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Toyota 4WD systems explained



  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    If the multi-mode system has anything other than a fully open center diff'l you will be fine.

    The 2008 4Runner has a lockable Torsen limited slip center diff. It is not a fully open center diff.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    How big is the snow bank at the end of the driveway? If you are talking just busting through 12" of relatively soft snow, 4WD high is more than enough.

    If you are talking about climbing a 3' high bank, dragging the undercarriage across the bank, and plowing through 18" of fresh snow on the other side (which I've done), then put it in 4WD low, lock the center diff, and you'd better have snow tires.

    Frankly, the most important thing I found when driving my 2003 4Runner in the snow is that real snow tires (not the all-season tires that come with the truck) make the largest difference, particular in stopping and turning in the snow.
  • klar2klar2 Posts: 1
    I have a 02 sequoia with same problem, i engaged 4wd and is now stuck in 4wd and the orange light flashing all the time, do you have any new info ?? thanks
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "disables the spin control.."

    "spin control" is a Bush WH term, VSC, Vehicle Stability Control, is a more proper operative term for the 4runner.

    With the center differential locked the vehicle does not have the viability, is not capable, of the rotation rates of the front wheels vs the rear wheels be independent. Therefore most of the ABS/VSC/TC/EBD functionality is disabled when the center diff'l is locked.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For clarification

    The 2008 4Runner has a Torsen center diff'l to selectively stiffen/tighten the center diff''l coupling coefficient, R/AWD mode, and separately a spline/dog clutch to completely LOCK the front and rear drivelines together thereby bypassing the Torsen....

    It's this spline/dog clutch that is often difficult to get to engage/lock while underway, above a low speed range. In my experience it is often necessary to drive slowly forward and/or slowly backward alternately in order to get the dog clutch to more readily engage or disengage
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    "spin control" is a Bush WH term, VSC, Vehicle Stability Control, is a more proper operative term for the 4runner.

    Oh please. First, keep the silly politics out of it. The Bush administration is far from the first to use political spin.

    Second, every manufacturer has their own nomenclature for it, as you well know. Picking one manufacturer's nomenclature and deeming it the "proper operative term" is something I cannot properly describe on this board and stay within the rules.

    Honda calls it Vehicle Stability Assist.
    Toyota calls it Vehicle Stability Control.
    Ford calls it Electronic Stability Control.
    GM calls it Stabilitrak.
    MB calls it Electronic Stability Program.

    They all do basically the same thing -- individually apply brakes to try to keep the vehicle going in the direction that you are steering.

    Which everyone understood when I used the vernacular "spin control."

    And they all do the same thing.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "spin control...."

    No other WH administration has been known to "leak" information, highly questionable information, to the news media, knowing it would be published, and then within hours of that publication referring to the publication by the media as a "validation" of the "truthfulness" of the otherwise questionable information. Certainly not to instigate an otherwise totally un-necessary war.

    "spin control..."

    As in "yaw" control....

    They all do the same thing...

    No, either BMW or MB, I don't remember which, uses a type of diff'l in the stearing control to actually "counter-stear" against the driver's input, in the case of over or understearing. Many of the new vehicles with electric power stearing assist actually provide additional resistance to the driver input if that input would exacerbate the situation.

    And finally....

    "Which everyone understood when I used the vernacular "spin control""

    Now that you have more accurately defined your use of the term my guess would be that virtually no one got it.

    Personally I took "spin control" to mean in the case of TC, Traction Control, being used to prevent wheelspin/slip due to too much engine torque being applied for roadbed conditions.

    It never occurred to me, and I suspect to most other readers, that what you really meant was "yaw" control.


    "spin control.."

    As in preventing wheelspin/slip..

    TC implementations on RWD vehicles apply braking and then often delay engine dethrottling for a few hundred milliseconds to give the driver time to react and "feather" the throttle in order to maintain the tire's traction coefficient right on the "cusp" in order to move forward without wheelspin/slip.

    This dethrottling delay is not possible on FWD and F/AWD vehicles since such a delay, even this brief delay, might well result, has a greater potential for, loss of directional control.

    Hybrid vehicles, since torque can be more "finely" controlled, and with short reactive times, (no ICE crank, mechanical, inertia) often use "engine" dethrottling only, they do not always use braking as a part of TC.
  • hdfatboyhdfatboy Posts: 324
    "No other WH administration has been known to "leak" information, highly questionable information, to the news media, knowing it would be published, and then within hours of that publication referring to the publication by the media as a "validation" of the "truthfulness" of the otherwise questionable information. Certainly not to instigate an otherwise totally un-necessary war."

    Moderator....can we please follow-up by moving these types of political commentaries to another forum or deleting them altogether as they lend no value to the discussion about Toyotas 4wd systems. I think we've all had enough of politicians, politics and the media's coverage of it to last a lifetime (or perhaps at least until the next election).

    I view these forums as an escape from the dreary political landscape of the past, present as well as the future and it would be wonderful if you as the moderator could kindly keep this type of dribble outside of the forum.

  • briegelbriegel Posts: 139
    I wholeheartedly agree with hdfatboy on this!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    I believe the community has just "moderated" this problem away.

    Carry on!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Agreed, agree....
  • shap2shap2 Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a 09 Tacoma with the sport package, but a couple of questions are nagging at me. Firstly, will the TRAC control offered in the 09 work in the four wheel drive mode and if so how effective is it at trasfering power to a non-slipping wheel. Secondly, how much power does a limited slip differential transfer to the non-slipping wheel. Everything I've read says there is a limited trasfer of torque, but are we talking 10%, 50% ?

    Thanks, Ken
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Some 4WD systems can be quickly released and that is what often done to enable ABS/TC/EBD/VSC/etc. The Tacoma probably has spline/dog clutch which cannot be quickly or reliably released so all of these functions will typically be disabled when the F/R drivelines are locked.
  • ALIDALID Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy a used 4runner, 2003-2004. (That's where I'm budgeted). I have a friend who used to work for GM and has been a dealer for a while. He believes 8V AWD is a better option than 6V 4WD for a car with 100K (km) on it. He can't exactly explain why but pricewise he is sure the AWD ones are a few grands more expensive in the market.
    What's the story?
  • hi everyone. i am considering purchasing a L.C. (2002-2003 model) with approximately 105,000 miles. while i know this is not a blog about that, i noticed that everyone here is extremely knowledgable on these automobiles. can you please tell me the good/bad/ugly of what to expect if i purchase? ANY HELP IS GREATLY APRRECATED ! i will drive the car another 5 yrs and put about 15,000 miles per yr. on it.

  • No story. The V8's cost more to begin with, and there weren't many around. The V6 also has the AWD option on 4wd models. Find one, drive it, and make up your own mind. I got the six....wish at times I had the eight...but when gas was $4+ gln the V6 was lookin really good. Neither one has drivetrain issues.
  • I have been having a problem that the dealership can't seem to pinpoint a fix for. I have a 2006 RAV4 and except for this issue, I love the car. Last winter, which was my third with the car, I had a severe defrosting and fogging issue...the car would fog up - on ALL windows even back to the tailgate. No matter what I did with the adjusting of controls, it did not help. In fact, in the middle of January we had to drive with the window open in order to keep the windows somewhat clear - not fun!

    In addition to this, there was also a "funky" odor in the cabin...I can best describe it as a "sour" smell...possibly moist.

    I had the car in for service severa times last fall and I was told repeatedly that it was user error. Talk about frustrating...finally I did speak with a technician that took the the time to speak with me in the car as it was running. Of course, the odor or the fogging did not occur, however, after 10 minutes he checked the hoses (not exactly sure which ones) because he didn't think the heat was working correctly and the hoses that he checked were stone cold and they should have been hot to the touch. Due to this, he replaced the thermostat...

    I would love to say that the thermostat fixed the problem, but it didn't. It possibly made it better for awhile (does that even make sense?) but it is not fixed.

    The inside of the car continues to fog up...the odor continues as almost feels like a steam bath at times...I'm leary to take it back to the dealer as I don't think it will get me anywhere.

    I'm hoping that someone on this forum has at least heard of this issue if not experienced it. I'm ready to just give up and trade in the car.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!!
  • Hello everyone. I am looking to purchase a full size SUV. I am debating between 09 Nissan Armada and 09 Toyota Sequoia. My brother have a 08 4Runner 4wd. . I drove his car one day to work. It was about 12 inches fresh snow on the mountain ( lake tahoe area).. 4runner have no problem. I was very impressed with the 4runner. I am very confident 4runner, sequoia, other 4wd well handle great in snow. but i have a question. has anyone driven nissan armada 4x4 in snow? if so please let me know how the car handle.... thanks you
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most probable cause is a slight engine coolant leak ("sweet" anti-freeze odor.??) from the heater core or teh hoses leading to/from the heater core.

    Second possibility is a plugged up condensate drain in the HVAC plenum.

    Last possibility is simply the Denso design flaw for which you can have the dealer set two C-best options to so you can disable the A/C compressor during the winter months.

    For these latter two the odor is more likely to be: "dirty gym socks".
  • hdfatboyhdfatboy Posts: 324
    I think I had the same smell you're referring to last Fall. I think mine was related to the fact that I ran the AC during the summer at High cold which automatically places the climate control into the recirculating mode. Since there was little fresh air flowing through the air exchanging, I think it built up the "moldy" smell. It was easily resolved by going to a local part store and picking up a can of "Clean Air Duct Treatment" for a couple of bucks. The directions instruct you to spray the can into the climate control intake vent on the outside of the vehicle (Passenger side)between the windshield and engine hood.

    I suppose its some type of disinfectant that destroys the bacteria causing the smell. I did 2 applications over a couple of days and the smell was gone in a week or so. Lesson learned is to not run the AC at full cold all summer and try to use some direct external air occasionally.

    BTW the dealer wants to charge something like $60-75 to spray the same stuff into your venting system. What a rip-off.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    BG Frigi-Fresh is the brand I've seen recommended. I've seen it priced online from around $13 to $28 a can.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Microbial growth within the A/C plenum is fairly common but that doesn't alone account for the extreme fogging events.

    see the EED at:
  • hdfatboyhdfatboy Posts: 324
    I only caught the part about the smell. Missed the fogging issue. Clearly some other problem than what I experienced.
  • LCs don't have V-6s. Never have. Only I6, then to V8 in 1998.
  • The Armada has a fantastic 4wd system. The problem, IMO, is the vehicle is problematic and has a poor maintenance history. For that reason alone, I'd recommend the Sequoia. Regardless of what you buy, if it doesn't have the proper tires for the conditions you are driving in, then it doesn't matter what you are driving.
  • Re: this post--this applies to US LCs, as the ROW 4Runner is called an LC (90 Series I believe)
  • thank you for your quick response. I think toyota have better resale value and more reliable. by the way, what suv do you drive? thanks
  • 4Runner....hoping to move up to a Sequoia later this year.
  • Can anyone give me information this AWD(or "full time FWD") that Toyota is using in the current Highlander, or at least a reliable source of information. I am familiar with AWD and 4WD in general, and in particular with the real 4WD with a low range as in my Ford), but what exactly does the new HL have and how does it function--viscous couplings, clutchpack or ? Thanks for any information.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The current HL uses a simple open center diff'l so torque distribution will be 50/50 ONLY as long as F/R traction remains roughly equal. If a wheel or wheels should begin to slip/spin the TC system will activate to moderately brake the slipping wheel(s) while simultaneously dethrottling the engine.

    Generally not worth the powder to blow it to.....
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