Are you planning to purchase a 4Runner and you want to learn more about what is the 4Runner ECT power button? Well, if that is the case, then you are in the right place. Because, in this article, we are going to cover all about this problem.
- Toyota 4Runner
- Pros & Cons
- 4Runner vs Tacoma
- ECT Button
- When To Use It?
- When Not To Use It?
- How To Activate It?
Having good research done is always a good idea. Especially when it comes to the buttons that these models have. Like the ECT button or VSC buttons on a Toyota vehicle. They can be somewhat confusing when you drive a Toyota.
So, if you need to refer to the VSC system, head over to our guide on the TRAC OFF light in a Lexus, the ‘Check VSC System’ error message, as well as the VSC warning light. These 3 should be pretty insightful if you have VSC-related issues.
But once you learn what they mean and you get a grasp of knowledge, everything is different. And frankly, the ECT button is a very useful feature that will allow you to alter the performance of your 4Runner and get the most out of it in some possible dangerous situations.
And will practically save your life when it gets really tough, like driving on snow or on ice. Just like the Auto LSD button on the Toyota Tacoma. The ECT button is crucial in order to get the most out of your 4Runner. But you shouldn’t worry because, in this article, we are going to cover all you need to know.
First, we are going to learn what is the 4Runner and its main features, then we will cover the 4Runner vs Tacoma. After that, we will cover all about the 4Runner ECT power. We will learn what this button is and then we will learn the situations when you should use it, as well as the consequences of using it when you shouldn’t.
As well as how to use it. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now let’s take a look at what is the Toyota 4Runner before we dive into the 4Runenr ECT power. A lot of people are having similar issues and they are simply confused. So, we need to make a proper introduction.
So, what is the Toyota 4Runner? Well, the 4Runner is probably one of the most legendary nameplates that Toyota sells at the moment in the SUV segment. The 4Runner is a mid-size SUV that is in production since 1983.
As of today, there is a total of five different generations released to the market. With the most recent model being released in 2009. Yes, the current 4Runner is that old. And Toyota doesn’t plan on replacing it anytime soon. So, why is this the case?
Well, mainly because it sells like crazy. The selling numbers steadily grow year by year. And as many people would say, what isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Especially in the off-road SUV segment where people do not want to see serious changes.
Just imagine what will become if Jeep completely changes the look of the Wrangler, or Mercedes Benz changes the G-Class and makes it look like something else. Nobody would buy it.
And that is the same case with the 4Runner. The 4Runner gets updates regularly from Toyota. But nothing too crazy, so, that’s why people like the 4Runner, it is capable and also it is very simple and reliable. And with the current refinement that the model has, we think that this is one of the best vehicles that you can purchase right now.
But what about the 4Runner ECT power? Well, more on that, we are going to cover later on in the article. Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of owning a 4Runner.
Toyota 4Runner Pros & Cons
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the 4Runner before we discuss the 4Runner ECT power. Knowing the pros and cons will be really useful for you if you are on the market for a used or a new 4Runner. So, let’s cover the pros and cons in the following chapters and learn more about what you can expect from a 4Runner.
Pros Of The 4Runner
Now let’s start with the pros of the 4Runner before we dive into explaining more about the 4Runner ECT power. What are the pros of purchasing one of these models?
The biggest pro of getting one of these cars is the value. 4Runner models hold their value really well on the used market and you will be highly unlikely to lose a ton of money if you decide to sell the car after 5 years. So, buying one of these as an investment is always a good idea.
The second pro which is the most important is the off-road capability of the 4Runner. The 4Runner performs really exceptionally in almost all conditions.
The model is equipped with the 4Runner ECT power feature, an Auto LSD system, and so much more options that will make your off-road adventures really enjoyable. Anything is possible with a 4Runner. Especially the high-end off-road TRD Pro versions.
And even on a standard 4Runner, you can do a ton of mods. You can install lift kits, leveling kits, bigger tires, upgraded suspension components, skid plates, and whatnot. The aftermarket is booming when it comes to these models.
So, if you are into customizing your car, then the 4Runner is one of the best options that you can get for your money. And the last pro that we are going to cover is that the model is dead simple to use. And dead simple to fix. It is a more than 10 years old model so the engines are pretty reliable and got well refined throughout the years of use.
This is why you just can’t make a mistake if you purchase a 4Runner. But what about the 4Runner ECT power? More on that, we will cover in a moment.
Cons Of The 4Runner
Now let’s cover the cons of the 4Runner before we learn more about the 4Runner ECT power. Are there any cons when it comes to buying one of these models? Well, there are some. So, let’s discuss them in detail.
The biggest con of the 4Runner is that the styling seems a little bit dated. It is not really fresh. Even though Toyota is trying hard to keep the model up to date and improve the looks. The exterior in our opinion looks quite modern. Especially for the TRD and TRD Pro versions.
The only drawbacks are the interior which looks very outdated, especially the center instrument cluster, the materials used on the interior, as well as the powertrain options. Nowadays there are other more fuel-efficient powertrains that Toyota can install to improve the fuel economy a little bit.
Also, a lot of owners reported that the driving experience is not really great on this model as well. The SUV might seem a little bit rough to drive let’s say. A little bit outdated by modern standards.
Also, other cons of this model include rust development. And this is only for the older models. The frames tend to rust, especially on models built in the 90s or early 00s. This is why you should make sure that the vehicle does not have serious rusting issues before you buy.
And we would strictly recommend avoiding some heavily coated samples with black tar undercoating. Usually, these vehicle’s frames might look good but can hide serious rust underneath in a lot of cases. But what about the 4Runner ECT power? More on the ECT we will cover in a bit.
4Runner vs Tacoma
Now let’s discuss another interesting topic before we discuss the 4Runner ECT power. And that is the 4Runner vs Tacoma, what is the difference between these two cars?
Well, a lot of people think that these vehicles are really different. But actually, they are very similar. Even though they serve different purposes.
The 4Runner is a mid-size pickup SUV, while the Tacoma is a mid-size pickup truck. But underneath the skin, they perform practically the same. So, why is this the case?
Well, this is the case because these models are built on the same ladder frame chassis. There isn’t much difference between the platform of the Tacoma and the 4Runner.
They also use the same engines and transmissions, differentials, basically, the whole powertrain is practically similar, unless you’re looking at modified Tacomas. As well as some of the electronics are the same. Although, the newer generation of the Tacoma is a bit updated compared to the 4Runner with better engines and transmissions.
So, if you draw a comparison between the Tacoma and 4Runner, compare the second-generation Tacoma with the fifth-generation 4Runner in order to get the right comparison.
Not to mention that the options they offer are really similar as well. Both of these models have the ECT power feature, as well as the Auto LSD system. But what is the 4Runner ECT power? Well, more on that topic we are going to elaborate in the following chapter in detail.
Speaking of Tacomas, be on the lookout for our detailed guide on the best model year for the Toyota Tacoma, in addition to the Toyota Tacoma model years to avoid. The latter also includes discussing issues such as the Toyota Tacoma frame rust problems, and the lug pattern on the Toyota Tacoma.
ECT Power 4Runner
Now let’s dive into the problem and learn more about what is the 4Runner ECT power. So, follow us carefully while we explain what is the ECT power and what it does.
So, what is the ECT? Well, this is a button that is found on your 4Runner. The ECT is an abbreviation that stands for Electronically Controlled Transmission.
This is a feature that is only found on 4Runner models that come with the automatic transmission. And considering that the last two generations are all automatics, we can say that this feature is available on all 4Runner models produced with an automatic.
But what does the 4Runner ECT power do in the background? Well, let’s further elaborate more on that in the following chapter. And once we clear that out of our way, we will dive into the situations in which you will benefit from pressing this button on your 4Runner.
What Does The ECT Power Do
Now that we covered the 4Runner ECT power button and learned what this button is and which models of the 4Runner have this button. Let’s move on and learn more about the function of this specific button and see what it really does.
So, what the ECT button does? Well, this button as we said refers to Electronically Controlled Transmission. This means that when you press the button, the button alters the work of the transmission.
Usually, when you drive your car in normal mode, the transmission can be a little bit clunky and slow to respond. Which can be frustrating for a lot of owners. But this is the case because carmakers have to improve the fuel economy and if the transmission shifts slower, the fuel economy will be a bit better.
And what you do when you press the ECT button makes your transmission a lot snappier. Once you press the ECT button, the shifts are smoother and the vehicle seems quite a bit faster.
The ECT button is the same as the Sport Mode button found in other cars. But as you probably know, when you press the sport button, the fuel economy suffers, which is the case here.
Namely, because the vehicle will start to shift at a higher RPM. So, when a car is in economy mode, you can expect it to shift at 2,000 RPM. But when you have the ECT button on, you can expect it to shift much higher on the RPM range.
And the 4Runner will perform really well and everything will run smoother while using the button. But when you should use the 4Runner ECT power button? Let’s cover more on that in the following chapters in detail and see when this button should be used.
Situations When To Use ECT
Now that we covered what the 4Runner ECT power button is, let’s move on and learn more about the situations when you should use this button on your 4Runner.
As we noted previously, this button shouldn’t be used all of the time. But only in a situation where you will benefit from the increased throttle response. So, what are these situations? Let’s discuss them in detail.
4Runner ECT Power Button, When To Use It #1: Drag Racing
Now let’s cover the first situation where you will benefit from the 4Runner ECT power. And this is the situation when you will see the most benefit from this button. Which is drag racing.
If you like to take your 4Runner on the drag strip, for some reason, you can use this button in order to make your SUV faster. The transmission will shift faster and you will get faster times from 0 to 60 as well as improvement in the quarter mile times.
We listed this as a joke since nobody takes their 4Runners on the drag strip. But every once in a while we want to test our 0 to 60 time. So, with this button, you will definitely get a faster time. Now let’s move on to the next situation when you should use the 4Runner ECT power button.
4Runner ECT Power Button, When To Use It #2: When Overtaking Other Cars
The second most common situation when you will need the 4Runner ECT power on is the case when you want to overtake another car.
So, let’s say that you drive on a two-way road and in front of you there is a big truck that is driving and is driving rather slowly. And the 4Runner is not a very fast vehicle in terms of overtaking. In this case, you can alter the work of the engine and transmission and overtake the truck a bit easier.
This is one of the few instances where you will be thankful that you have this 4Runner ECT power button to overtake slow cars on the road. Now let’s move on to the next situation when you will need this button.
4Runner ECT Power Button, When To Use It #3: While Towing
The third most common purpose of the 4Runner ECT power button is the towing. For example, you tow a heavy trailer and your 4Runner is struggling to drive and shifts on very low RPM.
In this situation, the ECT button will be of great benefit since you will improve the throttle response and the SUV will feel a lot snappier under heavy loads.
So, if you tow often, you should definitely give this button a try. It will make your life easier. Now let’s move on to the next situation when you have the 4Runner ECT power button on.
4Runner ECT Power Button, When To Use It #4: Traveling Uphill
The next situation when you will highly benefit from the 4Runner ECT power is traveling uphill. When traveling uphill, you just need to have the car working at a higher RPM and in a lower gear.
Since if you drive on low RPM and high gear, the car will really struggle and perform poorly. And also it could possibly overheat and you could be left out stranded.
When driving uphill, you just need a bit more power to tackle the hill. So, if you have 4Runner, you should definitely give the 4Runner ECT button a try and you will definitely not going to regret it. Now let’s move on to the last situation.
4Runner ECT Power Button, When To Use It #5: Going Over A Difficult Rocky Terrain
The last situation on our list when you should definitely benefit from the 4Runner ECT power is the situation when you are going over difficult rocky terrain.
In these situations, you just need your transmission to perform better and have an improved throttle response. Let’s make a hypothetical situation.
One of your wheels starts to slip, so you turn off the traction control to activate the Auto LSD option to engage the limited-slip differential. So, if you notice the traction control light turning on, know that there are some benefits of turning the traction control off.
But this is not enough, so what you can do is activate the ECT as well to improve the throttle response and overcome the obstacle. But what about the cons of the 4Runner ECT power? More about that next.
Cons Of ECT 4Runner ECT Power
Now let’s take a look at the cons of having the 4Runner ECT power on, what can you expect in terms of cons?
The only con of running your 4Runner like this is that the SUV will spend a lot more fuel compared to normal. So, your MPG will drop quite substantially. That’s why we recommend using this button only in the situations that we listed and not all of the time.
How To Activate 4Runner ECT Power
But how to activate the 4Runner ECT power? Well, activating this button is pretty easy and straightforward to do.
The first thing you need is to locate the button on your 4Runner. On older models of the 4Runner, this button is close to the light switch on the left side. But on the current generation of the 4Runner, this button is usually located below the radio controls.
And activating it is very simple. Just press the button and then the system is activated, press it again and you will deactivate the ECT. And that’s all you need to know. Speaking of light and resets, be sure to check out our guide on how to reset the 4Runner maintenance light.
4Runner ECT Power Button: In Conclusion…
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the 4Runner ECT power button. First, we learned what the 4Runner is and the pros and cons of this type of button.
Then we learned more about the ECT system. What this system is and when you should use it. As well as the cons of using this button on your 4Runner. And lastly, how to activate the 4Runner ECT power. Elsewhere, we’ve covered numerous other topics concerning the Toyota 4Runner.
So, if you need to learn more about the best model year for the 4Runner, as well as a buyer’s guide on the old 3rd gen 4Runner, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also discussed some specific 4Runner issues, such as the Toyota 4Runner frame recall that happened a while back.
Besides those, we then compared the 4Runner against some other SUVs. For example, we’ve compared the Toyota Highlander vs the Toyota 4Runner. Additionally, check out our write-up on the Lexus equivalent to the 4Runner, as well as our definitive list of other great Toyota 4Runner alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is ECT Power
ECT power refers to Electronically Controlled Transmission. This is a special system invented by Toyota that allows you to alter the work of the automatic transmission for performance gains.
What Does ECT Power Mean
ECT is a special system that means Electronically Controlled Transmission. With the press of this button, you are shifting your transmission to work on a different map that is performance oriented. So, an increase in throttle response, snappier shifts, and overall improved performance are one of the pros of this button.
Does ECT Power Save Gas
On the contrary, ECT power decreases the fuel economy. Especially if you push your car really hard with this button on. This is why you should only use this button on special occasions.
What Does TRD Stand For Toyota
TRD refers to Toyota Racing Development. This is basically a sporty trim given to Toyota models. There is also the TRD Pro, a level above the standard TRD trim level.
What O/D Off Means
O/D Off is a button that stands for overdrive off. This button gives you the ability to prevent your car from shifting into the top gears in certain cases like going downhill and carrying a heavy load in your trailer.
How Long Do Tacomas Last
A Tacoma should easily last for 200,000 miles, and if you care for it and maintain it properly, it can last 300,000 miles. Just focus on preventing rust development on the frames of the Tacoma and you will be good. Undercoat it with oil and this truck will last for a lifetime.
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