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Hello, I'm a long time xB fan and owner, though I don't post here often. I really really need some help with an issue I have with my 2004 Scion xB RS 1.0 Automatic Transmission.

Intermittently my car will not accelerate at all, meaning no matter where you put the throttle pedal you get nothing out of it, the engine sputters and sounds horrible, almost like a multiple cylinder misfire and there will be no change in vehicle speed. I can't even get it to accelerate going down a hill when the issue happens. However if keep driving sometimes it comes out of this strange limp home state, and is normal, also if I pull over and cycle the key usually it runs just fine. This issue has been intermittently occurring since about December, there were a few times I thought I had fixed it but it just came back. I have used my generic code reader to no avail, there have been no codes that I can read, and no lights in the cluster at all.

Things I have already done (I buy all my parts from local dealership):
  • Replaced the spark plugs with OEM Toyota plugs, torqued to spec.
  • Replaced the throttle plate sensor on the side oft the throttle body, OEM Toyota part.
  • Cleaned all fuses and relay contacts in the engine bay fuse boxes.
  • Found strut tower ground screws were very rusty, removed and replaced screws with ones from Toyota, also tapped the threads to clean out threads that were seized inside.
  • cleaned ground on the upper radiator support.
  • disconnected battery.
I used a friend's laptop with Toyota TIS software on it. Found following codes:
  • C1223 ABS control system malfunction= current
  • C1241 Low Battery Positive Voltage or Abnormally high Battery Positive Voltage = Current
  • B0101 Open in D squib circuit = history
  • B1181 Open in D squib (2nd step) circuit = history
Freeze frame data for C1223 code:
  • stop light SW = OFF
  • VSC/TRAC OFF SW = OFF
  • Shift Lever Position = D(M)
  • Operated system = no sys
  • number of IG ON = 0
  • vehicle speed = 20mph
  • steering angle sensor = 0 deg
  • yaw rate sensor = -1 deg/s
  • master cylinder sensor 1 = 0.47Volts
  • throttle sensor = 16 deg
  • master cylinder grade = 0 MPa/s
  • Right and left G = 0.05 G
  • back and forth G = 0.16 G
I had the car in to my local toyota dealer. It was there for a couple days and they said they could not duplicate the issue (cause its intermittent). Then they gave it to one of their master techs and the issue happened for him before he even got out of the dealer parking lot (issue usually only happens on first start up). he says he did fuel pressure test and found it was ok. he diagnosed it as a "dirty MAF sensor." They cleaned and reinstalled the sensor and charged an hour labor. I picked up the car and it has the same issue still, I couldn't even get home without it happening. I took the car home so I can do a couple checks on it, but probably going to bring it back if I can not determine anything. I was also going to borrow another friend's snapon scan tool in order to drive with the scan tool hooked up in the car and monitor the live data while driving, checking it whenever the issue happens.

This issue has me stumped. I would greatly appreciate any help at all. I tried to give as much detail above as I possibly could in case others are able to interpret it better than I can.
 

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How many miles do you have her !! Has the transmission been serviced ?? I do not know where to start as many of our members have moved on !!!
 

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xB Leaving Pit Soon
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Hello, I'm a long time xB fan and owner, though I don't post here often. I really really need some help with an issue I have with my 2004 Scion xB RS 1.0 Automatic Transmission.
Some of the DTC's do not correspond with vehicle drivability. While codes issued, those do not necessarily result in engine power reduction. When you clear the codes do the same ones throw again? The ECM is a common link, and a faulty module can issue codes when a mechanical condition does not exist. After being cleared, the same codes may not be issued. The dealership will check the ECM. Also, the Camshaft Position Sensor can cause the power reduction you describe; again the dealership will check this.

An intermittent problem is one of the most difficult to diagnose, and often is one of the easiest to correct, although the correction can be expensive. You are smart to utilize a Toyota dealership. Be sure they document the technician's three service steps; Condition, Cause, Correction. When a repair does not correct the condition, escalation procedures are available to you. When the issue is finally corrected, you can receive either a direct refund or a credit on the final invoice for any repair and parts which did not correct the condition. Diagnostic time may or may not be credited.

Sorry I cannot provide more specific input. My xB has been flawless for all thirteen years so I have not explored drivability issues with it. Hope the problem turns out to be quickly addressed.
 

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Does your code reader have the option to display battery voltage. Abnormal voltage could have an effect on driveability, especially if it's low. Check battery terminals for good connections and also other end of cable connections. There have been a few with loose ground cable connection the was causing issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The vehicle just turned over 97k miles, I serviced the transmission myself about 4 years back, I replaced the fluid and the filter, had the pan off and replaced the gasket. nothing catastrophic in the pan at that time.

---------- Post added 07-11-2018 at 08:44 PM ----------

I will monitor voltage during my next trip, I was chasing grounds earlier but don't know where they all are. I swapped my new Toyota MAF sensor for the original Toyota one (after I cleaned it with some MAF specific cleaner) and the condition is still the same and intermittent, so I have ruled out the MAF. I may be bringing the car back to the dealer soon to escalate the repair as MYOPIC recommended. I do not have a scope, so I am unsure how to rule out the crank and cam sensors, I may just see what their prices are from Toyota, but I hate replacing parts when I haven't done the diagnosis. Also, once I cleared the ABS codes, they did not return. There are no codes of any kind that are being set even when the car does act up, still no codes even when I read the codes before turning the car off, just in case the codes weren't hard codes for some reason and a key cycle may erase them.
 

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Well guys, I've figured it out. After spending a few thousand dollars on a trans rebuild that I probably didnt need. I've been rejuvenating my xb a bit... had it in an excellent body shop "RSR" in wyckoff nj known for their vintage porsche restorations. They painted the bumpers and painted my replacement oem hood (old one rusted out on front edge). While it was there i asked about replacing the windshield cause it recently started leaking at the upper corners, noticeable by moisture on headliner. When they remived the windshield they found a significant amount of rust... they cut out and repaired the metal frame and coated it before installing a new windshield. And the issue hasnt occurred since, not even a hint of it. So i assume the lower edge of the windshield was leaking as well and may have been making grounds or engine computer connections moist... this also explains why the intermittent acceleration issue happened more often when it rained or jist after a heavy snow or rain. Just wanted to update the post in case its helpful for others experiencing the same issue.
 

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xB Leaving Pit Soon
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Great to read the problem is corrected.

Electric circuits and electronic components can have issues with grounding, bonding, or moisture intrusion which can cause odd electrical occurrences. I cannot second guess something successful; but I am surprised about the windshield cause of the xB's intermittent drivability issue. Of course, your transmission work will help ensure you have many more years of driving the xB. Glad you persevered.

Post some pictures of your new paint when you can.

Frank
 

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I believe the water ingress around the windshield causing the drivability issue because the engine and trans electronics and control units are located along the inside of the firewall and under the dash. Below is a picture from just after I brought it back from the body shop. Ive officially put 2x what its worth into it, but I love this car and I wanna keep it on the road.
 

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xB Leaving Pit Soon
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...Below is a picture from just after I brought it back from the body shop. Ive officially put 2x what its worth into it, but I love this car and I wanna keep it on the road.
She is beautiful; that picture should be your new avatar. The EM-7's remain my all time favorites. After fourteen years of ownership, I also have a disparity between the xB's capital outlay and modification costs versus the depreciated residual value. However, its operational expenses mitigate that gap and I share the sentiment for keeping the xB.

Frank
 

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Glad that you got it fixed and hopefully you will enjoy her for many more years !!! Was that the OEM windshield you replaced ??? Now your xB looks brand new now too !!! AWESOME to show some love to it !!!
 

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The pics are of the car after the front and rear bumpers were painted, the hood was replaced and painted, and the windshield and gasket were replaced with oem parts. I also just replaced the exhaust manifold, again, rust ate through some lower manifold tabs and caused the heat shield to make a super annoying buzzing when at a stop. Now I'm reassembling the cowl cause I managed to snap a cowl drain pan bolt off, so i drilled and tapped it. Never one to leave well enough alone, I'm also treating the plastic cowl trim to some "wipe new" black trim restorer. The EM7's are a favorite of mine as well but sometime I change it up and swap on my chrome toyota bB wheels ?
 

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!!!!!PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!
OK y'all, I know I've said that before, but this time it's actually fixed. I've spent altogether too much money and time trying to get to the bottom of this issue, and I don't want any of you to do the same, so learn from my misguided and poor diagnosis. My drivability issue is now confirmed to be solved, what was it? The cyl 1 ignition coil was intermittently faulty, my car (2004 RS 1.0 Automatic) has 104k miles on it now, but the drivability concern has been popping up intermittently for the past 2 years, so at approx 8k miles a year that means it's been happening since approx 88k miles, which seems early to me for a coil to go bad. In any case, replacing 1 coil fixed it, and that's the short story but for others who may be experiencing the same issue I wanted to provide more detailed info, Please see below.

THE CONDITIONS:
While I cannot claim to be the best at diagnosis, I was a dealer trained technician and worked at a Mercedes-Benz dealership for 5 years (ended up quitting when I was 2 classes away from being a master technician). One thing I learned from learned through my experience there is that you can only ever diagnose an intermittent issue if you fully understand the conditions that lead up to the issue happening. Thankfully in this case I was the customer, and I didn't need to ask 20 questions to some clueless person over the phone.
I noticed that my poor acceleration issue happened only after the car was cold started, just after the blue temp light went out. As time went on the car occasionally felt like it was misfiring from time to time, but not consistently. After driving the car regularly (morning commute) for a few weeks I began to pick up on exactly under what conditions the issue happened. First I would cold start the car in my driveway, car was cold, and it's also an auto, so it only gave me gears 1 & 2 at first. Once it warmed a bit, I got 3rd gear (still no issues), and once it warmed a bit more I got 4th (issues started in 4th gear). When the car was warm enough for 4th gear my commute meant that I was always traveling on a straight road doing about 45 mph. In 4th gear the blue light would have just gone out, and I would feel the car buck a little, sort of randomly, it didn't feel smooth (this was my misfire). Then about a mile later, I would slow down and come to a stop at an intersection, and usually when pulling away from that intersection the car would exhibit the poor or slow acceleration. And I mean slooooow acceleration, it felt like no matter where I put that gas pedal the car wouldn't get out of it's own way, it would rev up (downshift?), but vehicle speed stayed the same. SO: it's an intermittent misfire, only occurs after a cold start, and only in 4th gear, and only just after the blue temp light has gone out, and it's always followed by the poor acceleration condition. That's my condition nailed down.

NEXT STEPS:
Since it was a misfire I wanted to cover all my bases and so I replaced my spark plugs again, this time with NGK Iridium plugs, which I think are the best available for these cars. However the condition persisted. When I had changed the plugs and placed all of my coils next to each other, I noticed that one of them was a bit brownish, I wiped it down but the discoloration was in the plastic and the rubber boot, like the coil itself had overheated. This was the cyl 1 coil. I then ordered a Toyota OEM ignition coil from McGeorge Toyota via their online parts site (they have pricing that is equal to or better than my employee discount). You can see the bad coil at left in the picture below, and the new coil at right. The other 3 coils in my car still looked like the new coil, so I only replaced the cyl 1 coil.
77799

SOLUTION:
The next week when the coil arrived I installed it right away, and waited to road test the car until the following morning's commute. It was a cold morning, I started out like normal with 1st and 2nd, then got 3rd, then eventually got 4th, but now 4th gear was smooth, no more misfires. I got to my usual intersection, and found that acceleration was also good, no issues there. But I wasn't convinced, and I waited until a rainy day, because I had also noticed that rain or moist air also seemed to make the drivability issue happen. We had a rainy day a couple of days later, and so I took it for another morning commute road test and same thing, no misfire, and good acceleration. It's been fine ever since, it's like its old self again. I can't believe it was only a faulty coil. I've never heard of an intermittently faulty coil, usually they're good or they're not, there is no in between. Guess this was a zombie coil, sometimes dead, sometimes functioning... Over the 2 years the issue has been happening I've literally spent thousands of dollars including having the transmission rebuilt trying to figure this issue out. So I feel like a bit of an idiot, but at least I got there in the end. Keep in mind that over 2 years this issue never triggered any codes, and it never triggered a check engine light. It was as if the car didn't mind having a misfire (unless you asked it to accelerate). And before you ask, yes, my CEL does work, I saw it when I had a couple evap codes come up recently, I had to replace my evap canister due to a faulty valve. I'm so glad that my car is finally fixed and running and accelerating well again, and I hope that someone out there finds this post a little helpful. Don't give up on these little cars.
 

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xB Leaving Pit Soon
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Great piece of persevering and sleuthing on the performance issue; and your logic proved out at the end. Intermittent problems are often the most difficult ones to correct. I am chasing one on my xB by using a borescope. Thank you for sharing the resolution.

When you swap plugs do you index them?

Besides myself, others here have had the rust issue at the top of the windshield. I wonder what is Toyota's threshold for a Service Advisory bulletin, or for a Recall, or for Extended Goodwill Warranty?
 
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