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09+ Electronic Traction Systems Explained

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Old 08-22-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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09+ Electronic Traction Systems Explained

With all the confusion on how the many different traction systems alphabet soup work, I did some research and figured I'd throw this together.


Trac- Cuts power and brakes spinning wheel(s). “Traction Control”

VSC- Controls spins by braking select wheels. “Stability Control”

AutoLSD- Brakes spinning wheels to emulate LSD- does not cut power. Avail only in 2WD mode.

ATRAC- Avail only on OR models. Similar ALSD operation except available in 4WD mode.




When you start an 09 Tacoma:


Trac- On
VSC- On
AutoLSD- Off


When wheels spin, cuts power and brakes spinning wheel. If slide is detected, “beep beep beep” and slide is corrected.




Quick push of button:


Trac- limited op (see below)
VSC- On
AutoLSD- On


When wheel spins, brakes spinning wheel but does not cut power (ALSD function). If slide is detected, “beep beep beep” etc. Will only brake select wheels to control spin when spin is detected.




Hold down button while stopped:


Trac- Off
VSC- Off
AutoLSD- Off


When wheel spins, it will keep spinning. No slide corrections under 30 mph. ie, used for donuts, etc. VSC is always enabled over 30 mph.




ATRAC- Only on OR models. Provides “AutoLSD” in 4WD mode (braking spinning wheels but not cutting power).


In 4WD mode (ex OR), only disable feature is VSC by holding button down (no ALSD), but again activates over 30mph.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for putting this together TRD09. This was something that was confusing me until you made all the connections between each system.

Great post!
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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good job danielson.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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Great info! Now I can spin donuts again.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:37 PM   #6
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sees what you did there.
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Thanks I have been wondering what the hell the difference between all those was.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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My 2010 TRD OF have soo many buttons it got me confused. thanks for clearing up little. *** STICKY PLEASE ANYONE ***
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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Good post, I was trying to slide in the snow today, and the bells are ringing like crazy. All I wanted to do was slide a little!
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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Getting Unstuck

I posted the following in another thread, but I figure it'd be useful for people to know what to do when you get stuck in snow/mud as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAYo2002 View Post
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 12-11-2009, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAYo2002 View Post
I posted the following in another thread, but I figure it'd be useful for people to know what to do when you get stuck in snow/mud as well.
Nayo2002, thanks for posting that. I especially enjoyed that VSC video. BOSCH created VSC and wow, to know that data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for highway safety show that VSC systems are second only to safety belts in reducing fatalities on our nations roads.

That's awesome.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:09 AM   #11
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This helps explain things. However, shouldn't I hear the Trac come on when I'm driving through a snowy neighborhood road in 2wd and apply to much gas? It seems like my truck just spins and spins. It would be nice if it would assist me at the occasional rainy or snowy stoplights and let me leave it in 2wd since the majority of the roads aren't slick.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juicifer View Post
This helps explain things. However, shouldn't I hear the Trac come on when I'm driving through a snowy neighborhood road in 2wd and apply to much gas? It seems like my truck just spins and spins. It would be nice if it would assist me at the occasional rainy or snowy stoplights and let me leave it in 2wd since the majority of the roads aren't slick.

Yeah for sure you should, I cant spin the tires without the bells going off and the trac coming on, maybe you have something set wrong. I am also not sure of your model and trim packages...there is a difference.

And welcome to TW!
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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I hear and see beeping, but I don't feel anything except spin. I do sometimes get the VSC to kick on if I'm going around a turn, but in a straightline I get nothing. 2009 TRD Off Road, auto. Is it obvious when the Trac engages?
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendooman View Post
Yeah for sure you should, I cant spin the tires without the bells going off and the trac coming on, maybe you have something set wrong. I am also not sure of your model and trim packages...there is a difference.

And welcome to TW!
Hold the VSC button(car with squiggly lines) button for 5 seconds, because just pushing the button turns the VSC off, but if you hold down it down for several seconds, it turns the LSD off too and you can fish tail all you want. in 2 hi or 4 hi. Have fun!
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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same truck I got by the way. It is working, you can really feel it around a turn, it will almost stop you from sliding...because it will lock that spinning wheel or brake it one of the two...it is all so confusing. I am starting to figure it out though. My previous truck was a big gmc 4x4, it just slid till I steared out of it or it hit something
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:39 PM   #16
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I just turned off VSC via holding the button down for 5 secs. It does not turn back on above 30 mph.

(2010 2.7L manual 5 speed)

TRAC/VSC only turn back on from the quick press of the button, which also activates the Auto LSD function, that combination reactivates the VSC/TRAC and disabled the Auto LSD once it reaches a certaing speed (30 mph I guess).
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
I just turned off VSC via holding the button down for 5 secs. It does not turn back on above 30 mph.

(2010 2.7L manual 5 speed)

TRAC/VSC only turn back on from the quick press of the button, which also activates the Auto LSD function, that combination reactivates the VSC/TRAC and disabled the Auto LSD once it reaches a certaing speed (30 mph I guess).
This is true. Only thing that turns itself back on is TRAC (also turns off A-LSD) according to the manual. If you press and hold for 5 seconds, nothing will come back on regardless of speed.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:26 PM   #18
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TRAC doesn't cut power in 4WD HIGH. Only transfers torque.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:36 PM   #19
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Great info, always appreciate having the tacomas rubiks cube cleared up
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