Changed PCV now Misfires and ICE Won't Start, please help!

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Ostneb, May 14, 2018.

  1. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    Hi All,

    I have probably spent about 8-10 hours scouring Priuschat for an answer but am just getting more confused. I am really at my wits end and hope someone can help get my car back up and running.

    As an introduction I have a 2001 prius with about 230k miles on it.

    For a couple months, I've been getting the P0171 error code.

    2 weeks ago I cleaned the MAF with MAF cleaner and scrubbed the TB with carb cleaner, put everything back together, cleared the code and no problem. I also got an oil change around the same time.

    1 week ago, the P0171 code came on again.

    2 days ago I replaced the MAF and the PCV valve. While replacing the PCV valve I unplugged the coils and fuel injector plugs so i could move the piece that the wire harnesses attach to around. The harness did not move much but I was able to get access to the pcv valve and replaced it.

    After putting everything back together, I turned on the car, it would run for about 5-8 seconds and then start shaking real bad, and turn off and give me a solid big yellow triangle.

    I went back and put the old PCV valve in (I could shake it and it sounded the same as the pcv valve, i was also able to blow air through it from both sides fine, did not seem seized) and the old MAF sensor in and it did not solve the problem.

    I am able to turn the car on, within the first few seconds, put the car in neutral and the car just keeps shaking really badly. After leaving the car to shake for a few minutes, it throws a P0300, P0303 and P0304 code.

    When I leave the car in neutral, it shakes really bad and THERE IS NO THROTTLE RESPONSE. Car works fine when i put it in reverse. When i put it into drive, THERE IS NO THROTTLE RESPONSE.

    The P03XX codes made me think it was a spark plug or coil issue, but after doing my research, I saw a few posts where Patrick Wong say that if there is no throttle response in neutral, then i should just have my car towed to the dealership.

    Is there a chance my issue is caused by a bad spark plug and coil? Is there anyway I can rule out the possibility that I pinched one of the coil plug wires or injector wires while I was trying to replace the PCV

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Edit: When I was replacing the PCV valve, my gas gauge was blinking. I put about 3 gallons of gas into the car, so it is at 3 bars of fuel currently. Not sure if this makes any difference.
     
    #1 Ostneb, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  2. atlsud

    atlsud Junior Member

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    Air, Spark & Fuel

    General misfire P0300 and misfire on 3 and 4 is probably due to you disconnecting coils and injectors.

    Listen to the injectors to see if they are providing fuel to the cylinders. Get a very long screwdriver, start the car and place one end of the screw driver on the injector and the other to your ear. You should hear ticking. You can youtube "trouble shoot injectors".

    Check to see that the coils are connected.
    Check to see that you have the right coil in the correct cylinder. Putting coil 3 into cylinder 4 and vice versa will give a misfire.
    To rule out a bad coil disconnect and remove coil from cylinder 1 or 2 and swap with cylinder 3 or 4. If the misfire follows the coil, then it is the coil.
    To rule out a bad spark plug do the above step with the spark plug to see if the misfire follows the plug in question.

    Report back.
     
  3. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    Thanks, I ordered new plugs, 2 new coils, new MAF, will start testing this weekend and report back!
     
  4. atlsud

    atlsud Junior Member

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    You should check with the coils you currently have. No sense in replacing parts if they are not defective.

    Reread my previous post on eliminating the coils as the issue. If the misfire follows the coil swap then you know the coil is bad.

    With the plugs it is cheap enough to replace. Not sure how much the MAF costs but I would only replace that if it was known to be bad, but I’m cheap.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    Ok, new data points.

    I replaced the plugs this morning and have uploaded the 4 plugs in order from bank 1 - 4. I have also uploaded a closeup of plug 4 and plug 3. Plug 4 was completely black which doesnt look good. Does this signify an oil leak? These plugs have been in the car about 2 years, probably 10k miles.

    When I turn the car on, it just shakes really bad, it doesnt die on me anymore.

    I switched coils 3 and 4 with 1 and 2.

    I cleared the codes and now have code P0303, which is weird because I wouldve thought from the pictures bank 4 was my problem.

    I also hooked up a multimeter to the adapter that plugs into the coil and can confirm I am getting about 13.5V on plug 3 and plug 4 so it seems like current is traveling through.

    I tried to get a multimeter reading from the plugs that go into the fuel injectors but they all just say 0.

    I also tried putting a long screw driver and touching the injector but couldnt really hear anything. The car is shaking too hard the engine noise is just way too loud.

    As a long shot I also disconnected my battery for 20+ minutes and then plugged it back in which didnt seem to help.

    Thoughts? Thanks for helping everyone!
     

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    #5 Ostneb, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  6. MGpwr

    MGpwr Member

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    What's that staining on Plug 3, looks kinda odd.

    Are you sure you no longer have a pcv problem?
     
    #6 MGpwr, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  7. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    I’m pretty sure it’s not pcv. I put the new pcv on and that’s when the problems started, then I inspected the old one which sounded like it was still working so I put the old one back and it didn’t fix the problem.

    I can put the new one back on if you think it’s worth a shot.

    I was hoping the community could help read the plug. I noticed the staining but because it was near the porcelain section I didn’t think it was a big deal.
     
  8. tada

    tada Member

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    You need to get a noid light set (Harbor Freight has them) to accurately see the coils firing. With all of that vibration, the screwdriver is useless.
     
  9. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    Do you think the injectors are the most likely culprit now?
     
  10. tada

    tada Member

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    From your description, it sounds like it is missing on one or more cylinders. The noid light will allow you to see if electrical pulses are getting to the injectors. Everything revolves around spark, fuel, and air. You’ve changed out the plugs, so it could be a bad coil or coils. It could be dirty or plugged fuel injectors. I’m just trying to help you eliminate variables. If the injectors are firing, and you have decent fuel pressure (checked with a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail), you can eliminate fuel problems. Then your back to spark. You can also get an inexpensive in-line spark detector that will illuminate each time the coil and spark plug fire. Hope this helps.
     
  11. MGpwr

    MGpwr Member

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    I'm wondering about *both* of those pcv valves you have, I'm not sure but I thought the definitive test for a good one was if you could blow or suck through it in only one direction; for just this reason, I started to replace mine with a new one from Autozone, but the old one just seemed to work better so soaked it in some solvent for a little bit and shook it good for a bit and then blew it off and stuck it back in. The experience made me doubt that old test and the new auto part, cause you can blow through both directions on the new Autozone one.

    Maybe see if putting no.3 plug in either in 1 or 2 hole leaves you still with a problem indicated in 3.

    As far as no. 4 plug, that oil fowling doesn't look good, sorry to say...maybe a more experienced motor-head will weigh
    in about it.
     
  12. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Ostneb, from your first post, the original problem was P0171, System Too Lean Bank #1, which on a look through the search results, suggested a dirty fuel filter or low fuel injector rail pressure. My first choice (rather than replacing parts) would be a bottle of Techron through the fuel system. That may also still be a possible solution, if jostling all the parts caused some dirt to partially clog an injector.

    Here is other advice:
    Toyota Parts | P0171 Diagnostic Code - Trouble Code Diagnosis Guide

    Good hunting.
     
  13. atlsud

    atlsud Junior Member

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    Looking at the third plug it looks brand new with no carbon. Kind of like there was/is no combustion going on in that cylinder. Check for spark in cylinder 3 coil. Did you get an ohm reading on coil 3? What is the value compared to the other coils?

    Start the car and pull the coil from cylinder 3. Is there a change in the idle? If you are getting spark in cylinder 3 check for fuel in cylinder 3. Get an ohm reading on all injectorsand report back. YouTube is your friend for troubleshooting fuel injectors, doesn’t have to be a Prius unless you don’t know where your injectors are.
     
  14. MGpwr

    MGpwr Member

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    Interesting, hadn't really focused on how clean The tip is before - maybe the seal between the porcelain and the sparkplug body is shot.
     
  15. atlsud

    atlsud Junior Member

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    Rule out the bad plug by putting it in a different cylinder. The misfire will follow a bad plug.
     
  16. MGpwr

    MGpwr Member

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    NSS. Looks like the OP absconded with the info we were interested in.
     
  17. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    Hi all, sorry for the delay, I was out of town for the past few weekends and waiting for an in line test kit that I ordered. I will try and cover what I've tried so far.

    New information - I had to move my car for street sweeping and although the car does not stall out after I turn it on, it shakes really badly. When you press the throttle down fully, the car will limp forward extremely slowly (slower than it takes to walk). I had my wife press down the the throttle while I pushed the car from the back and I noticed a lot of white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, this was never an issue before. I couldn't identify the smell but it did not smell good (a little bit sulfur-ie).

    I can turn the throttle body pretty easily when the car is off. After turning the car on, I can still turn the throttle body but it becomes much more difficult to turn, however I am still able to turn and open the throttle body but it'll hurt your hands to do so. I can also confirm that when I turn the throttle body with the car on, I do not hear any change in the revs (I am not sure how hybrid motors work).

    I haven't gotten an injector cleaner but the in-line test kit (in-line spark plug and fuel injector plug tester) showed that all 4 coils are working fine, the spark plugs are new so they shouldn't be an issue. I have also tested the fuel injector plugs and they are working fine per the in-line test kit. I have also hooked a multimeter to the fuel injectors themselves to see the resistance and they are all showing 12.7 I believe.

    I will try this next, how long will I need to keep the car on for?

    My understanding so far is that we can rule out spark. Fuel and air have not been ruled out. The fact that this all happened right after I changed the pcv valve makes me think I may have botched something while doing so but looking at my engine I simply cant figure out what I could have broken. I tried both a new pcv valve and old valve, the only things I moved while replacing the pcv valve were the wire harnesses and the in-line test kit should have confirmed that the harnesses are still fine. The hose that connects to the PCV valve seems fine. Is it possible I somehow damaged the internals of the hose while plugging it back in?

    The PCV valve would account for air being the culprit, and the only culprit left for fuel seems to be clogged injectors. I just don't see how my injectors could have become clogged while changing the PCV valve.

    Is the next best step to try fuel injector cleaner, and if that doesnt work, remove the injectors to take a look? That starts becoming something that may be above my abilities, but I am willing to try.

    Sorry again for the delay all, I definitely am not trying to just glean advice from you all without updating everyone on solutions so there is a reference for future members.

    Thanks again for all the help, definitely very appreciated!
     
  18. MGpwr

    MGpwr Member

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    Thanks for the update, curious minds want to know.

    So, did you find the old #3 spark plug to be bad? If you have a new plug in #4 now it'll probably work for a bit, so if it's still not idling right, and you have white smoke, I'd now guess that it's either a blown head gasket or a cracked head in the #3 hole. Did you have an extreme overheating event recently? Or, even not so extreme overheating event? Sounds like this engine has done a great job of providing service to someone for over 230k miles, so don't feel too bad if you have to leave it by the wayside.
     
    #18 MGpwr, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  19. Ostneb

    Ostneb Junior Member

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    I replaced all 4 plugs, #3 seemed fine apart from the discoloration on the porcelain.

    I am really hoping it isnt a blown head gasket or cracked head as those pretty much spell game over for the car.

    I have never had an overheating event, at least not to my knowledge.

    Yea, depending on what everyone recommends it seems like there's a chance I'll be letting the car go, kinda sad this all happened as a result of maintenance.
     
  20. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Ostneb, white smoke coming out of the exhaust suggests to me that there may be water in the fuel. How it got there, I don't know. Question: when and where did you last fuel the car, and how much fuel is in it now? My Techron suggestion (above) will NOT take care of it; Techron is not a water absorber. To rule out fuel contamination as a possible issue, the technique is to idle the engine, run the tank as low as you can (when the LOW FUEL chime occurs, there's about a gallon left in the tank), then put in FRESH PREMIUM (if possible, ethanol-free) gasoline, at least one gallon. Then run it until the LOW FUEL chime occurs, observing how well (or unwell) the engine is running. This may be a step-and-repeat process to get rid of any water accumulated in the tank. So this is maybe a $25 (fuel plus a gas can) repair process that may take an afternoon, depending on how much fuel you start with in the tank.

    BTW, the reason it works fine in R (reverse) is that the reverse drive is done exclusively by the traction battery and electric motors; the ICE is not involved at all.

    That's my best guess at the moment. I wish you good fortune.
     
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