Tundra and Sequoia $4000 Air Injection System Problem
UPDATE: As of November 2011 (nearly 18 months after this problem first came to our attention), Toyota has finally announced a special service campaign to cover this repair. You can learn more about Toyota’s Air Injection Pump Extended Warranty Campaign here.
It’s been brought to our attention that many 2007 or 2008 Tundra owners are being asked to replace their truck’s air induction pump assemblies and/or air injection switching valves at a substantial cost. The pumps and/or valves seem to be malfunctioning at about the same time that Toyota’s 3 year/36k mile warranty ends, sometimes at a total cost of more than $4,000. Obviously, this is a major concern for any 2007 and older Tundra owner.
Here’s the background on this problem, what’s happening, and what you can do if this problem effects your Tundra.
What’s An Air Injection System?
Air injection is used to improve cold-start emissions, a federally-mandated emissions requirement. By injecting fresh air into the exhaust stream, the catalytic converters will heat up more quickly and therefore become more effective at scrubbing exhuast gases. Once the catalytics are warmed up, the air injection system is no longer needed.
On the 2007+ Tundra, the air injection system turns on at cold start and runs for 1-2 minutes until the engine computer determines the exhaust system is sufficiently warm. The injection system is purely needed to improve emissions – it has absolutely no impact on the core function of the engine. In fact, your truck would run better, cost less, and be more reliable if it didn’t have this system…but it wouldn’t be as “clean” environmentally, so it’s required by federal law.
Why Some Parts of The Air Injection System Are Breaking On The Tundra
The system has four main components – two pumps and two valves. The pumps pull air from under the passenger-side fender well and send it to the back of the intake manifold, where two valves open and close to allow this air to enter the exhaust gas stream. The pumps themselves and the air inlet are located behind the front passenger-side splash guard, just below the fender. The air is pulled from essentially the same place that the air intake pulls fresh air, an area that is designed to stay mostly dry and free of moisture.
However, many Tundra owners have found that their truck’s air injection system has somehow ingested water. The water then collects in the induction pumps, sometimes causing the pumps to fail. Additionally, as these pumps operate in wet conditions, they pump humid, moisture-filled air into the valves at the rear of the intake manifold, which can cause the valves to fail as well. The total cost to replace both pumps and valves can exceed $4,000, depending on the dealer. This repair is not generally covered by warranty.
**UPDATE** – As of May 27th, 2010, Toyota has extended warranty coverage to 6 years and 60k miles for this problem. If your truck is less than six years old or under 60k miles, it should be covered.
At this point, it’s not clear as to how water is getting into the system. The most obvious answer is that water is getting into the pumps from the air intake tubes. However, it’s hard to determine how this is happening – the tubes are protected from exposure to the elements. If we find any new info on this, we’ll be sure to update this article.
The Parts That Are Failing
There are a few different possible failures:
1. Pump failure only. According to Toyota’s most recent TSB on this issue, pump failure can be diagnosed quickly and easily using the electronic diagnosis tool. If the pumps become water-logged, the pumps can fail. However, it’s also possible that the pumps can fail as a result of a poor harness connection or a clogged intake line.
2. Valve failure only. If the pump test shows that the pumps are operating correctly, the problem may be a stuck/corroded valve or a valve wiring harness problem.
3. Pump and valve failure. This is the worst case and most expensive possible failure.
Vehicle’s Potentially Effected
It seems that all 2007’s and that a portion of 2008 and 2010 Tundras are susceptible to this problem (all engines). According to the TSB, Toyota made a production change in 2008 that ‘fixed’ this issue…yet there is also a TSB for 2010 models. If the 2008’s were changed, why the TSB on the 2010 model? Chances are good this problem can occur on all Tundras. However, their is no TSB currently for 2009’s, so 09′ Tundras may be exempt from this issue.
Engine Trouble Codes Set By This Problem
P0418, P0419, P2440, P2441, P2442, P2443, P2445, and/or P2447
Unfortunately, the codes aren’t always specific to a particular component. In order to figure out what’s broken, first the pumps must be tested for function. If the pumps aren’t working, they must be removed and checked for moisture. If the pumps are wet, at least one of them must be replaced. If not, connectors must be checked. Then, regardless of moisture or connection, the valves must also be checked.
How Many Tundras Have This Problem?
We have no data to indicate the size and scope of this issue. However, based on the number of complaints on the TundraSolutions.com website, similar complaints on TundraTalk, complaints we’ve heard, and a brief survey of some dealership personel we speak with frequently, it seems this problem is fairly rare. None the less, the incredible potential expense is cause for concern.
What To Do If Your Tundra Has This Problem
UPDATE: Commenter Bill3508 has told us that unplugging the air injection pumps (disconnecting the harness) will set a check engine light, but it will not trigger limp mode. This is the easiest way to keep your truck running without making a repair. Of course, a check engine light might keep you from passing emissions at some point.
1. Recognize that this system is non-essential. The air injection system isn’t necessary for proper function, and ignoring this light will not harm your truck. However, if a check-engine light is set by this error, your truck will enter what is known as ‘limp’ mode. While your truck is in ‘limp’ mode, you’ll have significantly less power until the code is cleared.
If you purchase your own code scanner, and if you’re willing to deal with the hassle, you can clear this code on your own any time it is set. The air injection pumps and/or valves might not work correctly, but you can drive down the road just fine without this system (remember, it’s just emissions equipment, and it’s just used for 1 to 2 minutes at start-up).
2. Beware dealers who want to replace the entire system. Don’t get us wrong – sometimes the entire system (both pumps and valves) will need replacement. However, dealers often recommend replacing all suspect parts at once rather than replacing parts as they break. The reason? Labor costs are usually the same whether you replace one part or the whole system, and when there’s a lot of labor involved, the cost of the parts is less than the labor.
Also, it should be noted that dealers will often recommend replacing parts that aren’t technically malfuctioning in order to reduce the number of visits to the dealership (and increase the chances of fixing a problem right the first time), not to mention the additional profit this policy generates.
If your dealer suggests you replace both pumps or valves, ask them:
Are both of the pumps really malfunctioning? It doesn’t make sense to replace both pumps unless they’re both broken because the labor cost to replace a pump is very low. It’s better to pay an extra $100 of labor later than it is to buy a $1000 pump you don’t need.
On the other hand, the valves should be replaced as a set (even if only one is malfunctioning). The reason? Labor costs are more than the cost of the part, which means it’s smart to replace both valves than it is to pay to have one valve replaced now and then the other one later. Besides, there’s a pretty good chance that both valves are damaged even if only one is malfunctioning.
NOTE: If you own a Tundra with a 4.7L V8 and you’re told that you must replace BOTH pumps, your dealer is reading the oldest TSB. According to TSB032908, only the bank 2 pump must be replaced.
3. Ask for a discount on parts and/or obtain your own parts. There is a substantial mark-up in the parts cost on the pumps – there are reports of pumps costing anywhere from $900 to $1200 each. Be sure to check for parts online before authorizing this repair.
4. Ask for assistance. Toyota dealers are authorized to cover a substantial portion of this repair under what is known as “After Warranty Assistance,” or AWA. However, AWA is not doled out freely. Dealers have a limited amount of discretion, and they can’t give everyone assistance. Here’s how they determine who gets assistance and who doesn’t:
- Was the vehicle bought new?
- Was the vehicle bought from the dealer?
- Is the person requesting AWA a frequent dealership service customer?
- If AWA is granted, is it likely we’ll see this customer again?
If the answer to any of the above questions is no, it is unlikely you will be granted any AWA.
5. In some states, some or all of these repairs are covered by emissions warranty. The coverage depends on the failure and the code set. Generally speaking, the bulk of this coverage expires after 3 years and 50k miles. Some parts may be covered for 7 years or 70k miles.
If you bought your vehicle in and live in the states of California, Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont, your 07+ Tundra may be covered by state-mandated emissions warranties.
If you have an 08+ Tundra and you bought your vehicle in and live in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island, some or all of this repair may be covered.
What Else You Can Do
1. File a complaint with the EPA. Depending on your perspective, you can either complain to the EPA about Toyota’s poor design/poor part quality, or you can complain about EPA regulations that require your vehicle to have this system in the first place. Either way, the EPA complaint form is at the bottom of this page.
2. Don’t overlook the option of buying a scanning tool. You can purchase a code reader scanner tool for about $100 and clear the codes yourself. You’ll probably have to do this a few times – and at some time it will stop working – but it will prevent this repair as long as possible.
If you can get the pump working again as shown in the video, you’re a few thousand to the good.
The TSB’s can not be provided here. However, here are the TSB numbers you can tell your dealer:
2007 and 2008 Tundra – TSB 032908
2010 Tundra – TSB 035009
Filed Under: Tundra News