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  • Sluggish acceleration, gear changes with abs and trc lights

    Hey guys,
    First post here re a 2000 GXL petrol auto I recently bought cheap. Bought it to move for work, with plans to do needed repairs after a few months pending $$. Knew it needed a few things fixed when I bought it (including slow seep from rocker cover gasket). Since buying, I've done a 2000km outback drive, during which a few issues became apparent:
    1. Sluggish acceleration. Can take a while to get the revs up even after stomping on the pedal. It varies but sometimes especially soon after starting can have your foot on the floor for 5-10sec before the revs pick up or drops a gear. Once you get power you get it hard though. Really struggles up hills sometimes. Drives fine on a flat outback highway but go to overtake a road train at 100 and it can take 5+sec with the foot on the floor before it responds at all, but then gives good acceleration.
    2. Gear changes feel sluggish as well, and can be jerky especially going from 1st to 2nd.
    3. Maybe unrelated, but the abs and traction control lights came on at one point when I started the engine and have been on almost all the time since.
    4. This one has me beat. Happened maybe 5 to 10 times. Sometimes when you start, car will move fine in R and will idle forwards in D but as soon as you touch the accelerator in D, you get this loud (tranny?) grinding noise. Turn it off and on again and it might be fine. At one point after a stop in the middle of the drive it just kept doing this until I put it in 4wd for a few metres, then put it back in 2wd and it hasn't done it since then. I did notice that this grinding issue happened when the abs and TRC lights weren't on. Start up and the lights are on, drives fine. Starts up and the lights aren't on, grinds. I don't know if that's a genuine association but has me thinking it's an electronic issue?
    Sorry for the long post. Things I've thought of: air flow sensor, some sort of throttle sensor issue, transmission issue, multiple issues. Hoping there's a few relatively simple fixes, but getting more worried it might be a money sink. Gonna get it seen soon, but just wondering if anyone has any suggestions. Warning in advance, but I know half of nothing about the stuff under the bonnet.
    ​​​​​​Thanks!
    Last edited by 2000Prado; 13-01-2020, 09:56 PM.

  • #2
    May be worth checking the transmission throttle cable adjustment - this might help with your kickdown issue.

    As for performance, you can check the transmission fluid level - do this as per the manual - warmed up and with the engine running. Cleaning the MAF also seemed to help for me, certainly seemed a bit more responsive. And also check the accelerator pedal cable, maybe this is out of adjustment and preventing you getting to full throttle.

    Not sure about ABS and VSC as mine doesn't have these, but worth checking trouble codes just in case these errors are stored there, you can see if it's a sensor etc. Essentially you short two pins in the diagnostic connector and read dash light flashes.

    Also not sure about you putting it into 2WD? The 90 series doesn't have a 2WD drive mode, the normal road mode 'HH' is AWD. I guess you need to determine if the grinding is coming from the AT or the transfer case and then work from there. Sounds like tranny specialist time though

    Wouldn't worry about the rocker cover gaskets. Leaks here are a factory standard anti-rust mechanism. I don't think there is a 5VZ in the world without a rocker cover leak.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply!
      I thought of the tranny fluid level and will have a look, and I'll also have a look at the MAF sensor which I've seen mentioned on other threads. I'll see if I can find the accelerator pedal cable and transmission throttle cable as well and have a look at those.
      I'll see if I can figure out the mystery of codes, but hopefully the mechanic I'm getting it to will be able to figure that one out.
      With regards to the 2wd, I did mean the AWD sorry. Stickshifted it into 4wd and then back to H after a few metres and the grinding hasn't happened since (have started it up 10 to 15 times since). Definitely will talk to someone who know more about the tranny though and hope it isn't too expensive.
      I'm glad to hear about the rocker cover gaskets. 2 mechanics mentioned it as needing doing (one pre-purchase inspection), but its just a small seep down the back of the engine - no oil under the car or anything. If it doesn't need doing that cuts a few hundred bucks off the repair bill which is nice at least!
      Thanks again! Am trying to find time to sort it out in a busy schedule, but will post back when I have an update.

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      • #4
        Is the grinding noise happening while your moving or stationary? If it is while your moving it may be your ABS is activating, especially since the light is on, it will make a grinding noise.Will also benefit from a transmission full pan off service. Clean MAF with MAF sensor spray. Disconnect neg battery terminal then remove MAF sensor and apply liberal spray to clean, let dry thoroughly and turn lights on, depress brake pedal wait a couple of minutes then re connect battery cable. This will reset the ECU. Good luck with it.
        Jim

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        • #5
          Hey Jim,
          That's what I was thinking initially! Grinding noise is only while accelerating in D (i.e. moving). The light is almost always on, which means the abs presumably is deactivated, but if and only if the light doesn't come on when I start up then I get the grinding noise. It makes more sense that it would be the abs playing up. Presumably putting it into 4wd switched the abs off automatically and then it didn't turn back on when I put it back in H. Now I remember, when the grinding noise happens, 3 of the wheels (front right and both rear) light up on the traction display on the dash. While probably not cheap, hopefully the abs is cheaper than the tranny!
          Thanks for the instructions. Will look at doing the MAF when I find time while I wait to get it serviced. Hopefully that eliminates some of the problems.
          Cheers

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          • #6
            Maybe 3 of the 4 wheels illuminated could be an indication that an ABS sensor issue has been detected on that wheel? Whilst the auto shifter is pretty isolated from the system, the 4WD shifter is not, so maybe you can lightly hold this to see if you can 'feel' the grinding in the knob? If you do then the issue is likely gear related, if not then ABS or similar. Bit like when you crunch gears in a manual you get a sort of vibration in the gearstick the same as the grinding noise.

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            • #7
              The TRC lights indicate which wheel is slipping and is having the brakes applied to stop rotation and push power to the wheel/s with grip. If it is always the same three wheel indicators I would be checking the sensors connections and mountings.

              Lee
              02 VX, Toyota Alloy Bar, IPF 900XS with 50 watt HID, 50 mm Lift- Lovell Shocks n Springs, Safari Snorkel, large Pioneer tray, Pioneer In-dash, Alpine roof mount DVD screen -handled the Simpson and Innaminka roads, now with a little TRD blower & Unichip

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the answers folks. This forum is super helpful! The points about the TRC lights make sense. As I said it hasn't done the grinding (which happened maybe 10 times) the last 10 or so times I've started it up (abs and TRC lights always on now). Next time it does though will try and sus whether it's a gear or a wheel issue.
                It's a matter of squeezing in time, but I'll add having a look for the sensors and connections to the list of things to do while the car waits to see a mechanic. Will report back when I have more info.

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                • #9
                  Went to do the MAF tonight but looks like someone's been there before and one of the screws is stripped. Other screw came out fine. I tried to get a better grip with a rubber band and masking tape but it's well stripped. I don't have any tools to get it out, so might have to wait until it sees a mechanic as well and get him to try and remove it.

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                  • #10
                    Can't remember if they are inset or not but if not maybe prise under the screw head with a knife or similar whilst unscrewing it? Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      Hmmmm the screw is a bit hard to get around. Certainly can't use pliers or anything. I'm not sure how the knife would go, because I'm not really getting much grip at all with any screw drivers including flatheads. Obviously don't want to push it too hard because it'll just strip more if I don't have grip.
                      https://i.postimg.cc/W36yDvNT/IMG-20200116-192205.jpg

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                      • #12
                        If you can get one screw up can you lift up on the MAF body whilst trying to unscrew the other one?

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                        • #13
                          I did try that when I had the other screw out but without much luck. It's just hard to get bite on the head, and the screw's quite soft so easy to strip it more. It's dark now but I'll have another go at it over the weekend when I get time.

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                          • #14
                            The screws are dirt cheap from Toyota so I would carefully drill the screw head off, lift the MAF out then use vice grips or similar to remove the screw and refit with new ones.
                            that was how I did mine

                            02 VX, Toyota Alloy Bar, IPF 900XS with 50 watt HID, 50 mm Lift- Lovell Shocks n Springs, Safari Snorkel, large Pioneer tray, Pioneer In-dash, Alpine roof mount DVD screen -handled the Simpson and Innaminka roads, now with a little TRD blower & Unichip

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, looks like that's what I'm going to have to do. The screws are so soft, they'd better be cheap! Glad to hear it's not just me though. Might have to wait a few days though until I have time.

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