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Avensis Vvti - Engine Problem


benstar
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Bought a 2003 Avensis 1.8 VVTi (old model) in February this year. It didn't seem to run smoothly and eventually realised that at some revs the engine seemed to mis-fire giving a lumpy ride. When stationary the engine runs 'rough' at approx 2200 rpm. When driving I can get the same fault at other revs, depending on what gear I am in.

The ECU has been changed - made an improvement but still got the problem.

The dealer is telling me that this fault is a 'characteristic' of this car! I just can't believe it.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Regards

Martin

:help:

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Couple of simple suggestions as a starter.

Try giving it a good hard run. Red line up the gears a couple of times. If the engine hasn't been run hard it could be as simple as burning off some carbon deposits or clearing the intake system of something that's gumming it up. Not massively likely but it won't really cost you anything to do and could help.

Duck into the engine bay and give each of the connectors to the engine a firm pull off push on check to confirm everythings secure. I'd include the ones that bolt directly onto the engine above the gearbox and give them a wiggle to check they're tight.

Before you actually start the car make sure you get all the lights on, on the dash. It's always possible there's an engine fault but if the bulbs gone you might not realise. Again I reckon unlikely but doesn't cost anything to have a look.

The most simple thing I can think off is to take it to the dealers and get him to prove it's a feature of all of the cars (it's difficult to know exactly what you're complaining about without actually having a sit in the car) Get him to put you in another 1.8 Avensis and prove that they all run like this. If they do at least you know he's not giving you a load of flannel, otherwise you've just proved your point and theirs something not right and needs sorting

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I can't offer a solution but I can say that my 2 litre VVt-i would certainly be purring nicely if I had it parked at 2200 rpm -- just like any other car. It is not a feature of this engine -- none of the 1.8s I tested were like that.

The only time mine is a bit rough is when driving off cold in second, I'm going very light on the pedal and the engine is growling for more.

The advice above looks good -- doesn't hurt to try and costs nothing.

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Answer. No it is not normal my son has the same car and the engine "purrs". Could be many things but I would start with the HT leads. One of these breaking down causes the lumpy running. The HT leads though should not cause the high idle revs? Your dealer should know the fault is not normal. I would pester the dealer to sort it out. If not ring Toyota customer care and complain about the dealer.

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Couple of simple suggestions as a starter.

Try giving it a good hard run. Red line up the gears a couple of times. If the engine hasn't been run hard it could be as simple as burning off some carbon deposits or clearing the intake system of something that's gumming it up. Not massively likely but it won't really cost you anything to do and could help.

Duck into the engine bay and give each of the connectors to the engine a firm pull off push on check to confirm everythings secure. I'd include the ones that bolt directly onto the engine above the gearbox and give them a wiggle to check they're tight.

Before you actually start the car make sure you get all the lights on, on the dash. It's always possible there's an engine fault but if the bulbs gone you might not realise. Again I reckon unlikely but doesn't cost anything to have a look.

The most simple thing I can think off is to take it to the dealers and get him to prove it's a feature of all of the cars (it's difficult to know exactly what you're complaining about without actually having a sit in the car) Get him to put you in another 1.8 Avensis and prove that they all run like this. If they do at least you know he's not giving you a load of flannel, otherwise you've just proved your point and theirs something not right and needs sorting

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Hi everyone who has replied so far.

I have tried everything suggested but no luck so far.

The dealer has promised to find another car (the same as mine) so that I can compare it to mine. The dealer is maintaining that this is a 'characteristic' of the car.

A different Toyota dealer also told me that the technical department at Toyota had told them that the 'vibration' was normal because of 'balance' and the fact that it is a 4 cylinder engine!! What do you think of that for an excuse?

My 'old' non-VVTi Avensis ran perfectly smoothly - I thought that a later engine would be better, and not run like an old Cortina that needed tuning. I am not happy. :angry:

Can anyone else confirm that they either have this problem with a 1.8 VVTi GS or that their car runs perfectly smoothly?

I would be grateful for any replies.

Thanks again. Will keep you up-dated.

Martin

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Dealers talking nonsense.

One of the main advantages of the straight 4 configuration of engine is it's naturally dynamically balanced!

Try a couple of different cars (from different dealers if the original dealer says they can't find one) and that'll give you a feel for what you should feel normally

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Cannot believe a dealer told you that. Black Knight is spot on. Can you understand any engine manufacturer making an engine that is not balanced. Just does not make sense to me.

I would ring Toyota customer care and tell them what the dealer has said about the problem.

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"The dealer is telling me that this fault is a 'characteristic' of this car! I just can't believe it."

Absolute rubbish, I had the bottom end of my 2002 1.8VVti replaced due to the known oil issue - it runs smooth, ticks over well & does good mpg (it even did this prior to engine change) - there`s something wrong mate !

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Has said this is not normal. My dads 1.8 vvt-i gs old shape runs like a dream. Mine to runs sweat has can be. Also i drive a fair few 1.8 vvt-i's and other toyota models and non run has bad has you are saying. Has said get in and drive another 1.8 vvt-i unit but i'm sure you wont find one that runs has poor as yours seems to. I find the engine to be a good all round performer and very smooth, 42+mpg a little bit noisey when being pushed but its a nice noisey, i guess its the sound of the 127bhp being let free.

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Hi everyone.

Thanks for the further comments - they will help me when I next see the dealer.

But keep any comments coming please - the more info I have the more likely I am to get Toyota to take notice of me.

Thanks a lot. I'm feeling a lot happier now I know that you are confirming that all these engines are not bad. :thumbsup:

Regards

Martin

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Bought a 2003 Avensis 1.8 VVTi (old model) in February this year. It didn't seem to run smoothly and eventually realised that at some revs the engine seemed to mis-fire giving a lumpy ride. When stationary the engine runs 'rough' at approx 2200 rpm. When driving I can get the same fault at other revs, depending on what gear I am in.

My fathers 2002 Avensis 1.8 VVTI is also having a little "rough" point around 2000rpm. Barely noticeable when accelrating through the gears, but if you pay attension you can notice a very little hesitation around 2000rpm.

When revving around 2000rpm with the driver-door open the door starts to shake a little so there is definatly some unbalance/misfiring in the engine.

Been like this since new and the dealer says its nothing wrong with the engine. 4-cylinders engine are not perfectly balanced by design, but its strange that some are more "unbalanced" than others.. Some dodgy engine-mounts then maybe?

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Mine is 1.8 VVTi. Runs smooth like a silk. When, for example, stopped on a trafic light, after 10-20 kilometers running, I can feel slight vibration from the engine and revs moving between 600 and 700 rpm. But that's just sometimes. The rest would be perfect for me, with quite experience with petrol engines.

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I really think you need to lay into your dealer in a big way. Perhaps even use someone else? I've never heard such rubbish, how can it be a characteristic of the engine to run rough?

I will point out however that most engines are not naturally balanced, more so with less cylinders. But all cars are built with a flywheel which helps balance the engine running out. Toyota engines as a point are renowned world over for being smooth runners.

If they cannot give you good reasons, with a proper engineering backup then they aren't worth dealing with. And as already stated, it's probably worth complaining about them. Dealers like this really make my blood boil, can you tell??!! It's a shame to say it, but good dealers with very skilled staff are few and far between. But that's because of a number of reasons, one being a national skills shortage. God, now i'm getting political!

Ouch!! I just fell off my soap box...

:D

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sjrainsford. You are saying exactly what I feel about this dealer. I think he should be reported to Toyota customer care. Unbalanced engines. No such thing these days. I hope you get it sorted benstar. As has been said you really have to have a go at your dealer. Please let us know how you get on.

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sjrainsford. You are saying exactly what I feel about this dealer. I think he should be reported to Toyota customer care. Unbalanced engines. No such thing these days. I hope you get it sorted benstar. As has been said you really have to have a go at your dealer. Please let us know how you get on.

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Tomorrow (Monday) I am going to see another car which is identical to mine which my dealer has at another branch of their dealership. I am going to ask for a test drive and compare it to my own. Hopefully it will run better than mine and I shall then ask them to get mine running to the same standard.

I will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again to everyone who has taken an interest in my case so far.

Regards

Martin

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Hi Martin,

I'm a Toyota tech and the main issue we've had with running problems is caused by a faulty air flow meter. The main symptom for this fault is normally hesitation when changing through the gears. Upon testing the meter the readings will be correct, but if you try cleaning the elements this should cure your problem. Failing that you will probably need a new air flow meter. Good luck, Dan.

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Hi Martin,

I'm a Toyota tech and the main issue we've had with running problems is caused by a faulty air flow meter. The main symptom for this fault is normally hesitation when changing through the gears. Upon testing the meter the readings will be correct, but if you try cleaning the elements this should cure your problem. Failing that you will probably need a new air flow meter. Good luck, Dan.

Hi everyone

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

Dan - in your experience should there be any 'hesitation' in this engine at any speed? My engine has a definite 'vibration/slight mis-fire at approx 2200 with no load but when driving it is at lower revs. eg the ride is not smooth at about 2000-2200 in 3rd, about 1700 rpm in 4th or about 1500 in 5th. This car never feels smooth - even on smooth roads.

Update on what has happened today - I took the car to RRG Bolton (the car being supplied by RRG Salford) - the workshop controller was great - he had a drive but said that it was not much unlike other Avensis's he had driven. Anyway he did check and clean out the airflow meter and checked the spark plugs. But this made no difference. He did say that if I booked the car in he would do further checks for me but I have decided to pursue the matter with RRG Salford. So I rang RRg Salford to see where they were up to - as they had promised to check with Toyota for me. Anyway, the upshot is that they have requested that an engineer from Toyota checks out my car when he next visits them.

When driving my car back from Bolton (about 40 miles) I thought that it must be the worse car I have driven in the last 30 years. So much for progress!!

Keep your comments coming - I need all the help I can get.

Thanks again.

Regards

Martin

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Martin,

Let us hope the Toyota Tech can sort it. I have never heard about any vibration or misfiring on Toyota engines before. My sons Toyota 1.8 engine runs smooth and there there is no hesitation at any revs. My T4 is the same. I was recommended to Toyota for the cars reliability and smooth running. I know a few guys with Toyota company cars they all like them. I am not an expert but I do think your car engine has a problem. I hope you get it sorted. At least they did not tell you the engine was unbalanced this time. That statement is rubbish. Let us know how it goes. Chris.

Perhaps Dan S R can help you some more he is a Toyota Tech.

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Your problems sound the same as my 2.0vvti T4, again no joy with the dealer. Desmond 22 said on his car it was an exhaust valve problem, but dealer seemed to poo poo thisin my case. You might want to try that with your dealer.

Its a shame we have to end up doing the dealer research to try to get decent service

See 2.00vvti T4 Poor running when engine cold

Good luck and dont give up!!

aabrass53

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