The Toyota 4The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most popular models from the Japanese automaker, especially among 4×4 and off-road enthusiasts.
Newer 4Runners also come with a variety of fancy electronic systems that bring driver assistance features that make driving them safer and easier. If you’ve never heard of Toyota 4Runner DAC, it’s a special feature that provides assistance when navigating steep slopes. It stands for Downhill Assist Control, and it could potentially get you out of a jam.
A DAC 4Runner can handle treacherous conditions like steep slopes and icy roadways better.
What Does DAC Stand For On the Toyota 4Runnner?
The Toyota 4Runner Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is a feature on 4th Generation Toyota 4Runner models and beyond. The Downhill Assist Control in 4Runner SUVs comes as part of the Active Traction Control features working with the anti-lock braking system that includes other driving modes like HAC (Hill Start Assist Control) and CRAWL Control.
What Does the DAC Do?
So, how does the DAC Toyota 4Runner feature work exactly? When a driver engages DAC (through simple button-press) a green icon lights up to verify the function is active and working. The DAC system works together with the Active Traction Control System in combination with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) – keeping the vehicle’s speed at 15 mph or lower.
Driving downhill, when a driver is descending a steep grade, the 4Runner brakes are automatically depressed to stop a wheel slip and deliver more torque to the wheels.
Which Model Years and Trims Have the DAC?
The DAC system has been included as a standard feature of the Toyota 4Runner since the 4th Generation and beyond. The 4th generation made its debut in the Toyota lineup in 2003, and the manufacturer stuck with this feature until the 2019 model year, when the multi-terrain selector knob became the primary mode of control.
In 2020, Toyota decided to do away with the DAC feature, opting to keep the CRAWL control instead – which is essentially the same, only with more speed control.
Should You Switch DAC On or Off?
If you’re going down a steep downgrade, it helps to use the DAC driving mode. However, if you’re not in driving conditions meant for this feature, it could actually do more harm than good. DAC is only available for use if the 4Runner is in 4L driving mode.
How to Enable and Disable DAC On the Toyota 4Runner?
Turning on the Downhill Assist Control function is quite simple:
- At the top of a hill before you begin your descent, make sure your 4Runner is in 4L.
- Depress the DAC button to the left of the steering wheel. You’ll see the DAC light turn on on your dash.
- Your speed will remain below 15 MPH to prevent the wheels from locking up.
- Don’t use your brakes while the DAC feature is activated, as all the braking is done for you. Engaging the anti-lock braking system will deactivate this feature.
You’ll know the feature is working during a downhill grade when the Green DAC icon illuminates on your instrument panel.
The 4Runner and 4×4 Domination
Regardless of the years the Downhill Assist Control feature was available, the 4Runner has always been a great example of solid off-road performance. Since the 4th Generation, the 4Runner has included some of the industry’s most impressive 4×4 technology features, only getting better as this model continued to evolve.