Engine Light On 2009 Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner

Another bustling morning in Pacific Beach, San Diego, we welcomed our regulars and new customers into PB Foreign and Domestic Car Repair. The sun was out, shining bright, hinting at a productive day ahead. I was going through the day’s appointments when a 2009 Toyota 4Runner had just driven into our parking lot, and its owner was visibly concerned about the glowing check engine light on the dashboard.

Symptom: Glowing check engine light with engine code p0012 displayed.

Problem: The upper cam adjuster valves (left and right) were fouled and dirty.

Solution: Removed the intake manifold assembly, replaced the worn-out sensors, and resealed the intake system.

Having been in this business for years and dealing with countless customers, I knew that this little amber light could raise a lot of eyebrows. To set the customer at ease, I assured them we’d get to the bottom of it. A quick scan revealed the trouble: engine code “p0012”.

Check diagnostic light

Engine codes, in essence, are our initial guides in this diagnostic journey. The “p0012” code particularly hinted at issues possibly linked with the variable cam adjuster valve or the cam position sensor. From my experience, it’s not an uncommon issue with older Toyota 4.0 engines that have seen their fair share of the road.

Toyota 4Runner engine with removed intake manifold assembly
The upper cam adjuster valves (left and right) were fouled and dirty.

On closer inspection, it became clear. The car’s upper cam adjuster valves, both on the left and right, were fouled. These aren’t easily accessible, so our next step was to carefully remove the intake manifold assembly. This isn’t a task for the faint-hearted, but lucky for us and our customers, we have a team of ASE-certified mechanics who excel at such intricate tasks.

As our skilled team worked on the car, I took a moment to explain to the owner the significance of the components we were dealing with. I believe it’s not just about fixing a problem; it’s about educating our clients, helping them understand their vehicles better.

With the manifold out of the way, the worn-out sensors are in plain sight.

Once the manifold was out of the way, the worn-out sensors were in plain sight. We ordered the necessary replacements and, while we waited, the car’s owner inquired about changing the spark plugs. Given the current access to the engine, I knew it was the ideal time. We could offer a synergy within the job, leading to a discounted labor rate, and the owner gladly agreed.

When the new parts arrived, our mechanics promptly fitted them in, ensuring everything was sealed back perfectly. With bated breath, I turned the ignition. The engine hummed, and the check engine light was nowhere to be seen.

The old and new upper cam adjuster valves (left and right) with the old and new spark plugins.

The Toyota 4Runner’s owner left our workshop with a smile, satisfied and assured. As I watched the car merge into the Pacific Beach traffic, I felt that familiar feeling of pride and satisfaction. It’s not just about the repairs; it’s about the trust, the education, and the commitment to ensuring every car that leaves PB Foreign and Domestic Car Repair does so in its best possible shape.

Remember, every vehicle deserves regular care. And should you ever find yourself puzzled by a glowing light or a weird noise, know that we’re here not just to mend but to guide. Contact us online to schedule an appointment or call us at 1-858-270-1142. Safe driving, everyone!

Need auto repair or car maintenance? Are you in Pacific Beach? Schedule an appointment for a free inspection.