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In dash "D"rive light indicator problem.

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by 4Runner4everandaday, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Apr 12, 2021 at 12:53 AM
    #1
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    A few years ago I went to a Toyota dealership and they noticed that when you shift between gears, all of the positions light up in my dash display EXCEPT the "D" (drive position). They told me that I had a bad bulb in the dash. I told them okay, go ahead and replace the bulb and while you are in there replace all of my dash bulbs since the SUV is 20 years old and the bulbs could go at any time. I don't want to tell you what they charged to replace the bulbs. So after I pay them, I get in my car to drive home and THE "D" IS STILL NOT LIGHTING UP WHEN I PUT IT IN DRIVE! Of course I was irate and immediately called the dealership when I got home and gave them a piece of my mind. They claim that they will find the problem and not charge me further when I bring it back in. We will see if they are good to their word. My question is what could be causing only one of the 5 or so slots to not light up. I mean "R", "N", "1" light up but not "D". To me it seems that only one light would light up all of them and that some sort of physical cover makes sure that only one will show lit up at one time as you shift through the gears, but I don't know how this stuff works. Can anyone explain the mechanism and what could be wrong that causes the "D" position to stay dark? It sure seems like a dealership would know this and not tell me it is a light if it isn't.
     
  2. Apr 12, 2021 at 4:33 AM
    #2
    DGP1961

    DGP1961 New Member

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    I'd guess and I could be wrong if it's a cluster of an issue their not going to fix it for nothing. The mechanic certainly should of noticed the D not lighting up when he completed the job but I can't see them covering taking the whole dash apart to chase a ghost of a problem. Perhaps I'm wrong but let us know how you make out.
     
  3. Apr 12, 2021 at 12:30 PM
    #3
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    OREGON
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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    From what I can see on the wiring diagram in the FSM, there's a switch that selects what light should be lit. They call it the Park/Neutral Position Switch. It applies power to the correct bulb when the shifter is in that light's position. You can see it on the wiring diagram below:
    I suspect that your trouble may be the switch, or the wire going to the Drive light. Maybe a plug somewhere along the wire's routing. I strongly suspect the switch, though. Hope this is a little help.
    ScreenHunter_2968 Apr. 12 12.13.jpg

    PS: It looks to me like that Park/Neutral switch is on the shifter itself. You might be able to open it up and clean it out? A possibility.
    Pat☺
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  4. Apr 12, 2021 at 12:31 PM
    #4
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    The problem is THEY are the one that noticed the problem. THEY were the one that specifically told me there was a bulb out. THEY were the one that charged me over $300 to tear it down and replace "all " the bulbs to fix that specific problem. THEY were the ones that handed it back without fixing the problem. I spent the money for nothing and only did it because they told me that would fix it. We will see but what I am trying to understand is how the mechanisms work to try to understand all the things that could cause something like this because obviously the dealer didn't think of all the possibilities.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2021 at 12:32 PM
    #5
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    Thanks Phantom. That is the kind of information I need.
     
  6. Apr 12, 2021 at 1:55 PM
    #6
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    Phantom, all other positions other than "D" light up appropriately. Do you think this means the wire leading from the switch to "D"
     
  7. Apr 12, 2021 at 1:56 PM
    #7
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    Phantom one more question. I see you own a 1987 4runner. Can you confirm that wire diagram you provided is for a 3rd Gen 4runner? Mine is a 2001.
     
  8. Apr 12, 2021 at 4:52 PM
    #8
    Trekker

    Trekker Regular Member

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    The diagram mentions ECT PWR, I don't think first gen 4runners had that
     
  9. Apr 12, 2021 at 8:40 PM
    #9
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    That diagram is so helpful. At least now I can talk with the mechanic in a reasonably intelligent manner.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2021 at 12:12 PM
    #10
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    Yes, I CAN confirm that it's for a 3rd gen 4Runner. I've got FSMs for many years of trucks, in PDF format, picked up online. This site, YotaTech, etc etc.

    Yes, it COULD be the wire going to the gauge cluster to light the light. More likely, IMHO, for what that's worth, it's more likely the switch contacts. A little dirt, or corrosion, etc., can do a lot of harm. You might mention it to the stealership. Obviously, whoever worked on it wasn't all that familiar with the older trucks, lazy enough to not bother checking the switch, whatever. A lot of the time, these trucks are older than the mechs assigned to work on them. Sometimes by double. Think about it. :D

    Glad this was a little help :D
    Pat☺
     
  11. Apr 13, 2021 at 6:08 PM
    #11
    brownersd

    brownersd You are the weakest link, buh-bye!

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    Second, on the neutral switch... The position contact is probably worn. Test it this way... When in drive, play with the gear shift a bit and see if it turns on....

    Wait, that didn't come out right...

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
  12. Apr 14, 2021 at 12:50 PM
    #12
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    Hey, what someone does in the privacy of their truck is their business. I don't judge. As the current saying goes, you do you.
    :facepalm:

    Each to their own, after all. Just watch out for pervy truckers that can, and do, look down into your truck! :wave:
    Pat☺
     
    brownersd likes this.
  13. Apr 17, 2021 at 3:30 PM
    #13
    4Runner4everandaday

    4Runner4everandaday [OP] New Member

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    I will try these things. I know it is a "stealership" but I am pretty sure they are going to fix this free of charge since they told me the wrong diagnosis before. They will charge me for parts only is what I am hoping.
     

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