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Toyota RAV4 (pre-2006): Problems & Solutions

steverstever Posts: 52,462
This discussion is for learning how to solve issues with 2005 and earlier Toyota RAV4's.

Please see the 2006+ Problems discussion for the new generation RAV4.

Steve, Host


  • I've been looking at RAV4's and I don't see the Rear Bumper. I noticed some that seem to have a small add-on rear bumper. I saw one the other day, going down the road with the rear hatch door smashed in all the way to the rear tires.
    Where is the Rear Bumper?
  • mayerstmayerst Posts: 3
    Can anyone help with these two codes? In advance Thanks

  • typesixtypesix Posts: 321
    There is no rear bumper in pre 2006 models unless you count the two small corner pieces as bumpers.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    1133 Air Fuel Sensor Circuit Response Malfunction
    1135 Air Fuel Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
  • I noticed I am not the only one with the problem. I got the car back from Toyota Dealer in Hamburgh NY. They claim car is operating great, scans all good. They do not notice any hesitation. I told them look again. Now they flush the trans and replace air filter with diagnostics $200.00 Car hesitates as I leave the parking lot. Does any one have any knowledge of the problem and what is being done. I have on several occasions pulled out into traffic and had what feels like third gear the car could not get out of its own way. Some one in another message mentioned the "AIC"?
  • You explanation does not give us much to go on. The "hesitation" and the "feels like third gear the car could not get out of its own way" are two entirely different symtoms. Can you explain further in more detail?
  • My 1999 Rav-4 is hesitating on acceleration. It seems as though the car has stopped. When "pumping" the accelertor, the car suddenly acts as though it has fuel to go on.
  • My 2004 Rav4 makes a high pitch rattling sound between the speeds of 40-60mph. The dealership replaced the MAF Sensor, but the sound is still there. It sounds like a metallic rattle and is louder later in the day (I assume due to increased heat). Any one know what this could be?
  • How hard have you looked for this problem? Do you just hear it, and take it to the dealer and ask them to look? You need to listen under the hood and under the car, and find out WHERE the noise is coming from. Is sounds like this could be a number of different things, sometimes the exhaust system has heats shields that may come loose and rattle, or the exhaust may sometime touch against something and make the rattle. Or it may be something else, you have got to listen close to hear where it is coming from.
  • I have a RAV4 2004, automatic w 4wd and I notice the hesitation when the engine temp is cool. When first starting out with a cool engine I will press the gas and there will be a lag of perhaps 2 seconds before the engine responds and accelerates. This is not uniform and seems to disappear when the engine reaches normal operating temp, but it is a problem that I have had almost since I bought the the car (new). I did mention it to the dealer once who said there was nothing wrong with the car. . . :cry:
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Did you ever get this problem sorted out?
  • drobsondrobson Posts: 1
    when you take out the dip stick smoke pumps out how can i fixit
    thank dave
  • Replace the engine
  • badgtibadgti Posts: 3
    i have the same car and the sam problem and its distroying the cat i replaced one new and used an after market on the on under the car now the cat get cherry red what did you find out or did you
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Sounds like you are taking the oil dipstick out with the engine running.

    If true, why would you do that?
  • badgtibadgti Posts: 3
    no im not touching anything just normal the car also has a hesation under acceleration its dumping fuel in the car the cat were eating away before fuel psi was good no leakage by injectors
  • badgtibadgti Posts: 3
    why the rav 4's dump fuel into the cat not from O2 sensor not from tps and not fuel pump system dumps fuel in even after disconnecting both sensors
  • 04rav404rav4 Posts: 1
    My 04 RAV (85K miles) has a rattle - Mechanic believes it is a bad bearing on belt tensioner - He also suggested replacing water pump at the same time, Is this typical?
  • olavolav Posts: 3
    Ckeck the MAF sensor placed at the air filter. Clean it it and try the car . :)
  • olavolav Posts: 3
    Try to cahnge the chain tensioner. That will solve your problem. It is not the waterpump.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Just an FYI:

    After 6 yrs and 81,000 easily-driven miles with me as the only driver, dealer services, and no towing, I had auto trans troubles in my 2001 AWD RAV4 (purchased new).

    Dealer said a trans replacement was necessary,
    and put in a re-manufactured unit.

    Out of standard warranty (5yrs/60k miles),
    I am now out of pocket US$3,660 plus state tax.

    Obviously I'm not happy about it.
    I now have a different view of Toyota reliability and durability.
  • azearguyazearguy Posts: 1
    On my 04 Rav 4 the vsc and check engine light comes on. The dealer said just wait until you start the engine four times, and it goes away. Can't this be fixed? It also hesitates some times and I have to push the acc. down, and it then jumps.
  • 1997 Rav4 engine blownMy 1997 rav4 engine blew while climbing a pretty good mountain in western North Carolina. There was no warning light, no smoke, and I had personally changed the oil 4 weeks before. I bought it about 5 months ago from a private party. I have no reason to suspect they were selling a lemon. Any ideas why this engine blew? Any ideas on how to avoid it happening again to the rebuilt engine I am about to pay a lot to put in it? Any ideas on where to obtain reliable rebuilt engines?
    Thanks to any one who can help shed light on this mystery.
  • One of the best places to buy a rebuilt engine from is Jasper, find them on the internet. They do quality rebuilds with 3 year warranties.

    One possibilty of why the engine blew is that it could have become oil starved going up the incline. The incline could have tilted the engine enough so that the oil pick up started sucking air.

    If you are going to do that kind of stuff, you might look into some specialized stuff, like a deeper high capacity oil pan with a deeper oil pickup tube.

    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • I have a 2003 Toyota Rav4 with less than 66,000 miles on it. Today my check engine light came on and I went to Auto Zone to have them check it. The code came back P1135, Air/Fuel sensor heater circuit response (bank 1 sensor 1). The Auto Zone employee told me that Toyota, by law, has to keep the sensors current for five years beyond the model year and they should replace it for free. Is that true?
  • I just bought a 2004 Rav4 about a month ago. Love the car so far, except for the smell of the interior when I drive. I first noticed it after driving the car for about an hour-a strong smell of something like exhaust I think. It seems to be coming from the air vents. I have tried using the interior only circulation to prevent sucking in exhaust from cars in front of me, and the smell persists. It seems to be worse when I am climbing hills or on a longer drive. Any ideas?
  • Help! My keyless lock mechanism on my 2004 Rav has started acting up; when you hit unlock, it locks. When you hit lock, it does nothing. When you turn off the car and remove the key, all the doors lock. This morning, I hit the remote to see if it cleared up (after rain, I thought a short?), and it started locking and unlocking repeatedly on its own and the headlights came on.
    My car is alive!
    I can't find any info in the manual; is there a fuse to check, or a wiring diagram to see if there's a short? Surely it can't be the battery in the remote. It does the same thing with both remotes.
    Any suggestions? :confuse:
  • I have heard a cheaper replacement for automobile cabin filter would be to purchase a Filtrete ac home filter (good ones are about $10 for a 16 X 24” filter). Depending on the size of the filter in your car, that $10 can make 4 – 6 cabin air filters. The biggest challenge is cutting and fitting into the housing for your vehicle…some have a plastic housing that make this easy, some do not. Can anyone see a downside to this? Any possible way it could harm the car? Any safety issues? I have allergies and would like to replace the filter more often but at $20 a pop it’s ridiculous. Thoughts?
  • tpinmatpinma Posts: 1
    Similar to suvshopper4 (comment #22), I recently had automatic transmission problems in my 2001 4 cyl RAV4, which is approaching 100K. The car was having problems shifting. First, when I shifted from P to D, the engine hesitated a few seconds before shifting. Then, as I sped up and the car changed gears, at one point RPM's got up to over 5000 before shifting to the next gear (I think that was going from 2nd to 3rd gear, it was around the 30 mph mark).

    I took it to my local mechanic who I think does good work and is trustworthy. After looking at it they said there was a leak in the seal and this caused the transmission to slip and would cost $3000 to repair (I may not be stating the problem correctly - my mind was blown away by the cost). After making that repair, they encountered a problem with the computer (powertrain command module?) that prevented the transmission from working properly. So they had to replace that for another $1200! They think the computer problem caused the original transmission problem, and they said this has been a not-uncommon problem with RAV4s.

    So, I don't know if I got screwed by the mechanic, because maybe if they had just replaced the computer up front, the original transmission may have gone back to working fine. Or, if this is a computer problem Toyota is aware of and should be issuing a recall for. Either way, I'm out almost $5K. If I had known that going in I probably wouldn't have had the repairs done.
  • cowboymccowboymc Posts: 1
    I am a orginal owner of 2001 with 156,600 miles on it. Starting hearing noise from engine compartment. Turned out I had to replace water pump. Posting this so people can compare what problems arise and when.
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