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Toyota 4WD systems explained



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Worn tire(s), differentially worn tires, will most definitely have an adverse effect on the ease with which you can engage the center diff'l lock.
  • I am writing to see if anyone else has had the same issues I have.

    1.Once the vehicle is engaged in 4hi, the differential axle screws up and causes the vehicle to spin out of control even at low speed when turning corners. Vehicle wont switch in to 4 low.

    2. The radio. I've had the radio replaced once already and the second one is on the fritz. There are major electrical problems with this truck. Turn the lights on and your radio turns on, turn a corner and your radio turns off. I think Toyota has issued a band aid fix, telling owners that the problem is a defective radio, when the electrical system is to blame.

    I think its time for people who have been ripped off by Toyota to band together before someone gets killed.
  • "and causes the vehicle to spin out of control even at low speed when turning corners."

    How many wrecks have you had? That's sounds terrible - spinning out of control when turning corners at low speed. Have you rolled it over yet? How many times?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Center diff'l locked and turning....

    Bad news, the worse, tighter, you turn with the center diff'l locked the higher is the potential for lost of directional control.

    Nature of the "beast".
  • I am currently experiencing a problem with my 2000 TLC - it seems to be stuck in 4wd - I have had the vehicle since 03 and have driven it 200k miles - now when turning short radius or backing into driveway the front wheels feel like they are locked into low 4 - tires squeal, feels like tire is flat, power steering feels under load . . . Any ideas? Thx!
  • sparklandsparkland Posts: 108
    This video pretty much shows why the Toyota Highlander and the Honda CRV, Ridgeline are inferior to the Suburu Legacy with respect to traction in poor conditions. It will make you mad!

    Neither Toyota nor Honda told us about this.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    Greetings all. I haven't posted here in years. Used to be around when we had an 01 Sequoia. That truck is long gone and now I'm considering a Tacoma.

    Can anybody tell me if the Tacoma can be driven on DRY roads with 4Hi engaged like the 01 Sequoia could? Does it have the center diff like the other Toyota products that allow the 4WD to be used as an AWD system in the rain or partially snow covered roads? I'm not fond of the old part-time systems that lack the center diff.

    Thanks for the help.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In a word...

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited April 2010
    "...I'm not fond of the old part-time systems.."

    But they're the only ones that work, for sure work.

    And as it happens most are RWD with the system off, not patently UNSAFE FWD or F/awd.

    Those with a simple open center differential are only "pretend" AWD (4WD.??). Simple, simply ONE-WHEEL DRIVE using the brakes to allocate/apportion engine torque but only AFTER traction is lost.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    Wow, you're still here. How many years has it been?

    No offense, but I won't be drawn into an argument of circular logic with you.

    My Sequoia's 4WD was wonderful for me. What works for you is another issue.

    Can anybody else answer my questions?
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 382
    No. Do not drive the vehicle in 4wd on dry roads. You can drive in 4wd on wet or especially snow covered roads if there is slippage. Just don't make a habit of it. Center diff is fantastic. I'm sure many 2010 4Runner owners miss it already.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    edited April 2010
    That is the main reason I paid extra to get the 2010 4Runner 4WD Limited for the awesome full time 4WD feature (hopefully there is no recall for the 2010 4Runner so far...)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..paid extra...for the awesome full time 4WD..."

    From the way I read the factory documentation the newer 4runner's full-time 4WD system may not be as awesome as one might think, or buyers have been lead to believe.

    Toyota stopped using the "torsen" term to describe their 4runner 4WD system some years ago now. In addition the transfer case differential drawings are no longer broken down to show the internal workings of the transfer case differential.

    All that leads me to believe the 4runner's full-time 4WD system, at least the 2010 one, is a simple ONE-WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEM, just as the Highlander is and the RX series was until recently.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    "All that leads me to believe..."

    Do you have any REAL facts to back up the statement? Are you guessing?

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but how is a person supposed to make a purchase decision based on some internet guys guess?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " is a person.."

    First, be aware that the salesperson doesn't know BEANS about the vehicle you are planning to purchase.

    Even worse.

    The RX330 was marketed as having a VC, Viscous Clutch, to help apportion engine torque to the rear with loss of traction at the front. The factory manuals indicated otherwise so I asked corporate who acknowledged, after I persisted, that the manuals were correct. I never saw an ad retracting the falsity.

    The RX350 was advertised as having the VC but again the manuals differed. I was never able to get a corporate response on the true of the matter.

    In point of fact when the RX series adopted VSC and TC across the product line in '01 the VC became useless even if included. The VC P/N for my '01 RX300 and the one for previous years is different so I suspect mine to be an "empty" VC case.

    If the 4runner doesn't have the Torsen center differential, only a standard open differential, how would an owner ever know? Get stuck, lock the center differential, drive away.

    PS: My '01 RX300 once spent 4 hours in the dealer service bay with the technicians trying to determine if the VC was actually still functional. End known way to test and corporate could not advise.

    The only way to determine functionality is on a 4 wheel dyno.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    hi west,
    what kind of awd/4wd vehicles do you recommend in snow?
  • onoffroadonoffroad Posts: 17
    On the Outer Banks of N.C. ! Their's signs saying 4WD not for AWD ! Guess some AWD are getting stuck !!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Guess some AWD are getting stuck !!..."

    No kidding, and even some that are FALSELY labelled 4WD.

    Lots of sins created under the AWD "term". Most are simple FWD with some minor level of part time, "automatic" part time, rear drive augmentation. With the rising public awareness of the patently unsafe nature of FWD vehicles for wintertime adverse roadbed the manufacturers are attempting a "bait and switch", "find the pea", sales technique.

    Any "base" FWD vehicle, sideways mounted engine, that has some level of rear drive augmentation should NEVER be referred to as AWD, nor even 4WD as some manufacturers seem wont to do.

    F/awd, awd only in lower case, is the only appropreate marketing designation, label for these patently unsafe FWD vehicles.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Guess some AWD are getting stuck.."

    The sign could be more definitive, narrow the restriction, if F/awd vehicles were kept out that make use of TC braking to implement some form of F/awd, apportion some minor level of engine torque to the rear via the use of braking at the front.

    Slow to a virtual stop, get stuck, TC instantly dethrottles the engine, call for a tow.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I find myself perfectly happy in "snow" with my F/awd '01 RX300 even running summer only tires....

    EXCEPT on ice or packed down snow. At that point I immediately install rear tire chains and add the fronts if conditions(***) warrant.

    *** Conditions might involve surrounding traffic, INCOMPETENT driver traffic.
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