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Old 12-18-2010, 04:54 PM #1
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Check engine light, slip indicator light & flashing 4 Lo light

I have an 2011 4Runner Limited with 2000 miles on it. After I filled up with gas today the check engine light & slip indicator light came on and are staying on along with the 4 Lo light flashing (on the dash gauge pod next to the slip indicator light) even though I'm in 4 High. Any ideas on what's wrong? Is it still safe to drive while these lights are coming on?

I have an appointment with my local Toyota dealer on Monday but don't know what to do in the mean time. Suggestions? Anyone else have these problems? The only thing that I have done differently than usual is fill up with 91 octane gas at Costco. Otherwise I haven't done anything different. Very strange. This is my second 4Runner (I had an '03 previously) and this is a first for me. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Last edited by croat5280; 12-18-2010 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:27 PM #2
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First check to make sure the gas cap is on all the way.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:06 PM #3
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I used to get the 4wd light on when I was just in 2hi, it would stay on for days and than just turn off. Now my slip light turns on randomly, stays on for days and now its off. I took it into the dealers, but ofcourse on that day none of the lights were on, they ran a diagnostics and nothing was wrong.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:14 PM #4
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Just got back from the dealer

Hey just wanted to post an update....took my ride to the dealer earlier today and they checked the error code (P0553 came up). Turns out my power steering pressure switch shorted out and needs to be replaced. That's what caused the check engine light, slip indicator light and flashing 4 Lo light to go on. New switch will be in in a few days. Dealer said that I don't have to worry about driving around until they replace the switch. Of course it's covered by the warranty so that's good.....another trip to the dealer this week sucks though. Oh well at least it will be all taken care of and back to normal in a few days.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:07 PM #5
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Out of the blue today my slip light came on... then the check engine light starts to flash and the 4R started running real rough.. I limped it to the dealer
at 4pm.. After reading the code they said one of my coils went bad. It only has 9k miles on it... so..they gave me a rental and said they'd call in the morning when the get the part.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:29 PM #6
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Took the 4R in on Monday and had the power steering pressure switch changed out. So far no issues. Everything is back to normal and glad to have it all fixed. Time to head to the mountains and enjoy some snow!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:03 AM #7
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Looking for a 4R I went to test one two days ago. Pretty similar thing happened, while I was visually checking the car. The engine was running idle when out of the blue the check engine light, the slip indicator and the 4Lo light came on and stayed on.
Must have engaged the 4Lo, because when the sales guy drove it only move slowly. He will take it to Toyota to have it fixed under warranty, but I am little cautious now, if this maybe a systemic weakness. Hence my question:
croat5280, did the new power steering switch fix the problem permanently for you?
Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:23 PM #8
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4 Lo light flashing

Have a 2011 Ltd. with 31,000 miles. Have had the following problems:

1st incident - 4 Lo flashing /Check engine/slip dashboard lights activated while driving car out of driveway - took it to dealer (lights still on) dealer found nothing wrong and reset computer so lights turned off. Said no harm would be done by driving vehicle with the warning lights on.

2nd incident- about 2 weeks later - 4-Lo began flashing after I started car to back out of driveway. I attempted to put vehicle in 4-Lo - it would not engage. A couple days later I took car to dealer but at some point light stopped flashing and dealer could not locate code that had activated it. Told me if it happened again to bring it in while light was flashing

3rd incident - one week ago - 4 Lo started flashing after I started car - on a 60 mile trip light continued to flash and car would not shift into 5th on highway. When I got to destination light went out when I backed into parking space. On return trip everything was fine and car shifted into 5th.

Anyone run into this? I plan on driving directly to dealer when the situation reoccurs, as it's apparent that this problem will not cure itself.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:41 PM #9
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Before even taking it to the stealership, take it to an auto parts store that offers free code readings. They can tell you exactly what system is reporting an error. I recently had a similar issue - dash lit up like a Christmas tree, but the car was driving fine.

Since it was late Sunday and the dealership was closed, I swung by the auto store and they told me it was the MAF sensor throwing the error. I took a peak under the hood to see if there was something obvious wrong with the MAF sensor, and sure enough the entire air intake system was ripped wide open from a torn coupler. The guy at the store even put it back together for me and the light turned off.

Although not every problem is simple, it's often easier to diagnose the problem yourself so that you can either solve it or at least go to the stealership armed with knowledge than sit at the stealership for 4 hours while some high school dropout tries to figure it out, damaging other things with their carelessness, and with the possibility of getting gouged on a repair that's either out of warranty or not covered.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:45 PM #10
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Thanks for your suggestion. Once I get this resolved I'll post the results as other forum members may experience the same problem. Fortunately I got extended warrantee and my dealership has documented the problem and their inability to fix it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:24 PM #11
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I can't believe these incidents occur and no codes are saved. Are the dealers just too lazy to check the code history?
Another good reason to get your own copy of Techstream.

I guess there are different levels of failsafe the car goes into. The mildest is just the multiple lights, next is reduced power and no fifth gear? and the most severe (besides not starting) we've heard about is limping along as if in first gear or 4L. I think that one was throttle body issues.

The first thing to try when any of these things happen is to turn off the truck completely, cross your fingers, and start it again.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:37 PM #12
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:47 PM #13
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4-Lo Flashing Light Linked to Position of Gear Shift Lever

Since my last comments, car has had 3 more episodes (in less than 100 miles) of dash lights flashing and no 5th gear - either just the 4 Lo flashes or the 4-Lo flashes plus skid, and check engine light all activated. Turning off engine didn't help. Anyway, yesterday, within 1/2 mile of starting car, had above 3 warning lights come on. This morning I started up 4-Runner (lights still on) and drove directly to Toyota of Portsmouth. Left the car running in the service bay and a mechanic got right on it. About 45 minutes later the mechanic advised that the situation was corrected. He said he discovered dust/debris in gear shift lever mechanism. Although only a modest amount, he said the debris was sufficient to slightly change position of shift lever when Drive was engaged. Since the shift lever wasn't properly positioned in Drive, the computer sensed a problem which activated the dash lights. He cleaned up/lubricated the problem area and advised the situation is now corrected. Have only driven from dealership to residence and so far everything works properly. I suspect other 5th Generation 4-Runner owners may experience this same problem due to apparent sensitivity of gear shift positioning.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:12 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8BAY View Post
Since my last comments, car has had 3 more episodes (in less than 100 miles) of dash lights flashing and no 5th gear - either just the 4 Lo flashes or the 4-Lo flashes plus skid, and check engine light all activated. Turning off engine didn't help. Anyway, yesterday, within 1/2 mile of starting car, had above 3 warning lights come on. This morning I started up 4-Runner (lights still on) and drove directly to Toyota of Portsmouth. Left the car running in the service bay and a mechanic got right on it. About 45 minutes later the mechanic advised that the situation was corrected. He said he discovered dust/debris in gear shift lever mechanism. Although only a modest amount, he said the debris was sufficient to slightly change position of shift lever when Drive was engaged. Since the shift lever wasn't properly positioned in Drive, the computer sensed a problem which activated the dash lights. He cleaned up/lubricated the problem area and advised the situation is now corrected. Have only driven from dealership to residence and so far everything works properly. I suspect other 5th Generation 4-Runner owners may experience this same problem due to apparent sensitivity of gear shift positioning.
Thanks for the update. I'm really surprised that these episodes were not stored in the ecu.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:45 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8BAY View Post
Since my last comments, car has had 3 more episodes (in less than 100 miles) of dash lights flashing and no 5th gear - either just the 4 Lo flashes or the 4-Lo flashes plus skid, and check engine light all activated. Turning off engine didn't help. Anyway, yesterday, within 1/2 mile of starting car, had above 3 warning lights come on. This morning I started up 4-Runner (lights still on) and drove directly to Toyota of Portsmouth. Left the car running in the service bay and a mechanic got right on it. About 45 minutes later the mechanic advised that the situation was corrected. He said he discovered dust/debris in gear shift lever mechanism. Although only a modest amount, he said the debris was sufficient to slightly change position of shift lever when Drive was engaged. Since the shift lever wasn't properly positioned in Drive, the computer sensed a problem which activated the dash lights. He cleaned up/lubricated the problem area and advised the situation is now corrected. Have only driven from dealership to residence and so far everything works properly. I suspect other 5th Generation 4-Runner owners may experience this same problem due to apparent sensitivity of gear shift positioning.
Have you had this problem since? My 2010 LE has been doing this off and on lately with increasing frequency. I've taken it to a dealer 3 different times and they have cleared the codes (which are completely unrelated what seems to be the problem) and then it repeats some time later. I have noticed that when the lights are on (or going to come on), the gear shift lever becomes more difficult to move (there is some resistance to it). It is strange as hell.

I'm taking it to the dealership tomorrow and going to ask them to look at the gear shift mechanism.
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