Starting problem

Tiny
REALITY
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 TOYOTA RAV4
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
I have a 1998 Toyota RAV4 2WD. For the last couple of months the car has been starting bad. Once you let it sit for a while it has problems, It will take a long time to crank and once it does SOMETIMES it will idle poorly or want to shut off if you do not press the gas. If you drive it for a while, turn it off and right back on it starts good. I have had the following replaced or cleaned:

IAC throttle plates
Fuel injectors
Sparks plugs & wires
Fuel pump
Fuel filter
Fuel pressure regulator
Starter

Can anyone offer some information on what may be wrong? Thanks in advance!
Note: I also took this to the Toyota Dealer where they spent three hours and could not find anything.
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Friday, June 19th, 2015 AT 11:04 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It sounds like nothing has actually been diagnosed. The starter has nothing to do with a running problem. The combination of symptoms suggests fuel pressure is being lost through a leaking injector and flooding some of the cylinders. To start the verification for that, connect a fuel pressure gauge, then see what happens to the pressure after the engine has been off for a while. It is supposed to hold steady for days or weeks. If you find it drops to 0 psi, also watch how long it takes to come back up when you turn on the ignition switch. The fuel pump will only run for one or two seconds, then turn off. That usually isn't enough time to get the pressure high enough for the engine to start.

The fuel pump will resume running once the engine is rotating, meaning you're cranking it. The starter motor draws the battery's voltage down quite a bit, so that makes the fuel pump run slower than normal. That makes it take even longer to build up the needed pressure. If you do see that delay in pressure buildup, turn the ignition switch on but don't crank the engine. After a few seconds, turn it off, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again. That will double the amount of time the pump runs and will allow it to build more pressure for starting. You can even do that three times.

Once the engine starts, check right away for black smoke from the tail pipe. That is another sign the cylinders were flooded. Black smoke comes from burning way too much fuel.
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Saturday, June 20th, 2015 AT 12:27 AM
Tiny
REALITY
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply. I forgot to mention in the post I have checked for smoke several times, there is none. Also the guy who cleaned my injectors said he listen to all of them using a stethoscope? And they all sounded fine? Not sure if that helps at all.
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Saturday, June 20th, 2015 AT 1:57 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sound doesn't mean anything. A bad injector will still make a clicking sound. What you want to find out is if one is leaking when it's closed and at rest. The only way to know that is to remove all of the injectors while they're still clipped to the fuel rail and it's still under pressure. You'll see the fuel dribbling out. That leakage is what is the most common cause of fuel pressure dropping after the engine is stopped.

You can also pull the vacuum hose off the fuel pressure regulator and see if it's wet inside. If it is, the regulator is leaking and must be replaced. That is not very common except on GM trucks.
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Saturday, June 20th, 2015 AT 2:16 AM
Tiny
PENTALARC
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 TOYOTA RAV4
Engine Mechanical problem
1998 Toyota Rav4 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

Is it possible for a car to need a tune-up so badly that it will not start? My car conked out while I was driving it, acting like it could not get fuel. A mobile mechanic said that it was getting fuel, but was not getting spark, and that it might be able to be solved with a tune up. If not, then it is the distributor.

Does this sound right? Can a car need a tuneup so badly that it won't start? Can replacing the sparkplugs, etc, fix the problem?

Thanks in advance

Pentalarc
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
When was the last tune-up? -It will cause your problem-here's an example if the rotor and cap are corroded/excessive clearance exist between the two it will not fire up
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EMMJAY92
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 TOYOTA RAV4
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Car stalled and will not restart. Makes a whirring noise when you try to start. Toyota Rav 4 1997
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine atleast 3/16 away from ground-have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, Do you hear the fuel pump come On when you turn key on? If not check fuel pump fuse and fuel pump relay if okay-check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, coil's resistances, cap and rotor, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it and keep testing

If both fuel and spark is present-check the valve and ignition timing, this will lead you to problems

with compression and valves opening and closing at the wrong time/broken or jumped timing

belt/chain.
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Sounds like the starter drive or solenoid is shot. Replace it or the whole starter.
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CNOBLEZA
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA RAV4
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 139,000 MILES
Hello:

When we step on the gas pedal to accelerate from 30 mph to higher, we hear like a rattling noise mainly on the driver side.
When the car is on but not running, we do not hear the noise, only when its running over 30mph, it comes on and off.

Thanks
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

This could be a number of things but 2 that come to mind is a loose or broken exhaust mount, or a faulty knock sensor, for this you will need to get a scan done.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ACABRINA
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA RAV4
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
On my way to work, the vehicle made this strange noise like lawnmower out of gas and static on a telephone. It just killed and would not start BUT does turn over. Feels/sounds like it's not getting any gas. Is there a fuel reset button? Or what is the problem?
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
There's no fuel reset button

Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine -have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, coil's resistances, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KJYOUKNOW35
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA RAV4
I have a 96 Toyota Rav4. My battery like had cake on and when I changed my battery it remained on. So a couple days later my car wouldn't start and when I turned the key it would make some sound and it wouldn't turn on. I realized that my alternator connection wire had corrosion on it, so I cleaned it with Coke and a wire brush and when I tried to connect it it still wasn't turning on. What other solution is possible to get my car operated again?
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KJYOUKNOW35
  • MEMBER
My battery light had been on
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The warning light means the charging system isn't recharging the battery while you're driving. Use a battery charger on a slow rate to recharge the battery for about an hour, then have it and the generator tested by your mechanic.
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 12:22 PM (Merged)

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