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2009 VSC/TRAC/AUTO-LSD snow test

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:13 AM   #1
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2009 VSC/TRAC/AUTO-LSD snow test

Have an 2005 6spd, got to drive my buddy's 09' auto on ice base, hardpack snow roads to test all the new systems.

First the Auto tranny is smooth and fast (but no way I'd trade my 6spd). Backup camera neat, was hard to see the screen though. MP3 friendly. Good to see Timberland green back.

-2wd, default TRAC & VSC. No shinagins, keeps you in line. Buzzer, brakes, motor cuts, and caution light goes off constantly driving hard. It works.

-2wd, 1 push of VSC button. TRAC off, AUTO-LSD on, VSC on. Similar to above, but more traction, truck starts to fishtail easier, VSC cuts in to keep you in control.

-2wd, hold VSC 5 sec. AUTO-LSD on, VSC off. Hey its like my old TRD Sport, fishtailing fun, though extended hard driving, the brakes are working hard to keep the LSD going.

-4hi, Unlike the Tundra, VSC is still on, safe for control in the snow, but playing in the fields, the VSC cuts in, can it be shutoff? VSC button didn't stop it.

Overall nice truck, definately safer and really helps you stay within limits of the stock Dunlops. Much easier to control on snow than an 05-08 on the same tires. Of course, getting back into my 6spd on snow tires, obviously much more traction and realize how much fun and involving it is.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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yes the VCF can be shut off in 4 hi. hold the button for a couple sec while in 4 hi in park. works for me
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:50 AM   #3
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Great write up. I did read the manual, it was confusing, but was able to understand. But the above posts are nice little cheat sheets. THANKS

Getting some snow Wednesday so will try it out.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09 tacoma trd View Post
yes the VCF can be shut off in 4 hi. hold the button for a couple sec while in 4 hi in park. works for me
Ah, guess I got impatient holding the button. Thanks for clarifying. Think I had to be stopped and hold button a full 5 sec for the third 2wd VSC setting to finally turn on too.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demoncleaner View Post
-2wd, default TRAC & VSC. No shinagins, keeps you in line. Buzzer, brakes, motor cuts, and caution light goes off constantly driving hard. It works.

-2wd, 1 push of VSC button. TRAC off, AUTO-LSD on, VSC on. Similar to above, but more traction, truck starts to fishtail easier, VSC cuts in to keep you in control.

-2wd, hold VSC 5 sec. AUTO-LSD on, VSC off. Hey its like my old TRD Sport, fishtailing fun, though extended hard driving, the brakes are working hard to keep the LSD going.

-4hi, Unlike the Tundra, VSC is still on, safe for control in the snow, but playing in the fields, the VSC cuts in, can it be shutoff? VSC button didn't stop it.

Overall nice truck, definately safer and really helps you stay within limits of the stock Dunlops. Much easier to control on snow than an 05-08 on the same tires. Of course, getting back into my 6spd on snow tires, obviously much more traction and realize how much fun and involving it is.


I just did a couple hours of "testing" the VSC/TRAC system on my '09 4X4.

2WD Everything on - Works really well, cuts throttle heavily at low speeds, but definatly allows some wheelspin. Seems to transfer power, but also limits it heavily at low speeds. At higher speeds, still allows a little bit of wheelspin. Example: driving along a snow covered road, a little extra throttle may not spin the wheels much, but enough for the Stability control to cut in. For many drivers, my wife included, this would save them a quick trip to the ditch or worse. It would also come in very handy on those unexpected sections of "black ice". Taking slower turns, nothing short of deliberatly pitching the truck, and not correcting, would cause any major slides.

2H AUTO LSD - I push of the VSC button, and now I can spin the tires, no throttle restriction until 2nd gear, (when TRAC automatically re-activates). Good if you need to spin your way out of some muck. Also allows sliding the ass end to do a tight U-turn. VSC seems to be fully active above 10 mph or so. Not quite as "tight" as the friction based LSD on my Dakota, but more effective in a split / MU situation. (NO traction on 1 wheel).

2H VSC OFF - Toyota Tech manual states that in this mode, VSC will still activate under braking, or if "Yaw rate is large". Meaning it is always lurking, even when turned off. I didn't notice any Traction function. Not sure what the OP experienced, because this shuts everything off, except the lurking VSC function.

4H Everything on - Full throttle starts get excellent grip. No apparent throttle intervention. VSC fully functional. This is the obvious choice for slippery conditions. Almost feels like it cuts throttle, but Toyota tach manual says no throttle intervention. Probably just transfering power, and finding grip, so the slight loss of RPM feels like throttle being cut.

4H VSC OFF - Allows small slides, seems to accelerate slower, no LSD effect. Only use I can think of for this mode is maybe in the mud, or for fooling around.

Bottom line: This truck has tires that are crappy in the snow. Without these systems, the stuff I tried today would surely have spun me out, and or put me in the ditch. A small amount of opposite lock steering was required to fully straighten the skids, but no second correction was required. This is where many skid rookies lose it, not on the first slide, but on the snap back. I never wanted my wife driving a pickup where we live, 5 months of slippery driving....After trying this stuff out, we have ordered her a Tacoma, with BFG A/T's. Amazing Technology, will surely save lives and lots of accidents. Not to mention the functional benefits of the transferring of torque. My opinion is anyone who bashes these systems, just doesn't know how to correctly use them.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09 tacoma trd View Post
yes the VCF can be shut off in 4 hi. hold the button for a couple sec while in 4 hi in park. works for me

GREAT INFORMATION> I guess I am too lazy to consult the manual.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
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cant wait for the snow now!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demoncleaner View Post


-2wd, hold VSC 5 sec. AUTO-LSD on, VSC off. Hey its like my old TRD Sport, fishtailing fun, though extended hard driving, the brakes are working hard to keep the LSD going.
The ALSD should not be operating in this mode.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:53 AM   #10
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Nice write-ups.
Thanks
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:06 AM   #11
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good job guys. I was impressed last feb when i picked mine up and found it very hard to have "fun" with it. Thanks to TW tho, now i can have even more fun
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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I had recently posted a thread on the use of the VSC button in the Technical Chat Area...now I'm more confused after reading this thread. Did things change regarding the way this switch operates between the 2007 and newer models? Because the manuel is so confusing regarding the operation of this switch, I did some prior research and this is what I came up with for my 07. Is this correct??

VSC operation:

Normal Operation (2wd)... vsc on, trac on, autolsd off
Push Once (under 62mph)... vsc on, trac off, autolsd on
Push & Hold (with vehicle stopped)... vsc off, trac off, autolsd off
Push Again (to return to normal)... vsc on, trac on, autolsd off
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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I can't wait to try mine out in the snow for the first time.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:32 PM   #14
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I dont have the VSC button on my regular cab 4x4. I have the lsd and when parked in 2hi i can turn the lsd on and turn the TRAC off. If i hold the button both are off. However when in 4hi i cant get the auto lsd light on but can turn TRAC off. My question is the rear diff open with no ALSD intervention in 4hi or 4lo on a non-TRD truck?
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:06 PM   #15
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The button with the skid marks is the VSC button. In 4 Hi you have TRAC which is essentially Auto-Lsd front and rear, (no throttle intervention). In 4L the truck has nothing, open diffs front and rear. If you get stuck in 4L, you can put in 4 H, rev the snot out of it, and dump the clutch, it's a really stupid set-up. Why Lsd in hi and nothing in Low?.....Or you can snip a wire behind the glove box, and this activates TRAC in 4L, but that's another story....
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isthatahemi View Post
The button with the skid marks is the VSC button. In 4 Hi you have TRAC which is essentially Auto-Lsd front and rear, (no throttle intervention). In 4L the truck has nothing, open diffs front and rear. If you get stuck in 4L, you can put in 4 H, rev the snot out of it, and dump the clutch, it's a really stupid set-up. Why Lsd in hi and nothing in Low?.....Or you can snip a wire behind the glove box, and this activates TRAC in 4L, but that's another story....
Is this real?
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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I appreciate the info. this is crap i bought the base because i thought things would be simple. ugh damn tecnology crap. i still think ARB locker at least in the rear would make me feel way better.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoytoda View Post
I appreciate the info. this is crap i bought the base because i thought things would be simple. ugh damn tecnology crap. i still think ARB locker at least in the rear would make me feel way better.
But it probably wouldn't go as far off road as the 4L TRAC mod would, and the mod is free...
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #19
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Talking Montana Snow Test

We got snowed pretty heavily up here in Montana last night. So I decided do some research last night and took it off-roading out in the snow this morning. I have the 4x4 TRD OR. I have to say, once you know how all the features work, the truck is so much more capable. Here’s the gist of what I’ve found out:

ATRAC: basically Auto LSD for all 4 wheels (Auto LSD is only available on 2wd mode.) It only works in 4Lo. You can turn it off but I don’t see any real reason unless you want the open differential feel in 4Lo.

TRAC: less aggressive ATRAC that helps you get traction. It works on both 4Hi and 2wd modes. However, because it is always on by default, it’s tuned for high speeds and won’t work as well when you are stuck.

VSC is just for keeping you on the road by helping you avoid a skid and doesn’t do much with getting you unstuck. However, turning it off may help you get out of a jam in certain situations. I found a neat video here: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/206114/689691

All this can get very confusing and it took me forever to finally understand the purpose of each. For a situation when you are stuck, think of it as different levels of control for getting you out of a slippery surface.

Level 1: 2wd default mode (VSC and TRAC on)
-normal driving mode and won’t do you much good if you are stuck
Level 2: press VSC button. TRAC off, VSC and Auto LSD on
-Auto LSD as I’ve said above is just more aggressive TRAC. By this I just mean it breaks more heavily on the slipping wheel. It’s meant only to get you out of being stuck, it will turn off as you increase speed by design.
Level 3: switch to 4Hi. VSC/TRAC on, Auto LSD automatically goes off
-Should be good for most situations. Even the limited intervention of TRAC is pretty good since it’s now working on all 4 wheels instead of just 2.
Level 4: switch to 4Lo. VSC/TRAC/Auto LSD off. ATRAC on (push button if necessary)
-In my experience this setting will get you out of most situations. As stated previously, I personally don’t see the point in turning ATRAC off especially when you are stuck.
Level 5: lock your rear differentials. VSC/TRAC/Auto LSD Off, ATRAC on.
-This will get you out if you are stuck severely. I had to use it today once, but I was trying really hard to get my truck stuck in a pile of snow.
-The benefit of locking is that you are in absolute control of how much power the rear wheels are getting. ATRAC doesn’t mess with the total power either, but it still works by using breaks to distribute torque between wheels and you will not be fully in control.

Some of you may think I skipped some levels. Especially between Level 3 and 4, you could indeed turn off VSC completely. However, if you are in a situation where VSC is messing with your ability to get unstuck, you might as well switch to 4Lo. Switching to 4Lo will turn everything off except for ATRAC (if switch is pressed) anyway. Just my take, let me know what you think.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:04 PM   #20
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Sweet! Thanks for the info!
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