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Old 12-17-2008, 11:49 PM #1
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Indicator lights and long beep at start-up

I've done a bunch of searching here and elsewhere, but can't find anything that seems to match what I'm seeing.

In the last month, since it's gotten cold, my 2005 V6 4WD 4Runner does the following on a cold start
- Produce a several-second long beep from the dash, usually until I put the truck into gear. Sometimes the beep continues for another few seconds.
- Have the following lights come indicator lights come on
+Slip indicator
+ VSC Trac
+ ABS
+ Brake
+ There's also a 5th light, right in that column. Perhaps the VSC off?
The lights go off when the beep stops.

I only observe this on a cold start, right at start-up time. I do not see this issue with any suqbsequent starts, and when the weather was warmer a few weeks I don't think I noticed the issue.

I hope I haven't missed something simple when RTFM and searching this website. If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

3 other notes: I have about 75K miles on the truck, haven't had any recent work done, and have had the same battery at least since I bought the truck 2.5 years ago with 21K miles on it.

Thanks
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:34 AM #2
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It almost sounds like it's taking some time to build brake pressure. Try turning the key on, waiting for a few seconds and then start it. See if it does the same thing...


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Old 12-18-2008, 01:01 PM #3
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Do you by chance have an remote start added to the truck? I have seen this cause exactly what your describing when it is not working properly.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:55 PM #4
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>Do you by chance have an remote start added to the truck?

Nope, no remote starter.

> It almost sounds like it's taking some time to build brake pressure. Try turning the key on, waiting for a few seconds and then start it. See if it does the same thing...

I'll have to test that. The problem is that once the beep goes off and the lights go out, I do not observe this problem happening again until the next day. So I don't know if the beep/light thing happens until it's already happened, and then I can't recreate it again. But I'll play around with it and see.

The only other thing I'll add is that I've had intermittent problems with my tire pressure sensor, or so I suspect. The light comes on when it's cold out, and stays on until I get moving on the highway. So I figured that's because the tires are under-inflated and driving heats them up...but when I check they are all above 30 psi...even the spare.

So maybe this is an issue with the ECU or something...
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:57 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by rpm773
...but when I check they are all above 30 psi...even the spare.
I'd run them up higher than that. Variances in tire gauges and TPMS has that pretty close. I think the sensors trip at 28psi.

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:53 PM #6
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All these lights coming on has nothing to do with the TPMS system.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:08 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CJ3Flyr
It almost sounds like it's taking some time to build brake pressure. Try turning the key on, waiting for a few seconds and then start it. See if it does the same thing...


Chris, I think you might be onto something.

When I started up the truck a few times today, the beep/lights came on and didn't go off after a few seconds. The first time I shut the vehicle down, restarted it, and they were gone. Later, when it happened again, I just let the beep/light continue in order to see what I could see.

I drove it for about 5 minutes. Every few seconds, I'd hear a "pffft pffft pffft". This was happening regardless of whether I was accelerating or on the brake. I popped the hood, and traced the sound back to the brake fluid reservoir. I observed a shot of fluid hitting the inside of the top of the reservoir in sync with the "pfffft pffft pffffft".

Maybe I'm low on fluid..I'd have to research on how to check that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm low I don't think adding brake fluid is as easy as others, as one should not let air to get into the system. But if I am low, I'm wondering how I lost some since it's a closed system.

It's pouring here, so I'll have to look into this more later
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:14 PM #8
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I did some more research

I found some more info on the internet, and tested my brake pedal. I pressed down firmly on the pedal, and it appeared there was some movement on it. A few results

- When I depressed the pedal long enough, I started hearing the pffft pffft pffft from the brake reservoir. When I released the pedal I'd hear the same thing.

- The lights and beeping stayed on constantly.

So maybe I have an issue with the master cylinder, or at the very least some air in the brake lines. Regardless, I guess I need to get this looked at - I don't really have the facilities or confidence to look on my own.

And on the Friday before the shortened Xmas week, too. Blech.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:26 PM #9
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I would have a reputable place do a brake fluid flush and consider it a $100 experiment. You may have some air in the system or it may be getting very tired. I suggest trying fresh fluid and that will take care of the fluid level issue... The brake master cylinder/motor assembly is kind of a big deal.

Brake fluid is really easy to top off. Brake fluid will eat paint so don't spill...


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Old 12-20-2008, 12:24 PM #10
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Chris - thanks for the replies and insight.

I took it to the dealer this morning. They just called and told me one of the front calipers is seized, and something is wrong with the master cylinder (I didn't catch all of it). They're going to have a techie come in on Monday and give the final verdict.

Assuming the above is the issue, I suppose the 3 - 5 second beep that I had been hearing for the last month was due to the caliper seizing on a cold start, but correcting itself, but ultimately due to a failing master cylinder(?). And perhaps yesterday the latter was finally no longer strong enough to correct the former.

As of now, it looks like this is going to be somewhere north of $3K. Ugh.
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:20 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by rpm773
Chris - thanks for the replies and insight.

I took it to the dealer this morning. They just called and told me one of the front calipers is seized, and something is wrong with the master cylinder (I didn't catch all of it). They're going to have a techie come in on Monday and give the final verdict.

Assuming the above is the issue, I suppose the 3 - 5 second beep that I had been hearing for the last month was due to the caliper seizing on a cold start, but correcting itself, but ultimately due to a failing master cylinder(?). And perhaps yesterday the latter was finally no longer strong enough to correct the former.

As of now, it looks like this is going to be somewhere north of $3K. Ugh.
OUCH! The frozen caliper is fairly common but doesn't really have much to do with the issue (I don't think). Hopefully you can get something south of 3k worked out. Good luck!


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Old 11-12-2021, 09:13 AM #12
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Hey @rpm733Ö I know itís been over 10 yearsÖ did you ever get this resolved? This is happening to my 2003 V6 now that itís started to get cold.
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Old 11-12-2021, 10:21 AM #13
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Quote:
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Hey @rpm733Ö I know itís been over 10 yearsÖ did you ever get this resolved? This is happening to my 2003 V6 now that itís started to get cold.
After I took it to the dealer and they did their work, the issue never came back. Although I had my suspicions whether the master cylinder replacement was needed.. Chris' note above and other people I talked to had their doubts. The truck was under a 3rd party warranty at the time and perhaps the dealer was looking to relieve some of their parts inventory at a warranty company's expense...

It certainly wasn't the last time I dealt with a seized caliper on that truck. I probably went through at last 4 sets in the 13 years of ownership. Traded it in with 215K on the odo for a 2019 SR5 just under 3 years ago.

Good luck. Brake issues aside, it was still easily the best vehicle I've owned.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:26 AM #14
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Update - I took it to AutoZone, and their computer couldn't read it. After my first trip to AutoZone, I drove away and the VSC Off and Trac Off lights came on. Those lights persisted, even when the initial beep/lights show didn't happen. Few days later, took it to my local mechanic, who also couldn't determine what it was. I forked over $135 for the dealer to diagnose it and they say that there were able to get a code when it started up cold, indicating that an actuator inside the ABS module was seized up. This prevents the VSC or traction control from working, which is why those lights came on as well. All told, it would be $4000 for the dealer to replace the entire ABS/brake pump/brake fluid reservoir. Not going to happen. I called my mechanic back and we're going to see if he can find one used... hoping for under $1500 but I may be looking at buying a new car...
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