1. Welcome to 4Runners.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all 4Runner discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other 4Runner owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

How and when do you use S mode?

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by toys4all, May 19, 2021.

  1. May 20, 2021 at 5:32 AM
    #31
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Member:
    #9314
    Messages:
    5,927
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    S/E Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2019 TRDORP, KDSS, MGM
    RSG sliders, Yakima offgrid basket, Pro-Comp wheels, SOS Streamline bumper and skids, Warn VR EVO10S winch + Ultimate Sidewinder, Bilstein 6112 + 5100 + rear lift coils, Rigid Dually SS ditch lights w/Caliraised brackets and OEM style dash switch
    I do agree that a regear would be nice for off-road use. I am still happy with the stock gears, otherwise, even on 295's.

    I would love to go to 4.10's but there's not a lot of options there. 4.56 seems excessive to me, and might suck on the freeway. I might just regear when the 4runner is no longer my primary vehicle, though.
     
    4Runner fun, SlvrSlug and DRobs like this.
  2. May 20, 2021 at 7:04 AM
    #32
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Member:
    #8335
    Messages:
    1,000
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Missouri Ozarks
    Vehicle:
    2019 Toyota 4Runner OR - MGM
    Pinstripes, lots of em.
    SlvrSlug and Thatbassguy like this.
  3. May 20, 2021 at 7:44 AM
    #33
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    1,770
    Gender:
    Male
    Lexington, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    '19 ORP
    Assholes call travel "overlanding"
    The ECU learns your patterns and if you routinely drop into S and then immediately drop into 3, after a bit the transmission will drop from D directly into 3 when you go into S mode....

    just to add some more confusion to the conversation!

    I use S all the time off road or on dirt roads to keep the revs where I want them. I use it to keep the truck in 4 when I'm on road on an uphill and using CC (you can shift without CC turning off). I use it to control speed on downhills. I use 4 when towing.
     
  4. May 20, 2021 at 8:09 AM
    #34
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Member:
    #6172
    Messages:
    5,407
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    John
    San Diego, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2017 4-Runner SR-5 P. Kings, Built Right uca’s, Durabumps, RSG sliders
    Slightly modded
    This is pretty much my use also, except i do not tow much at all.
     
  5. May 20, 2021 at 8:18 AM
    #35
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,967
    New Mexico
    So you could be doing 45mph in D (OD 5th gear), bump it over to S4, but it’ll actually downshift to 3rd gear and then back up to 4th after it smooths out?
     
  6. May 20, 2021 at 8:24 AM
    #36
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,967
    New Mexico
    I believe you’re correct- the truck will automatically override your S-selection if you go beyond its tolerance. That said, the tolerance is a lot higher RPM than you’d expect (ie. You’re gonna want to stop doing what you’re doing before the truck does it automatically).

    I’ve accidentally bumped it into S3 while going pretty fast and was amazed it let me do it. It was quite a jolt- enough that I thought it could have damaged something. But it didn’t. I’ve also bumped it over to S3 and had it beep at me and it wouldn’t make the downshift because it was beyond its tolerance.
     
    toys4all [OP] and 4Runner fun like this.
  7. May 20, 2021 at 8:45 AM
    #37
    koukimonster

    koukimonster DYNO4

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2020
    Member:
    #15907
    Messages:
    840
    Appalachia
    Vehicle:
    Midnight Venture
    Bigger A/T LT Tires, Slight Lift, Sliders, Rack, Lights, etc.
    S stands for Select. You are selecting the range in which you prefer the transmission to operate within. It sets a maximum high gear.

    It is confusing, though, because one could easily think "select" as in "I am selecting a gear" .. but you are selecting a range.

    That's probably where the OP's confusion came from. I suffered from the same when I bought my 4Runner. I quickly noticed that the computer would definitely over-ride what I thought was a gear selection and downshift for me.. which is when I figured out what S mode was, and what it wasn't. A sequential manual gearbox will allow you to select a gear, but that is a different animal. Even those, though, typically have safeties built in to help reduce catastrophic failure. Run with enough testosterone induced sports car guys, or on a race team, for enough years and you'll eventually see a manual tranmission blow up due to a miss shift. It happens.

    It doesn't really make it any more sporty, but I do have a feeling that the transmission does "hold onto" gears a bit more under the S mode tune. I could definitely be wrong there.

    I never use S mode. I don't tow. My 4Runner doesn't really search for gears on the interstate... unless my fiance is driving... because her right foot isn't quite "calibrated" enough to sense what the truck is going to do and react. But yes, the 4Runner does like to downshift upon slight inclines when traveling over about 60 MPH.. I just let the truck slow down until I get over the hill... fiance likes to maintain speed. My 4Runner only "searches" for gear in a way that annoys me by constantly wanting to get into 3rd+ no matter what. I really think it should hold 2nd gear longer, basically always, but what can ya do. Using Select mode wouldn't help me there because I'm not about to constantly bump it from 2 to 5 while driving around. Fortunately the gear search is pretty rare, only when I'm moving around 10-20 MPH then start up an incline.. it's always caught off guard. Being so heavy, I really wish the transmission shift points were designed a little more "sporty" and less fuel economy targeted.

    Are we sure that 4LO uses all 5 gears? I don't use 4LO much.. but I thought I read in the manual that it limits what gear you can be in. I could be totally wrong. I know that the rear locking differential can only be engaged in 4LO... I'd be surprised if Toyota's nannies would allow us to use the rear locking differential at high speeds.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
    toys4all [OP] likes this.
  8. May 20, 2021 at 8:47 AM
    #38
    koukimonster

    koukimonster DYNO4

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2020
    Member:
    #15907
    Messages:
    840
    Appalachia
    Vehicle:
    Midnight Venture
    Bigger A/T LT Tires, Slight Lift, Sliders, Rack, Lights, etc.
    I feel where you are coming from. But the reason is simple and obvious. These S modes are just marketing to make silly people with no driving skill think they're a bad ass in a sports car. And it works. It sells cars. But if you're actually a good driver, do your homework and buy a good transmission, preferably a manual one, if you can still find one. The effort will be incomprehensibly rewarded if you are a true gear head. :)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  9. May 20, 2021 at 8:59 AM
    #39
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    1,770
    Gender:
    Male
    Lexington, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    '19 ORP
    Assholes call travel "overlanding"
    No, it'll just go into 3 and hold.

    When you are going into S, you aren't going into S4, you are going into S. 4 is the default but the ECU can change that up based on your driving pattern.
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  10. May 20, 2021 at 9:13 AM
    #40
    koukimonster

    koukimonster DYNO4

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2020
    Member:
    #15907
    Messages:
    840
    Appalachia
    Vehicle:
    Midnight Venture
    Bigger A/T LT Tires, Slight Lift, Sliders, Rack, Lights, etc.
    ^ Correct. However, I think in this scenario, it would actually just downshift to S4, not S3. Why would it go to S3? I think if the transmission is in 5 under D, you're pretty much always going to get 4 under S when you switch over.
     
  11. May 20, 2021 at 10:13 AM
    #41
    4Runner fun

    4Runner fun Just the beginning...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Member:
    #9220
    Messages:
    2,579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Nebraska
    Vehicle:
    2019 Black T4R TRD Off Road Premium
    Wrangler Duratracs, center console organizer & trav all 1576 dog divider for the rear. Xpel wrap with ceramic coating. 20% tint on front windows. TRD intake. TRD oil cap Plus parts on shelf & a wish list.
    I am fully aware how a torque converter works as we had to have one built for our Ram 12v cummins. I was just interested in how it works in the 4Runner.
    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  12. May 20, 2021 at 10:16 AM
    #42
    4Runner fun

    4Runner fun Just the beginning...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Member:
    #9220
    Messages:
    2,579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Nebraska
    Vehicle:
    2019 Black T4R TRD Off Road Premium
    Wrangler Duratracs, center console organizer & trav all 1576 dog divider for the rear. Xpel wrap with ceramic coating. 20% tint on front windows. TRD intake. TRD oil cap Plus parts on shelf & a wish list.
    I went back & reread it again. I believe I was just confused for a second. I appreciate your help as always.
    Ryan
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  13. May 20, 2021 at 10:33 AM
    #43
    toys4all

    toys4all [OP] Toyota Family

    Joined:
    May 8, 2021
    Member:
    #21349
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jeff
    Vehicle:
    2020 4Runner
    I’m only joking buddy! Okay bad joke. I love your input. It has helped me so much.
     
    Thatbassguy and 4Runner fun like this.
  14. May 20, 2021 at 11:02 AM
    #44
    toys4all

    toys4all [OP] Toyota Family

    Joined:
    May 8, 2021
    Member:
    #21349
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jeff
    Vehicle:
    2020 4Runner
    Yes, this is exactly right. This is where my confusion came from, even though one of the first replies said to think of S as sequential. Meaning a range. The top of the range being whatever is displayed in S mode.
    I needed to stop thinking in terms of a manual where you select a gear, but rather a range of gears. Gives driver so much more control over transmission. Letting driver decide what’s best for the condition at any particular moment.
    Thank you all yet again for dispelling myths and clearly walking me through this.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
    4Runner fun likes this.
  15. May 20, 2021 at 11:18 AM
    #45
    Moon Landing

    Moon Landing AFFTC 1967/68 Eddies Air Patch

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2021
    Member:
    #19563
    Messages:
    1,972
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jer
    La Quinta, Ca. AKA "The Skillet"
    Vehicle:
    Moon Rock 4Runner
    Nam 68/69
    Normal driving - 99% of downshifts(not upshifts) are done manually. Towing or climbing with load(trailer or otherwise) used as an override to anything the trans would do automatically(up or down shifting).
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  16. May 20, 2021 at 11:31 AM
    #46
    toys4all

    toys4all [OP] Toyota Family

    Joined:
    May 8, 2021
    Member:
    #21349
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jeff
    Vehicle:
    2020 4Runner
    I like this explanation as well. Puts control in the drivers hand. For example: 70mph flat smooth roadway. Then you come to a hill. In D mode vehicle will loose speed until transmission decides to downshift. With S mode same scenario, I can prepare before hitting hill not lose any momentum. Whereas my wife will loose momentum, and keep mashing the peddle farther and farther down until auto trans responds.
    And down shift I understand. S mode uses vehicle to slow (like a jake brake) instead of 100% brake pedal.
    You all have helped me answer the question. Thank you all so much.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
    Thatbassguy and 4Runner fun like this.
  17. May 20, 2021 at 11:54 AM
    #47
    toys4all

    toys4all [OP] Toyota Family

    Joined:
    May 8, 2021
    Member:
    #21349
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jeff
    Vehicle:
    2020 4Runner
    TRUTH BOMB right here!
    Ever since I was a kid and the advent and popularly of auto trans came along, I figured it was for the softies who don’t want to “feel” (experience) driving.
    As an adult requiring a family SUV or van type, auto trans was all you had. Now a decade or two later I have an auto trans AND A MANUAL (?) didn’t quite make sense to me. Until now.
     
    4Runner fun likes this.
  18. May 20, 2021 at 2:59 PM
    #48
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2020
    Member:
    #15483
    Messages:
    996
    Vehicle:
    2020 4Runner Limited
    OEM LED foglights
    My last car was a WRX. Manual. The one prior was a M235i. Manual. The one before that was a GTI. Manual. The first new car I bought as a young man was a Civic. Manual. Two of my favorites cars as a kid were my dad’s Supra and MGB. Both manuals. One of my favorite cars in my household over the last 10 years was a BRZ. Manual.

    I think I get it.
     
    Thatbassguy and toys4all [OP] like this.
  19. May 20, 2021 at 5:18 PM
    #49
    JSSRVLZ

    JSSRVLZ -Red Hot-

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2021
    Member:
    #20658
    Messages:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    Knoxville Tn
    Vehicle:
    04 4 runner 4.0 sr5 4wd
    Of I put my 04 in 3rd gear by the hand selector. It seems to do sequential. It will do 1st 2nd then 3rd and no more.
     
    toys4all [OP] likes this.
  20. May 20, 2021 at 6:28 PM
    #50
    4Runner fun

    4Runner fun Just the beginning...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Member:
    #9220
    Messages:
    2,579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Nebraska
    Vehicle:
    2019 Black T4R TRD Off Road Premium
    Wrangler Duratracs, center console organizer & trav all 1576 dog divider for the rear. Xpel wrap with ceramic coating. 20% tint on front windows. TRD intake. TRD oil cap Plus parts on shelf & a wish list.
    https://youtu.be/JteXnrxPQJo

    Nothing about S mode but a great video of the transmission in our vehicles. Started in 2003! I am never selling our 5th gen. Unless they keep it for the 6th which is highly unlikely... even then the '19's were the last dinosaur of 4runner's.
    Ryan
     
  21. May 20, 2021 at 9:36 PM
    #51
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,967
    New Mexico
    Ah… so if you’re in D and the trans is in 1, 2, or 3 because that’s where it wants to be owing to the ecu map, then it’ll stay in that respective gear when you go to S-mode (ie. it won’t automatically move into 4 even though it says S4). Is that what you meant? That’s how I understand the system to work. I think I misunderstood you the first time.

    Any time I’m in 5th gear in D and bump it over into S mode, it automatically drops a gear (4th). Do you think if you were going fast enough in D, would the ecu override the automatic shift into 4th when you bumped it into S mode?
     
  22. May 21, 2021 at 12:37 AM
    #52
    fixer5000

    fixer5000 the logical one

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Member:
    #5067
    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    steve
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2018 limited in nautical blue with redwood leather
    no plans
    i run mine is s mode all the time. shift to drive and pull it over and bump it up to s5. gets rid of that stupid eco bar!! wanna shift from there go for it
     
  23. May 21, 2021 at 7:19 AM
    #53
    koukimonster

    koukimonster DYNO4

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2020
    Member:
    #15907
    Messages:
    840
    Appalachia
    Vehicle:
    Midnight Venture
    Bigger A/T LT Tires, Slight Lift, Sliders, Rack, Lights, etc.
    Then why'd you ask?

    Wasn't an attack at you, bruh. Just sharing in your observations. Don't be too sensitive.

    I think the reason "manumatics" can't act the same is because the nature of the automatic transmission, torque converters, etc.. don't allow them to act the same. They aren't designed to bog and bounce.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  24. May 21, 2021 at 8:26 AM
    #54
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    1,770
    Gender:
    Male
    Lexington, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    '19 ORP
    Assholes call travel "overlanding"
    Well I am trying to not get to ensnared in this conversation about how to shift gears but since you asked me specifically:

    Not exactly.

    The ECU learns your habits. For example, when I shift from D to S, I often then immediately kick it down from the default S4 to S3. The ECU has learned this and under certain circumstances when I shift into S now, it goes directly into S3 and shows '3' in the display.

    The reason it does this is, again, ECU learning your habits. However, the ECU can also interpret speed, angle, and some other data that I'm probably not even aware of in making the determination to do this. As a specific example, I live on a bluff and the road up is fairly steep. I have a few miles of flat road from my house to the top of the bluff road leading down, and I'm in D for that. When I get to the road down, the speed limit is 45 dropping to 35 at the bottom, so as to not ride my brakes I drop into S mode. There is no stop at the top of the hill so generally by the time I reach the top of the hill from my house I'm doing 45, 55 mph. I begin descent and drop into S (S4 by default), then drop it right into S3 as this holds me at 45-ish quite nicely. After a few months of doing this, I noticed that when I would go from D to S at the top of the hill just beginning descent, the transmission would go into S3 right away. On similar roads (incline, speed) when I go into S it also goes into S3. However, on dis-similar roads (flat, higher speed, or going uphill, etc) it goes into S4 when I shift into S.

    To answer your last question, no. If you are in 5th gear in D, and you shift to S, you will never get S5 automatically. You will generally get S4 unless you have a learned situation like what I describe above and the truck knows you want S3.

    I don't think you can learn S2 or S1, or at least I've never seen it. S4 compared to S3 is like 500 RPM difference so it's really not ever going to be an issue. S2 or S1 could be problematic if the truck goes into those at higher speed.
     
  25. May 21, 2021 at 9:01 AM
    #55
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,967
    New Mexico
    Very Interesting.

    There’s a chart around here somewhere. I think the torque converter is disabled in S3 and S4 (or ~something like that).
     
  26. May 27, 2021 at 1:50 PM
    #56
    N6WRV

    N6WRV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Member:
    #12048
    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    Paso Robles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2015 4Runner Limited 4WD with X-REAS
    37qt ARB fridge wired directly to battery with ARB Wiring Kit.

    S mode saves me from riding my brakes on steep and curvy downhill grades.
     
  27. May 27, 2021 at 4:09 PM
    #57
    LandCruiser

    LandCruiser Rusting away

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2021
    Member:
    #20965
    Messages:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    CCC
    Vehicle:
    A 4Runner
    The only time I use it is for engine braking when driving in the mountains as not to overheat the brakes.

    And before somebody starts screaming and moaning about me wearing out my transmission, I’ve been doing it for eight years and it’s just fine.
     
  28. May 27, 2021 at 4:35 PM
    #58
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Member:
    #9314
    Messages:
    5,927
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    S/E Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2019 TRDORP, KDSS, MGM
    RSG sliders, Yakima offgrid basket, Pro-Comp wheels, SOS Streamline bumper and skids, Warn VR EVO10S winch + Ultimate Sidewinder, Bilstein 6112 + 5100 + rear lift coils, Rigid Dually SS ditch lights w/Caliraised brackets and OEM style dash switch
    I've been doing the same for 2+ years and 55K+ miles with no issues. It's good to hear a long term endorsement! The manual states to use S mode for engine braking while towing, so it better be OK.
     
  29. May 27, 2021 at 4:46 PM
    #59
    LandCruiser

    LandCruiser Rusting away

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2021
    Member:
    #20965
    Messages:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    CCC
    Vehicle:
    A 4Runner
    I do a lot of mountain driving and overheating the brakes is a concern of mine, the last thing you want is for your brakes to fade on you while going downhill.

    I have driven behind cars were you could literally smell the brake fluid cooking off.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  30. May 27, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    #60
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Member:
    #9314
    Messages:
    5,927
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    S/E Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2019 TRDORP, KDSS, MGM
    RSG sliders, Yakima offgrid basket, Pro-Comp wheels, SOS Streamline bumper and skids, Warn VR EVO10S winch + Ultimate Sidewinder, Bilstein 6112 + 5100 + rear lift coils, Rigid Dually SS ditch lights w/Caliraised brackets and OEM style dash switch
    It's definitely a good idea! I drive through Tennessee and Georgia on 24 and 75 twice a year and have really been loving the option to engine brake. I use it all the time, even around town. But those mountains are where it really makes a difference! I'm still on the stock pads and rotors.
     
    LandCruiser likes this.

Products Discussed in

To Top