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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 32365
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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1999 Rav4 - 209,000+ miles. car always ran great - fuel

Customer Question

1999 Rav4 - 209,000+ miles. car always ran great - fuel economy not as expected since I had it for over two years. Problem to follow
JA: Has the vehicle turned into a gas hog? And how does it start -- same as usual?
Customer: When it warms up the car seems to have clogged fuel filter, it dies while driving down the road. starts back when I put in neutral. The engine cuts and studders. when the car is cold for about 5 to 6 miles it runs great...
JA: Are you fixing your RAV4 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: plugs, wires, fuel injector cleaner, new fuel filter.. I am thinking maybe fuel pump but it is not all the time. could it be something with emissions system.. I am not a mechanic at all but try to do everything I can myself if possible. Only started happening a month ago and is getting much worse.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: not really
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Eric replied 10 months ago.


When it dies, does it sputter, stutter, misfire or run rough just before dying, or does it die smoothly like someone just turned the key off?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Actually both ways. But mostly studded then dies. It also seems to get no gas...
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But it starts back immediately. I keep going to and from work every day. 20 miles each way.... very irritating and worried I can't find issue
Expert:  Eric replied 10 months ago.


Ok, while possible it is the fuel pump, usually when they intermittently fail, it is due to overheating and shutting down and you have to wait 10-15 minutes before it restarts.

The most common issue is the loss of crankshaft position sensor signal due to faulty crank sensor. And usually it will not set a code in this case, so it is overlooked initially as the cause

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
is this sensor easy to replace myself? Or is it in engine somewhere and a professional has to replace. Cost??????
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Cost may determine future of vehicle.
Expert:  Eric replied 10 months ago.


As to whether someone at home can do this, it depends upon their skill level. The crank sensor is located next to the crankshaft sprocket for the timing belt, which means pulling the timing belt cover.

Labor time is 3.8 hours - at shop, that would be about $380.

The sensor lists for $128

So total would be about $510 for a shop to do the repair.

If you feel up to it, I can upload the directions for you