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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Toyota Tech -
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 18775
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Toyota Diagnostics
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Toyota Avalon XLS: Recently the check engine light, VSC light

Resolved Question:

Recently the check engine light, VSC light and car swirling light came on in my 2006 Toyota Avalon ....and to make matters worse my has started shaking. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ....MY car has on 61,000 miles and when I brought it in 2009 it had 39,748 miles....therefore I have only put approximately 20-21,000 miles in three yrs. Also noticed yesterday the check engine light flashed about three times and then it stopped.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer.com! My name is DriveFast71(Ron) and I will do my best to answer all of your questions completely and accurately.


 

When the Check Engine light comes on, the Slip, VCS and Trac lights are also set. This is a self-preservation mechanism, that turns these systems off, in case the reason the engine light is on can harm or effect these systems. SO- fix the reason the Engine Light is on, and the other systems will come back online.

 

From what you are describing, it sounds very much like you have a "cylinder misfire". Very commonly on these engines is a faulty Ignition Coil. These coils sit atop the spark plugs, and send current to the plug, causing them to fire at the correct time. When one is faulty, iot does not send current, or not enough current, and you get the "shaking" symptom. This could also be the case of a faulty spark plug, or a clogged/faulty fuel injector. At this point, will need some Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") to correctly determine if this is, in fact, a misfire, and if so- which cylinder. No need to replace all the ignition coils if the p-code reveals it is only one faulty one. (ie- P0304 would be a misfire on cylinder #4, and very commonly, the coil is the culprit). Most local "big chain" parts stores read these p-codes for Free (except in California). Once you have these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently determine the root of the problem, and make the appropriate repair.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
WHAT IS THE BALL-PARK PRICE OF HOW MUCH THIS SHOULD COST TO CRRECT....ALSO COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE A FACTORY DEFECT?
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.

If we are assuming this is a faulty ignition coil, it will depend on which side of the engine the faulty coil is on (there are 6 on this vehicle, and this is the reason we need a "p-code" as replacing them all is not necessary). The ignition coil sells for around $90, and if it's on Bank2 (the side of the engine closest to the radiator) the labor time guide calls for .3hr to complete the job. If the faulty coil is on Bank1 (the side closest to the firewall) the labor time guide calls for 3.3 hours to complete the job. Labor rates vary from shop to shop, so what you pay for labor will effect the botXXXXX XXXXXne. For a job of this type, a "fair" labor rate can by anywhere from $85-$125 per hour. Shop around, and find a reputable shop that guarantees their parts and labor.

 

Not a "factory defect" but definitely a "known" high-rate fail item.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
DO I NEED TO GET THIS FITIL NEXT XED LIKED YESTERDAY OR CAN IT WAIT
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 5 years ago.

This is something you should have address as soon as possible. Driving the vehicle with a cylinder misfire will quickly harm other parts/sensors in other systems, like the oxygen sensors and/or the catalytic converters (and you don't even want to know how much it costs to replace a converter!)

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