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Thread: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

  1. #1
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    Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    Hello all,

    So since I bought my van back in November, it's had an issue where when I first start when the engine is cold, it putters out and dies. I'll then have to start it again, anywhere up to a maximum of four times if it's really cold outside. I haven't thought much of it and have marked it off as a nuisance while I fixed other problems, but now I have time and money to address the problem (hopefully).

    Beyond this, after I've driven around for a while then park the van for a bit (for like an hour or so), when I come back to it and start it again it will start but seems a little weak and kind of putters. If I start to drive right away it will struggle a bit but eventually "come-to" and be back to normal. The same will happen if I sit and let it idle for a while until it stops the puttering.

    So my question is, what do you all think this is? I think it's likely a vacuum leak, but am not sure. I would appreciate y'alls advice as you are true experts! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Van Fan Cali Cruiser's Avatar
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    There are several things that it could be, but here are a couple of quick and easy things to do first.

    Check your cold-start injector. Remove it, clean it, and test it to confirm it is working properly.
    Check your air intake hose for cracks, rips, or damage of any kind.
    Replace your fuel filter. If you haven't changed it, I bet the person you bought the van from didn't either.
    A full tune up might be a good idea. I suggest spending a few extra bucks for iridium spark plugs.

    How many miles are on your van?

  3. #3
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    Always check for stored codes
    Always diagnose problems prior to doing other maintenance/repairs

    CC's list is a good start, but you still need to know if the computer has logged any faults.

  4. #4
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    Van has 125,000 miles on it.

    I checked the codes and observed the following, would they have anything to do with it?

    I read the codes by shorting the check engine connector and got what I think are two codes. I pulled the code number 4 and code number 11.

    For code number 4, the manual says that it's an open or short circuit in water temperature sensor signal.

    For code number 11 , the manual says that "Air conditioner switch ON, idle switch OFF or shift position in any other position other than P or N range during diagnosis check." Which the van was in P when I did the check. The air conditioner is disconnected (the belt is disconnected), so would that have something to do with this code (code number 11, that is)?

    I also recently replaced the air intake hose (the big one right on top under the driver seat), so that doesn't seem to be my problem.

    Thanks!

    Here's a PDF of the diagnostic codes:
    86 - 87 Diagnostic Codes.pdf
    Last edited by tennesseetoyota; 04-09-2018 at 04:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    A bad water temp sensor (or messed up sensor plug wiring) would explain your symptoms.

    Did you touch the throttle at all while reading the codes? If you take it off idle while the check engine connector is connected it can throw a false 11. If not there is a lot on this forum about the 11 code.

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...Codes-4-and-11

  6. #6
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    Soooo, it turned out that there was a cable physically unplugged from the sensor on coolant filler neck:

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    Plugging this back in resolved the issue of hard starting, now it starts on the first turn and continues to run! Also, both codes are gone and have been gone for the past 200 miles or so

    The only issue I'm facing at this point is that, after I park it after driving (for long enough to where the van reaches operating temp) and let it sit for a while (10+ minutes), it has issues starting. It struggles in a similar manner as before, just kind of idling weakly unless I floor the gas pedal, after which I hear a whoosh of air and it idles normally.

    Any ideas on what this may be?

  7. #7
    Van Fan
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    Issues starting when warm

    Hello all! Hope you are well.

    After figuring out that the rough start from cold issue was due to one wire being completely disconnected (see below), I have resolved codes 4 and 11 (have driven around 100 miles, codes aren't coming back ).

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    Red arrow points to wire that was disconnected. Where the wire connects is circled in red. It's just kind of sitting in there right now. Is there a sensor that's supposed to go there?

    Now I am facing the issue that the van has trouble starting after I have driven it around for a while and then parked it for > 15 minutes. It struggles and idles rough for a minute, then if I take off and give it gas I hear a whooshing sound and the van is back to normal.

    Any ideas what this might be?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Re: Weird starting issue - possibly a vacuum leak?

    That picture is of the coolant filler neck by the way, just for reference.

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