200 Series Not going higher than 4th Gear

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 12:35
ThreadID: 96300 Views:16041 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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Just throwing this one out there, but not expecting much as even some experts are apparently stumped.

We are off to Coral Bay on Tuesday and are meeting our friends that are travelling down from Tom Price, where they live. Our friends also have a 200 series. However, speaking to him on the phone last night, they have a problem.

The problem started the day before when they were showing some friends around Karijini. They'd just done the corrigations between Dales and the Eco Restort. (I mentino this because it maybe relevant). They did a bit of walking around etc. then headed for home. Once they got back onto the blacktop the Cruiser wouldn't get above 4th gear. The drive up to 4th gear, power and acceleration etc. is normal. It just won't change up.

They have had it at an auto place in TP and put it on a diagnostic and it is saying there is nothing wrong. Admittedly this machine isn't as advanced apparently as the one's Toyota have. They have had to book it into Broome Toyota for the week after we've been to Coral Bay as they have business there anyway.

However the issue is that they are now going to be travelling in a 200 from TP to Coral Bay, and have a week local driving before then heading up to Broome. They have an option to drive to Karratha which is just over 3 hours from TP for them, on the Friday they are leaving to meet us at Coral Bay. Time wise though, they probably could only afford around 2 hours at the Toyota Dealership. Benno, (my mate) is not keen to waste that time for them NOT to be able to cure the problem.

Has anyone got any ideas, or come across this fault before? If someone has, it maybe helpful as Benno could then possibly ring Karratha Toyota and outline problem/rememdy before he gets there and then be within their time frame.

All help appreciated.

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Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 12:53

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 12:53
hi phil
has anyone looked at the plugs and wiring that go onto the gearbox connections to see if they are all in place and havent been severed or dislodged by some freak happening
eg -sharp piece of stone or a stick
cheers barry
AnswerID: 488616

Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 13:13

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 13:13
Hi Barry.
I don't know if any physical checks were done. All Benno said was about the computer diagnostic.
Just the way he described things, left my gut feeling that something had dislodged. I am not a mechanic so wouldn't know. I just felt its relevant. I've been along those corrigations and it is pretty rough.
Benno is on shift today, so I'll text him later and find out if someone looked at plugs etc.

Cheers for the input.

FollowupID: 763776

Reply By: Racey - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 15:24

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 15:24
Sounds similar to knocking the gear lever into special mode. The default is "normal mode" upto 4th gear. I have known this to happen by accident when being a little brisk with a slight pressure to the right.

AnswerID: 488624

Reply By: George_M - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 15:35

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 15:35
Sounds similar to the issue I had with my 2006 Prado transmission, Phill.

I my case the transmission wouldn't shift higher than 3rd, so I came home on the back of a flat bed trailer.

I never really found out what was wrong. My local dealer sent the transmission to a specialist Toyota transmission repairer, and three weeks later the problem was fixed. The local guy kept talking about a $5 oil seal and cluster gears, but I'm not sure whether he knew what he was talking about. I had no idea.

He did say that I could have driven home - "yuh just had to give it a boot-full to get it to change up". He didn't score highly on his Customer Sat sheet for that comment.

Good luck.


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AnswerID: 488625

Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 18:14

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 18:14
Does it do the same thing in both D and S mode?

AnswerID: 488642

Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 19:08

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 19:08
Hi Wamuranman
I did ask if he tried it in S and yes, was the same.
It is one of my critiscms of the system that if I am driving it manually and select say `6', it won't stay there. I think that is wrong. I was having issues with it changing down at 110 which made a difference of about 400revs. This would happen on the slightest incline and when a vehicle has so much torque, its not neccessary.

Cheers mate
FollowupID: 763799

Follow Up By: Racey - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 09:34

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 09:34
Hi Arsenal Phill, In "S" mode the gear box is not a manual box, it will change up and down limited by the gear you select. There has been a lot of discussion on the LC owners website about the change point and fuel economy. The discussion at the moment is about the use of the power switch being more economical. preliminary testing seems to indicate YES.

FollowupID: 763836

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 10:42

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 10:42
Hi Phill,

Have you had the gearbox software upgrade? It changes the 5 and 6 th shift points when in S mode so it will hold 5th 6th for longer - and 6th as low as 100 kmhr now. Has improved the gearbox notably IMHO.

Its a free upgrade and one that Toyota put out in ~2009 due to the complaints about 6th gear not holding. You have to ask for it, its not just "offered", look up www.LCOOL.org (Land Cruisers Owners Online) and there is a wealth of info on the 200.


FollowupID: 763845

Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 11:17

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 11:17
Thanks to everyone that has given me some input on this one. It sounds as though it could well be an individual problem to Benno's 200. Although bad, its good for me as it worries me as a fellow 200 owner!!!

I will check on the update for gear changing. I would hope mine has been done as I have raiised this issue with Toyota at previous services. Although as we all know, assupmption is the `mother of all..... etc. etc. etc.' She's just had her 60 000 so thats a shame as it would have saved me some time to ask in the week when she was in.

Anyway, thanks all. It looks like Benno is going to have to struggle on. Bloody shame it has happened right on top of our break.

All the best

FollowupID: 763850

Reply By: Axle - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:13

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:13
G/Day Mate, My 100s Toyo 5 speed auto ,will stick in gear ocassionally,won't change up, ..our fix was to just pull over turn off wait a minute,restart and all is good again....will do this a couple of times a year...

cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 488666

Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:26

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:26
Cheers Axle.
They have tried numerous things and have travelled about 60km's with this issue.
I think something has broken or become disconnected.
All the best
FollowupID: 763813

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:51

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 21:51
Hey Phill - Judging by the following website, your mate is in a big club (full of unhappy 200 series owners), and there's nothing wrong with your mates 'Cruiser, that $10,000 won't fix! [:-O


I for one, being a long-time Toyota owner (since 1977), will never buy another Toyota again, because Toyota dropped the "quality" ball sometime in the early 2000's, and have never bothered to pick it up again.
My missus' 2001/2002 Camry is the greatest POS we have ever owned, and I have never owned a Toyota that has had so many parts fall off or break on it.

There's a long story behind the substantial drop in Toyota QC, and their massive increase in warranty claims over the last 8 or 9 yrs.
If I had an hour, I'd explain the history behind it, but it's too long to post here.

Tell your mate that the LC 200 series have a history of problems with not changing into top gear. It was supposed to be that the software on the transmission ECU was originally set up, so that the vehicle had to be doing over 110kmh before it would change up.
They reckon they've done a software upgrade so it will change up at lower speeds, but I understand numbers of people are still having problems.

Don't you just love it when a dealership hasn't got a clue what could be wrong with your new $92,000 vehicle, when it develops a problem?

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 488673

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 07:51

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 07:51
It is not correct to say the LC200 has a long history of not changing into to top gear and in anu case that issue is completely unrelated to the issue raised in this post (stuck in 4th).

It is true the first release models would not change into 6th gear until over 100kph (programmed for Europe, middle East etc) but that was a simple software upgrade necessary for Australia's lower speed limits. The update model 2010+ had this reprogramming already done so there has been no problem with this issue ever since to my knowledge.

Last night I did a search on the LCOOL (the largest worldwide forum for Lamdcuisers) website forum for the 4th gear problem outlined by Phill. Out of the 1000,s of threads I could not find one that related to an LC200 stuck in 4th gear. So I would suggest it is a very rare problem - and as Phill said maybe the result of something coming off or breaking due to the rough roads recently used.

If it is very rare that this happens ...it is reasonable that Toyota doesn't know much about how to fix it. I would be more concerned if Toyota did know immediately how to fix it ... it would mean it was a common problem and could happen again to any LC200.

FollowupID: 763830

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 11:09

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 11:09
Here is another armchair "expert" about the 200, a vehicle he doesn't own nor a member of the worlds largest forum of Landcruiser Owners - LCOOL (Land Cruisers Owners Online - www.lcool.org).

A history of not changing into top gear - rubbish. Fact is, it was programmed for certain conditions, mainly emission requirements. It would ALWAYS get into top gear, just that originally you needed to be doing ~120 km/hr to hold properly. A SOFTWARE update now means it holds at 100 km/hr.

There is not one single report on LCOOL of a 200 not being able to change up from 4th gear. Interestingly, when in low range, the 200 will not go higher than 4th gear (its programming). Could be as simple as the ECU thinking it is still in low hence limiting the upshift. Point being, it may simply be a dirty connector giving a false signal causing the problem. Or it could be a failed transmission, now that would make it the first reported transmission failure on LCOOL - hardly a common issue!

As for Toyota dropping the quality ball, do you suggest one buys a Nissan instead? Been there done that and I know from experience which manufacturer backs up there product better (had a 3.0TD GU).

Australia has always been full of people ready to knock off the tall poppys, not sure if that is just culture, jealousy or personality trait. There is always someone ready to take a swipe at reputations without any facts to support it (your previous "indian" post comes to mind!). Internet forums are easy places to anonymously assassinate reputations, why use facts when rumour and inuendo are far more effective!


FollowupID: 763848

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 16:39

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 16:39
Spot on Captain!
FollowupID: 763867

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 17:34

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 17:34
Wamuranman - So - because the Toyota 200 series is so good, a bloke puts up a complete website (which Toyota have not insisted on taking down) - which promptly fills with literally hundreds of reports of major problems, from dozens and dozens of owners - some of whom speak of class action against Toyota, for producing a less-than-satisfactory product?

There were a substantial number of people who reported problems with Toyota QC in America, too - and Toyota refused to acknowledge any problems, until a class action was mounted.
Toyota then buckled and admitted - yes, there was a number of problems that should have been addressed.

What about the record that speaks loudly for sub-standard Toyota QC, when worldwide warranty claims against Toyota jumped from 200,000 in 1999, to over 1.9 MILLION by 2004??
Toyota formed a whole new dept just to deal with warranty complaints, due entirely to the massive increase in warranty claims.
My last Landcruiser was a HDJ80 and I have refused to buy any Landcruiser wagon since, because they have "lost the plot". One can go a long way on a reputation built 20 yrs ago. I have purchased over 50 new Landcruisers, Hiluxes, & Camrys personally for my business operations in my lifetime. Get some Toyotas up.

Why do so many websites with owner reviews, complain about Toyota problems? V6 engines in RAV's and Hiluxes blowing up within 400kms of leaving the factory? Large numbers of Camry engines seizing because the too-narrow oilways blocked up? What about the 200 series steering vibration, the injector problems, the driveline clunk problems, the starter corrosion problems, the dust ingress problems, the alternator problems? What about the exhaust restriction problems of the V8 diesels?

Why does a $92000 vehicle need a transmission ECU upgrade? Because they didn't do enough testing? Sure sounds like it to me.
A mate has just had the brakes fail on his near-new Lexus. Why? Because the lousy, improperly-tested design, has wedges behind the disc pads that vibrate and fall out! He put his foot on the brake, and the car wouldn't stop because the pads never contacted the discs any more!

I'm sorry, you may be a mouthpiece for Toyota or a repeat sucker buyer, but I can assure you the groundswell of anger against the substantial lowering of Toyota quality is rising.
The simple fact is that Toyota has been chasing company growth, not quality, in the last 12 years - and it has cut costs ruthlessly.

Few people know that Toyota sought - and achieved - a $3000 cut in build cost of the Camry in the late 1990's - and it shows, even 12 years later.
Why did Toyota report the companys first loss in 59 yrs in 2009? - a staggering US$4.4 BILLION!
Was it due to falling sales, or major increases in warranty claim costs, or a rise in recall costs? - or all three??

No, I'm not a Nissan owner, and no, I'm not another Brand X seller. But I do have substantial personal experience of seeing the Toyota problems up front, as an owner, and in the workshops - unlike some people who never even pick up a spanner - and who consider anyone who cannot afford a 200 series, as a lesser mortal of no consequence.



Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 763869

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 19:02

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 19:02
You need to get a life Ron.
FollowupID: 764186

Reply By: Zebra400 - Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 08:05

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 at 08:05
One of our club members had this same issue with his 100 series when he was outback last year. He went to many repair places and nobody could find the rott of the problem. He spent many $1000's of dollars on supposed fixes only to find the problem re-occurred.

I cant remember what the final fix was, but he is out again this year in the Simpson and nit having any issues so far.

When I speak to him, I will let you know what his issue was. I know you have a 200 series, but it sounds like a similar problem.
AnswerID: 488691

Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 08:16

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 08:16
Well gentleman, I am surprised that everyone is getting so worked up about a mechanical issue. There isn't a manufacturer in the world that doesn't have problems.

To me, my Cruiser is a tool and it is judged as such. I don't see the point of getting so defensive on the one hand, or aggessive on the other (depending on point of view), as if someone was having a dig at one of my family. It is a bit unnecessary.

I know 5 other people with 200's and apart from Benno, they are all happy with them. That's not to say that Benno is unhappy with his. Its just bad timing and is also under warranty. To him it's just one of those things. I have a couple of things that I ain't happy about with mine, the sat nav's inability to take 4WD maps and the voice recognition on the phone, but that's another story. On the whole though, I am pleased. Although, non-scratch paint would be an excellent idea and addition!!! LOL

Thanks again to all for the input



AnswerID: 488790

Reply By: laira s - Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 18:19

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 18:19
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Advertising/Self-Promotion Rule .

Forum Moderation Team
AnswerID: 489035

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 19:01

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 19:01
I am not sure how your friend expects Toyota to fix it when he wont give it to them for long. He has to help himself too.

Anyway has he tried disconnecting the battery for 1 minute and reconnecting it in case the ECU has screwed up?
AnswerID: 489037

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