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#1754945 - 01/25/10 11:15 AM toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes
KeithG Offline

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Iowa
I've got a 2000 Toyota Avalon with 165K miles. It's been well maintained since new. It was my father-in-laws car (his first new car) and I've owned it since the odom. showed 100K.

Decent oil change history. 4-6K OCIs depending on the highway usage. Ran an auto-rx dose through at 110K. Been running a maint. dose ever since.

Since the nasty cold spell last month, the car has been throwing the following codes:

P300 mult. misfires
P302,304,306 misfires cylinder 2,4,6
P1354 VVT-i malfunction bank2

Then last week a new code also occurred.
P1351 VVT-i sensor range bank 2

The car has sometimes sputtered at idle a bit. At one point, it seemed like the power brakes were strangely stiff. Everything has returned to normal except for the codes and an occasional sputter at idle.

I've changed the oil. Penzoil YB 5-30 with one bottle Valvoline 5-20. I ran some seafoam through in a full tank of gas. I haven't had real look for sludge yet.

Most of the normal maintence has been done by me. (Fluids, belts, plugs, PCV.)

I'm thinking some or all of the following. A bit of sludge on the timing sensor (or bad sensor.) Some ice/ water in the oil. A partially blocked VVT oil screen.

Anyone have some tips for me as I figure this out?

Edited by KeithG (01/25/10 11:16 AM)

#1754985 - 01/25/10 11:46 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: KeithG]
Silber Igel Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 318
Loc: Kerville, Texas
Unless it dies.... I'd keep nursing it on till much warmer weather. It's more likely related to cold temps.

#1754988 - 01/25/10 11:49 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: Silber Igel]
Billbert Offline

Registered: 10/09/09
Posts: 306
Loc: California
Misfires could be fuel related, try adding some Techron or Regane
If you think you can, or if you think you can't, You are probably right.

Auto Instructor / ASE Master Tech

#1755990 - 01/26/10 02:42 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: Billbert]
sunfire Offline

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1574
Loc: Ca, US
Have the spark plugs been inspected or changed in 165K? They probably need to be cleaned and the gap needs to be checked.

VVT-i I don't think has anything to do with oil. It's has more do with ignition.

Edited by sunfire (01/26/10 02:49 AM)
2005 Toyota Corolla LE | 65,000 | PYB 5W-30

#1756184 - 01/26/10 09:01 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: sunfire]
KeithG Offline

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Iowa
The plugs are OEM and have less than 25K miles on them. The original Denso iridiums lasted about 135K without issue. I changed them before the threw a single misfire code.

The VVT-i system is lubed by engine oil, I'm assuming. People talk about the VVT oil passage screen becoming plugged up. Unfortunately, I think its located in a PITA place behind the power steering pump.

#1756740 - 01/26/10 04:46 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: KeithG]
Alan Offline

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 1462
Loc: MD
Clean or replace your MAF.
2011 Toyota Camry

#1757019 - 01/26/10 08:31 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: Alan]
wiswind Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 1015
Loc: Wisconsin
From what I have read, on the Denso Website, under FAQ for iridium spark plugs.......

Denso Iridium "long life" #SK20R11 is the long life plug...7mm center electrode, platinum ground tab, rated up to 120K miles

Denso Iridium "Power" #IK20 is the high performance version, but only rated for 30K miles.
4mm dia center electrode, non-platinum ground tab

#1757163 - 01/26/10 09:58 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: wiswind]
kevinf Offline

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 137
Loc: Virginia
Keith, if you haven't already take a look at the pcv valve. If it's gunked up it's an indication that you may need to look at the VVTi oil control valve filters at the rear of each cylinder head.

Edited by kevinf (01/26/10 09:58 PM)
'07 Toyota Sienna - Castrol GTX 5W30
'01 Toyota Sienna - PP 5W30
'98 Acura CL 3.0 - G-Oil 5W30

#1757188 - 01/26/10 10:17 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: kevinf]
OpticNerve Offline

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
My 2000 Avalon has 151,000. I have been using a full synthetic for the last 75K changing every year or 15000 miles whichever occurs first. Use Mobil 1 filters. Car just threw a P1354 VVI Malfunction Bank 2. Checking both of the oil control valves OCV's for voltage both ok. Took out oil and ran 4 quarts AT fluid for 25 minutes. Took out and filled with new Super Tech 5W-30 synthetic. After warm up car misses and check engine light returns. Ordered two OCV filters 15678-20010 from dealer. Will try to put in tomorrow and report back. I don't think it is water in the gas, because it only misses after warm up.
To Alan: Around 95000 engine threw a PO171 'System too lean'. Cleaned MAF sensor with CFC Mass Air Flow sensor cleaner cleared code and it did not come back for 25000.

Edited by OpticNerve (01/26/10 10:27 PM)
Edit Reason: Additional response

#1764714 - 02/01/10 06:38 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: OpticNerve]
carbonbased1 Offline

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 1
Loc: Virginia
I have a 2000 Avalon, also. Some of the OBD codes are very specific (malfunction); some are symptomatic of an upstream problem (cylinder 2 misfire). If it's giving you a malfunction code, then the sensor is not giving out the right reading or not giving out a reading at all. Since you're getting a VVTi sensor malfunction, check your OCV (oil control valve).

You have four cams. Two of the cams are intake cams. They have a sprocket/actuator on the end with an inner hub that has fixed vanes. The oil control valves control oil pressure which is used to advance or retard your timing. You can check your OCV by testing the resistance via the two terminals on the sensor. There should be 6.9 to 7.9 ohms resistance. Also, if you take the sensor out, and you apply voltage to the two terminals, the OCV pluger will move out. When you cut the voltage, the pluger returns back in. I would recommend changing both OCVs at one time. It's a critical part of managing your timing. You wouldn't want a brand new OCV controlling one half of your engine and a 150K mile OCV controlling the other half of your engine.

Also, there is an OCV filter screen which can get clogged. You can pull the filter screens out fairly easily and either clean them or replace them. Good luck!

Toyota Part Numbers:
OCV: 15340-20010 (bank with 2,4,6-front) and 15330-20010 (bank with 1,3,5-back)
O-ring (for the OCV): 90099-14137
Filter Screen: 15678-20010
Gasket for filter screen bolt: 90430-16007

#1776602 - 02/10/10 12:38 PM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: carbonbased1]
OpticNerve Offline

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
Should have taken the time to remove the OCV filter before I ordered them. Somehow I talked myself into buying before checking. Well, the OCV filter was clean, but I put the new one anyway. Needless, to say it did not help. Ordered a OCV from the dealership only to wait a week and find out I ordered the OCV for Bank 1. Wish I had read Carbonbased1 post first, since he knows his stuff. The dealership had the correct OCV in stock and with a little bit of patience, I got it in and all has been well. Just a slight modification for the Part# the Dealership here in NJ has it as TOY153400A010 lIST $79.05. I suggest going to the dealership, to get a genuine OEM replacement. When the weather gets warmer, I will tackle the other side, like suggested by Carbonbased1. Thank you all.

#1798210 - 02/28/10 11:05 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: OpticNerve]
KeithG Offline

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Iowa
Just an update...

I installed a new bank 2 OCV today and the problem is resolved. the updated part number is listed correctly by OpticNerve.

There were some new engine codes that I saw when I read then erased the OBDII codes. I forgot the numbers, but they related to 'too lean' and OCV performance.

Thanks for all the help.

#1798256 - 02/28/10 11:49 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: KeithG]
parimento1 Offline

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 756
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
it could be a number of things, mine has been throwing a misfire code for 3 years on and off, especially when the engine is cold. Changed the plugs, wires, igniter, coils, and it still comes up. There are no drivability issues with mine, however.

#1800697 - 03/02/10 11:21 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: parimento1]
OpticNerve Offline

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
Glad to hear she is running better. Hopefully, the VVTi will continue to function within specifications. As far as the other codes, if you are getting a P0171 or a P0174, it is possible they were triggered by the bad ocv. To be safe, I would suggest cleaning your MAF sensor. The Haynes Manuel Chapter 6 Section 6 describes the procedure rather well if you are not familiar with it.

#1800727 - 03/02/10 11:44 AM Re: toyota 1mz-fe misfires & VVT-i related codes [Re: Alan]
OpticNerve Offline

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
Around 98000 back in 2005, my 2000 threw what I found out was a P0171 'System too lean'. Back then I knew noting and took it to the least expensive dealership in my area. They charged me around $100 bucks to pull the code and clean the MAF. That's when I bought my trusty Haynes Repair Manual. Since then, I taught myself how to change the brake pads and rotors, rear sway bar bushings, cabin filter, and a OCV. I have cleaned the MAF about half a dozen times, every time the check engine light goes on. I now have 152000. Sometimes it just pays to be patient, and not to throw new parts at a problem.

Edited by OpticNerve (03/02/10 11:48 AM)

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