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Old 05-13-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
Lisbeth
 
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Unhappy Check engine light + vibration

Hi all,

Can someone help me diagnose my mom's car? She's taken it to two repair shops (including Toyota's) but the problem keeps persisting. She's spent so much money on this car for this same issue, it's unbelievable.

The check engine light keeps coming on. Sometimes blinking, sometimes constant light. Sometimes not at all. When the check engine light is on, there's a noticeable vibration coming from the engine, and it seems to need a bit more gas when accelerating. The light comes on (blinking on constant) maybe 1 out of 5 times we drive it.

The first time we took it to Toyota's maintenance, they couldn't find a cause for the engine light coming on, but they changed the spark plugs and did a little magic with their computers to make the light go away. And it stayed away for a day or so.

We took it to another repair shop and told them about the check engine light and that they changed the spark plugs at Toyota's own repair, but the problem came back. They did their own check and found that one of the ignition coils was broken, so they replaced and fixed that along with a "cover for the exhaust pipe that was coming off" -> quotes because I don't have a clue what that means, but I'm sure that wasn't the main reason for the problem here, more cosmetic?

After this fix, it was again a day or two that the problem stayed away. As it takes 150 for a repair every few days, this is getting costly!

So can anyone identify the problem here: The engine light comes on occasionally (either blinking or constantly) at random times. It does this for the whole time the car is running (going from place A to place B), restarting doesn't seem to help. The light doesn't come on at every run, though, only in about 1/5.

When the light is on, there's a noticeable vibration in the car, seeming to come from the engine or the floor. Accelerating seems slower than usual, having to press the gas a little more aggressively. Occasionally, especially when accelerating, there's a vibrating feel to the tires too, like driving on logs or running on flat tires (tires fine).

The symptoms only come when the engine light is on. When the engine light is off, the car runs fine. I've also noticed a strongish exhaust smell when I get out of the car, especially when the light is on. The smell seems to be coming from somewhere around the back right wheel.

Could this problem still be in the ignition coils or spark plugs? Is there any other reason that could be causing this?

Thanks in advance to anyone for help!
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
NYC-SE
 
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Vibration + low power + exhaust smell seems like a misfire situation but to be sure you need to have the codes read. What codes exactly is the car showing. A scan tool is needed to read them but the shops have them. Ask them specifically what codes are they reading. Post those here and maybe we can help figure things out. Also what engine do you have?
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:51 AM   #3
jra
 
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Like NYC said, sounds like a miss fire problem allowing raw fuel to enter the exhaust system, this would cause your catalytic converter to over heat making your check engine light flash on and off, if light starts flashing you should stop, shut engine off and let it cool down to prevent the converter from being fried, very expensive item to replace. When engine light is on solid means their is a problem that should checked out but can still drive car. Any time engine light comes on there should be codes in computer that tell why, such as miss fire on cylinder #2 so repairman would know there's a problem with that one cylinder such as a coil or spark plug, or it could say multiple miss fires which would be something that would effect all the cylinders, like a cam sensor going bad .
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:53 PM   #4
Lisbeth
 
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Thanks for your replies, I'll get the codes checked tomorrow. Is the blinking light equal to a red light? Someone told us we should stop immediately if the light turns red, but does it turn red at all in a Yaris or is it the blinking when we should pull over?

Not my car and I did read the manual, but it didn't say much else than to seek out a repair shop, which so far hasn't been very helpful. :(
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:44 AM   #5
SirDigby
 
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i have worked on cars for 20 years. i have never seen a make or model that had both amber and red CEL. if it's amber, it's amber. flashing usually means misfire, but really means damage to the emissions system is occurring.
to repeat, you need to find out what codes it is throwing. does european yaris have OBDII port? or do you use the weird MOBD or what ever factory computer it coded? if you have an OBDII port, you can buy a code reader for super cheap. i would recomend not buying the cheapest one, and getting a better one that can also read ABS codes.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
Lisbeth
 
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OK, here goes (all translation errors are mine ):

Engine: 2SZ-FE MT/AT Denso
P0302 cylinder 2 misfire

Engine 1KR-FE MT/AT Denso
P0302 cylinder 2 misfire

I already googled the code and came up with the repair video (here) for a Toyota Corolla which showed the cylinder 2 ignition coil being replaced. I believe this is what they did at the second repair shop we took the car to. I opened the hood and the second coil from the left looks new. I can't see the two (I'm assuming there's two more) on the right.

The car is a 5D Yaris 1.3 2007.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
Lisbeth
 
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OK, here goes (all translation errors are mine ):

Engine: 2SZ-FE MT/AT Denso
P0302 cylinder 2 misfire

Engine 1KR-FE MT/AT Denso
P0302 cylinder 2 misfire

I already googled the code and came up with the repair video (here) for a Toyota Corolla which showed the cylinder 2 ignition coil being replaced. I believe this is what they did at the second repair shop we took the car to. I opened the hood and the second coil from the left looks new. I can't see the two (I'm assuming there's two more) on the right.

The car is a 5D Yaris 1.3 2007.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
Lisbeth
 
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I wrote a reply hours ago and accidentally sent it through twice, and neither post has appeared yet... sorry if this is the third time!

I got a P0302 error for both 2SZ-FE and IKR-FE denso. I googled the code and found a video describing how to fix it by changing the coil. The second repair did exactly this, the second coil from the left is brand new, and the problem is still there.

The car is a 2007 5D Yaris 1.3.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:02 PM   #9
ex-x-fire
 
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It could be the 2nd injector, can you get a long dowel or screw driver onto the injectors? You can place the other end near your ear. With the engine running, each injector should tick, any difference between the ticking sounds?
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:11 PM   #10
NYC-SE
 
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That's the code for a misfire on cylinder 2. Could be coil, injector, spark plug or internal problem to that cylinder. But because it comes and goes I'm more inclined to believe it is a communication problem. If it was any of the other possibilities it should happen all the time. I'm thinking bad wiring to coil #2. Switch coils and see if problem moves to other cylinder or if it stays at #2.

BTW both shops should have done this already.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:35 PM   #11
Lisbeth
 
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The first shop replaced the spark plugs and the second one the ignition coil on cylinder 2. I've had a streak of the engine acting normally for a few days (no CEL and no shaking) but I'll get back to you if/when it starts again. Right now the engine's working fine.

Would a problem in cylinder 2 cause the shaking of the car?
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisbeth View Post
Would a problem in cylinder 2 cause the shaking of the car?
Yes if it was misfiring there will be engine vibration.
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