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Auris Hybrid Heater Causing Engine in Stutter?

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Hello All and thanks in advance for any advice.

I have a 2011 Auris Hybrid and lately the engine idle when changing from running to standby (like when you stop at a light) has been shuttering dramatically.

It seems to be linked to the heater system...  When I drive the car without the heater on it seems to idle and enter standby normally, with the heater on, however, it immediately begins to shake the entire vehicle.  I ran the AC to see if it had to do with the electric charging system but with the AC on the vehicle performed normally.

 

Anyone have any idea what the situation could be?  Is there a belt/heater motor that could be going bad which is causing the engine to struggle. It is dramatic.  With the heater on the engine shakes the whole vehicle while idling when I switch the heater off it immediately stops.  Then again maybe it isn't the engine at all, maybe it is a heater motor?)

It is worth noting that when the engine revs up at speed the shake stops.

I've tried to record a video so you can hear the sound.

 

Thanks very much!!!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s_1RaUPHFUTWYwQOW7iMlB0zYJi-JQcL/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sK6TGEgDUl6p1xH4jLee_THShD73lwOM/view?usp=sharing

 

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Not the heater. That was probably a bit of a foolish assumption.

Still making the noise...going to take it to the dealership.

 

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How many miles has the car done?

When you are turning the heater on, the engine is likely to be running with just a light load - it is just operating to heat the car.

In that situation, the engine is possibly selecting different fuel and engine timing parameters (maps), which if the car's EGR circuit is not in good condition (this can clog up and cause problems at over, roughly 100,000 miles), can cause engine detonation (which I think is the cause of the noise).

Sometimes new spark plugs can help if they are past their service life.  But beware, some main agents charge up to £250 for plug replacement.  (A set of plugs can be bought for ~£50, and this isn't a hybrid-special job, although the access is tight on the Auris gen1 hybrid).

This thread might help:-

Just a few owners have noticed an improvement after using fuel injector cleaner.

As you say, I don't think there is anything wrong with the heater at all, but this definitely needs sorting out!

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Hi Gerg,

I really appreciate your response!  Thanks much for taking the time.  I will have a look through the thread you have included.

The car has 65,000 miles, but was purchased as an ex-rental vehicle at about 30,000 miles six years ago.  So the first miles could have been rough!

I changed the Oil with Toyota 0W20 and filter yesterday since it was well overdue hoping that might make a difference. 

Changing the plugs is within my skill set so I will give that a go, along with using some injector cleaner. 

Thanks again and I will let you know how I get on.

Cheers!

 

 

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Hi,

You are welcome!

I think that 65,000 miles is too low to be suffering the EGR problems mentioned.  And 'spirited' use as a hire car initially will, if anything, make the car less likely to gum up the EGR.

But, the recommended service interval for the plugs is 60,000 miles or 6 years, as per this thread:-

So be wary of changing them when a dealer has already covered this in a previous service (before you owned the car?).  I don't think the age of the plugs is critical, as that thread mentions.  

But, even if the plugs aren't in need of changing, have a look through this thread, it may be very relevant:-

As you probably know, a new genuine Toyota coil, if you were thinking of changing one is probably a fairly hideous expense (~£180?).  It is worth considering other brands, I know that NGK are now selling coils on the aftermarket and their prices are as low as a fifth of the genuine part price on some (other) Toyotas.

Also, an unusual size spark plug socket is needed to get the plugs out, it is very thin-walled and not too dear. As per this thread:-

And finally, the cars seem to run better on Denso brand plugs, other owners sometimes report. Which seems a little odd (Denso are part-owned by Toyota, as it happens), but anyway!  And the Denso recommendation for your car has relatively recently been changed, I think.  It was a 20 heat range and is now a 16, or maybe it was the other way around?  The superceded plug is not commonly available anymore, but just so you are aware if you go looking for the Denso plugs.....

It would be interesting to hear what happens next in your investigation!

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  Have a look on youtube for a guy called toyota maintenance. He recommends only denso plugs, he`ll tell you the part number in a prius/auris video.

I had a miss fire due to a coil going bad due to water dripping in from above....from the scuttle area. coil 2 if i remember right. I bought a used prius 1.8 coil from the same year as my auris. I changed the plugs at the same time, fitted ngk Iridium without any problems.

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Thanks again Gerg for all of the information.  I've started to look through the threads you have included.  I'm going to have a go with what you have suggested.

One other thought if you have a second...

When I listen the plugs and firing seem to be running smoothly (although I'm not an expert) and the sound seems to be coming from another part of the engine or an auxiliary motor/belt/arm/loose bolt.  I have recorded some more of the engine sound.  This time I forced the engine to accelerate (we used to do this on our 2001 Mk1 Prius import when the Battery went into 'safe' mode) by pushing hard on the break and full on the accelerator.  You can hear the intense rattle when the hybrid system idles down and switches off.

Any thoughts on auxiliary systems that engage/disengage the engine that could be loose or be going bad?

You have already helped a lot so apologies for another video and more questions!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tFiJtuDeDOx00L4Zu_n_3H1kMX6bITw-/view?usp=sharing

Cheers!

 

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Hi, you definitely have clogged egr and all egr passages including cooler. You will need to do a research how to and what is included to take care of it, and if the sound doesn’t disappear then you need to check for broken clutch springs, but this usually happens if the car been trashed, or been driven for a long time with clogged egr. Even low miles cars will do that after a certain years of use, especially if only done short town trips. There are many posts here about that, also you tube videos. This guy video is very informative .

 

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Hi, as Tony says, the Achilles heel on these engines seems to be the whole EGR circuit, but this usually only clogs up after high mileage. 

Tony has done one or two of these EGR strip downs already, so knows what to expect. I have two of these jobs looming, but have yet to take them apart (pre-emptively, the engines are running fine atm), but have a secondhand EGR cooler, cleaned up and ready to fit, as a time saver for when it that takes place. 

When the engine starts displaying this fault, it also stresses the head gasket and the the engine's torsional damper, (which basically appears like a conventional clutch assembly, but with no means to disengage it, because it is never required to disengage in this role).  Both these parts can end up getting damaged, eventually. 

Perhaps Tony can advise if removing the EGR valve itself (which is quite easily accessible), can give a clue as to how gunged-up the rest of the system is? Just to be sure it is bad before committing to removing and cleaning the rest?

I keep meaning (and then forgetting) to check the EGR valve on our car, to see if it gives an idea of the health of the EGR system. 

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Hi Gerg, 

you are absolutely right about it. Few more things that I want to share are that even in low miles cars used in short town trips after 8 years or so the egr system will get clogged no matter the mileage. Important step also is to:

1. Remove and clean intake manifold, there are small holes that gets clogged too, and these actually supply air from the egr separately.
2. Remove and clean throttle body and map sensor

3. Remove and clean egr pipe together with cooler 

4. Replace PCV valve located behind the intake manifold 

I don’t think you can get the egr out of the car without removing the whole lot of the engine, only you can get out the solenoid on top but won’t be able to see much, what can you do better to inspect the system condition is to remove the metal egr pipe , I done this at around 80k plus throttle body and may sensor cleaning and all of them were dirty. When doing all cleaning procedures make sure you have new intake manifold gasket, the other few gaskets are metal and can be used again, they are cheap and ideally replace them too. Pictures of my first cleaning at 136000 miles.

2F9FE484-BDA0-4F7D-AEC1-F74A497D2C78.jpeg

3D2B3653-2CAA-4716-B750-7A55AFC58BB8.jpeg

7E54F3D5-C023-4D44-8745-A66DF80065AD.jpeg

E550114B-924C-4376-8763-42AB6B8A9024.jpeg

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Hi Tony and Gerg, 

Thanks very much for all of this information!  Indeed, the Auris is primarily used for short trips around town. 

I will keep you both updated with how I get on!

All the best.

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