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Toyota Rav 4 issue

Had a check engine light come on the dash of a 2010 rav 4. Charcoal canister was wet and needs to be replaced $1794.00 was the report from toyota. My mechanic checked it out and said it’s actually fuel. To do the repair properly the Gas tank should be replaced with a new type which doesn’t allow fuel to enter the canister like the old tank. Is this a toyota defect? Toyota service tech told me this occurs when using auto fill at the pump or topping off the tank upon refueling. No where in my owners manual does it say anything about this practice.Now after going back and forth with toyota they said they will repair it for $890.00. I still feel like this is their error and way too much money for me to pay from my point of view.

When a friend of mine (who insisted on forcing gas into his tank after the gas pump clicked off) had to replace the carbon canister in his Toyota Highlander, it cost ~$400, but that was back in 2000 or so. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this repair now cost at least twice that much at a dealership. More than likely, your mechanic can replace it for much less cost.

As to replacing the gas tank, that is really not necessary, and is typical dealership “overkill”. Simply stop adding gas as soon as the gas pump clicks off for the first time–as it likely says right on the fuel cap of your Rav.

I’m not sure where I read it…but since charcoal canisters were introduced some 20+ years ago…you should NOT top off the gas tank. Raw liquid gas may get into the canister and this cause the canister to fail.

An expensive lesson. If you feel it’s too much, go get another estimate. You won’t like what you hear as the parts will likely come from the same place. I get estimates all the time, then50%, end up going back to the dealer.
But, agree with VDCDRIVER, now you know. I bet it never happens again to you.

Toyota bulletin T-SB-0046-10 provides information to correct this issue.

The repair involves replacing the fuel tank and if necessary the charcoal canister. I haven’t repaired one myself but I suspect the fuel tank overfill control vavle is integrated into the tank and not replaceable separately. This is the tank valve that stops the venting and triggers the pump nozzle to shut off. The addition of this valve in fuel tanks 15 years ago makes it difficult to overfill a tank, if working properly.

The Toyota and Federal emissions warranty coverage is 3 years/36,000 miles.
California and some other states require these parts to be covered for 7 years/70,000 miles, so it depends on where you are.

Personally, I would probably find someone else to just replace the charcoal canister and never keep pumping past the automatic shut-off. Perhaps the control valve is faulty (as per the TSB), but it seems like overkill if you’re careful at the pump. Either way, $890 seems insane and $1794 criminal, although I admit that I didn’t go look up the labor involved.

I would do nothing. The canister will eventually dry out and start working again. You do have to stop the practice of adding gas after the pump handle first clicks off. The system will repair itself and the CEL will go off on its own in a week or so.

I concur with @keith. About a year after I got my Supra, I started smelling whiffs of gasoline, but could never find a leak. After a lot of checking and testing, I finally found the source was an over-saturated charcoal canister. Further checking, and I found that they had at some point connected the vacuum lines incorrectly so the vacuum did not purge the canister as it was supposed to. I hooked the lines up correctly and the smell went away. Haven’t had a problem since.

I have a 2011 RAV4 with the check engine light on. My repairman told me to replace the cannister. I took it Toyota to confirm what my mechanic told me. Is it possible to take apart the cannister and replace the charcoal to take care of the problem?

A canister should last a lot more than 3 years. Try the advice above.

A small shop-vac and a little ingenuity you should be able to purge that canister in about half an hour…Do this outside and be careful as there will be some gasoline fumes especially right at the beginning…Is the canister accessible? Perhaps a trip to the local salvage yard is a better idea…

Maybe I’m nuts, but one time I took the canister out and stood it outside, in the sun, all day. Put it back in and everything was fine.

Yes, the canister in the sun might work…The heat will boil out all the liquid gasoline in short order…

@wentwest, you’re not nuts. Gasoline will vaporized slowly at ambient temperature. Whatever it takes to vent the raw liquid gas out of the canister works.

A couple months ago I posted a thread about high HC emissions for my Corolla. I wanted to reduce the number of way fuel could get into the engine as an experiment to determine the cause, so one of the things I did was temporarily remove the canister and let it sit in the sun for a week to evaporate the gas. Then I followed the FSM procedure to clean it out with compressed air. Not sure if that helped, but the car passed emissions.

It’s probably safer to let time do the job of evaporating the gas out of the canister. I don’t know though whether it is possible to renew a saturated canister. Three may be some irreversible damage done.

I have a 2012 RAV4. Engine light and 2 other lights came on this morning. Raced to the dealer and was told it was the charcoal canister. Three hours later I was told I didn’t have to pay the $1,013 bill because it was covered under the warranty. Although I’m happy I didn’t have to pay, I am not happy I even had to have this fixed on a fairly new car with a skootch under 12,000 miles. Never had one single problem with the 2006 or 2009 RAVs I owned. Thanks everyone for all your posts. I didn’t even know what a charcoal canister was :slight_smile: