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Recurrent Engine Warning light+VSC+TRC Off

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Hi All,

I am new to this forum and hope to get some technical advice with regard to a particular problem I have with my  2004 1.6 petrol Corolla.

From time to time, I see three yellow warning lights pop up:

- engine warning light

- VSC

- TRC Off

They stay there for a few trips and then go away. Before, during and after they appear, the car acts normal: no difference in power, reaction to commands or fuel consumption. Hence, it seems that nothing is really wrong with my Corolla but it is of course annoying and I would like to remove this recurring light show.

I have already learned that warning lights are legally required to stay on long enough for a driver to notice them with certainty. It is not clear for me how it is decided that this point is reached but it seems to be a combination of time and certain number of "drives" where "a drive" most likely must have a certain amount of kilometers (or miles in the UK) and long enough to reach normal operating temperature. For me, it typically means 2 to 3 days depending on how many "drives" I do.

For the moment, the light show appears more or less once every full tank so about every 600 km (about 350-400 miles) which is more than when the issue started.

It is an old car so I am not keen on spending a lot of money to let my dealer find the problem. They read out the fault code and told me that the code had something to do with the VVTi-system but when tested worked flawlessly. They replaced some filter which they thought might cause it but the lights reappeard shortly after so it did not solve the issue and suggests that my dealer is also clueless about the root cause.

Is anybody on this forum familiar with this particular problem?

regards

Dries

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2 hours ago, dvd said:

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and hope to get some technical advice with regard to a particular problem I have with my  2004 1.6 petrol Corolla.

From time to time, I see three yellow warning lights pop up:

- engine warning light

- VSC

- TRC Off

They stay there for a few trips and then go away. Before, during and after they appear, the car acts normal: no difference in power, reaction to commands or fuel consumption. Hence, it seems that nothing is really wrong with my Corolla but it is of course annoying and I would like to remove this recurring light show.

I have already learned that warning lights are legally required to stay on long enough for a driver to notice them with certainty. It is not clear for me how it is decided that this point is reached but it seems to be a combination of time and certain number of "drives" where "a drive" most likely must have a certain amount of kilometers (or miles in the UK) and long enough to reach normal operating temperature. For me, it typically means 2 to 3 days depending on how many "drives" I do.

For the moment, the light show appears more or less once every full tank so about every 600 km (about 350-400 miles) which is more than when the issue started.

It is an old car so I am not keen on spending a lot of money to let my dealer find the problem. They read out the fault code and told me that the code had something to do with the VVTi-system but when tested worked flawlessly. They replaced some filter which they thought might cause it but the lights reappeard shortly after so it did not solve the issue and suggests that my dealer is also clueless about the root cause.

Is anybody on this forum familiar with this particular problem?

regards

Dries

Can you get the exact code car's ECU logged? Most of the time those fault codes are hard to figure out, very rarely have I seen an open-and-shut case where the fault code mentioned the faulty part exactly.

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4 hours ago, Byzii said:

Can you get the exact code car's ECU logged? Most of the time those fault codes are hard to figure out, very rarely have I seen an open-and-shut case where the fault code mentioned the faulty part exactly.

Unfortunately no, I do not have the equipment to read it out myself and my dealer did not give additional details besides "it has to do with VVTi but your VVTi works"...

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This error doesn't stop you driving it, but it is a concern when you first see it.

I had it a last week when I started the engine quickly to drive off before the fuel pump had primed; I think the ECU gets confused by driving off too quickly before its completed all its checks. This happened on my prior car also - they generally all use the same basic ECU base software.

Also, it can be a simple check of the fuel cap - just make sure it is completely done up and clicked on securely. If the cap is not secure it can provide this error because there is insufficient pressure in the tank. Also if the cap is dirty, clean it in petrol with a toothbrush and try doing it up again securely to see if it fixes it. I kid you not, this does work!

If you're using supermarket fuel you'll likely see it more often because this waxes up the injectors, and if you try and drive off too quickly with starting from cold, the ECU senses there is insufficient fuel pressure to the engine and triggers this error too. What helped my Corolla was putting in some fuel injector cleaner occasionally along with doing the above too.

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On 11/28/2018 at 6:47 PM, DeTomato said:

This error doesn't stop you driving it, but it is a concern when you first see it.

I had it a last week when I started the engine quickly to drive off before the fuel pump had primed; I think the ECU gets confused by driving off too quickly before its completed all its checks. This happened on my prior car also - they generally all use the same basic ECU base software.

Also, it can be a simple check of the fuel cap - just make sure it is completely done up and clicked on securely. If the cap is not secure it can provide this error because there is insufficient pressure in the tank. Also if the cap is dirty, clean it in petrol with a toothbrush and try doing it up again securely to see if it fixes it. I kid you not, this does work!

If you're using supermarket fuel you'll likely see it more often because this waxes up the injectors, and if you try and drive off too quickly with starting from cold, the ECU senses there is insufficient fuel pressure to the engine and triggers this error too. What helped my Corolla was putting in some fuel injector cleaner occasionally along with doing the above too.

Thanks, that is very helpful advice which I will apply. I suspect that the new E10 (formally called E95) fuel plays a role in this particular problem -- it can be a coincidence but the problem started appearing after this bio-fuel was introduced in Europe (although Toyota claims that every Toyota after 2000 should run without problems on E10).

Yesterday the lights disappeared again after two days and about 4 trips after they appeared. Like always, I do not notice any difference besides the yellow lightshow but it always bogs me when they are there making me restart the car at red lights to increase my number of trips to let them disappear faster.

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7 minutes ago, dvd said:

I suspect that the new E10 (formally called E95) fuel plays a role in this particular problem -- it can be a coincidence but the problem started appearing after this bio-fuel was introduced in Europe

The UK government hasn't introduced E10 in the UK as yet - although there was a consultation carried out in the summer of 2018 which looked at this and other associated factors.

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On 11/28/2018 at 6:47 PM, DeTomato said:

This error doesn't stop you driving it, but it is a concern when you first see it.

I had it a last week when I started the engine quickly to drive off before the fuel pump had primed; I think the ECU gets confused by driving off too quickly before its completed all its checks. This happened on my prior car also - they generally all use the same basic ECU base software.

Also, it can be a simple check of the fuel cap - just make sure it is completely done up and clicked on securely. If the cap is not secure it can provide this error because there is insufficient pressure in the tank. Also if the cap is dirty, clean it in petrol with a toothbrush and try doing it up again securely to see if it fixes it. I kid you not, this does work!

If you're using supermarket fuel you'll likely see it more often because this waxes up the injectors, and if you try and drive off too quickly with starting from cold, the ECU senses there is insufficient fuel pressure to the engine and triggers this error too. What helped my Corolla was putting in some fuel injector cleaner occasionally along with doing the above too.

It seems that the error is triggered in different circumstances than with your car: this morning I noticed the engine warning light activate. "VSC" and "TRC Off" activated shortly after - about a second delay. At that moment, I was driving steadily at about 55 kph (about 35 mph) in 5th gear (2000 rpm more or less) and already drove more than 15 km (10 miles) so the engine was already at operating temperature for some time. 

I am not entirely sure but seem to remember that in previous instances, I also noticed the lights while I was driving at a steady speed  at relatively low rpm (<3000) with the engine at normal operating temperature. However, this was the first time I really saw the activation and the small delay between the engine warning light and the two others.

I also saw that my dealer added fuel injector cleaner during the last maintenance which is less than 1000 km ago. I also checked my fuel cap: it seemed OK. Nevertheless, I cleaned it (and the fuel tank inlet) using a paper towel with some fuel on it and closed it securely (several clicks).

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Check these links. There are Part 1 - 4 videos also, but you've done some of these. But check youtube because it may help you out as below.

 

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Your aux air pump for emission's control is faulty, the unit is located in the near side front wheel well, behind the fog lamp. The motor needs replacing. 

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Interesting hypothesis: is this an expensive part?

Thanks

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Yes, I was quoted over £400+vat, that's because I worked at Toyota on a staff discount. To the public, I dread to think the price.

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What I normally do with mine is, I disconnect the Battery over night, that's resets the fault code, but does not last long, maybe a couple of days. When I find a fix i'll post up.

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OK that is not an option for a 15y old car... unless it is really, really necessary.

I simply do four drives with the light show after which the warning lights disappear on their own... but they reappear faster and faster. This tank, I already saw them twice and the tank is only half (about 300 km or 200 miles).

If I disconnect the Battery, I lose all my tuner presets which is quite annoying (among other things like clock, auto up/down electric windows, ...) so I prefer four drives with light show.

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