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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the forum, so hello to all.

I know that the answer I get will probably be bad news, but I hope your answers are not beyond the impossible.

I always wanted a RAV4 post 2000 because of the body style, and so I needed another vehicle anyways and found a 2001 standard model, at a used car dealership. I know, bad Idea but the price was good and now I kinda know why.
Well, I say I am a jack of all trades, but being a mechanic and looking for all the hallmarks of a car when buying is not one of them.

So I have had it a couple of months and the car runs fine. These are the problems I notice from the beginning. The engine light was on, but a man that I know is a mechani and has a RAV4 told me that not to worry about the engine light because running it through the computer to diagnostic it is more time waste than just living with it. His does the same thing and he has not problem at all with his. I settled with the engine light staying on.

THe other problem I noticed is that I was going to have to have it charged up with freon because it was not blowing as cold.

AFter a few days when I would turn the heater on because the weather is cold, the air would blow correctly then stop blowing intermittently. I thought well maybe it has something to do with the cabin filter, maybe it's clogged. I changed it, and it was way clogged. I put in a new filter and cleaned out the clog. That did not fix the problem.

I then decided to take it to an air conditioning ship to have it charged and have them check why the air was blowing intermittently.
That was where things got worse, and NO I am not taking my RAV4 back to them to fix, as my gut feeling tells me not too.

The tech at the shop told me that wires had been cut and soldered back together with different wires. He told me because of the way it looked he did not want mess with the wiring. He told me he was sorry he could not help me with that, because if he did get into all of the wiring it would be an expense not worth the year of the vehicle. I reluctantly agreed and paid for the service of servicing the air conditioner.

Well as I left, I was upset that I was a lemonhead and didn't think to look at any of the wiring when checking out the car, when I bought it.
So as I was leaving the shop I noticed my speedometer was not working and my odometer was not working, as well as my automatic Windows.

I was disheartened and had no intentions of going back to the shop and telling the tech and then leaving my RAV4 there only for them to tell me to fix they would probably have to get into the wiring which would then start running up a bill for repairs. I think when he was checking the wiring and connections a wire probably shorted or something. I do not know.

So what I need to know is that I have an appointment to take it to another shop to have them look at the wiring because they do a lot of wiring work, and all I am having them do is look at the wiring harness and tell them what happened so maybe they know which harness to go to or what.

Guys please tell me that the odometer is not beyond repair. THe mileage still displays, it just has not increased. It stays on the mileage it was when it was last worked on I guess.

I have been so discouraged I almost thought. Heck if my RAV4 is going to go out I might as well disassemble the dash and pay big bucks for new harnesses and change them out myself. I called a Toyota dealership where I have an acquaintance that works in the parts department who was helping me find the wiring harness. I found out that a wiring harness is not one, but different harnesses. We found the part for one harness, but he told me to find if there is only one harness that is all messed up (I think the instrument panel because of the speedometer and odometer), but I think it is several because of the air and Windows and get that part number. THey are expensive.

Sorry for all the text, but I know you guys want details of all that happened.

PlEASE, PLEASE
Please, Please tell me that my odometer, speedometer, Windows, and air (especially the odometer) can be fixed back to normal. I do not want to have a RAV4 that I cannot say that the mileage is not correct.

Please tell let me know if it will be worth it to take it to the shop next week. I also plan to tell them what is not working and what happened so maybe they can look at those harnesses and see where the problem is.

Thank you to whoever reads this for taking your time to read my novel and possibly give me a glimmer of hope that I can get my RAV4 back to normal working condition.

I hope my RAV4 experience is not a short lived one as I will need another vehicle and will probably be a while before I can find another good used RAV4.
 

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Well, lesson learned for your next purchase to always have a used car inspected by an independent mechanic before purchase.

Not worrying about the check engine light when you don't know what code it is throwing is downright stupid, don't know why a mechanic would tell you that. You can go to any autozone or other car parts shop and get the code read for free so you at least know what the problem is. Then you can decide whether it is worth repairing.

I wonder if a mouse got in and chewed up the wires and the previous owner attempted a diy repair.

If speedometer/odometer were working fine before you brought it in for the a/c work it likely is just a bad wire or blown fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, nouse4aname.

Will the code reader tell me if there is a short. The battery went down then I took it to Autozone and had it charged up. THe battery was charged 100% and showed perfect so I am wondering if there is a short somewhere now that is draining the battery.
I am going to check the voltage with the vehicle running so I can see if it is an alternator going out and maybe not a short. But that is still the least of my problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Welcome Lemonhead, how many miles on your Rav ?
Well until I can get the odometer working again. MY RAV4 has 166,XXX miles on it. I have only put a couple of thousand of those miles on it myself. Hopefully I will get to put a 100,000 more on it if I can get it fixed. I know it is fully capable of getting there if Rav4's are as good as 90's Camry's. I had a 1993 Camry that had 217,000 miles when I bought it used. I had it for 11 years and put just over 100,000 more miles on it. That had to be the best car I have ever owned. I sold it because it was just starting to break down more and I am no mechanic. I bought it for $2500.00 and more than made my money back on it over the years. The only major thing I had to do to it was a new timing belt and cv joint, and new tires every 5 years. I miss that car.
 
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