Piston Slap: VSC Light and the Puffer Fish Effect?

Looongtime TTAC commentator PrincipalDan writes:

I recently had an experience with CEL (check engine light) and VSC light (vehicle skid control) that left me scratching my head: I was on my way into Gallup (30 mile drive) and as I was getting up to speed on the highway the CEL and VSC came on at the same time. I know the CEL can be triggered by a dozen different things but seeing a constantly lit VSC was a new experience.

The vehicle (2010 Toyota Highlander) drove perfectly normally and I went on to my destination. I consulted the forums and they said the CEL would AUTOMATICALLY trigger the VSC light and that the VSC would basically be shut off by the triggering of a CEL. Dafuq!?!?!? Really Toyota?

A CEL (which could be triggered by something like an improperly tightened gas cap) will shut down one of the key components of the safety systems of the car? What’s the logic behind this? More lights means the average American is more likely to go to the dealer and get it checked out? Do all of the manufactures do this now?

BTW, my lights were triggered by a bad gas cap. Couldn’t get it to “click” anymore so I replaced — lights went away and problem solved.

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Repair Costs on the Upswing After Declining for Two Years

Nothing lasts forever, as Axl Rose once said. After flatlining for a couple of years, during which time car owners — on average — saw no increases in repair costs stemming from “check engine” lights, bills are headed back up.

A study looking at average repair costs in 2016 has found that the price of discovering the cause of that dreaded light rose 2.7 percent between last year and 2015. That brings the average repair bill for this type of garage visit to $398. However, not every region of America took a hit.

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Piston Slap: Cracking the Code, Sans The (OBD-II) Code? (Part II)

TTAC commentator Igozoom writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve been reading your postings for years and decided to actually share my (maddening) issues with you.

I have a 2006 Mazda3 S five-door (five-speed manual, 2.3-liter) that I purchased new in December 2005. It only has 101,000 miles on the clock but has had a few significant problems along the way despite regular maintenance. However, the most recent issue has me stumped.

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Piston Slap: The Importance of Enlightened Diagnoses

Geoff writes:

Sajeev, I enjoy your TTAC contributions very much. I have a 2002 Dodge Ram with a 5.9 liter V8. Starts every time and idles fine initially. But just when it transitions over from the cold start sequence to Normal running it starts to act as if it is gasping for air.

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Piston Slap: If Only We Knew Ye, Trooper!

TTAC Commentator Dave M writes:

Hey Sajeev!

A question for you and B/B. Especially during cold weather my Trooper gets a ’clunk’ shifting from 1-2 (it’s a 4 speed automatic) and then back down. This coincides with a CEL. It doesn’t happen all the time. There are other times (even during cold) where the truck runs normally – no clunk, no CEL. Checking the CEL code and it indicates all four oxygen sensors (replaced last year); when no CEL no code to read.

My first thoughts were it might be time for ANOTHER transmission. But my brother says no, it has to be electrical since it’s intermittent. Any ideas where to start?

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Piston Slap: O-rings Are the Enemy Within?

TTAC Commentator NICKNICK writes:

Sajeev–

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I asked you to post a problem with my 1999 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT. It may have been fixed with just a new gas cap.

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Jack-O-Lanterns Should Be Scary, No?

You know what Dodge A100s don’t have?

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