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2012 CT200h 120,000 jackhammer engine sound on acceleration. Dealer said needed new short block due to warping. What? No dash (dummy) lights to indicate overheating problem. Check engine light reported misfiring on two plugs. $7,000 repair. I will NEVER buy from Lexus again after being scoffed at by Lexus national on helping with repair cost. Stupid question, but should my vehicle give me some sort of idea that there was a problem with overheating, or am I just an ignorant car owner expecting too much from Lexus engineering?
 

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I have a similar misfiring and engine knocking under load symptoms that started last night, during a routine commute home from work. 36 mile trip, one way.

It did rain and I suspected an electrical short or worst possible case, minor hydrolock with bent valves since we did have to cross a mildly flooding road way. But, the worst was deep down the list because the car has taken a variety of conditions in its last 6 years and never had issue.

Motor had 1737xx miles when it started. I managed to make it home using almost all EV mode and do a cursory visual inspection - under oil cap condensation, undercarriage after removing the under tray, potentially shorted electrical connectors, coolant level, and top of engine. Nothing unusual. In the morning, the problem persisted indicating it’s not an electrical moisture issue.

Genuinely terrified it might have squashed a valve and maybe even damaged a conrod from the jack hammer sounds it was making.

It’s actually less racketing under higher load (more oil pressure? or maybe more EV assist?). If you drive with the needle in the middle of the economy gage (light ICE load), it’s at its loudest.
 

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It turned out to be a Cyl #3 misfire due to a foiled spark plug. I have been doing more interstate trips that involve mountain ascents lately. The engine does burn a quart every 3k miles. I think it eventually fouled the plugs after 38k miles. I went 70k and 76k the last two plug changes so I’m suspicious of an underlying cause...which is likely the oil burning.
 

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2012, 190k miles, started shuddering when first starting in morning, gave misfire cyl1 code, changed spark plugs and coils, still shuddered, engine temp light a few days later after bad misfire, coolant tank empty, steam from tail pipe when refilled and started. Suspected head gasket and mechanic confirmed. Presently in shop to begin repair. Bummer...car was purchased with 60k miles, great mileage. I heard engine was Chinese...I should have known. Chinese products always fail, ALWAYS! Anyone know if engine being Chinese is true?
 

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I heard engine was Chinese...I should have known. Chinese products always fail, ALWAYS! Anyone know if engine being Chinese is true?
The engine is Japanese
 

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Long Post here, but hope i can help some folks out.

i Had a shutter or JackHammer Banging when i did an oil change at 62,000 myself. 1st thing i noticed doing the oil filter, was that the Dealer gave me a different filter "?" no caps on top and bottom of filter

2014 Fsport
71,000 miles

Anyway- Immediately shut engine off, checked fresh oil level, good, reopened access panel verified filter cup, good, restarted and No knock.. Hmmm, figured the different filter was at fault.. Walmart had the Correct capped end filter for $3.99 I'll give it a week see if it knocks and change it out..

Research time..
Atkinson cycle engine (it's not a Normal engine)..

Exhaust Gas blow-by is inherent with this cycle of engine.. Carbon mess on the inside.. Valve retardation also allows the blow-by..

Scoured the EGR cooler and pipe cleaning process.. Then i came across a guy on video Duplicating the dreaded JackHammer Banging by simply disconnecting the #1 fuel injector BANG BANG BANG reconnect and smooth..

Same bang bang as Each injector was disconnected..

i got to thinkn, and delved further into operations of Atkinson engines..

With an Atkinson cycle engine we have exhaust gases moving Backward through the intake system, and sucked Back in for firing.. Plugging up your Fuel Injectors with carbon deposits.. Once an Atkinson engine is not firing a cylinder (bang bang) it has lost it's force pressure on the connecting rod.. Boom people throw a rod etc.. And the slapping takes out the head.. It's piston slap..

JackHammer Bang SHUT ENGINE OFF
Restart.. Do Not Let it bang.. if it will not clear-up pull injectors out for a carbon cleaning.. spring/ball pressure injectors, maybe replace them for a For-Sure it's clean thing..

Whatever the dealer tells you-
Do Not Continue Running Engine without a cylinder firing.. The bang bang will take it out.. Atkinson cycle engines Require piston pressure for operation..


IF it's just a knock or two and smooth- GO dump a bottle of injector cleaner in the tank and fill it up.. ?

Myself, full injector bottle every month
==No Matter What==

Everybody was on the right track with EGR carbon cleaning of EGR cooler-pipe-manifold.. But there's More carbon to the story..

i was Way Too Nervous to allow that "updated" oil filter without caps to stay in there, changed oil again..

Anyway, since that initial oil change Quick Bang Bang, nothing but smooth running.. So Far...
(knock on wood (not the piston walls))

Attached image is of the Correct oil filter for this Atkinson engine, oil blow-by prevention caps at both ends

Hope this helps..
 

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××Addendum×× someone chime in here

i think there is another issue now that I've re-read my post..

Since this engine pushes air/fuel back through the head, as well as exhaust, are we ALSO experiencing detonation in the head and intake "?"

is this why Lexus Toyota jumps right to replacing intake manifold and head gasket (at our expense)?

IF- since this is an Above average occurrence, and Documented (even if they say it's not)

THEN- why are they charging us for a design flaw


i will use my Fsport as a test, and disconnect an injector for a second.. I am having trouble realizing an injector (reducing fuel) would initiate the Bang Bang. I would be more prone to believe it's the spark plug he pulled, over-saturating the head with fuel causing the Detonation in the cylinder head..

i will post a follow-up..
 

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Guess I'm really just typing, re-reading what i type and deduce from there.. Hey it works.. ?

now we Know what the Bang Bang is, so WHY is the head gasket frying out at 120k or so??

Gasket goes and fluids take out the spark and Bang Bang.. Although some experiences are without gasket failure are they not?? Plugs/Coil issue

Maybe Thermal??
is it the warming cycle not reaching desired temps for cylinder head? Although normal drive brings engine back online overcoming that so..

is there an expansion differential fault between metals.. Like the stupid Exmark engines iron block aluminum head, have to check that.. Those engines Sand the head gasket every warm up and cool down..

Are our blocks cast iron with aluminum heads??
Gasket failure is inevitable with that, metallurgy and a matter of time..

Let me post and re-read everything..
 

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This is a great write up by all of you. Sadly I too have suffered/ am suffering from the effects of these issues. I opted to do a block test after cleaning the egr and cooler and no apparent results (engine still had some shake/rattle). I took the test through the overfill reservoir this past weekend and sure enough results showed hydrocarbons in the coolant. I’m at a loss on which way to go bc of the amount still does on vehicle. Any advice you all can produce is appreciated!! Good luck.
 

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Question to Fadedlights-
what year and how many miles?
what was going on when you 1st noticed?
how long did it JackHammer?

If coolant is not trashed, and your not burning oil, i'd Jump on plugs right away and clean injectors, test coils replace if necessary while your at it..

So i now see even with EGR cleaning, There's problems

Back to thermals-
contaminated fuel (water in gas) can cause a flash detonation at normal combustion.. Sounds crazy but it is true

I wonder if water in fuel could be the culprit with these "sensitive" engines "?"

Flashing, that fouls out plug, to have a bad day

Thoughts anyone?
 

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Just rolled 130k but noticed the light intermittent shake around 110. As mentioned it was intermittent (Usually morning starts or after sitting the weekend. Commuter car) and no CEL, so I assumed issue could be due to those factors. Besides the shudder that caused the CEL Id say it would only shudder about a sec or two. Never long except for the time it created the CEL and I almost immediately thought “misfire”. Coolant isn’t not trashed and no signs of oil burning. I’ll definitely work on the plugs and injectors this weekend. I appreciate your help, man. What’s your take on seafoam to help combat injector issues?
 

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Fadedlights- the more you use it, the more damage to it, drive something else until fixed, Don't Let it Bang (even if it clears up Letting it Bang to smoothness, your causing damage).. do plugs Fast, hopefully a coil isn't starting to dump-out.. <b>Don't Wait</b>

Injectors, I use Lucas Oil injector cleaner in my tank once a month no matter what.. only one without gasket rotting stuff in it.. search utube it'll tell ya the same and it Does work..

Sea foam, it'll work if directions are followed to a Tee..

i rarely use sea foam, but when I do, it is directly on the part I'm working on

Do plugs fast and give us an update
Hope a coil isn't going out
 

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What plugs do you recommend? I’ve seen some ppl suggest a “hotter” plugs. I guess 16 vs 20 denso’s.

Any idea as to why I have hydrocarbons inside coolant reservoir?
 

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I would stay the course with 20's
it's designed for a particular heat range, only prudent to stay the course..

as i review all that's posted from all over the place (clublexus included), and the research of Atkinson Cycle processes, i fall to 2 possible conclusions on this failure..

1- Detonation in the cylinder head
plug or coil failure allowing air-fuel over-saturation of intake (Atkinson cycle) being fired by another cylinder, detonating with valves open out of cycle on the cylinder not firing

2- Chance contamination of fuel
water flashing at detonation rocks-up contaminates (like suet) taking out the plug, initiating number 1

Any engineers out here other than me? Please, feel free to reply with a viable alternative to my findings..

Just trying to help others and myself, Prevent this catastrophe from happening..

Anyone remember the good ol'days of throwing a jug of DryGas in our tanks because of water in gas station tanks "?" was a real issue with carburetor engines.. Myself- newer gas stations only

Had to solve for X on Hyundai
I owned one Had to, sticky steering
engineers couldn't figure out their MDPS units in-car failure rate (EPS Electronic Power Steering), but they still tested fine. They didn't fail, a part connected to it had a process failure, TSB initiated, of course no credit my way, just a warranty i didn't use..
 

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Summary-
We can now Duplicate the Bang Bang
Spark plug and/or Coil over plug Failure
(simply unplug a coil)

>>Don't Let This Engine Bang<<
it will take out the head and gasket
it will also cause undue stresses on wrist pin / connecting rod


How to prevent plug fouling-
Fill-up at clean newer stations
Lucas Oil fuel injector cleaner every now & then
Change plugs on schedule


Anyone ever hear of pre-ignition / Spark Ping??
Most are unaware of the reasoning to octane levels in fuel, it's not more explosive energy or a cleaner fuel, it's detonation delay.. Now add our Atkinson Cycle into this mix- delaying valve operations during it's cycle. It seems like common sense to use a little more octane than bottom of the barrel now doesn't it? Sure we are "saving" at the pump, but losing that savings with an eventual battery bank replacement, so Let's not add engine repair into the piggy bank for a financial Loss to own this car..

That being said, i will use midgrade 89 octane.
Believe it or not, i do feel it to be smoother in my engine.. My 2014 ct200 is averaging 47.3 in normal mode driving around the countryside comfortably at 50mph on 215/55r17 at 33psi with a dead-on speedometer. Cityscape driving with traffic, 52-53mpg..

Sure I'm happy.. but Fearful and pay attention to ANY abnormal engine noises now with what everyone as well as i, have experienced..

Save your engine DO NOT Let it bang
Hear the Bang Bang- Right Away
-change the spark plugs (keep a set onhand)
-Still hear it- then it's a coil
-Still hear it- trace wires to coil for a break
All of this, will apply to ALL Atkinson Cycle engines

Thank you all for paying attention in class
Enjoy your Atkinson's

ps- don't forget to use the Correct Oil Filter as defined in post #47 above
 

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Anyone hear of the TSB from Lexus L-SB-0174-17 I'm told it relates to the hard knocking after a "cold soak" some have written about in the thread. It seems it takes some reprogramming to fix the issue. Something to do with flash codes is the way I understand it. Just curious if anyone has had this done and if it fixed the issue?
 

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Yepp heard of it..
Here it is in reference below

Has to do with noise/vibrations from trans, as a possible result of letting your engine bang away

Bulletin: L-SB-0174-17
Component: 060000 engine (pws)
Summary: Tsb: some 2013 ? 2016 model year ct 200h vehicles may exhibit a vibration due to a rough idle and/or tapping noise from the hv transaxle after cold soak. the check engine light may also illuminate with diagnostic trouble codes (dtcs) p0300


Thanks for calling out yet another Disaster that can occur from this..
  • Thanks crabapple201 ?
People- Do Not Let your engines bang..
 
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