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Toyota Venza Traction control light coming on?

verndogverndog Posts: 6
This is happening to me when the car is left with the Ebrake on for a period of time, then I go to put into reverse (after letting off ebrake with foot on brake pedal) and the TCS light comes on and the car doesn't move for a few seconds. The manual says it may come on when on a hill, but while in Drive. Its coming on in Reverse with mine. Only happened 2x so far, I'm going to try to get a better idea of when and how often.

Anyone else see theirs come on from time to time?
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Comments

  • stevz1stevz1 Posts: 1
    Exact thing happened to us. Trying to reverse out of the garage the car wouldn't move and the traction light came on. It had been parked with the brake on. I figured it was in the wrong gear and after shifting to park and back to reverse everything was fine. I need to see if I can replicate it again.
  • rtkeenrtkeen Posts: 1
    This appear to be the hill assist feature that's not very well explained in the owner's manual.

    Apparently, if the driver is REALLY mashing on the brake pedal, then the assumption is made you are on a hill. The hill assist will come on and hold the auto in a braked position until you press on the accelerator. Once you press on the accelerator, it will give you a warning (beep and flashing icon) to let you know it is about to release the brake for you. You can see how this would be helpful on a hill, if you know it's there and how it works.

    Make sure you pump the brake pedal at least once after releasing the brake pedal, and don't mash down hard. Then the hill assist should not kick in.
  • The same problem has happened to me at least three times. The most recent one when I was backing out of a level driveway, the VSC sign came up and my Venza stucked in the middle of the road for about 10 seconds when I shifted to Drive position. It was dangerous, imaging another car running down the road and there was nothing you can do to get out out the way! The Venza just frozen.

    I don't know if I would completely buy into the hill assist story. If it was, it still is a design fraud. I think most of us know how to drive a car in a normal way.

    I am frustrated by the fact that the VSC problem was not easily reproducible at the shop and I have been told again and again that I am THE only one having the problem. And Toyota will not authorize any repairwork.

    I am bring the car back to the shop Again this week and am afraid will be told the same.

    This is my 3th Toyota. I am sorry to have bought the Venza. I would caution any interested buyer to wait. Not just because of the problem many Venza owners experiencing, but the aftersale treatment from Toyota.
  • wing103wing103 Posts: 14
    My wife car have the same problem, and the Toyota dealer just told us it is normal....... WTF wrong with those people. They told my wife that do not step on the break toooooo hard, the TRAC light will not turn on...... I guess I will call Toyota tomorrow and see what they can do for me. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • The dealer checked the Venza again. No suprise here, "we can not find anything wrong. there was no Code from the computer scan." They also told me that I need to call Toyota myself to ask for their field manager.

    The gear lock-up really should be looked at as a serious safety issue. I was not that nervous the first two episodes, But the third time really scared me out when I was stucked in the middle of the road, perpendicular to traffics. I can't move the Venza.

    I know that there are enough Venza owners reported the same VSC/lock up issues, that Toyota should come out and get in front of the problems.

    I just don't buy the so called Hill assist explanation(is that officially from Toyota?). The Tech told me that he never heard about it.

    I have been drving for more than twenty years, I am sure that your wife knew how to drive NORMALLY or how to put the brake on.

    Why would any potential car buyer take a chance on the Venza until Toyota solve this problem?
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    This is not a Toyota or dealer conspiracy as some of you seem to want to believe; it's poor documentation and communication on Toyota (and the dealers') part.

    Read your manual. The Venza is equipped with a Hill Start Assist feature that will activate the Traction Control Light when engaged. It is mentioned in the manual on page 226.

    What Toyota failed to document is how it's engaged. Pushing hard on the brake when you're stopped activates it, whether you're in reverse or in drive.

    I use it every day to exit my office building's parking garage. Our card swipe is on a steep incline. After the gate opens, I mash the brake until the TC light comes on and I hear a beep. At that point, I'm able to move my foot off the brake and to the gas without worrying about rolling backwards. As I push on the gas pedal, the Venza moves forward, the light goes off, and all is well.

    Have all of you who are doubting that this is what's happening tried engaging the Hill Assist to see if it mirrors your experience? I just tried it in my driveway and was able to engage it after shifting into reverse and pushing hard on the brake.

    At least rule it out first by trying it before continuing to throw out accusations that you may need to take back later.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    After washing it in the driveway, I tried a few more tests. Whether it's in drive or in reverse, the Hill Start kicks in if I push hard on the brake and the vehicle is on an incline (like the edge of my driveway). Lifting my foot completely off the brake, the Venza is held in place for about 10 seconds before more beeping and Hill Start is turned off. As long as my foot is on the brake, Hill Start remains on.

    When the Venza is on the flatter part of my driveway, it still kicks in while in reverse and mashing the brake. Mashing the brake pedal while in drive doesn't engage it. So far, in my normal day-to-day driving, I haven't accidentally turned on Hill Assist while reversing out of my driveway.

    So, thinking about it further, either Toyota needs to update the owner's manual so that people know what to expect (i.e. Hill Start will kick in while in reverse on an incline) or the Hill Start logic needs to match what's in the manual, which is that it only kicks on while in Drive (or "S") on an incline.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    I think that you are 100% correct and it is causing major headaches for alot of buyers...and probably hurting Toyota, since I have seen some posters in other forums that are backing away from the Venza because of this and other problems(Probably misunderstandings). You did exactly what I would have done, recreate the problem, think about and then bring it to the dealer, the dealer will not do a thing onANY problem unless they can recreate it or see on the spot.
  • qs933:
    consider your self lucky that you could reproduce the problem and found a way to avoid them. But many of us have the VSC difficulties that are not predictable and post safety concerns. The Venza locked up regardless whether or not the brake is mashed. The root of the problems might be similar to yours, but the severity is quite different.
    Any design, Hill Assist or other, should make driving easier and safer. What ever design that is related to the Venza problems is doing just the opposit. And I might say, it should be relatively easy to correct by Toyota. And Toyota should correct it.
  • bkbybkby Posts: 3
    I have seen many messages regarding the VSC indicator and a delay before going into gear. I noticed this problem the first week I had the car (09 Venza AWD 4 cyl).
    After a half dozen trips to the dealer we found a way to re-produce it at will.
    When starting the car, or going from P to D or R, place a little excess pressure on the brake peddle. This is what is triguring the VSC. Once we discovered the sales manager and myself tried 3 or 4 new Venzas on the lot and could reproduce the problem on all the vehicles. Not only do I consider this dangerous, it gets even worse. As folks have reported, once the VCS clears it will jump into gear. Does not matter if your foot is on the break or not. This is a very poor design and concerns me greatly. If you have anyone drive the car who is not familiar with this issue it could lead to accidents, injuries etc. I am extremely dissapointed being a huge Toyota fan. I am currently in disscussion with Toyota about this since there is nothing the dealer can do.
  • "As folks have reported, once the VCS clears it will jump into gear. Does not matter if your foot is on the break or not."

    Hey bkby, what do you mean by "jump" into gear? Does your vehicle lurch forward (or backwards) at an unexpected high velocity? If so, then that's a real problem and needs immediate attention. But if the vehicle simply engages gear at idle speed, that's what it is supposed to do since the engine is running and the gear shift is in Drive or Reverse. I too was confused by the hill-assist feature until I became familiar with it - now it's no big deal. But get yours checked out if there is a case of unintended acceleration associated with it.

    MD
  • ykckbyykckby Posts: 30
    This is exactly what happens with mine although I tend to mash the brake perhaps when I'm "daydreaming" at a light.

    I'm stymied as to why people see it as being so dangerous. It does not require 10 seconds to disengage if you simply lift your foot and tap the brake again.

    I agree, it's poor communication on Toyota's part and every service dealer should be able to explain to people how, and why, it would occur.

    Kim
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    IT IS DANGEROUS.....!!

    What would be the NATURAL reaction of a driver applying gas pedal pressure and the engine not responding...??

    Right..!!

    Inform that same driver as to why "this" happens and the natural instincts get retrained. As in....

    Remember what the natural reaction was when an unknowing driver first felt, was surprised, at that vibratory effect at the brake pedal when ABS activated...?

    Stop doing whatever you just did, SOMETHING is WRONG...!!

    "... you simply lift your foot and tap the brake again..."

    Same procedure I had to learn for my '01 F/awd RX300. When trying to accelerate while entering a tight turn starting up from from a dead stop the RX would almost INSTANTLY dethrottle the engine. Pre-emptive VSC function (prevention of loss of traction for a FWD or F/awd vehicle), anti-rollover..??

    Yet another reason for requiring that the dealers have, make available as a pre-purchase requirement, a driving simulation wherein the driver has to experience all of these features, and know how to react to, of a newly purchased vehicle
  • wwest,
    How much experience do you have driving a Venza? If you are stepping on the gas pedal and nothing is happening, then you have some other problem. The hill-assist doesn't work that way. If you take your foot off the brake and apply pressure to the gas pedal, the engine responds normally. If your Venza is not working that way, then you have a problem - get to the dealer now! I believe the "surprise" that most new Venza owners experience is when the hill-assist kicks in when the vehicle is in park because of an extra firm press on the brake pedal. Then when you shift into gear (Drive or Reverse) there is a slight delay before the gear kicks in (until you step on the gas). It's the delay that is uncomfortable. But as soon as you step on the gas, all returns to normal. And if the hill-assist kicks in while you are already in gear, stepping on the gas immediately defeats it and you drive away normally. At least that's how my Venza has worked for the the first 6000 miles. Is this dangerous? I'd rank it way, way below things like using a cell phone, or texting, or eating, or drinking (from morning coffee mug), or playing with the nav screen, or even adjusting the radio while driving. Would you like dealers to require new car buyers to perform a test drive while doing all those things before they are "allowed" to purchase a vehicle?

    MD
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The description I'm "hearing" seems to involve having the Venza in drive, inadvertently engaging the hill-assist, and then the driver experiences a not insignificant delay in engine rising torque upon a return to acceleration.

    Obviously if there is a "programmed" delay, even a slight one, an unknowing driver's reaction will be to depress the gas pedal a bit more....

    On the other hand I could fully understand the throttle mapping, throttle plate's response to gas pedal depression, being modified when hill-assist is active. There is NO WAY the driver should be expected/allowed to go from a hill-assist circumstance directly to a WOT, or even nearly, condition.

    That might mean that the '"rate" at which you begin that initial gas pedal depression comes into play. The rate of gas pedal lift is currently being used to determine (guess, "best" guess..??) your future intent, coastdown or enter cruise mode. For this latter an upshift might be appropriate.

    When the hill-assist is active is the transaxle by some chance shifted into neutral...??

    I do know that almost all of Toyota and Lexus newer models use extended fuel cut during coastdown periods. To prevent the engine from stalling, just plain ceasing to turn, during those periods the transaxle is downshifted, sequentually downshifted as speed declines. Then once the engine is again fueled the transaxle will initiate and upshift. That 10-0 MPH upshift often gives the driver a feeling of slight braking release, or being "bumped" slightly from behind.

    Now we also know that most of these vehicle DO NOT downshift into 1st gear until the vehicle has come to a full and complete STOP. Could it be, therefore, that if hill-assist is engaged, inadvertently or intentionally, the transaxle does not make that final downshift into 1st gear until hill-assist releases the brakes.

    In that case there would be no question of the throttle servo being made open-loop until the downshift into first were completed, as much as a 1-2 second delay in engine torque rise in response to the initial depression of the gas pedal which signals to release hill-assist.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    We don't know how HARD the brakes are applied in hill-assist mode.

    If it were YOUR foot on the brake, lets say a high level of braking due to the hill slope, how long would it take for your foot to move from the brake pedal to the gas pedal...??

    The DBW, E-throttle control firmware MUST take into account that there might be ZERO time from braking to acceleration if control were left solely to the driver with hill assist on. That, in turn, might often result in a sudden loss of traction, wheelspin, in going from, directly from, a LOCKED drive wheel to acceleration.

    How many of us, at one time or another, haven't used our left foot to firmly brake while at the same time using the gas pedal to raise the engine torque for a "spin-out"..? (Me, '67 Mustang)

    Going uphill on some of the streets hereabouts and the Venza were to allow "zero-time" between hill-assist deactivation and throttle opening the result might very well be the onset of TC, Traction Control braking, even greater potential in foul weather.

    So there is very high likelihood of a hill-assist to acceleration delay, a delay "enforced" by the DBW firmware.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    TSB coming for hill-assist firmware.

    Drivers are reporting a sudden "lurch" forward as they depress the gas pedal with hill-assist activated, sometimes inadvertently activated. Due to the firmware enforcing a delay in throttle response upon "leaving" hill assist mode the driver will often depress the gas pedal more than is appropriate as a result of lack of more immediate throttle response to an initial depression.

    WATCH OUT, BOY-RACER COMING YOUR WAY...!!

    I would guess that a TSB will soon be on its way to revise the DBW firmware in some manner to prevent this.

    In my '01 F/awd RX300 if I try to accelerate, seriously accelerate, into a tight turn from a dead stop the engine drops to idle and then I must fully release the gas pedal just momentarily in order to "reset" the interfering firmware.

    VSC..?? TC..??

    Obviously my RX300 is HIGHLY prone to loss of control in the circumstance, as would be ANY FWD or F/awd vehicle, FWD with "strong" engines, V6 vs I4, more especially so. Read up on how the new Venza and 2010 RX350 F/awd system works, "dynamically" works. Automatically couples a high level, ~50%, of engine torque to the rear with straight line acceleration, and even as much as 20% in a low speed accelerating turn.

    That's right, 20% coupling to the rear in a tight turn wherein tire scrubbing and/or driveline windup will rise substantially. Compromises....

    Removing drive torque to the front wheels during tight turns in order to allocate more of teh front tire's traction coefficient to lateral forces.

    It is NEVER a good idea to "ask" the front drive wheels to provide enough roadbed traction for a HIGH level of acceleration simultaneously with a requirement for a HIGH level of lateral traction. And now throw in a not insignificant level of torque stear just for the fun of it..

    "...We are in control of your TV set..."

    No complaints here, VSC/TC activating pre-emptively, dethrottling the engine, to save my butt.

    But then ask me how I felt the first few times I found myself "dead in the water" as a result.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    From the HORSE'S mouth....

    Actually from:

    Techinfo.toyota.com

    Hill-start assist is initially ACTIVATED as the driver RELEASES the brakes from a FULL STOP and if the ABS wheel speed sensors indicate the vehicle begins to roll as brake pressure declines. If the vehicle begins to roll as the driver releases braking then the hill-start assist feature will activate (Beep-beep) and maintain brake pressure until the driver has had time to move from the brake pedal to the gas pedal and begin depressing the gas pedal.

    The "alarm", Beep-beep, sounds if the vehicle rolls as the driver begins releasing the brake pedal and hill-start assist initially activates.

    Now, wouldn't many or most vehicles begin to roll even on the "flat" as the brakes are released with the transaxle in 1st, torque converter unlocked, and engine at idle. Does by chance that mean that the hill-start assist option will prevent 1st gear operation while stopped and until the gas pedal is subsequently depressed..??
  • wwest,
    Thanks for your lengthy reply. One thing I missed was your answer to the question "How much experience do you have driving a Venza?" I note that you currently drive a 2001 Lexus RX300, but if your response is not based on actual experience driving a Venza, then perhaps you should state that your responses are your opinions based upon reading what others have written, and not actual driving experience with the vehicle in question. Or perhaps you are a Toyota / Lexus mechanic and your knowledge comes from that experience - a valuable experience for us all to learn from. Thanks again for your reply.

    MD
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    As I stated, the base information came from TOYOTA factory sources. I am of the hope that no one has the need, or requirement, to own or drive a Venza in order to read, understand, and comprehend the written word.

    My guess is that only through the use of a driving simulator could an "owner" experience, and thereby learn the proper reaction, within a reasonable timeframe, for all of the myriad of features, described in the various factory documents.

    Look at the hill-assist feature, for instance, how many Venza drivers do you think will EVER encounter an activation of this feature. Otherwise book-learning as preparation for the coming "day" is as good as it gets.

    My experience with the VSC aspect of my '01 F/awd in 77,000 miles of driving, some of wintertime conditions, mountain pass wintertime conditions, even in MT, has been ONE TIME only. And even then I was not initially aware of why the beep-beep sounded. It was only later once I had time to think and consider the circumstances, tight left turn through a water puddle, that I came to realize the VSC had probably activated.
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