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Jeromy Madison
Jeromy Madison,
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  Owner/Technician at Mad Auto Repair
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I am having an intermittent problem with my 2009 Scion xB

Customer Question

I am having an intermittent problem with my 2009 Scion xB (120,000 miles), but lately, it has been persistent. The only time it is fine is when I drive it the first time in the morning, and even then it is only 90% of the time.
When the issue is happening, I get the "VSC off", "traction control off", and "check engine" lights on. The the whole car starts vibrating, like the motor is spuddering, and there is a hugely massive drop in power, huge. It sounds and feels like a cylinder just won't fire off (I also know nothing about cars, so that may not be correct). The headlights will dim and brighten at the same rate of the spuddering. I can't get above 15-20 mph up a hill, and sometimes much slower and constantly decelerating while climbing. And when on level terrain, I can very slowly climb up to the speed limit. The transmission won't shift up automatically when the gas pedal is pressed down, and will actually down shift if I press down on the gas too much.
When the issue first started happening, it would come in and out. Like, I could go a week without an issue. But now it is persistent all day every day (except for 90% of the time after a cold start in the morning. The issue will sometimes appear while mid-driving after that cold start, but always always after I start it the second time of the day).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I forgot to add: the transmission will shift up once I release the gas pedal But even in automatic, it will just keep climbing in RPMs until I release the pedal and "allow" it to shift up.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a scan tool of any kind available?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not. I did go to Auto Zone, and the guy said the code was for a coil pack, if I recall, but did not come with the accompanying code telling me which one of the 4. The guy said it could be any one of the coil packs, or possibly something like a camshaft sensor.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

Ok, that is helpful. You will need to take it somewhere and have it scanned.

How long have you had the vehicle? How many miles are on it? Have you ever had the plugs changed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought the vehicle, used, in 2010 with 65,000 miles (crazy, I know, since it is a 2009). I have 120,000 on it now.I have already changed all 4 plugs. The old ones still looked good, but replaced them anyway.Is there a place with better scanners or something? Because the guy at auto zone could not get specific enough with the code it was putting out.If you had any guess, what would you say it could be?
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you may have to take it to a mechanic shop.

It sounds like it could be several things like a coil, a speed sensor or a dirty MAF sensor.

If you had a scan tool or the stored code it would help, but sometimes you need to be able to see the live data (what the car is doing in real time) in order to diagnose correctly. I personally worked at a Toyota dealership for 5 years and seen these issue many times.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This does help a lot. Based on your experience with those kinds of issues, how much do you expect this to run me? Like, the range. I'm a broke veteran / university student.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

That depends, I would estimate between $200 and $500.

But I am only estimating.

Thank you, ***** ***** don't forget to rate me.