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Old 02-12-2012, 07:48 AM   #1
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2012 Towing

Thought I would shed some light on the 2012's and their towing capabilities. I haven't towed anything big yet. Just my full size 5X8 trailer with 15" wheels and one motorcycle on board. To be honest, I was a little frustrated coming from a manual to this new automatic. I kept it in D at first since the total weight didn't exceed 1500 lbs. Here in SC we don't have steep inclines but there is the constant up and down of hills on the interstate. Every time I started to climb a hill, the transmission would kick out of lock up for a few seconds and then downshift to forth when it realized it needed more power to maintain speed. It got so frustrating that I eventually manually started to throw it into 4th before I approached a hill. This was all on cruise control of course.

So, on the way back I kept it out of cruise and just kept constant pressure on the pedal. I let the truck slow down climbing hills as I felt it was better for it to do that then to constantly be downshifting all the time. It was aggravating to say the least.

Anyone one else seem to have this happen to them. I mean I understand why it does it, but it is just annoying.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:24 AM   #2
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Yea it happens to everyone in one form or another. IMO i think the reason for this is simply EPA ratings. They are trying to get the max mileage possible and the lowest emissions. So they try to get the trans locked in as fast as possible and the rpm down. The result of this it "Trans Hunting" as it's constantly trying to get back to max efficiency. People are still bitching about fuel mileage in these trucks so if it was possible to revamp the software to make it more of a work horse instead of a cruiser, all hell would break loose.
Your going to have to drive it with your head instead of the software in the ecu. Your starting to adapt your driving to it.
My old Dakota has a auto with a OD lockout. It never hunts. It also gets half the fuel mileage as my Tacoma. Trucks are not what they use to be anyway.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma Mike View Post
Yea it happens to everyone in one form or another. IMO i think the reason for this is simply EPA ratings. They are trying to get the max mileage possible and the lowest emissions. So they try to get the trans locked in as fast as possible and the rpm down. The result of this it "Trans Hunting" as it's constantly trying to get back to max efficiency. People are still bitching about fuel mileage in these trucks so if it was possible to revamp the software to make it more of a work horse instead of a cruiser, all hell would break loose.
Your going to have to drive it with your head instead of the software in the ecu. Your starting to adapt your driving to it.
My old Dakota has a auto with a OD lockout. It never hunts. It also gets half the fuel mileage as my Tacoma. Trucks are not what they use to be anyway.
It wasn't the locking and unlocking of the TC that was really the issue. It was more so the constant down shifting into fourth at every hill. It would only fall out of lockout for about 2 seconds before it said, "oh wait, we still need more power to remain at 60mph...time to downshift into fourth!"

It's a double edge sword. In my manual if it wasn't a steep hill I (or the cruise) would just give it more gas to remain at the set speed. This drank the gas as it was throwing all the fuel it could at it to try and remain at the set speed without being able to downshift. But then again, I'd rather have bad gas mileage than an over worked auto transmission from downshifting all the time. It's a lot cheaper and easier to put more gas in her than to rip the tranny out and rebuild it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmerchant3 View Post
It wasn't the locking and unlocking of the TC that was really the issue. It was more so the constant down shifting into fourth at every hill. It would only fall out of lockout for about 2 seconds before it said, "oh wait, we still need more power to remain at 60mph...time to downshift into fourth!"

It's a double edge sword. In my manual if it wasn't a steep hill I (or the cruise) would just give it more gas to remain at the set speed. This drank the gas as it was throwing all the fuel it could at it to try and remain at the set speed without being able to downshift. But then again, I'd rather have bad gas mileage than an over worked auto transmission from downshifting all the time. It's a lot cheaper and easier to put more gas in her than to rip the tranny out and rebuild it.
Yea they downshift easy. And the process is unlock and then down shift. And i agree in your reasoning. I've talked to the reps that come in here and it's all about the EPA. I even asked about a tow haul button and that got me nowhere.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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You are not supposed to be in "D" when towing, according to http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tow...html#post35021. 5th gear in the auto is pretty tall, taller than the 6th gear in the manual actually. Just drive in "4" when towing. It's the equivalent of turning off overdrive in older transmissions. Hell I drive in "4" most of the time in the city to keep the revs up for good throttle response and better engine braking.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma Mike View Post
Yea they downshift easy. And the process is unlock and then down shift. And i agree in your reasoning. I've talked to the reps that come in here and it's all about the EPA. I even asked about a tow haul button and that got me nowhere.
That's disappointing. It would be nothing more than a simple reflash to change it from shifting so much too. I will continue to "make" it drive as I need it to. Thanks for the replies too.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
5th gear in the auto is pretty tall, taller than the 6th gear in the manual actually. Just drive in "4" when towing. It's the equivalent of turning off overdrive in older transmissions. Hell I drive in "4" most of the time in the city to keep the revs up for good throttle response and better engine braking.
In some cases it wouldn't surprise me if u got better mileage locally
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Well even when not towing but using cruise the tranny will downshift for now reason.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma Mike View Post
In some cases it wouldn't surprise me if u got better mileage locally
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
5th gear in the auto is pretty tall, taller than the 6th gear in the manual actually. Just drive in "4" when towing. It's the equivalent of turning off overdrive in older transmissions. Hell I drive in "4" most of the time in the city to keep the revs up for good throttle response and better engine braking.
I end up putting it in 4th for local driving most of the time. Dealer said I would get better milage in D but I don't see a difference in mgp. I only see the engine having a hard time when I get behind someone doing 25 and the tranny is still in what feels like 5th at less than 1000rpm. Pop it into 4th and the rpms jump up to near 2000 and I get much better response from the skinny pedal.

Also, I do most of my towing in 4th as well. Unless it's a long flat or downhill stretch, then I will jump to "D"
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
You are not supposed to be in "D" when towing, according to http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tow...html#post35021. 5th gear in the auto is pretty tall, taller than the 6th gear in the manual actually. Just drive in "4" when towing. It's the equivalent of turning off overdrive in older transmissions. Hell I drive in "4" most of the time in the city to keep the revs up for good throttle response and better engine braking.
X2, You don't want to let you Trans hunt like that. You will over heat it in no time. Just put it in 4th and leave it when towing.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:22 AM   #11
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The to leave it in D or not is a dead beaten horse. The manual states it solely for increased engine braking. But, based on my experience I will leave it in fourth unless I'm on a flat road from now on.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #12
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The to leave it in D or not is a dead beaten horse.

You think so ????? LOL
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmerchant3 View Post
The to leave it in D or not is a dead beaten horse. The manual states it solely for increased engine braking. But, based on my experience I will leave it in fourth unless I'm on a flat road from now on.
I don't think here. I think pretty much everyone on here agrees, that it should be left in 4th. I had a trans go on me when it was hunting once.I was not even towing anything. Was not a Tacoma, it was a POS quite frankly. But it scared the shit out of me, becuase it blew trans fluid all over the exhaust, and fill the truck with smoke. Thought I was driving down the road on fire!
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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5th gear or overdrive is not meant for towing. Take a look at the trucks that pull heavy loads like Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Looking at all of them with diesel engines, you will see that until recently, Ford had an overdrive button on the shifter. This was meant to be turned off when towing. They now have changed it to be like Chevy. The tow/haul button holds the truck in lower gears until the rpm's get higher regardless of throttle position. 5th gear in the Tacoma should only be used when not towing and not climbing steep grades or hauling significant loads. Also, cruise control should never be used when towing. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:53 PM   #15
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Hello,

I am new to the forum and just bought a 2012 Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed back in June. Duck season started here in CA, and I went to hook up my boat to the truck, but noticed the port where I usually plug my trailer wires into was totally different then on my older truck.

Is there some sort of adapter I need to purchase? Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #16
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I don't think it matters whether you are towing or not -- the cruise control drives me nuts and I always turn it off. Even crossing Kansas it was downshifting near the tops of hills. I rarely use it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
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Leave in 4th when towing. I tow 4500 lbs trailer all the time.

1500lbs is a piece of cake
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #18
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You probably need the 7 pin to 4 pin adapter. Toyota sells them but you can also get them at many auto stores.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hanahou7 View Post
Hello,

I am new to the forum and just bought a 2012 Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed back in June. Duck season started here in CA, and I went to hook up my boat to the truck, but noticed the port where I usually plug my trailer wires into was totally different then on my older truck.

Is there some sort of adapter I need to purchase? Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanahou7 View Post
Hello,

I am new to the forum and just bought a 2012 Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed back in June. Duck season started here in CA, and I went to hook up my boat to the truck, but noticed the port where I usually plug my trailer wires into was totally different then on my older truck.

Is there some sort of adapter I need to purchase? Thanks for the help!
Any auto parts store or RV dealer has the adapter you need. Mine was 10 bucks if I remember right.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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Thanks for the replies. I did find out it was the 4 pin adapter I needed, and went ahead and got one. Thanks again!
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