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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 20th November 2017
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Bloody cars !

My RAV4 almost died on me today!

Had to pick my daughter up from the train station at 5pm ( it had to be during rush hour didn't it ), the weather has been awful all day. Drove the 2 miles or so to the station and all was well. Met my daughter and headed back home, within 300 yards of leaving the station the power steering dies on me just as I make a left turn onto a busy road, so ridiculously heavy and took me by surprise that I almost hit the central reservation as I could barely get enough lock in time

Then the engine management light comes on, seconds later the battery light followed by the ABS light and God knows what else to be honest. My brain is saying ... 'what the hell' , its pitch black, pouring rain that resembles a monsoon, rush hour with car drivers thinking they are on an F1 track, my AC goes out so the windows start misting up and there's not enough juice to drive the windows

Anyway, I get through the town rush hour after a minute or two as fortunately the station is on the outskirts, 1 1/2 mile of driving in torrential rain, with no power steering ( which made the car very difficult to drive ), misting up windows and by now fading headlights I hit a tailback to a roundabout about 1/2 mile from home. Great just what I need, pulling over will cause chaos, I have some lights at the moment so must try to get through this last 1/2 mile.

Thankfully with the engine still running, if little else, I limp onto my driveway and just as I do the headlights basically extinguish . Switch off engine and try a restart, only to be greeted with a continual 'clicking' which is what I was expecting, so call it a night and head indoors.

I've owned this car since 2 year old ( it's now 13 ) and it has FSH and only 64k on the clock and this is the first time something as baffling as this has happened. I say baffling because whilst I suspect the battery, why did the power steering die, thats hydraulic right? ... No, as I found out an hour ago it's 'electrically controlled' ... you lose battery power and you lose PS ... what the ... how dull is that. Every previous P.A.S. car I have owned had an hydraulic system so would have continued to work and even if the hydraulics leaked as once happened to me at least I could manoeuvre the car without the need to have biceps like Hulk Hogan. Thank goodness I went to collect my daughter as my wife would never have managed.

I have just tried to start it, and the battery has recovered enough to start the engine but there is still no PAS and engine management light is still on so I'll take it to my local garage ( 1 mile away ) in the morning, setting out well before rush hour

Having done some 'Googling' over the last hour it is most likely a battery/alternator issue which it seems the RAV4 is prone to having once there is over 60k on the clock. Another possibility is a blown fuse in a box behind the ashtray, the fuse failure stops the alternator from charging the battery which then often leads to the battery getting fried.

Why do modern cars have to be run by so much electronic wizardry? I have never heard of 'electrically controlled PAS' before tonight, what the hell was wrong with a hydraulic system? I've always wanted a 1960's Land Rover ... I think I'll get one, little to go wrong that I cannot fix unlike modern computer controlled vehicles where the only point of having access to the engine bay seems to be to top up the windscreen washer bottle

Anyway, drama over ( for now at least ) has anyone had a similar experience?

Simon
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

What a coincidence? Am just back and catching up and the first post I read basically high-lights one of my 'future' worries?

Fingers X'd I've never had that particular issue.

However, as I've just read about 'driverless cars' on the road by 2021 it makes me wonder what would happen if your suspected electrical issue should raise it's ugly head?

Hope all goes well tomorrow and you don't have to rob a bank to get it fixed..
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Thanks Wally,

Yes 'driverless cars' .... H'mmm , I for one don't want to see that happen although of course it would now seem inevitable. They may 'theoretically' be safer but what happens when things go wrong? And as we all know, no matter how clever the technology or reliable the electronics there will always be 'some' failure rate.

To be fair to Toyota my RAV4 has been up to this point ultra reliable and truthfully the best car I have owned ( "best" being reliable and low repair bills etc ) however 'electrically controlled PAS' is IMO a real dumb-ass idea. If my wife had been driving I know this would have totally freaked her out and there is no way she would have had the physical strength to turn the steering wheel sufficiently and in time to avoid hitting the central reservation which would have left her at 90 degrees to the oncoming traffic !

There is 'technology' and then there is technology for 'technologies sake' , like I said ... I think I'll go looking for a 1960's Land Rover.

Simon
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

It could have been worse .... there are reports online of ( sometimes with the symptoms I had this evening ) the engine completely shutting down while driving on the motorway/freeway ... presumably leaving the driver with little steering or time to get onto the hard shoulder

Progress ...... really ?

Simon
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

I had battery problems on my 10yr old Focus last week.
Never mind I thought, I've just got a second charger.

However when I tried opening the bonnet I found the lock linkage had failed (for the second time while I've had the car). Because of this I had to get the garage out & pay 60 labour to get the bonnet open!
What a stupid design - having the key needed to open the bonnet is unusual, but not a severe inconvenience - but having the link between this lock & the catch made from cheap plastic is inexcusable IMO.
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

A lot of PAS is electric nowadays
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Old 20th November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfbranch View Post
A lot of PAS is electric nowadays
I guess it is as most manufacturers copy one another to some degree, still a dumb-ass idea IMO.
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Sounds like a snapped fan belt?
Hope it's something that simple, driving the altenater and hydraulic pump maybe?
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Seen a few new cars with this Electrical Servo assisted Steering. Advantages is, there is less strain on the engine as Hydraulics require some power from the engine. Also there is the pumps, hose, oil reserve (which is not environment friendly). which adds to the weight and etc etc.. So switching to an electrical system is a cost, weight and space savings.

But the problem is the loss of electricity/ battery failure, renders everything inoperable. You are really fortunate/lucky that the engine did not just die on you.
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff View Post
Sounds like a snapped fan belt?
Hope it's something that simple, driving the altenater and hydraulic pump maybe?
Exactly my thoughts too. My next thought is, "Has it been serviced on time & has the mechanic (technician) checked everything correctly?" If the car is serviced properly by a conscientious mechanic then that belt should have been seen that it was either stretching or deteriorating. Also, is the water pump on the same belt & did it seize? Anyhow, just my thoughts.
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Glad you were OK and managed to negotiate your way out of a tricky situation well Simon. I think my Mazda has electric PAS too. Seem to remember smooth and variable operation steering was part of the salesman's pitch. I will be interested to hear the prognosis for the repair.
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff View Post
Sounds like a snapped fan belt?
Hope it's something that simple, driving the altenater and hydraulic pump maybe?
Hopefully that's all it is as I can now confirm the belt has snapped. It's now daylight and no longer raining like a monsoon so I have taken a look under the bonnet and can see the belt has broke.

At this stage my real gripe is with the electrically assisted PAS ....if my wife had been driving she really would have had a big problem as 'I' could barely manage to steer the car. I have been driving for over 33 years, the first 10-15 years with cars that natively had no PAS of any form, the steering whilst heavy by modern standards was still comfortable, last night was near impossible.

Simon
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by blu-by-u View Post
Seen a few new cars with this Electrical Servo assisted Steering. Advantages is, there is less strain on the engine as Hydraulics require some power from the engine. Also there is the pumps, hose, oil reserve (which is not environment friendly). which adds to the weight and etc etc.. So switching to an electrical system is a cost, weight and space savings.

But the problem is the loss of electricity/ battery failure, renders everything inoperable. You are really fortunate/lucky that the engine did not just die on you.
I understand to a point but at least with traditional hydraulic PAS you could still comfortably drive if the fan belt broke as more often than not the PAS had a separate belt driving its pump.

And yes I do think I was fortunate that I was relatively close to home because I am sure it would have not been much longer before the 'wizardry' shut the engine down as well.

Simon
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler View Post
Exactly my thoughts too. My next thought is, "Has it been serviced on time & has the mechanic (technician) checked everything correctly?" If the car is serviced properly by a conscientious mechanic then that belt should have been seen that it was either stretching or deteriorating. Also, is the water pump on the same belt & did it seize? Anyhow, just my thoughts.
Hi Ross,

The car has always been serviced when due which is 'once annually' as per Toyota recommendation, one year a 'full service' the next an 'interim' one. Its latest service was May this year so maybe deterioration of the belt was not obvious back then. I'll arrange for the garage to pick it up, I'm not going to attempt to drive it the one mile to said garage during the morning rush hour.

Simon
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Old 21st November 2017
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Re: Bloody cars !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
Glad you were OK and managed to negotiate your way out of a tricky situation well Simon. I think my Mazda has electric PAS too. Seem to remember smooth and variable operation steering was part of the salesman's pitch. I will be interested to hear the prognosis for the repair.
Hi Phill,

Thank you, yes it was tricky to say the least. Had it not been evening rush hour, raining like a monsoon, drivers thinking they were Lewis Hamilton, I would have been more relaxed about it. I'm just grateful it was 'I' who was driving and not my wife.

Simon
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