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Avensis Serious Handling Problem - Help


RobJ1
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Hello,

I have written on this forum before asking for help on my wifes Avensis 2.0 SR VVTI, X-Reg 2001.

We are still having problems but Toyota still cant find the fault.

The car handles really really badly, but only occasionally.

The car most of the time handles ok, it feels slightly funny but not to bad. When it goes bad its like your driving on ice.

No control at all, very light stearing, brakeing is also affected funny noise on brakeing, and a clicking/clonking sound on pulling off (intermittent).

Again Toyota cant fault the car at all and blame driving style, its my wife thats driving the car and isnt a boy racer, the last occasion was today at about 20 mph and she almost crashed the car. Apparently there was a warning light on the dash and a beeping noise but due to trying to stay on the road she was unable to see which light lit up.

If anyone at all can help please could you post and let us know what to ask toyota to check next.

Many Thanks

Rob

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The beeping noise and flashing light I reckon was probably the Vehicle Stability Control kicking in which would point largely to a driver issue. That's the only warning light I can think of that has an audible warning attached.

The SR does have a tendency to spin the inside wheel easily with only moderate steering lock on at low speeds which could quite easily be what you're describing.

Worth doing some basic checks like correct tyre pressures, even wear pattern across the tyre maybe get the tracking checked.

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The beeping noise and flashing light I reckon was probably the Vehicle Stability Control kicking in which would point largely to a driver issue. That's the only warning light I can think of that has an audible warning attached.

The SR does have a tendency to spin the inside wheel easily with only moderate steering lock on at low speeds which could quite easily be what you're describing.

Worth doing some basic checks like correct tyre pressures, even wear pattern across the tyre maybe get the tracking checked.

Thanks Black Knight, the VSC doesnt usually beep, it lights up sometimes when it kicks in but have never beeped before.

Toyota have had it in again today and have cleared some fault codes with the VSC apparently and re installed the software on the system, they didnt say what the fault codes were. I am guessing the beeping was to let you know the fault had been recorded.

I really dont think this is driver error, the corner my wife was going around at 20 mph, I go around at 40 in my mondeo and thats a perfectly respecable speed for the corner, at 50 you would expect a problem but not 40 let alone 20 !!

I think this is an electrial issue with the VSC kicking in when it shouldnt, what does the VSC control, can it make the stearing go light? or does it just affect braking and power?

Toyota today found a split bush on the near side front, this will cause some handling issues but not this much of an issue.

Any more ideas?

Thanks for your help

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The beeping noise and flashing light I reckon was probably the Vehicle Stability Control kicking in which would point largely to a driver issue. That's the only warning light I can think of that has an audible warning attached.

The SR does have a tendency to spin the inside wheel easily with only moderate steering lock on at low speeds which could quite easily be what you're describing.

Worth doing some basic checks like correct tyre pressures, even wear pattern across the tyre maybe get the tracking checked.

Thanks Black Knight, the VSC doesnt usually beep, it lights up sometimes when it kicks in but have never beeped before.

Toyota have had it in again today and have cleared some fault codes with the VSC apparently and re installed the software on the system, they didnt say what the fault codes were. I am guessing the beeping was to let you know the fault had been recorded.

I really dont think this is driver error, the corner my wife was going around at 20 mph, I go around at 40 in my mondeo and thats a perfectly respecable speed for the corner, at 50 you would expect a problem but not 40 let alone 20 !!

I think this is an electrial issue with the VSC kicking in when it shouldnt, what does the VSC control, can it make the stearing go light? or does it just affect braking and power?

Toyota today found a split bush on the near side front, this will cause some handling issues but not this much of an issue.

Any more ideas?

Thanks for your help

It was definitely the VSC kicking in. Under wheel-spin conditions in a straight line the VSC light flashes only, not beep. However, in a sideways skid the VSC light does flash and DOES beep as my experiences of skating around in snow have shown me. The fact that it was beeping and she was going around a corner would suggest that the car was heading for a sideways skid.

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The beeping noise and flashing light I reckon was probably the Vehicle Stability Control kicking in which would point largely to a driver issue. That's the only warning light I can think of that has an audible warning attached.

The SR does have a tendency to spin the inside wheel easily with only moderate steering lock on at low speeds which could quite easily be what you're describing.

Worth doing some basic checks like correct tyre pressures, even wear pattern across the tyre maybe get the tracking checked.

Thanks Black Knight, the VSC doesnt usually beep, it lights up sometimes when it kicks in but have never beeped before.

Toyota have had it in again today and have cleared some fault codes with the VSC apparently and re installed the software on the system, they didnt say what the fault codes were. I am guessing the beeping was to let you know the fault had been recorded.

I really dont think this is driver error, the corner my wife was going around at 20 mph, I go around at 40 in my mondeo and thats a perfectly respecable speed for the corner, at 50 you would expect a problem but not 40 let alone 20 !!

I think this is an electrial issue with the VSC kicking in when it shouldnt, what does the VSC control, can it make the stearing go light? or does it just affect braking and power?

Toyota today found a split bush on the near side front, this will cause some handling issues but not this much of an issue.

Any more ideas?

Thanks for your help

It was definitely the VSC kicking in. Under wheel-spin conditions in a straight line the VSC light flashes only, not beep. However, in a sideways skid the VSC light does flash and DOES beep as my experiences of skating around in snow have shown me. The fact that it was beeping and she was going around a corner would suggest that the car was heading for a sideways skid.

Do you think its worth just turning the VSC off?

I think its kicking in excessivelly early, sometimes just on a very very slight bend.

Like i said before, toyota have cleared some fault codes out the computer regarding the VSC and reloaded the software.

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I hate the VSC system and normally drive with it off. Car feels far more predictable that way.

If they try and tell you they've cleared some codes ask them which ones next time. It's not unheard of for a dealer to to try and blag a customer because they've no idea what the problem is and can't critisize them without risking future sales.

The VSC system can cut power to stop wheels spinning and also apply brakes individually to help control/stop a skid. The system has to calibrate itself periodically because of brake wear (think it's each time you start up and then set off). Thats the funny noise you hear periodically pulling away.

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One other suggestion, had similar fault with a Mondeo recently and eventually traced to faulty brake caliper which was seizing on for a few moments. All fault codes related to ABS, TCS or VSC.

I used a laser temperature thermometer which reads up to 450 centigrade and found warmer disc and caliper.

A wild guess!! but you never know.

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I would describe myself as a very right heavy-footed driver of my 2.0 Avensis and I've never yet had to turn the VSC control off. The only time I've noticed it kick in is when setting off very rapidly in wet weather causing wheel spin. To get it to kick in AND beep I've only so far achieved in very slippery conditions where I've started drifting sideways. I personally leave it on as it's very very rare that it inteferes with my exhuberent driving style. :)

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Just a thought, which may be way off the mark - but do the steering/braking/light flashing/beeping issues coincide with colder weather? Is the VSC being overly sensitive when icy conditions prevail or when ice is likely?

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Just a thought, which may be way off the mark - but do the steering/braking/light flashing/beeping issues coincide with colder weather? Is the VSC being overly sensitive when icy conditions prevail or when ice is likely?

No we havent noticed any corrolation, this problem first started about 6 months ago now.

What does the VSC actually control on the car?

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I hate the VSC system and normally drive with it off. Car feels far more predictable that way.

If they try and tell you they've cleared some codes ask them which ones next time. It's not unheard of for a dealer to to try and blag a customer because they've no idea what the problem is and can't critisize them without risking future sales.

The VSC system can cut power to stop wheels spinning and also apply brakes individually to help control/stop a skid. The system has to calibrate itself periodically because of brake wear (think it's each time you start up and then set off). Thats the funny noise you hear periodically pulling away.

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The VSC does make a beeping noise -- a sort of soft and fast one -- but only when the car is in serious trouble. The yellow light comes on simply when the VSC has kicked in for some reason. This time of year I'm driving on snow and ice all the time, and while I'm normally against the idea of the car taking over, I have to say the VSC is fantastic -- if the car swings out a little from the straight it lines it up again perfectly. It's almost intuitive, works well on corners, too. On a really icy road I can hear a small background hum, as if the VSC is monitoring the situation, ready and waiting. Although I'll regularly see the yellow light this time of year I'll pretty much have to force a handbrake turn to get the beep to come on (at this point the car is so obviously out of control that I don't think I'd need an audible warning to tell me.)

Bear in mind that not all VSC-type systems are the same (I hear Kia's sucks), so I wouldn't assume too much with another make of car before careful testing. One small concern is that I'm becoming a lazy driver -- I know I can hit an iced up 2nd gear corner a little too fast and that the car will slow down and straighten up by itself. To my surprise, I've never had a reason to turn it off.

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I didn't think you could turn off the VSC. According to the manual for my 2005 T-Spirit the traction control can be switched off but doing this does not disable the stability control which is always active. But the VSC and TCS do kick in really early - the car is not allowed to drift even the slightest amount. I suppose this is safer but then again I wonder how safe can it be to have a computer apply your brakes for you, without illuminating the brake lights, halfway round a roundabout.

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The application of the brakes is only to the extent of stopping the wheels spinning rather than slowing the vehicle therefore its not slowing you down any more than the slide is

But if the car thinks your wheels are spining when they are not and brakes hard when your going around a corner your going to loose control.

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It has sensors on the wheels to tell it whether they're spinning or not therefore if they're not spinning then it won't be applying the brakes therefore won't cause you to lose control. Also, it's not slamming the anchors on (which probably would pitch you off the road) but slowing them down to match the road speed and recover grip

Also if I remember this system correctly it's taking readings from steering angle, throttle position, brake pressure and accelerometers to understand if the car is sliding or control

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I hate the VSC system and normally drive with it off. Car feels far more predictable that way.

If they try and tell you they've cleared some codes ask them which ones next time. It's not unheard of for a dealer to to try and blag a customer because they've no idea what the problem is and can't critisize them without risking future sales.

The VSC system can cut power to stop wheels spinning and also apply brakes individually to help control/stop a skid. The system has to calibrate itself periodically because of brake wear (think it's each time you start up and then set off). Thats the funny noise you hear periodically pulling away.

me too

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