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Toyota Camry Vehicle Stability Control



  • The lights: Brake ABS VSC Trac OFF (no engine light) just started coming on in my 2003 LE V6 a couple weeks ago. Local private mechanic could not find a hard code so I called the dealer. I was told to check the gas cap, take it off and put it back on, sometimes the sensor inside is set off by vapors or something. It did sound funny when I took the cap off, but the lights came back on again anyway. So..... I took it to the dealer and they blessed me with an explanation that it's the VSC computer in need of replacement for about $1780+ Hahaha. Ridiculous since I only have 25K miles on it!! Now we'll see if it stops coming on. Others on a tundra forum or someplace have had this same series of lights come on.. BTW, I Was told it was still safe to drive. Just don't count on brakes not locking up in a skid or very hard braking. :confuse:
  • Had the same problem with my 2003 XLE. My problem turned out to be a bad rear (inner) disc pad. I found this out when I changed all the pads on the car. The lite(s) that were on were the VSC and TRAC OFF. Auto Zone can check only " CHECK ENGINE " lites. Usually wheel speed sensors can also go bad. I found a mechanic on CRAIGSLIST that was able to pull the code(s) - had 13 of them!! My lites were on for about 3 months.He then reset it and the problem has not returned. Cost of pads $64.00 (my labor). :)
  • Hey guys,

    I have a 1998 XLE V6 Toyota Camry with 103K miles, and the following dashboard lights went off today:

    Trac OFF

    Is there any connection to BOTH of these lights going on at the same time? How much am I looking at it getting fixed? I read on another posting that disconnecting the negative battery cable might help reset it, is this worth a try?


  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You reset the light, AFTER you fix the problem.

    Check your brake pads and wheel sensors.
  • The solutions I've read are all pretty interesting because it confirms my dealer was trying to rip me off. Even more interesting is the fact that the lights have NOT come back on since I returned from the dealer (10 days ago) telling me I needed a $1780 replacement of the VSC computer. So I'd have to say removing and replacing the gas cap earlier that day fixed the problem!! I filed a defect complaint with the NHTSA since the '03 car has only 25K miles. Toyota marketing rep has called and said Toyota will not support any repairs. HA! Nothing broken! No more dealers or toyotas for me. :mad:
  • VSC/TRAC ENGINE LIGHTS have nothing to do with the gas cap.It is a completely different system than a CHECK ENGINE lite on.. :surprise:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Methinks you may be a tad wrong...

    Whenever there is a CEL the VSC/trac system is automatically disabled by default. Fix the CEL, in this case the gas cap, and both the CEL and VSC/Trac lights will go off.
  • I 'm not sure about that. Had a problem with my 2003 XLE where the VSC and the TRAC OFF lites were on for several months.When I tried checking for codes with an ACTRON CP9175 OB11 Scanner it showed no codes present.The CEL does not have anything to do with the brake system.Went to Auto Zone where they said the same.
    Pep Boys could not pull any codes. They to said that they did not have the correct type of scanner .
    When I changed all the disc pads, I noticed the the right rear inner pad was was all "chewed up".I too was told to disconnect the battery, check the gas cap, check the brake fluid level, wheel speed sensors, fuses,relays, etc...Found a person on CRAIGSLIST who had a SNAP ON scanner for testing of that had the correct chips to use for a Toyota. I had 13 codes present! after he reset it, the VSC and TRAC OFF lites have never returned. Who know :confuse: s..
  • I encounterd thesame problem too on my 2007 sienna. The engine,vsc ang tracontrol lights suddenly went on. I noticed it when i parked on a mall, when i was about to drive off, i noticed that the lights are on. i don't like to go to toyota service center right away cause i like to make sure whats wrong and how much will i spend before going to toyota service center. Well, it went off for a while when i made a u-turn to park on the other side of the road. But it went on again after three days when i made a sharp u-turn. it was a low sharp turn not a fast one. Can you tell me sir what kind of Snap on scanner did the craigslist person use to turn off the vsc/engine and tracontrol light so i can do it myself.
  • Hi,
    Sorry but, I don't remember the model number of the scanner. You might pull the rims
    off and look at the discs and rotors. One of my disc pads, the right rear was "chewed up" as if a stone or small piece of metal had gotten in between the pad and rotor. Check Craigs List under "Service... Automotive." Better yet, place an ad searching for some one who can check for VSC and TRAC OFF :( :cry:
  • Hello there pontiac,
    Thanks for some tips. Glad i found this site, to exchange ideas on how to fix problems on our own car. Service centers sometimes lets you pay for something they say they did on your car when in fact they did nothing at all. :mad: Anyway, thanks again. :)
  • petecopeteco Posts: 2
    I have a 2010 Camry LE. While driving slowly up an icy hill the traction control light came on and I could sense the wheel starting to slip some. At the same time the front end made a funny noise, grinding like sound. I wondered if this was the Traction Control system operating, which is tied to the braking system I believe. Is this noise normal?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yes, quite normal.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    As 210 says, normal.

    The computer is sensing inappropriate wheel slippage. It fires up the anti-lock braking system pump, and puts on the brake to the wheel that is slipping. This causes power to then transfer over to the other wheel, which is the one with the better traction (at that point).

    At some point in a secluded dry parking lot, go slam on the brakes hard at like 40 mph trying to cause it to skid. You'll hear quite a racket going on. See if it's similar to what you heard.

    I had each of my girls do this when learning to drive on both wet and dry pavement, to know what to expect if it ever had to happen while driving.
  • awn7eawn7e Posts: 12
    Will I save gas by turning off the VSC? If I do this on a day when there's no rain/snow - are there any downside to this?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    no you won't save any gas.

    The way VSC works, is that if it detects wheel slipping on ice, it will apply the brake to the wheel that is slipping, which thens puts more power to the wheel that is grabbing on dry surface.

    If there is no slippage on regular pavement, VSC does nothing.
  • I live in the Hudson Valley of New York, we are in the middle of a major snowstorm, 18 inches on the ground already with snow expected on and off for another 24 hours. I tried shutting VSC off, so I dont slip, using the complicated method listed in several other posts. When I completed the procedure, the Traction Control Light was on, but the VSC light was not displayed. My question is whether this is correct or should I also be seeing the VSC light. When I shut the engine and re-started, the Traction Control Light disappeared as expected. Thanks ahead of time
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited February 2010
    I tried shutting VSC off, so I dont slip, using the complicated method listed in several other posts.

    You may be confused on VSC usage.

    When it is slippery, you want VSC "On", not "Off". Actually, you can just leave it On all of the time. VSC will put the engine power to the tire that has good traction, as opposed to spinning the tire.

    The instructions given to turn VSC off, are in the very rare situation like where you are on complete solid ice. In that case with VSC ON, the VSC would detect wheel slippage and put on the brakes on that wheel. It would also detect slippage on the other wheel, and put those brakes on as well. Therefore, the vehicle wouldn't be able to move at all. So in that situation, you would turn the VSC OFF, and with the driver trying to moderate the wheel spin, try to get the vehicle to move.

    But in all normal driving situations even with some ice and snow, you want VSC On....that's what it is for!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Confusion COMPOUNDED.

    You are describing the functionality of TC, Traction Control, not VSC, Vehicle Stability Control. TC functionality, basically, is a virtual substitute for an LSD, Limited Slip Differential. The only real different between an actual LSD and this "virtual" one is the fact that the engine is also dethrottled instantly to prevent the brakes from overheating.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666 are correct, what was I thinking last night. That'll teach me to try to answer while watching the olympics.

    Sorry for confusion, wwest is correct....I was describing traction control.
  • I got into my 2010 Camry a couple of days ago and turned it and started to drive off. The VSC indicator came on even though I was on flat, dry pavement. The car made a squealing noise and pulled to the left. There had been no previous indication of any problem. Turning the car off and back on did not help. I decided to park and not use the car. The car was towed to the Toyota dealer who said I must have hit a large bump within the last few days, so the damage is my fault and that the repair is not covered by the warranty. Fr the past few weeks, we have only done local driving. We live in a very flat area and hit no bumps at all. Has anyone ever experienced a failure of the VSC for no apparent reason?
  • my Daughter's 2005 Camry (152,000 M.)had the check engine light,VSC and the traction control light all come on at the same going with some of the replys on this post i unhooked both battery posts for about 15 mins, i took off the gas filler cap and cleaned it and the filler neck(just in case) checked the master clyn. level but it was fine- i did add some power steering fluid as it was slightly low,but i think this was unrelated to the lights being on. i cleaned the terminals and hooked the cables back to the battery,started it up and lights went off after engine was running and have stayed off so far. i had the excact same deal happen with my 07 silverado when its CEL came on,unhooked battery cables and tightned gas cap and light has never came back while engine is running......thanks for all the ideas here guys!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " the damage is my fault.."

    Dealer found "damage"?....what damage?

    I would disable(***) the Trac/VSC functionality and drive it for a few days to see if the car functions correctly otherwise.

    With the engine idling unplug the MAF/IAT connector, the engine will die, reconnect the connector, restart the engine. VSC/Trac will now be disabled for the next few drive cycles.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A small crack in the exhaust pipe near the oxygen sensor will sometimes allow atmospheric oxygen to reach the sensor with the engine off but while it is still HOT. That will often result in an intermittent CEL.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    wwest....Unrelated, but I would value your input on this question. In some snow conditions, it would be very helpful to be able to turn off the traction control. My 2001 lexus ls 430 has this capability with a push button on the console. My 2007 anniversary edition Camry hybrid does not have this option. Do you know of a reliable task that can acomplish this without harm to the other components, even just until the car is started again. I value your opinion on these things and hope you will take the time to answer. Thank you.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, disconnect the MAF/IAT sensor module with the engine idling. The engine will stop, reconnect the module, and now for the next few drive cycles you have disabled Trac and VSC, but not ABS.
  • We are still watching this,so far the CEL has not come back on....thanks for the tip wwest,if it happens again i will sure be checking this.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    edited January 2012
    wwest....Thank you for the information. I do not know what the MAF/IAT sensor module is or where it is located. Is this something that can be done if caught in a snowy situation where spinning the tire would be helpful? Can it be done quickly etc. Thanks for any further help you can provide. Also, if I can find it and use the disconnect, will it reactvate on its own after a few drive cycles, and will I know it has reactivated. Hope this is not to much to ask...Thanks.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    In reference to last post #60.....Can anyone answer these questions? Thank you.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    MAF/IAT sensor module is always located in the engine intake ducting slightly downstream, after, the engine air filter. And yes, after a few drive cycles it will restore to normal operation.

    Personally I wouldn't hesitate getting out and going through the procedure should I encounter road conditions that warranted such.
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