Lights coming on dash after I drive a few mins

Tiny
TJ MCLEOD
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 97,800 MILES
I have been using my 4wheel drive high as we live where there has been a lot of snow, I just got my 4 runner in December. Yesterday while driving for a few mins some lights came on vsc and abs all at the same time it did not effect the driving of the 4 runner and when I stopped and started it again they went away then after a bit they came back on.I have read through my manual and I am not understanding why they are coming on, the manual says something about if you pump the brakes these lights can come on, with the road conditions being slick I had to do that several times during my trip out.I know there is a button on the left side that is for the differential but I am not sure what that is and how it is to be used? When I left out I have a very steep hill so I used the down hill button and it did a great job, like I said I have only had it for a short time so I really don't know much about it. Any input would be great and I thank you :)
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 4:05 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
When the Anti-Lock Brake Computer detects a problem, it turns the system off, it turns the warning light on to tell you, and it sets a diagnostic fault code related to the cause of the problem. Most of the time you have turn the ignition switch off and back on to turn the ABS system back on, but the fault code will still be in memory. It's important now to not disconnect the battery or let it run dead because that could erase the code, and that valuable information would be lost. The code should be read and recorded. You'll typically need a mechanic with a scanner capable of accessing the ABS Computer to do that. Based on the code he will tell you what type of diagnostic are needed.
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 4:59 PM
Tiny
TJ MCLEOD
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your reply, so a trip to the Toyota dealership repair shop I suppose is in order. Ugh what a bummer but one must do what they must:) TJ
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 6:05 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You are not tied to the dealer like you are with GMs, BMWs, and VWs. Hyundai, Toyota, and Chrysler are the most customer-friendly manufacturers when it comes to making repairs parts and knowledge available to independent shops. All you need is a shop that regularly does brake work. They will have the equipment to read the fault codes and figure out where to start.

I can offer some generalizations as to the cause of the problem. If it's electrical in nature, like a broken wire to wheel speed sensor, that will usually not be intermittent, and it will be detected as soon as you start the engine. The fault code will be set and the warning light will turn on before you even start driving.

Problems with the computer or the hydraulic controller, both expensive parts, are typically not intermittent. That's not to say they never are intermittent, but most of the time those problems don't clear up at times and act up at other times.

One of the most common causes of the warning light turning on after driving for a few hundred feet to a many miles has to do with the signals coming from the wheel speed sensors. A signal could "drop out" meaning it's too small for the computer to read, or it could read the wrong wheel speed due to the tone ring being cracked. Dropouts can be caused by rust or metal filings building up on the magnet on the sensor's tip. That blocks a strong signal from being generated, and most often the dropout occurs at lower speeds when signal strength is naturally weaker anyway. On some cars rust can build up under the sensor and push it away from the tone ring. A larger air gap decreases signal strength.

A cracked tone ring is caused by water getting under it and expanding when it freezes. That results in a gap in the signal being generated.
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Saturday, February 8th, 2014 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
TJ MCLEOD
  • MEMBER
You know its not a warning light coming on, its the differential panel of lights on the right side of my steering wheel that light up all the warning lights are on the left and none of those light up, you know if you start it up and push the differential button on the left side of steering wheel these lights come on, then you push it again and they go off, for some reason they have decided to come on after I am on the road for a few mins so it that considered a warning light, and does Auto zone have a way to tell me the code? Thanks for helping me with so much information very helpful to learn
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 5:53 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I couldn't follow the first part of your reply. You need to use punctuation, otherwise it can be read at least three different ways. For reading diagnostic fault codes, most auto parts stores will do that for you for free but they can usually only access the Engine Computer with their code readers. You need a full scanner that can access all the many other computers to read their fault codes. Most independent shops have those scanners.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 5:06 PM

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