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Old 10-23-2016, 08:59 AM   #1
YarisVVTi2002
 
Drives: Yaris VVTi 2002
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Question Engine turns over but doesnít start on a Yaris VVTi

Hi everybody, new member and major Toyota owner / enthusiast here with 5 different Toyota models in the immediate family.

I got a Toyota Yaris 1.3 Auto 2002 VVTi as a run around and for the school run over a year ago, except for one problem it has been good runner until now.

Iíve been working on cars for years and normally solve most problems on my own but this one has me stumped. I have done lots of checks on this problem, listed below.

Car has been running rough for weeks Ė very sluggish / loss of power, engine vibration etc

Car started one morning and cut out after a few minutes after engaging drive and trying to pull away. It would not restart again despite cranking over normally. Since the break down Iíve tried many ideas and I got the car started once for about 30 seconds before it conked out- it had been left for a few days and the battery had been taken out to charge it. Sometimes when the engine is turned over, the turn over speed may increase after 10-20 seconds and it feels like itís close to starting, but this fades away.

History and things done so far:

1. The fuel tank is nearly full, it was filled up with unleaded a few days before.
2. I tried starting it with the other key, in case of an immobiliser fault- No difference
3. Charged car battery and tried jump starting the car off a different car- No difference
4. Used Cold Start spray both in the air inlet and directly into cylinders- No effect
5. Replaced all 4 pencil coil packs with a working set with the same model number- No difference. The voltage on the 4 pins of the coil leads are 0 & 12v on the 2 outer pins and about 7v on the 2 inner pins. The resistance across all 4 pins of the coils are the same on all coils. A break down technician had checked the car, plugged in an OBD scanner and said the error codes indicated a problem with the coils or the coil driver circuit on the ECU but I canít find any faults here.
6. I took out each spark plug, left them connected and cranked the engine Ė there was a good spark on all 4 plugs. On removal each plug was slightly wet, indicating fuel was getting through.
7. The fuel line was disconnected and the engine turned over, about 100ml of fuel was pumped out in one crank. Indicating the fuel pump is ok and the fuel line & filter are not blocked.
8. The pistons could be seen moving up and down as the engine was cranked. Both the tops of the pistons and the plugs were quite carbonised. The car has done about 58,000 miles and has been serviced regularly. I canít see how there can be a problem with the starter motor if the pistons are moving. I think this model has a timing chain rather than a rubber timing belt.
9. Compression was tested by taking out the spark plug and putting a rubber valve grinder suction cup over the hole and cranking the engine, a loud popping occurred indicating pressure in all cylinders.
10. The crankshaft sensor failed about 6 months ago and was replaced. The last OBD check didnít show any crankshaft sensor error code Ė which it did before.
11. The petrol had a small amount of diesel contamination about 3 months ago. Since then the car has been filled up over 4 times.
12. The yellow engine warning light has been on continuously since I got the car over a year ago. The Yaris has been to the garage many times about this issue and I was told it was related to the Catalytic converter. The error can be cleared but comes back again after some time driving; it never seemed to effect starting or performance.

If anyone has any ideas or advice on this problem I would be very glad to hear them.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:00 PM   #2
SirDigby
 
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sounds like you might have answered your own question.
running poorly and a check engine light for a year for catalyst? the cat has probably fallen apart and carbon clogged and plugged exhaust. go check it out. it also could have damaged o2 sensor(s)
banana in the tail pipe.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:38 PM   #3
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If you can get it started, monitor the O2 sensor voltage on S1 and S2 and make sure they're working. They read from 0-1V.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:44 PM   #4
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If it's getting gas and spark, it should run. put a test light or volt meter on your injector wires while cranking it over and see if you have current to the injectors, light should flash on and off when cranking engine. If you have gas, spark and injectors are working, cat may be plugged, Try unbolting collar at front of cat and pry it away from exhaust pipe enough that exhaust can escape before entering cat and see if it will start.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:42 PM   #5
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Check for corroded/faulty engine block grounds. This will cause this issue. Happened to my Echo twice
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:07 PM   #6
YarisVVTi2002
 
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Update from OP

Thanks for all the great ideas which I have checked out and it’s time for a long overdue update.
It doesn’t look like it’s an exhaust obstruction. I couldn’t undo the bolts from the front of the Cat but I removed the first O2 sensor so gas could get out – no change.
I took off both battery earth straps and cleaned up the bolts and terminals, they were quite clean anyway – no change.
Since my original post I got the car working for some time, it’s not clear how. I also got a OBD2 tester and compression meter.
The car had been sitting with the battery removed for a few days. I cleaned and re-gaped the spark plugs. With a freshly charged battery I tried cranking it and as before it picked up cranking speed before fading away. I kept cranking the engine with my foot to the floor and it picked up again and eventually sparked into life. I kept my foot on the gas / accelerator pedal to give fast idle for a while before driving it. Since then it started and drove quite well and interesting the engine warning light had gone out since it was started. The OBD tester showed no error codes at first but after driving it for a while it showed a pending diagnostic trouble code DTC (mode 07): PO302 - cylinder 2 misfire. After clearing it, it never came back again. After driving 20-30 miles the DTC Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold error came back as the engine warning light came on. There is a minor bit of blowing near a joint on the exhaust which may cause the error. Both O2 sensors readings on the OBD tester were 0-1V.
There was still a minor tappy sound from the engine, more noticeable when cold. I was still worried there may be an issue with the valves and I checked the compression on all 4 cylinders: 1 = 11 bar, 2= 9.5 bar, 3 = 11 bar, 4 = 11 bar. I took the plugs out again and checked the compression after a few weeks and they were about the same. When I repeated cylinder 1 there was some blow back out of the loosened air intake pipe and since then the car has not started again. The compression readings are all about 3 bar on all cylinders. No trouble codes have come up on the OBD tester. It feels and sounds the same as when it first didn’t start and again the plugs are producing sparks and it won’t start on cold start spray. There is no pick up of speed at all when cranking.
So I'm back to square one and run out of ideas. Any ideas anyone?

Last edited by YarisVVTi2002; 11-11-2016 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:34 AM   #7
YarisVVTi2002
 
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This problem has a lot in common with this one: http://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-c...start-2389750/
Despite changing nearly everything this guy never got to the bottom of the problem.
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:35 AM   #8
YarisVVTi2002
 
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This problem has a lot in common with this one: http://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-c...start-2389750/
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:03 PM   #9
jra
 
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If it's getting spark and won't start on ether, only thing I can think of would be that maybe the plug wires got crossed when you had them off?
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:12 PM   #10
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One more thing you might check would be if you had a pulley stuck, would keep it from kicking off. May want to loosen your fan belt and see if anything is stuck, water pump, alt, AC, should be able to turn all the pulleys by hand except for the crankshaft.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:43 PM   #11
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Update 2

I got the car going again about a week ago. At the end of my last update I mentioned that there was low compression (about 3 bar) in all 4 cylinders. I realised that during the last compression test when I was turning the engine over I had not disabled the fuel system and I guess the unburned petrol was washing away the oil around the piston rings and reducing the compression. All I did then was dribble about 10-20 ml of engine oil into all 4 cylinders through the spark plug holes and the compression went back up to normal. It started easily after this and it ran reasonably OK for about week.

In the last few days the car has started to lose power and run rough again, error codes came up on the OBD tester. PO300 Ė random / multiple cylinder misfire detected and PO301 Ė cylinder 1 misfire detected. This morning it started but the car hardly moved when accelerating, it then cut out and wouldnít restart. I checked the compression again and all cylinders were 3-5 bar, so no chance of starting. As before all cylinders are getting a spark and fuel. When I was checking the spark there was a small explosion inside the engine like a large pop and some small amount of smoke came out from the front of the engine and from the oil filler cap. Perhaps this was unburnt petrol inside the engine igniting as perhaps the piston rings donít seem to be doing their job at the moment?

I was thinking that the piston rings canít be worn out (car has only done 58,000 miles) and the compression can be normal when the car is working. Perhaps something is wrong with the oil supply so that oil is not getting to the piston rings intermittently?

Some articles mention vacuum line problems with these error codes. I wonder if anyone had a similar problem and got to the bottom of it?

I donít think that the problem is with the ignition system as I have been around that loop a few times, swapping coils and plugs around.

@ Jra I have marked the coils so the plug wires can't be put the wrong positions. The lengths rule that out too. The fact that it was running OK should rule out the water pump, alt, AC etc ?
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:47 PM   #12
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At this point I'd highly suggest changing the oil as its most likely contaminated with fuel.
Do you by chance drive very short distances not allowing the engine to get up to full operating temperature?
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:08 PM   #13
YarisVVTi2002
 
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Hi Yes it's mainly used to drive a few miles to school everyday. An oil change was my next job and am waiting for the right oil filter. Do you think fuel vapour is washing away oil from the bottom of the piston rings?
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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I know first hand a lot of start stops without fully warming the engine can cause a buildup of fuel in the oil. It eventually get so bad you can't start the engine. It causes flooding and low compression just as you described.
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Old 11-24-2016, 06:13 PM   #15
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You said you had changed the crank sensor, but could be a bad camshaft sensor? I had a Tacoma that acted like this and it turned out to be the cam sensor.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:50 AM   #16
YarisVVTi2002
 
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I've changed the oil and oil filter now but it still doesn't start. The old oil was surprisingly clean and red coloured. I tried pouring a little bit of new engine oil into all 4 cylinders but still no luck starting and the compression is still very low (2 bar).

I've taken off the vacuum pipes from the top of the rocker cover and cleaned them. One had a small amount of mayonnaise in it but not enough to block it.

@Jra A faulty camshaft sensor sounds like an interesting idea but would it not show up as an error on the OBD scan? I've cleared all the errors (misfire and cat) and nothing new comes up.

How about the VVT system, something has to explain the low compression?
I forgot to mention that my problem has a lot in common with this one: http://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-c...start-2389750/

I'm thinking of taking the rocker cover off and checking the tops of valves and the timing chain as the next step.

The weather in the UK has been really cold this week, with a hard frost at night (below 0C), which won't help starting conditions, as the car is outside on the drive.

Keep the ideas coming thanks, this is a real puzzle.

Last edited by YarisVVTi2002; 12-02-2016 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:02 AM   #17
YarisVVTi2002
 
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I've changed the oil and oil filter now but it still doesn't start. The old oil was surprisingly clean and red coloured. I tried pouring a little bit of new engine oil into all 4 cylinders but still no luck starting and the compression is still very low (2 bar).

I've taken off the vacuum pipes from the top of the rocker cover and cleaned them. One had a small amount of mayonnaise in it but not enough to block it.

@Jra A faulty camshaft sensor sounds like an interesting idea but would it not show up as an error on the OBD scan? I've cleared all the errors (misfire and cat) and nothing new comes up.

How about the VVT system, something has to explain the low compression?

I'm thinking of taking the rocker cover off and checking the tops of valves and the timing chain as the next step.

The weather in the UK has been really cold this week, with a hard frost at night (below 0C), which won't help starting conditions, as the car is outside on the drive.

Keep the ideas coming thanks, this is a real puzzle.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:27 AM   #18
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Check the plugs and make sure they aren't fouled too. But I'm sure you've already done that if you've done a compression check.

When you're doing the compression check are you pulling the EFI fuse and holding the throttle wide open?
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