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My check engine light and vsc trac light in on my 2006

Customer Question
My check engine light...

My check engine light and vsc trac light in on my 2006 Toyota 4runner.

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?

It stays on.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your 4Runner yourself? What have you tried so far?

I want to try myself but I do not know where to start.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Toyota
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/11/2017
Toyota Mechanic: Ron Z., - Toyota Tech - replied 7 months ago
Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Toyota Tech -
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 19,930
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Toyota Diagnostics
Verified

Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. Thanks for coming! I'm Ron and I'll be working with you on your question today.

Are you experiencing any engine performance symptoms like skipping or stalling?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
no , it runs fine.
Toyota Mechanic: Ron Z., - Toyota Tech - replied 7 months ago

Ok, Great! Thank-you! Please give me one moment to type out some info for you. Sit tight one minute... I'll be right back!

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Toyota Mechanic: Ron Z., - Toyota Tech - replied 7 months ago

When the Check Engine light comes on, the VSC/Trac lights are also set, which turns these systems off. This is a self-preservation mechanism, in case the reason the Check Engine Light is on can harm or effect the VSC/Trac systems. So- fix the reason why the Engine Light is on, and the VSC/Trac systems will come back online.

When the Check Engine light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are literally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running can set the light. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. Check the top of the fuel filler neck for any signs of damage or debris. Check under the vehicle, around the rear areas of the vehicle, looking for any vacuum lines that have dry-rot cracks, holes or loose/missing connections. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor, in which system, has the fault. Every single Mechanic's first course of action will be to obtain the p-codes. It's standard diagnostic procedure. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the correct repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Advanced, etc).

In the meantime... As long as there are no obvious engine performance issues (like skipping or chugging) or shifting issues, then it is perfectly safe to drive the vehicle. You should however, have the codes retrieved at least to verify. If the problem does lie in the EVAP system, it is strictly for emissions control/recovery and will in no way effect engine performance in any way. If the problem lies outside the EVAP system, it may be a good idea to have it serviced as soon as possible, as prolonged driving with a problem with the engine or transmission can make matters worse.

Please be kind enough to leave a rating for our Q&A using the 'stars' at the top of the page when I have answered all your questions. A 5-star rating is very much appreciated! Rating my answer does not cost you extra.

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Toyota Mechanic: Ron Z., - Toyota Tech - replied 7 months ago

Were there any other questions I could help you with today?

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