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Old 07 Feb 2014, 07:54 am   #1 (permalink)
Joe \Dufu\
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Default Turning off traction control - Two different Highlanders

I have a 2004 and 2009 Toyota Highlander and live in farmland. We
often have snow covered fields where some portions are grassy and
others are 12" or more of snow. During warmer times, we have mud.
Lots of it.

Any normal 4WD or even some 2WD vehicles have no problem going across
the drifts as their engine continues sending power to the wheels.
However, both Highlanders shut down all power to the wheels if I
approach the necessary speed and make a go of it. This causes the
vehicle to essentially coast to a stop in the middle of the drift and
I look like a fool needing to be pulled out by neighbors.

Is there any way to turn off the VSC and/or traction control on either
of these vehicles so I can go and fetch my small utility trailer from
the barn without asking a neighbor to do it for me?

I have brand new, aggressive tires and a desire to use my vehicles as
I need them... But I haven't found a solution for this yet.

Thank you for any help you can offer...

Model: Highlander

Year: 2004 & 2009

What have I tried so far?: A few different ideas ranging from riding
with the brake slightly depressed to fool the system into thinking I'm
on the brake. Pulling the fuse for the traction control set-up causes
it to drop into "limp home mode" I've heard so I've not yet tried
that. Then there was a sequence described to me as follows which DID
NOT work, but was entertaining to read and try last night:

1) Turn the Key from Off to ON/RUN (without starting the car)

You now have exactly 1 minute to execute the following (lots of

NOTE: Hold your brake peddle down throughout this procedure

(this allows you to shift from P to N)

2) Fully press the Accelerator Peddle TWICE (2 times) in P(ark)

3) Fully press the Accelerator Peddle TWICE (2 times) in N(neutral)

4) Fully press the Accelerator Peddle TWICE (2 times) in P(ark)

5) With the brake peddle still pressed, Start the car.

Your car will now display that you are in FWD Maintenance Mode and
your TRAC / VSC will be disabled until the next time you start the
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