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Old 11-09-2017, 06:41 PM   #1
Drives: 2011 Yaris 5dr HB Auto
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 7
P1349 Code - What To Try Next

First, thanks to all the forum members for all the info they share. I've been a registered lurker for a few years and have learned a lot from all the great posts here.

Looking for some help on diagnosing and fixing P1349 Code.

Car is 2002 Echo with ~280,000 miles.

Recently got P1349. Checked oil and it was low. Took about half a quart to bring it up to mid point on dip stick range. Reset code.

About 1 week, ~ 250 miles later, P1349 again. Realized it was about 2500 miles since last oil change, changed oil, reset code.

About another week, another 100 miles, P1349 again.

Decided to try what I thought would be next easiest thing and replaced OCV and VVTi filter. Ended up breaking OCV in block, but was able to extract with a 7/16" tap. Reset code. A day later, ~50 miles, P1349 again.

In each case, CEL comes on at low engine RPM. Next time I reset code, I will capture and write down freeze frame data from code reader.

Trying to decide what the next step is before considering replacing the cam timing assembly (which seems like a PITA).

Any thoughts?

Since this is a daily driver, found a 2011 Gray HB Yaris with 48K miles that I pick up tomorrow - just in case Echo is on last legs. Will be a stablemate to current 2011 Blue HB Yaris.

Thanks for your ideas!

Last edited by CT_11_Blue_HB; 11-09-2017 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:21 PM   #2
Drives: 2011 Yaris 5dr HB Auto
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 7
Finally got around to looking at this again....

P1349 reappears as pending almost immediately after clearing codes. I've cleared codes a couple dozen times and P1349 keeps reappearing. There are no noticeable drivability issues (idles fines, no hesitation). Thinking the next thing to try is replace VVTi cam assembly. Dealer wants ~$900 to replace ($300 parts, $600 labor). With 280K miles, not sure it is worth it.

Another option is to replace cam assembly myself. OEM part from ToyotaPartsDeal is $195. Can camshaft be removed without removing timing chain cover? Seems like if I could release timing chain tension and ensure chain stays on crankshaft gear (not sure how likely this is) this would be much easier than removing cover which requires removing engine mount.

Has anyone removed intake cam without removing timing chain cover? If so, any guidance on how to do it and any pitfalls to watch out for?
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
Dodge Aries K
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It might be the vvti actuator which is mounted externally on the cylinder head behind the alternator.
-Karl the Uber/Lyft Driver
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:22 PM   #4
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If the dealer did a proper diagnosis and is sure it's the cam assembly then I'd recommend you do it yourself and it should fix the issue. Or have them do it but it will cost you.

You do not need to remove the timing cover to remove either cam shafts. Iirc it is stated how to remove tension in the chain in the repair manual.

When I did it a while back I believe I had to turn the engine counter clockwise which pushed the tensioner back and then you use a small Allen key and insert it into the tensioner to hold the tensioner back. You access this from a little "window" you remove to put the Allen key into the tensioner. Then I ziptied the chain into the other cam gear while I removed the other so the chain didn't fall down into the cover assembly.

Few things to look out for:

Make sure your timing marks are all set prior to reassembling everything

Hand crank the engine once everything is reassembled to ensure it feels right and you aren't throwing a valve into a piston.

Don't let the chain fall down into the timing cover assembly or else you'll be having a bad day.

Get a hold of the repair manual (i used the '07 and it worked fine for my '02 echo) so you know what you're dealing with before starting
No one ever wants to give a Yaris the point by...
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
Drives: 2011 Yaris 5dr HB Auto
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 7
Thanks Dodge Aries K! I was hoping it was only the actuator, but after replacing both the VVTi actuator and the filter (both with Toyota OEM parts), problem persisted.


Thanks for pointing out timing chain cover does not have to be removed and suggesting a look at the service manual. Section on setting valve clearance shows how to remove camshafts with timing chain cover still on. Looks straightforward. Do you know if there is any risk of chain coming off of crank shaft gear? Online photos of that area show a semi-circular lip that appears to be designed to keep that from happening. Would be nice if I could get aware with only removing intake cam.

I haven't had dealer confirm it is vvti actuator. They charge ~$80 to hook up the Techstream and give diagnosis. Seems like the way to go to confirm its the actuator.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:38 AM   #6
Drives: 2011 Yaris 5dr HB Auto
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 7

So after considering replacing VVTi actuator, I did the following as a last ditch effort and P1349 has not come back for ~1000 miles! May be coincidental, but since some are oil related, I think they did have an effect.

1) Performed three Sea-Foam treatments - 4oz in oil - and ran for 100 - 200 miles between each treatment, replacing oil and filter each time. Did this at about 280,500 miles to 281,000 miles.

2) Replaced oil and added 16 oz of Marvel Mystery oil at 281,000 miles.

3) Replaced PCV valve and cleaned two hose from valve cover to air intake - PCV valve had some black oil buildup, and hoses had white oily buildup - I am assuming from moisture in oil. Did that at about 281,500 miles.

4) Replaced spark plugs at 282,000 miles (was getting a mis-fire on cylinder one code). There was a small amount of oil on the coil and puddle around plug on cylinder one. All others looked fine. Plugs electrodes were worn and overdue for replacement.

Have been monitoring codes with OBD and have yet to get a code (real or pending) for P1349 - currently at 282,600 miles with no codes!

Have my fingers crossed that P1349 was result of dirty VVTi actuator and oil treatments did just enough to clean it. If P1349 comes back, plan to pull valve cover to see if there is sludge (have replacement valve cover gasket in hand to address oil in plug hole of cylinder 1).
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