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HELP! Blinking CEL on '03.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by dcubed, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Mar 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM
    #1
    dcubed

    dcubed [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am on my third Toyota PU (1985, 1994, 2003) and first Tacoma. In the '03 I have the bigger 4 cylinder and about 140k miles on a 4x4 extra cab.

    This morning, after the one mile drive to the highway on-ramp, it threw a blinking CEL. It was running rough, like on 3 cylinders, with no power. I immediately pulled into the breakdown lane, and limped to the next exit (one mile) then back home. The CEL stopped blinking a few times, but stayed on.

    I believe that I have misfires being detected. Last week, i got a solid CEL for O2 sensor and found that my O2 sensor nuts had come loose and my O2 sensor was flopping around in the exhaust pipe. Until this morning, when I replaced the nuts, I had it held in place with metal baling wire. No codes had occurred after a couple of days with the wire in place.

    I am trying to borrow an OBD2 code reader, but I hesitate to drive it the five miles to a garage or parts store for a free code read.

    Any tips to get me started before I get some code info?
     
  2. Mar 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM
    #2
    seksilumpia

    seksilumpia Well-Known Member

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    El Dorado Hills
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    05 TRD Sport DCSB
    Performance mods: TRD CAI, AFE throttle body spacer, Doug Thorley headers, TRD exhaust. Cosmetic mods: HID 10k head+3k fog lights, BHLM, T-rex 2 eyelids, billet grill (5 piece), 20% front window tint, 4% back window tint, tinted 3rd brake light, altezza tail lights, LED license plate lights, door skid protectors, slotted drilled rotors,plasti dip rims,painted rotor and drums. Interior mods: TRD seat covers, LED map and dome lights, 2 kicker 10' w/ 500 watt amp, pioneer door speakers,and Pioneer AVIC X930BT.
    All i can say is do the things that you need to have done first,starting with the cheaper and easier things. Clean out the air filter,change out spark plugs and oil change and any other tune ups. I would also run a half bottle of seafoam in the gas tank and then on half on the next tank. I had the same problem you had a few months ago,and it turned out to be the spark plug,even though i had just replaced them 6 months prior with the factory brand. Get the code and we can help more.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM
    #3
    dcubed

    dcubed [OP] Well-Known Member

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    code: cylinder #3 misfire

    I assume check plug and coil stack?
     
  4. Mar 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM
    #4
    seksilumpia

    seksilumpia Well-Known Member

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    First Name:
    Brandon
    El Dorado Hills
    Vehicle:
    05 TRD Sport DCSB
    Performance mods: TRD CAI, AFE throttle body spacer, Doug Thorley headers, TRD exhaust. Cosmetic mods: HID 10k head+3k fog lights, BHLM, T-rex 2 eyelids, billet grill (5 piece), 20% front window tint, 4% back window tint, tinted 3rd brake light, altezza tail lights, LED license plate lights, door skid protectors, slotted drilled rotors,plasti dip rims,painted rotor and drums. Interior mods: TRD seat covers, LED map and dome lights, 2 kicker 10' w/ 500 watt amp, pioneer door speakers,and Pioneer AVIC X930BT.
    yeah get new spark plugs first and then possibly a new ignition coil..is the shaking all the time or just sometimes?
     
  5. Mar 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM
    #5
    dcubed

    dcubed [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So far, it's all the time. But I have only driven it a couple of miles since it happened.
     
  6. Mar 8, 2013 at 12:04 PM
    #6
    Silver02Taco

    Silver02Taco A dude that don't abide...

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    Relentless Fab Front & Rear Bumpers and Skid Plates Bay Area Metal Fab Sliders, Rear Shock Relocation Kit & Bed Rack Total Chaos Fab UCA's, Shock Tower, Spindle & Cam-Tab Gussets ADS Ø2.5's w/Resi's on all four corners. Lots of other stuff...
    When this happened to my truck, we replaced the spark plug in the #3 hole, and it ran fine for about a week, then the same things started to happen again, until the misfire became so bad I had to take it to my Toyota Mechanic to have it diagnosed.

    Turned out to be a cracked head, due to the valves being "tight" in the head (Engine had 98K Miles on it at this point). I was informed that this is a common issue with Toyota's 3.4 V6. Had to have the head on that side replaced and a full valve-job done. Valve adjustment is required maintenance every 60K miles according to my Mechanic. So, I hope that you aren't facing this same issue.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Mar 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM
    #7
    dcubed

    dcubed [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I changed the plugs (Toyota OEM NGK). I now throw C0300 (random), C0303 (cyl #3) and C0304 (cyl #4) misfire codes.

    I have photos of the old plugs - really bad looking. #3 looks a little whitish, am I correct or imagining a possible head-gasket leak?

    I have the 4 cylinder, not the 6 cyl. I'm hoping for a lesser problem.

    tacomaplugs.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  8. Mar 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM
    #8
    dcubed

    dcubed [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I swapped coil packs among the cylinders. The problem followed the coil pack originally in cylinder #3. I replaced that coil pack, it runs like a top.

    :bananadance::bananadance::bananadance::bananadance:
     
  9. Mar 9, 2013 at 10:43 PM
    #9
    seksilumpia

    seksilumpia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Member:
    #24905
    Messages:
    592
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    El Dorado Hills
    Vehicle:
    05 TRD Sport DCSB
    Performance mods: TRD CAI, AFE throttle body spacer, Doug Thorley headers, TRD exhaust. Cosmetic mods: HID 10k head+3k fog lights, BHLM, T-rex 2 eyelids, billet grill (5 piece), 20% front window tint, 4% back window tint, tinted 3rd brake light, altezza tail lights, LED license plate lights, door skid protectors, slotted drilled rotors,plasti dip rims,painted rotor and drums. Interior mods: TRD seat covers, LED map and dome lights, 2 kicker 10' w/ 500 watt amp, pioneer door speakers,and Pioneer AVIC X930BT.
    Nice. It wasn't so bad of a problem then and not too expensive either. I've noticed coil packs are a common problem in Toyota vehicles,otherwise they are solid performers. Good job OP. Still consider running a half bottle of seafoam and premium fuel to burn off more of that carbon build up.
     

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