Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Please help me in Kenya! What are the symptoms of a rotor head needing replacing?

My Toyota Landcruiser V6 diesel (newly bought in 2008 and with 61 000 km on it) had power problems following a change of the oil and air filters (which in turn were done because of excessive black smoke). When I brought it in to the dealer they looked at the fuel injector system and said they recalibrated the fuel injection and changed the nozzles.

This indeed stopped the car from smoking, but the power problems remain: essentially the car jumps a bit in 3 and 4th gear and feels underpowered in all speeds, and even does funny jumping sometimes when shifting. Now the dealer wants to change the rotor heads at a very expensive cost.

Another mechanic is telling me that probably all is wrong is that the feul filter is clogged, and he is basing this on the fact that there are no problems with starting the car, or with acceleration, or with anything else actually- the only symptom is the jumping in 3/4 gear.

The car is 80% of the time driven in the city (unfortunately) and has only ever been fueled in a proper gas station.

Who is right? Please help- I live in Kenya and there is only one official dealer around and they have a terrible reputation, so I’m not sure where else to go.

You have several problems here…

#1 - I have no idea what a Rotor Head is.

#2 - What year is this vehicle? You said you bought it in 2008 with 61km. But that doesn’t tell us what year it is.

#3 - You say the truck is starting and acceleration fine…and the only symptoms are it’s jumping in 3/4 gear (what ever that means). And then you say truck feels underpowered in all gears. Well what is it. Either it’s running well or it isn’t.

#4 - What do you mean not fueled in a proper gas station? Where do you get your gas? What type of gas is it?

I’m taking a wild guess here because I still don’t know what problems you’re having…I think it’s fuel related. And the first thing I’d do is replace the filter. Then run some fuel cleaner through the system. You may have to do this a few times.

+1 to Mike’s comments/questions.

Has anyone actually checked the fuel pressure?

toyo models of that era only had an inline 6 cyl diesel motor. the cruiser model was referred too as the 100 series. in 08, they changed it to 200 series and started to offer a v8 diesel. the toyo and lexus GX series were similar.

6 cyl diesel

Sorry I wasn’t very clear.

I have no idea what a rotor head is either, but that’s what on the quote. The dealer hasn’t been able to make their diagnosis any clearer.

The year is 2008, the car was bought new in 2009. Indeed it is the inline 6 cylinder.

Two symptoms- it feels underpowered in that it almost jerks likes it’s struggling in 3 and 4 gear. But it also doesn’t feel as powerful as it did before - it doesn’t have the same pick up.

It has always been fueled in a proper gas station- dirty fuel is a big risk here and I’m sure only clean diesel has been used in this car.

I’ll try cleaning the system.

Just as a follow up to the saga with the dealer, apparently they have dismantled the fuel injector system - again, I dont know what that means- without my permission as they wanted to change the rotor heads (whatever that means). I’ve asked them to give me the car back as they wanted to charge me 1000$ for this process that I don’t understand and want to get a second opinion.

What should I look for and what should I ask them when I collect the car?

Here is a quick article on diesel smoking: You seem to say that the smoking is done, but whatever has been brought back into spec is apparently still not entirely in spec.

Unfortunately, these issues do just require diagnosis.

Has the “check engine light” been on? If so, then error codes should have been read from the computer. Get those and report them.

Did these problems start only after the oil and air filter change? Or did you have the problems already, brought it in for service, and the oil & air filter were changed, but that didn’t help? IF, these symptoms were new after the air filter change, I think this thing has a mass airflow sensor (MAF), and I would have it cleaned.

Unless you do plan to get handy on cars, you will just be at the mercy of whatever shops you can find.

Google is your friend …

Well, thanks ti JayWB we now know that the rotor head is part of your fuel pump. Sorry we couldn’t be more help but your car with that engine wasn’t sold here. We don’t see a lot of diesel cars here because the fuel is better than 10 per cent more than gasoline here.

I saw an article the other day about buying gasoline in rural Cambodia I think it was. There was no gas pump, just gasoline stored in a container above ground. To put gas in the car, the “attendant” would use a bucket to dip in the container, then he’d pour the gas into the car using a funnel-like gadget they made for this purpose. For a sieve to clean the fuel of debris they use an old shirt they had on hand for this purpose. Provide you have enough fire extinguishers on had, seems like it would work ok and deliver clean fuel.

Many fuel problems with diesels seem to be related to either the fuel pump or the injector pump. I suspect your problem lays in one of those. I’m always suspicious of the injector pump in situations like this.

I’ll go off topic . . .

I remember an old Charles Bronson movie, where the character said he used his hat as the sieve for fuel he was pouring

I may be mistaken but I think thats the injection pump or part of it, which is what I would have suspected in the first place. Not the fuel pump as we know it but distributes the fuel to the injectors. I’ve had bad pumps and also have just had them out of time. Certainly a fuel filter would be a low cost thing to do and I used to change mine every 5000 miles. Unless it is under warranty, I’d try to find a good diesel shop instead of the dealer.

db4690, reminds me of an old Cheech and Chong movie. In the first scenes they are trying to siphon gas from a stations tow truck…parked by the sidewalk. The camera pans down into the tin trash can they are using as a bucket and there is all kinds of trash floating in it. Wrappers, cig bitts, etc etc…

I drove heavy diesel trucks for many years and the engine problems were usually water in the filter or cheap filters. For 3 years I drove a Mack pulling two 45 foot trailers, legal gross weight 143000 pounds and nothing but a Mack filter would flow enough fuel (4 mpg) to pull them at full speed. If I used an off brand filter the truck would sound like it was sucking air and jump in high gear and loose speed.