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So I left my new (to me) 2011 FJ at a friend's house in Denver bc I'm moving there soon... I told them they could drive it like once a week around the corner to the store or something to keep it running. I specifically told them not to use the 4x4 at all. For some reason, the lady of the house decided to take it 18 miles to get a haircut knowing bad weather was forecasted yesterday. She texts me a pic of the 4x4 shifter asking what it is and how it works. I told her how to work it but asked that she please uber. She then apparently drove it 18 miles back thru "active snow" in H4 on main roads thru Denver bc she saw a truck spin out on the road. I'm pretty pissed off about it.

This is my first 4x4, I bought it in great shape, and I've barely used 4x4 myself and only very short distances off road.

How pissed off or concerned should I reasonably be? Is there any way to check to see if she did any damage?
 

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Depends on how sharply she was turning while in 4x4 and how much snow was on the ground. It it was solid pavement and she was turning sharp in 4x4, not too healthy for the FJ but it could still be okay. If it was slippery snow covered roads in 4x4 then I wouldn't worry. And as long as she only went into 4HI the she could have shifted into 4wd whether parked or in motion so I wouldn't worry about the act of shifting to have caused damage.
 

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Your driveline is probably OK, but it should have been obvious by "the lady of the house's" questions about use of the transfer case shift lever, that there was some potential for her to experiment with 4WD. You should not have expected her to be aware of the differences between part-time and full-time 4WD systems, the risks involved with use of part-time 4WD systems on high-traction surfaces, etc.

Driving the vehicle "around the corner" every week is probably doing more harm than good. The engine needs to be driven under load for at least 20 minutes to get the oil hot enough to drive out moisture, and repeated short runs at cold ambient temperature will only cause a BUILD-UP of moisture and acids in the oil.

Much better to keep the vehicle attached to a battery maintainer, and take it out for an hour's drive once every month or two.
 

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Your driveline is probably OK, but it should have been obvious by "the lady of the house's" questions about use of the transfer case shift lever, that there was some potential for her to experiment with 4WD. You should not have expected her to be aware of the differences between part-time and full-time 4WD systems, the risks involved with use of part-time 4WD systems on high-traction surfaces, etc.

Driving the vehicle "around the corner" every week is probably doing more harm than good. The engine needs to be driven under load for at least 20 minutes to get the oil hot enough to drive out moisture, and repeated short runs at cold ambient temperature will only cause a BUILD-UP of moisture and acids in the oil.

Much better to keep the vehicle attached to a battery maintainer, and take it out for an hour's drive once every month or two.
She didn't ask me these questions until she was already out in it and acting like an idiot. I did not have any of these expectations that you're implying I did. i told them they could take it on a short drive occasionally bc they specifically said they wanted to drive it some after they had let me stay at their house and fed me while house hunting in Denver for several days and said I could leave it at their house so I could fly home to get my wife and kids... so I was put on the spot. I also told them specifically to be careful and don't use 4x4. I'm moving from SC to Denver on my own dime and doing my best to make it happen so I didn't have the option to leave it hooked up to a device in a garage etc etc.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. It has helped to calm me down regarding my new prized possession FJ.
 

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I have heard stories of 4x4s coming to a halt because the driveline was so bound up, but never seen it in person.
 

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i guess her haircut couldn't wait. lol!
seems like she didn't take note that you didn't want her to be driving in 4x4 conditions. maybe she forgot, or was just oblivious (as some people are). you know the kind of people that will eat your food in the fridge - even if you put your name on it. wouldn't want anybody driving my fj in bad conditions (just for safety reasons) and especially if not familiar with 4x4's and how they function. don't worry though, your fj should be fine. you're a swell guy for letting them drive it here and there. guess it's a trade-off for them letting you keep it there. hopefully you'll be there soon enough and be reunited with your fj. good luck with the move!
 

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I live in Denver. Denver has been very snowy for the past week or two All side streets are covered with packed snow. Main roads are a little better. Yesterday was snowing a good portion of the day so it will probably be fine.

Biggest issue you are facing is the underside of your FJ is now covered with lots of road grime, salt and sand. Make sure you rinse it off well when you return to Denver. When are you planning to come back?

The other issue is all the Jabronies driving around here in the snow and putting your FJ at risk of getting hit when she is out driving around. Make sure your insurance covers drivers that you 'let' borrow your FJ.
 

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I've been wheeling Toyotas for 25 years and have never seen a driveline failure due to using 4H or 4L on pavement. I bet no one else has either. Reality is that even with lockers or spools, the tires will give before you damage anything.
After extended high-speed driving on pavement with an auto trans FJ in 4H, the worst "immediate" problem I have heard of was a transfer case that got so hot that it puked gear oil out the breather.

But I think you may be missing the point. The effects of driving a part-time 4WD vehicle in 4WD mode on high traction surfaces is greatly increased stress levels on just about every component in the drivetrain: CV joints, U-joints, transmission, differentials, transfer case, and of course tires.

Given that typical 4WD drivetrains are designed with a large safety margin over "normal" operating loads, you are unlikely to see an immediate, catastrophic failure in these components. However, when the drivetrain is severely binding, with 2X or 4X (or whatever it may be) the "normal" loading, you are undoubtedly reducing the ultimate service life of the components.

(Just a personal observation. Before I purchased my FJ, I arranged test drives of various new FJs, including an auto-trans TTUE. It was parked in a far corner of the dealerships lot, and the salesman was required to drive it while it was on the dealer's property, and could only turn it over to me once on the street. I took it for about a 20 minute on-pavement test drive. After we returned to the dealership, the salesman got back into the driver's seat to park the vehicle back in its original spot. Inexplicably, he shifted the transfer case into 4H, then shifted the transmission into DRIVE, and tried to wind his way back through the lot, around many other parked vehicles. By the time he reached the FJ's parking spot and needed to do a final sharp right turn into the slot, the driveline was so severely bound up that he had to apply a frightening amount of throttle (engine at around 2K RPM, approaching the torque converter's stall speed) to try to get the vehicle to even move. The vehicle literally would not move the last 8 feet, and the clueless salesman wad no clue why it "wouldn't go". Finally he just shut off the engine and left the FJ blocking the aisle, 1/3 of the way into its parking slot, acting non-nonchalant and pretending that he really hadn't wanted to park the truck back in its original position.

The objective of this tale is to indicate the severity of the binding that can occur. If the vehicle would not move in DRIVE with the engine at 2K RPM, that is a HUGE amount of internal friction and increased stress everywhere in the drivetrain.)
 

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I live in Denver. Denver has been very snowy for the past week or two All side streets are covered with packed snow. Main roads are a little better. Yesterday was snowing a good portion of the day so it will probably be fine.

Biggest issue you are facing is the underside of your FJ is now covered with lots of road grime, salt and sand. Make sure you rinse it off well when you return to Denver. When are you planning to come back?

The other issue is all the Jabronies driving around here in the snow and putting your FJ at risk of getting hit when she is out driving around. Make sure your insurance covers drivers that you 'let' borrow your FJ.
This is a good segway into my other problem... I'm arriving in a packed out 26 foot uhaul tomorrow or thursday to move into my new house in Green Mountain... is this possible? Lol
 

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Its probably ok, as long as the street was somewhat slippery.

I have heard stories of 4x4s coming to a halt because the driveline was so bound up, but never seen it in person.
Mine has done that. I left it parked at work in 4Hi. Went to back out of the stall after work (snow had melted) and cranked the steering wheel. Made it a couple feet and it stopped. I almost went to give it more gas but realized it was in 4hi.
 

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Wow.
Relax.

If she saw someone spin out it was obviously slippery enough to be in 4Hi with no adverse repercussions.

You asked them to look after the FJ and also gave them permission to use the FJ.
 

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This is a good segway into my other problem... I'm arriving in a packed out 26 foot uhaul tomorrow or thursday to move into my new house in Green Mountain... is this possible? Lol
I arrived on the mainland with a 40' can, no ramp, on Jan 1st, in -10* to unload. The snow wasn't too bad... yet.

YOU CAN DO IT! ;)

2015-01-02 Move in day.jpg



Have fun! WAVE CHEERS
 

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This is a good segway into my other problem... I'm arriving in a packed out 26 foot uhaul tomorrow or thursday to move into my new house in Green Mountain... is this possible? Lol
Forecast is for 1-2" of snow on west side of Denver Metro on Weds afternoon (was a high of 35-37 today and sunny so most of the main roads that are plowed are now dry and bare). All the streets in my subdivision in SE Metro area are snowpacked except for those that were plowed. Can you move into it....sure....make sure you bring a snow shovel because the first thing you are going to want to do is clear the driveway and sidewalks. Putting a heavy truck onto a driveway with snow on it will pack it down and if it is northern exposure....might be on there for weeks. So plan on shoveling before you start unloading unless somebody has been doing that for you. We have had a good 12" inches of snow in the last 5 days or so (even more on the west side of town). You might also need to do a lot of shoveling out of the street if you want to park the U haul truck against the curb. One thing about front range Colorado in the winter, is you will notice that southern exposures may be bare of snow and northern exposures may have a 12" of snow that stays for months. Maybe you will be lucky and your front walk and driveway are southern exposure and largely clear of snow (of course this means your backyard is arctic tundra).

It will depend on your subdivision as to whether the streets are plowed. I live in an area of unincorporated Arapahoe County. The only streets that are plowed are main roads, arterials, highways and streets leading to schools. If you are in an HOA community, I would guess you would have the same deal (no plowing)....so very good chance your street will be snowpacked. Dont know if your neighborhood is hilly or not. If hilly, a rear wheel drive truck that isnt very heavy could have some difficulty going up snowpacked streets.

FYI...always get a kick out of newcomers who expect or think that the cities will plow each and every street or that the HOA will plow all the streets (not that you are expecting it). Have heard many newbies ask the HOA why they dont plow all the streets. HOA usually answers they could arrange for plowing but would likely double the HOA fees which all the locals will vote against. Same deal with cities. Some of the richer cities (Cherry Hills, Greenwood Village) will come plow your street if you ask --after they have cleared the main roads. I suspect you are in Lakewood or unincorporated Jefferson County. None of these entities are rich enough to bother with plowing side streets.
 

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Wow.
Relax.

If she saw someone spin out it was obviously slippery enough to be in 4Hi with no adverse repercussions.

You asked them to look after the FJ and also gave them permission to use the FJ.
ehhh...dude is stressed because he is driving across country and moving the family in a u-haul. I get it. But agree with your observation that conditions were just fine for 4H in Denver the last couple days.
 

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After extended high-speed driving on pavement with an auto trans FJ in 4H, the worst "immediate" problem I have heard of was a transfer case that got so hot that it puked gear oil out the breather.

But I think you may be missing the point. The effects of driving a part-time 4WD vehicle in 4WD mode on high traction surfaces is greatly increased stress levels on just about every component in the drivetrain: CV joints, U-joints, transmission, differentials, transfer case, and of course tires.

Given that typical 4WD drivetrains are designed with a large safety margin over "normal" operating loads, you are unlikely to see an immediate, catastrophic failure in these components. However, when the drivetrain is severely binding, with 2X or 4X (or whatever it may be) the "normal" loading, you are undoubtedly reducing the ultimate service life of the components.

(Just a personal observation. Before I purchased my FJ, I arranged test drives of various new FJs, including an auto-trans TTUE. It was parked in a far corner of the dealerships lot, and the salesman was required to drive it while it was on the dealer's property, and could only turn it over to me once on the street. I took it for about a 20 minute on-pavement test drive. After we returned to the dealership, the salesman got back into the driver's seat to park the vehicle back in its original spot. Inexplicably, he shifted the transfer case into 4H, then shifted the transmission into DRIVE, and tried to wind his way back through the lot, around many other parked vehicles. By the time he reached the FJ's parking spot and needed to do a final sharp right turn into the slot, the driveline was so severely bound up that he had to apply a frightening amount of throttle (engine at around 2K RPM, approaching the torque converter's stall speed) to try to get the vehicle to even move. The vehicle literally would not move the last 8 feet, and the clueless salesman wad no clue why it "wouldn't go". Finally he just shut off the engine and left the FJ blocking the aisle, 1/3 of the way into its parking slot, acting non-nonchalant and pretending that he really hadn't wanted to park the truck back in its original position.

The objective of this tale is to indicate the severity of the binding that can occur. If the vehicle would not move in DRIVE with the engine at 2K RPM, that is a HUGE amount of internal friction and increased stress everywhere in the drivetrain.)
bet that was hard to bite your tongue watching that display of incompetence by the salesman. It hurts me just to read that description.
 

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When did Denver start using salt?


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Also, OP you shouldn’t be pissed at all. You gave permission to drive, which saved you from parking it in a pay lot. If you were that concerned you should have parked it at the Pikes Peak lot and not buckled being put on the spot. Your friends did you a favor.


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