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Discussion Starter #1
Gather 'round kids, it's story time.

This past weekend, I went on a 350ish mile road trip. Before leaving town Saturday Morning, I filled up the fuel tank. After it auto-stopped, I did not force more fuel in.

I then proceeded on the road trip. Car ran fine, multiple stops and starts, temperatures were generally in the 60-80°F range in the daytime, and 40-50°F at night.

I returned home Sunday evening.

Odometer is approximately 102,000 miles.

Sunday night into Monday morning, a cold front came through, and it was about 20°F Monday when I woke up. I started the car to get it warm and melt the frost. At that time, it was a normal start aside from cranking a little slower, which I expect when the ambient air temperature is that low.

When I came back out 15 minutes later to drive to work, the MIL/CEL was illuminated. Engine still seemed to be running fine so I went ahead and drove to work.

At lunch I drove home, and it not start quickly--I'd classify it as a hard start. When I got home I dusted off the code reader and got the following:
PO441 - Evaporative Emissions Control System Incorrect Purge Flow
PO455 - Evaporative Emissiosn Control System Leak Detected (Gross Leak)

At that moment I got out and checked the fuel cap--I guess when I filled the tank a few days earlier, I had not tightened it up; it was loose.

When I drove back to work after lunch, when the engine was still warm, it started normally. However, every cold start since then has been hard. As of this morning, the trouble codes had not cleared on their own, so I cleared them to see if anything comes back.

Prior to clearing I also looked at the freeze frame data, it is displayed below. It looks like this occurred shortly after starting, considering the vehicle was not moving but throttle was at 18%, likely still idling high to warm up. But the intake air temp was showing at 91.4°F, which is about 70°F higher than every other thermometer in the area was showing that morning.... I'll check again today and just monitor that sensor. I'm wondering if the EEC codes were purely coincidental to the hard starts.

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Other weird thing is it says the engine RPM was zero, which means it froze this data before the engine started... but then why would the throttle position be 18% (unless the computer opens the throttle up the moment I turn the key?) Maybe my software is garbage?

So at this moment, my questions and train of thought:
  1. Would EEC codes, likely generated by user error of not re-installing the fuel cap properly cause hard starts when cold?
  2. Would the PCM believing the intake air is 91°F when in reality it is 20°F cause a hard start because it is not enriching the mixture as it would if it believed the intake air temp was actually 20°F
  3. Freeze Frame Data is not timestamped, so I guess it's possible this data was stored prior to (even one of the warmer weekend days) the Check-Engine-Light coming on.
  4. I have more homework--look at sensors before starting cold and see what is reported.
And that concludes today's story time, thanks for reading.

Nic
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Chapter 2:

On Wednesday evening, fuel gauge was pretty low, I went and filled tank. Made sure to put the cap on correctly.

Since then, all starts have been normal, including yesterday morning at 32°F and this morning at 28°F.

I'll keep an eye on it but everything seems to be working great now.

Thanks for reading.


Nic
 

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One thing to be aware of is that a weak battery can result in some strange codes.
My 2016 turned over slightly slow in COLD weather last year.
Just last week, we got down to 9 degrees one night (not normal this early).....and my engine turned over REALLY slow that morning.
So, I purchased a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply. Battery is only 2500 miles / 2 months old and seems to be cranking far better than what it replaced, even when cold. Has yet to get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit yet but still has started quick every time since that last fuel up. Maybe I had some questionable fuel.
 

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I would like to know how and why you have a Toyota with Ford electronics. Also is it an EEC 3,4, or 5. It makes a difference.
 
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