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Misfiring, loss of power, abnormal engine vibration

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Misfiring, loss of power, abnormal engine vibration

Hi all, been trying to fix this problem with my lady's truck, but having troubles.

She's got an 01 Tacoma, 2.4 litre engine, with about 146k miles, but it was rebuilt a while ago. She complained to me that it was running really bad, and that the engine was shaking and it was having trouble off the line, with the CEL on, and sometimes flashing on/off. So naturally, I take it for a drive and can't duplicate the problem, and it seemed like the problem went away. It did it again a day later, so I told her to take it to a local shop to have the OBD codes pulled off so could figure out what to do with it. They told us the codes were:

P0304 - Cylinder 4 Misfire
P0110 - IAT Sensor Circut
P1300 - Igniter Circuit Malfunction - No. 1.

To duplicate the problem, I have to drive it for a little bit, park and then get back in the car after about ten minutes. Like, going to the grocery store for just a few items. The shop we took it to recommended a new IAT sensor, new coils for cylinders 1 and 4, and a new fuel filter. Then, out of nowhere, the problem went away and was fine for almost eight months. We drove to Mammoth lakes, Los Angeles, everywhere. It was for all intents and purposes, problem free again.

Then the problem resurfaced out of nowhere. So I got the write up out and bought the parts they recommended. I replaced the MAF and the coils, but the problem persists. Sometimes it starts fine, and sometimes it starts rough. I put in new spark plugs, and the air cleaner was changed recently as well.

Anyone got some diagnostic tips for me to try to pin down the problem? I got a multimeter, so I can check the electronics, but I don't know electronics very well, so I don't know what to check and what my measurements will tell me.

Thanks a lot, folks.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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almost sounds like a wire or connector loose something. ever had a detailed diagnostic scan? not from an auto parts store with a 200 dollar computer.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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Have the plug wires been replaced???
Does wet weather make a difference?
My wifes four banger had similar problems--had a bad wire.
At ten years old--it might be time to change them.
It ran REALLY ROUGH--and NO POWER.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newertoy View Post
Have the plug wires been replaced???
Does wet weather make a difference?
My wifes four banger had similar problems--had a bad wire.
At ten years old--it might be time to change them.
It ran REALLY ROUGH--and NO POWER.
We get a lot of fog here where we live. A LOT. The first time the problem came up, it happened during a tremendous rainstorm. Lately, it's just been really foggy in the morning.

If it is the wires, how do I test them?

Would replacing the wires make a big difference, it has a coil over each spark plug.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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Has it ever overheated? Whats clearance on valves?
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:30 PM   #6
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If my truck was misfiring like that, the first thing I'd check would be the coil packs, and the injector.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
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mine would run, but run rough. constant mis fire. replaced the plugs, and wires and all that. and it ended up bein the injector. that would be my next choice honestly.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krimson View Post
If my truck was misfiring like that, the first thing I'd check would be the coil packs, and the injector.
What should I look for in checking the coil packs?
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krimson View Post
If my truck was misfiring like that, the first thing I'd check would be the coil packs, and the injector.
X2.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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I was thinking an injector could be the problem, but wouldn't that produce a code that would lead to it? and it's an intermittent problem. The new plugs I put in are turning black around the thread area, and some white deposits on the ground, but the electrode ceramic shield is still white. they're all looking the same.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron1284 View Post
What should I look for in checking the coil packs?
Well visual signs of the coil pack is bad are: discoloring, housing cracks, bulges.

To test it, swap the coil pack in the cylinder that is misfiring and replace it with another one that isn't.

My old truck was having similar symptoms, one cylinder was misfiring and found out it was the coil pack.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #12
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I had the injectors cleaned, rebuilt, flowed and balanced on my old 99' 2.4...made a world of a difference. One was off by like 12% (cylinder 2..common)

Bob over at Fuel Injection Corporation in Livermore is a great guy..real stand up..and to the truth. He will tell you if anything was wrong or not..and if you need the work done or not. He doesn't just take your money.

Rebuild includes new baskets and o rings.

$25 a injector. 1 day turnaround, 2 if they are busy.


http://www.fuelinjectioncorp.com/
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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Anyway to test the injectors without pulling them?
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron1284 View Post
Anyway to test the injectors without pulling them?
ive seen my bro on a 22re do this. unplug injector take a light bulb and touch the wires to the injector wire and see if it pulses. thats how we determined my dads 4 banger was getting fuel because of a bad computer. maybe someone else can chime in on this idea
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #15
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I know they said misfire on cylinder 4, but going from there how do I actually diagnose the misfire myself? Especially when its doing it off and on and all the plugs are showing the same deposits.

pull the plug and put it in the coil and run it and see if its sparking?
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:02 PM   #16
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check the injector on cylinder 4 you could also try swapping a coil pack from a cylinder thats not misfiring
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:46 PM   #17
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How can I tell if the cylinder I'm swapping into is misfiring? I don't have an OBD scanner
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:15 PM   #18
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thought you had taken it and had the codes read?
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:27 PM   #19
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Yes, I did have the OBD codes read. I know that cylinder 4 was/is misfiring--- but if I move that coil to cylinder 1, how would I know if the misfire moved or stayed? Moreover, the misfire persisted even after I replaced the coils on #1 and #4 with new coils.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:17 PM   #20
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Safe bet that you've ruled out the coil pack and spark plug as the cause.

Injector is the next step. Either swap #4 with another cylinder, and have it re-scanned to see if the misfire is now present on the cylinder that received #4 injector...or send all 4 out for rebuilding and flow-testing.
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