This article is by Egyptians who are gathering expertise in Fortuners specially its maintenance and modifications for Offroading safaris in deserts.
Toyota Fortuner is a rising star in the offroading scene in Egypt. It inherited the formidable design of the amazing hilux, the reliability of Toyota, the offroading experience of the Land Cruiser and the comfort of the Japanese designs.
Pros and Cons of Fortuners as evidenced in Egyptian Offroading
Egyptian Fortuner has:
- no VSC (aka ESP or ESC)
- has ABS and EBD
- permanent full-time (unlocked) AWD (all wheel drive) 4H and no 2H
- no rear or front diff-lock. only centre diff-lock in transfer case
Toyota Fortuner car is assembled in Egypt since 2013 and comes in 2 models (till 2018):
- with six cylinders (4000 cc )
- with 4 cylinders (2700 cc)
Problem: ABS has no kill-switch which maybe needed in sand dunes driving
We will never recommend it unless you fully understand the risks and pros and be very familiar with proper ways to handle it.
The impact of the ABS on driving in the desert is felt by all offroaders, and must be approached by extreme care.
ABS is a system that has a negative impact when driving in the desert because its sensors senses are usually confused by the continuous sliding in any of the four tires of the car when driving in the desert.
When a 4x4er drives with ABS and attempts to exert some control on speed by applying brakes ever so lightly, the immediate reaction shall be the brake of the four tires to bring the car to a complete stop. On the other hand when we need to press the brakes hard on slow or high speeds while offroading it doesn't allow the brakes to apply itself fully confused by the misleading readings of its sensors designed mainly for onroads and considering only its levels of high traction with tires.
For example on sand dunes and while a Fortuner driver is upon the arrival of the front two tires to the top of the dunes, one presses on the brake pedal, to reduce the car speed and adjust it to the one needed exactly.Then the ABS system works and brake the car in place and prevent it from sliding, and therefore the car can't cross the dunes easily with ABS on.
Therefore it is a must to turn off the ABS system as soon as access to the desert.
That must be done with a very important note.
The activation of ABS system immediately when out of the desert, where the vehicle is fitted with a very powerful engine for its weight and size. Turning off the ABS system on paved roads can lead to serious accidents, as a result of tires sliding. Since their is no special key inside the car to deactivate the ABS system like some SUVs , there is more than one opinion to deactivate the ABS system:
Separate the ABS system fuse
A complicated process and not recommended by Toyota (need reason?!) although used for other cars.
Separate the main plug beside the ABS unit installed on the right side near the car battery.
Toyota don't recommend to separate the main plug for a long time, because this may cause car engine to stop working .
Separate the ABS plug of one of the rear tires.
The most common method and is considered one of easiest. It needs wrench size 10 and is done by lying down under car behind the left rear wheel as in the following picture.
This process cut the ABS system, therefore the computer disconnect the whole ABS system and stops it from interfering.
Please try to plug the open hole and wrap the plug in a clean way to avoid polluting the system.
Separate the front ABS plug fixed on the left side of the radiator
It is easier to reach this plug, instead of the rear tires plug. Taking into consideration, packing and fixing the plug in a safe place to prevent dust and shocks.