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Toyota Repair/TRAC OFF & VSC OFF lights


Kevin wrote at 2006-08-10 19:27:16
I just had this problem and the dealer said to check the fuel cap to make sure it was on tight.  Sure enough, it wasn't.  They said tighten the fuel cap and after several more starts, the computer will shut off the check engine light, the VSC Trac and the VSC lights.

Apparently, the sensors don't read the right pressure in the fuel tank, so it lights up the check engine light, and turns on the VSC/trac lights

BW wrote at 2007-11-04 14:17:57
I've had the same problem with my '01 4Runner.  The dealer quoted $465 to replace the charcoal cannister (after the gas cap tightening solution didn't work), but I told them to hold off.

I talked to a mechanic who specializes in Toyotas and he told me the following: turn your lights on, disconnect the negative battery connection, and wait 30 minutes before reconnecting. He said that will reset the computer. I did that this a.m. and it worked.

BW wrote at 2007-11-04 14:21:15
I've had the same problem with my '01 4Runner.  The dealer quoted $465 to replace the charcoal cannister (after the gas cap tightening solution didn't work), but I told them to hold off.

I talked to a mechanic who specializes in Toyotas and he told me the following: turn your lights on, disconnect the negative battery connection, and wait 30 minutes before reconnecting. He said that will reset the computer. I did that this a.m. and it worked.

Gene wrote at 2007-12-20 05:26:18
I also had a dealer tell me on the phone to remove and replace the gas cap. Light came back on later that day and I went to the dealer who then said I needed a new VSC computer for only $1780. After I left, no lights again for 10 days now. So I don't know what to think other than the dealer was trying to steal my money.

WGS wrote at 2008-10-18 17:23:36
I had the same problem with a '03 4 Runner.  Checked gas cap and it was loose.  I tightened the cap, but after another 5 starts or so, the lights stayed on.  I disconnected the negative battery cable with the lights on.  Then left if off for 30 mins.  After reconnection, the check engine light went right off!!

seanixguy wrote at 2009-04-23 00:43:02
Who... I had the same problem with a 06 runner.  I took the negative battery cable off with the lights on. Waited 15 minutes and then hooked it back up.  The lights came back on and then the engine started with no key in ignition.  Really scared me, like some ghost car.   It then shut down by itself after 30 seconds and has been OK since.

Ellie wrote at 2009-09-18 02:10:41
I had a similar issue at 100,000 miles- and that is when my warranty ran out! I had the check engine light diagnosed and was told it was a bad catalytic converter. Well, I erased the code and it didn't come back for a long time. Then it seemed to come back every winter, and I cleared it every winter thinking my car just didn't like midwest winters...Well then it came on in the summer and then my gas mileage seemed to go bad too so I figured it had gone on long enough and time to fix the problem. Toyota quoted me an entire muffler system as they said catalytic converters could not be cut out and replaced. We were looking at over 2k in repairs. One day my curiosity got the best of me and I looked under the car and spotted the catalytic converter (one of them atleast) and saw weld marks on both sides of it. So I went to a local mechanic. I got a quote for $900.00 for both converters, and I went with it. After he was done, I got another code saying I had a bad air-fuel sensor, so I went to another (different) mechanic and he fixed that too! All was good and my check engine light went away, but the "trac off" and "vsc off" lights came back on. This concerns me because when these lights are on, the truck loses its ability to spin the rear tires- which means I will get stuck in the snow in the winter months and that is not good. I'm stumped.

TCS wrote at 2010-05-21 16:18:56
This appears to be a pretty common problem with the 4 Runners.  Like so many others, I too have had an ongoing problem with my 2001 Toyota 4-Runner's Check Engine and VSC lights.  The problem started around 40K miles.  When I took it to our mechanic who specializes in Toyotas, I, like many others with this problem was told that it was the O2 sensor.  So I had it replaced for $800.  The light stayed off for about a year and then last Fall, the problem started again. Once again, I took it to our mechanic and this time he could not figure out why it was coming on. Apparently the computer check was not giving him any codes.  What is even more strange is that it would go off on its own after a few days and then come back on.  This back and forth activity continued until about 2 months ago when the light came on and never went off. It almost seems as if the weather is a factor.  Either way, it's frustrating and I do not want to spend thousands of dollars replacing parts that do not need to be replaced and even more so, do not fix the problem. Not to mention the fact that it probably won't pass inspection with the lights on.  Any suggestions??

smcfeely wrote at 2010-12-10 15:00:38
Had the same problem with my 06 4runner.  As posted elsewhere on the internet both the cause and fix were simple.  The gas cap was not tightened sufficiently causing the problem.  The fix was to tighten the cap then disconnect the battery in order to reset the cars computer. No problems now and no cost to fix.

4Runner for Life wrote at 2013-01-25 22:22:39
This totally works, i got a new battery in my car two weeks ago and my traction control light went off today. Unplugged the negative side of the battery and waited 30 min. Came back and the lights were off.... Best trick ever

Muhammad Ashraf wrote at 2013-02-04 15:43:11
I had this issue with my 2001 4runner.The lights check engine,vsc off trac off will come on and go away after two to three days before returning back. I consulted the owner's manual. Found that ABS2 9 (B type) fuse was loose in the engine compartment. replaced that fuse and the lights are off ever since. Try it!

MikeE wrote at 2015-02-16 15:52:22
Several thoughts here.  Yes, I had the same problem with the check engine, VSC off, and (because I have a 4WD matrix), AWD on. First, you don't have to turn your lights on and disconnect the battery for 30 minutes.  Disconnect the + pole for 15 seconds and it will reset the computer.  Second, I found that my gas cap was dirty as well as the area around the tank spout so I cleaned those off and no more lights.

Henry K wrote at 2016-01-09 19:40:56
2005 Highlander with 185,000 miles. The VSC & check engine light came on in early Nov 2014. I took a reading with my Actron diagnostic scanner and had P420 and P430 (cat converter codes) codes. The car also started running rough. I hit the forums and most said to make sure the gas cap is on properly before doing anything else. I cleared the codes and tightened the cap and it was good for about a week when the lights came on again with the codes. One more try with buying and using a new gas cap (Highlander specific) for about $14. Cleared the codes again, and now about 2 weeks later and 1500 miles no VSC or check engine lights. The car is running smoothly and no P420 or P430 codes. These forum are the greatest. They saved me several hundred dollars just this one time so far.  

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