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Bruce Barrett ASKED THE GUIDE

Top Gear Flashes By

WHEN I found my new Toyota LandCruiser wouldn't select top gear until 115-120km/h I asked my dealer if it could be fixed and was told they could ``flash'' the gearbox and make it change into sixth gear at low to mid-90km/h. The car is now great to drive, changing into sixth at a realistic speed of about 95km/h. The problem is that it works only in manual mode. Why couldn't it be programmed to change in drive mode at the same speed? Toyota's customer service people told me the car will change into sixth gear in drive. All you have to do is reach 100km/h, then take your foot off the accelerator and, when sixth gear is engaged lightly, put your foot back on the accelerator. But to do that you have to take your eyes off the road to focus on the speed. I bought an auto so it would all be done for me. Can you please help with a resolution to this problem?

Graham Smith ANSWERED BY Graham Smith
18 September 2009

YOU'RE right, it is a messy situation, so we asked Toyota for an explanation, which was: The Land Cruiser diesel automatic transmission gear change points were optimally chosen to ensure the best balance between performance, driveability and economy. In order to maintain the original design for most owners and also provide an option for earlier sixth-gear engagement, an ECU reprogram was developed to change the sixth gear shift point when ``S'' mode (S-6) is selected. Once ``S-6'' appears in the display, the transmission will automatically select 1 to 6 according to the vehicle speed and driving conditions similar to ``D'' range except that sixth gear engages earlier.

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