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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 24817
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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We have a RAV4 2,0 D4-D, 2005. Bought secondhand a couple of

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Hi. We have a RAV4 2,0 D4-D, 2005. Bought secondhand a couple of years ago (we are Brits living abroad). Around 8 months ago we started having problems starting the car. It would turn over for a while before starting (but we quickly eliminated battery or starter motor issues with our mechanic at the time). Then the car got even harder to start through summer, and on a few occasions started cutting out completely during a journey when the engine was hot and had been running for some time. Our mechanic tried many solutions including changing two fuel gauge sensors, changing the alternator, changing braking sensors on the engine head (not sure if that is correct, I am translating this from his report), running diagnostics while the engine was hot etc. We searched several UK forums and realised that this problem seems to affect many RAV4s of this age and model. There were many suggestions and ideas but no-one seemed to have conclusive answers. Even the official Toyota dealership here in this country just shrugged their shoulders at the problem. Our mehanic is tearing his hair out and we don't drive the car because it is so unreliable. You can drive it for a week and it will be fine and then it will suddenly stop in the middle of the road and you can't start it for 15-20 mins until the engine is cool, causing traffic chaos. If you have any experience of this we would appreciate advice. I should add that in desperation we have now also changed the starter motor (same problem still happening), moved to a high volt battery as suggested by someone, and also had a new clutch (surely unrelated to this issue but anyway it was needed!). Reluctant to put any more money into trying to fix the issue since we don't know what to try next.
Assistant: Have you changed a battery before?
Customer: yes
Assistant: What year is your RAV4?
Customer: 2005
Assistant: Are you fixing your RAV4 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, mechanic is fixing it - problem is described above along with all our fix attempts so far.
Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, thanks, ***** ***** info is given above great thanks


I'd check that you're getting full power to the glow-plugs, they pull a lot of current so take care when checking but see if the relay is clicking when the ignition is turned on first and also check the fuse if this is OK check to see if the engine earth strap is also OK.

If the plugs haven't been changed in the last 20K then they may have to be replaced.

You can test the glow-plugs with a multimeter by measuring the resistance across the plug ( between the power connection and the body) it should be around 4-8ohms if its tending to infinity / open circuit the plug is faulty or by using a clip on current clamp, either on the supply wire to glow plugs or onto engine earth, with glow plug light on you should see 15-20amps for each glow plug fitted, 4 cylinders would be approximately 60-80amps.

Also if its not injecting at all then check the connections to the crankshaft sensor, unplug it and check for corroded contacts and broken wiring, and consider fitting a new sensor - do the same for the cam position sensor

If the EGR valve is stuck open then this too can effect starting so try disconnecting it to see if this helps or changes anything

Could also be an injector leaking fuel back through the overspill pipe, so not getting enough fuel pressure to tell ECU to fire the injectors, this is trickier to find and you’ll need the garage to do a ‘run back’ test to identify which one is the issue

Lastly it’s also worth considering fitting a new fuel filter as if only slightly blocked this can lower fuel supply pressure and choke the main pump, the pump will be more sensitive to this when its cold as diesel thickens considerably with low temperatures.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Matt,
Thank you so much. This has given us many new leads to try. Interesting that you mention the ERG valve. Our mechanic has cleaned this, he says the diesel here is not great quality and this gets blocked, but he said it could not be connected to this problem. We discussed changing it for a new ERG unit but it's hard to obtain where we live and he was kind of directing us away from this being linked to the problem. We'll investigate all of the leads you have given us, this is really useful advice. Thank you very much !