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98 Rav4 loses power

I have a 98 Toyota Rav4 that runs great most of the time, but every now and again it will lose power while driving, and act like it wants to stall. It doesn’t actually stall, but loses all power and slows way down. Flooring the gas has no effect, and the RPM guage bounces back and forth between 1 and 2. If I notice it when I initially start the car, and leave it in park, it will correct itself after about 2 minutes. Also, the check engine light is never activated. I’ve had it to the dealership several times, and they can’t find anything wrong. I’ve had the fuel pump, spark plugs and O2 sensor changed, with no results. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

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Sounds like a dead engine control computer. That is my standard answer for problems like yours. I wish I knew if it were a true answer.

Never, ever trust a dealership! They’re only in the business to make a buck and very likely haven’t told you about a problem that will develope into a big, costly repair.
Go to the link on this webpage that gives advice on how to find an honest mechanic in your area and have that shop run a complete computer diagnoses. You will probably discover that the dealership turned the Check engine light off.

Never, ever trust a dealership!

It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with dealerships. If you check back you will find that I often warn people about dealers to this extent:

Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car. They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies. They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  They also tend to have nicer waiting areas.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.

Not all dealers are evil and not all independents are honest.

I agree up to this point…I will give the dealership the benefit of the doubt. While dealerships tend to be more expensive I can get an appointment within a week, get my repair done during that visit and be on my way…a free car is available at times when a repair cannot be completed…with the local shop a visit is required to determine problem, an appointment made often a week or so later, parts have to be ordered, then car must be left at shop usually overnight. my time is worth the additional I pay at the dealership. All of this, of course, based on an honest and reliable dealership.