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Off road controls are confusing!

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Oom George, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Mar 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM
    #1
    Oom George

    Oom George [OP] New Member

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    Just bought a 2011 double cab 4x4 with towing package and TRD off road stuff. (Had to sell the family homestead, but what the H) I am having trouble understanding all of the DAC, LSD, A-TRAC, RDL, VSC, etc. Has anyone put together an understandable guide to how to use the low-range, extreme conditions, options on this drive system?
     
  2. Mar 23, 2011 at 8:24 PM
    #2
    mmadej87

    mmadej87 Mayday

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    to add to this, i couldnt for the longest time when i first got my truck figure out what RSCA meant..but now i know its Rear Side Curtain Airbags...why would one want to turn this off?
     
  3. Mar 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM
    #3
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting that link Mike!

    In case the OP doesn't click on it right away... here are some of the main points I was trying to get across.

    The 4WD Off Road Tacomas have nine drive modes available:

    1) 2WD: VSC and TRAC active, engine regulated ('Limited Slip Lite').

    2) 2WD: 'AUTO LSD' ('TRAC OFF MODE'). No engine regulation for 'strong' limited slip.

    3) 2WD: 'VSC OFF MODE' (TRAC is off for 'open differential').

    4) 4WD-Hi: VSC and TRAC active. No engine regulation for 'strong' limited slip.

    5) 4WD-Hi: 'VSC OFF MODE' (TRAC is off for 'open differentials').

    6) 4WD-Lo: VSC and TRAC are both off in L4 ('open differentials').

    7) 4WD-Lo: 'A-TRAC' on gives a 'locker-like, super strong' limited slip, front and rear.

    8) 4WD-Lo: Rear Differential Locked and open front differential (A-TRAC off).

    9) 4WD-Lo: RR DIFF LOCK + A-TRAC on, 3 MPH limit.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This tech sheet shows how to activate modes 1-6 (which all 4WD Tacomas have):

    [​IMG]

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TW member BGrutter made this chart:

    [​IMG]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is what to touch and what lights up when you do:

    This was posted in its own thread... but may be helpful here as it shows the dial, buttons and lights that are touched and light up for the various drive modes:

    Recently some have posted that the truck was 'stuck' in '4WD' because the light was on or blinking... only to later learn it was just the differential lock switch pushed in! That light is below the 4WD light...

    The lights are different... So, I just took some photos so we all can see. Let's go through the levels of traction activation and see what it all looks like:

    [​IMG]

    Normal dial position for paved roads or where traction assistance of 4WD (four wheel drive) is not needed.

    [​IMG]

    The lower switch, next to mirror controls (car with skid lines below) is the VSC OFF switch. This also activates AUTO LSD when in 2WD with a quick push. Auto LSD is traction control without the engine output regulated.

    [​IMG]

    This is what comes on with AUTO LSD active. The VSC OFF light goes out above 30 mph.

    [​IMG]

    If you stop the truck and hold down the VSC OFF switch for 3+ seconds, VSC and TRAC both turn off for open differential(s) in H2 or H4.

    [​IMG]

    Go into H4 (4WD High Range) from 0-60 mph if you need more traction because of poor conditions or off highway needs.

    [​IMG]

    This is the 4WD High Range indicator light... two differentials and 4 tires. TRAC in H4 has no engine regulation, the same as AUTO LSD in H2.

    [​IMG]

    For more torque to power through deep snow or mud or to climb up or down steep grades, stop truck, put tranny into N (Neutral, not Park), and rotate dial to L4.

    [​IMG]

    Low Range 4WD indicator light. VSC goes off in L4 and both differentails are open.

    [​IMG]

    If your 4WD Tacoma is an '09 + Off Road TRD, you have 'Active Traction Control' (A-TRAC) that provides the 'brake-locking' of any non-traction (spinning) tires front or rear for tractor like crawling/ climbing. Gives traction control while in low range. Push this switch just once when in L4 and A-TRAC will activate when-ever needed to keep moving while in L4.

    [​IMG]

    A-TRAC activated light.

    REAR LOCKER:

    [​IMG]

    As Toyota states, use only as a last resort and turn off when out of trouble.

    [​IMG]

    While in L4 (for 4WD Tacomas), press the RR DIFF LOCK switch. (I engaged it twice today while stopped)

    [​IMG]

    The Rear Differential Lock indicator is the x'ed rear differential image. If it doesn't engage, or if it is pressed while in H4 or H2 (for 4WD Tacomas) it will BLINK! Remember, when locked there is no differential action to allow the tires to rotate at different speeds, as needed when turning.

    ==================================================================

    The above has been posted to help those who need to know! The owner's manual failed at explaining the drive modes to my satisfaction. With help from those here on TW and personal observations on the trail and beaches of Baja, I want to share what I have learned!

    The 2009+ 4WD Off Road Tacoma is one super traction machine, as delivered from the factory!
     
  4. Mar 23, 2011 at 9:54 PM
    #4
    A7XTaco

    A7XTaco Member

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    David,

    Every time I see your post about the TRD traction control, I really want to the very irresponsible thing and trade mine in for a TRD... tomorrow!

    I can't wait until I get one!
     
  5. Mar 23, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    #5
    covefrog08

    covefrog08 swollen member

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    TRUE THAT!!! maybe i'll have to sell my house and upgrade all those features look like so much fun!
     
  6. Mar 24, 2011 at 4:20 AM
    #6
    crazyman

    crazyman Not bothered....

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    Does Plasti-Dip count as a mod ?
    ^^ this.

    I found that out when my Taco was leaning waaaaaaayy over. Got a funny feeling I should turn that off.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2011 at 5:05 AM
    #7
    Oom George

    Oom George [OP] New Member

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    Especially from David. That was just what I needed. After reading through the drive train control part of the handbook it was too difficult to integrate it in my mind. I think I'll make a little cheat sheet to put in the glove box.

    I love the truck so far. Have had to use the L4 due to 3 inches of wet snow on the way home from the dealer, but will not be very far off road until maybe May.

    Thanks again, George
     
  8. Mar 24, 2011 at 5:08 AM
    #8
    Oom George

    Oom George [OP] New Member

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    I used the H4 due to snow, not L4. I'll get it straight eventually.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2011 at 9:26 AM
    #9
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Hi George,

    You are going to love the truck... This one is my third Tacoma and it is the best! Next time you go into L4 (remember to shift into Neutral, not Park first, if an automatic)... push the A-TRAC button. Now, every time you go into L4, the A-TRAC will be on standby... as it should. If there is ever any reason you don't want it, just push the button again.

    Without A-TRAC, you will actually do better in H4 with the standard TRAC. Traction control (limited slip) sure makes a big improvement in four wheeling!

    A-TRAC is a more aggressive traction device than TRAC, as it actually matches the tire rotation across the axle... to simulate what a locker does... and it works (just makes some noises that will freak you out the first time, lol).
     
  10. Apr 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    #10
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    so, just to confirm- when "auto LSD" is lit in red it means it's engaged? When you hold the traction button for for 3+ seconds at a stop and it goes away it's no longer engaged?
     
  11. Apr 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM
    #11
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    Thanks!
     
  12. Apr 24, 2011 at 5:04 PM
    #12
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    As Christian said, that turns off everything... but maybe you just want to turn off AUTO LSD?:


    To turn off AUTO LSD and return to TRAC (normal 2WD limited slip), just press the button once, don't hold it down... Or, re-starting your truck returns the traction controls to normal.

    When you hold the button down for a few seconds (in H2 or H4), that turns off all traction controls... so your truck will have open differentials without limited slip. A quick press returns to normal... See the chart above that I posted.
     
  13. Apr 25, 2011 at 6:31 AM
    #13
    romafern

    romafern Well-Known Member

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    Machine gun mount. Would love to blow the shit out of it since it has nothing but issues. QA at Toyota USA is shit. Start making them in Japan for Christ's Sake!

    Interesting! Thanks for posting this. I am not a hard core off roader but my truck will see some occasional dirt roads when I go backpacking/camping.
     
  14. May 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM
    #14
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    So, when wheeling do I want to keep these controls on or off?
     
  15. May 4, 2011 at 3:41 PM
    #15
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    LSD/Trac? I know 4L turns off traction if I remember?
     
  16. May 4, 2011 at 3:48 PM
    #16
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    No, I'm wasting my time asking...
    Of course I do
     
  17. May 4, 2011 at 3:57 PM
    #17
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    Thanks..just a brain fart. I keep my ATRAC on when wheeling anything uphill or steep angles
     
  18. May 4, 2011 at 3:58 PM
    #18
    double dee

    double dee Well-Known Member

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    Let me help you. Trade my 2wd prerunner for your 4wd. You won't be confused anymore
     
  19. May 4, 2011 at 4:41 PM
    #19
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    ON...

    They were invented/ added for enhanced driving on or off road. To turn them off (holding the VSC switch down for 5 seconds while stopped) is to have plain old open differentials of pre 2009 Tacomas... one tire per axle spins if traction is lost under one, and the other tire doesn't move you.

    The only button you need to push (just once) is the A-TRAC switch when you first go into L4. Otherwise, low range is normally open differentials, and that is the place where you need maximum traction of A-TRAC (or other methods), IMO.

    Spinning tires (no traction control or lockers) does nothing but cause trail damage and burn gas... with maybe one exception... if you are stuck in snow... spinning is maybe a way to bite through... but with A-TRAC, all 4 tires will spin equally as seen in the A-TRAC in sugar sand test video... just as if it has front and rear lockers on.
     
  20. May 4, 2011 at 5:38 PM
    #20
    rsbmg

    rsbmg Well-Known Member

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    I'm still messing with the options on my truck but here is what I discovered this past weekend. Extremely deep sand in a wash, maintaining vehicle speed through this was helpful but since I had it in H4 I noticed the engine DID cut power as my wheels were spinning in the soft stuff. I had it floored and until I got good traction it would keep low rpm's and wouldn't allow me to pick up speed. It was very annoying. Also the sliding in the sand would activate the abs to correct the slide also very annoying. Toyota has done a diservice with all these bs traction control modes. They may work good for a weekend offroader that wants to drive 5 mph but if you are an experienced offroader this stuff sucks.
     
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