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Old 17th August 2018, 11:51   #1
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Default Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Hi BHP-ians,

I haven't been here in a long time but am facing a problem with my Corolla Altis Diesel for which I hope to get some insight. The Toyota guys don't seem like they're able to troubleshoot the issue. The car is 2010 made and has done just about 55,000 Kms.

Trouble started about 2 months ago when the engine just shut off in traffic and wouldn't start. After getting some help in pushing the car to the side of the road and waiting for few minutes figuring out what to do next, I tried again and the engine started. Drove back home with the 'check engine' light on but without any further incidents. The next morning the light was gone and everything seemed normal. Took it to Toyota where the technician scanned the systems and said Injector-1 was showing a fault. He cleared it and suggested using the injector cleaner additive just in case it was a problem with the fuel. Bought one from Toyota, emptied it into the fuel tank and topped off the tank. Drove around for 600+ Kms, filled up again and did another 300+ Kms. Here's what I noticed:

Some times the car would go on for days without any incident but then it would shut off randomly on some days (even 2-3 times on some days). Some times it would shut off having done less than 1 Km in the morning but other days it would just go on without any problem in city traffic. But every time I just had to wait for 20-odd seconds with the ignition completely off and the car would start back up again - without fail! But if I did not turn the key all the way off, the car wouldn't start even after a long wait. So I realized that even though the engine was shutting off randomly it would start back up consistently if I cut off the power supply and waited about 20 seconds.

Took the car back to Toyota and explained my observations. They had the car for a week when they drove it for over 70 Kms, checked all sensors and wiring (I was told). They found faults showing up in 2 injectors, so they even interchanged injectors (I was told). Their conclusion was it had to be a problem with the ECU and the solution was to replace it. Cost was about Rs 49,000 plus GST. I wasn't sure they had diagnosed the problem properly so brought the car back home thinking I would try a few simple things myself, including checking with OBD scanner myself. But as luck would have it, the scanner is stuck in customs!

The problem seemed to get worse, with the engine shutting off more frequently. So a week later I took the car back to Toyota and asked them to go ahead with ECU replacement as long as they guaranteed it would fix the problem. This happened on Monday. Today they call me and say the ECU seems ok and the problem is with 2 injectors, which will have to be replaced at a cost of Rs 35,000 each.


The first time I took the car to Toyota I was told the fault was showing up in Injector-1 then while troubleshooting the second time I was told faults were showing up in Injectors 3 & 4. Now they say 2 injectors have to be replaced. So now I doubt if they really know what's happening. I suspect if faults are showing up in 3 out of 4 injectors then it could be an issue with the input to the injectors (electric, fuel, etc) rather than the injectors themselves.

I hope other members could throw some light on possible causes/ solutions.
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Old 17th August 2018, 14:13   #2
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Phoenician View Post
The Toyota guys don't seem like they're able to troubleshoot the issue.
Is this the only Toyota showroom in your city? If no, get a second opinion before proceeding with the repairs.

Try any competent FNG, check the Team-BHP directory for leads to good FNG's.

Last edited by Eddy : 17th August 2018 at 14:59. Reason: typo
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Old 17th August 2018, 15:01   #3
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Sounds like a CKP/CMP sensor issue to me. Ask toyota guys which sensor your car has, and get it checked once.
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Old 17th August 2018, 15:31   #4
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Strange. On the upside, at least you did not get the ECU replaced. Although there might be a problem with the injectors, I am not sure why the engine would stall due to that or why it would be an apparently intermittent problem.

Next time ask for which DTCs showed up on their scanner and why they conclude it is the injector. Especially as it appears intermittent I would lean much more to an electrical fault. Some connector not fitted properly, a corroded eart connection or so.

When you get intermittent and seemingly random problems on a modern car, other than pulling the codes I would always thoroughly check the battery before starting to replace stuff. The charge and voltage of the battery. Take the connectors off and check for corrosion.

Modern car electronics need a steady good Voltage to work properly. With a poor battery or corroded connections, fuses etc all sort of random, spurious problems might appear. There are no specific DTCs for this, although you might see the occasional low voltage error on certain codes.


Good luck

Jeroen
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Old 17th August 2018, 15:35   #5
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Injectors rarely go bad and multiple parts at one go seems a bit doubtful. How many kms has your car done?

I am not really convinced by the diagnosis. Before replacing any parts I think you need a second opinion (from a FNG or another TKM dealer in Chennai) because this dealer's techs seem to be playing a trial-and-error games.
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Old 17th August 2018, 16:09   #6
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

My bad -

I noticed that your car has done just 55K kms. IMO there should be no injector related problem at this time unless there was a problem of adulterated fuel where you normally fill diesel. Please get a 2nd opinion.

PS - Agree fully with Jeroen's tip about the electrical system including the battery. Get the charging system checked.

Last edited by R2D2 : 17th August 2018 at 16:15. Reason: added PS
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Old 17th August 2018, 18:33   #7
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

You have reported that the engine gets shut down completely (and no reports of any jerks). This means that the fuel supply to all the cylinders is being cut off. If only 1 or 2 injectors are faulty (not spraying the fuel due to faulty solenoids), then the other 2 or 3 cylinders will still get the fuel and you will notice jerks. Unless, of course, the ECU senses this and cuts off fuel supply totally.

So either it could be an electrical problem or it can happen even if the fuel filter is clogged. And as Jeron mentioned, please check the battery too.

So check all earthing points for rust, check the connectors, check wires for rat bite, check battery and clean / replace the fuel filter. After this, take out all the diesel and fill up at a trusted fuel bunk. As R2D2 mentioned, injectors shall not fail (and in multiple numbers) at 55000 km. I had read somewhere that CRDI injectors last between 75000 to 225000 km. So check if it could also be due to bad fuel.
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Old 17th August 2018, 21:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Is this the only Toyota showroom in your city? If no, get a second opinion before proceeding with the repairs.

Try any competent FNG, check the Team-BHP directory for leads to good FNG's.

I didn't think about taking the car to another Toyota dealer. Will definitely consider that. Have been to Ignite garage few years ago and I was satisfied with their service. But they're located more than 20 Kms away and all the way across the city, which is a big turnoff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
Sounds like a CKP/CMP sensor issue to me. Ask toyota guys which sensor your car has, and get it checked once.

Will do. Thanks for the tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
When you get intermittent and seemingly random problems on a modern car, other than pulling the codes I would always thoroughly check the battery before starting to replace stuff. The charge and voltage of the battery. Take the connectors off and check for corrosion.

Modern car electronics need a steady good Voltage to work properly. With a poor battery or corroded connections, fuses etc all sort of random, spurious problems might appear. There are no specific DTCs for this, although you might see the occasional low voltage error on certain codes.

This I wasn't aware of. Will find out if the Toyota guys have checked these points. Thanks for the information.

Last edited by bblost : 17th August 2018 at 22:19.
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Old 18th August 2018, 14:48   #9
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Default re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

I've restored a flood affected diesel Etios and can safely say that the ECU is flood proof.So are the injectors.

The Etios sports essentially the same engine as the Altis Diesel.

When my Etios shut down without warning, the scan showed that injector#1 had a fault. I replaced it with another working injector and all was well .

Again after a few months, the engine shut off without warning and this time the scan showed an error code with the ECU relay; replaced all three relays(blue Denso ones) and the car fired up like a charm.

My suggestion to you is to check the ECU relays. As Jeroen suggests , I'd extend the checks to all fuses and relays. Drop in voltage can also cause a malfunction.

By the way,was your car water affected ever?

Last edited by vigsom : 18th August 2018 at 14:55. Reason: addition
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Old 20th August 2018, 10:02   #10
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Default Re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Phoenician View Post
I hope other members could throw some light on possible causes/ solutions.
Your post sounds like Déjà vu. This is exactly what I went through on my 2008 Swift Diesel. The start of trouble to end/sale of car.

Only difference is that I faced issues @~150k Kms and went the whole hog replacing ECM (~20k INR) and 2 injectors (Kurla vintage ~7k INR each). Also, I eventually sold the car a couple of months ago.

Suggestions:
  1. As vigsom asks check for water damage to ECM. The ECM sustains the occasional splash and submerge, but a prolonged exposure kills it.
  2. A malfunctioning ECM will keep throwing random errors and shorting various systems. Mine started with ABS errors, then random fuel system errors and then the stalling issues.
  3. Unless the injectors are blocked beyond serviceable, don't change them.
  4. Tell the dealership, if you can change injectors (or indeed any other part) with a test car and prove it as a solution, you will go for it. They typically have a few injectors in reserve for this, but need to be goaded to use.
  5. If you are not too fussed about getting new parts only, try to source some second hand parts in your city, Mumbai has the Kurla market, the Alang port of cars where people essentially break apart the car into usable parts and sell them. Wouldn't recommend getting electric/electronic parts there, but mechanical parts are fine. I got the injectors @7k INR instead of 25k INR retail price.
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Old 20th August 2018, 15:30   #11
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Default Re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Visited Toyota this morning along with a mechanic I've known for a while. Spoke in detail to a technician who was convinced the problem was with 2 out of 4 injectors. He said all sensors and electric systems have been checked and he ruled out a problem with the ECU. When asked how multiple injectors could fail on a vehicle which has done less than 55K Kms he attributed it to possibly bad fuel. Apparently, Corolla has Bosch Piezoelectric injectors, which cannot be compared to Denso solenoid injectors in Innova (supposedly more robust). So at this point it looks like I'm left with no choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
My suggestion to you is to check the ECU relays. As Jeroen suggests , I'd extend the checks to all fuses and relays. Drop in voltage can also cause a malfunction.

By the way, was your car water affected ever?
There was some water ingress during the floods 3 years ago but the damage was limited to wet carpets and seat bottoms. The water barely touched the seat bottoms at the time and all we had to do was take out the carpets/seats and dry them followed by an interior clean at 3M. The ECU in Corolla is located at the top near the battery so damage due to flood water is ruled out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
Suggestions:

As vigsom asks check for water damage to ECM. The ECM sustains the occasional splash and submerge, but a prolonged exposure kills it.
In September last year the car had some electrical issues which the Toyota guys identified as minor wiring damage by rats. But just as I was about to take delivery, they said the car was shutting off in idle. The next day, after further inspection I was told there was some corrosion in the ECU (pics attached), which they eventually got repaired from outside. It's for this reason that I was considering their recommendation to replace the ECU with a new one. But the car had been running fine for almost a year since (until last month).
Attached Thumbnails
Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off-img20171016wa0004.jpg  

Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off-img20171016wa0003.jpg  

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Old 21st August 2018, 08:04   #12
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Default Re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Phoenician View Post
...I was considering their recommendation to replace the ECU with a new one. But the car had been running fine for almost a year since (until last month).
In my Swift the problem took more than 1 year to develop fully. Starting with occasional engine check light and ABS light to stalling etc. So the pattern matches with what you say.

Re the injectors, I would be surprised if the injectors fail this early, also, if the fuel was that bad, the car would be jerky (incorrect fuel injection) all the time for some time before actually stalling. This sounds more like complete failure to inject. As I said in the previous post, suggest that you insist the dealership prove their case by putting in working injectors and solving it before replacing the injectors with new ones.
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Old 21st August 2018, 09:19   #13
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Default Re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

My thoughts are underlined, and then my suggestions at the end of the post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Phoenician View Post
he attributed it to possibly bad fuel.

possible, but knowing that the 1.4 D4D is the darling of taxi drivers, I am not convinced that the injector couldn't go faulty unless the fuel level has remained low on multiple occasions

Also, a bad injector would never allow the engine to start.The problems youre facing are occasional.


The ECU in Corolla is located at the top near the battery so damage due to flood water is ruled out.

The ECU in the Etios is located to the left of the glovebox, just above the footwell; saw the Altis diesel review and saw the ECU location next to the battery.

Here again, I wouldn't suspect the ECU because Ive seen several cars with the ECU under the hood that have escaped water attack.

some corrosion in the ECU (pics attached)

Yes, from the pics, it looks like the "waterproofing" is now gone(the white sealing has been taken apart)
If you're willing to put in a little effort and try something out,

1. clean the ECU PCB with IPA(you'll get this at Mercy Electronics or any other electronics spares outlet) and allow it to dry

2.seal the periphery of the ECU(ensure you don't disturb any of the PCB connections; maybe silicone sealant would do)

3.Check the wiring couplers to the ECU for moisture/ deposits and clean them too.If you see moisture/ deposits, your coupler sealing is gone too

4.Check the ECU relays on the BCM( should be behind the glove box)

You can check my thread for a sample bad injector.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ota-etios.html
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Old 26th August 2018, 19:25   #14
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Default Re: Corolla 1.4L Diesel: Random engine shut-off

Your thread was very informative, vigsom. Makes we repent for not having posted here earlier when the car was stopping less frequently.

After educating myself about fuel injectors a bit more , I visited Toyota one more time. But the technician was repeating the same things and by now my father (it's his car) was desperate to have the car back. So we ended up ordering the injectors on Tuesday. Will be taking delivery of the car tomorrow and see how it goes from there.

The ECU damage I mentioned was from last year and it was rectified in September 2017. Once I have the car back I'll try to check the integrity of the sealing.
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