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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Toyota Tech -
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 17946
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Toyota Diagnostics
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I HAVE A 2006 TOYOTA AVALON THAT JUST HAD THE CHECK ENGINE

Customer Question

Customer: I HAVE A 2006 TOYOTA AVALON THAT JUST HAD THE CHECK ENGINE AND VSC LIGHTS COME ON... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?...
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: MY NAME IS DICK... THIS IS MY WIFE CAR AND IT HAPPEN ON THE WAY TO WORK THIS MORNING... SHE WAS ABOUT HALF WAY TO WORK OF ABOUT A 10 MILE COMMUTE... SHE SAID THERE WAS NO OTHER INDICATION OF WHAT CAUSED IT... SO I HAVE NO OTHER DETAILS AT THIS POINT...
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Toyota Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $20 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 10 months ago.

When the Check Engine light comes on, the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) light is also set, which turns this systems off. This is a self-preservation mechanism, in case the reason the Check Engine Light is on can harm or effect the VSC system. So- fix the reason why the Engine Light is on, and the VSC system will come back online.

When the Check Engine light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are literally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running can set the light. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. Check the top of the fuel filler neck for any signs of damage or debris. Check under the vehicle, around the rear areas of the vehicle, looking for any vacuum lines that have dry-rot cracks, holes or loose/missing connections. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor, in which system, has the fault. There isn't a Mechanic on the planet that can tell you what is wrong with the vehicle just by "looking" at the Engine Light. Every single Mechanic's first course of action WILL be to obtain the p-codes. It's standard diagnostic procedure. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the correct repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, PepBoys, Advanced, etc).

As long as there are no drivabilty issues or shifting issues, then it should be perfectly safe to drive the vehcile. You should however, have the codes retrieved at least to verify. If the problem does lie in the EVAP system, it is strictly for emissions control/recovery and will in no way effect engine performance in any way. If the problem lies outside the EVAP system, it may be a good idea to have it serviced as soon as possible, as prolonged driving with a problem with the engine or tranmission can make matters worse.

If my answer has helped you, please help me by leaving a rating or accepting my answer so I may be credited. Rating or accepting my answer does not cost you extra. It allows me to be credited for my work. Please rate or accept. You can ask follow-up questions after you rate or accept.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I THINK THAT HAS HELPED... I WILL CHECK THE GAS CAP TO SEE IF THAT IS THE PROBLEM...
I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE RATING SYSTEM BUT I WOULD SAY YOU HELP WAS VERY GOOD...
IF THE GAS CAP CHECKS OK, I MAY WANT TO CONTACTED YOU AGAIN... THANK YOU...
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 10 months ago.

Not a problem. If the fuel cap is not the problem, stop by a local AutoZone and have those p-codes scanned. I'll be more than happy to help! Follow-ups are always free! Even after you rate! There should be a rating box with stars at the top of the page!

Expert:  Ron Z. replied 10 months ago.

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