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Toyota estima v6 3000, year 2000. Vsc, traction control, and

engine light always come on...
toyota estima v6 3000, year 2000. Vsc, traction control, and engine light always come on after 5 minutes driving once the engine has warmed. Sometimes the car won't shift into top gear at 100km/hr and its doing 3700rpm, instead of the 2100rpm that it should be. Sometimes (about once a month) will just start braking without us doing anything - on a flat stretch of straight road. Have got tired of Toyota Dealers replacing air flow meters etc, and the problem just comes back
JA: Good to know. The mechanics have tons of experience dealing with this sort of thing. How old is your transmission?
Customer: year 2000
JA: Ok. We'll get you to one of the go-to transmission guys. Other than the problems you mentioned, how has the car been running?
Customer: it goes, but is not performimg as it should. One specialist told me that the engine management system will tell the transmission to noy go into top gear when its in "limp home" mode (when the lights are all on)
JA: Noted. I'll pass this info along to the mechanic so that he can get you a quick fix. Anything else I can tell the Toyota Mechanic before I connect you two?
Customer: engine has started 'pinking' (clackety clackety noise) when going up hill at fairly low speed. Oil levels checked OK
JA: Got it. Let's get this figured out. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Toyota Mechanic about your situation and connect you two. You'll be on the road in no time.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
4/12/2016
Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4,974
Experience: 30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. This sounds like you have two different issues. The first, the clackety clack noise, is most likely engine pre-ignition, or what is commonly called 'pinging'. This can be caused from low octane fuel, or a stretched timing belt. If the engine has more than 90,000 miles on the timing belt, it needs ot be replaced. This could also be the cause of the check engine light being on. On some Toyota and Lexus models, the check engine light being on prevents the overdrive shift to happen. What needs to happen here is this: You need to have the timing belt replaced if it is over 90,000 miles. You also need to have the vehicle scanned to determine the cause for the check engine light coming on. An accurate diagnosis of the issue is the place to start, not indiscriminate replacement of parts. One thing to note: if the coolant temperature is below 177 degrees, the temperature gauge, (if you have one) needs to be half way up on the gauge. If the needle is lower than one-half, the coolant temperature is too cold, and will set the check engine light to come on. This will also prevent the overdrive from occurring. If this is so, replace the engine coolant thermostat.
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thanks. What about the brakes coming on? This only happens spasmodically (3 times in the last 3 months). While driving along in town, or on open road, the brakes come on and start to slow the vehicle (as if the traction control was taking over to slow the vehicle in poor traction situation - except the driving surface and conditions are nowhere near challenging grip) This usually happens on a flat, straight road.My other problem with getting the vehicle scanned is that this has been done by the local dealer, and others in another town, and they supposedly fixed it each, only for it reappear a couiple of weeks, or a month, later.
The last scan found (and I quote) "fault code PO171 System too lean (air fuel ratio lean malfunction bank 1). Cleared fault codes. Checked MAF reading at idle, found the reading high. Removed and cleaned dirty MAF sensor. Reset data. Road tested vehicle. Checked fuel trim feedbacks. Found OK. Operation of oxygen sensors OK. Rechecked fault codes OK."
A couple of weeks later it was back to the same!!
At that stage, this was only happening (first VSC and TSC, then also engine light) in the hot months, but is now coming on as soon as the car warms up to 1/4 on the gauge. (The temp does go up to 1/2 once the engine has warmed)
A P0171 code can come on repeatedly, especially if the vehicle is driven in dusty areas. If this is the case, you need to change the air filter more often. Your brakes applying whilst driving is most likely the traction control activating (which is application of the brakes to a wheel or wheels that are spinning or a loss of control at the rear of the vehicle. If you have wheels speed sensor issues, the ABS/VSC/TRAC lights will be on without the check engine light on. I would be interested in the condition of the air filter, the predominant road conditions and the amount of wear on the tires. Please advise.
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
road and tyre conditions all good. I removed the filter and checked it, then replaced it (after having to remove the battery and disconnect rubber air hose from behind filter cover, to be able to get it out) Seemed fine. When I replaced it, I took care to make sure it all sealed around the edges properly: The car seems to be working with more power etc now. Am I imagining it, or could this have affected it.? Also the warning lights are taking longer to come on now. Perhaps getting the cam belt replaced and clearing the codes may fix it all. Brakes are still a mystery. Could one thing going wrong mess up the operation of other things such as the brakes??
A dirty air filter will cause the engine to run slightly worse, as the engine is not getting enough air to function properly. A dirty air filter will allow dust to get onto the MAss Air Flow sensor which causes it to mis[read and sets a P0171 code. A stretched cam belt can also cause a P0171 code because the vvalve are not opening at the precise moment. It is highly possible that the brake issue is from a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor. The only way to determine this is to attach a compatible scan tool and read the actual real-time data being produced from wach of the 4 wheel speed sensors. If one is less than the other three, that would be the cause.
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If you have any other questions, please feel free to reply; I will be very glad to help you further.If you do not have any questions, and are satisfied with my input on your request, thanks for choosing Just Answer. It was a pleasure to assist you today. I trust my input to your request is satisfactory to you and meets your expectations. A positive rating would be greatly appreciated for my assistance on your inquiry. Thanks in advance and thank you again for choosing Just Answer
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Gonna have to go and get it scanned, and hopefully they will be able to read the codes and interpret the problem properly this time. Have cleaned and checked the MAF sensor and the air filter. Car is not going into top gear at all now. Found the sticker to say the cam belt was changed just 80 000km ago, so it can't be that. It must be lean fuel mix, which therefore means oxygen sensors are faulty, don't you think?
As long as the check engine light is on, the car may not go into the top gear. You are correct, a too lean condition could easily be a faulty air-fuel or oxygen sensor. (the air-fuel sensors are in front of the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensors are after the converter).
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Here's the weird thing: I had read somewhere that stopping the car, putting it in neutral, turning it off, then restarting it, would clear the VSC, TSC, engine lights etc. Last night coming home, it wouldn't shift into top gear and was doing 3 000rpm at 80km/hr as it has been most of the time lately. I pulled over, did the above procedure, then restarted it. All lights were out, and the car went into top gear. What would make that happen??
What you are doing is resetting the 'two trip detection' of the readiness monitors. This is not a reset or clearing of the codes pending in the computer. The only way to clear codes is via a scan tool. If a had code is found, it returns immediately. If a pending code is stored in the memory, it then appears when the affected system is checked by the computer.
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