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2003 Toyota 4Runner Question: Check engine light + vsc lights

 

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mmac, 4.0L V6, Jersey City, NJ, July 28, 2009, 13:06
 Rookie

While driving 60mph, my check engine , vsc trac, and vsc off lights came on at the same time. Any ideas?

6 Answers
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  • Answer #1

    patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, July 28, 2009, 21:32
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    The VSC, Trac and check engine light will frequently come on and be all traced to one problem as opposed to individual problems. Fixing the cause of the engine related code will fix all problems in most cases but a scan tool needs to be attached to the 16 pin diagnostic socket under the dash. It doesn't have to be a dedicated Toyota tool ,most aftermarket scan tools work pretty good on Toyota, they keep things simple.
    If you can tell us what the code is we can explain what the code is related to, the code will look like, P0420 or P1433.

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    Visitor, June 07, 2010, 07:51

    Is it safe to drive the car when these lights are on?

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    Visitor, April 09, 2011, 22:23

    Oh My. Finally someone that is really interested in providing assistance with no strings attached. I was skeptical at first, but I did exactly what you instructed with the gas cap, that was successful. So I loosened that positive post on the battery and waited 30 seconds and much to my surprise, both the vcs and check engine light went off immediately. I was so pleased that I stated the care at least three times to make sure I wasn't imaging things.

    Thanks so much.

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    Visitor, May 17, 2011, 09:32

    Your suggestion of making sure the gas cap is on tight, and also loosening the postive post on the battery for 30 seconds works. It made the check engine and VSC light both go out. Thanks for this information.

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    ArrowsFan, October 30, 2011, 13:15
     Rookie

    THANKYOU!!!! You saved us $$$ today, this happened to me Friday afternoon coming home from work. My husband followed your instructions and it worked. Thank you so much! Have a blessed day :)

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    ffhg, February 06, 2012, 08:19
     Rookie

    Yeah I took it to my local toyato and they scan it and restart it the whole system
    but then the lights came back on and they had to change the MAF sensor and after that was replace the light still came on again and now they are saying is the Brake booster this for a 2008 toyota highlander

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  • Medium-star Best Answer
    papaobewan September 01, 2009, 12:59
     Technician

    This happened today sept 1, 2009, vsc, trac, check engine light all on!
    The problem many systems are tied into the Vehicle Stability Control system:
    Solution: Take off gas cap and turn back on and listen for ONE CLICK check to make sure it is tight, if not do it again!
    Second, pop open the hood, (latch is adjacent to steering column on the left side at the bottom of the dash (two latches one is gas the other hood). Take a small crescent wrench and loosen positive terminal bolt from battery (six to seven turns should do it)
    take it off for 30 seconds then place it back on and tighten back on. Turn on engine, if lights did not go off, get a diagnostic check to find the proper code, there are a myriad of problems from a loose electrical connection, to oxygen sensors to brakes, etc. That can make this go on! This is the easiest and cheapest solution for the DIY tree mechanic. It worked on my Daughter's 2003 4runner Sport 4WD!

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    Visitor, September 09, 2010, 06:15

    I have a 2004 4runner, and this happened to me today Sept 9, 2010, I did what you instructed and it worked, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, it saved me $$$ for not bringing it to the dealer, thanks also to the web.......

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    Visitor, September 13, 2010, 20:59

    I have a 2001 lexus RX300. Just found VSC and energy check lights on today. I searched this website and tried exactly what you said. It works!!! Thank you so much and thank this web also.

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    Visitor, October 23, 2010, 06:51

    I am jumping for joy!! The problem is fixed and my husband is impressed, we don't have to tell him I didn't put the gas cap on tight enough to hear a click.

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    Visitor, October 25, 2010, 00:58

    I am glad that the fix was beneficial to all especially since today is my birthday and I am up late with insomnia! To all congratulations on your tenacity to seek out answer to your problems it is refreshing that people are still able to be independent and dedicated to finding solutions to their needs. I hope this continues to help all of those who own toyotas and other vehicles that get this annoying glitch. Gas caps now such an important piece of equipment I recall my dad's 48 plymouth never had one (auto accident disfigured the port) being a practical man he just made one out of tinfoil-never happen today.

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    Visitor, November 29, 2010, 13:02

    I just went out and turned the gas cap, and pulled the "positive" cable off of the battery, waited 30 seconds, put the cable back on, started the car, and my lights were off! Thank you so much for saving me a day of hell going back and forth to the dealership!!!

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    Visitor, November 29, 2010, 20:46

    You are very welcome! It makes me feel good that so many are benefiting from my research! Dealerships can be trying to say the least. It amazes me that so many issues can arise from the simple gas cap. It goes to show you the sophistication that is going on with all the sensors and computer that are now attached to the modern day vehicles. I hope you pay this forward. With the money saved get someone a special gift at Christmas.
    Papaobewon

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    Visitor, December 10, 2010, 14:03

    omg. have a 2004 camry v6 xle and vsc/trac off and check engine light turned on for no reason. I know about the fuel cap manuever but I put in a full tank of gas yesterday and always make sure that cap is tight. So when I got home I did the cap a couple of times -all three lights still on . Stressing out of little things like these since I can see my dealer droolingwith dollar signs on his eyeballs. Lo and Behold-did what you said. Cap one click and positive terminal off 30 seconds - GONE. Thank you. Made my weekend!!

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    Visitor, December 10, 2010, 22:22

    HO HO HO Merry Christmas pay it forward to a loved one with the money you saved from not having going to the dealership for this insider information (hee hee) ! I know my good fortune has benefited from my paying it forward. Today I saved an additional 155 dollars on a washer and dryer for my wife as a Christmas Gift ! I hope she likes it since she won't let me buy her jewelry !
    Sincerely,
    Papaobewon

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    Visitor, January 12, 2011, 05:51

    Thanks for the tip. It worked like a charm.

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    Visitor, January 17, 2011, 18:17

    Fixed the same problem on my '06 4Runner by following the instructions. Thanks a lot for sharing the information!

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    Visitor, January 24, 2011, 17:47

    08 Avalon. Same problem and your solution worked (at least for now).

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    Visitor, February 02, 2011, 15:05

    This just happened to me while in the ice and snow and rain from yesterday; (NY/CT) area. Thank god I read this because Toyota wanted to charge me $125 just to do a diagnostic test. Removing the (+) positive charge on the battery and reconnecting a several seconds later worked like a charm. For those who don't know or can't see the + and - signs, it's the one with the red covering. Also - be sure to have your keys out, the alarm sounds when you reconnect!

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    Visitor, February 05, 2011, 07:18

    Simple gas cap was loose. Tightened gas cap, pulled negitive battery cable for 30 seconds and like magic, lights are off. The traction control was not responding while the gas cap was loose. Made it more fun in the snow, but just couldn't handle those lights being on.

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    Visitor, February 05, 2011, 09:40

    This really works! Thanks! I have a 2005 Highlander and had the Check Engine, VSC and Trac Off lights go on yesterday morning after spinning a bit the night before getting up my steep driveway in the ice and snow. I knew nothing was probably wrong and found your post. I tried it when I got home last night -- tightened the gas cap and disconnected the positive battery charge for 30+ seconds. It worked like a charm! Thanks so much for saving me tons of time and $ going to the dealership! You're a life saver!

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    Visitor, February 06, 2011, 07:02

    Happened 1/24 w/ my Avalon (see above) and then came on 3 more times after I was to Toyota Dealership for them to check it out. They finally determined it was a value in the fuel line that is known to have a problem regulating the oil pressure. If your light goes on when hitting the accelerator or hitting something slick, this may be it. The dealership told me they recalled this same part in several other Toyota models but for some reason did not do it on the Avalon. If it is not something simple like the gas cap, this may be the issue.

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    Visitor, February 20, 2011, 13:13

    Thank you, this seemed to have worked on my 2000 Avalon XLS. Adjusted gas cap & disconnected/reconnected battery. I will keep an eye on the car's operation. Thanks again.

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    Visitor, February 21, 2011, 12:06

    Thank you!! Appreciate the help! I was worried, but this seems to have worked!

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    Visitor, March 11, 2011, 18:11

    Awesome! Worked on my Toyota Sienna 2005. The dope didn't put the gas cap on right (was loose). Your trick did the trick!

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    Visitor, May 18, 2011, 10:27

    You are welcome, ahh attention to details is our lot in life. Glad to have helped.
    Papaobewon

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    Visitor, July 13, 2011, 18:13

    This worked for me too! I have 2004 4Runner. The dealership wanted to charge $100 for the diagnostic, plus $700 to replace the o2 sensor. I am logging a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau against my dealer, since this is obviously a common fix yet they don't offer it as a solution. Thanks for the advice!!

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    Visitor, August 08, 2011, 05:47

    Tried this today, 8/8/11 for my 2005 Camry XLE. It works. Thanks for this great solution.

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    skynah, October 04, 2011, 17:30
     Rookie

    thanks for the help. went out and checked gas cap and sure enough it wasn't tightened when I got gas today. Started car up lights are all out. Just saved me from having a diagnostic tomorrow.

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    Meddixx, September 07, 2012, 20:59
     Rookie

    Holy Crap...single mom, here in FL...had the check engine light and VSC Trac/Trac Off lights come on right after washing my car. Came home and looked it up. Tried the tip about cleaning the gas cap and tightening one click and disconnecting the positive battery cable...and voila'....it worked. THANK YOU so so much. I really appreciate all the tips and tricks. Can't afford a mechanic bill. Thanx again!

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    Appreciative, January 16, 2013, 14:20
     Rookie

    Happened to us today, Jan 2012. Found this sight and it worked perfectly!! Thanks Patrick Mannion. You saved us a lot of headache and even more money!!!

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    rickypac, June 30, 2013, 06:44
     Rookie

    Thank you so much!! Worked on my 04 4runner.

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    DianaAnaBobana, July 28, 2013, 05:05
     Rookie

    Thank you so much for sharing this, papaobewan. Just happened to me this a.m. And lo and behold I popped the gas cap cover and the cap was definitely loose. I recapped, reset the positive battery terminal and voila it was fixed.

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    papaobewan, August 12, 2013, 19:13
     Technician

    Just got back from vacation and found your response! Just pay it forward!
    Papaobewon

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  • Answer #3

    Visitor, September 19, 2010, 18:46

    try the simple things first. the vsc light is activated every time the check engine light goes on. Check engine light can go on for the simple things like gas cap not tight, wiper fluid is low, low brake fluid, and I think low coolant. Simple checks that anyone can do

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    Visitor, November 28, 2010, 18:09

    The wrench / battery trick worked! Hope it stays off!

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    Visitor, December 10, 2010, 22:23

    The battery is key what is going on is a reset on the computer settings!
    Papaobewon

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    Visitor, December 18, 2010, 13:25

    thank you!

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    Visitor, December 20, 2010, 11:35

    Thank you for this advice, Perfect! I have an 04 Sienna replaced spark plugs after 130K miles, believe it ir not they don't look that bad, anyway after that task became quite a bit more work than I had planned I was floored when I finally got eberything back together to then get these VSC, Check Engine, and Trak lights on. What a bummber after spending six straight hours just replacing plugs. Anyway added coolant, removed batter ground and removed gas cap. Runs great now and my high 2K idle is back to where it should be now.

    Thanks a bunch Papaobewon! Now its on to my clicking washing machine problem.

    Mike

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    Visitor, December 20, 2010, 14:22

    You are very welcome! Clicking Washing Machines? Ouch I hope it isn't the motor !!!! We just replaced ours for Christmas new washer and dryer as the old dryer tried to burn down the wiring internally but we were fortunate nothing else melted! Hope your holiday is a glorious one as I stay grounded in the present and cherish each day with my family I hope you do the same!
    Papaobewon

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    Imhappy, June 26, 2014, 22:58
     Rookie

    2005 Toyota 4runner did the 3 lights VSC, VSC off and check engine light while I was pulling
    Into a hotel 4 hours from home! I googled the issue found this forum
    Did as suggested with the gas cap and battery cable and
    Much to my delight it worked! I don't have tools in the car with
    Me so I asked the maintenance man at the hotel to undo the battery
    Cable. I think he was as surprised as I was! Thank you!!!!!

    Reply
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  • Answer #4

    Visitor, January 06, 2011, 19:54

    THANKS TO EVERYONE ON THIS SITE!! I had this problem sneak up on me after a business trip in my trusty 4-Runner and I followed your advice - low-n-behold! VOILA! Issue solved! YOU ROCK!

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    Visitor, January 07, 2011, 14:28

    It is very satisfying to research a problem and discover that a solution exists.
    Papaobewon

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  • Answer #5

    Visitor, February 02, 2011, 20:09

    This happened today sept 1, 2009, vsc, trac, check engine light all on!
    The problem many systems are tied into the Vehicle Stability Control system:
    Solution: Take off gas cap and turn back on and listen for ONE CLICK check to make sure it is tight, if not do it again!
    Second, pop open the hood, (latch is adjacent to steering column on the left side at the bottom of the dash (two latches one is gas the other hood). Take a small crescent wrench and loosen positive terminal bolt from battery (six to seven turns should do it)
    take it off for 30 seconds then place it back on and tighten back on. Turn on engine, if lights did not go off, get a diagnostic check to find the proper code, there are a myriad of problems from a loose electrical connection, to oxygen sensors to brakes, etc. That can make this go on! This is the easiest and cheapest solution for the DIY tree mechanic. It worked on my Daughter's 2003 4runner Sport 4WD

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    syracuse, February 12, 2012, 16:09
    Profile_thumbnail
     Enthusiast

    Tried but did not help.
    then left car overnight without + connected, still did not help.

    brought car to Advance auto parts and it shows several code readings: Lexus RX300 1999-2003 P0021, P0300, P0304

    change it all and still the same.. ;-(
    more here: http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-first-generation/61790...

    Will apprisiate any help

    thank you.

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    emekkingz, August 13, 2014, 00:44
     Rookie

    Gents, I have done as advised and it worked for the day, on the next day the lights came on again! So what should be the solution this time...can anyone help?

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  • Answer #6

    donkey kong May 07, 2012, 06:10
     Rookie

    thanks guys tightened the gas cap and loosend the positive terminal of the battery after 30 seconds reconnected and my 2005 avalon drives like a soft smooth car

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    dijend, August 12, 2013, 19:06
     Rookie

    You are absolutely right! I purchased gas today and noticed VSC and ENGINE lights on. Did as above and my 2004 4 Runner is back to normal! I would have gone to the dealer without this site and would have probably been told I needed at minimum, O2 sensors fixed, or even worse, a new catalytic converter!

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    papaobewan, August 12, 2013, 19:16
     Technician

    Satisfying to fix your own car? Yes it is! Glad to hear it worked!
    Pay it forward is all I ask!?
    Papaobewon

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