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Christina Veasey

Engine Management Light Alight?

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Christina Veasey

06 February 2013 - 04:08 PM

Help please; I have a trusted Toyota Celica (X963 ADP) VVTI (2000) which has recently failed its MOT for an illuminated engine management system, orange light at the top of my central dashboard display!

My garage in Hedge End, Hampshire, who have been servicing it annually since about 2006, transferring from the more local dealer where it was purchased who lost the dealership, advised several costly parts being replaced to fix this 'light illumination' problem. These include various filters and sensors with a very significant bill to achieve MOT this time! However very disappointingly having driven just a few miles since it was returned yesterday, the engine management system light is once again illuminated!

You should be aware that I have complained about this 'light' being illuminated for about 3 years now as everytime it has been turned off at servicing, it has lighted again immediately afterwards. I was advised that this is a response to lesser quality fuel without appropriate inhibitors and thus told to use Shell VPower Advanced unleaded fuel. Naturally this responsive engine clearly prefers such fuel to the cheaper unleaded versions from supermarkets, however the car has never let me down as a result of this engine management bringing caution and some anxiety.

I have asked the garage to investigate further before I take it back again as surely there must be an appropriate solution. I am not prepared to consider totally replacing an engine or scrapping a perfectly usable, well designed and loved car just because it is aging (98L miles) and it has a 'silly' light illuminated that appears to mean nothing while using the car.

Help please - I need solutions and preferably inexpensive ones?

Thanks in anticipation.

Christina A. Veasey

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If you don't want to entrust your 140 to this "garage" again, you need to buy or borrow an OBD2 code reader, Once you have the fault code, it will narrow down the possible culprit/s that are causing the CEL to illuminate. I think I paid around £15 from eBay.

If you post up the code/s on here, someone will identify where the problem lies.

BTW, the VVTi engine is perfectly happy on 95 RON supermarket petrol.

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Firstly, has the car had an induction kit fitted?

How is its Oil useage. Do you have to top the Oil up regularly?

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Hi Christina,

I also have a 140, and use the same dealership as you (Hedge End) - and am fairly local to it.

I have a scan tool here that will be able to tell you what the error code is - to narrow down the options - as scarlet arrow says.

I am more than happy to bring it to you (or you can come to me - as you see fit) if you would like use of it - if you are still suffering with this problem.

Best Regards,

- andrew.

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Hi Scarlett Arrow, Edwardio and Andrew

How helpful of you three! I suspected that it was about knowing the 'code' relevant to the engine light but cannot understand why that has not been isolated and a recommended fit resolved before now?

Edwardio; what is an induction kit? The car has been brilliant from new and only just required any replacements or even an exhaust pipe so it is as standard other than at this last MOT and service. The Oil level really only needs topping up once annually so never known it to be low or 'dirty' unless nearer its annual service! Thus I still have some top-up Oil left from a dual litre bottle bought some years ago.

Andrew; Understandably but maybe irrationally, I am nervous about the Hedge End garage now although I have had good service (I think) in the past. Of course, they have been taken over in the last year and I am uncertain whether the recommended 'best' technician is still there!? However I am displeased that the recommended 'fix' (replaced sensor etc) only lasted for about 40 miles after completion; also that it was MOT'd before annual service despite my instructions and the light was still alight when it was re-MOT'd! The current service team are saying that the suggested VPower petrol was probably an excuse and inappropriate - so why suggested by so many questioned voer the past 3 years? Hence I am questioning why this issue/code has not been diagnosed correctly before and a true fix suggested?

I am very happy to keep in touch and accept your kind offer to meet up prior to probably returning it to the garage (or whomsoever) for correction of their recent diagnosis/fix. As you can guess I am not into replacing multiple parts for the sake of it without an accurate diagnosis and guaranteed fix, especially as the car starts and drives perfectly fine regardless of this 'silly' light, it seems.

Thanks to all; being an engineers daughter, my Pa would be proud of your kind offers but sadly he died last year at nearly 101 years of age and can only look down at your helpful hints and advice.

Best wishes, Christina Veasey

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Going by your response your car is standard, so don't worry about the induction kit comment.

You really need to get a code reader on the car.

Just a few questions.

How does the car run - smooth all the time, jumpy in certain areas of the rev range? etc

How do you normally drive - constantly below 6000 revs, sometimes above 6k, above 6k as often as possible?

When the light has come on, what was the car doing at the time - general speed/revs/feel?

What sensors have you had replaced?

Has the MAF sensor been replace or cleaned in any of the services?

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Hi Christina,

Couldn't agree with you more on the 'replacing parts for the sake of it' approach. Definately not the way forward.

My celica runs on standard unleaded. It definately prefers the super unleaded stuff, but still returns 35 mpg in the middle of winter on the standard stuff.

Scan tool is here. When / where would be best to meet up and see what it has to say on the matter for you?

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Hi Guys

Thanks for the further input above. My car has been serviced according to the normal requirements in the service booklet so to answer most of your questions above; if it was not just servicing e.g pads and discs; wipers; tyres; - nothing else has been replaced except recently;

  • O2 sensor replaced
  • pollen filter blocked and replaced
  • Osf shock absorber weeping replaced
  • Baffle tailpipe exhaust and fittings replaced
  • Auxiliary belt cracked and replaced
  • Radiator stone damaged so replaced (ac condenser is too but being left at present!).
  • No replacement of the intake manifold gasket although I have asked 'where the fluids' went from the damaged radiator and was told no 'engine' problem or leakage was found!

Overall, the engine starts immediately and runs very smoothly; idling more slowly it seems than before service but petrol consumption not abnormal and within usual limits. I am careful and sensible about gear changing within engine needs and do not over rev it - an engineers daughter remember! Howver I do tend to drive to the upper speed limits when given the chance as the car is responsive and happy at that. I am not in my car at present but cannot imagine that it is ever over-rev'd above 6000 revs if ever although I do drive a few more shorter journeys than before.

The car was delivered back (about 20 miles from the garage) and no engine light was on. I then drove from home to Southampton (about 20 miles) with no engine light on at all and filled up with VPower fuel enroute. Still not ens light!

The car was parked for about two hours and when I started it on my return, the ems light came on immediately and has stayed on constantly ever since! Understandably I rang the garage immediately and complained. Since then I have driven about another 60 miles or so but with no obvious problems in starting, idling, driving, rev's etc.,

The garage suggested that there might be 'two or more sensors' that could have gone (not needing cleaning though?) in response but did not seem to know whether that was possible or known parts of this model! So, agree that the scanner code is important and will be in contact over that. When day/time is best for you, Andrew - Saturday or a weekday?

Thank you for your patience, guys. Your help is highly valued.

Christina

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Do you know which O2 sensor was replaced - pre or post cat?

I would suggest that you get the MAF sensor cleaned. A guide is below & its easy to do. Once done, reset the ECU as well. http://www.celicahobby.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1862388016/site_id/1#import

With regards to the 6k revs, you're only using half you engine so to speak. The VVTi & VVTLi engine are high revving engines. The VVTi engine does not engage its variable valves until over 6k revs. Have so fun & get the revs over 6k (but don't bounce it off the limiter). A good time to do it would be joining a motorway. It'll do it some good.

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Hi Christina,

Sent you an email on here (or tried!) with my contact details. Shout if you haven't recieved it.

2nd edwardio's points - making the assumption the engine has all the correct resources it needs at it's finger tips ( enough coolant, Oil, etc.....)..........

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Edwardio - got my code reader on christina's car tonight:-

Fault: P0410,

Pending: P0410, P0420(Bank1).

Looks like she has had the post-cat sensor replaced.

As i understand it, P0410 is a secondary air pump fault code, and P0420 is a engine mixture error detected by the exhaust pre-cat 02 sensor?

I'm guessing the P0420 is as a consequence of the P0410 at cold start? (-this explains why the engine management light didn't come on after i cleared the codes for her and then started the engine from hot).............

Are there any popular modes of failure for these secondary air pumps?

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Well done for finding out the code. Nothing comes to mind on the secondary air injection pump. The first thing I'd do is make sure all the hose & connectors are on properly.

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Hi Guys;

Not sure if it is magic fingers or what but.........

Used my car from cold yesterday and no light!

Did not dare tell you Andrew, in case it was a fluke as I have done nothing else since we were

together with your scanner! Anyway had to go out again this afternoon and have just returned.

No light (well it went out appropriately) from cold start again and none still!

No other problems noticed either.

What can I say? Going away to cross all the fingers I can find. But will keep in touch please.

Will also check all the connections tomorrow just in case. But will keep in touch please.

Christina

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Hi Christina,

2nd edwardio's point; double-check all the related hoses and such - should the light come back on.

Wish i could say i hope the EML stays off, but if it had reason to come on before, i think it might just be a ticking clock untill it does again. At least you will know where (more or less) to look though now.............

I'd recommend hoping onto ebay and getting yourself one of those scan tools - as the one i had has gone back now.......

Best of luck with her ;)

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Hi. I also have an ECU light showing, but I have a device that tells me the fault, and it's a dirty catalytic converter. This was caused by an Oil burning problem with the previous engine, now replaced. There is a product called cataclean that temporarily eliminated the fault, but it came back, and now I'm going to buy 5 litresof premium thinners and put that into a half empty tank of petrol. This, according to an American Toyota mechanic, will clean the cat (check it out on Youtube).

If it works, I'll come back and let you know.

Dave.

:driving:

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Hi Dave,

I'm not sure how much your fuel line seals/ 02 sensors will like that, but i wish you the best of luck!

I will be very interested to hear how it goes - as i suspect i have (at least) a partially blocked fuel filter - so if thinners would clean your CAT, i wonder if it would have the same effect on a fuel filter? (Certianly a damn sight easier than actually replacing the filter!).

Please keep me posted on how it goes :)

- andrew.

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Hi Guys

Interesting to see your posts and have looked at the YouTube videos on 'dirty' cats and O2 sensors in response to PO420 codes! Also found this info which confirms my previous instructions to use Shell VPower in my vvti (2000);

Toyota spec says must use 91 Octane fuel. The engine is a higher compression engine. Lower octane fuel would ignite
early, causing knocking and reduce power. Unclean burn also leaves residues in exhaust sensors, lighting up
sensors' warnings. Typically the Catalytic converter sensor would warn of low cleaning efficiency.


High-octane fuel would cost may be 10% more, but you should get at least 10% higher mileage out of it. Also, Toyota engineers know what the car must run on. If it could run on cheaper fuel, they would already specify it in. Every time I deviated from MFR recommendations, I got unknown problems later on.

Fascinated that the light only returned ex new (post) O2 sensor and erasure of codes (thank you Andrew) when I nearly ran out of fuel and had to fill with Texaco although chose high octane! Will go back to Shell as above info is accurate over fuel costs and just maybe it is a good idea to stick with MFR recommendations!

My Celica VVTI is still running very well though but I hate that silly light so am looking for the correct diagnostic reader. Is a Memoscan U381, OBDII or EOBDII suitable? Also is choosing the reader that coincides with the MFR year important - seems like it might define the codes most accurately perhaps if the two marry up?

Thanks

Christina

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Hi Christina,

What does your owners handbook say regards minimum RON octane (95? 99? etc...) rating of fuels that are permitted for your VVTLi engine? That is what should dictate what it should run happily on - not the subjective opinion of one, or even a few mechanics, or the rest of the internet.

It should run on the lowest RON that the handbook states without fault. If it can't, then there is an underlying fault elsewhere that needs dealing with.

I know the VVTLi engine is the more highly-strung type of engine to go in these cars, and if your's had been highly modified, then i could understand it - but i strongly doubt it is wound so tight for performance in standard tune, that it cannot tolerate the most commonly-used type of fuel available in the UK (95RON).

Regards scan tools, the type/manufacturer will not alter the accuracy of the code, just the level of detail that it can offer. OBDII should be a standardised system - regardless of age or make. There are some codes that are manufacturer specific, but the codes i saw on your ecu are generic OBDII codes.

My advice - verify that there are the same error codes re-appearing ( i'm 99% sure they will be) and fix the secondary air pump fault............

Then see what you have when the dust settles............

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Hi

The handbook says 95 RON or above unleaded..... Only use higher if the engine knocks - which it never has or does. My engine is totally unmodified and has always been very stable and runs very smoothly as Andrew found out when he was with me recently.

I will check this against the available fuels although you can hear a 'happy' engine of course and I am used to looking out for that being an engineers daughter! Still thanks for the info.

Gather you consider that I should not worry about matching the date of manufacture to the car year when buying am OBDII diagnostic scanner?

Thanks for update...

Christina

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You definately can 'hear' a happy engine. You can feel it too.

I've put a tank of 99 in my 140 tonight. 3 miles in and i can already hear/feel a noticeable improvement.

Owners club - please correct me if/where i am wrong here:

Age of an OBDII scan tool should not become a problem - as the OBDII system is standardised. If it is a manufacturer specific fault code, then you would need to work with something more specific to that manufacturer for the additional detail - regardless of age.

As the codes you have (had) were standard OBDII codes, age of the scan tool should not become an issue.

If you are still wanting more in-depth information from your car's ecu, you will need to find someone with some computer-based OBDII software, and who knows how to use it i think.............

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Hi Guys

Me again and another year on from the above. The EML came on again once I filled up with petrol after they returned it from servicing and repair and has been no problem. Really the car runs beautifully as Andrew found out when we met and used his code reader.

The codes we found were PO420 (Bank 1) and PO410. Andrew then made a very clever analysis of the code information and decided that as the post-cat sensor had been replaced by the garage (oh Hendge End nightmares but the service and MOT in Feb 2013), that the SAI error reading was due to cold starting and an errors reading until the engine warmed. So with the PO410 it seemed that it would likely be a blown fuse (but which one please?) or maybe a leaky gasket?

However my dilemma now with the EML alight and no car running problems are that I am looking for an excellent Celica trained and qualified engineer/technician in Hampshire to do the current service and then get the next year's MOT? Help please as I do not want to go back to Hedge End!

Mind I am aware that an EML now automatically fails the MOT but so many have told me they have an EML alight but know the problem and it is nothing to worry about. So have found an OBDII code reader on eBay to solve that problem at least temporarily but if it is a fuse of just a leaky gasket - why did Hedge End not find it and it would be good to fix it as it may just be a very simple problem.

So any advice (names or garages) would be really helpful or very soon I will be immobile! I do not plan to give up my lovely Celive VVTI for some years yet. I have only done 3,940 miles this year since its expensive 100,000 miles service and MOT last Feb 2013 which has made me nervous but clearly it is less likely to be the car than the servicers, it seems. Thus this lesser service ought to be simpler and the MOT easy, if the EML is off? Help please.

BTW; the Hedge End garage also lost my LWN which were always in the boot. Importantly they did not tell me the LWN's were unfound but I read it on the invoice! So with a recent slow flat, that has been a nightmare and meant lots of photos emailed to find the right replacement! I had not used the LWN since last buying tyres (2010) yet they had at service in 2012 and obviously during the last debacle.

Equally Hedge End said that the service record was unavailable! However the latter was left in my manual on the seat as ever and reported to be so on signing in the car for service! On complaint they replaced it with a non-standard Celica Toyota version with their few years of service. But mine was from buying new so I was most upset. However when I looked it was folded in with their 2012 invoice so they had it all along! As a result I have made a complaint to Toyota UK as enough is enough, I think.

Ain't life fun: 2013 was truely anno horribilas for me with so many issues, you do not want to know about. So ever hopeful for 2014 and beyond.

With thanks for your help in anticipation again.

Christina

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From my own experience, i can highly recommend the Council MOT station in hedge end ( - you will be pleased to hear is just around the corner from Toyota dealership!).

For Joe public however, they only do MOT's - no servicing or repair work as far as i know - so you will need to find a garage somewhere. As i have done all my own servicing, i don't really have anything to offer on that front........

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