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Help Please, Rav4 Intermittent Power Loss When Accelerating

31 posts in this topic

On 27/09/2016 at 9:36 PM, Sarah White said:

Thanks Ant-Rav. It makes a huge difference when the car pulls properly - keep holding my breath in case it starts mucking about again. Would be jumping about with joy if it hadn't cost me so much to sort it out. Hopefully others reading my post can short cut the process now and not end up spending what I did.

The mechanic checked the turbo when he took it out and said 'it was knackered' so replaced it.

Need to remind my mechanic to send me a bill, so will ask him what the part was called and let you know...:biggrin:

Was it by any chance VSV vacuum sensing/switching valve?

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I think that is what it was called.

However, I am sad to say that after spending all that money and doing my best, the problem was only cured for about 6 weeks and it is all now back with avengence. I have given up and am about to trade it in.

My message for all those with this issue - don't bother trying to fix it - get rid asap so that you don't end up paying a fortune on a problem you will never fix!

Thank you all for your helpful comments. Good luck with your cars, I hope you have better luck than I did.

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Sorry to hear that Sarah. Still have same quite dangerous problem myself. Dangerous as in the car loosing power at the worst possible moment.  Have not given up yet despite all my efforts to cure same. My mechanic mentioned to me it might be a possible injector problem, an injector not working properly. Possibly to do with the way the injector sprays the diesel. Would anybody on the forum have any input regarding injector problems and whether this could be a likely source of the problem. I do not want to give up on my rav just yet. Would love to hear someone's learned opinion.

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I think I have cured the loss of power, so I would like to share my story with he rest of you. 

lately the car became incredibly slow. worst than ever. Those who experienced this loss of power know what I mean. As if it wasn't enough, my engine management light, VSC light and 4x4 light came on, the error code reading was P2002 Diesel particulate filter efficiency below threshold, bank 1. Basicly clogged up DPF.

So because I have only driven it around the town for last 4 weeks, the DPF became clogged up and car went in to limp or safe mode, where the revs wouldn't go over 4500 rpm. I have tried to reset the warning lights many times but they came back on sometimes straight away, sometimes after a minute of driving. It was the most frustrating thing I have experienced with a car. I took it for a drive on a motorway hoping that the DPF would regenerate it self, but unfortunately this didn't happen. (BTW driving at the top speed of 45 MPH on a motorway is a very scary experience, especially when it takes about half a mile to get it to that speed.  Please do this at night when the traffic is low). I was driving for about an hour at 45MPH with 2000rpm, without any results. I pulled over and reset the fault codes few more times, once the warning lights disappeared from the dashboard I took off as fast as I could. The car got out of limp mode so I revved the engine at 4500- 5000 rpms in third gear doing up to 70 miles per hour, out of desperation I wanted to get the exhaust hot enough to burn the soot out so I was really thrashing the engine. After about 15 minutes of madly revving the engine, I put it in to fourth gear and kept the revs at 2000rpm for another 30 minutes. During those 30 minutes exhaust started smoking and I kept going until there was no more smoke coming out of it. (There was a lot of smoke there, sorry fellow drivers). Believe me the engine did get some abuse that night and I was expecting something to go wrong with the engine but I was so angry with it that I couldn't care less. This seems to have helped to clear the DPF and like a miracle the hesitation and loss of power has disappeared as well. The car drives like a new again and I can not stop smiling every time i press the accelerator pedal. It flies up the hills and even if I put it in second gear at 5 mph, after pressing the accelerator down it sets off like a rocket. 

Whatever it was that caused the lack of power and hesitation, I cured it for now. I Have brought it back to life by driving in third gear revving the engine just below red line for a period of 15 minutes, plus another 30 minutes at 2000rpm in fourth gear (I read somewhere that the latter are ideal conditions for your DPF to regenerate itself). It has been two weeks now since the car is back to normal and I have fingers crossed ( also while typing this message) and hope that it will remain this way.

My exhaust smokes again everyday now for a couple of minutes, ( it was doing it since I bought the car anyway) but for as long as the engine runs okay I am happy to live with that and I don't look behind in the rear view mirror when it happens. 

I hope that someone else will try the same procedure to prove that this is the way of fixing Toyota engines or whether I am just so blessed and a miracle happened to my engine.


If you wonder whether I have tried something else before to fix the loss of power, below is my other post related to the problem. Since that post I have cleaned EGR valve one more time, replaced fuel filter, air filter, engine oil and oil filter again. I did not use Winns injector cleaner for last 800 miles as it didn't seem to be helping anymore. V power is the only diesel I use. Fuel consumption is excessive but I do put my foot down every time I drive it. 


Good luck to you all and again fingers crossed.


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Just noticed this popped back up again. Looks like Sarah didn't get sorted :( Not sure that it will help anyone, but here's my current state of play:

Short version: Car still drives fine vast majority of the time, unless i'm going up a hill and change gear and the variable vanes are required to go from one extreme to the other, then I loose power till they turbo eventually spins up after a few surges. I've started to try the lotions and potions shelf and see what if anything will improve it, I don't expect any of them to work, however the issue is minimal enough that I can try different options while i'm waiting for a free weekend to do the job properly and strip/clean it.

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About 2 weeks ago my RAV4 started loosing power again. (Read my previous post please). Since my last experiment back in February with driving it at high RPMs in third gear, it was running like a dream and I though that the loss of power was gone for good. Since then I have done only a handful of motorway trips and used the car mainly for short journeys in the town. When I noticed the loss of power it was not too bad and the car was still pulling after a couple of seconds of hesitation, but the same evening it became very sluggish and hardly driveable. So I took it on the motorway for a 30 minute drive doing 70 mph in 3rd gear at approximately 4500 rpm, then another 30 minutes doing 50 mph in 4th gear at approx 2400rpm until I cleared my DPF. Well the results were positive and the car works like a dream again. 

I am not sure which components are being revived during the high RPM drive, but it certainly does something to the engine that cures the loss of power. This procedure worked for me twice already and until I figure out a permanent solution, I will keep repeating it. If anyone else tried this, please post your experience. 


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