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Car Died On Me 6 Times Now


oedipus
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My beloved MY00 Lexus IS 200 Sport with TTE Compressor is giving me some trouble recently. :crybaby:

I'm writing down the full story, to make sure no events are left out. Any help would be very much appreciated.

The first time was at traffic lights on the motorway (yes we have that on the Continent :shifty: ). I was accelerating swiftly in first, revving to some 5500rpm in 2nd and when going to 3rd, suddenly the engine died. I had to make an emergency stop on the hard shoulder. Engine cut out and couldn't be started up again. No error codes to be seen. It was as if I was starting the car without fuel although there was 1/3rd left in the tank. Everything was looking ok, but it didn't start up anymore. Car was taken to the Lexus dealer's. They couldn't find any reason. After a checkup, they put an additive in the fuel tank to dissolve any dirt that had possibly stuck together. That's the only thing they could think of. Actually they did propose to have a look at the fuel filter, but since it was very improbable and a costly affair we decided not to go for that.

Two days after, the car did it again. Same tank of fuel (now at 1/4) and the car died on me at 40kph when I lifted off the gas to prepare for a stop at a fuel station to fill her up. I didn't make it. After some pushing, I did manage to fill the car up with Total Excellium 98 (was always going to the same DATS24[=Q8 fuel] pump previously). Meanwhile I had also phoned the wife to come and pick our baby up and... the Lex started again. No error codes, nothing else seemed abnormal. :unsure:

Third time, it didn't start up anymore after going to the supermarket. When I was ready to go home, the car wouldn't start anymore. After some attempts, I saw the engine icon illuminated and the TRC off flashing. After waiting for 10m it did start and I managed to get home without any more trouble. I had the car taken to Lexus again and they told me one of the three "underpressure sensors" was giving erroneous values to the ecu. The technician also told me he wasn't sure if there wasn't anything wrong with the black box, but he couldn't read it out. After this very costly repair at 700€, the car actually felt smoother at low speeds. When lifting off the gas, it now eases off a bit more instead of instantly responding.

But this wasn't the end of it. The next (Saturday) morning, I went to fetch a bread. Parked the car in the garage. After 20m came back and it wouldn't start anymore (4th time). I didn't have time so took the other car. When I came back in the evening, the Lex started without any trouble. I took her for a drive and had no hassles. I drove her calmly, savagely, but nothing abnormal showed up.

On Monday, I drove to work and after some 5 km it died on me again (5th). She was only just getting a bit warm. I waited for 2m and it started again, so I managed to get to work AND back without further hassles.

Next day drove to work (27km) without trouble. On the way back, just after half way home it died on me again on the motorway. I was driving 120kph :blush: (read: 140) in 6th and had just eased off the gas to let a slower car go out of my way. When accelerating again, there was nothing. The car kept on slowing down. I managed to evacuate to the exit that was just coming up and there I stood. It wouldn't start up again after multiple attempts and several dozens of minutes of waiting. Called Lexus assistance AGAIN and just when the tow truck showed up, I managed to get it started again. I had fiddled with some wires that come out of the VVTi and go down between the compressor and the engine. Can't believe that did the trick. Since I could't trust the car anymore, I took the replacement and now it's at the Lexus dealers again. This sixth failure showed an error message, but don't know which one yet. Tomorrow, I hope to find out more.

I'm not in confidence with Lexus anymore. I bought one to be free of trouble, but that seems to be too much to ask. Lexus weren't able to correctly diagnose my problem. I even called TTE (got Bacchus I believe), but they were not working in the holidays. The guy that developed the TTE ecu was on holidays and would give me a call back to see if he can help out.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? I PM'd some members that had experience with blackbox failures, but it doesn't seem to match the symptoms all the way, does it? :unsure:

So what can this be? Fuel filter? Fuel pump (was read out and no errors)? Black box? What else? :tsktsk:

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Sounds like it could be TTE Black Box related. Failure to start or engine dying happened to me when mine

was on the way out. Also at one point the TRC and ECL were flashing or on.

Quite a few members run an HKS FCD (Fuel Cut Defencer standard version I believe) instead of the TTE Black Box.

It might be worth a shot. They are about £90-£100. Simple 4 wires to solder.

Black to Black

Red To Red

White to Yellow

Yellow to Green

*The first wires are the HKS ones, the second set is the ones originally from the ECU to the TTE Black Box

I have found the HKS FCD works best on my car on setting 11, but worth trying 10-12 on your car, take it

for a drive and work out for yourself as every car will be slightly different.

HKSFCD.jpg

I hope it turns out to be this fault or some other simple inexpensive fix :D

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Hmm does sound like the Black box as has been said. The "underpressure" sensor you mention is what it connected to so if the black box was faulty then it would get erroneous readings.

Who installed the charger?

Stav

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Who installed the charger?

Previous owner did together with his brother. He bought it in a group buy off this forum some years ago. Why?

I specifically asked the Lexus technician whether it was well installed. He said it was done by a pro. Cables were nicely connected etc. So he didn't expect any trouble coming from there. But he did say he wasn't sure about the black box. He said it could maybe come from there, but that was his last option. He didn't have experience with it either, so far I understood.

If it's the blackbox, it should be solved rapidly. I really hope it is, or id something even cheaper to repair! The underpressure sensor was as expensive as a new black or silver box. Would that also mean it shouldn't have been replaced?

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Who installed the charger?

Previous owner did together with his brother. He bought it in a group buy off this forum some years ago. Why?

I specifically asked the Lexus technician whether it was well installed. He said it was done by a pro. Cables were nicely connected etc. So he didn't expect any trouble coming from there. But he did say he wasn't sure about the black box. He said it could maybe come from there, but that was his last option. He didn't have experience with it either, so far I understood.

If it's the blackbox, it should be solved rapidly. I really hope it is, or id something even cheaper to repair! The underpressure sensor was as expensive as a new black or silver box. Would that also mean it shouldn't have been replaced?

Dont get a new black box or even silver box, you want the HSK FCD (standard) as Wozza has post above, much cheaper and better option :D

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Was contacted back by the TTE engineer this morning. He wasn’t so sure it was the black box. There are several other options open to explain the symptoms I was experiencing. The compressor bypass should be checked for good functioning. He thought of possible damaged cable or tension problem. On the electronics side, there too were several possibilities open: damaged cable(s), failing blackbox connections (soldering, cable error, heat …) or eventually a failing black box. I asked my Lexus dealer to contact him directly, his explanations being too technical for my skills & (mainly theoretical) knowledge. Wait & see.

As already extensively described elsewhere on this forum, he confirmed me that the black box has one function, whereas the silver box has three. The common function is to prevent the engine from the main ecu’s built in behaviour to cut the fuel or engage the emergency program in case of positive pressure in the engine inlet. The engine is na (naturally aspirated) and pressurizing it needs some fooling around that standard ecu behaviour. With the black box, the main ecu is never aware of positive pressures and doesn't panic. The silver ecu adds catalytic converter protection and some other function he didn’t mention further (forgot to ask). He confirmed me that replacing the black or silver box wasn’t a problem (contrary to what I read previously, will have to see about that!?). It will be merely a question of price and warranty. After all I’ve read on the UK & German fora, personally I do prefer a black box and not a silver box nor an HKS Fuel Cut Defenser. No compromise.

Thank you for your useful suggestions, I’ll update on any status updates. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me & others.

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The Silver box also lowers the Rev limit slightly i believe.

I'm sure I read a post by Mat or Rob in the past that says the silver box drops the rev limit to 6200rpm - and does this in a different way to the standard ECU which cuts fuel at 6250rpm. This slight 50rpm difference I believe stops the car just cutting fuel dead which I think is what causes the problem with the CATs when they get hot?

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It is 110% the little black ECU that has gone....in fact I would go so far as to say 120%!

Seriously dude, did you not read my PM...you are experiencing exactly the same problems I had! Not only that but you will get plenty of random issues while it's faulty! I got a new black ECU off TTE back then, which solved the problem, this has since been replaced by an HKS FCON VPro!

Ignore the TTE engineer, thats what they tried to tell me back then...stop over thinking and over analyising it, get a black ECU off TTE or an HKS FCD, end of story, job done, problem solved!!!

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Was contacted back by the TTE engineer this morning. He wasn’t so sure it was the black box. There are several other options open to explain the symptoms I was experiencing. The compressor bypass should be checked for good functioning. He thought of possible damaged cable or tension problem. On the electronics side, there too were several possibilities open: damaged cable(s), failing blackbox connections (soldering, cable error, heat …) or eventually a failing black box. I asked my Lexus dealer to contact him directly, his explanations being too technical for my skills & (mainly theoretical) knowledge. Wait & see.

As already extensively described elsewhere on this forum, he confirmed me that the black box has one function, whereas the silver box has three. The common function is to prevent the engine from the main ecu’s built in behaviour to cut the fuel or engage the emergency program in case of positive pressure in the engine inlet. The engine is na (naturally aspirated) and pressurizing it needs some fooling around that standard ecu behaviour. With the black box, the main ecu is never aware of positive pressures and doesn't panic. The silver ecu adds catalytic converter protection and some other function he didn’t mention further (forgot to ask). He confirmed me that replacing the black or silver box wasn’t a problem (contrary to what I read previously, will have to see about that!?). It will be merely a question of price and warranty. After all I’ve read on the UK & German fora, personally I do prefer a black box and not a silver box nor an HKS Fuel Cut Defenser. No compromise.

Thank you for your useful suggestions, I’ll update on any status updates. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me & others.

To see 100% if black box....take it off and drive about for few miles, dont rev past 4000rpm, take it up slow and you will be ok, if your problems go then black box.

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It is 110% the little black ECU that has gone....in fact I would go so far as to say 120%!

Seriously dude, did you not read my PM...you are experiencing exactly the same problems I had! Not only that but you will get plenty of random issues while it's faulty! I got a new black ECU off TTE back then, which solved the problem, this has since been replaced by an HKS FCON VPro!

Ignore the TTE engineer, thats what they tried to tell me back then...stop over thinking and over analyising it, get a black ECU off TTE or an HKS FCD, end of story, job done, problem solved!!!

"Catalytic converter protection" > that's what I presume the 50rpm lower rev limit is intendend to do (I didn't write what I didn't hear him say).

I did read your PM. The car is at the Lexus dealer's. I doubt they'll put an HKS device on it. I'll phone them again today to get a black box if they're still available.

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"Catalytic converter protection" > that's what I presume the 50rpm lower rev limit is intendend to do (I didn't write what I didn't hear him say).

That's exactly what it's for from what I understand :)

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Latest news: TTE guy and the Lexus dealer guy found the black box sane and working just fine (after troubleshooting in lab conditions). At 5V it tops off as it should (was it to 4.43v or 4.3v or what?).

They did find something else that appears to be the cause: the rubber securing the tube that comes out underneath the compressor and is connected to the engine inlet was broken. Aha. After tests the engine took false air in some circumstances, which triggered the underpressure sensor to go berzerk and engine cut. They replaced the rubber and the car will be tested tonight and tomorrow morning (mechanic will drive it home - with my permission).

Let's see if this is the end of it.

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Fantastic news :D

These rubber pipes are a pain in the arse - when you've got the supercharger you always need to ensure that there are no splits and also that they are fully tightened up at all points between the supercharger and the intake.

Hope that fixes your problem anyway - I remember when I first met Steve at Charlesworth thanks to Gord and he fixed mine - the pipe going into the throttle body had become loose - was a great drive home that day!

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Latest news: TTE guy and the Lexus dealer guy found the black box sane and working just fine (after troubleshooting in lab conditions). At 5V it tops off as it should (was it to 4.43v or 4.3v or what?).

They did find something else that appears to be the cause: the rubber securing the tube that comes out underneath the compressor and is connected to the engine inlet was broken. Aha. After tests the engine took false air in some circumstances, which triggered the underpressure sensor to go berzerk and engine cut. They replaced the rubber and the car will be tested tonight and tomorrow morning (mechanic will drive it home - with my permission).

Let's see if this is the end of it.

i doubt that is the problem because u can run the engine without any problems with the supercharger disconnected and the engine runs perfectly

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Let's see if this is the end of it.

i doubt that is the problem because u can run the engine without any problems with the supercharger disconnected and the engine runs perfectly

OMG. Well, it's not the end of it. The engine stalled again with the rubbers replaced. That confirms what I had already feared and everybody's been telling me: black box dead.

I've asked my dealer to take the compressor belt & black box off (which they already did). I'm taking the car home & drive to see if it cuts out again for a while. Then we'll see about replacing the black box. The TTE engineer apparently confirmed that black boxes are available (again?), but the dealer had to contact the TTE sales department. Let's see what they will learn us.

The cheapest solution would obviously be the black box swap. Another option I'm considering (if the bb price is high) is to immediately migrate to an HKS FCON (S ?) available from Kempower (see www.kempower.be > road > petrol > Lexus > 1G-FE) instead of a replacement black box. Anyone can tell me their experience with this piece of kit?

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OMG. Well, it's not the end of it. The engine stalled again with the rubbers replaced. That confirms what I had already feared and everybody's been telling me: black box dead.

I've asked my dealer to take the compressor belt & black box off (which they already did). I'm taking the car home & drive to see if it cuts out again for a while. Then we'll see about replacing the black box. The TTE engineer apparently confirmed that black boxes are available (again?), but the dealer had to contact the TTE sales department. Let's see what they will learn us.

The cheapest solution would obviously be the black box swap. Another option I'm considering (if the bb price is high) is to immediately migrate to an HKS FCON (S ?) available from Kempower (see www.kempower.be > road > petrol > Lexus > 1G-FE) instead of a replacement black box. Anyone can tell me their experience with this piece of kit?

I really wouldnt suggest the FCON mate.

The best option will be the HKS FCD.

Though if you want another option go for the Emanage Ultimate. In my opinion the FCON is serious overkill for what you need where as the Ultimate is the best piggyback ECU you can get and is more than up to the job. though it will need mapping to work properly.

Stav

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Gave it to you above with a pic post #2 ^^^^^^^^

You don't need the F-CON, just the HKS FDC (std) try setting 10-12 as above :)

You ask for help, yet all have told you black box, as has been said, your best bet would be the HKS FCD standard @ £100 From what Mark @ prolex told me the black box from TTE are 600 euros :o

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Gave it to you above with a pic post #2 ^^^^^^^^

You don't need the F-CON, just the HKS FDC (std) try setting 10-12 as above :)

You ask for help, yet all have told you black box, as has been said, your best bet would be the HKS FCD standard @ £100 From what Mark @ prolex told me the black box from TTE are 600 euros :o

Gord, may I remind you what you wrote in your subtitle: "I hate salesperson's trying to sell you something you dont want(...)". :winky:

No seriously, I'm not refusing advice, I appreciate it a lot to share thoughts. But had already indicated my initial doubts about the HKS FCD above. I did have (a bit too much) confidence in my Lexus dealer, which I paid that dearly: 3h work at 46€ ex. VAT per h. I should have had the reflex of taking off the compressor & bb earlier, that would have saved me €€€. My suspension savings budget has now been decimated.

Btw, my doubt about the HKS FCD has been confirmed by Kempower (who is HKS dealer for Belgium), Bösing (the TTE guy, predictable no?) and e.g. in a pinned thread about the piggy back ecu's here. I'm sure it works well, but it can't be as good as the black box mappings imho. Kempower told me it only delays the fuel cut point, while the black box does a lot more than that.

Finally: of course I don't need the FCON right now to solve my bb problem. But when spending money on a replacement bb (or silver box if bb aren't available anymore, but nobody's confirmed me they weren't available anymore now), I might as well invest in preparing for the future. I did have some other plans.

Now I'm waiting for the pricing of a new black or silver box. Car appears to be running fine w/o compressor. But my God is it slow now.

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Gave it to you above with a pic post #2 ^^^^^^^^

You don't need the F-CON, just the HKS FDC (std) try setting 10-12 as above :)

You ask for help, yet all have told you black box, as has been said, your best bet would be the HKS FCD standard @ £100 From what Mark @ prolex told me the black box from TTE are 600 euros :o

Gord, may I remind you what you wrote in your subtitle: "I hate salesperson's trying to sell you something you dont want(...)". :winky:

No seriously, I'm not refusing advice, I appreciate it a lot to share thoughts. But had already indicated my initial doubts about the HKS FCD above. I did have (a bit too much) confidence in my Lexus dealer, which I paid that dearly: 3h work at 46€ ex. VAT per h. I should have had the reflex of taking off the compressor & bb earlier, that would have saved me €€€. My suspension savings budget has now been decimated.

Btw, my doubt about the HKS FCD has been confirmed by Kempower (who is HKS dealer for Belgium), Bösing (the TTE guy, predictable no?) and e.g. in a pinned thread about the piggy back ecu's here. I'm sure it works well, but it can't be as good as the black box mappings imho. Kempower told me it only delays the fuel cut point, while the black box does a lot more than that.

Finally: of course I don't need the FCON right now to solve my bb problem. But when spending money on a replacement bb (or silver box if bb aren't available anymore, but nobody's confirmed me they weren't available anymore now), I might as well invest in preparing for the future. I did have some other plans.

Now I'm waiting for the pricing of a new black or silver box. Car appears to be running fine w/o compressor. But my God is it slow now.

Im not a salesman trying to sell you anything, just telling you about something that WILL sort your problem :D

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You dont need the FCON mate, unless your planning an engine swap IMHO you dont need a standalone ecu like the Vpro.

The best thing you can buy is the Emanage Ultimate. but getting it now may also be pointless, as you have to buy it, have it fitted, then have it mapped.

Then have it re-mapped when you move to the next stage.

why not just buy the FCD, that works with the car as it is, then when you do indeed upgrade get an ECU then, pay for mapping just once, and the FCD will be worth nearly as much as you paid for it anyway.

Just my opinion.

Stav

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