2002 Toyota RAV4 - Air-Fuel Sensor Issue Persists & Other Lingering Issues- Need Advice Or Opinion?

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#1
Hello. Nice to meet you all! Having an issue with air-fuel sensor issues and a few other things with the emissions and engine control systems. I need your opinion or advice.


Over a month ago, as I was driving, my check engine light came on my 2002 Toyota RAV4 2.0L Silver LE edition. it has approximately 157,000 miles in very good condition. It was manufactured as they were during this time in Japan. The car has mostly original factory parts. Okay, I never had an issue with that check engine light coming on before. Within the 2-3 week period, the check engine light came on and off several times with each time having the check engine light remaining on longer than before until finally it remained on all the time around the 3rd week. At that time, I invested in the latest model mid-range Innova 3030g scanner/reader and received the codes from my car (with the red LED on the scanner lit that coincides with my check engine light on):


1. P1130:

A. A/F Sensor Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

B. A/F Sensor Circuit Range/Performance Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

2. P0420 (Generic Stored) Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

3. P0430 (Generic Stored) Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)

4. P0300 (Generic Pending) Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected


I called my family member mechanic and he quickly assured me (as I originally thought) the oxygen sensor was faulty for Bank 1 Sensor 1 and needed to be replaced. This is the upstream A/F sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 1) on the left side if you were looking forward from the driver's seat. I did my own homework and discovered it needed to be an A/F sensor and not an oxygen sensor for my car. I bought one from eBay for $35 and yes the seller indicated in the title of the listing: Bank One Front Left Upper Air Fuel Ratio Sensor for Toyota RAV4 2.0L (89467-42010). After a few days of not driving my car for fear of catalytic converter damage if I were to drive my car with a bad sensor, I finally installed it. This new replacement A/F sensor is the same looking as the original sensor in every way with its 4 wires. I reset the computer with the scanner and the check engine light went off. I did a recheck with my scanner after I did a 10 minute test drive and the scanner gave me NOT a green "OK" LED light I expected by replacing the A/F sensor, but a yellow LED warning light. The scanner indicated no impending issues with the yellow LED light, but at the top of the scanner showing the I/M (Inspection & Maintenance) Monitor Status: CAT, EVA, O2S, and HTR were red flashing and the MIS, FUE, and CCM were green or "okay".


So I drove the car close to 300 miles and after a week later, I never had a check engine light come on. However when driving the 2002 RAV4 during this period, I have noticed the 2002 RAV4 at random but consistent, very subtle; a fast switching of shimming or surging or pulsating for lack of a better word when I apply the gas. This is especially evident when driving on a highway over 45 MPH. It would be just like an engine often misfiring and that subtle pulsating feeling one would feel while driving. The 2002 RAV4 has gotten much worse with this pulsating the last few days I noticed driving on the highways. Then just last night at a stop light while driving in the city and driving a few miles from my last stop, the check engine came on again. I used my older Innova 1303 CanOBD2 Diagnostic Scanner when I came home and ONLY received the one code:


P1135 or Air-Fuel Sensor Heater Circuit Response Malfunction with the I/M Monitor Status having the CAT flashing and the other statuses for MIS, FUE, CCM, EVA, O2S, and HTR saying things are fine. The red LED on the scanner showed I had issues.


So I left the car sit less than an hour after I got home and started the engine. This time, the check engine light was NOT lit when I started the 2002 RAV4. I immediately plugged the Innova 3030g and then got a yellow LED light or warning with no impending issues with the 2002 RAV4. Then I drove the car for a total of 6 miles last night with one stop and again the car did often pulsate or surge when driven, but NO check engine light had come on (as of yet). After I plugged in the Innova 3030g and then got a yellow LED light or warning with NO impending issues still. The Innova 3030g scanner showing the I/M (Inspection & Maintenance) Monitor Status: CAT, EVA, O2S, and HTR were red flashing and the MIS, FUE, and CCM were green or "okay". My older Innova 1303 CanOBD2 Diagnostic Scanner displays the same identical information as my newer Innova 3030g.


So I am confused what is going on? Why can't I get the green "okay" LED light on my scanners after replacing the A/F sensor Bank 1 Sensor 1? What is up with that pulsating feeling while driving? What is going on?


I need your help! Any suggestions and ideas what is going on here?


Thank you for your reply!
 
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#2
I have no experience with your particular scanner, but I suppose you need to do something to help your car pass all tests for monitors. Your budget A/F sensor may unable to satisfy your computer programmed test for the heater circuit. If you still have your old A/F sensor, you might do a comparison test for ohms through each A/F heater circuit.
Also, if the heater is not doing a good job of keeping the sensor hot enough, you might get some driveability symptoms, like slow A/F response time (fuel mixture going rich/lean so slowly that you can actually feel it happening).
 

nickb2

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#3
Within the 2-3 week period, the check engine light came on and off several times
Most likely this was a soft code. A misfire or something to that effect. The rav 4'2 had quite a few issues with hard codes, evap codes. I am actually writing something for this site in regards to this.

Often, what happens is a evap code will light up the check engine, What most clients don't understand is that when that hard code illuminates the check engine light, they may be missing a costly error. I once, or a few times, had to retrieve live data just to make sure it was not a stupid error such as a gas cap.

So, if the engine light is going off and on, most likely a soft code and most assuredly look to the coils. Very notorious on these 2.4"s
 

nickb2

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#5
Oops, said 2.4, you probably have a 2.0l

Also another dead giveaway on these Rav's look to the coil boots. I may have said that wrong but most know this is a huge problem on these toy's. Look for arching or a split boot.

You say you have an In-ova. Live data will be hard to get with that. But it will display PCM/ECM hard data. So that might be helpful.
 

nickb2

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#6
I would recommend you go on the internet and buy a ELM 327 device. They are cheap, and they have way more DIY'r capability.

If you want, check this site out, you will find links to proper software.

I prefer the wifi one, since I am lazy, I can check live data and PID data while sitting on my couch. ;)
 
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#7
Hello. I am back.

Thanks for your all your replies.

UPDATE:
I am tending to lean as a layman that the "budget" A/F sensor may be the culprit?!?!? I don't think it is a Denso or an "Toyota" OEM one (made by Denso); yet the eBay seller simply states it is an "OEM". This is what Mobile Dan above suggested. I am about to replace it by ordering a Denso or OEM Toyota (Denso) one today. It makes sense, but this is not a clear cut issue. I will explain.

Just sounds weird what has been happening lately. Let me explain. I will try to not be as long winded as I was before, but stick to the facts.

Shortly after I did my initial post above, I did add Cataclean cleaner to the 02 RAV4 and I did notice a slight improvement after driving it on the highway (around 55-60 MPH) for 28 miles around trip. During the whole trip, the check engine light did NOT come on at all.

I have been driving very short round trips afterwards from my home. I notice when I startup the 02 RAV4 after the engine has gotten cold after hours of not driving the 02 RAV4, the check engine light is NEVER on when I start the 02 RAV4 at home. If I drive it say, on the highway for a few miles and then do city or street driving for a couple of miles; then shortly after I have stopped at a traffic light or stop sign or even notice the car is in park running for a moment or two (This driving scenario always seems to play out with the check engine light coming on.), then the check engine light will come on. Then I have parked my car within a minute after the check engine light comes on and I have used my Innova 3030g reader on hand. The reader only gives me ONLY ONE code P1135 with no pending codes and of course the RED LED is lit on my reader indicating a serious issue present. The reader's I/M Monitor Status shows the CAT and the EVA indicator are flashing red while MIS, FUE, CCM, O2S, and HTR are showing just steady green and are okay. However, there are no codes relating to the CAT or the EVA systems present or pending or otherwise. The check engine light will stay on the rest of the time I am driving around town until I come home and wait for hours until the engine gets cold again.

To add, maybe it is me, I have noticed the duration period from the time I start the 02 RAV4 from a cold start to the time the check engine light comes on is getting slightly shorter with each drive I take the 02 RAV4 out. And the check engine light stays the rest of the time until I cool the 02 RAV4 for hours. I go by the coolant gauge in the instrument cluster to tell me how cool the engine has gotten.

So it is interesting. I would think if I am getting a P1135 code and the heater element inside this budget priced A/F ratio sensor indicating this A/F sensor is bad as soon as the first time the check engine light came on after I installed it, it would be bad once and for all and I would always be getting the check engine light on ALL THE TIME until I get another new and proper A/F sensor installed??????? I am not. It seems the 02 RAV4 needs to get "hot" and be driven for a bit before I get the check engine light on and the P1135 code.

I have put new spark plugs in the car over a week ago I did not state in my initial post (Iridium OEM "Toyota" ones) from the Bosch Platinum Quads I had in it before and it runs much better now. I did see a very slight cyclic misfire with the Bosch spark plugs and that is gone now. Over a week and a half ago, I have also cleaned the MAF sensor a couple of weeks ago with MAF cleaner and put in a new engine air filter too. I even installed a new PCV value too back then. I have not done any serious diagnostic testing yet. I may likely today.

Any more ideas? I am open ears!

Thank you for your previous replies.
 

kev2

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#8
suggest you install the correct sensor... operate vehicle lets see what happens.

might want to ck A/F sensor relay... high draw may make them stick ..
 

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@ kev2 :

Hello. Thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate your suggestion. I will get a "real" A/F ratio sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 1).

Okay, I have to ask you. I love your troubleshooting diagram in your attachment! May I ask you where you got that diagram from (Book/Manual Title, Publisher, Year of Publication)? Can I access it too or not? Explain. If it is privileged information, could I ask you to please provide me a few more pages in an attachment since your diagram and troubleshooting defers to other pages I could really use. These are the pages I could rally use: DI-42, SF-62, SF-66, IN-32, and SF-47. There are 5 pages I need. These are the pages highlighted in blue in the page you attached in your last message. Could you please attach these 5 pages like to did in your last message above in a new message to me? I could use that information to test it. Whatever this reference you are using is really darn good!!! Better than my Haynes Manual for my 2002 RAV4!!!

Please reply soon!

Thank you very much!
 

kev2

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#10
what is there is OEM considered proprietary, compare to Haynes see what is missing...

the post was to clear up the definition...key word circuit !! I will get info ohm's etc
 
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@ kev2:

Okay, thanks for your help. So you want me to test for the resistance between the two wires on the A/F ratio sensor? All I was doing is testing all possibilities from your first diagram to make sure there are no other issues and working in that diagram from step one by checking with the ECM and work onward from that. I am working my way though it. That is all. Haynes does not even begin to troubleshoot anything like this at all.

Anyways, please let me know this: Are we talking the two black wires on the A/F sensor harness your diagram calls, B+ and HT or not? If not, please explain the wires to test the resistance? Usually black wires determine resistance what I know. Also your diagram shows at a temperature of 68 degrees F. My car is cold and has not been driven. Todays temp where I am is around 55 degrees F. Should I still use the lower 0.8-1.4 Ohms range still? A third question, do I need to keep the A/F sensor still screwed into the exhaust manifold or remove it to do a resistance test? Sometimes having it "grounded" can effect the measurements like resistance depending on how it is configured.

Please reply.

Thank you very much!
 

kev2

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did you put new AF sensor in? If its in do as I suggested operate before any checking - clarification was a code never says change a part, your issue is CIRCUIT! TEST BEFORE CHANGING A PART...
if the new one is not installed check it when you get - does not need to be installed.
the ohm diagram shows where to probe how to hold connector.
 
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#15
@ Kev2:

Thanks for your help! No. I do not have the NEW A/F sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 1) at the moment. I am ordering a Toyota one today. It will take a few days to get it. I do appreciate your help thus far. You have given me a big hand thus far.

From what I gather, it is the two black wires I need to run a resistance test on. After deep searching, I Googled and found this online to help confirm my questions I had. It is for a 2003 Toyota model year vehicle, but really there is no difference here relatively speaking. More Detailed Info. On A-F Sensor For Toyota I Googled And Found Pic. - 11-9-15 PM.JPG

Again, I appreciate your help! Will keep you updated!

Thank you!