The Toyota Vios is easily the number one selling car in the Philippines. In fact it has held the top spot since 2008— which was only the third year that the car was introduced into the country. As the Philippines’ vehicle of choice, the Vios is well known for its overall reliability and very affordable price, earning the nod of both taxi companies and private car owners alike.

Still, like any other car, the Vios isn’t perfect and can have its fair share of problems, with some more common than others. As one of the most popular taxi cars in the Philippines, have you ever seen a Vios taxi with the hood partially open? According to taxi drivers who do this, doing so helps keep the engine cooler and enhances fuel efficiency.

If you own a Vios, let these troubleshooting tips help you out whenever a common problem pops up. Proper Vios troubleshooting can help you zero in on the real problem with your car, which can help you save on time, money, and even frustration. Here is a list of common Toyota Vios problems and how to fix them:

Vios suddenly dies while driving

If your Vios suddenly goes dead without warning, the most likely cause of the problem is in the electrical system. Check your Vios’ fuse box for any sign of corrosion or damage. Likewise, check for loose burnt cables. If both the fusebox and cables appear in pristine condition, then problem likely lies in a busted electronic fuel injection controller or spark ignition controller, which are quite pricey automotive parts to replace.

If you heard or felt the engine sputter before dying, your fuel line might already be clogged. Replacing the fuel filter or cleaning the fuel line can be all that it takes to solve this problem. And also, choose another gas station for your fill ups.

Intermittent stalling problem

Diagnosing an intermittent problem can be a challenge if the stalling is a rare occurrence. However, if it’s starting to appear with some regularity, you need to check your car’s air-fuel mixture, which can can be affected by different factors including:

  • Vacuum leaks
  • Too much air entering the intake manifold
  • A busted throttle position, oxygen sensor, or manifold absolute pressure sensor
  • Contaminated fuel injectors,
  • Weak fuel pump
  • Damaged fuel pressure regulator
  • Damaged or blocked fuel filter

With so many things that could possibly cause the problem, it is important to have a scan tool that can check for any codes that can get at the problem’s source. If you don’t own a diagnostic tool, your best move is to take your Vios to an authorized Toyota service center for diagnosis and repairs. Toyota Vios

Vios won’t start

There are four areas to look at when the car won’t start: the starter system, spark system, and the fuel system. The starter system is where it all begins, so that’s the first thing you should look at.

Check your battery for corrosion and clean the battery posts if necessary. If you have a battery tester, test the battery for voltage, otherwise, you can try jumpstarting the car. If that does the trick, then replace the battery and clean the terminals to ensure proper contact.

If the battery is fine, you should next check the ignition switch. If the red warning lights on your dashboard don’t light up when you turn the key to the on position, you likely have a bad ignition switch. If the red lights turn on, the problem lies elsewhere.

Corrosion in the battery can start to affect other components, most notably the starter. To check the starter, hold a circuit tester lead on the wire that engages the starter, then have someone turn the ignition. If the starter is receiving electricity but not spinning, then it’s time to replace it.

If starter-related issues have been eliminated, the next area to look at is the spark or ignition system, which includes the ignition coil, distributor cap, and coil wire. Properly testing the ignition coil requires using a multimeter that can measure impedance but if you don’t have one, there are two simple test methods that you can use. If the coil fails any of these tests, replace it.

If the ignition coil works fine, inspect the coil wire for signs of wear and tear. To be sure that there’s no short, test for continuity using a circuit tester.

No-starts are rarely caused by a faulty distributor cap, but it can still happen. Take out your distributor cap and check the inner portion for moisture or signs of it. Remove any moisture with a clean, dry cloth. If the problem is indeed in the distributor cap, your car will surely start when it’s dried.

If the starter and spark system are both okay, the source of your no-start problem must be in the fuel system. You can check the fuel filter and lines for clogs, but if these are clear, your car is probably in need of some serious diagnostic work by a Toyota technician.

Steering noise

The Toyota Vios has a power steering system that makes use of hydraulic fluid to steer the wheels. A problem with this system can result in abnormal noises when steering. Left unattended, a power steering problem can worsen until it becomes rough to turn the wheel, until the entire system eventually gets damaged beyond repair. The abnormal sounds can come in the form of a knock, whine, or hum.

Power window not working

Are all the windows not working, or just one? If you can’t get any of the windows to work, check the fuse box. If the fuse is good and you can hear the motor running, then your problem is likely in the power window motor. Avoid checking a power window motor yourself, as it can be dangerous and potentially lead to injury.

Vibration when air conditioner is turned on and the car is on idle

The air conditioner compressor rests on a belt that turns the rest of the engine. When the compressor is turned on, the engine has to work a little harder. A problem with the compressor can put more strain on the engine, and the extra stress is what cause the entire car to vibrate when idle. To fix this problem, either the compressor bearing or the entire compressor assembly will need to be replaced.