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RPMs jump and speed drops near top of steep grades

Discussion in '3rd Gen Tundras (2014+)' started by DSTundra, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Jun 9, 2019 at 5:01 PM
    #1
    DSTundra

    DSTundra [OP] New Member

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    I own a 2017 Tundra Platinum with just under 22,000 problem free miles -- until today. My daughter was house sitting for her college roommate's parents in Las Cruces, NM when she had problem with her vehicle, a 2015 Ford Focus SE. So being the good dad, I went to U-Haul, grabbed a car dolly, and my wife and I made the 3 hour trek down I25 from Albuquerque where we live to Las Cruces to pick up her and the vehicle. The trip down with just the dolly was uneventful...

    The road from Albuquerque to Las Cruces certainly isn't mountainous, but there are some fairly steep grades in a few places. On the way back, with the Ford Focus now in tow, I hit the tow/haul button, set the cruise control for 70, and started back home. On 3 separate occasions near the tops of those fairly steep grades, the truck, which would be running at around 3000 RPM at the time, suddenly felt like it went into neutral -- the RPMs jumped to 4000 or more and the speed dropped dramatically -- like it was trying to downshift, but couldn't find a gear. If there would have been anyone behind me -- especially the first time it happened -- I probably would have been rear-ended. In each case, the transmission seemed to reengage immediately when I hit the gas.

    What would cause something like that to happen? Transmission issue? Tow/haul issue? Cruise control issue?

    I'm at a loss...

    Dave
     
  2. Jun 9, 2019 at 5:34 PM
    #2
    TundraMcGov.

    TundraMcGov. Your friend. Your foe. Not yo Ho.

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    These damn transmissions and their AI are often more like counselors and therapists than hard working mechanical components.

    Don't tow with cruise control on. I use the S mode. So I can pick the gear which really means monitor my RPM's to stay solidly in the torque curve.
     
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  3. Jun 9, 2019 at 5:36 PM
    #3
    Tierhog

    Tierhog New Member

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    In theory you should have thrown a code. Outside of bad gas and carbon build up from consistent low rpm driving, we'll have to resort to old school mechanical evaluation. Has this reocurred with the same tank of gas, or engine load, or higher rpm? Dirty or neglected air filter? Aftermarket intake or exhaust? Dirty MAF, throttle body, etc?

    OTH, Did it seem as if it was "cut off" as opposed to a mechanical fault? I haven't towed with cc on. You could hook up to something and try towing in THM without cruise on and see if you can replicate it.

    :popcorn:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  4. Jun 9, 2019 at 6:21 PM
    #4
    DSTundra

    DSTundra [OP] New Member

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    Probably good advice...thanks. My truck is my daily driver, so I don't tow with it often. In fact, it's probably the first time I've towed anything with this particular Tundra. I towed small trailers and a car with my 2001 Tundra, but not on the same route. I think I used tow/haul back then (the button on the end of the shift lever on first gens) with cruise control and I didn't have any issues.
    Today was the first time I've every had this happen, so I don't have much in terms of a pattern to go on other than a relatively steep grade seemed to bring the condition on. As for gas, I suppose it's possible the issue can be bad gas. When I started the trip down, I had just over 1/2 tank of gas, so I'd been driving around town using that tank of gas with no issues. I filled up at a Chevron for the trip back home. I always use Chevron and have never had issues with gas before. (That sounds bad... LOL) I use two bottle of injector cleaner every 5000 miles or so. Air filter is clean. OEM exhaust. Didn't seem like a gas issue. No bucking, surging, etc. -- just felt like it went to downshift and couldn't find a gear.

    Dave
     
  5. Jun 9, 2019 at 6:30 PM
    #5
    Tierhog

    Tierhog New Member

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    If your not experiencing any of the symptoms now, I'd suspect that your cruise settings may have played a role as others suggested. Just FYI the detergents in most gasoline keep injectors and the valve area clean nowadays, even with Costco gas, etc. Just to be certain, no TSS interference? 17s even have it?
     
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  6. Jun 9, 2019 at 6:41 PM
    #6
    DSTundra

    DSTundra [OP] New Member

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    No, 2017 was the last year without the TSS stuff.
     
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  7. Jun 9, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #7
    TundraMcGov.

    TundraMcGov. Your friend. Your foe. Not yo Ho.

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    No. The 2017's don't have those like were introduced with the 2018's.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2019 at 7:40 PM
    #8
    DSTundra

    DSTundra [OP] New Member

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    Looking at the manual now -- something I should have done BEFORE my trip -- I see where it clearly states that cruise control should not be used when towing. Luckily we all made it back in one piece and I learned something along the way. There's a good chance that there's nothing wrong with my truck other than with the idiot behind the wheel.

    Dave
     
  9. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:01 PM
    #9
    Grey Wolf

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    This^^^.S mode.
     
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  10. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:05 PM
    #10
    Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf Alaska Size Stealthy Swift Slate Grey Wolf

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    RTFM???? I've been explaining for years with my junior cal techs.....before you come to me....did you RTFM? Read the f:censored:ing manual?? All is good but a huge pet peeve for me.:frusty:
     
  11. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #11
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 Moderator Staff Member

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    Don’t use cruise control when towing.
     
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  12. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:11 PM
    #12
    Rica25

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    Do you have stock tires or lift?
     
  13. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:51 PM
    #13
    ChrisTRDPro

    ChrisTRDPro New Member

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    Yep, the cruise control will just cut power and shut itself off instead of doing a double down-shift to keep speed up.
    Small grades it seems to do fine if it only has to down-shift once, but if it determines it would need to go down more than one gear it will just deactivate itself. At least that's what happens in my experience, when I step on the gas afterwards it clearly shifts down more than one gear. Had it happen a few times when not towing.
     
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  14. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:52 PM
    #14
    handyman

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    As you've discovered, the owners manual does say the cruise control is not compatible with towing. My truck did the same thing, with nearly the same response from me (worry & concern). And, like you, I discovered this little tidbit afterwards (after noticing a connection between the problem & the cruise control). I have since towed several more times, without the cruise control and without the problem returning.
    Sadly, towing (slower speeds over long distances) is exactly the time I'd most want the cruise control. :annoyed:
     
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  15. Jun 9, 2019 at 8:52 PM
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    Boxer310

    Boxer310 New Member

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    Use the s mode sonthe truck doesnt need to switch gears
     
  16. Jun 10, 2019 at 5:04 AM
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    DSTundra

    DSTundra [OP] New Member

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    Exactly!
     
  17. Jun 11, 2019 at 12:17 PM
    #17
    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    Same here with my 2017.

    Blows my mind that toyota would even allow you set the cruise in tow/haul mode if you’re not supposed to use it in the first place. Towing with cruise seems to work ok on flat level roads but any hills and I cancel it before it acts up. This is the first truck I’ve had that acts like this with cc on. Previous ones either worked perfectly or simply lost enough speed on hills to cancel it automatically. At least I don’t tow as much as I used to and this tundra tows great- as long as you don’t use the CC.
     
  18. Jun 11, 2019 at 12:24 PM
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    VTYOTA

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    Sometimes you just want to cruise in beast mode.
     
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  19. Jun 11, 2019 at 1:36 PM
    #19
    Tundyfundy

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    How so? The gears still shift while in S mode.
     
  20. Jun 11, 2019 at 2:26 PM
    #20
    CMB

    CMB New Member

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    Not nearly enough room here!
    The gears will still shift in S mode for sure. If WE choose the gears, they'll be the gears that won't allow all the needless, heat producing, transmission frying shifting. Lugging down the transmission like that under load, with the Torque Converter never getting a chance to lock, will shorten it's life. Transmission Techs will tell you the same thing. Our Tundra's Manual Shift Mode is there for a reason....BUT, it takes a little effort; that's why I look for Toyota to delete it in the coming years!o_O
     
  21. Jun 11, 2019 at 2:33 PM
    #21
    Tundyfundy

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    I believe you are saying S mode is manual shift mode? That is not true. S mode limits the transmission from shifting into a higher gear then selected: for instance if S mode is set to 4, the transmission cycles through 1-4 normally, no need to shift manually. It just won't go into 5. Set it and forget. It's a gear limiter, not a mode for manual shifting. That's why when you turn it on it always goes to 4 or 3, not the gear you are currently in. So if you're in 4 and press the gas hard, it will jump gears down until needed and then function like a regular transmission up until your selected gear. If S mode is in 6, it functions exactly the same as D mode. Is this what you're saying?
     
  22. Jun 11, 2019 at 2:54 PM
    #22
    CMB

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    This is how I use S mode. My speed, load and road conditions dictate the highest gear I choose. Normally, I'll drop down through the gears as speed permits (my 10" BA Exhaust and IPT Valve Body with shift kit makes this procedure more informative:D) When stopped at a light, I choose 3rd gear, sometimes 2nd. Truck shifts through those gears and at that time, I decide when to upshift through at least till 5th. Going around corners at a slow speed, I shift into 2nd,then shift up as needed. Low speed hills, I drop to a gear I know will be low enough to stay 'locked-up' and up-shift as speed allows. On down grades, I choose the lowest gear to maintain a safe speed. My OEM brakes will need replaced at 100,000 miles or so, according to my Mechanic. All this works "for me", we're all different.:thumbsup:
     
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  23. Jun 11, 2019 at 3:11 PM
    #23
    Tundyfundy

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    Nice, I think we're saying the same thing. Please post more info on your truck! Looks awesome! What is that shift kit and valve body doing for you?
     
  24. Jun 11, 2019 at 4:26 PM
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    CMB

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    Thank you Sir! I started out with the 'Spoolin' valve body kit that used Billet Rods as spacers but it slammed into gear as hard when creeping along in traffic, as it did under full throttle. Read about John Lombardo and his Transmission Shop in NJ and contacted him. He was great at explaining his Valve Body upgrades and assured me my truck would "wake-up" as the RPM's increase, just like I was after. Easy to do deal because he sends his kit to you and after install, he gets your old Valve Body. The core charge comes right back in a few days. I normally 'let-up' between the lower gears when just "airing her out" but if I stick with it and keep the pedal down, it'll bark between 2nd and 3rd like F-150 owner's only have wet dreams about!:devil: As far as more info about my heap, my "mod-list" is better than 40 items long!:eek: Yes, I have a problem.:anonymous:
     
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  25. Jun 11, 2019 at 7:40 PM
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    Rica25

    Rica25 Got Bam?

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    My 2008 seems to be fine when in cruise control in up hill travel I wonder if it a third gen ecu new set up
     

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