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4x4 questions...please help!!!

Old 02-18-2009, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Default 4x4 questions...please help!!!

Ok, so my long term bf just bought a truck for work, its a 2009 Toyota Tacoma SR5 and manual if that helps. Well I just love the thing, hide hight, smoothness, makes me feel powerful and have pretty much stolen it whenever possible, lol. Well I wanted to use the 4x4 and noticed there was 3 settings, 2High/4High/4Low, so I asked about it and was handed the manual. <sigh>

Well I read the manual and it gave some general warnings about what not to do but was very vague so I went online and now I hear about all these horror stories about what people had happen to them and now I am scared to the point I dont want to use it on anything other than the 2WD setting.

So I guess these are my questions:

1) I know dry pavement is bad because it kills the tires, but will it hurt the rest of the truck? I read something about wheels binding up and having to lift the truck to unwind the wheels? Also it says to drive about 20km a month in 4WD to make sure it gets lubed, how do I do this if there is no mud/dirt/snow around and dont want to hurt it?

2) Do I turn off traction control or leave it on?

3) So can I/ should I drive 4WD in rain, snow, slush? I am thinking rain is 2WD and snow and slush is 4WD HI?

1) Is there any other use for this other than towing or hauling at low speed? I read it gives more power and lets you go slower for better handling?

2) Do I turn off traction control for this? I read sometimes 4WD LOW is only 4WD part time, only when needed, and can mess up traction.

Thanks so much for any response or further advice you can give, btw, if you cant already tell, my car knowledge is minimum, so if you do give advice please keep it simple hehe.
Old 02-12-2012, 05:01 PM
TMW is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bakersfield
Posts: 279

4 HI is for for snow and ice and off road where more traction is needed. It is best to not use 4 HI on the highway except for snow and ice as it wears on the front drive componets and makes it harder to steering when turning.

4 LO is mostly for off road where traction is really needed like sand. The engine will race at a higher RPM. Don't switch from 4 Hi to 4 LO unless in neutral and stopped. In fact I don't think you can since the electronics prevents it. If necessary you can tow someone if you need the extra power but it will be slow. I don't think traction control works in 4 LO.

Take the truck out to a empty parking lot and try all the combinations. Put it in 4 Hi and just drive slow and turn. Stop and put it in Neutral and then 4 LO and do the same thing. First thing you'll notice is the engine revs higher. If you have the locking rear deifferential it only works in 4 LO. If there is a dirt road thet goes up a hill try all combinations on it.

When ever I am in the dirt I usually put my 4x4 in 4 HI. I feel I have better steering especially on a sand road. If it's soft sand I'll go to 4 LO so I don't lug the engine down.

Hope this helps. If you go off road much you may want to get an off road book to learn about how best to do various things like climbing hills, driving in the sand etc.
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