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Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Auto Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 947
Experience:  16 years of experience
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While driving, I'll suddenly smell a strong odor of gas or

Customer Question

While driving, I'll suddenly smell a strong odor of gas or oil; then the 'check engine' light comes on and stays on for a few days to a week and then goes off. I first started having this problem when my 2002 4 cylinder Rav4 was about 6 or 7 years old. Toyota supposedly fixed the problem (I think they just cleared the code.) but the light came back on less than 5 minutes after I left the dealership. I brought it back and they replaced the O2 sensors. Two years later, I experienced a 'hard shift' problem and Toyota supposedly fixed it again under warranty. Now, I continue to have the problem with the strong odor and the 'check engine' light on and the car running rough. I am now at approximately 116,000 miles and the extended warranty has expired. What do I do? Thanks!
JA: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?
Customer: It stays on.
JA: Are you fixing your RAV4 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No. I take it to a mechanic.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Only that if I get it to the mechanic after the light goes back off, they don't get a code.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 11 months ago.

Most states except California and Virginia most auto parts stores do free malfunction code reads. Can you swing by there and have them run a scan test to see if there are codes set in the computer? Without the code numbers it's very difficult to tell you what could be going on.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My problem (as I mention above) is that -- if the light goes off before I get to the mechanic -- no code shows up. This has happened whenever I make an appointment; the light goes off before I get to the mechanic and there's no code.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
As this seems to be a common problem with the 2002 Rav4, what could be causing this?
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 11 months ago.

That is extremely unlikely. Whenever a check engine light illuminates it sets a code in the history portion of the computer unless you've driven it more than 30 key cycles it would stay in the history. It's possible that there scan tool is not reading the data properly from the computer. Even if the check engine light goes out like I said again unless you're driving it more than 30 times it should still be stored in history. Have you tried a different place to have the codes read even if the lights off? Can you get a code reader from the local parts store usually you can buy one for less than $60 and plug-and-play and check the codes when the lights on? Without that code number it's hard for me to tell you what could be going on.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have no expertise in working with cars. Obviously, I've wasted my time and money here.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Your answers have been nonresponsive to my question.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I would like to end this conversation now.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Please cancel my question and provide a refund. Thanks.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No thanks.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to just answer. I value your questions so I an help you better. The previous expert was bang on with his answer As I am a Toyota master tech myself and can assure you if that engine light has come on there will be a code stored in one of three categories , current, history or pending . Obviously who ever is trying to read codes is not very well versed in this. So if you want to have help with your issue we would be happy to assist you but if you want to go down that path it's your decision but could be a costly one L;et me know .