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Rav4 Engine Cutting Out And Not Starting - Fuel Issue? Help Damsel In

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Hi all.

I am really hoping someone can help and give me some advice - especially as I am female!

I have owned Rav 4's in the past and I used to have an issue with them pulling on an incline in 5th gear. The car would always cut out but then restart fine.

Only a week ago I bought a 2003 Rav4 D4D. 126,500 miles on the clock. I have been in the back of an AA van 4 times in a week - you can probably sense my frustration!

The first time I broke down was on the way home from buying the car. I was driving 80mph (!) on a slight incline on the M6. The engine management light came on and the car lost all power. I slowed to a halt on the hard shoulder ... not fun with two babies in the back!

I was confident it would restart as I thought it was the same issue with my previous car but it would not start for love nor money. The AA put her on the back of the truck and towed me 10 minutes to the nearest services. The car came off the truck, and she started!!! The car had just under 3/4 tank of diesel also.

No fault codes, nothing apparently wrong with it so I carried on home.

Around 3 hours later I came off of the motorway and stopped at the lights. Car just ticking over, and then it died. Same thing, and wouldnt start. I was towed by a chap that felt sorry for me, just around the corner where the car was jump started and then went home fine. I then thought it might be a Battery issue as the car seemed to have the original Battery and took a while to start - kept ticking over.

The 3rd time I broke down I parked facing downhill. Did some shopping, came back and started the car. It started but by the time I strapped my seatbelt in the car cut out and again wouldnt start.

The AA came out again - it wouldnt jump start and said there was an issue with the fuel pressure. They sprayed that fuel in a can into the engine and the car would rev but as soon as you stopped spraying it would lose all power. Checked the fuel tank which appears to have a big dent in it which led to them thinking maybe the fuel gage was wrong. The fuel was reading dead on a 1/4. AA put a gallon of diesel in, used the rest of the can of fuel spray and she started. Got her on the flat and put fuel in, drove home fine. Said the EGR valve may need cleaning.

Cleaned the EGR valve - it was caked in crap. Filthy. That is now clean. I have ordered fuel, Oil, air and pollen filters (came as a set) to replace at some point this week.

BUT, I broke down again this morning.

Dual carriageway, driving 60mph up a slight incline in 4th gear. I wasnt pushing the car to the max and she felt like she was pulling fine. All of a sudden, car looses power and I am again stuck with a baby, on a 60mph road, on a blind corner. Why do we always brake down in the worst places?

Tow truck turned up (third party as the AA were busy). By this time, the hazards had completely killed the Battery and the car was unable to be started. Towed home and I went and bought a new Yausa (spelling) Battery for £130. AA came to my home address and again, found no fault codes. New Battery, started really quickly and drove fine.

So what is the issue? I have been reading about the fuel pick up and potentially a damaged fuel tank? The engine appears to not be getting fuel when this happens and it limp modes and then dies.

Could it be the SCV valves? Purely a dirty (I mean REALLY dirty) fuel filter?

The car in March 2014, had a brand new fuel pump, fuel filter, cambelt and Oil filter. Two months later, a brand new turbo was fitted. So it has had the major works done that you would first think of.

I have some turbo cleaner to put in the tank but haven't yet as the fuel tank may need to come off and to be honest, I also dont want to keep driving it too much without the fuel filter having been replaced.

Can anyone help? The alternator is charging fine so it isnt a fault there.

When accellerating from 1st gear through to second and third, between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM you can feel the car physically holding back. Then when its past 3,000 its like an elastic band has been let off and off the car goes. But I am scared to drive it now because after the 3,000 RPM is also when the car has cut out - but twice only ever at high speed. The time at the traffic lights when stationary could have been down to a knackered Battery.

The car even with this new batter now doesnt like to start quickly. It takes 15 or seconds to get it going. It wasnt like it when i test drove it - probably because they had whizzed around in it just before (ANGRY FACE).

My friend is a mechanic so I am trying (!) to figure out a fault before I send it into the garage. The garage also said, its almost impossible to find the fault whilst its running fine and even when it isnt - no codes are coming up to tell them what it is.

I really hope someone can help me please !

TIA

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Hi April,

without any fault codes present it is a very difficult problem to diagnose and swapping parts over gets very expensive but in the meantime until your mechanic gets to have a look at it I think it would be well worth running a can of system cleaner like BG244 or similar through it, even the turbo cleaner you have as this may loosen up any muck in the fuel/exhaust systems.

Kind regards colin

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Hi April.

I have run garages and intermittant faults are the hardest to sort out. As Colin has mentioned a tin of BG 244

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bg244+diesel+fuel+cleaner+review&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=CB-eVuzHE8G1OvytqZgB​

or even

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Aichoil+AR6400-D&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=bh-eVtHsKsP4PqWYs_gF​

which I personally use may help.

The not having any fault codes makes it almost impossible to diagnose.....re-reading your post have you actually changed the fuel filter yet as this would be my #1 thing to do BEFORE anything else.

Good luck!

Mike.

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Hi both,

The car is off to the garage in an hour for diagnostics ... filters being changed tomorrow afternoon - but I might see if he can do that today also.

Will come back with any info they come back with.

The trouble is, even when the issue happens, it doesnt throw out any fault codes at all :(

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It also broke down on me this morning. I drove to the shop, parked up and went in. 5 minutes later, tried to start and it wouldnt.

I left it 20 minutes and went and had a coffee, came and restarted it fine!

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I am not a mechanic but here is my 2 pennies worth.

The car starts and runs ok from cold and stops when it's hot but will start on easy start when hot but won't run when you stop squirting.

Seems to me that it is using the easy start as fuel as there is nothing else - fuel starvation when hot.

My guess is fuel rail pressure sensor, within limits but failing and not throwing up error codes. EMS will not inject fuel if it appears that there is low rail pressure.

Easiet way to check is swapping with a known good one if you can. About £80 on eBay.

Be careful around the fuel rail as the fuel inside is under immense pressure.

Like I said at the beginning I am not a mechanic and I may be completely wrong.

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Thanks Northern Lad.

I have just come back from the garage. No fault codes even when in Live data.

Fuel Filter and Air filter replaced. The air filter was disgusting - it was a reusable one but was in no way reusable!

Fuel Filter ... replaced and oh my days, was that clogged full of crap! The car now is currently running great - not holding back and she is going for it. The mechanic said the old fuel filter had a slight petrol smell so potentially someone could have put the wrong fuel in too.

But it still is a nightmare to start!!! It is only 1 degree here today so it is cold but its always a pain to start ... either way, I now have to drive the car and see if it cuts out again...which is horrible because I have lost all trust in this car.

I am about to put in some turbo cleaner now into the fuel tank now that it is full.

Fingers crossed but I have a feeling I will be back here again shortly ....

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If it's a pain to start I would replace the glow plugs if they haven't been replaced already. Especially this time of year as extra cold. Try turning ignition on till glow plug light goes out then off again and on till light goes out so effectively heating twice and see if makes any difference . You can test each plug to see if ok with a meter but a new set would be the way to go for me.

Genuine Denso set (4) around £50 on eBay.

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Thanks so much - will get this checked tomorrow!

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Toyotas are so reliable that it's strange when they do play up. Should start with just a flick of the key and if it's done 126,000 more than due for a set of glow plugs, any decent mechanic can check them out for you and change them easy enough. Hopefully your cutting out and rough running is sorted now with fuel filter changed , you may find you have one or two duff ones if so change all four and sorted.

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Hi, may i just suggest as you use up say 2 gallons of fuel, top it up with premium diesel fuel to dilute the fuel in the tank, diesel to the correct fuel, it just may get you out of trouble, free, lol.

Mike.

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I actually just filled up this evening with premium diesel and put in the turbo cleaner ... will keep on top of the fuel this week.

Checking glow plugs tomorrow - fingers crossed!

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This may be of some help on how to test the glow plugs.

post-124631-0-45871400-1453237651_thumb.

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Any update on this ? Did you get it sorted ?

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Hi April, whenever a diesel starts messing about the first thing to do is change the fuel filter. I know yours has just been changed but you might have lots of crap in your fuel tank so it might block up again. Also it is not a good idea to let the tank get too low as any rubbish in the tank will usually be laying in the bottom so best not to let the gauge say get below 1/4 on the dash board, just might save you loads of not needed repair bills................keep us posted!

Mike.

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Hi know someone with a rav 4 2003 that starts first time every time fine on B roads but on the motorway when it gets to 70 it just cuts out ,if you turn engine off then back on great only cuts out at 70 help please

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 12:03 PM, Aleacea said:

Hi know someone with a rav 4 2003 that starts first time every time fine on B roads but on the motorway when it gets to 70 it just cuts out ,if you turn engine off then back on great only cuts out at 70 help please

That sounds like fuel starvation so a very easy first step is to remove the fuel filler cap just to make sure the tank breather system isn't blocked. After that it needs proper investigation starting with the fuel filter.

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