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Air injection for catalytic converter

My Toyota Tundra 2011, driven enough to haul a horse locally (6000 plus miles) is now unable to go above 30 mph, it was fine last week. Toyota dealer says it is both of the air injection units and switch. Of course it is out of warranty 3 months. Current estimate of repair $3,000. They are ‘trying’ to get goodwill decrease in cost as I have had several Toyota vehicles. Good grief!!! Is this for real, a system put in the truck that is not Toyota made, but government made due to mandate? Once it is fixed I will be getting rid of it!!

I would point this out, and mention that perhaps Toyota hasn’t fixed things like they were supposed to, and gee it would be a shame if you had to make one hell of a lot of noise about it.

I think your Toyota dealer is wrong. The air injection only works for about two minutes after the engine is started. When the engine is stone cold, the fuel mix is set to very rich, so much so that there is no oxygen left in the exhaust for the cat to finish burning off the hydrocarbons. The air injection motor adds air so the cat can do its job.

Once the engine warms up a little, the computer dials back the A/F ratio to a much leaner mix so the added air is no longer necessary.

If your truck wont run above 30 mph after it has warmed up, then the problem is elsewhere.

Your truck may be generating a P0410 code, indicating the air pump, but the pump itself is not monitored. When the air pump is commanded on, it monitors the rear oxygen sensor to see if it starts switching normally within 10 seconds. If it doesn’t, it sets the P0410 code and most mechanics assume it is the pump or reed valve. But other things can also cause this code to set, but they should also show up as separate codes, i.e. P0420.

I suspect a clogged cat and the dealer will not like for that to be the problem. It should have the 8 year, 80k miles warrantee.

Any emissions related component carries the federally mandated warranty of 8 years or 80,000 miles unless they can prove negligence on your part. The A.I.R. system should be covered…

The 8 year/80,000 mile emission warranty only applies to catalytic converters and computers.

All other emission components are only covered for 2 years/24,000 miles.


Unfortunately, the extended warranty only applies up to the 2010 model year. If the air pump really is the problem. Given that the truck is out of warranty, you should go to a reputable non-dealer garage and ask them for a second opinion. You will probably have to pay for the diagnostics, but it might show that the problem is in the catalytic converter or computer. If it turned out to be a sensor issue, that will be a lot less expensive than the $4000 air pump.

YOU can get more satisfactory results by communicating directly with Toyota customer relations then the dealer can. I have done this on several occasions with Toyota, Honda and SAAB and in all cases got a satisfactory conclusion to my issues. You need to find an advocate that you can call and talk to and speak on your behalf. They have reps for just such problems. They really do try to listen but going through the dealer who has alterior motives…like getting reimbursed, does not work best. You must take the lead and be kind in word but aggressive in action.

The dealer wants to get paid for everything while the manufacturer is mainly concerned that they keep repeat customers. You may even choose to have an independent do the work and you may have to pay initially but get reimbursed later. Like I said, be a real pain in the butt but in a kind way …not with the dealer but with the home office representative. The dealer may or may not help and it can sometimes be a crap shoot finding one that will help deal with Toyota who reimburses warranty work . They regularly do reimburse work out of warranty. It is not cut and dry they will not. It may seem that way if the dealer is involved because they feel they may not get the money. It’s up to you…contact Toyota Customer service ASAP.

air injection should only be on for a little during warm up to help ignite the cat i cant see how it would make a car run like crap unless toyotas have some weird electronics on them that wont let the car run without it. but who knows what there doing to cars now to make the government happy. even the 02 sensor should be able to make minor adjustments to the fuel trim that might be affected by the system not acting quick enough. also a clogged cat can rob the power rite out of a car especially at higher loads

I’ll go a little off topic . . .

I’m surprised this 2011 Tundra still uses air injection

Many manufacturers had started moving away from air injection some years earlier

“Some people reading this might be wondering why Tundra owners don’t just ignore the check engine light for this particular problem. The answer is that, because this is federally mandated emissions equipment, it sets a hard fault in the ECU if there’s a problem…and a hard fault makes the truck practically un-driveable.”

Apparently, the pump failure signal can be blocked from reaching the ECM and everything returns to normal…But that would be illegal…

Emissions certification is now a grams per mile thing and big V8 engines produce many grams per mile, so sometimes extraordinary measures must be used to get those grams per mile low enough …Like two air pumps and their valving systems that can cost $3000-$4000 to repair…

GM stopped using air pumps years ago

That would imply that Toyota’s emissions technology might be inferior, if they actually need an air pump to meet the regulations . . .