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ToyotaTom
ToyotaTom, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
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Experience:  Toyota, ASE, MSE, MECP Certified
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2002 sequoia: my driveway..weird grinding noice..vsc light comes

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I have a 2002 sequoia. When I leave my driveway (total ice at the end) and pull out onto the dry pavement it makes a weird grinding noice and the vsc light comes on - then it stops and everything is back to normal. It only does this when turning on ice. I pushed the button for VSC off and the dash light for vsc off came on but now the vsc off button doesn't seem to work anymore. Any ideas? What the heck is that grinding sound?

ToyotaTom :

Hello, and thank you for choosing Just Answer to help you with your questions!

ToyotaTom :

The grinding noise is normal. This is the skid control and ABS working, to try and gain traction.

ToyotaTom :

If you get into sand, or romp the gas pedal hard and "peel out" it will do it for a split second, then you'll again hear the grinding noise, and it will stop spinning the tires

ToyotaTom :

This is the system operating normally (I also happen to own an 02 sequoia limited myself)

ToyotaTom :

:)

JACUSTOMER-o6r80iqz- :

I've read a LOT of posts about people having to replace the vsc computer - that's not needed here right? Also - what IS making that noise?

ToyotaTom :

The major problems with the skid control ECU really started in 2003 (which is why Toyota issued a recall involving 2003 sequoia's)

ToyotaTom :

And that ECU is also an actuator that can automatically apply the brakes to any individual wheel as it sees necessary. The grinding noise you're hearing is that actuator doing its thing

ToyotaTom :

And is completely normal

JACUSTOMER-o6r80iqz- :

Thanks for your help - I was scared! - can I ask you a question for just one more minute? - I just got this truck used two months ago (70k miles, all maintenance done at Toyota) and as a used vehicle I was worried but so far - I LOVE IT. Is there anything of major importance or potential problems with this model/year?

ToyotaTom :

So when you're turning on ice, it senses one of the wheels slipping, so it activates that ECU and tries to stop the slippage

ToyotaTom :

It is a wonderful vehicle, and has little to no major issues overall. The rear window in the hatch that rolls down has a tendency to fail, but in the older ones it only involves replacing the motor itself, instead of the motor AND computer in the (I think) 06 and 07

ToyotaTom :

Relatively simple and quick repair

ToyotaTom :

Has the timing belt been replaced?

JACUSTOMER-o6r80iqz- :

No - I asked at the dealer and one Toyota dealer charges $1,350 because they replace the water pump too - the other dealer quoted $485 and if it needs a water pump (evidence of leaking) it would be another $290 - so $775 all in (what a difference!)

ToyotaTom and 4 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you

I apologize for the delay, had a few issues and the chat window froze up.

 

Make sure to get the timing belt replaced. AT this point, it's overdue for replacement, especially if the water pump is leaking. $750-800 is much more reasonable for the replacement. AT the same time I would recommend having the camshaft seals and the front crank seal replaced all at the same time. And honestly, even if the water pump isn't leaking, I would still recommend replacing it anyways. IT's a couple hundred bucks now, or in a year from now when it DOES start to leak, the timing belt and everything else would have to come back off and it would be about a $600 water pump at that point.

 

Labor rates vary from area to area, but we charge about $800 for a package deal with the t-belt, water pump, cam seals, crank seal, and serpentine belt, and do it all at once. We get a decent labor pay from it, the customer saves several hundred dollars from what it would cost individually, and everyone wins really.

 

The timing belt on this motor in particular is WAY more important than any other Toyota motor. Your motor is what's referred to as an interference engine. You can do a google search for more info, I won't go into great detail here, but if the timing belt breaks, the valves will hit pistons and do major damage. With any other Toyota motor that has a belt (instead of a chain) if the belt breaks, it quits running. REplace the belt and you're going again. This isn't the case with yours

 

Other than that, it's a GREAT truck. I regularly see them with 150k-200k miles (mine has about 110ish) with no issues. Somewhere between 100 and 150k miles the valve cover gaskets will start to leak, but other than that, if you stay on top of your general maintenance, you'll have a great truck to last you for many years to come. :)

 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know. I'll be happy to help with anything I can. Have a great night :)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks "Toyota Tom"! That's great info and very reassuring! Whew, now I can sleep...

Thanks again!
You're very welcome. Like I said, it's a great truck, and if it wasn't I wouldn't have gotten one :) Have a great night, and just let me know if I can help you with anything else :)

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