not really shut down, but it feels bad. This happens when in park or when in drive with my foot on the brake like at a stop light. Any idea what this could be? I'm wondering if they screwed up my vehicle due to no air filter.

Also, inside the car smells kinda funky and I'm wondering if it could be crap stuck in my evaporator core or something around there. When I turn on the air conditioner I do not really smell it though so I guess the smell could be coming from somewhere else. Should I flush my core?

What do you guys think?

I had a huge argument with the dealership and they said they would never return it to me like. Basically they did not charge me for the new filters, but they did not accept responsibility and I had to accept it because I can't really prove it.
Just curious....would you know if the engine air filter housing was fastened closed all that time? I would assume it wasn't, as how could someone put it back together when it's quite obvious there's no filter there?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just curious....would you know if the engine air filter housing was fastened closed all that time? I would assume it wasn't, as how could someone put it back together when it's quite obvious there's no filter there?
The only reason I can say I know is because it's on the dealership and me that go under that hood and when I checked it myself I had to unfasten it to notice that the filter was in there.

I am not sure what you are trying to say. Obviously I could not have kept my eye on the housing 24/7 from then until now, but I cannot see how anyone would have opened it aside from the dealership.
 

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Did the dealer remove the engine air filter to clean the intake and forget to put it back? I guess it's possible but very strange because they did remember to close all the fasteners. The cabin filter wouldn't be part of the under hood work they were doing. It seems impossible for someone to remove the glovebox, take out the old filter and put it all back together without installing the new one.
What year is your RAV4, how many miles does it have, did you buy it new? Is it possible that it came from the factory without filters? Is there anytime in the past that you know it did have those filters?
 

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The only reason I can say I know is because it's on the dealership and me that go under that hood and when I checked it myself I had to unfasten it to notice that the filter was in there.

I am not sure what you are trying to say. Obviously I could not have kept my eye on the housing 24/7 from then until now, but I cannot see how anyone would have opened it aside from the dealership.
Sorry it wasn't clear, but "stonebuster" pretty much said what I was trying to.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did the dealer remove the engine air filter to clean the intake and forget to put it back? I guess it's possible but very strange because they did remember to close all the fasteners. The cabin filter wouldn't be part of the under hood work they were doing. It seems impossible for someone to remove the glovebox, take out the old filter and put it all back together without installing the new one.
What year is your RAV4, how many miles does it have, did you buy it new? Is it possible that it came from the factory without filters? Is there anytime in the past that you know it did have those filters?
I know where the cabin filter is, I usually change cabin filters myself, but they somehow "noticed" this one needed changing but did not have any in stock. I found it a bit strange it already needed changing but took their word for it. I got my RAV4 second hand but the person who had it hardly used it. When I got it in 2014 it only had 4.5K miles on it, right now it has like 25K and it's a 2012. The minute I got it, I installed a new OEM Cabin filter myself before taking it anywhere for servicing, etc.

My feeling is that they have one or more dishonest persons that they need to identify and terminate. I.e. it may not have been an accident at all.

Anyway, this post is not about arguing so I guess I can stop it here. I feel like some of you guys must be pro-bono dealership attorneys. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow cleaning the MAF made a huge difference both in mileage (at least calculated mileage via the console reading) and in the rough idling or being stationary in drive at the stoplight.

I still feel like it shudders a tiny bit more than it should, though, but looking up on YouTube how to clean the MAF seems do-able but a bit more involved. I am thinking to get a mechanic to do it while I watch him carefully. A lot of the articles I see online say that electrical throttle bodies can shut sometimes and chop off your finger (or your toothbrush) and plus it's better to remove it to clean both sides more thoroughly.

What about the IAC valve, do you think this should be cleaned, too?
 

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Wow cleaning the MAF made a huge difference both in mileage (at least calculated mileage via the console reading) and in the rough idling or being stationary in drive at the stoplight.

I still feel like it shudders a tiny bit more than it should, though, but looking up on YouTube how to clean the MAF seems do-able but a bit more involved. I am thinking to get a mechanic to do it while I watch him carefully. A lot of the articles I see online say that electrical throttle bodies can shut sometimes and chop off your finger (or your toothbrush) and plus it's better to remove it to clean both sides more thoroughly.

What about the IAC valve, do you think this should be cleaned, too?
The throttle body cleaning is not that hard really. Just have to be careful cleaning it since you do not want to drop anything into the throttle body. You don't need to take it off even. Also use throttle body cleaner not carb cleaner. Clean without the engine running. Use only a lint free cloth rag and avoid paper towel which might tear apart and go in the throttle body.

As for the throttle body butterfly just be careful holding it open since the tension is very strong. I clean it with a tooth brush but I am careful to hold it tight so it will not drop inside the throttle body. You can also try using a piece of wood to keep the butterfly open which is long and will not go past down the throttle body.

I would also suggest fuel injector cleaner which you pour into your gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One thing I never realized is that the top of the air filter compartment has another permanent filter, which I think must have helped a lot!

So I cleaned the MAF and also cleaned the TB and now everything works great. Thanks a lot! I took out the whole TB because otherwise I could never have gotten properly to the other side and I wanted to do the "light test", and I felt bad to think that all the cleaner would go straight into my engine when if I sprayed it directly on.

I spoke to the chief mechanic at another dealership who told me fuel injector cleaner is not recommended by him for "newer" vehicles. He said if the injector is being cleaned, then where is the "dirt bag" to take out all that has been cleaned off? He said after any cleaning there had to be waste that should be discarded and while some of it can come out of your exhaust, some will probably stay in your engine.

Actually I had a bad experience once with an older vehicle where I put in injector cleaner and my fuel pump failed afterward. A mechanic told me my gas tank was probably dirty and the injector cleaner was like a thinner that made the sediment soft and the pump probably sucked up all the "mud".
 

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One thing I never realized is that the top of the air filter compartment has another permanent filter, which I think must have helped a lot!

So I cleaned the MAF and also cleaned the TB and now everything works great. Thanks a lot! I took out the whole TB because otherwise I could never have gotten properly to the other side and I wanted to do the "light test", and I felt bad to think that all the cleaner would go straight into my engine when if I sprayed it directly on.

I spoke to the chief mechanic at another dealership who told me fuel injector cleaner is not recommended by him for "newer" vehicles. He said if the injector is being cleaned, then where is the "dirt bag" to take out all that has been cleaned off? He said after any cleaning there had to be waste that should be discarded and while some of it can come out of your exhaust, some will probably stay in your engine.

Actually I had a bad experience once with an older vehicle where I put in injector cleaner and my fuel pump failed afterward. A mechanic told me my gas tank was probably dirty and the injector cleaner was like a thinner that made the sediment soft and the pump probably sucked up all the "mud".
While, yes, at any given time, anything can happen, but generally a good brand of FI cleaner poured into a full gas tank works very well.
 
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