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I am new to this forum and have joined it out of extreme frustration with Toyota service. I would appreciate any ideas to take care of the problem.
My 2001 Corolla started pinging upon acceleration when it had 20K miles on it. It pings when accelerated even under no heavy load condition i.e. going downhill. I took it to the local Toyota dealer who sent me back every time with the advice to change the fuel grade or change station. I have been using 93 Octane for a long time and have used different stations. They performed a top engine decarb upon my last visit. Now the car has 37K miles and pings like an old car with valve problem. I filed the complaint with Toyota and they forced me to go for arbitration. I told them that I just wanted the problem resolved but they wanted me to go for arbitration. That whole process was a joke and the outcome was obvious i.e. denied. The so called arbitrator was so friendly with Toyota service director that they were talking about vacation. The independent arbitrator even knew that the service director got married recently. First the Toyota tech blamed me and asked for service records. Upon finding no problem with service records, he said that this is not pinging but detonation which according to him was normal for this engine. When I insisted that it was not, he started blaming the previous owner of this car.
Anyway the situation now is that the car pings. Toyota used arbitration as an excuse and I can’t think of anything to do now. I have used all the fuel tank additives including Redline but none works.
Please let me know if I can try anything from repair to setting the car on fire. The car has a DIS so timing cannot be changed.

Thanks

Abid
 

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Country Hick
2001 Nissan Pulsar
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Have you tried going to 95-97RON fuel yet? and if so, did you try using octane boost with that?

If that fails... get yourself some of that 97... pour it on your engine making sure you unplug the fuel line and torch it.. That'll stop the pinging.

On second thought... dont torch it. That is a waste of a good rolla. :disappoin
 

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maybe your car needs to have its valve clearance adjusted.....because the noise may be caused by a loud valve lifter ........or an part that is inside the engine that passes emissions to the tail pipe......I could of sworn i was at a toyota dealership and someone had the same problem.....and that is what they did to correct the problem.......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your replies. I will check the valve clearance. Is it possible that the knock sensor is bad and does not generate a code?
 

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Well it shouldnt be because of the fuel. You should be able to use the same fuel as everyone else as long as the compression ratio in the cylinder hasnt been raised, which wouldnt happen unless your a racer looking for higher performance. Ghost's answer seems like that might be the problem.
 

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HOLY COROLLA!!!

I just googled "Corolla pinging" (after a futile search @Toyota.com- what a pathetic site) and this was my first hit! (All Praise to the Gods of Google)

We, too, have a 2001 Corolla (LE Auto) and, yup, it pings and yup, I've tried Redline and nope, it didn't work. I have used Techroline and it seemed to work...for one tank...but that gets awfully expensive after awhile!

I recently tried a quart of denatured alcohol into a 1/4 tank. The jury is still out. "Denatured alcohol", which I purchased at the hardware store where I work, is ethanol "denatured" with methanol. The reason I am trying it is that ethanol has a high octane rating and I suspect that that is the source of the pinging- low octane.

Now, the pinging is not that bad...yet. It's hard to hear cuz it only occurs between (or immediately after) shift changes, especially 2nd to 3rd. It does not occur under load. Only under mild acceleration.

Unfortunately, I don't drive the car enough to notice the problem. It's the wife's car. What do I drive? An oooooold Toy PU with a 22R carburated motor. I've been a Toyota devotee since 1990 when I kissed GM and Dodge a not so fond farewell...

I question the wisdom of retarding the timing of these modern computerized engines; they're not "supposed" to need tuning! Or are they?

The other question I have for you, abidinam, is this: What about the injectors? Was it ever suggested that they might be fouled?

I hope to hear from you.

Rog
 

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I'll bet my right nut it's the valve clearance!. There should be a little sticker under the bonnet with the correct measurements. If the car is still under warranty get them to do this adjustment. There is a web site called www.mycarstats.com and it has heaps of reported problems on pinging especially on 2002 Corolla. If the dealer won't cheak the valve clearances, I'd get a good shop to do this for you or if you have feelers gauges you could probably check them yourself!
 

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Hold on to your right nut, dougone...

Really? Why do you say that? Doesn't the VVIT regulate that? Or does it have nothing to do with it?

In any case, our car is still under warranty so I as sure as hell ain't gonna touch it. Thanks for the links.

G'day mate!
 

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The vvti only opens up to give the car more intake and power. I have the 2002 model and the valve clearances are clearly marked on a sticker under the bonnet. This is the only adjustment that can be made to the 1FE-ZZ engine! Go beat up the Toyota dealer and make them check the valve clearances!
 

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dougone said:
The vvti only opens up to give the car more intake and power. I have the 2002 model and the valve clearances are clearly marked on a sticker under the bonnet. This is the only adjustment that can be made to the 1FE-ZZ engine! Go beat up the Toyota dealer and make them check the valve clearances!
Right on, dougie! I just might do that. Thanks for setting me straight. However, I searched that mycarstats site and could find nothing on pinging. Zip. Nada.
 

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I definitely read about pinging on both the 2001 model and 2002 models - I thought it was at mycarstats??? Bloody hell, where was it????
 

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Has anyone figured out what the problem is causing this?

My car just went in today because the damn thing is pinging so bad I thought I was driving a Mercedes turbo deisel...

In my searchings I have found many things to cause pinging but valve clearence has not been one of them. Injectors plugging up and a vacuum leak are the most likely culprits but other things like fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, and timing can also cause pinging in our cars.

Lets hope it nothing major as my car is past it's warranty and Toyota is notorious for emptying pockets...
 

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homebuilt turbo guru
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I got the car back From North County Toyota in Fullerton and WILL NEVER TAKE IT THERE AGAIN!!!

The morons didn't even look at it till later this morning after dropping it off yesterday. They said that there were all kinds of aftermarket stuff on it and that they could not replicate the problem of pinging while driving. I told the rep that there is nothing aftermarket on the car and it is completely stock. I told the service rep that I wanted to pick up my car and take it elsewhere so to have it ready. When I went there, they said that due to the aftermarket items on my car they could not work on it. I asked what aftermarket items they were referring to and he didn't say, just that they could not find a problem with my car. I then waited 20 minutes for them to pull my car around the building. When I got my car back, they had turned the radio on and had it tuned to a rap station and the volume turned up. This on top of everything else pissed me off to no end. I have to wonder if they even looked at my car to begin with. After all this, I got in my car and drove no more than half a mile when the pinging began. :mad:

On my way home I decided to stop off and get some throttle body cleaner and some injector cleaner to see if I can reduce some of the pinging for the trek to Longo. I cleaned off the MAF sensor and the throttle body and poured the injector cleaner in the tank. Hopefully between the three, I can reduce the pinging enough to make it to Longo without blowing a head gasket or something worse... I should have taken the car there in the first place but I didn't want to chance driving the car so far like it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
rogerd, thank you for a very detailed analysis of the problem. Do you think that injectors may have a problem in an engine with 20K miles on it? I have not got them professionally cleaned but have used the fuel tank additives three times in the last 10000 miles.

I sent a letter to Toyota asking them the reason why they call this pinging "NORMAL". They did not even bother to reply because I am sure that it is a design flaw that they do not want to admit.

Can anyone suggest what to do now? I talked to the Toyota customer service and they told me that I can do anything I want. I am not that stupid to take a legal action because I know that they have lawyers dedicated to take care of small problems like me.
 

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homebuilt turbo guru
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dougone said:
I'll bet my right nut it's the valve clearance!. There should be a little sticker under the bonnet with the correct measurements. If the car is still under warranty get them to do this adjustment. There is a web site called www.mycarstats.com and it has heaps of reported problems on pinging especially on 2002 Corolla. If the dealer won't cheak the valve clearances, I'd get a good shop to do this for you or if you have feelers gauges you could probably check them yourself!
Where on Mycarstats did you see this? I've been on that site for some time and have never seen anything like you state on that site for either 2001 or 2002 Corollas.

The Cause for the problem is most likely:

1. The MAF Sensor is dirty and not reading air flow correctly

2. A vacuum leak

3. A clogged or dirty injector(s)

4. Faulty emissions control i.e. canister, vsv, O2 (but O2 will almost always cause a CEL

5. Bad fuel (Octane rating too low)

6. Timing not advancing enough to correct pre-detonation

7. Failing fuel pump or regulator

8. Clogged fuel filter (Toyota says ours are lifetime filters)

9. Carbon buildup inside the valves and combustion chamber.


I spent an afternoon and checked the valves on my car and they are all within limits set by my Toyota Service Manual. I am going down the list of things that can be wrong and hoping for the best...
 

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How about the air filter, 'rolla? Just a thought...I know these filters are supposed to last a long time... but in de olde daze...we usta change air fi;lters once a year...

My rolla is barely pinging at the moment. My wife put mid-grade in it recently...but I wonder if the alcohol made a dif...anyway, my hunch has always been the injectors but i think the original probem may be crappy fuel. Yup, that may be the rub, gentlemen. And to complicate the matter, the fuel varies depending on your state...

So...try a quart of alcohol. Can't hurt.

"Rolla, how bad does it ping? When, exactly, does it ping?
 
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