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Stuck in 4WD, is this common?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TastyHuman, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Dec 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    #1
    TastyHuman

    TastyHuman [OP] Oh. Bummer.

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    I live in the boonies and use 4WD every day when going to work, 5 miles down and 5 miles up a tight, washboard, gravel logging road. The 07 Tacoma has 85k miles on it now.

    Wednesday, for the first time ever, it got stuck in 4WD and would not switch back to 2WD. I tried backing up shifting into neutral, shifting into 4WD LO, you name it and it would not come out of 4WD.

    A search turned up a thread here where someone recommended turning the truck off and back on and it might start working. So I went out and restarted the truck and it did indeed switch back to 2WD.

    However, my faith in the truck has been shaken. With winter here I don't want to be without reliable 4WD. My question is.. is this a common quirk that happens sometimes or is it a bad omen of an expensive repair to come?

    The thread I read mentioned a 4WD actuator repair could cost $2500 to fix and if that's the case maybe it's time to trade the truck in.

    Anyone have experience with this problem?
     
  2. Dec 17, 2011 at 6:03 PM
    #2
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    I have had three 4WD Tacomas ('01, '05, '10) with a combined mileage of 271,000 miles... and NEVER had it fail to get into or out of 4WD... Now, I use it a lot... and I have all the recommended services done on time. Only the rear locker sometimes is hard to get to engage... on all three... but the 2010 has A-TRAC, so the rear locker really isn't so important anymore.
     
  3. Dec 17, 2011 at 6:23 PM
    #3
    TastyHuman

    TastyHuman [OP] Oh. Bummer.

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    Thanks for the response. All services have been done on schedule and at 30k miles the transfer case and rear diff were changed to synthetic as well. No locker on this truck. Guess it's time to pony up for a service manual to see what I might be in for.
     
  4. Dec 17, 2011 at 6:32 PM
    #4
    TastyHuman

    TastyHuman [OP] Oh. Bummer.

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    Hey, thanks a lot for going to the trouble to post the links! Very helpful!:cheers:
     
  5. Dec 17, 2011 at 7:47 PM
    #5
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    Was the truck in 4wd or the light was showing 4wd?
    If you turned off and on and it went away most likely its a switch that tells ECU truck is in 4wd.
     
  6. Dec 17, 2011 at 7:58 PM
    #6
    jflan

    jflan Well-Known Member

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    That might have been me.
    Mine's been weird since day one.

    Sometimes it's fine and sometimes it hangs.
    It's my first electric shifter so I thought it was the nature of the beast.
     
  7. Dec 17, 2011 at 8:05 PM
    #7
    TastyHuman

    TastyHuman [OP] Oh. Bummer.

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    I'm sure it was in 4wd. I noticed the problem when the steering bound up while turning into the driveway after it was switched back to 2wd. After the binding I looked down to see the 4wd light on.
     
  8. Dec 18, 2011 at 4:26 AM
    #8
    WV150

    WV150 Well-Known Member

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    I had that happen to me on a 07 I had.I had driven over 100 miles on snow covered road and when I put it in 2WD it stayed in 4WD.I continued for about 75 miles on wet road until I got home.When I parked in the driveway and shut the engine off I decided to restart it and when I did it went right onto 2WD.If I had known this I would have stopped along the road and shut it off and restarted to reset it instead of driving in 4Wd when I should not have.It did not hurt it and it never did that again.Just try shutting it off and restarting it.
     
  9. Dec 18, 2011 at 6:18 AM
    #9
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    My 2006 was the first Toyota 4WD Truck (87, 90, 95, 04, 06) to fail me in 4WD.
    Dealer replaced the actuator @ 16k miles under warranty.
    It was like minute it worked, the next it didn't. I went a few weeks before bringing it in.
    It was like a $350-375 part from the repair order.
    After that it worked fine until I traded it in & it was used a lot as well.
     
  10. Dec 18, 2011 at 3:05 PM
    #10
    maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    Too many
    I've had it do that I think once.
     
  11. Dec 18, 2011 at 3:10 PM
    #11
    CanisLupus

    CanisLupus Well-Known Member

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    The 4WD switch (don't know why Toyota wanted a dinky little switch) has always been a bit finicky for me and I've had it stay in 4WD a couple times even when I switch. I've never had it truly stuck in 4WD because all I had to do was play with it for a minute and switch to neutral, try again, and such.

    -- Matt --
     
  12. Dec 18, 2011 at 3:14 PM
    #12
    05RedTaco

    05RedTaco Nom Nom Nom

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    Its because your truck doesn't have ATRAC. The Tacoma is telling you to trade it in and get ATRAC equipped Tacoma.
     
  13. Dec 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM
    #13
    TastyHuman

    TastyHuman [OP] Oh. Bummer.

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    :eek: complexity = less reliability = more $$$ :crapstorm:
     
  14. Nov 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM
    #14
    SGT Taco

    SGT Taco Disco Disco...

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    FYI: was doing some wheeling today and when I tried to switch out of 4lo it just beeped at me... tried everything I could think of, ended up driving it all the way home in 4lo.

    Also, I could not get it out of park without pushing in the little button, the gear selector indicator on the dash was not showing anything, and my turn signals were not working.

    As it turns out the IG1 fuse under the dash(#32) blew. It is for the Back-up lights, air conditioning system, passenger airbag manual on-off switch, and SHIFT LOCK SYSTEM.

    What happened is I must have shorted out the back-up light circuit at the already broken trailer harness when I dragged it on a nice drop-off.

    I hope this helps someone out of a jam... Driving home in 4LO for 10 miles sucked!
     
  15. Sep 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM
    #15
    toyotaonly

    toyotaonly New Member

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    I have a 2012 TRD CrewCab 6'bed Tacoma. Twice in the last month the 4wd did not fully disengage. The dashboard light went off each time but upon making slow turns i heard/felt the binding rumbling. 2hi to 4hi and vice versa should be able to be done on the fly in mine. When shifting to and fro 4lo it needs to be in N or P. In my 2004 Tundra you needed to drive in reverse to unlock the hubs. For now on I switch only with the truck at a standstill in neutral, then I drive in reverse 10-20 yards. This seems to be the process for mine. Hopefully no damage was done. One time i drove only a few miles before noticing the problem but the second time was near 15 miles on dry road before noticing.
    Please comment if you have knowledge on this.
     
  16. Sep 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM
    #16
    username

    username Fluffer

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    Probably one of the two actuators. There is one on the transfer case and one on the front diff. My guess is it's the one on the front diff, because the sensors for the lights are in the T-case. I had some success taking mine out and cleaning it. Condensation gets trapped in them forming a yellow sludge for some reason, and that sludge corrodes the terminals. Pretty sure it's just water vapor.
     
  17. Sep 3, 2013 at 8:53 PM
    #17
    mr2mki

    mr2mki Well-Known Member

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    Has happened to me once, the 4wd disengaged suddenly a minute or two after the light went off, with a metallic "bang". I'm pretty sure in my case what happened was- my steering wheel was at full lock, and I was making a turn in some gravel. I suspect the actuator "released", but the drivetrain was bound up and the system didn't actually mechanically release until I had jiggled the truck around and temporarily released the bound-up components of the drivetrain.

    However, you say that it stayed in 4Hi for you even while driving straight for a while, so this probably doesn't apply to you.
     
  18. May 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM
    #18
    scott majere

    scott majere New Member

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    6"lift toytech All Pro Skid/bumber
    I have the same prob. It works to go into 4 hi but wont go into 4 lo at all. light blinks(4wd light, not the lo) have to turn off and to unengae.
     
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