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  1. Good series for anybody that thinks this is placebo: Enjoy the ride 😄
  2. First step in the service manual for this error is checking and correcting the timing. If the timing is NOT off - it says "replace the ECM (i.e. ECU)". Therefore - pretty certain that it isn't the sensor itself. Bank 1 on the 2GR-FSE is UK (RHD) driver's side, which is where the high pressure fuel pump is... which complicates the "remove the valve cover" matter a bit. Very rare and/or weird on a 2GR-FSE... What's the mileage, and what kind of driving/oil has it seen, if I may ask? Re: fuel filter - it's not the easiest or cheapest of jobs, no wonder you haven't done it yet 🙂
  3. TPMS... I'm running hamaton sensors now (just the cheapest that I found) that I'm too lazy to replace the batteries on the OEM ones (involves spot-welding, can do it with normal solder too but meh). You will need techstream to program them in regardless... and something to read the aftermarket sensors' IDs if they aren't printed on them (rtl-433 works wonderously). IMO if you can find the actuator, the rest isn't that hard - you should have techstream (with a proper adapter) while owning such a car regardless. Whether it's worth it or not - up to you. These cars aren't the cheapest to run, even though they are pretty much at the top of the reliability ladder as far as luxury rwd sedans are concerned.
  4. 1) 3rd gen GS430/450h/460(?) (and 4th gen 450h) share brake actuators (LHD/RHD-specific... somewhat). The GS300 and GS350 (not sold outside in Europe) share a vacuum-based system. The rest use EBD (electronic brake force distribution i.e. brake by wire) - the actuator has a DC motor to make pressure, a hydraulic accumulator pre-pressurized with nitrogen to store pressure and the solenoid block to control pressure release to/from the individual calipers. Failsafe lines directly from the brake master cylinder go to the two front calipers - without any power assist whatsoever, so don't get any funny ideas 😛 2) Theoretically possible to bleed the system afterwards without techstream: Practically - depends. Whether the pedal dance will be the same on hybrids and non-hybrids and on earlier/later generations - I don't know. You also need to bleed the line between the brake fluid reservoir and the actuator - usually done with a pressure cap adapter on the reservoir and opening an auxiliary/service port near the actuator's inlet (so that air/fluid can exit out of it as you pump up the pressure in the reservoir). There's also the actual master cylinder to bleed as well... etc, etc - you can find the service information online, pretty much all cars with EBD are the same.
  5. Shocks' performance deteriorates with time. Not as noticeable on shocks which solely rely on shims for damping force generation, but it's still there. What is unfortunate is that (almost all) OEM units are not serviceable at all. Other than that - stock shocks are monotubes with an adjustable (by AVS motor action) orifice.
  6. Shocks are consumables. Better replace early due to misting than have them looking good at 150k with performance degraded to nothing. edit: ...or rebuild/refurb but that's not an option for OEM parts nowadays... for... some... stupid... reason...
  7. hvdm.pdf [quote]The HV battery pack consists of 34 low voltage (7.2 Volts) NiMH battery modules connected in series to produce approximately 244.8 Volts. Each NiMH battery module is non-spillable and sealed in a metal case.[/quote] Quoted NiMH nominal voltage is 1.2v 7.2/1.2=6 >> should be, unless the rav4 & NX hybrids use unique 6-cell modules for themselves. Also - 244.8/1.2 = 204, 204/6 = 34 (the quoted number of batteries). To my knowledge, there are (were?) 4 generations of the 6-cell modules that are used in every NiMH toyota hybrid battery other than the RX & LS600h ones. All of them are compatible - I have gen4 modules in my 3rd gen GS (originally with gen2 modules, I believe). The RX/Highlander (perhaps not the new highlander, I don't know) uses the 9-cell modules, the LS600h uses the 12-cell modules. You can guess why an ls600h is an expensive proposition to own, compared to the ls460 😄 Anyways, can't confirm, can just deduce. Good luck!
  8. Had a similar thing. For the record - our brake systems are the same (other than the hybrid having regen, but that's just an addition). My handbrake/e-brake/whatever-brake light started popping up from time to time - after driving for a short while (i.e. the fluid warming up, I guess) it'd disappear. A techstream check didn't note anything out of the ordinary. A few days later, the car went in panic mode ("check VSC check this check that" i.e. the usual check everything) - pulled over, tried panic braking a few times - everything was working as normal. Turned around to go home and pick up the laptop - the lights disappeared. Got the laptop, drove around actuating the brakes hard at mostly every opportunity - nothing. The next day, after a night's rest, it did the same - and the lights and warnings went out just as I was turning on the diagnostics. No "history" codes whatsoever. I put the car on stands, inspected the brakes physically, and... the front pads were, shall we say, very close to the wear indicators. Had no time to wait for OEM ones so I ordered ATE pads & discs (discs were vibrating during winter for a period, it cured itself with the "wear down the pad deposits by braking when the rotors are cold" technique but I didn't want to risk it) - problem solved. Now, on to the weirdness: The car warns you on the little LCD in the instrument cluster for: -Low windshield washer fluid -Low tyre pressures -All kinds of system problems The car also has a low level sensor for the oil and the brake fluid. Yet it won't straight up tell you that brake fluid is running low... ...doesn't have a low coolant indicator either, for whatever reason.
  9. I just want to emphasize this. A cat either gets poisoned, or gets physically damaged - melted, broken down, etc. Poison primarily comes from certain components in motor oil - the oil's SAPS (low/mid/high) rating generally tells you how "safe" it is for converters - if the particular components end up burning through the combustion chamber. Coolant and leaded fuel also poison cats. Destruction can happen in many ways. Misfires or bad combustion get unburned fuel into the cats, igniting it there and causing pressure damage. A rich mixture typically cools cats down, unless it's caused by an air leak in the exhaust system before or near the air/fuel sensors - then it can heat them up rapidly. A lean mixture generally causes cats (and engine components near the combustion chamber - pistons, valves) to overheat, melt and so on. Make absolutely sure that there are no exhaust leaks before or anywhere near the (front and rear) O2 sensors. This is usually checked with a smoke machine. This generation of GS's typically have pinhole leaks after the secondary O2s and before the secondary cats - right underneath the shielded section of the exhaust pipes there. Make sure that the O2s work. The upstream ones are wideband (AFR), the downstream ones are the regular type. The car can be told (via techstream or anything else that offers similar utility) to run rich (up to +25% fueling) or lean (up to -12.5%) to confirm proper operation of the O2 sensors. If you decide to go for new OEM units, as getting good aftermarket cats appears to be a problem, make sure that you've resolved any such issues. In summary - fix any kind of oil/coolant loss, make sure that there are no intake or exhaust leaks, make sure that the O2s work properly. Might wanna replace the primary O2s regardless.
  10. Inverters don't blow up on these, so unless the water pump gives... only the hybrid battery should be a potential concern 🙂
  11. Most trouble-free - 2012+ non-F-sport. Worry about: -The hybrid battery - probably a nonissue given the warranty on these -The electronic brake module - the brushed DC motor may wear through its commutator eventually, causing a nonstart issue and the famous (albeit very rare),sudden "no brakes" event, also the hydraulic accumulator sphere is non-replaceable... or at least not sold as a spare -The transmission's auxiliary oil pump bearings (annoying disassembly of the wire harness, cheap parts-wise) -The hybrid inverter if it's a 3rd gen (2006-2011) - RHD inverters are still plentyful, but there isn't much that you can do to prevent IPM solder layers degradation. 4th gen uses a different design. 2012+ f-sport uses front rotors with alu hats. The rotors are not sold separately from the hats, and the whole assembly is very pricey, compared to the non-F-sport version. Might also not fit 17''s (not sure about this). On the other hand, lighter rotating mass = better... Suspension - AVS shocks tend to leak and are relatively expensive (not really IMO, but still) to replace. I view this as a benefit - you replace shocks before they're still "working" with severely degraded damping characteristics. Everything else is very sturdy, but expensive to replace if it goes wrong. No bushings sold separately (very few exceptions), alloy control arms, alloy knuckles (with pressed in bushings & heim joints at the rear)... No good aftermarket "OEM replacement" parts whatsoever - it's either polyurethane or "sports" stuff (adjustable length control arms with uniballs - I'd avoid). Overall - VERY reliable vehicles, but can get very expensive if they go wrong. Don't buy one thinking it'll be cheap to run and/or maintain properly... or fix, if need be. Same goes for every car in this segment. Mods, I think we need a master thread, given the amount of threads popping up on the subject(s).
  12. Shocks do leak, but they're consumables anyway - might want to replace all four regardless. Oil leaks - mine had apparently started fuming around the lower external banjo bolt for the VVT-I oil line (for bank 1 - i.e. right side)... that's my anecdotal evidence. Replaced crush washers and VVT-I filters while it was in for an oil change. Nothing in particular that is a mass defect on these comes to mind. No measurable oil consumption whatsoever, 330000km on the clock.
  13. Indeed, my fault. I was thinking of the 2UR-GSE as the recent exception. Re: radiator - mine did "blow up" (well, started leaking under high pressure) a few weeks ago, had to wait 10 days for a new OEM one. Car is 08/2008. About time 🙂
  14. VVT-i hydraulic variable valve timing actuators not locking up when stopping and/or not holding oil at startup, or at least that's the first thing that comes to mind, given what it sounds like. The engine is also direct-injected, and it DOES run in "stratified combustion" mode while warming up the catalytic converters - i.e. right at the start. It makes a lean mixture with the port injectors and makes a "rich" pocket with the direct injectors in order to ignite it. This leads to higher exhaust gas temperatures and quicker catalytic converter lightoff. I wouldn't run 0w20 in an engine that was originally specified for 5w30. I also probably just stirred up a hornet's nest. Re: random warm air - get the t-stat open, put heater on HIGH, rev the engine for awhile in D-mode (easiest way to maintain ~2500-3000rpm), see if that helps. Re: potential head gasket failure - check the cooling system for leaks (pressurize via a special cap & check whether it holds pressure, check where it leaks if it does - could be a cylinder), check the cylinders with a good borescope (clean usually means "vapour cleaning" i.e. eating water/coolant), check the old plugs for any indication of running lean/burning coolant/etc, check the system with a "block tester" (an "exhaust in the cooling system" test)... If it is, it won't be easy and/or cheap, but... IMO tear it down and do the whole thing proper. @Mihanicos every engine in the 3rd gen GS lineup has hydraulic valve clearance adjusters.
  15. It also has (afaik, at least in the US) bigger front discs (same calipers and pads, supposedly) that also happen to be two-piece (alu hat, cast rotor)... with no option to buy the rotor without the hat. Quite expensive to replace. I thought that all 450h's had VGRS? On that note - the true F cars have no VGRS, no rear-wheel steering and (afaik) no adaptive suspension... 🙂 You can do a lot to the chassis to "improve" the handling. Mine (3rd gen but still) has GS-F front LCA bushings (the big ones at the rear of the LCA that basically control dynamic toe-out/in on braking/acceleration), IS-F rear subframe bushings and poly everything else at the rear-end (OEM pillowball in the knuckle still not destroyed somehow). Similar mods started being applied to all IS/GS cars after the... 2011 (I think?) version of the IS (250/350) - retuned rear bushings directional/twisting stiffness, IS-F subframe bushes, adjusted power steering ECU calibration and so on.
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