Engine misfire, Transmission lights, and VSC lights... on my..

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by V8Cobrakid, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    I'll try to keep this simple.. and have my friends pull codes so i can share what I'm experiencing in proper detail later.

    I've noticed engine misfire before.. but it wasn't constantly.

    today my car started to run very rough.. misfire it seems. i turned it off and turned it on. It still does it.

    when driving i have loss of power and constant jerking from the ice. i've opened the hood and felt the engine vibrate while everything else runs smooth.

    while driving at speed or accelerating, the check transmission light will start blinking.. and my vsc will blink.

    i'm wondering if the misfiring is simply wigging out sensors causing lights to flash on my dash.

    i've changed spark plugs around 10k miles ago. I'm due for an oil change. my 12v is need of replacing... i carry around a deep cell for inverter use and jump use. i'll connect it to see if problems go away...

    let the questions fly.. i'm missing a lot of important details... shrug.
     
  2. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    keeping the deep cell battery attached made the jurking and transmission light go away.. it still ticks funny.. like it always has.. funny little ice...

    i'm still thinking i felt a few misfires.. but.. shrug.. as long as i don't have the christmas tree of lights.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Given the above, would you agree that the 12V auxiliary battery is the root cause of the symptoms that you described in post #1?

    It must be in very bad shape, to be loading down the 12V bus so much that the engine can't idle smoothly. I suggest you change it before you blow the 100A DC/DC converter fuse link, which would not be easy to replace.
     
  4. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    When you changed plugs, did you torque them?, plug connections on good? What was the voltage reading on the old bat? and what is it on the replacement ?
     
  5. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    change the transmission light to engine light. it's getting worse. I'm trying different 12v charges or boost, and nothing is changing it. the light goes from blinking to solid if below 30mph or so...

    i'm thinking it's more serious. i'm going to have my smog tech hook up his obd II scanner later.
     
  6. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    you can run the car without a 12v if you get it started. sounds like something more complicated. find out what the code is, it might just be the misfire code and a little misfire diagnostics will set you straight.
     
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It sounds like the dead 12V battery remains installed in the vehicle. The VSC light coming on is a clue that 12V bus voltage is low. Then, if in fact keeping the deep cell battery attached made the warning lights go away, this is further proof that the 12V bus voltage was low and the DC/DC converter by itself could not keep up with the load on the bus.

    I agree. However, V8's situation is not one where there is no 12V battery. He has a bad 12V battery connected, which apparently is placing a heavy load on the 12V bus.

    To test my theory, I suggest that V8 should disconnect the bad 12V battery and leave the deep cell battery connected, and see what happens.

    It is certainly possible that his engine has a misfire problem, in addition to the battery problem.
     
  8. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    DH has never seen an internal short in one of those batteries, it's a pretty rare condition and should not cause the engine to feel like it was misfiring.
     
  9. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Please check all the ingnitor and fuel injector connections. If one is a little loose the Prius runs very poorly (or not at all).
     
  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    V8, why are you still screwing around with this? You've already determined that the dead 12V battery is the cause of the problems. Replace it and get on with life.
     
  11. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    If not *the* problem, the 12V battery is a known problem. Get it off the table.

    Tom
     
  12. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    :deadhorse: it's not the battery.. stop

    we were all wrong.. apparently in the last 8k miles i've flashed the oil.

    the only thing i can think to do is pull the codes when my friend hooks up his diagnostics tool later today... after that.. engine rebuild?...

    there are a few on here who know about that.

    i have this huge worry about the transaxle fluid levels...
     
  13. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    so.. after an oil change i decided to play the "which cylinder is misfiring" game... you pull plugs till you notice a difference. the result? the cylinder closest to the HSD unit is not firing. pulling any other plug makes the engine fail with christmas tree lights.. but unplugging that one does nothing.

    i'm thinking it's the spark plug coils. that coil isn't secure and the vibrations must have killed it?
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If you're talking about cylinder #4 which is nearest the inverter, make sure that the wiring connector is securely fastened to the igniter body, snapping into place. The connection to that cylinder is easy to screw up since the wire harness is so short.

    To confirm that the problem is the igniter, just swap the cyl 4 igniter with another cylinder, and see whether the problem moves to the other cylinder. If not, the problem could also be the cyl 4 spark plug or the fuel injector.

    Why are you worried about the transaxle fluid level? No need to worry, just raise up the car level, open the fill plug, and see if you can feel the fluid with your finger. If yes, then you are good. If the fluid needs to be changed, this is a good time to do that.
     
  15. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I like to check the oil once a week, or anytime I get fuel, whether the motor burns oil or not - very cheap insurance.

    By "flash" do you mean, the oil degraded so badly it just got burned up or evaporated?

    It shouldn't use oil unless there is an obvious leak, eg seals shot
     
  16. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    yes... the oil is gone.. that's exactly what i mean

    so.. 118 dollars later, i installed a new coil to cylinder 4. engine light is one but the banging, jurking, and low SOC is gone.. power restoredish. (i should replace all coils)

    since the bolts that hold the coils down are cheap and loose all the time.. i purchased new bolts.. and thread locker :)
     
  17. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i raised that car today and wanted to stick a finger into that fill hole.. maybe tomorrow...
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    "engine light is one" - do you mean that the check engine light remains on, although the engine is running better now?

    Tightening torque for the little bolts is 82 in.-lb, or almost 7 ft.-lb. I haven't noticed the bolts loosening up with either my 2001 or 2004. Since they bolt into the aluminum valve cover, perhaps the threads in the holes are starting to strip, or maybe you are not tightening the bolts sufficiently?

    If you decide that you want to replace the other three coils and want to save some money, you can buy the coils for $70 each plus shipping here (enter the part number 90919-02240):
    Champion ToyotaWorld
     
  19. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Loctite comes in different strengths. The lowest strength will securely hold most bolts, but you can still break the bolt free if need be.

    Get the strongest Loctite, it's a permenant install

    So as far as the oil, now I'm really curious. What engine oil did you use, how long did you run it, how often did you check the oil, etc etc
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Heli-coil or Loctite. Not worth replacing the valve cover over this
     
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