Vehicle that has an intermittent problem



In this issue’s Case Study, MD is presented with a vehicle that has an intermittent problem.  Most readers know what this is like…you jump in the car and great it plays up. Bring it into our workshop and it starts to run normal, what do we do?

In this instance we are presented with  a Japanese imported car, an early 90’s Toyota Aristo with a 2JZ-GTE engine. It had been to various other workshops before it was brought to me by a frustrated customer.

We found access to data information on this import difficult to source, to add to this our scan tools would not communicate with this car.   So as usual we started with the basics.

So, now that we have experienced the problem on the test drive,  our next step is to carry out a visual and in doing so it was discovered the cam sensor plug is badly broken and the sensor terminals were covered in oil. Not a good recipe as oil attracts moisture and moisture acts as a contactor which no doubt will short out the sensor.


When the customer picked up his car, he could not believe the difference in the way this car drove, and he was ecstatic that we nailed this problem. He had sent his car to numerous workshops in the past without a fix when in reality, all we did was start with the basics! We now have another customer who will recommend us to others!


So, in summary it is always important to cover the basics, and while checking these basics we often notice visual items of concern.


In fact we find a lot of problems can be sorted out and found on our initial visual checks when we are presented with a problem car. Always be mindful we can actually have a mechanical integrity issue in the engine and that’s in, low compression or maybe a cam timing retard problem. So never rule out the basic when dealing with a modern car with a driveablity issue.

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