A-TRAC - causing me grief! - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Just bought my FJ Cruiser to continue with my passion; beach driving, camping and fishing. I have had Suzuki Jimny's until now, usually having to rebuild them to some degree before getting them on the road (my first one was badged as a Holden Drover - 1986, ). I am loving my FJ, but she is a 2012 model, and is giving me some uphill. Certainly not as simple as the Jimny, and I hope that this forum will keep me inspired and help me get the most out of my Cruiser. My biggest issue is the A-TRAC. I took her up the beach for the first time recently and when driving on hard sand, in H4, the A-TRAC light would come on together with a terrible grinding noise every time I hit even the slightest dry patch. The tide had been out for a while, so the "humps" on either sides of the gully's had dried out, and the sand was softer over those areas. I was in a convoy of cars, mostly Jeeps, and my Toyota FJ was the only one doing that. I took it back to the dealer and they told me this was normal. So can anyone explain to me what is happening, and why I shouldn't be concerned... because I am, no matter how hard I try to let it go.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:44 AM
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:54 AM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

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Lee-ann Van Biljon previously said: View Post
Just bought my FJ Cruiser to continue with my passion; beach driving, camping and fishing. I have had Suzuki Jimny's until now, usually having to rebuild them to some degree before getting them on the road (my first one was badged as a Holden Drover - 1986, ). I am loving my FJ, but she is a 2012 model, and is giving me some uphill. Certainly not as simple as the Jimny, and I hope that this forum will keep me inspired and help me get the most out of my Cruiser. My biggest issue is the A-TRAC. I took her up the beach for the first time recently and when driving on hard sand, in H4, the A-TRAC light would come on together with a terrible grinding noise every time I hit even the slightest dry patch. The tide had been out for a while, so the "humps" on either sides of the gully's had dried out, and the sand was softer over those areas. I was in a convoy of cars, mostly Jeeps, and my Toyota FJ was the only one doing that. I took it back to the dealer and they told me this was normal. So can anyone explain to me what is happening, and why I shouldn't be concerned... because I am, no matter how hard I try to let it go.
Welcome to the forum.
The issue that you are experiencing isn't ATRAC, its VSC and /or TRC.
The car still thinks it is on the road, so the Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control are still enabled.
If you hit the button with the skid marks behind it, it disables TRC under I think 30mph/50km/h. If you stop, put it into park or neutral, then hold the button for 3 or 5 seconds, both VSC & TRC lights will illuminate on your dash, and they'll remain disabled until you turn the car off or hit the button again.
If you go into 4L, that will also disable them.

If you want a quicker, simpler way of doing this on demand, see the nannies off mod in my signature, which also disables ABS (very useful on sand).
There is another mod in my signature to enable the rear diff lock anytime (2H/4H/4L) which is great on sand and also turns off the VSC/ABS/TRC. Obviously both mods should be used offroad only. Neither mod disables ATRAC, because ATRAC is awesome when you understand what it is and how it works.

I hope this helps.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:11 AM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Welcome to the show. ^^^Good info^^^

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:09 AM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Welcome... @amaclach said it best. FYI A-trac only available in 4lo and requires manual activation.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 10:09 AM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Welcome aboard!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Welcome to the Forum. Nothing I can add

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:31 PM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

More Throttle.

Welcome to the madness!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

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More Throttle.

Welcome to the madness!
More throttle, need the nannies off for that?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 03:52 PM
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Re: A-TRAC - causing me grief!

Hard to diagnose over the internet if its normal or not. I'd say find a club of FJ's in your area if possible and ask them. One of us in your FJ could tell you all you needed to know in about 5 seconds.

As mentioned before, A-trac is only possible in 4 Lo. Trac on the other hand is functional in 4 hi although I find it typically interferes very little compared to when its in 2WD.
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