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Any input re: a Camry V6? What'd I break?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by bluedogz, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    This weekend, I swapped out the spark plugs on my 2007 Camry V6 XLE 3.5l/2GRFE. Obviously, the ones on the rear cylinder bank were the hardest.

    Anyway, while stretching in to reach the rear center plug, my knuckles hit the wires attached to the sensor right next to that plug, screwed directly into the valve cover. The wires ripped right out of the sensor, leaving the sensor still attached to the valve cover and the wires disconnected. Not knowing what else to do, I soldiered on and put everything back together.

    Also, there appears to be a similar sensor on the front cylinder bank, next to the center spark plug. I found it on AllData... it's the VVT sensor, or at least the connector to it. That doesn't tell me much, though...

    So, anyway, now I'm getting a Check Engine light and a "Check VSC" warning on the dash.

    I don't have the ability to check what code is being thrown, nor do I have the money to have a dealer tell me.

    I guess the question is:
    - Any suggestions how to replace/reconnect it without buying a whole harness or part thereof?

    Thank in advance, folks.

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  2. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    From the sounds of it you broke one of the knock sensors.
    Most parts stores can check codes for you for free if you ask them to.
  3. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Is the VVT sensor for the variable valve timing?
    Try Toyota Nation they seem like a good bunch of guys over there.
    AutoZone should be able to read the codes for free.

    Gary
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I do believe it's the sensor for the Variable Valve Timing, so the computer knows where the cam is in relation to the crank.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Without seeing photos I can't really tell what it needs. Might just be able to push the terminals back in to the plug, or might need to put new terminals. They should be available at the Toyota house for fairly cheap.
    A decent parts counter guy should be able to set you up with what you will need.

    There are some special tools used to crimp and install but I have been able to make it work with regular crimpers and some small screwdrivers.
  6. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Today I met the most honest mechanic/technician I've ever seen...

    Car left me roadside on the way to work, so got towed to his shop. I assumed the cause was the broken connection to the VVT, and told him so; I asked him to be gentle with the bill for my honesty (since I've turned a wrench or two in my life, I understand the headache of undoing customers' mistakes.)

    So he pushes it into the bay, and not 10 minutes later is waving me into the shop. Chuckling, he points to the hose clamp connecting the airbox to the throttle body (WHICH I HAD FORGOTTEN TO TIGHTEN) and says, "Car's tryin' to keep you from suckin' in a bug", and reconnects it and tightens the phillips-head screw, and charges me the standard $75 diag charge.

    Had he come up with some reboot-the-flux-capacitor mumbo-jumbo, he probably coulda got me for a couple hundred. But he didn't.
    raybonz likes this.
  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Two thumbs up, congrats! The world is is not the complete cesspool I think it is......yet.
    raybonz likes this.
  8. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    He fixed the VVT solenoid harness as well?

    Sounds like those plugs are a real pain to replace!
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    The V6 Camry is similar to our Honda Odyssey and they are a pain to get to. None of the transverse mounted V6 engines in modern cars are easy to work on.
  10. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Try a Ford Flex. You have to remove the upper intake manifold to get at the rear plugs. Totally dumbass design!
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Same for the Hyundai Santa Fe. Wasn't a nightmare, but for sparkplugs? Really? :mad:
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Not only was he the most honest, but probably up there on the smart scale too. I bet I know where you're headed if you need service work done on the car.......
    bluedogz likes this.
  13. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Heck I have to remove the cab to work on the eng. on one of mine
  14. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I hope he solved the issue one way or the other, but If THAT was the real root cause, I think I would be stranded on the side of the road 50x over (but I haven't been!) Most any modern car can easily go into a 'limp mode' with one, two or more sensors failed or disconnected. True, the loose clamp would goof up readings from the mass airflow sensor as you'd have extra air coming into the engine, but the computer should compensate based on the O2 sensor and other readings... unless other sensors are dead or dying.

    Anyway, good luck.. being stranded is always a pain! :)
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I'm surprised the loose hose clamp would cause such an issue. Usually the hose is a fairly snug slip on fit, and the clamp is just there to make sure it doesn't fall off. For the car to stop altogether I would think that the hose had to have come off entirely so that the MAF or MAP sensor (whichever you have) detected no airflow to the engine and caused a fault.


    BTW, did you get the VVT sensor fixed? As others noted VVT is Toyota's variable valve timing system and a fault in that system would throw a CEL and force the ECU to go into a failsafe fixed timing program, aka a limp home mode as mentioned.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've never had an engine run with the intake disconnected downstream of the MAF sensor. It'll start, falter, and stall. Every time. Significant air leaks up stream of that sensor will cause the engine to do funny things at times that will not make sense.
    bluedogz likes this.
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    +1, the engine must know the amount of air entering the engine in order to calculate the does of fuel and run. The o2 sensors are for fine tuning that dose. I used to like dumping seafoam into a running engine for a top end cleanup and discovered really quickly that when that main intake hose is disconnected, the engine will shut off quick. I then used the brake booster vacuum line.
    MasterMech likes this.
  18. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    To be clear, the loose clamp in question was between the airbox and the throttle body... ;em
    So, yeah- start, falter, die... over and over.

    Still throwing the fault from the disconnected VVT sensor but I think I know where I'm going with that.
  19. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Very correct. As I said, had he banged me for a couple hundred I'd never have known, and he chose the better path. He's getting the 90k overhaul on my wife's truck in a couple weeks.
  20. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    90k Overhaul? Why would you need an overhaul at 90k?
  21. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Timing belt and all associated accessories that were SUPPOSED to be done at 60k but weren't.
  22. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Ahh okay, not really an "overhaul" per se but the scheduled maintenance. That I understand. Is you wife's truck an interference design engine?
  23. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Yes. That's why the timing belt scares the willies out of me.
  24. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    And with good cause. Best to change it asap. A few thousand over the service interval should be fine but 30k is kind of pushing it in the luck department.
  25. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    Toyota can't build a v6 to save their life... for whatever reason... they've got 4cyls down.... and the V8's aren't awful (though what moron puts the starter under the intake manifold)

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