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A-trac noise/whine??

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by WestonJ, May 15, 2011.

  1. May 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM
    #1
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i have a 2010 TRD OR and the last few times i have used the A-trac feature in soft sand it has made a high pitched humming/whining type of noise. is this normal? do all other newer trd tacomas do this?


    thanks in advance
     
  2. May 15, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    #2
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    when i am in just normal 4LO there is no noise at all. just the normal clunk when it locks in. only when A-trac is turned on the noise starts.
     
  3. May 15, 2011 at 10:06 PM
    #3
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    it starts when i give it gas. then goes away when im stopped
     
  4. May 15, 2011 at 10:07 PM
    #4
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner Scotch before noon. Moderator

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    What you are hearing is the sound of the brake controller kicking in to brake the wheels that do not have traction.

    Perfectly normal.

    It is controlled traction from the computer that is making the noise.
     
  5. May 15, 2011 at 10:09 PM
    #5
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well thats good to hear. i searched and nothing came up, so i got to thinking that it might have been a problem
     
  6. May 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM
    #6
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner Scotch before noon. Moderator

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    Assess the situation you are in first. Does the sound start immediately once engaged or does it happen when you are in a situation where a wheel might lose traction. If it's happening when a wheel looses traction while you are giving it skinny pedal it's a case of the computer acknowledging the loss of traction and applying brake to that wheel to transfer torque to the other wheels.

    First time I heard it on my former FJ Cruiser I was freaking out until I realized what it was doing. It's more or less a poor man's locker!
     
  7. May 15, 2011 at 10:14 PM
    #7
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    im in lo and the button is pressed and im driving through soft sand. this is when the noise happens, and as soon as i come to a complete stop the noise stops as well
     
  8. May 15, 2011 at 10:26 PM
    #8
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner Scotch before noon. Moderator

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    Was designed for any time a loss of traction was encountered. Sand, rock crawling, snow, mud and any situation where the braking of a free spinning wheel might help out.
     
  9. May 15, 2011 at 10:56 PM
    #9
    Crom

    Crom Outside...

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  10. May 15, 2011 at 11:17 PM
    #10
    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    My locker doesn't make any sound when I press the gas. :p
     
  11. May 16, 2011 at 11:34 AM
    #11
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Right... I would like to ask the OP why he is in low range in the first place?

    I have only used low range (and my A-TRAC is always on in low range) in sand when I was stuck on purpose (in open differential/ VSC OFF Mode) with tires at 32 psi. One other time when I was backing into my camping spot in a sand dune, and didn't want to let more air out of my tires. Both times, there was no whining noise... just the typical A-TRAC noise of a tire locking up to match rotation.

    Low range in sand makes the tires want to spin and dig in from the strong torque provided. The key to sand driving is to float on top of it and not dig into it.

    Deep, bottomless sand is best done in high range, with TRAC (if an '09 or newer)... If the sand is firm, or temperatures low you may be able to drive about at full air pressure. If not, and your truck struggles... then stop before you get stuck, lower the air to at least 15 psi in all 4... Float on top of it!

    Here is my tracks... up close I was at 32 psi, and as a last resort to see if I could keep moving, in low range with A-TRAC. That didn't help... so I deflated to 15 psi and see the difference... floatation! I drove ahead in high range, the circled back to take these photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lowering tire pressure is an amazing, simple off roading tool!
     
  12. May 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM
    #12
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    My A-TRAC makes no such noise in sand or otherwise... but I rarely have used it in sand.

    Does it make the same sound in High Range? To see if it is something other than the A-TRAC? (see my post just above, as I find high range and TRAC superior to Low Range for sand driving... )

    Low Range is a slow, crawling, high torque/ power gear range. In sand you want speed, momentum, less digging in and more floating on top. No point to dig in if there is no bottom, afterall!

    Why are you in low range to start with?
     
  13. May 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM
    #13
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Glad you like it to see it so much!

    What kind of sand, what kind of load on the truck?

    The sand I used in my test above was the beach south of San Felipe, it has a coarser texture and is mixed with sea shell bits... so it doesn't compact easily... or should I say it is harder to drive on.

    My first time with my 2010 in sand was in the winter, with almost no load, and I was able to drive about at 32 psi with the new Traction Control limited slip in high range.

    The next time down to Baja was in the summer, and I had a heavy load in the bed for camping... At 32 psi the truck struggled to stay afloat... that is when the photos were taken above.

    In the desert, the sand is fine grain and compacts easily... I have never needed to lower the tires at Ocotillo Wells sand with 4WD and TRAC.

    So, the type of sand... the air temperature and humidity... and the load in the truck all play a roll in the need to deflate your tires or not for sand driving.
     
  14. May 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM
    #14
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Interesting you turn your limited slip off and find open differentials preferable...!?

    For me, (having so many 4WDs in the past), the Traction Control in H4 was like a night and day difference driving the beach in Baja!

    Having all the tires with traction working for you instead of just one in front and one in back with the least traction was amazing! Instead of the two spinning tires trying to get you stuck, TRAC is like having all 4 tires trying to keep you moving...
     
  15. May 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM
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    Crom

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    I 4x4 with open diffs (VSC Off) in loose sand and I haven't gotten stuck yet. I am lazy when it comes to airing down, so I roll with full PSI most of the time too. Now I haven't driven on a beach in Baja, but I have driven down many dry sandy washes in many parts of the desert. The driest I have encountered was in the Yuha desert.

    Sand isn't all that bad to me. What's much worse is SNOW!
     
  16. May 16, 2011 at 5:57 PM
    #16
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Hi Crom, so let me ask you the same question that Christian hasn't answered (yet)... What is the reason you take the action to turn off the traction enhancements (that I see such a big improvement wheeling with them on)?

    The only thing I could think of (to have the low traction tires favored) is to end the beep-beep-beep of the VSC alert going off any time the rear spins out sloshing in the sand.

    Thanks amigo... PS, we are headed to my beach for the 3 day weekend!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. May 16, 2011 at 6:16 PM
    #17
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I missed that!:eek:

    Yes, the beeping is the VSC... but to turn off the VSC you also turn off the TRAC... Can't have TRAC without VSC, right?

    As for waiting until you 'need' it, then you must stay in 2WD until your rear tire spins?

    Why wait for better traction and dig up roads or dunes with spinning tires before turning on what the truck will do naturally... and that is move you without spinning and digging? You paid for TRAC and A-TRAC... why not use it?? :rolleyes::cool: Just asking...:):D
     
  18. May 16, 2011 at 10:24 PM
    #18
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    When (if) you ever get the chance to drive the beaches near San Felipe, you will see a big difference...

    As a test, I turned my TRAC off and my truck got stuck (in H4, 32 psi)... I used A-TRAC to get unstuck, then went back into H4 with TRAC on... and drove about. I wrote about that time after my first Baja trip with the 2010, in Jan. 2010.
     
  19. May 17, 2011 at 12:38 AM
    #19
    WestonJ

    WestonJ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    for everyone that has asked why i was in 4lo in the sand. i have lived near the water and have been going to the beach almost every weekend all of my life. i always use 4hi for situations when the sand gets too soft. just the few times i was just messing around with the 4lo and A-trac systems i noticed the noise. in south texas there are no places to go rock crawling or something like that so the beach would be the next best place to try everything out.


    In one case i noticed that 4lo with A-trac did work alot better then 4hi when i needed to get to a certain place with very deep soft sand.
     
  20. May 17, 2011 at 7:42 AM
    #20
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that... Does the sand there require you to air down the tires? Do you use H4 with the TRAC on (as I do) or turn it off as the others say they do?

    As for the whine noise... no, that is not normal so take it in for an evaluation. I asked if it made the noise only with A-TRAC or did it also in L4 without A-TRAC and in H4...?

    South Padre Island looks like a big version of my favorite beach, I call Shell Island in Baja!
     
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