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Andrea ASKED THE GUIDE

Toyota LandCruiser 2016:

We bought our top-of-the line Toyota LandCruiser new in 2016 and we’ve had lots of little problems with the computer (including it losing power while in cruise control mode while overtaking another car on the dual carriageway. The dealership advised it was caused by a passing police scanner). In January we had a pre-crash malfunction, engine light, traction control and a take-straight-to-your-nearest-dealer notification then the car went into limp mode and then died. We got the car going and headed to the nearest dealership 20km away but it happened twice more on the way and a third time while crossing a very busy 100km/h intersection where it was only the skill of other motorists that a nasty accident was avoided. The dealership having seen the notification have kept the car since January 9 and have been unable to recreate the problem and, even with their gadgets and gizmos, seem to be at a loss as to why this occurred. I’m wondering if you have come across this problem before with this make and model?

I don’t think this is an isolated problem, Andrea, as I’ve heard of exactly the same thing happening to other 200-Series Toyotas. From the look of things, this type of recurring limp-home-mode problem with the LandCruiser is usually down to one of three things.

The first is a damaged or faulty stepper motor which controls both the throttle and the variable vanes on the turbocharger. Sometimes the vanes can become stuck, refuse to budge and burn out the stepper motor’s electronics in the process. If there’s a problem with any of those components, the stepper motor – at the very least -t will need to be replaced. The advice there is to use the genuine Toyota part, not a cheaper copy.

The second possibility is a fault with the EGR valve, and the third is a faulty accelerator pedal which, unlike older cars, does not connect via a cable to the throttle, but ends an electronic signal to the car’s computer. Any glitch here can send the car into limp-home. The fact that you’ve had problems while in cruise control makes me suspect either the accelerator or stepper motor, so they’d be the components I’d be checking first. For what it’s worth, I reckon the police-scanner explanation is a load of rubbish.

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