Do you have a Toyota Tacoma and you are confused by the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma feature? Well, if this is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be quite a lot to cover on the auto LSD system on the Toyota Tacoma.
- Toyota Tacoma
- Types Of Differentials
- Tacoma Differential
- What Is Auto LSD?
- How To Use It?
- Pros & Cons
Doing research on a function that you have in your car is always a good idea. You just don’t want to press a button and regret it later. So, investigating the function of this specific feature and how it works might be a rather smart idea if you were asking me.
There are a lot of people that press a few buttons and after a few moments, they end up in a ditch beside the road. And this is crucial, especially when it comes to something sensitive like a differential.
Engineers didn’t create limited slip differentials because they were bored at their job. And if you are an off-road guy who loves taking their truck on the trails, we can say that you will really enjoy this system. But first, let’s learn what we will learn in this article.
First, we will cover more about the Toyota Tacoma. This would be quite useful for people who are familiar with it and want to introduce themselves to the Tacoma and learn more about it. Then we will discuss the types of differentials that are out there.
And once we cover the types of differentials, we will cover the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma and see more about what this system is its pros and cons, and also, most importantly, how the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma works. So, without further ado, let’s get into the topic.
Now before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma and learn more about this system on the Tacoma. Let’s first learn more about what Tacoma is. Why do we think that this is essential?
Well, there are a lot of people who are facing similar issues or consider purchasing a pickup truck and do not know about the Tacoma. So, we need to further elaborate on this model and introduce people to it.
Anyway, the Toyota Tacoma is probably one of the most popular mid-size pickup trucks on the market, if not the most popular truck in this segment.
This is a mid-size truck, so it is a class below the bigger Toyota Tundra and other trucks like the Ford F-150 or the Chevy Silverado. And this makes the Tacoma a lot more appealing than these big bulky full-size pickup trucks. Since not every one of us loves to have an enormous truck.
If you are thinking of getting a Tacoma, remember to be diligent about the Toyota Tacoma model years to avoid, and the best year for the Toyota Tacoma. Not to mention, we’ve also looked into the Tacoma’s reliability concerns, such as the Toyota Tacoma frame rust issues.
And not only that, but the Tacoma is also a very capable off-road truck. And even has an auto LSD Toyota Tacoma system. This is the case because the Tacoma is built on the same chassis as the off-road vehicle that Toyota produces known as the 4Runner.
This basically guarantees that the Tacoma is quite capable in terms of off-road duties. And the aftermarket for modified Tacomas when it comes to this is enormous. There are dozens of companies that produce parts for these trucks intended for off-road use. For example, skid plates, coilovers, lift kits, leveling kits, and so much more.
And even though these trucks have gone up in value lately, you can still find one for a really good deal. But what about the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Types Of Differentials
Another topic that we would like to cover before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma is the topic of the different types of differential designs that are out there.
There are three main types that we are going to cover in the following chapters. Just take note that even though there are three types that exist out there. There could be a case like in the Tacoma where you have a combo of all three types of differentials. So, let’s cover them in detail in the following chapters and elaborate more thoroughly.
Oh, and before you continue, do consider checking out our other guides on differentials. We have extensive write-ups that cover a rear differential repair, as well as the cost to replace the front differential. On the maintenance side of things, we’ve also discussed the differential fluid change, and the differential fluid change cost.
The first type of differential that we are going to cover before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma is the open differential. So, what is an open differential?
Open differentials are the ones that are most commonly found on rear-wheel-drive cars. An open differential is basically a component that separates both axles that are connected to the differential.
Having both wheels separated from one another is really important. Because if both wheels are locked, the car would have trouble cornering. You definitely don’t want both wheels to deliver power while you do a fast-speed corner.
Because if both wheels are locked and deliver power, you could easily lose control. That’s why the open differential was invented and this type of differential was predominantly used until the limited-slip differential was invented. More about that design, we will cover next, and then we will discuss the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Now let’s discuss the second type of differential before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma. And this is the limited-slip differential. Which is the most important type for us.
So, what is a limited-slip differential? Well, this is a differential that powers both wheels once the car notices that one of the wheels lost traction.
So, let’s say that you drive over uneven terrain. And one of the rear wheels starts to spin and does not deliver traction.
What happens in this situation is the differential is smart enough to activate the LSD in the cars that have an automated LSD and this system immediately sends torque to the other wheel in order to help the car move.
In case you only have an open differential and the wheel starts to spin and lose traction, you are basically stuck. On the other hand, with the limited-slip differential, you have the ability to escape from this situation either by activating the LSD or by the car activating the LSD automatically, which most cars have.
Now let’s move on to the last type of differential before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma and learn about the LSD system in the Tacoma.
And the last type of differential that we are going to cover before we learn more about the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma is the locking differential. So, what is a locking differential?
Well, a locking differential is basically any differential that is locked. This means that both the left and right axles rotate at the same time.
And as we said, this type of differential for most purposes is not practical. Since, when the car is cornering, both wheels will rotate at the same time. And this is the perfect way to lose control and crash.
This is why locking differentials are only used for off-road purposes. Similarly to the limited-slip differential, the locking differential is activated only by the driver.
And locking differentials are often used on 4WD SUVs or trucks. When you press the button, both wheels lock and you get the torque to the other wheels.
The locking differential is useful because it basically overrides everything until you tell it to stop. Unlike the limited slip which only reacts when there is a loss of traction.
Some guys in order to achieve this locking diff and try to do burnouts, people simply weld the differential so both wheels rotate at the same time instead of one. Not a good practice when it comes to safety. But it is popular.
And people do not understand that at high speeds, the car would be completely uncontrollable. But what is the type of differential used in the Toyota Tacoma? Let’s elaborate more on that before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Differential Used In The Toyota Tacoma
Now let’s discuss the type of differential used on the Toyota Tacoma before we dive into the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma. Knowing the type of differential that the Tacoma has, will give you that extra edge when it comes to understanding how your Tacoma will perform in off-road duties.
The Toyota Tacoma features a limited-slip differential. This means that there will be torque on demand if one of the wheels starts slipping. As we noted previously, the limited-slip differential will deliver torque to the other wheel if one starts slipping.
And here we come to the interesting part. And this is that you can use a button to activate this system on your Tacoma and deactivate it whenever you desire. More on that, we are going to discuss more in the following chapter, where we are going to learn more about the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Now let’s take a look a the auto LSD System Toyota Tacoma and elaborate more on this system and its operation. We need to further explain more about the purpose, as well as the operation of the LSD system.
Let’s first take a look at the definition and see how Toyota defines the LSD system. According to their owner’s manual, this system aids traction by using the traction control system with the goal of controlling the engine performance and also the braking in the case when one of the rear wheels begins to spin.
This system should be used only when one of the wheels starts to spin on a rough surface, a ditch, or snow. So, what does this mean?
This means that on your Toyota Tacoma, even though you have a limited-slip differential, you actually have an open differential 99% of the time.
And the good thing that Toyota lets you do, is to use the differential like a limited slip if you engage the LSD system on your Tacoma. This is a good thing since you don’t need a limited-slip differential most of the time while you drive.
A limited-slip differential is usually needed whenever you have some hurdles. Like ending up in a ditch, or ending up in deep snow as we mentioned previously. But how you can engage this LSD system on your Toyota Tacoma?
Well, let’s elaborate more on that topic in the following chapters of how you can engage the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma not only in the Tacoma but also in other Toyota vehicles.
How The Auto LSD Works In Different Toyota Models
Now let’s take a look at how you can use the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma on a Toyota Tacoma, as well as on other models like the Toyota Tundra, Toyota 4Runner, and the Toyota RAV4.
Knowing how to engage the system is key if you want to have the best performance possible when it comes to the ability to drive in wet and muddy conditions when the truck or SUV loses traction on one of the wheels. So, let’s begin with the Tacoma and Tundra, and then move on to other models.
Auto LSD Toyota Tacoma And Tundra
The system operation of the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma is really simple and foolproof. You just can’t mess things up since you are notified in which mode your truck is in.
The first thing you need to do is to locate the VCS button. This VSC button is usually located right under the driver’s AC vent right between the steering wheel and the door.
There you have a lot of buttons. On the VSC button, which in other words is your “Vehicle Stability Control”, you have the ability to alter your vehicle stability system. This button usually has a small car and two skid lines underneath.
All, you have to do is press this VSC button. Once you pressed the button, you will get a message that says VSC Off on the cluster, and right next to that light, you will get the AUTO LSD indicator. If you instead see a “Check VSC System” message, then you’ll have to get it checked out for any errors.
So, this means that you rely on the limited-slip differential at this time and you should drive carefully once you are done, press the VSC button once again and the system VSC system will turn on. Or restart the engine and everything will return to factory settings.
Overall, that’s all you need to know when it comes to activating the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Auto LSD Toyota 4Runner
Now as we covered the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma, let’s take a look at the auto LSD Toyota 4Runner and learn more about how to activate this system on this SUV.
What is interesting about the 4Runner is the position of the VSC button. As we noted previously, this is the button that has a car with two skid lines. The position of this button on the 4Runner is located on top of your head, right next to the dome light buttons.
Once you come to an obstacle, just press the VSC button and wait until the VSC Off light starts to flash on the cluster and the AUTO LSD icon appears. What is interesting is that this icon will start flashing while you are using this system, so once the system engages, the icon will flash.
Once you are done, just hold the VSC button that has two wavy lines and hold it for two seconds. And this will bring the car back to factory settings. Now let’s cover the last model when it comes to the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Auto LSD Toyota RAV4
So, we covered the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma and learned more about what is this button and how to activate it. Now let’s do the same thing for the Toyota RAV4. We bet that there are a lot of RAV4 owners who are rather confused and do not know how to activate this mode, so let’s elaborate on it.
And the procedure for the RAV4 is pretty much similar to other Toyota models. But the placement of the VSC button is different.
As we noted this is the small button with the car and two wavy lines. This button gives you the ability to override the traction system and basically turn it off, turning on the limited-slip differential in the process.
The location of this button on the RAV4 is right above the cup holders and right below the radio. You will easily notice it. Once you do, just press the button and let it do its magic to turn off the VSC system. Once the VSC Off appears on your cluster, the Auto LSD icon will appear on the cluster as well.
Then you are in limited slip differential mode. Once you are done, hold the VSC button for a few moments, and this will turn on the VSC system on your RAV4 and you will regain the traction control.
You can get some cues on whether you’ve done it right through the traction control light. In some instances, there are some benefits of turning the traction control off. On a side note, we also have a guide on the Trac Off message that you might see on a Lexus.
Or if you don’t want to press the button, just restart the engine and this will sort things out. Overall, that’s all when it comes to the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma, now let’s briefly discuss the pros and cons of this system.
Auto LSD Pros And Cons
Now let’s discuss more about the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma pros and cons. Still, there have to be some cons to this system, right? Let’s find out.
In terms of the benefits of this system, we can say that there are plenty of them. The first and most important is the improved off-road traction, which is obvious.
The second biggest pro of this system is that it saves your tires. Just imagine how much tire wear can you have if you push the throttle and the wheel spins. You could easily destroy your tires. As well as your axle shaft. Because of these reasons, Toyota decided to include the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
When it comes to the cons, there are only a few. The biggest con is probably the insufficient power for the wheels. You might get more power from the other wheel but you will lose some from the other one. So, keep this in mind.
In some cases, this system is also difficult to manage especially for beginners that are not used to off-road driving. They panic and if you panic and don’t know what you are doing is probably the worst scenario. So, keep your head focused when you activate this system.
And lastly, not all LSD systems are the same, some are more capable, and some are not as capable. It really depends on the type of differential that you are running on your Toyota. Now let’s conclude this article on the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma.
Auto LSD Toyota Tacoma: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the auto LSD Toyota Tacoma. Firstly, we learned about what is the Toyota Tacoma and the types of differentials that are out there. We then learned about what kind of differential the Tacoma uses.
Once we cleared that out of our way, we covered the Auto LSD Toyota Tacoma and learned about what this system is and how to activate it on most of the lineup that Toyota offers, including the Tacoma, in addition, we learned more about the pros and cons of this system.
FAQs On Auto LSD Toyota Tacoma
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is Auto LSD
Auto LSD is a feature that is found on Toyota vehicles. This feature gives you the ability to turn off your VSC, which is your traction control. And once you did that, you enter the Auto LSD mode, which allows you to use the limited slip differential and help you tackle the situation when you are stuck in the mud or snow.
Whats A Limited Slip Differential
A limited-slip differential is a type of differential that notices when one of the wheels is spinning. So, it immediately sends power to the other wheel to help out the car return traction.
How To Turn Off Auto LSD
You can look for the VSC button that is located somewhere on the dash or near the dome lights. This is the button with a car and two wavy lines. Hold this button for 3 seconds and the system will turn off.
What Does The Slip Indicator Light Mean
This slip indicator on Toyota cars means that your VSC (traction control) is off and you are using your limited slip differential. There should be also an Auto LSD icon when the VSC is off.
Does My Tundra Have Limited Slip Differential
The limited slip differential comes as a standard on any Tundra. And on top of that, you can use the Auto LSD feature to activate this limited slip differential when you most need it and run the truck with an open differential when you don’t need this feature. Which is really nice to have.
What Does VSC Mean On A Toyota RAV4
The VSC button on the RAV4 is referring to your traction control. So, when you press this button, the traction control turns off. Then press it again to turn it on. You will be notified on the cluster once your VSC is off or on.
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