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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, haven't posted here that much but I need help on my FJ I am scared to drive it in this weather again...

I live in new york and yesterday night coming back from work I was doing 60 on the interstate and i guess i drove over some ice patch on the bridge my FJ slid to the right out of nowhere, I thought i could correct it turning the way my rear was going but my steering wheel was not responding i could feel the wheel shaking i guess they locked on me. I ended up spinning and hitting the sand barrows on the exit .
For the past 8 months i have had 4 lights on in the dash ( check engine, traction VSC, and whatever the other one is).
My repair shop told me the only issue is my catalytic converter is not efficient and i should replace it. I haven't done so because the quote was around a grand.

My question to you guys is, is my traction/skid control working normally ? The only code coming up is Inefficient catalytic converter. Is it 4 lights just to call more attention or does it actually turn them off because of it?

I have a 07 FJ cruiser 2 wheel drive and my tires are only 9 months old. I am surprised and scared i lost control like that it wasn't even raining or snowing for the past 3 days until today...
I watched for 2 hours really old junky cars speeding by on the same lane doing 80. I'm scared to even drive it after the repairs in bad weather like snow we have coming..

Help :mecry: , Sorry for the long post
 

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I Have a V-8!! Moderator
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If the two wheel drive is like the four wheel drive, which I think it is, then I'm pretty sure you lost all traction control systems with the lights on the dash being on as they shut down. I lost a charcoal canister on mine and the dash lights came on and I no longer had Atrac or the VSC. I had some work done and the codes were cleared when they were doing the diagnosis and final checks and the Atrac and VSC worked for a little bit until the lights came back on when the codes came up again and then they quit working once more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is so stupid though, It can't be... Just because my Catalytic converter is not up to par i lose all Traction control? Like whats the point on that? Can anyone confirm this plz?
 

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Test it.. Just induce a loss of traction and you'll know.. A wet parking lot, a 90 degree turn from a stop and a heavy foot will tell the tale. It should light up the inside tire and "spring door" you to a virtual stop in forward momentum. To test the anti-skid brakes just find a washboard.. Great fun as well.. Cheers...
 

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I Have a V-8!! Moderator
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From what I understand it's a Self Preservation System to protect all of the different systems from harm if there is a problem. Just like if it goes into limp mode, it's to protect things.
 

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How many miles are on this FJ, it sounds like it is all stock, Correct?
You have multiple catalytic converters not one, As I understand it US EPA warranty laws are 8 years/80,000 miles which ever first. Usually it takes a lot of miles to burn out Cats, if they are bad enough to light up the dash I would expect you would be having performance problems such as power loss and or lousy gas milage as well.
Who is this repair shop, is it a Toyota certified service shop,what tests were done or did they just read a code. I would contact a Toyota dealer and ask what mechanical conditions would stop the Trac control system from functioning, also they should be able to tell you if yours infact is not working. I do not know this for certain but I would think legally similar to seat belts nothing unless directly related should interfere with the system for Safety reasons.
Vehicle function aside it sounds like you could benefit from increasing your driving skill and confidence levels. You should never be Scared to drive and you should never rely on any vehicle safety system to feel safe when you are driving. Just a suggestion you should seek out hazardous driver skills training where you would learn braking and skidding manouvers at high speed, driving and traction loss on snow and ice conditions. Learning the basics and then practice them would make you feel much safer when conditions are not ideal and more in control when you do experience what you just have... A nervous, scared driver on the road is not a great thing for yourself or others.
Another note just because your tires are nine months old has nothing to do with traction and surface grip, what kind of tires are they many tires perform very poorly on slippery surfaces, also if you do get winter snow like conditions your FJ is only two wheel drive which means you really only have one tire providing driving forces many of the other cars you mentioned driving by may be "all wheel drive" in comparison. What you can and should do is get a few sand bags and place them in the back to increase your rear traction some what. Good luck.
:cheers:
 

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Learning the basics and then practice them would make you feel much safer when conditions are not ideal and more in control when you do experience what you just have.
People often grow so confident they drive well beyond the road conditions. It's almost like the old adage "4wd is to get you out of trouble, not get you into trouble..." I think it should be self explanatory.

You have been knowingly driving a vehicle with mechanical issues, repairs needed. Time to take it in and get it checked out, months of driving with little red lights on...the car is giving you a warning.
 
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Hi everyone, haven't posted here that much but I need help on my FJ I am scared to drive it in this weather again...

I live in new york and yesterday night coming back from work I was doing 60 on the interstate and i guess i drove over some ice patch on the bridge my FJ slid to the right out of nowhere, I thought i could correct it turning the way my rear was going but my steering wheel was not responding i could feel the wheel shaking i guess they locked on me. I ended up spinning and hitting the sand barrows on the exit .
For the past 8 months i have had 4 lights on in the dash ( check engine, traction VSC, and whatever the other one is).......

So, have you ever wondered what the "traction VSC" light being on meant?
Now you are complaining that the traction control doesn't work?
 

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My question to you guys is, is my traction/skid control working normally ? No The only code coming up is Inefficient catalytic converter. Is it 4 lights just to call more attention NO or does it actually turn them off because of it? yes
Time to fix it
 

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It is now normal for your check engine, traction VSC lights to come on when your engine thows a code. Toyota did this because so many people just drive around with their check engine light on and get it looked at when they feel like it. However if a bunch of light turn on they may take it more seriously and have it looked at.
 

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You said you hit the barrels...was there any damage? Specifically wheel or suspension?
 

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yep, sounds like your traction control systems are not working. Plus, new tires do not mean much. Ice and snow call for snow tires. You basically have a rear wheel drive car with no traction aids and questionable tires. Does not get much worse than that.
 

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The cheapest and easiest way to fix your problem is to buy a URD dual rear O2 simulator. It is about a $100 and takes about 15 minutes to install. I too had a bad cat with mine and this eliminated the dash lights and I am still able to pass emissions.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
So, have you ever wondered what the "traction VSC" light being on meant?
Now you are complaining that the traction control doesn't work?
The only reason i have not replaced the cat is because I do not have the money for that right now, I was told that the FJ does not just light up the engine light it shows 4 lights on so people don't ignore it. I asked the mechanic at the auto shop if i had to worry about the other 3 lights and if my skid / traction controls were off because of these lights and he said No that it should still be on.

I am here to confirm if my cat issue turns off all the other systems just because of this 4 light "check engine light" Feature... If I knew that my anti slip and traction were off due to the cat i would have fixed this ASAP.
My Fj has 140k miles on it so i could not get it replaced it was at 84k miles when the cat started going bad.
Also i am only worried about driving it because it slipped on a little patch of ice which i didn't even expect since it had been 3-4 days without rain and 2 weeks without snow, I can't imagine driving it when the real **** goes down
 

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People often grow so confident they drive well beyond the road conditions. It's almost like the old adage "4wd is to get you out of trouble, not get you into trouble..." I think it should be self explanatory.

You have been knowingly driving a vehicle with mechanical issues, repairs needed. Time to take it in and get it checked out, months of driving with little red lights on...the car is giving you a warning.
First of all, I am from florida and was driving back home from work at 2 am... No where in my mind i was worried about ice on the road when it hadn't snowed or rained for days...
I simply was told my Cat converter is not operating at peak efficiency which to me doesn't sound like a mechanical issue or something needing critical repair. My vehicle performance has not changed at all since this light came on.
 

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My fj did the same thing at 150000 miles. When the O2 sensor detects a problem with your cat it will throw a P0420 or P0430 code. It will disable your traction control when you have the Christmas tree lights on the dash from that code. You can either buy a scan tool or scan gauge to clear the code every time it happens or buy the URD O2 simulator like I did if you don't want to replace your cat. You can even install headers and the O2 simulator for 1/2 the cost of the cat from toyota.
 
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First of all, I am from florida and was driving back home from work at 2 am... No where in my mind i was worried about ice on the road when it hadn't snowed or rained for days...
Since you are from Florida and may be unaware of why ice is on the roadway or when, it's winter. Black Ice may be present at temperatures around 32 degrees F, depending on the degree of salting (less add degrees) it may be above...Salt lowers the freezing temperature, it doesn't work in the far north due to the temperature will freeze salted moisture. It doesn't need snow or rain, simple condensation on the road way. Ice is most often on elevated roadways, exits (less traveled and less salting), bridges, ect...

Now for the hard truth, single person accidents, barring some medical issue, are almost always driver error. This accident was not caused by an assist such as traction control, it was caused by loss of traction by ice not the vehicle, considerable difference. Unsafe speed for road conditions is the most likely combined with mechanical issues which may or may not have prevented an accident.

Please note that tires bought in FL may be entirely unsuited for Winter Roads in New York/New England. Most of us have snow rated tires or a specific set of winter tires to include studs.
 
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My other Toyota has a cat that needs work. It only turns on one dash light. I may have to look into the O2 simulator. I wasn't aware they existed.
 

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You don't have a busted truck, you have a time machine. Welcome back to 1985, when trucks were rusted iron and the men who drove them steel. Folks pushed pickup trucks, with a 80/20 weight distribution and only 2WD through black ice and snow long before the first granny assist (ABS, but only on the REAR tires) was applied in the late eighties. One contributor has already suggested studded snow tires, about $120/tire (get 4, you want to turn on ice as well as keep traction) and if the truck starts slipping from no traction, go buy some bags of sand or water softener rock salt (you can buy water softener salt in a grocery store in a hurry, but you can't get a bag of sand there) to put in the back over the axle to give you more traction (and use to pour around the tires if you get stuck and need traction)

But here is the one no one wants to hear. SLOW DOWN! I think the roads are more unsafe today because folks rely on the granny aids and think it allows them to drive the speed limits no matter what the weather. You slow down in snow, ice and even rain, period. IF the roads are clear but you noticed wet patches from the piled up snow running across the road during the day, you know there is black ice out there somewhere tonight.

Oh, and be glad you don't have 4WD, lack of it has already activated the first warning light in your head. Klick and Klack the Tappet Bros got some humor mileage on their radio program noticing that many of the vehicles you see on the road side, having slid out of control in the snow, are 4WD trucks, whereas FWD and AWD cars navigate the same road just fine. 4 wheel driving is an art and a learned skill, not a flick of the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have the Firestone Destination LE 2 tires on my truck and the thread is still Great on it... I guess after the 6 grand repairs they are making to my FJ are done im just gonna buy a machine to clear out the code whenever it comes up...
I might end up trading and getting a new car because i'm paying almost 400 bucks a month for the FJ, I'm sure i can get a better deal now that my credit is perfect...

Thanks for the help guys
 
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