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3rd Gen Traction Control Modes Explained

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Doggman, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Oct 14, 2021 at 1:09 PM
    #441
    kperatt09

    kperatt09 Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious, what has everyone found to be the most effective MTS mode at getting the front end to "lock"? I feel like they all aren't as good as the good old simple a trac button.
     
  2. Oct 14, 2021 at 4:26 PM
    #442
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    'Lock' is not a very good term... but I get that you mean "Least amount of tire spin". It also applies to the back axel, so not just the front. Hard for me to say since I have A-TRAC and not the adjustable MTS & Crawl. MTS 'Rock' Mode is supposed to be the least amount of slip. So, get into L4, with or without the rear locked, and MTS Rock for the front to be the most "locked". Let us know what you discover... Photos of what kind of cliff you drove up, too!
     
  3. Oct 14, 2021 at 4:34 PM
    #443
    jcampbell474

    jcampbell474 Well-Known Member

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    Could be wrong, but I understand it to be Rock. Here is a decent demonstration: https://youtu.be/vYY1x47IP3I?t=309.

    Watch the whole video for additional context.

    FWIW, I sent TFL Truck an email last year asking Tommy to do the slip test on all MTS modes. He replied that it was a good idea, but the video never materialized.
     
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  4. Oct 14, 2021 at 7:10 PM
    #444
    ShimStack

    ShimStack Well-Known Member

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    The highest grip surface setting will be the most aggressive mts strategy.
     
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  5. Oct 15, 2021 at 9:05 AM
    #445
    kperatt09

    kperatt09 Well-Known Member

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    Headed out in a few weeks to do a pretty narly trail, I'll post results :p

    I usually just leave it in rock, and dont dick around with it too much.
     
  6. Oct 17, 2021 at 9:15 PM
    #446
    H3llRid3r

    H3llRid3r Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had Crawl let me down twice now. This last time was on a steep angle. I was close to creating when the wheels just dug in and sprung. The truck was bouncing all over the place.

    I made several attempts. I did not think to try MTS, but honestly not sure what the difference is. I did try both front and rear locked and still couldn’t do it.

    In hindsight, the only combo I should’ve tried was airing down to 10 or 15 psi. I was sitting around 30 psi.
     
  7. Oct 18, 2021 at 5:20 AM
    #447
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Crawl is 'cruise control' for low range... all you do is steer.
    MTS is the adjustable traction control that you dial in the road surface you are on. You press the gas pedal to move and hit the brakes as needed.
     
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  8. Oct 18, 2021 at 7:51 AM
    #448
    jasmits1

    jasmits1 Well-Known Member

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    I mean if there simply isn't enough mechanical grip between any of the tires and a surface to be found no matter how advanced a traction control system is it can't create traction out of thin air. Systems like CRAWL and MTS are much more automated than traditional lockers and can make things easier than open diffs for inexperienced drivers but at the end of the day driver skill is still the most important ingredient. Knowing how to pick a good line helps no matter what you're driving, and on well equipped 4x4s with multiple mechanical and electronic traction aids like ours knowing when to use the right combo of lockers and electronic systems for a situation and how to get the most out of each of those systems makes all the difference.

    Now, if one tire does have some grip but the system isn't succeeding in sending power to that tire CRAWL is indeed letting you down. If you've picked an impossible line with aired up tires you're letting it down.
     
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  9. Dec 29, 2021 at 8:19 PM
    #449
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    Thanks so much to all whom toiled away to decipher Toyota’s poor explanation of what all the traction features are and what they do. Such an awesome post. I think the general consensus is to just take the truck out and see what it can do in various scenarios.

    Had a chance to mess around in a un-plowed snowy parking lot just the other day. First impressions was how robust the VSC is in preventing the truck from going out of control. Me and my wife really noticed it and thought it was quite good compared with it being turned off. VSC and the engine cut was an odd sensation but I can see the value with this in driving on city streets and highways. This will be the majority of our use. Driving off road and what to select gets a little cloudy as I’ve not been able to get out and away much. Experimented with 4Lo a little bit but it was on easy logging roads.

    The excellent entry by @Doggman below helps to try and rationalize what’s going on. However, with my TRD Sport, I have added to his list of when and how many times to press the “Override” or “VSC” switch below to try and digest it all. The entries in bold, I was wondering if they are accurate looking?

    With the Off-Road’s and the Pro’s they get a few more tools in the tool box which don’t apply to my Sport of course.

    I’m coming from a brand new 1992 Toyota extra-cab 4x4 V6 I had for 14 years. Straight forward using four wheel drive. Open front and rear diffs. Next was a 2003 Pathfinder. Drove that for 15 years. Same open diff’s but I’m fairly certain it had a mechanical rear LSD.

    The 3rd gen Tacoma 4x4 Sport is an entirely different world for me.


    All Models
    1. 2Hi TRAC ON and VSC ON
    2. 2Hi AUTO LSD. In this mode VSC is off from 0-30mph and on over 30mph. (Press VSC switch once while stopped).
    3. 2Hi TRAC OFF and VSC OFF (Press and hold VSC switch for 3 seconds while stopped).

    4. 4Hi TRAC ON and VSC ON.
    5. 4Hi TRAC OFF and VSC ON. In this mode TRAC is off from 0-30mph and on over 30mph. (Press VSC switch once while stopped).
    6. 4Hi TRAC OFF and VSC OFF (Press and hold VSC switch for 3 seconds while stopped).

    SR/SR5/TRD Sport/Limited
    7. 4Lo TRAC ON and VSC OFF.
    8. 4Lo TRAC OFF and VSC OFF (Press and hold VSC switch for 3 seconds while stopped).

    4F84BCCB-85A1-43B6-AB04-03771BA97DCD.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  10. Jan 7, 2022 at 3:53 AM
    #450
    jgrider16

    jgrider16 Active Member

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    I know this thread is a bit old, but I just pickup up my truck and trying to sort it out. It is a OR with MT.

    Does this sound right?
    - 4Hi TRAC-OFF, VSC-ON (short press VSC) is good for when you're in sand or snow and want to allow for some wheel spin without cutting engine power, but don't want to slide sideways.
    - 4Hi TRAC-OFF, VSC-OFF (long press) is basically for doing donuts in a parking lot or pretending to be Ken Block on a back road.
    - Rear Diff is for getting unstuck or for wheeling when one rear wheel isn't biting.
    - A-TRAC is generally to allow all 4 wheels to have a better chance at getting traction, but will not bind up the rear axle like diff lock does.

    Am I correct that A-TRAC is not available in 4Hi?
     
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  11. Jan 7, 2022 at 6:46 AM
    #451
    ShimStack

    ShimStack Well-Known Member

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    You pretty much have it. You will find differing opinions on the diff lock. One camp says wait until you're in trouble while others like myself like to use it more liberally to avoid getting hung up in the first place. I also much prefer the truck's behavior getting torque to the ground in rugged terrain with the diff/s locked. I find it to be a cleaner driving experience.

    A-TRAC is a good option for getting locker-like behavior without the scrubbing a locker induces. However, it uses brakes, creates heat, and burns off usable output torque in order to function. It also is not capable of full 100% torque bias like a locked diff is. A-TRAC shines best when used to manage front wheel slip while having the rear locked. A-TRAC is only available in 4LO.
     
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  12. Jan 7, 2022 at 2:18 PM
    #452
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Pretty good replies. Happy New Year. A-TRAC forever!
     
  13. Jan 7, 2022 at 2:30 PM
    #453
    TacoTime55

    TacoTime55 TT56

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    Great info here!

    E
    ****
     
  14. Jan 10, 2022 at 7:46 PM
    #454
    jgrider16

    jgrider16 Active Member

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    Thanks! I have had a couple of vehicles with lockers before but A-TRAC and the various VSC / TC modes looked confusing initially. I'll have to go find a snowy hill and play around a bit, then do the same in the sand come summer to see which mode works best in certain conditions.
     
  15. Jan 14, 2022 at 10:34 AM
    #455
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    I found this handy list as well. Thanks to OP @Sigfourme :hattip:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/attachments/tacoma-docx.1035695/


    Tacoma-- Traction control

    1) 2 WD : VSC + TRAC Active, engine regulated (Limited Slip Lite)

    2) 2 WD :TRAC Mode Off-Auto LSD -- (Strong Limited Slip-no engine regulation) Press VSC

    3) 2 WD : VSC Mode Off (Open Differential) Press VSC 3 sec

    4) 4WD-Hi : VSC + TRAC Active (Strong Limited Slip-no engine regulation)

    5) 4WD-Hi : VSC Mode Off (Open Differential) Press VSC 3sec

    6) 4WD-Lo : VSC +TRAC both Off in Low 4 WD (Open Differentials) Lo=VSC+A-TRAC off

    7) 4 WD-Lo : A-TRAC on (Locker-Like, Super strong limited slip Front and Rear) Press VSC

    8) 4 WD-Lo : A-TRAC Off -Rear Differential Locked, Front Differential Open Press Rear Diff

    9) 4 WD-Lo : A-TRAC On-Rear Diffential Locked, 3 MPH Limit Press Rear Diff, 3MPH
     
  16. Jan 14, 2022 at 10:43 AM
    #456
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    It looks like an edited version of my work? 2012, a tenth drive mode was added by Toyota (4WD-Hi, TRAC Mode OFF, Press VSC).
    The A-TRAC with rear locked 3 MPH means it simply goes active when the truck speed drops below 3 mph, when it is needed... like you are about to be stuck.
     
  17. Jan 14, 2022 at 10:56 AM
    #457
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    Not sure @David K However, reading through all these posts I'm still trying to distill the info in a easy way to remember. I found that list on an older thread. I could relate to it right away for trying to interpret what each mode does without complicating things.

    I have a Sport so the first 7 modes still apply to me I think even if you are the original author from 2012 writing from a second gen specific perspective. I don't know if the term used in mode 1. ("LSD Light") is still accurate on the 3rd gen combined with the term in mode 2. ("Strong Limited Slip-no engine regulation"). I hope and like the term "Strong Limited Slip." is accurate for the 3gen.
     
  18. Jan 14, 2022 at 11:05 AM
    #458
    tonered

    tonered bartheloni

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    It's all in the 1st Post. And, yes. Auto LSD applies.


    The very best thing to do is go out an play. See what works best for you.
     
  19. Jan 14, 2022 at 11:47 AM
    #459
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    One of the items I tried to clear up was the use of the name AUTO LSD (ALSD to some here).
    It is the name Toyota uses (sadly) but it does work to a degree, in 2WD.
    It is the TRACtion control with NO engine cut-out (aka 'engine output regulation'). What I like to call 'strong limited slip'.
    The same process in 4WD High is not called the same name, but called just 'TRAC' from 2009 to 2011. This was the standard 4x4 Hi mode.

    In 2012, Toyota made 4WD-HI TRAC have engine cut-out/ output regulation, and made you press the VSC button (quick press) to go into (what Toyota calls) TRAC OFF mode. TRAC OFF in 4WD-HI = AUTO LSD in 2WD (just with all four wheels).

    2012+: TRAC ON = Light limited slip (no button press) and TRAC OFF = Strong limited slip (quick button press).

    Three modes in 2WD and three in 4WD-HI:
    • Light traction assist: TRAC
    • Strong traction assist: TRAC OFF
    • ZERO traction assist: VSC OFF (stop and hold in button for 3+ seconds)
    (Pressing the button again or restarting the truck returns to the standard TRAC mode.)

    LOW RANGE is a different animal and I am still hoping to test or ride along in a 3rd Gen to see what is new.
    2nd Gen Off Road TRD 4x4s have four modes:
    • Low Range with zero traction controls (standard mode).
    • Low Range with A-TRAC (press A-TRAC)
    • Low Range with Rear Locker (press RR Diff)
    • Low Range with A-TRAC & Rear Locker
     
  20. Jan 14, 2022 at 2:03 PM
    #460
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    @David K Thanks again for the detailed reply. :hattip:

    It's unfortunate Toyota either by choice or accident named these systems with so much ambiguity. I don't want to beat a dead horse with this either. Just looking for a way to somehow keep in mind an easy way to remember what each setting does.

    Again as others have mentioned, I'll have to just get out and test different real world scenarios.
     

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