Rav4 struggles to start - Noone can solve - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 01-22-2012, 05:43 PM
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Rav4 struggles to start - Noone can solve

My 2007 Rav4 began starting very hard about 2 months ago. So it takes maybe 5-7 seconds to start, when during its whole life previously, it took barely over a second. Long story short, its not the battery, its not the fuel, I don't think its the fuel pressure regulator because turning the key to on for 7 seconds before starting does not make starting any quicker. Everything runs well on the vehicle once it starts. Idle is good, response is normal at all speeds. No one can help me figure this one out. Any real RAV4 experts out there run into this before?
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#2 Old 01-22-2012, 06:50 PM
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Hi Toyata owner

Before you start the engine , turn the key on and make sure the dash lights stay on for 10 seconds before starting the engine. What we are doing is priming the fuel pump. See is this helps. Does the starting problem only happen with the vehicle has not be starting for four to five hours. Dennis
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#3 Old 01-22-2012, 09:45 PM
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I have tried turning the key so that all the lights are on for at least 10 seconds...even longer. The car still takes a long time to start. Yes, it only takes a long time to start after its been sitting a long time. If I start it shortly after it has been running, it turns right over.
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#4 Old 01-24-2012, 10:35 PM
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Fuel pumps have different kinds of check valves in them to keep gas from draining back into the tank.
Fuel lines have pressure in them even when not running so where is it going...my guess back into the tank.
Pressure test is 2 part not running and running this is the test you need first. This should have been 1st thing to check so maybe you need to find new repair person?
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#5 Old 01-25-2012, 05:40 PM
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The 2007 Rav4 does not have a check valve in its system. At least my research online as well as the Toyota dealers have said that. Matter of understanding, the only thing in the fuel delivery system for the 2007 RAV4 is a fuel filter built into the fuel pump assembly (inside the tank) and the fuel pressure regulator...that's it. Everyone seems to say that the regulator would be obvious if by turning the key to start (all the lights on) for 10 seconds before turning it over results in a quick turnover. However, it does not. The dealer tells me that if I have them diagnose it, they will not likely find the problem conclusively and recommend waiting for it to get worse...if it does. So does any of that allow you to conclude differently?
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#6 Old 01-25-2012, 10:37 PM
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"fuel pressure regulator" or something else has something in it to keep fuel pressure in the line. If not anytime you let it set for a day and crank it it would take time to bring fuel all the way from tank.
When you turn your key for 10 seconds all it can do is pressurize system not pump gas all the way to injectors.
I still think something is letting gas drain back,sorry to say I do not know exactly what.
Ask dealer why they or you cannot do a pressure test before starting after it has set.Testing fuel pressure gauges are fairly cheap and easy to hook up. There should be 2 readings not running and running.Dealer should know what they are,like 10lbs not and 45lbs when running. Numbers could be way off they are just example.
If you read on changing fuel filter on most all cars and I know 4.1 RAV4s you have to relieve pressure some how,one way is to start it up and take out fuse for fuel pump and let it run till it dies. If you do not do this fuel will spray ALL over when you take filter off.
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#7 Old 01-26-2012, 04:25 AM
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Fuel Pump fuse and relay might have weakened.
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#8 Old 01-26-2012, 04:37 PM
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check the spark plugs gaps?

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#9 Old 02-01-2012, 04:01 PM
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I've never heard of a fuel pump fuse and relay 'weakening' but I have to believe that if it were a problem, then the vehicle would have running issues beyond just starting, but it doesn't. The plugs gaps are fine. I'm wondering at this point if it makes sense to spring for the 100 bucks and replace the fuel pressure regulator and see if that doesn't cure the problem. If the dealer is able to diagnose it, it'll probably cost that much for the diagnosis, which I figure at this point can only be the pressure regulator, or something in the fuel pump assembly. Anyone feeling more confident about it than I. I'm leaning toward the regulator.
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#10 Old 02-01-2012, 09:20 PM
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I would try to go to a local shop and ask them if they would stop by your house and do a pressure test after it has been setting on there way to work,they could look to see what size wrench they needed and take gauge home with them it would not take 10 minutes.
You may have to try more than one but it might be worth a try.
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#11 Old 02-05-2012, 02:08 AM
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It's the battery, Johnny. Have it load tested, it will probably fail. My 2008 began taking longer to start after only 2 years. Had the dealer load test the battery, it failed, and they replaced it under warranty. Your RAV4 uses a lot of current and requires a strong battery. The electric power steering, the electric 4WD clutch, the ABS system, they all consume a lot of power. If the battery is weak, the starter may be pulling the voltage so low the ECM can't function properly.
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