2012 CM 5.7 Flex 4x4 rough cold starts solved - TundraTalk.net - Toyota Tundra Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 974 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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2012 CM 5.7 Flex 4x4 rough cold starts solved

Took my ride in for its first dealeer service at 5K miles. Also reported that I was experiencing rough starts, especially on cold mornings. Service tech didn't notice anything. I told the service manager he wouldn't have, because he took the truck right back after I parked it.

Luckily, it had been sitting about 4 hours when I went to pick it up. I got the service manager, who in turn got his shop formeman. After I described the issue, he asked if I had the Flex Fuel engine. When I informed him I did he retrieved his computer and hooked it up to my truck.

He said he has seen a 10 Flex Fuel 5.7's with the same issue now. The Alcohol Sensing Unit was detecting high levels of alcohol, thinking I was running E85 through the system. The truck computers were running the E85 firing program, and it was bogging down my engine. He reset it, and stated he has only had two of the prior trucks return for similar problems.

Fixing this also made my truck run noticeably stronger and smoother. I never quite felt that I was getting all 381 HP out of the truck, now I know why. I have all 381 ponies kicking now, and I love the truck even more than I did when it was being restricted.

Kudos to Price LeBlanc Toyota for taking the time to listen to their customers and going the extra mile to resolve it. Shop foreman was going to submit a report to Toyota.

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post #2 of 974 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 07:05 PM
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Re: 2012 CM 5.7 Flex 4x4 rough cold starts solved

That is great customer service there my 12 rw had that problem after 2 weeks and couple trips back to dealer they kept telling me there was nothing wrong with it. I greatly dispise Cardenas toyota service dept

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post #3 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 06:44 PM
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Huge thanks to Stompinstu for the information...
I explained the issue to my service advisor on both of my first two visits to the dealer for this problem and both times he had no idea and basically tried to tell me everything was fine.
Well on visit #3 after finding this post and specifically requesting they look at the fuel system reading in the ecu to check if the engine was firing on the ethanol program, they find exactly what Stompinstu had described. I just picked it up so time will tell if the re calibration sticks but I am happy that I found the problem, with the help of this site of course.
Service adviser did say Toyota is aware of the issue and is working on a permanent solution, for now they just re calibrate the settings and tell you not to run with too little gas in the tank. I usually don't let it go below 1/4 but it was on that line today so I'm guessing he just assumed I run on fumes all the time.
If u have a flex fuel 5.7 with a good battery and a strange slow start, this is probably your problem.
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post #4 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 07:46 PM
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Ah, so this isn't something that will resolve itself?

I usually park in a garage where it won't get below freezing. But the other day I went to visit my sister in St. Paul and it got down to well below zero the first night and was -2 when I went to start it the next morning. Almost sounded like it wasn't going to stay lit. Warmed up a bit after that 1st night and started it while it was in the low 20s rest of the trip and still stalled/sputtered for a second or two first cold start of the day.

My Tahoe with 200,000+ miles will do that when it's that cold outside but didn't think this truck should (~10,000 miles). Will have to get it checked out.
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post #5 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 09:50 AM
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Question: if your rig is stuck running some E85 program when you've got the <10% ethanol 'regular' gas in its tank would it be running leaner or richer? I don't know much about ethanol when it comes to this.

Figured it would have to be one way or the other (especially on the screwy cold starts they do when this way).
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post #6 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 10:50 AM
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Im not sure if it would run lean/rich, or if this issue mostly effects startup and once the engine gets up to temp the ecu reverts to the correct program. Outside temp does seem to make the issue more obvious but Im in hot ass Houston TX and its been in the 70s while Im dealing with this crap.
Just take it in and ask them to check the calibration in the fuel system when its cold, you may have to leave it there for a few hours if your dealer needs as much assistance as mine did to prove it to them. Then your on record for taking it in for this and if anything negative does happen you will be covered. Call Toyota Customer Care also so we can put as much pressure on them to crack the code and find a fix.
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post #7 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 07:20 AM
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...this issue mostly effects startup and once the engine gets up to temp the ecu reverts to the correct program. Outside temp does seem to make the issue more obvious...
Just take it in and ask them to check the calibration in the fuel system when its cold, you may have to leave it there for a few hours if your dealer needs as much assistance as mine did to prove it to them. Then your on record for taking it in for this and if anything negative does happen you will be covered. Call Toyota Customer Care also so we can put as much pressure on them to crack the code and find a fix.
Right, and as it's not that cold where I live (but where I travel often) my dealership is like "we don't have that problem here." To that I retort, I'm here and I'm having a problem with the truck I bought from you. There response is a non-emphatic 'oh'. So we'll see.

I had to explain to the guy it would take less than a minute to plug his machine in and see what the truck is running (an E85 program, etc). I'm just worried if it's warmed up from my driving there it won't say anything, they'll say I'm crazy, and I'll be back to square one.

Enter: calling Toyota Customer Care like you said. Just have to see I suppose.
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post #8 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 01:15 PM
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Called Toyota Support at 1-800-331-4331 and they had no clue what I was talking about; never heard of it.

Went by the dealer and they did what everyone else is saying (flashed the ECU back to normal or whatever). Said it was in E85 mode. Said they've had 1 other truck in for this.

Now the problem is it's pretty much done getting real cold here for the year so I won't be able to simply catch it if it reverts back to E85 mode through rough cold starts. Asked the dealer what the next step is because of this and just got a blank stare. (I swear mechanics smoke weed daily before opening all local shops around here)

They said their techs had to call their national tech hotline the first time they came across this. So I guess I'll call the 800# above back and see if they can talk to that part of Toyota and let me know if a fix is ever come up with. Can't imagine it's 100% good to be running in E85 mode with normal/'E90' gas.
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post #9 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 02:03 AM
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wonder if there will be a TSB on it here soon...new flash to the ASU?

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post #10 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:37 AM
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After whatever it is the dealership did to it, mine still sucks...moved to a new place and started parking outside more (vs. garage). It only gets into the 30's currently but every morning it stumbles a bit on start up.

To the 'untrained' (un-anal) ear it's nothing. But it's not something a truck with less than 200,000+ miles on it should be doing in my experience/opinion.

Other issue is I've moved over an hour away from the nearest dealership. So that should make things funner. At least it's a different dealership...
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post #11 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 04:15 PM
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Mine still does it also. I'm going back to get my 15k oil change in a few days, ill see if they can do the refresh again. I'm thinking the tech working on my truck did the reset after he started it, which would probably negate the reset. The fact that most people have had success and others have not makes me think some techs are performing this reset incorrectly. I'm going to strongly request they let the truck get cold (min 4 hours) and perform the reset on fuel density prior to turning the key.
I have no guarantee this will be the trick but its worth a try.
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post #12 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, so this isn't something that will resolve itself?

I usually park in a garage where it won't get below freezing. But the other day I went to visit my sister in St. Paul and it got down to well below zero the first night and was -2 when I went to start it the next morning. Almost sounded like it wasn't going to stay lit. Warmed up a bit after that 1st night and started it while it was in the low 20s rest of the trip and still stalled/sputtered for a second or two first cold start of the day.

My Tahoe with 200,000+ miles will do that when it's that cold outside but didn't think this truck should (~10,000 miles). Will have to get it checked out.
FYI this is not temperature related. It's an ECM issue with FlexFuel vehicles only.

Just took mine back, again, to be reset. Second time. This time I was told to not lay into the throttle very heavy until 15-20 miles after fueling.

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post #13 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question: if your rig is stuck running some E85 program when you've got the <10% ethanol 'regular' gas in its tank would it be running leaner or richer? I don't know much about ethanol when it comes to this.

Figured it would have to be one way or the other (especially on the screwy cold starts they do when this way).
It does not run leaner or richer....it just runs worse. The program for E85 has different timing altogether to account for the different flash point of E85 fuel.

I'm questioning if I am damaging my engine due to this.

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post #14 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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wonder if there will be a TSB on it here soon...new flash to the ASU?
This is what my dealer said they were hoping for when I brought mine in for the 2nd time to address this issue.

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post #15 of 974 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 07:51 AM
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It does not run leaner or richer....it just runs worse. The program for E85 has different timing altogether to account for the different flash point of E85 fuel.

I'm questioning if I am damaging my engine due to this.
The reason I was asking was because I was reading in another post that FFV's can't receive the non FFV supercharger/computer program due to their larger fuel injection nozzles (or thereabouts).

So I therefore assumed they were larger to accommodate more fuel per combustion when running E85. Guess I was thinking too linearly. I know it's got less energy than regular gas. But assumed it used more of it given the larger nozzles=more flow when the E85 program is in play. Or at least that was me thinking too much into it I suppose.

Also, mine has started doing it on warm starts while in the 40's outside. Come back from the store, chill for an hour, then go to start up and it's like an old car I had with a leaky fuel pressure regulator (leaked fuel into the combustion chamber and would start 'flooded').

Last edited by LatitudeDancer; 02-26-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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