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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Great forum! Lots of good info! Thanks to hardtopte72 and others for the great write-ups!

My 2008 Corolla (80,000 miles) started blowing blue smoke with gas smell when cold starting. The engine would surge at idle and would die. Once warmed up it would drive OK with hesitation at low RPM. Lots of misfire codes, P300, 301, 302, 303, 304. After OBD reset, not always the same cylinders. Also P2195 and P0420 codes, not at first but after some diagnostics, resets and test drives.

Work to date:
Replaced intake manifold gasket, new spark plugs with .043 gap, cleaned throttle, new PCV, cleaned MAF and replaced #4 injector. Checked spark and compression, all cylinders good.

I checked the front O2 sensor, 3.2 OHMS across the heater (2 black wires). I also checked voltage to the heater on the engine harness. I do not get 12 volts with key on engine off. The top wires on the harness are black and pink, the pink is open. Bad ECM?

The smoke and start problem has gotten worse. Cant run it long enough to warm up the engine and the check engine light comes on and is flashing. Only code is P0303.

I’m new to computer cars but I am thinking the ECM has gone bad and needs replacing. It was replaced in 2012 under a factory recall. Can anyone confirm or help rethink this diagnosis?

Side note: checked oil level, it was 1-1/2 quarts over! 2000 mile driven since quick lube service, guess I need to do my own oil now! Also noticed a couple of teaspoons of oily residue in my air intake manifold when replacing the gasket.
 

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Check timing. Sounds like you skipped a tooth or two. You could also have damaged valves. Have you done a compression test?
 

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Senior TN Member
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7,508 Posts
First step is compression test.

I’m not sure ECM turns on O2-sensor heater until engine is running. And it’s not a straight 12v DC signal. It’s PWM to fine-tune actual amount of heating based on exhaust temperature.
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Did a compression test, all cylinders around 170 PSI. What would cause the timing to be out?
 

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Just an FYI you own a 9th gen Corolla. Moved your thread here where it belongs. Welcome to toyotanation I see @DannoXYZ has started helping you fix the issue at hand so your in much better hands than if I tried. Enjoy toyotanation.
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks G_gazoo, not sure how I posted to wrong forum
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I’m not sure ECM turns on O2-sensor heater until engine is running. And it’s not a straight 12v DC signal. It’s PWM to fine-tune actual amount of heating based on exhaust temperature.
Is there another test I can do to confirm O2-sensor is good or bad? Is the pink wire on the harness the ground and do you know if it is switched or not? Any test for the ECM?
 

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If p0303 is the only code left then swap the #3 injector and COP to another cylinder. See of the misfire moves to that cylinder.

It sounds like you had severely restricted injectors that have been partially fixed since you only replaced 1 injector. Did it happen after filling up somewhere sketchy?
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
If p0303 is the only code left then swap the #3 injector and COP to another cylinder. See of the misfire moves to that cylinder.

It sounds like you had severely restricted injectors that have been partially fixed since you only replaced 1 injector. Did it happen after filling up somewhere sketchy?
The thing is, I started her up on Friday after clearing codes. Got flashing engine light and P0304. Tried again Saturday morning, cleared the codes and got P0303. The injectors looked pretty clean and after energizing them I was able to blow out the fuel in them with my mouth, all but #4.

When this started a month ago, it only smoked, missed and died until I warmed her up for 8 to 10 minutes. Then she ran good with no smoke except when RPM got below 2000 I could feel her miss and hesitate from a stop. Got codes P0300, P0301, P0304. During diagnosis I would reset codes and the missing cylinder codes were not consistent, they would jump to different cylinders and once got all 4 cylinders and P0420. Shortly after this is when I did all the work listed above. It has gotten progressively worse. Now I can't run her for more than about a minute, lots of smoke and check engine flashing. I checked that I got all the vac hoses hooked up and correct. I have double checked all my work.

Don't think I got bad gas but I guess that is possible. Beating my head against the wall!
 

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Flashing engine means severe misfire. Major vacuum leak or major fuel delivery issues come to mind.

Also, if one injector was restricted chances are that all are restricted and need to be replaced.

What are your MAF values at idle and 2500 RPM?

What are your fuel trim readings at idle and 2500 RPM?
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
What are your MAF values at idle and 2500 RPM?

What are your fuel trim readings at idle and 2500 RPM?
You can also check the upstream vs downstream o2 sensors. If both are reading lean then you are likely truly running lean.
Thanks Doctorbee, not familiar with these test. I'll need to check out my scan meter and see if I can figure out haw to run them.
 

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Rookie Wrencher with 2008 Corolla
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Discussion Starter #15
What are your MAF values at idle and 2500 RPM?

What are your fuel trim readings at idle and 2500 RPM?

You can also check the upstream vs downstream o2 sensors. If both are reading lean then you are likely truly running lean.
Can't get enough run time to check live data. Missing bad and belching smoke that smells of fuel. Runs less than 30 seconds and check engine light starts flashing.

Another user in the 8th gen forums had similar symptoms and fixed it by replacing with refurbished DENSO injectors

https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1646216&goto=newpost
After last startup it ran about 30 seconds, smoke and missing, CEL flashing and started belching smoke from the AIR FILTER and MAF area! Smelled of fuel! Whats that about? Checked codes, P0300, P0303 and P0304. Pulled the plugs which are new, Plugs 1 & 2 have carbon build up and plugs 3 & 4 are wet with fuel. Ran another compression test and all cylinders within 2 pounds of 175 PSI. It looks rich rather than lean and don't know what would cause smoke to come out of the air filter
 

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Side note: checked oil level, it was 1-1/2 quarts over! 2000 mile driven since quick lube service, guess I need to do my own oil now! Also noticed a couple of teaspoons of oily residue in my air intake manifold when replacing the gasket.
Pretty sure you have leaky injectors. Excess fuel from leaky injectors can end up in oil, causing fuel dilution and screwing up the oil's viscosity. I would get an oil change after you get it running.

This ebay seller looks reliable:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-Corolla-Chevy-Prizm-00-04-1ZZFE-1-8L-fuel-injectors-set/262331180982?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=56922&meid=e391ba5b8105430eb406cf1458e47d85&pid=100675&rk=1&rkt=15&sd=262331180982&itm=262331180982&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci:616c7361-613c-11e9-95ef-74dbd1806ac6|parentrq:2c80269916a0ad794913a1baffee93bd|iid:1

I wouldn't worry about the year saying 2000-2004. Denso lists the 2008 part number as 297-0017 and 2003 as 297-0017 as well.
 

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Super Moderator
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Before replacing any parts, we need to verify a few things.

Do you have the freeze frame data from your misfire code?

Do you have battery voltage at pin 1 (pin closest to connector release) to ground on each fuel injector? Can you verify you have continuity between the injector pin 2 and ECU and no continuity between pin 2 and ground:




Your issue sounds fuel related. Basically if one injector is flowing too little or too much and affecting fuel trims, the computer will attempt to adjust injector volume for the remaining cylinders to compensate. If one is not running at all, it will increase the duty cycle to others resulting in a rich mixture. Conversely if one is leaking and running rich, it will remove fuel from the others causing a lean.

These issues will repeat over and over again as the computer attempts to fix the resulting rich and lean mixtures.

A flashing check engine light means your misfire counts and catalytic converter temperature have gone so high you risk damaging the cat.

I would NOT throw any parts at it yet.
 
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