Stevie J

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  1. Every car battery has a finite lifespan, which is on average, 4 years, after which most are on borrowed time, and after 5 - 6 years will be at the point of being unreliable. At 5 years old, your Yaris will probably still have the original factory fit Varta battery (I say this as my mother has a Dec 2014 Yaris 1.33) and this will be in need of replacement, especially if the car is now not being driven very much so it can recharge sufficiently. All cars these days use battery power even when they are not running to keep the ancilliary electronics functioning, such as the ecu, remote central locking etc, so if you have an old battery, it cannot take much time before it loses enough charge to drop below the point needed to start the car. If the car is being kept in a garage, I would firstly replace the battery (about £100) and then use a battery charger / maintainer to keep the battery topped up during the time the car is not being used. If the car is on a driveway, you can just take the charger out to it once a week and leave it on for about 10 hours to keep the battery charge up. Its important that even a new battery is kept top up charged every week if the car is not being used, as a period of a month or so of the car not being started can often discharge a fully charged battery.
  2. I had Kwik Fit re-gas my 2006 Yaris earlier this month while it was having its MOT. They said they wouldnt go ahead with the re-gas if the machine detected a leak in the system. Nevertheless they did do it and the a/c was wonderful - for a week or so, and then it started getting less cold out of the vents, and now its not working at all. Wasted 30 quid having it done. I had a look in the engine bay yesterday, and saw a load of fluid all sitting in the drip tray under the radiator, at the end nearest the drivebelt. Turns out the a/c pipe joint to the condenser on that side of the engine is leaking, and is wet with fluid when I put my fingers under it. So it doesnt always follow that having it done by the professionals is going to be successful as obviously the a/c recharging machine they use does not always detect slow leaks in the system. Every car I have owned over 10 years old has had problems with the a/c not working, so I think that as mine is now 14 years old, I will just deem the a/c as useless and not bother with it. A/c is just too unreliable in older cars unless you pay a fortune to have the entire system and its seals overhauled.
  3. Also, check to see if the engine management warning light (MIL) is on (its a yellow warning light in the picture of an engine), as if it is, then there could be a problem with the engine's sensors causing the engine to run too rich, causing a strong exhaust smell. A blowing exhaust in front of the cat can often also turn on the MIL.
  4. It could be the exhaust is blowing somewhere near the front of the car, or even the manifold has rusted through into a hole, which does affect Mk1 models where the manifold is on the front of the engine and is subjected to water spray coming through the front grille, allowing gases to enter the car through the ventilation system. Usually this would mean the car becomes very noisy, or has a loud ticking noise on hard acceleration which is a good indication that the manifold has become holed. In cold weather, exhaust gases do smell strong from the exhaust in the first 30 seconds or so after a cold start of the engine, as the fuel mixture is enriched and the catalytic converter does not function to clean the exhaust gas until it heats up to working temperature. In general though, any strong smells of exhaust gas in the cabin would indicate a hole in the exhaust, or some other damage to it, allowing the gases to escape but this would usually be heard as a loud blowing noise when revving the car, and the louder the noise, the further towards the front of the car that the exhaust is failing. If the manifold has developed a rusty hole, this would usually be heard as a loud ticking or clicking from the front of the engine on hard acceleration, as it would usually only be the noise from one particular cylinder on its exhaust stroke - but you would still be able to smell the escaping gases if they are drawn into the ventilation system. If you are in any doubt about the exhaust system, dont take the risks, take the car to a garage like Kwik Fit and ask them to check the whole exhaust system as you can smell fumes in the cabin.
  5. Indeed, thanks for those responses - it seems that excessive very low mileage journeys can damage an engine moreso than long journeys done regularly, so that an engine thats only done less than 30K miles could be in worse condition than one thats done 180K miles. I believe my mother was supposed to be taking her Yaris to get the oil changed today so I will ask her about this when I see her next, and I will check this has actually been done, but she uses a local garage that she has used for almost 20 years, who do her MOT's as well, and I believe they are honest, so I hope they will have done what was needed as she booked the car to have a full service. I was hoping the white residue was just from too many short journeys of less than a mile or so (to the shops etc) each way, so that the engine would not fully warm up enough to get rid of moisture. I also advised her to get her battery changed too, as the battery can also be killed prematurely by lots of short journeys especially in winter, and her car still has its original battery fitted, so that is over 4 years old now. The odd thing is though is that I myself drive my own car short journeys too and from work (3 miles each way), and only rack up 2.5 - 3K miles a year, so I go 2 years between oil changes as I like to get 5 - 6 K out of an oil change, but my car has no mayo at all anywhere and the oil never seems to get black, just a darker shade of golden brown. Granted, short journeys and low mileage engines may be great when it comes to selling a car on second hand, but ultra low miles is not always a guarantee that the engine will be in better shape than one that has done over 100K miles, due to premature wear from lack of maintenance, where the owner thinks they can go 10K miles between services, even if they take 4 - 5 years to rack up 10K miles. Low mileage engined cars of significant ages, say 32K miles on a 14 year old Yaris like mine may make my car worth more than a 14 year old Yaris with 140K on the clock, but it could also mean rotted exhausts, worn clutches, perished rear tyres, seizing brake calipers (yes, mine has had them), and a whole host of other issues that you would not expect from a car only done 32K miles.
  6. The gearbox in my 2006 1.3 is an absolute pain for getting into reverse from a standstill, and often I get that annoying grinding noise as the gear goes in, but more often than not, it wont go into reverse without first releasing the clutch, then depressing the clutch and selecting reverse again. Getting first can also be an issue requiring a declutch and re try to get first from a standstill. I tried bleeding the clutch slave some time ago as the biting point has always been very close to the carpet, but it made no difference, and there is no other adjustment on the mk2 clutch pedal to master cylinder linkage, which is plastic of all materials to use. Once you get used to the Mk2 finicky clutch, and take your time over gear changes from first to second in particular, plus always ensure the clutch pedal is pressed completely to the carpet for each gear change, you learn to live with it, but even now, after 4 years of owning this car, I still get caught out getting reverse, and embarrassingly noisily grind the gears as it crashes into reverse.
  7. My mother has a 64 plate (Dec 2014) 1.33 Icon, manual trans, and as she's retired, she only does very short journeys of a few miles each day, the car has only done 26K miles in total. I was checking the fluids in it the other weekend, and noticed something that concerned me quite a bit, there was a fair bit of "mayo", white sludge in the oil cap, and also in the opening in the top of the valve cover. Now she hasnt had the oil changed for a couple of years, and I was telling her I was worried the car could have a head gasket starting to fail, as there seemed to be too much white sludge to be just "condensation" from only short journeys. I have told her to take the car to her local garage to have the oil changed and tell them about the white sludge, plus I also told her to get the battery changed as well as this is still the original, 5 years old this year. My big question is though, is the 1.33 engine prone to head gasket failure, or am I worrying her and myself un-necessarily? My own car is also low mileage and only does small amounts of mileage each day (2.5k miles a year), and it does not have any white mayo in its filler cap at all, none - so if my car doesnt have it, why does my mothers?
  8. Stevie J

    Timing chain

    My car, a 1.3, the same engine, went to Kwik Fit the other day for its MOT, which it passed no problem, so I asked them to do an oil change, since it had been almost 6000 miles since the last one - they used 10W40 synthetic oil for it, which I did query, since I had always used 5W30 myself when I changed it 2 years ago. As the car has only covered 32K miles since new, the engine still runs sweet as a nut, but now I am concerned Kwik Fit have put the wrong oil in. I shouldnt think it will do too much damage, as the engine would be more damaged if the oil was not changed at all. As regards the opening post, his engine sounds like the one on my previous Yaris, a Mk1 1.0 CDX (1999 model) which had done 70K miles when I got rid of it, it sounded tappety and a bit clicky, which I suspect is valve clearances needing adjustment, and fuel injector noise rather than chain wear noise, but as already mentioned, regular oil changes every year are especially important when you have an engine that uses a chain rather than a timing belt.
  9. I've got a 2006 model 1.3 VVTi Mk2 Yaris, had it now 4 years. Issues I've had and have ongoing is a very noisy and squeeky serpentine belt drive when engine is cold, and new belts have not sorted it. Also clutches are finicky and dont always disengage the drive fully leading to crunchy gear changes, especially getting into reverse from neutral, and into first from neutral. Another issue is the Mk2 suffers from severe fogging of the headlight plastic which starts from the top of the lens and gradually moves down to cover more of it - requires attention with headlight cleaner, but this doesn't work 100% and they need doing again regularly or they will either fail the MOT of get an advisory. I have squeeks and creaks from the carpet under drivers pedals, caused by plastic material under carpet rubbing on bodywork and squeeking, which is very annoying. Exhaust must be watched if blowing as the backbox is not supported at the front, and if it breaks off the pipe like mine did, they drag on the road and get wrenched off with the rubber hanger breaking, to go under the car behind, a bad design as the exhausts usually fail at the joint at the front of the backbox to the mid pipe. Another common issue is water pump failure after 60K miles, and there is no temp gauge so if you dont see the red warning light for overheat, the engine could be ruined. MMT semi auto gearboxes are unreliable and prone to failure meaning expensive repairs, so steer clear of them. Suspension bushes get squeeky and creaky, which plagues my own car. The Mk2 is not as good as the Mk1 1.0 CDX that I had before, although that also had issues with fogging of the headlight lenses.
  10. Many of the Mk2 models with 5 speed manual transmissions have a very low biting point on the clutch pedal, they bite very near the floor, and sometimes even with the pedal fully depressed, the clutch does not 100% disengage drive from the gearbox, ie, it drags very slightly, causing gears to be a bit more difficult to get in, in particular, first from neutral, and getting reverse from neutral can be hit and miss, sometimes going in with a grind. This problem has always affected my car, and I tried all the usual stuff like bleeding the clutch lines at the slave cylinder bleed nipple, but it made no difference. Honest John in his reviews of the Mk2 has highlighted some models where the clutch does not always completely disengage drive, and causes resistance to gear changes unless the clutch pedal is mashed hard into the floor. I find the problem on mine gets worse in hot weather, and if the transmission and engine is hot. Seems to be a design problem with the clutch actuating mechanism, and on the Mk3 models, this issue does not occur as I drove my mother's 64 plate and the biting point is much higher up from the floor, so gear changing is no problem. People have tried changing clutches over this issue and it has not made any difference - still a low biting point and baulking at gear changes, so the issue is more with the slave cylinder not pushing the thrust bearing far enough in when the pedal is fully depressed, and no amount of bleeding will sort the issue, its just one of those annoying mk2 "quirks", and better get used to it, or sell the car on.
  11. Mine has no gas pressure in the system, it had been deteriorating up to the point it no longer engaged the compressor clutch any more when the switch on the dash was pressed. However, the green led light in the switch still comes on when the switch is pressed, although the system does not engage the compressor. I found that if the fan blower is set to OFF, even if the a/c switch is pressed in, the light does not come on. You have to have the fan blower going for the a/c switch to light up. Its common for older cars with a/c to have the a/c lose its gas, as seals dry out and the gas leaks away. Also, the condenser radiator in front of the main engine radiator can get punctured by road debris and this will make the system lose its gas. Having an a/c service will not automatically fix the a/c if there is a leak, which the machine at the garage checks for before it will admit a fresh charge of gas to the system. Its expensive to repair a/c if its faulty, and a re-gas may not last longer than a year before needing doing again, so unless you use the a/c a lot, it may not be worth the expense of re-gassing the system or having it repaired if its leaking.
  12. @bathtub tom I used to also get the "scrubbing" noise when turning slowly on full lock, which stopped after I had the front tyres replaced. This noise was a different sort of noise to the squeeking and creaking that the rubber bushings make. But indeed I was amazed to find out it was the tyres that were responsible for the grating - at first I thought the tyres were somehow fouling the wheel liners or something to make the dreadful noise, but a simple tyre change sorted the issue. It may have been down to the tread on the old tyres getting worn and the rubber perishing, as the old tyres were quite old - my car only does low mileage and still only has 31K on the clock for 13 years old, so the tyres take quite some years to reach the point of replacement.
  13. Mine creaks and squeeks from the suspension, moreso going over uneven roads or as you say, turning in a tight circle, and I put it down to the rubber bushes on the anti roll bar getting old and creaky, but saying that, my mother's 64 reg 1.33 Icon has also now started doing it, but not as bad as I get with my car, so it seems Toyota dont use very good quality suspension bushes, which age rapidly and become noisy. The noise comes and goes and can be worse in colder weather, but really, the first place I would go to would be the roll bar bushes and replace those if I really wanted the creaking gone. I will wait till the MOT tester fails the car and have them done then, but for now, i just put up with the creaking noises.
  14. Beware of swapping steelies for alloys, as your insurance company would likely need to be informed, as any deviation from the original spec for the model, such as swapping steelies for alloys would be classed as a modification, and some insurers will refuse to insure you if they find out your car has been modified. I wanted to put alloys on my own 2006 Yaris, as it also has rusty steelies showing through the wheel trims, but decided against it as I could have been made to pay higher insurance premiums. Refurbing the original steelies would be the better way to go, unless of course your insurer does not mind you modifying your car, but its wise to ask them before doing any wheel swapping.
  15. Yeah, corrosion was an issue on my old 1.0, but it only started needing welding doing after it was 14 years old, and eventually it got to the stage where there was gaping holes in the rear arches, by the rear inner sills. The outer rear sills needed welding too, and it corroded through the fuel filler neck pipe and its breather, allowing water spray from the rear wheel into the fuel tank. My current 1.3, a 2006 T3 is showing surface corrosion on rear suspension parts, but as yet, at 13 years old, it had not failed an MOT for corrosion reasons. Heres a couple of pics of where my 1999 1.0 failed its MOT, on the nearside rear inner arches. It failed on the other side too for the same issue, but not as severe.