1997 Toyota RAV4 stalls out when the ignition is started

I have a 1997 Toyota RAV4 with 130K miles on it. Sometimes the car will stall out when I first try to start it. I get all the right lights and the battery was replaced in April.

Turning it off and then on again does nothing; it’ll still stall. I can get it going if I step on the brake pedal, rev the engine and then put the car in gear before the tach goes to zero. Once it does get going, it’s fine. One thing I’ve noticed is that it only happens if the gas tank is less than a quarter full.

So what’s causing the problem, how expensive is it to fix, and am I damaging the transmission by revving it and throwing it into drive?

Has the fuel filter ever been replaced? Certainly sounds like a fuel issue to me. You can have the fuel pressure tested by a mechanic.

Yes, revving the engine and throwing the transmission in gear is hurting the transmission.

I am having a similar problem. did the suggested
solution work for you? thanks -

This may not help but great info on rav4


I haven’t had a chance to try it. I haven’t had problems with it since I posted. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a 2000 RAV with the same problem. You need an IAC (Idle Air Control) valve. If you plan to keep the car a while, have it replaced. The part from a Toyota dealer will cost about $250. If you don’t want to spend that much, the valve theoretically could be cleaned up by a good mechanic.

The iac (idle air control valve) may be sticking, intermittently. Soot and oil, let in by the pcv valve, coat the inside surfaces. Take the large, black, air intake tube off. Spray a liberal amount of Carb/Throttle Body cleaner into the throttle body bore, and into the iac passages. Let it soak a few minuets. Spray MAF Cleaner into the MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor. Reinstall everything. Run the engine at fast idle until the smoke clears. Repeat, if necessary.