nidgemo

The Ultimate "check Vsc" Topic - Please Read And Reply If It&#

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Hi Everyone

I'm starting this topic for the benefit of all, as this does seem a common problem, so if anyone has ever had this fault, could you please contribute, and let us know how you got it fixed, what it cost, what you done to get it away, what fault codes you got (if you know) etc - generally, to combine all the info about this issue in one place, and then any other poor soul falling foul of this all too common fault can maybe get an answer in one place!

I've had a good search through the forum, read all the topics about this fault and am still none the wiser - it appears this fault can be caused by anything from a lose diesel cap to requiring a full engine rebuild at a cost of over £4000!

Understandably, a lot of topics about this peter off as people either got the problem sorted, and never came back to report how, or because people did get it sorted through a variety of ways.

So please, if you have your own check vsc story to tell, please tell it here - how you got it sorted in particular, and it may even be useful as a surver to find out the most common cause of the fault!

My own problem is all too familiar!

I've just had the dreaded "Check VSC" message, combined with the warning triangle, the engine light and the car going into limp mode.

This actually has happened to me before, about 2 years ago - at that point, I tightened my petrol cap, and it went away of it's own accord a few days later.

However, recently, the car has been sluggish at low revs (fine once above 2000) and then this today.

For the record, my car is a late 2006 220D SE-L with 60,000 miles - however, I had a egr valve and cat mod fitted under warranty in december 2009 - does my 3 year warranty period start again from this point for that part i wonder??

in any case, any info and suggestion is welcome!

A few questions which might also be relevant to this topic, and would be great to know if anyone has any definitive answers…

1. In a few places there is mentioned an extended warranty on certain parts relating to this - I've read 7 years, 6 years and 100,000 miles and 110,000 miles - does anyone have any confirmation that this is the case, and do Lexus cover everyone for this?

2. Does there seem to be one definitive answer which is the fix for this in most cases, or at least the eheapest place to start? On this forum, I've read stories from people who've all had this fault, but fixes for it have been any of...

  • Cleaning fuel tank cap
  • Particulate Trap Efficiency
  • Cat Converter
  • new injector
  • low oil pressure
  • rejuvination of catalytic convertor
  • air flow meter
  • centre pipe just behind A/F b2 corroded and leaking causing eml lamp
  • speed sensor on the D/s front wheel (code c0200)
  • EGR valve
  • Particulate Filter just before the Cat
  • lambda sensor
  • throttle body
  • some people appear to have got it sorted just through the use of a diesel additive...
  • and one poor guy who was out over 4k for a full engine strip down and new cat!

3. if people need to buy parts for repair, any info on good places to source parts might be useful

4. if people found fuel additives worked, what ones were best (ive been looking at Forté Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner and Regenerator and Forté Advanced Formula Diesel Treatment)

This forum is a great and invaulable help source for many people, and hopefully this thread will develop into a great resource for all members of the CHECK VSC club - ideally saving money for all with expensive repairs saved!

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Hi

I've just posted my experiences of this problem and then came across your topic.

Without repeating the saga which is now under the engine section of this club basically if you get this problem you are on your own, Lexus would not contribute although it's obvious from the posts this is a well known issue, only Lexus dealers have the necessary software which might. just might, trick the engine into regeneration. Forget comments on the warranty it's 60,000 miles or 3 years whichever comes first and that's it.

Personally I think a car that will tell you the boot is open should be able to tell you there's a problem with the engine before it gets to the point of expensive repairs, but then I'm naive - I bought a Lexus and thought it would be a reliable car!

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for the record, most people who appear to get this problem, it does go away by itself, or with a fuel additive.

the next group are people who need an egr clean (you can do this yourself - great video here

the next up in terms of cost seems to be the people who fall into the cat converter category (rejuvination or replacement) - unfortunately this is when it starts getting expensive!

and then the full engine strip down and rebuilds!

most other issues do seem to be one off causes.

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hi paul

yeah, same for me! bought a lexus because of the famed reliability!

i will say though, that some (though only those with a full lexus service history) do appear to get the extra warranty!

if you did get a fix, would be nice to hear about it here in the interest of keeping a resource of solutions all in one place.

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I've had the VSC once and it was because the front wheels were not aligned properly. It would go on if I went over a bump or turned the steering wheel more than a few degrees while driving. It would be off when I started the car or when it was stationary or even at low speeds. I aligned the wheels and everything was ok afterwards.

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nidgemo, check the coolant level. The car could be losing compression if it got sluggish more or less suddenly.

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Hi Flavio!

Interestingly, I got the wheels aligned on Friday, and this issue came up on Sunday - I wonder could it be they're badly aligned? Seems unlikely!

I did check all levels tonight - oil is slightly high, but only a few mm over the top dot. Coolant is fine (but was low recently and needed topped up - all other levels fine.

Someone who I thought had replied here earlier (???) mentioned to check for droplets in the coolant resevoir, and there does appear to be a little condensation in it - they also mentioned to check for white sludge inside the oil cap, but it's as clean as a whistle. Booked in for a egr clean tomorrow, and have thrown a bottle of this in a tank of fuel, so hopefully that will help clear things out a bit and the error will disappear (fingers crossed!) - I have been doing a lot of town driving recently - probably haven't done any more than 3 miles in a single journey for about a month and a half, so hoiping it's just a clearable build up!

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on another note, on re-reading the result of all my searches last night, one interesting thing that came up is that not one single person who got the "check VSC" fault actually had anything wrong with their VSC!

Seems a strange fault to come up!

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Hi nidgemo

Hopefully it's the alignment. That's what happened to me and I was very happy it wasn't something more sinister. :) maybe they messed up an alignment sensor or something like that. Is there a specific thing that triggers the VSC check? For me it was going into a bend or over a pothole. I guess the wheel alignment has something to do with the vehicle stability so it's not so strange after all. :)

You know that you can clean the EGR yourself. It's a 30 minutes max procedure and it's very simple. My advice to everyone is to drive with more vigour and the car will go faster after some time. :) I believe that the actual culprit is mostly the turbo, and that it spins slower and with more resistance if the car is not driven hard for long periods of time, so it actually at some points is more harmful than useful. Just my two yens. :D

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So, an update...

cleaned the egr and got a friend with a scanner to check things out - it was a p2002 - Particulate Trap Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1) - I had put in the diesel additive in a couple of days ago, and since that, the period before limp mode was kicking in was getting longer and longer, and after cleaning out the egr valve it went away totally and has not came back since (with approx 50 miles covered) - I gave it a good run toinght - 10 miles in lowish revs, then 20 doing 60 in second at 4500 revs, so that should have given the dpf a good clean out. Have also bought Forte DPF cleaner and regenerator so will put the bottle of it through as well on my next refuel - but hopefully that's it for me and "below threshold" just meant it was a bit clogged up, not that it was screwed!

Lesson to learn, though - some diesels are dirty - make sure to use additive cleaners semi regularly, and take the car for a good dpf regenerating burn up at least once a month, and hopefully that'll keep me right from now on!

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Nidgemo, thanks for the info. It's a happy ending. :D

Could your friend with a scanner initiate the DPF cleaning manually?

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no - he mentioned with some cars he can hook up a laptop and do a force clean while the car is driving, but not with a lexus - still, hopefully the dpf cleaner and the now 2 drives at consistant high revs will have given it a good clean out!

power enhancer also have some interesting looking products I may give them a call to have a chat about, as they seem very knowledgable and helpful.

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Had this problem with mine not long after buying it. Car was out of warranty and had done about 64,000 miles. Had AA come out to it and the fault was read as a problem with the EGR. Car went to Lexus Nottingham and even though it was out of warranty Lexus fixed it which consisted of the engine being rebuilt including new pistons, new EGR, cat and supplied with a courtsey car for 3 weeks while it was done and all done for no cost to myself.The car was not bought form a Lexus dealer so all in a good result.

Car has now done 95,000 miles and still seems ok but do take it for a regular run at high revs to try and keep it clean.

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Had this problem travelling from west London to Leeds via Birmingham. On my way to Birmingham the check VSC lights et al came on and car went into limp mode. I drove to my cousins house in Birmingham and then drove from Birmingham to Leeds at night, stopping every 10 or 15 minutes to get about 3 minutes of normal driving. So in the 3 minutes I used to get of normal driving I used to push the car as much as possible before it went into limp mode. So just before reaching Leeds the car stopped putting up the check VSC light and going into limp mode. Next day I cleaned the EGR valve that was quite badly sooted up. I bought a Winns DPF cleaner from Halfords and put it into fuel and haven't seen the problem yet after about 600 miles now. Car is at 106500. So if my head gasket doesn't blow in the next 500 miles I'll be on my own as then it will not have any chance of getting the head rebuilt under the extended warranty. I dont think I stand a chance anyway as the last 4 services were at non-Lexus. The engine sounds fine and oil cap is clean and engine coolnt is fine as well.

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Hi guys. Just saw this topic some thought I'd pitch in with my experiences.

I've owned a 220d for 3.5 years and it's been great. But I've had the dreaded Check VSC error twice now and have been able to fix it both times.

For me it was the EGR valve that was blocked and needed cleaning. Early warning signs tend to be poor performance at low revs and reduced MPG.

This is a very important tip - the error can be cleared temporarily by disconnecting the negative terminal on the Battery for 10 secs or so. If you're trying to get home and you're experiencing loss of power this can be extremely useful to know.

Also - I fund that cleaning the EGR valve with a strong oven cleaner that contains 5% or so sodium hydroxide does an amazing job with very little effort. When cleaning the EGR though you should separate the valve part from the electrical bit it is attached to - allowing you to free up the spring-loaded pin.

I've also found that Redex Advance additive every 3 months does an amazing job for making the car so much smoother while also improving mpg and performance at low revs.

Hope this helps!

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thanks for the info guys have just had this hgappen to me so going through the list now,my petrol cap was not on as tight as it should have been but having corrected it it hasnt come off,next thing i do is oil check,will let you know how i get on,lucky thing for me tho my ls400 didnt go into limp mode!

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My IS220d went into limp mode this morning on the way to work. Not the first time, that was the turbo that started smoking at around 78K miles. With a new turbo It happened after that and I removed and cleaned the EGR valve, the pipe leading from it and also all the carbon build up at either end where the pipe and valve connect which seen it go away for a while. Later again it happened and i took to cleaning the MAF (Master air flow) sensor with recommended cleaning spray. This seen it not come back until now, that was around a month ago. Lexus gave the car it's 80K mile service 3 weeks ago and I had the car in at the garage to replace all the brakes, discs and pads all round 2 days ago. I never though for a minute the alignment of the wheels could be an issue. I will update on what the issue has turned out to be this time once i get the diagnosis and the bill????

Must say i wish I had kept my older is200 SE auto, in 3 years the only hassle that car ever gave me was a seized caliper.

UPDATE : I had the car hooked up for diagnostics and the fault codes (2 separate errors for the same code in memory) show it is the EGR valve causing it. Doing some reading i heard of a product called BG244 which may help if carbon build up is an issue in the system where i could not access as well as improving performance and MPG. Some great reviews on it, anyone here got any experience with it?

Oh the bill?? incl. VAT about £310 if i need to buy it and replacement is easy enough. At the time of writing there is one on ebay for £190 but not many specifics on it and i would rather get the revised EGR valve meant to stop the issues with the first design.

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hello

I have the VSC light on engine management light on and slippery car light on . I'm going to the garage booked in for one hour diagnostics check . We will see what they will come up with . But reading all your posts guys it could be from little thing to expensive major repairs. I will keep posted.

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My IS220d went into limp mode this morning on the way to work. Not the first time, that was the turbo that started smoking at around 78K miles. With a new turbo It happened after that and I removed and cleaned the EGR valve, the pipe leading from it and also all the carbon build up at either end where the pipe and valve connect which seen it go away for a while. Later again it happened and i took to cleaning the MAF (Master air flow) sensor with recommended cleaning spray. This seen it not come back until now, that was around a month ago. Lexus gave the car it's 80K mile service 3 weeks ago and I had the car in at the garage to replace all the brakes, discs and pads all round 2 days ago. I never though for a minute the alignment of the wheels could be an issue. I will update on what the issue has turned out to be this time once i get the diagnosis and the bill????

Must say i wish I had kept my older is200 SE auto, in 3 years the only hassle that car ever gave me was a seized caliper.

UPDATE : I had the car hooked up for diagnostics and the fault codes (2 separate errors for the same code in memory) show it is the EGR valve causing it. Doing some reading i heard of a product called BG244 which may help if carbon build up is an issue in the system where i could not access as well as improving performance and MPG. Some great reviews on it, anyone here got any experience with it?

Oh the bill?? incl. VAT about £310 if i need to buy it and replacement is easy enough. At the time of writing there is one on ebay for £190 but not many specifics on it and i would rather get the revised EGR valve meant to stop the issues with the first design.

Check out the thread by bluenose, " Problems headed off at the pass'.

I used BG244 and AR6200 with great effectiveness in my experience.

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I have the same VSC check, engine and traction control lights. I took it to Lexus Newcastle, they done a free diagnostic and they claim it's a faulty oxygen sensor £333 for parts and labour.

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indeed. VSC can cover a multitude ot possible taults. the error code will pinpoint what it is.

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ok my problem sorted now. I been sent to p&p autoservices garage in Taunton . They diagnosed dpf problem and sticky egr. Removed dpf filter - fitted emulator and cleaned egr and the car runs fine now. Definitely recommended. Apparently they can sell you an emulator and give you some support with fitting it . But I didnt have friendly mechanic anyway so left complete job for them . If someone would be looking this is website address www.pandpauto.co.uk.

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I have a IS220d which lost power and was sluggish pulling away. I cleaned the EGR valve which was full of crap, this improved slightly but still not marvelous. My Son who is a mechanic removed the particulate filter and took it to work where he used a steam lance and then a pressure line to clear the DPF.

When refitted it was like a new car, the acceleration and pick up especially in second was amazing and the MPG improved markedly.

Most of my travelling is low mileage with a cold engine which obviously is not the best. I have decided that I should give it at least a 30 min run down the motorway at above 2000RPM which hopefully will stop this happening again.

I do understand from other contributors that there are independents who will clean and regenerate the DPF for between £200 & £300 which is cheaper than Lexus.

Hope this helps.

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Hi guys. My first post.

I've not even had my IS220d (56 plate, 85k, Serviced every 10k) two weeks yet and the 'VSC CHECK' light has come on a couple of times. First time the light came on it went out as I drove it to a garage the next day. It didn't go into limp home mode & the mechanic said it had two logged but old fault codes. ABS, low voltage & NOX separator, low voltage. He asked if I'd had a flat Battery recently but not whilst I've owned it.

It came back on this morning. I then took it a 30mile round trip down the A1 keeping the revs at about 3000rpm. The light didn't go out. I went home, then picked up the wee man from pre school & after that I went to Tesco. After I came out the light was gone.

I'm driving to Liverpool from Edinburgh tomorrow & back on Sunday. Going to use Redex diesel treatment for both trips.

I'm a tad confused that it didn't go into limp mode nor did it have recent fault codes! It was serviced 4k miles ago. I've read that oil can be a problem?! Amongst other things. I'm praying this long motorway trip will do it the world of good.

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My son had a VSC warning with all the other lights too. (he has my old 220d)

Here is the account of what happened... may help someone next time. He was coming home to stay the weekend with Mum and Dad and lights came on 90 miles away with car in limp mode (? well it was gutless below 1500 rpm). When he was up and running on the m-way it was going fine. In typical father fashion I told him to check oil and water for any signs of cross contamination.....thankfully all was fine.

I figured it may have been the EGR so got up early Sat morning and stripped and cleaned it. It was not bad at all...just a light dusting of perhaps .5mm all over. Phoned my friendly garage down the road, ran it down tthere ( boy it was gutless and the lag was awful), and they searched out the code. Came up as an error on Air sensor number 2. Its the one a couple of inches forward and below where the EGR is located. Upon feeling the wires to the connector one of the wires was snapped. Seems a bit daft that the wires are well sheathed but totally vulnerable for the last 20mm. You could see it had been snagged and probably broke down with vibration. So a bit of careful wirework ensued and hey presto. The errors were removed and she is running sweet now!!

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