Question about 2003 Toyota RAV4
I run a 2003 RAV4Cruiser in Australia (195000km on the clock). Last major service was done at168000km (I know I neglected it), and unfortunately bad things happened and I had to replacethe engine with a second hand engine with only 65000km on it. I pickedup the car, it was running fine. After 85km, I noticed a periodic sharpdrop in power and then return to normal (within a fraction of a second). This startedto happen more often over the next 15km, and the check engine (yellowengine) light started to flicker on and then go out. Then the light stayed onlonger, and finally the missing in the engine got so bad I pulled overand had the vehicle towed back to the mechanic to get it fixed. Beforeit was towed, I noticed a red fluid in parts of engine bay, and a smallpool under the vehicle.
The mechanic once he had a look istelling me that there was no fluid leakage. He says the computermanagement system in the RAV (automatics only) is smart enough to knowwhen there is a new engine in the car, and that this has led toelectrical issues resulting in what I experienced. They are now gettingan autoelectrician to check it over. The work done to replace theengine has a 6 month 10000km warranty, and I am worried they may tryand invent a reason not associated with the engine replacement thatexempts them from any expenses to fix the vehicle. I need to try tounderstand the truth and what is and isn't plausible.
My questions are:
1.Is the electrical / computer-based engine recognition thing a plausiblescenario to explain what I experienced in the vehicle? Why wouldn't the electrical / computer system have had anissue from the start? It seems strange this would emerge after 85km ofrunning fine.
2. Given the yellow warning light, if the mechanicdidn't install the engine correctly, what could lead to a anautomatic transmission problem? Do the symptoms I experienced soundlike an automatic transmission problem or the electrical problem above.
3. Have you ever done an engine replacement in 2003 RAV4 Cruiser Auto (I know its a long shot) and experienced this issue?
Thanks in advance
First it is plausible that it could be a ecm problem however if it were replacing the engine was a waste of money and the problem never got solved, and i highly doubt it's a ecm problem to begin with. with the ecm it does learn as you are driving but the only way it does that is by checking the sensors and compenstating the performance from the results. if you were leaking fluid and it was red it was from your transmission or your transaxle if it's 4 wheel drive. If your yellow light comes on most people assume that it has something to do with the computer, but often times that in newer vehicles they don't always have seperate gauges for the oil,electrical,etc. and if you have a low level in fluids it will cause the check engine light to come on. I have over 25 years of experience in engine building i have replaced alot of engines in different vehicles over the years and i have yet to install one in a RAV4, however basic engine principles still apply. all engines run the same and transmissions are the same. the trick is to use common sense and take your time in diagnosing problems. Now you stated you felt a loss of power brfore you had to tow it. I'm going to ask you a few basic questions and I would like you to reply back with the answers. this will help me pinpoint the problem instead of guessing like most under qualified mechanics that just want your money
Posted on Sep 04, 2008
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