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2008 DCAT problems not yet solved


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Car has close to 100 000 miles, usually 10 minutes down the motorway or other semi-urban driving, with a not often enough longer trip.

So in an earlier thread I took your advice and replaced my DPF with a non-Toyota but trusted brand. Again, non-Toyota but trusted garage did the work.  The DPF settings memory was reset so it wouldn't regenerate as for the old dirty one. I really appreciate everyone's help with this, thanks.

Car drove without error but still kicked out smoke too often, eg twice a day. 

In early October we packed up the car for a 5-hour drive north for a 5-day break. An hour into the journey we got limp mode and all the usual errors. Grabbed Google maps and steered it into the nearest Toyota service centre - 6 minutes from where we were!! - and they found time on the evening before bank holiday weekend to clean the EGR. Thank you Toyota Santarem. They told me car needed software update and also "vacuum pump filter", the latter part not normally held in stock. They thought I'd be OK to drive north and hopefully to get back again, though if I could find time for Toyota to look at it up there it would be better.  Car seemed fine during the weekend - I forget smoke or not - Toyota oop North didn't have the "filter" or time to look further so we drove home. Half way home, limp mode again, and car went off on a flatbed while taxi took us home (my AA equivalent). 

Car eventually went to my local Toyota who fitted a new EGR, saying you can only clean them a certain number of times as the gunk accumulates. €250 for new part, cleaned manifold, software update etc. They didn't understand the comment about vacuum filter. I asked how often I should expect to see smoke now - he was reluctant for a hard answer but finally conceded once a week. "If problems, bring it back, we might have to look at the DPF" (oh no).

Well, saw white smoke on the way home, wife saw it 2-3 times the next day, I saw it at least twice in the evening, so we still have problems 😞  Several times there is some sort of fuelling hesitancy, I don't know if this is to do with the regeneration or if it is separate. Wife says she smells fuel, which I think is to do with regen, but I don't understand the regen process, so not sure if power loss, smell, smoke come all at the same time or if they are in a certain order with gaps of 5, 15, 30 seconds between them. I'm driving, I can't always be looking in the mirrors for smoke or I'll crash.

Anyone any thoughts? I heard about the sensor in the exhaust, is it the MAF? I could well believe that would be coated with gunk by now, would that trigger frequent regenerations?  Or the "vacuum pump" that one commented on but another dismissed?

Right now, my main fear is a big bill, such as official Toyota DPF or new engine, as I'm trying to do my house up as I might lose my job in April. So I'm happy to try lo-cost options first!

Thanks for all your help everyone.

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The vacuum pump is associated with the braking system so I don't see the connection with the issues that you are experiencing. The EGR can be cleaned ad infinitum but it can take time and patience to allow solvent to penetrate the deposits and to scrape out buildup - so maybe it was more cost effective to replace the unit. The key thing with the limp mode episodes is the fault code that's generated - this would be helpful in determining what's going on - did the two Toyota garages read the codes? It sounds as if the DPF is regenerating at a much greater frequency than expected. This could be due to a genuine need to regenerate or a differential pressure measurement error which if flagging up the need to regenerate. After determining the fault codes - the next course of action would be to measure the pressure differential across the DPF and if this is within spec to check the pressure tappings and pressure switches. Conceivably the episodes of frequent regeneration could also be due to a software issue.

I'm assuming that the correct low ash / medium SAPS engine oil is being used and "normal" fuel is being used. Bio diesel significantly increases the soot load on the DPF.

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G thanks as always. No-one told me about code reading, possibly as I didn't ask... Can I do that? My other car is a 2009 Porsche and there are several things one can do with a cheap generic code reader, but a more useful one is a few hundred quid which I'd clearly struggle to justify on either car.

Last service was by Toyota, so I guess they used the right oil (?!), and the fuel is from a national supplier here (GALP) as I have a fuel card from work which makes it half price.  No idea how much of their standard or super diesel is biodiesel (I usually try to fill with the super). 

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No need for anything fancy to read engine fault codes on either car - they're both OBD 2. A simple hand held device will cost you around £10 - for a similar price you can get an interface which connects to your laptop by cable or bluetooth. The cheapest units produce a code which you can look up on a chart for a description. All units allow you to clear codes and extinguish the engine light. 

Some codes will only illuminate the engine light if the condition arises a number of times or after a number of engine starts. Code readers display these pending codes as well as the full codes.

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OK. Will they already show something that has already happened, such as regeneration time and date, or will they only show an error code when something appears on the dashboard?

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Historical fault codes and pending codes will appear until they are deleted (or the Battery disconnected for a period). Regeneration isn't a fault and doesn't have a code but if there is a fault that impacts regeneration - then this code will be displayed. The list of generic fault codes is defined by the OBD2 protocol but manufacturer specific codes can be added to the list.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The fun continues...

It's been back to Toyota twice. The first time, following the EGR replacement, they looked at it for a couple of days before apparently realising they'd done the "wrong" software update, so this time they did the "right" one and said they hoped it was cured now, I should get white smoke once a week.  Guess what, we got it 3x / day.  Drove it for a week and sent it back.  Aside from a major service (150 000km), they again ensured it had the latest software update, took it out on tests, measured whatever it was they could measure (internal temperatures etc) and said everything was functioning as it should, they implied there was really no problem with the new DPF, or anything else they could find, it's clogging and clearing as it should; yes sir city driving will mean more clearances. Said they'd taken it out a few times and could only recreate the problem twice. I took it back, fingers crossed.

Driving home 6km on the motorway I got two smokescreens for 30s-1minute each...

My only thought now is I'm pointing them in one direction where they're looking, and in fact we are all wrong and it is being caused by something totally different?! Am I reporting (British Railways style) the "wrong kind of smoke"?


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Hey dippy,


Reading through this I'm also left quite baffled at what's going on.

Since the DPF is new and the smoking is still there, why hasn't anyone even mentioned injectors, especially since there's an injector specifically for DPF (5th injector)?

Since the car has 150k km on it, it's also due to have first problems appear with injectors. My manual states that injectors need attention after about 100k.

And even if mechanics looked at data from all injectors it's still not a bomb-proof way of seeing if they're going bad. I think all they see is the pressure at the rail and whether a particular injector is compensating more than the others. It's still likely that the flow of fuel is incorrect or, let's say, the injector isn't atomizing correctly. I'm dealing with this right now where diagnostics show everything regarding fuel is in top order but the car is starting "laborly" even in +30°C weather. One or more injectors are thought to be the problem.

Unfortunately you need to take the injectors out and put them on a test bench but since the fault is likely with the 5th injector, I think it'll be easier to remove.

I also wouldn't write off the main 4 injectors as being the problematic ones.

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It’s conceivable that an injector or other air / fuel issue could result in excessive soot formation which in turn would result in excessive regeneration. However the issue would need to be pretty bad - there are plenty of badly maintained / high mileage diesels around which don’t suffer problems - though it’s fair to say that excessive regeneration is an often raised subject - VW group engines seem to suffer more than most. It sounds as if your car is well looked after and I’d guess that Toyota have checked for rich running type issues, but it may be worth raising this with them.

I can only suggest that you go back toToyota to complain that they haven’t resolved the excessive regeneration issue. It may be prudent to remind them that if they are scratching their heads, they have the expertise of the Toyota technical centre to help them.

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One odd little fact, might be of interest or a distraction - when it was returned from Toyota a couple of weeks ago I filled up with fuel and saw Range 620km, then next time Range 600 (ish).  Odd because we've never seen over 580.  Wife filled it up today and saw 570.

Right now it's the inconvenience of the thing, I'm trying to save pennies for the big house works and not buy two tyres (600 notes) to put the other car on the road, so each time this goes in we're car-less. I also struggle with complaining to Toyota when the DPF is aftermarket and they didn't even fit it.  I believe they commented on the injectors, also the fifth injector. Sorry, all these conversations are in Portuguese and often at high speed and I don't catch the nuances.

My two other choices are to take it back to the place that fitted the DPF - my colleague there tends to take the easy way out and just code them out which seems too short sighted for me, or to go to a "Turbo Technics" specialist who is recommended as one of the best in the business. Unfortunately both are out in the sticks, 40 mins - 1 hr drive at least (not near each other), and of course we'll need to leave the car there a few days. I suspect the latter won't be cheap either; and last time the earliest slot they had was 10 days later. Toyota is 15 mins away.

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Fuel range may be a red herring - the algorithm is based on historical consumption and would be affected if the Battery was disconnected. Unless they are well versed in updating software and diagnostics, I think that you would struggle with the independent garages in this case. Do you know by any chance, the version number of the software that was last installed?

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"An hour into the journey we got limp mode and all the usual errors"

"No-one told me about code reading, possibly as I didn't ask... Can I do that?"

Get your little scanner out and tell us the fault codes! This post is hearsay without some factual fault code info 🙂

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He did give me a print of the software number.  Does xxx7000 sound right? Sorry, we're in a right mess with builders in half the house.  Not on here for 3 days as they disconnected the wifi...

I don't have a code reader Matt!  Looks like I'm going to get one though...

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Hmm. Found this 3 yr old post in the Avensis club:


There is a TSB ( technical service bulletin ) from Toyota ref # EG-0004T-0110-EN which describes: (note the bulletin only relates too T180 2.2 diesel Rav4, Verso, Avensis & Auris with Diesel particulate filters )



Some customers may explain about intermittent white smoke from the exhaust"
There is a specific set of checks which need to carried out, checking the correct operation of:
If a DTC ( will set a warning light ) is present then attend to that fault before continuing with the following checks:
5th injector ( fires fuel into the DPNR during regeneration ) looking to see if it is within specification.
Air intake system, looking for air leaks, ensuring air filter is clean/clear
MAF system ( measures air flow and air temp into engine ) looking to see if it is within specification.
EGR system, looking too see if valve is clear and closing correctly when required & check exhaust system for gas leaks.
If any of the above are faulty then they need to be repaired / replaced, once the above are OK or if they check out then the engine ECU software needs to updated to a newer version. Once this is done the car has to be road tested and a forced regeneration of the DPNR needs to be completed, if after this the smoking has stopped then that's it all fixed, if not then a new DPNR will be needed.

There is a technical service bulletin from Toyota reference EG-0004T-0110-EN which states;

Some customers may explain about white smoke from the exhaust. Auris, Avensis, Verso & Rav4 equipped DPNR equipped vehicles only!
The ECU software has been improved
The bulletin describes a diagnosis process checking: Stored fault codes, 5th injector operation, inspection of intake/exhaust for air leaks, Calculation MAF information, Cleaning/Clearing EGR & intake manifold of carbon, Reprogramming of the engine ECU with updated software and finally a confirmation of DPNR operation.
Usually the issue is fixed with the ECU reprogramme
The ECU software has been improved.
The bulletin requires the correct operation of:
5th injector, replace if faulty
Check for air leaks, repair as required
Confirm air intake volume, replace air filter if out of spec
Check MAF operation, replace MAF is faulty
Check EGR operation, clean or replace as required
Check intake manifold for blockage, clean if clogged
Carry out forced DPNR regeneration, if regen fails replace DPNR
If any of the above are out of spec then they need attention then a reprogramming of the ECU with updated software is required, if they are all OK just the software update is required.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Well happy new year.  Ladies and gentlemen, what's the difference between what I'm experiencing and symptoms of HG failure - if any?

Got a shock tonight, opened the bonnet and there has been a nice pink spurt over the expansion tank 😞. I've been looking for that each time and only seen it now.

Coolant in expansion tank appears to be clean (a post elsewhere said it should be dark). Haven't yet checked under the oil filler cap, car is out with family at present.  Wife who drives the car more than me feels it's getting worse.  It did seem to be fine for the first 10 minutes and then the coughing and intermittent smoking starts, but the last couple of times we saw the smoke off a nearly cold engine. Engine is now on about 100k.  Coolant level is at max, I think so is oil (difficult to say as our drive is on a slope). 

Might pop out and get a code reader tomorrow.

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Got a code reader with NO instructions. Plugged it in, configured phone by downloading an app (it said it wanted the particular reader but I hadn't bought that), found the reader on the app, searched for diagnostic codes. "None found". 

Completely clean inside oil filler cap this morning.

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  • 10 months later...


My fingers are still crossed, but I think it’s fixed. 

In short; stuffed fifth injector, constantly chucking fuel into the DPF (isn’t that where it goes?) but nothing igniting. So if you have a white smoke problem, try driving round with a clamp on that particular fuel line and see if it stops.  I think someone else here did that. 

My fifth injector is now coded out, and I see from the invoice that my EGR is removed also.  Four other injectors were cleaned and serviced before trying the fifth, so didn’t solve that problem but at least they are in good shape for future.

Wife had a shock a few days after getting it back, when it went into limp mode.  Turned off, wait 15 minutes, try again. Touch wood, no problem since. 

The guy who fixed it says it’s not officially remapped, but he thinks it feels a bit smoother (exhales freer) and with a smidgin extra power. But the wife and I have been driving a 300hp Porsche in that time so we now can’t feel the difference between 170 and 180hp in the Toyota!

He says my new DPF from last year (which he installed) was already a “mess” as I’d been driving so much with the damaged injector. Lesson; if you replace your DPF, carefully check the fifth injector at the same time! It is now for me to find somewhere to go once a month that involves an hour each way on the motorway. We went for a day trip 1.5 hours each way to test / clean it.  

I’m wondering about a simple rule “don’t change up before 3k revs” on short journeys; would that help?

thanks everyone for your thoughts and support. I’m still nervous but the threat of having to spend 40k on a new car (PT prices are double UK prices due to tax) is receding. 

I know many here would have sold it by now and never found the problem. As the used car value is quite high here (15k in good nick) and the replacement cost far higher, at a time my job was under threat, I knew it was worth me persevering.  Finally the bill was 900 quid. I would have happily paid double. 

A funny story; my indie needed a Toyota ECU specialist to code out the fifth injector. He got one. “Ah, I’ve already seen that car. Toyota wanted me to solve a problem with it smoking, so I told them what it needed. Didn’t hear more.”

Our guess is Mr T could see the quote being a grand for a new fifth injector plus three grand for a new DPF, plus labor... and decided to close eyes and ears instead 😞

I really hope this helps someone else. 

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I felt that Mr T garage might have been a bit “computer says no” so I asked my friend to go back to first principles; what are the symptoms and think backwards what is likely to cause them. He thought first injectors, then turbo, then fifth injector. 

Personally I might have preferred to pay more for a new fifth injector but he says they can fail again so he just took it out. 

Some of the delay in fixing it was to find a Toyota coding expert for the ECU. 

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Yes , i guess the most difficult part  about removing those things is the ECU hacking.

My next step is to go to a place where they will do a physical test on the 4 injectors

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  • 1 year later...

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