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Discussion Starter #1
Last week, I noticed that that my 97 Rav4 4WDL (175,000 miles) manual wasn't performing normally. The rpm was shooting up past 3400 every time I changed to higher gear (it should fall) before it falls. In addition, the car is slow to accelerate even when I am pushing hard on the accelerator and it doesn't maintain speed going uphill at 4th or 5th gears. So, I have to drop to 3rd to keep going.
I Changed the clutch a 12 months ago and changed one of the gear shift cable 6 months ago. Spark plugs and spark plug wires 2 days ago. I am the only driver.
Oil change (5W40) a few days before I started to notice the problem.
It would seem odd that the clutch burn out so fast again.
I burned out a tank of gas since and filled up with high octane gas but problem persists.
What do guys think is the problem?
Any fixes?
 

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Could be a sticky throttle body? if the RPM stays high after you back off, the throttle plate is not closing in time. it could also explain the lack of throttle response too.

A can of carburetor cleaner and 20mins of your time is all you will need if you find its sticky (work the throttle by hand to rule out a rusted throttle cable too)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Aussie,
The rpm doesn't stay high. it just shoot up (3500) right after I enter the higher gear and then falls down to normal (2200).
Can you explain what I need to do to find out if the throttle is stuck? if so, how do I clean it up?
 

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If the rpms go up the engine isn't the problem the clutch is. Apparently it wasn't adjusted correctly when the new one was put in. The slippage will be worst in the higher gears. Get it adjusted and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dr Dyno,
But new clutch was put a year ago. Do you think it will take a full year to start acting up?
 

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Could very well take that long if it has been mis-adjusted allowing slight slippage. This all assumes you aren't in the habit of riding the clutch. That'll do it too.
 

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does it idle ok? Or does reving it up sound like its "bogging" down or does it sound normal? Does it have a fuel filter, it may need replacing?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It idles fine. On cold mornings it idles high (1200 rpm) a little bit until it warm up then it drops down (800 rpm). I am looking at a clogged fuel filter as a possibility but it's hard to remove.
 

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I've been told that my foot lingers a little too long on the clutch.
Okay, the truth comes out! :frown
If you get an adjustment to your left foot and the clutch there may be hope. Otherwise buy an automatic!
 

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Okay, the truth comes out! :frown
If you get an adjustment to your left foot and the clutch there may be hope. Otherwise buy an automatic!
An operator timing issue will not help. but it sounds like he has had no problems prior. I just found that when bluey's TB was sticking the engine RPM surged between shifts due to the plate taking too long to close. it did not stay open all the time, but took noticably longer to close, making things difficult.
 

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Thanks Aussie,
The rpm doesn't stay high. it just shoot up (3500) right after I enter the higher gear and then falls down to normal (2200).
Can you explain what I need to do to find out if the throttle is stuck? if so, how do I clean it up?
If you pop the hood and twist the throttle plate by hand, it should snap back with no real resistance apart from the spring trying to force it shut, if its very "gummy" feeling and has difficulty closing, it could be part of the issue.

If you are getting on the gas before the clutch is fully engages, the RPM will surge too, so I would suggest faster clutching if that is the issue.

The idle speed at cold is normal, these engines have a thermostatic IAC valve to make cold starting and warmup easier, its normal for it do drop in RPM once warmed up.
 

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I believe it's a clutch, not a fuel filter or throttle body problem, but Aussie's test should be done to rule out a sticking throttle. If it passes his test do this: With the engine warmed up and idling normally in neutral, stab the accelerator pedal most of the way down and release it quickly. If the rpms don't "hang" at all the throttle is okay and we'll go on to my clutch test.

Drive down a level road at a steady speed of 65mph or so in 5th gear. Foot completely off the clutch please! Now floor the accelerator. You should get slow acceleration with the speedometer and tachometer moving up slowly. If the rpms jump up and you have to release the accelerator to get them back down, your clutch is cooked.

If it passes the cooked-clutch test we'll do the CAC (clutch almost cooked) test. Under the same conditions (accelerator floored at 65) where you're getting a slow speed and tach increase, now stab the clutch and release it. The rpms will jump because you've induced clutch slip, but a good clutch will reengage ASA you release it. Again, if you have to release the accelerator to get the rpms back down, your clutch is going and causing the lack of power issues. The good news: You don't have to bother finding or replacing your fuel filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dr Dyno,
I finally got the fuel filter out and that took me a little time. I will be putting through the paces that you suggested but I have a few questions:
Why did my last clutch burn out so fast (less than 12 months) and 10k miles?
Have you heard the same issue with other 97 Rav4L 4WD?
Typically, how long does a clutch last?
I mentioned that someone noticed that my foot lingers a little too long on the clutch but that only occurs on 1st and 2nd gears because the car jerks forward - may have to do with torque - if I release the clutch too fast.
 

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Dr Dyno,
I finally got the fuel filter out and that took me a little time. I will be putting through the paces that you suggested but I have a few questions:
Why did my last clutch burn out so fast (less than 12 months) and 10k miles?
Have you heard the same issue with other 97 Rav4L 4WD?
Typically, how long does a clutch last?
I mentioned that someone noticed that my foot lingers a little too long on the clutch but that only occurs on 1st and 2nd gears because the car jerks forward - may have to do with torque - if I release the clutch too fast.
A clutch should last 10X longer than that, if not more if driven right. however, I was discussing this issue with a friend who did a clutch on his car and had it go out within 10,000km because - A, it was a cheap nasty one, and B, the flywheel did not get resurfaced.
If you used a high quality clutch and had the flywheel resurfaced it should not be failing,

As far as slipping the clutch in goes, you can generally get away with a bit of that, a slow rolling start in 2nd put as much strain on it and mine last just fine. have not killed a clutch yet even with more conservative gentle shifts.

Do the cheap easy tests first before ordering a new clutch, make sure your throttle body is closing properly (mainly if RPM shoots up when the clutch is disengaged) and not sticking and do Dr.Dyno's CAC test,
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I ordered a clutch online from Autozone and they sent me the wrong one. So, I went ahead and got the last clutch and flywheel at a place that rebuilds clutch not too far from the house. I believe I paid $125 for it. I don't think it was a good quality clutch.
Can you suggest a reputable place that will send the right part the first time and that will last long? I like the car and want to put good parts in it because I can't afford to change parts all the time. And also, how much should I expect to pay for a good clutch?
Thank you all for all the advice.
 

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If it was a reco clutch unit you got its not surprise it made a mess, I do not think anyone bothered rebuilding them here outside of heavy machinary markets.

Not sure if you can get them in the US but I use Exedy kits, they are around $300AUD, but work well. if a bit heavy duty (noticeably heavier pedal thanks to tougher springs). the flywheel comes off and gets resurfaced at a local shop, my lathe is not rigid or tooled well enough for it.
 

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With the exception of city use a good clutch should last 100,000 miles or more. The only time it wears at all is when it's slipping either when it's supposed to while shifting gears or when it should be fully engaged between shifts but isn't due to operator error or improper adjustment. Anything that makes it slip unnecessarily such a holding a car on a hill or powershifting (I miss it!) will drastically reduce its life.

www.[B]summitracing[/B].com 800-230-3030 is about the best source I know of for online parts. They have knowledgeable guys on the phone not just order takers.

Get a full kit including the disc, pressure plate and throwout bearing not just a clutch disc. I also suspect your flywheel has been damaged, possibly severely cooked. It'll at least need resurfacing if not replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys,
I am going to shop around for a clutch kit. There is such a wide price range not counting racing.
 
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