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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so i feel I've done a lot of research into this but haven't found my answer yet.

I bought my 2012 rav4 sport (with j first letter vin japan made) with v6 and sport appearance package. I've had it just over a year now and discovered fairly early on an issue with the fuel gauge data.

When I fill tank up it correctly reads full. I drive and the fuel level on gauge goes down as expected completely normally. That is until the fuel level reaches 3/4 tank at which point it stays there until vehicle runs out of gas. I use my odometer since that first run out to keep track of the miles so it wont run out again. Also i have a p0455 and p0441 which is purge value low and large leak.
I replaced the gas cap a few days ago with a new oem one from toyota. Not sure if that was causing codes and i also dont know if the codes have anything to do with the gauge reading.
My best guess is something in the tank is causing a hang up of the fuel float.
I read somewhere the possibility of those 2 codes being thrown if the sending unit isnt properly reading the fuel level.
The gauge DOES cycle through its full range when I cycle the key before starting...along with all the idiot lights except for the low fuel light...i've never seen it light up under any circumstances.

My next step i think will be to drop the tank and try to inspect it.

My main concern is addressing the codes but would really enjoy having the full range of fuel gauge reading as well and if that is what ia causing the problem I imagine fixing the float issue will also fix the codes.

Please help! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh and the vehicle has 64000 miles on it currently and has a salvage rebuilt title and these are the only evident issues with it at the moment.
 

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I have about 20 times since this has been going on. I have a code reader and have manually reset the codes about 50 times as well. Thank you though.
 

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I am suspecting the Fuel level sending unit. The float stuck at 3/4 and does no going down for whatever reason. No battery reconnection would help on mechanical problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I built a smoke machine today and used it and found smoke coming out of the evap hose connecting to the fuel tank. It was not securely fastened on there so i put it back on and no more smoke. Smoke is still coming out of the fuel cap that is 2 day old oem toyota. I cleaned the filler neck brim with acetone very thoroughly and tried again and still there is smoke. I read that perhaps that is normal if a particular vent valve is open? Doesnt make any sense to me because it looks like that vent goes into the filler neck below the supposedly sealed cap, but im no 5 star mechanic, just a diy er. I am only aware of a pressure sensor in the tank, a vent solenoid attached to the vapor canister next to the fuel tank, and a purge solenoid in the engine bay. It looks like there are 2 sending units: a primary one attached to the fuel pump and a secondary stand alone one off to the side. Why 2? Or am i mistaken?

Correction: there is no pressure sensor that i can see on the tank. Just a fuel pump and a completely seperate fuel gauge sending unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So i dropped the tank today and took the sender and pump out. The fuel pump and fuel level sender are completely seperate on my 2012 rav4. I assume thats the case with at least 2009-2012 but probably 2006 thru 2012 as well.

I didnt know the ohms it is supposed to be but it had a range of .01 to .41 (full to empty, respectively.

After pulling it out I put it back in and plugged it in and turned rav on. It read it was in E and the fuel light was on! Yay for that as it actually was almost empty as i could see inside it. So i took it out to manually manipulate it and make sure the dash gauge also changed...well to my dismay it did not effect it at all and it continued reading empty. So i checked that the voltage changed with its movement ans that it had voltage to it in the first place. It did with a range of 4 to 10 or 11 volts upon manual manipulation.

I put a camera in the tank and saw a metal bracket that appeared bent...so i got my arm in there and managed to bend it straight. Im hoping that the float was just running into the bent bracket. (I imagine it was bent in the accident it was in long ago before i bought it)

I tried manipulating it while it was hooked up and the gas just stayed at E with low fuel warning light. I had a hunch that perhaps it didnt read the fuel level unless everything was properly installed and in its correct position so i decided to just put everything back together and at least it still will run.

Upon doing that i added 5 gals to the tank from a can and it seemed to move the needle a hair and turned off the low fuel warning light. I went to the gas station and filled it to full while watching the gauge ascend without issue. Now the test will be to drive a tank of gas out of it and see if the needle continues the whole way. I will update this once thats done.
 
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