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2011 Dcat White smoke problem


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I thought I would document my experiences with this issue here for others to see.

My 2011 Rav4 Dcat Automatic has a little problem, once it is warm after driving a couple of miles, when I accelerate from standstill in slow moving traffic I get quite a large cloud of white/grey smoke behind me. The sort of cloud that makes people stay further back as it smells like a dirty diesel.

The vehicle has 60,000 miles almost bang on.

The oil and filter is clean as I changed it last weekend.
I fitted a new diesel filter at the same time.
I have Toyota Techstream diagnostic software running as I specialise in auto electronics as my profession.
There are no fault codes on any of the vehicle systems.
The injector coding is all programmed correctly.
The injector correction/cylinder balance values are all within a "reasonable specification"
Although 1 injector is showing nearly -2 trim while the others are +0.1 to +0.8 which could be showing that 1 injector is losing its spray pattern.
It runs and drives perfectly (except for the smoke)
I have performed the fuel pump learn function, and the injector balance trim function, I have reset the crank angle learn values.
The DPF shows normal pressure readings and does not appear to be clogged with soot.

Tonight I made a little EGR blanking plate, wondering if it was swallowing too much of its own exhaust gasses - this has not resolved the smoke 😞

An I have just performed the Engine ECU software calibration update as highlighted in TSB:-
EG-0096T-1011 "08-AD engine: Intermittent white smoke is coming from the exhaust. ALA30,ALA35"

Before the update my engine ECU 895364201000 was running version 342B0400 and now it has been updated to 342B0600

To perform this update I downloaded the CAL download from here via my VIN number https://www.toyota-tech.eu/CAL/VINDecode.aspx

Then I used Toyota Techstream in J2534 passthru mode using a Ford VCM2 interface that I have.

Attached are pictures of the update before and after.

If this solves the problem I will post back to let other owners know this potential solution.
Otherwise my next plan of attack will be to blank off the 5th injector fuel feed to see if this is the cause of the issue.

If anyone has any suggestions or feedback I am all ears 🙂


toyota update after.png

toyota update.png

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Did the problem start out of the blue or has it been apparent for a while? It will be interesting to see if loading the software in the TSB solves the problem. It’s sometimes useful to wire something up to indicate when the 5th injector is being energised in order to ascertain if this is happening when not expected, and to see if it ties in with smoke emission.

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I think it might be caused by a poorly sealing 5th injector nozzle. When the vacuum flap closes under low load conditions I wonder if the induced vacuum causes diesel to seep past the seal in the 5th injector - but only once its been used a couple of times after the warm up period (a few EGR + 5th injector cycles)

In all fairness I don't know how long this has been like this, I've only owned it for a good few months, then I only do long journeys late at night when there is no traffic and dark so I wouldn't see the smoke. During the day I only drive it for very short journeys. Because I have a few different cars to use the Rav4 is often at the end of the list.

I think you can see the 5th injector in the live data, but I will look later. This is all a solvable issue, it just needs a bit of tinker time.

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I have removed my EGR blanking test plate which did not highlight the issue:-



I have clamped off the fuel feed for the 5th injector with a brake hose clamp:-


I will road test again when I have time and report back.

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So I decided to undo the 5th injector clamp, but keep it in position ready to clamp off the 5th injector if I see smoke again. Then I will know the cause of the smoke.
And if I never get the white smoke then the software update may be the answer.

Part of me wonders if its to do with the DPF regen cycle.
The other day when it was smoking, I had just done a "between towns A road" type drive at a steady 55mph.
Then I hit stop start traffic as I came into town.

The other day with the big clouds of white smoke; I wonder if it had started a re gen burn off cycle, but been caught short as I hit the slow moving traffic.

Other people have complained about this issue I can see on the internet, I wonder if their vehicle has some underlying issue which is causing it to keep trying to regen the DPF.

I've had no smoke this afternoon and tonight what so ever ??? Only time will tell. Make of that what you will!

Other brands of car terminate the DPG regen process as soon as the road speed goes below 60km/h.
I've done loads of weird DPF issue jobs over the years, but I rarely get any Toyota's in to fix as they don't really go wrong. It's usually European cars with these sorts of issues. So my experience of the details of the systems operation is somewhat lacking.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, White smoke usually indicates unburnt/excessive fuel. Black smoke Air/Fuel mix. Blue smoke, you#re burning oil. By your own diagnostics, it would seem like a duff injector (No 5). try swapping injector 5 with known good one. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Three pot,

Did you ever solve your smokeing issue?

I've started having the same issue on my car. I recently had mine remapped and it started smoking intermittently as you described. I've looked at some live data through my phone and it appears that its trying to do DPF regenerations all the time. My fuel economy has gone down from around 400/420 to 340/50 ish, however power is still still the same with no other apparent issues.

I suspect that the guy who remapped my car used an old ECU file (a file which still has the excessive smokeing issue) and modified that for my car as it's been smoking just like yours after that. Before, I done 40K or so miles with no smoking, now it's been flashed with a new ECU file it's been smoking just like yours. I yet to talk to my guy as I think it may also be the 5th injector which has decided to give up though it's unlikely. 

How did you manage to download the new update as i've tried using my VIN and several bulletin reference codes but still gather no results.

I've ordered a a cable and downloaded the techstream software so I can monitor the values to see if it is the 5th injector/ DPF in constant regeneration.

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To say it is fixed, well that is a question of testing over time. I never updated this thread previously, as the saga continued.

Shortly after the white smoke issue appeared, one day it would not start. After much faffing I found that there was not enough fuel pressure, as the pressure was getting leaked into cylinder number 1 as the injector nozzle was stuck open.

I suspect this might have been the cause of the smoke, as if when driving the nozzle doesn't seal properly then the smoke will appear!

Anyway that was Christmas 2018, after the one new injector all has been fine, I just replaced one with a recon injector at the time as they are £300+vat each or there abouts from Toyota.

Also the injector correction time values as I stated back in the original post showed the correction for number 1 was quite large, so I suspect this gives you a clue to the condition of the nozzles.

So fast forward to this weekend, it wouldn't start again, and guess what, it's got no fuel pressure again.... and guess what its burn't the tip on another injector.

I've pulled all 4 injectors out of it, and all 3 original ones are looking a bit sorry, the tips are distorted and burnt away. And number 2 injectors leaks all the time.

So I have ordered a full set of 4 new genuine injectors.

I've looked at pictures of used injectors on eBay, and they all have distorted tips. I would suggest this is a common issue.

Hopefully that will be the last of the smoke for another 5 years.... maybe... only time will tell.

Anyway hear is a picture of the tips, the one on the right has swollen and sticks open, the one on the left is still OK but is pitted and slightly distorted. I will take a picture of the new injector tips when they arrive.


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Ah sorry you've got the problem!

How did you know it was leaking into the cylinder on startup?

I'm hoping that this isn't the issue with mine. I'm hoping its the 5th injector and thats all. It seems intermittent and comes and goes once the engine is fully up to temperature. I done a 300 mile round trip and was mostly mine bar the horrible fuel economy. It's started to smoke more when idling in town and on short journeys. I went to take my parents to the train station and started smoking on the way back. I find it so embarrassing.

I know Toyota had problems with their injectors as my grandad 2.2 (150ps) had all the injectors replaced as well as the fuel pump free of charge. My old SR180 had all of them done in 2013 if i remember correctly. Wish I kept them for my car! sold them for £800 though for the set..

Do you think that that you can get someone to recon your old injectors? If they're the same part numbers as mine I wouldn't mind purchasing them off you given I have the same issue.

How much were 4 new injectors?

How did you manage to get the injectors out of the car? When I pulled the injectors out of my old SR180 (head-gasket so engine was scrap) I used a pry bar about 4 feet long.. They were really in there...

Those nozzles really have deteriorated.

I have my old engine ECU so i'm tempted to plug and recode it to my pump and injectors to see if my smoking issues will disappear as my old SR180 never smoked. 


Thank you for such the in-depth update! Really helpful.


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Injectors came out really easily, its a 30 minute job to get all 4 out. Do you have the part number for your injectors? I think these D-CAT versions might have a unique injector.

I also need to add, that I have spoke to a couple of Injector reconditioning places about these Denso Injectors. I actually drove over to see 2 different places yesterday morning with a box with the injectors, and 1 injector fully stripped down in bits so they can compare parts with catalogues etc.

These injectors are labelled 23670-26060 part number on the metal body, which is a Toyota supplied unit of a Denso Injector part number 295900-0050 (or 0080, 0170, 0360, 0390, 0420). Denso list them as the injector type DCRI200420 which they call a Type 2 injector.

In order to repair/recondition the injector, a new nozzle would need to be fitted. The part number for the nozzle is G3P004

BUT..... nobody can supply or source these nozzles, they are not available from any of the injector recon firms suppliers. Denso will not supply the component separately.

So the "recon" injector I bought back at Christmas, is not actually a recon, it is just a second hand cleaned up and tested injector. And when I think back I did think the nozzle did not look brand new and flawless. Thus why I have bought a set of 4 new ones.

So I would be tempted to avoid reconditioned injectors or companies that promise such services for these vehicles, as I suspect they are being less than transparent. There are some Chinese copy nozzles apparently on the market, but they will burn in no time as the metal will be soft and cheap, also the accuracy of the fuel measuring orifice may be less than ideal which will give cylinder imbalance issues.


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That's surprising. My old injectors took 30 minutes for each injector! They must've had poor copper seals as the bore was heavily contaminated with carbon, as were the injectors them selfs. My part numbers are 23670 26020 so a little different than yours. Is your Rav 4 a 2AD FTV or FHV engine? My Auris is the 2AD FHV type. 

That's a shame about these not being able to be reconditioned. I have trouble finding second hand injectors off eBay

Didn't you buy that "recon" injector from Toyota? Not bad for £300 if it's fully tested and "reconditioned". \

How much did you purchase the new injectors for? 

I have an OBD to usb (mini VCI) so I can use it with the techstream software to diagnose possible injector issues. I'kll reset the ECU as well so it relearns its trim settings and see if that makes a possible issue.

When are you expecting to install the new injectors?


Edit: My 5th injector just arrived. Will hope to fit it Friday and or possibly the weekend to see if it fixes the issue or at least help. The original has 113 thousand miles on it so I wouldn't be surprised if it's starting to fail. I planned to do it at somepoint anyway!

second edit: I should also mention that my part number was for the new, replacement injectors which were improved over the old types previously used in the FHV and possibly FTV engine. My grandads car for example used to missfire before having everything replaced.

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The new Genuine Toyota dealer injectors are about £300+vat each, sold on exchange so I have to give the old ones back.

While the "recon" one was £210 including VAT, and there was no exchange at all. This was from some diesel specialist in Manchester.

I wish I had just done all 4 injectors with new proper ones.

New ones will be here in a few days so I will post back with some further insights.

Also, these injectors do not have copper seals at all, they seat directly into the cylinder head, which is an unusual design indeed.

What you experienced when the injectors are carboned up the sides are what we call "black death" in the garage game. Lots of vehicles are common for this issue, some carbon up that bad that you have to use a hydraulic puller to extract the injectors.

I suspect this smoke issue may be caused by different issues for different people, so if I was to start again with any Toyota showing this symptom my plan would be:-

-check the injector correction factors for all 4 injectors to see if any are wildly out of spec
-reflash the ECU with the updated software and see if this cures the issue
-if issue continues remove all 4 injectors and visually inspect the nozzles for distortion
-refit the injectors into different cylinders, reprogram the injector codes to suit the new locations
-recheck the correction factors to ensure the correction valves are correct
-if the injectors are all perfectly fine and matched with the correction factors, then change the 5th injector to see if this cures the issue
-warn the owner that if the issue continues, then replace all 4 injectors as the next course of action
-if issue continues, cry in a cupboard somewhere

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Oh wow was that all? I was expecting new injectors to be roughly £600 each. For £300 I can swallow that easily. I plan on keeping the car for another 3 perhaps 4 years whilst I attend University.

I look forward to hearing your update. Excited to be honest!

Are you sure? I'll have to check the manual on Toyota Tech. I have some genuine copper seals which I purchased a couple years ago. If I remember, coppers seals came out he engine I stripped years ago as well. Maybe as yours is the FTV instead of the FHV? Mine has piezo electric injectors with 180bhp. I think the FTV has solenoid and 150bhp? Correct me if i'm wrong/

It can be different, you're right. The thing is, is that its intermittent which has me believe its the DPF. I've checked live data on my phone and all the data gives me the impression that it's trying to regen all the time. (AFR) drops down every so often. It used to do it once every 500 miles or so but now it seems it's every time I go out. Perhaps the 5th or any of the cylinder injectors are leaking leaving more particulate matter in the DPF, or the differential pressure sensor is out of whack. I'll have to see what the values are and see if their resistances are within spec. Fuel economy is also massively down (to be expected). Used to get 420 miles to a tank (drove it passed 0 range) but now it's 340 miles. Done a 300 mile run and still got 340 miles.

I'll definitely take those steps into consideration. I might cry in the corner cupboard first haha. Can't wait for my cables to arrive so I can put techstream to use. Should arrive today or tomorrow. (I hope).

!Removed! cars!

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From the pictures I think yours are piezo electric? judging by the ring pack. Your pintle seems to be in good condition. Is it literally just the nozzle that deteriorates? Speaking of which, that looks bad! Very bad..

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Here I can show you how one side of the injector has literally burnt away, so much that is has lost its strength, then cracked open with a proper hole, thus it leaks so much that the vehicle will not start due to insufficient pressure.

It makes me wonder if the intermittent smoke issue, is cause by a very small hairline crack, that can open up when under extreme pressure and heat, then gets clogged up with residue in the diesel. This problem will also lead to DPF issues, as when the crack starts to form, the ECU will reduce the cylinder correction balance, and will not burn correctly causing higher soot/carbon build up in the DPF.

So if you have this smoke issue, I strongly suggest removing the injectors, cleaning the tips and looking at them in a microscope, and measuring them. It may give you the answer.

I hope this crazy forum thread helps other people one day, and if you are having similar issues please post up your findings.






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Keep in mind this all started as the intermittent smoke issue. It ran fine, just one day running into town it started smoking, and then it stopped, and didn't smoke again, then one day it smoked again for a few minutes and stopped again. Then all of a sudden it wouldn't start, where I found one injector burnt away.
So I replaced that one, and all was well for months.
Then early last week I noticed it smoked again for a couple of miles. Then friday it wouldn't start again, and I find another defective injector.

I really don't have the answer, but its worth a look for the small effort and time of pulling the injectors and having a look. This is a 2AD-FHV, but a D-CAT version.

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wow look at that nozzle. That's crazy. I can see why it's leaking now.

I'll have to remove my injectors at somepoint just for piece of mind. What injector puller did you use?

Ah okay so you have the 180ps version of the 2.2 like me. I wonder why your part numbers were different than mine? maybe as mine were updated version with a different alloy in the nozzles to prevent the corrosion? They were replaced in 2013, and your Rav 4 is 2011? Interesting. Are your new injectors matching to your current ones which you're sending back or new, revised ones (as I understand them to be)


Like you I hope this forum helps other people. I'm glad I found it as it's been very helpful for me so I must thank you for replying and being indepth with your text.

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