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Toyota 4Runner Vibrations



  • Have a shop drop the drive shaft and do a thorough inspection of the U-joints and check the balance of the drive shaft. Mine turned out to be One bad u-joint.
  • I agree on this one - rotors are notorious for warping easily on the 4Runner. When you brake and they heat up, get water on them, there is rapid cooling in one area of the rotor than others. This difference in cooling in different areas of the rotor can occur. I wouldn't be too sure what the phase diagram would look like for the material that the rotor is made of, but I would imagine it be similar to most steel. But I would imagine that because of rapid heating, rapid cooling in some part and slower cooling in other parts of the rotor would create the formation of defects in the metal structure. Over time this leads to warping. I'm only basing this on a single material science class I took.

    Doing a brake job and having the rotors turned has cleared the issue for me from my experience. Just recently I completely change the rotors (bought a good open market brand instead of Toyota) and then had a tire change (1998 4Runner Limited). Between the new rotors and new tires my vibration went away. My Wife's 2003 4Runner is showing the same issue and I plan on doing the brakes on it too.

    It was a Toyota salvage yard in Colorado Springs (deals in Subaru's and Toyota's only) who alluded me to the rotor warping issue. And each time it's happen, I had the rotors turned and resolved the issue.
  • amech52amech52 Posts: 1
    Have a 2000 4Runner 4cyl -Non ABS Automatic transmission 2WD. Have a vibration above 55MPH. U joints replced/All 4 Tires are Brand New Michellins/Rear wheel bearings replaced and still vibrate at speeds above 55MPH. Rebalanced tires (COSTCO) and all is fine but no joy on the vibration problem ....All experts invited for corrective action
  • nrwinsnrwins Posts: 1
    Just found this post and am glad to see I am not alone with this problem. I have a 2008 4Runner Limited V8 4WD and it vibrates at 65 MPH. I first took it to a tire place where the balance the tires twice to no avail. I then took it to my local dealer in Atlanta where they balance it twice with no help. After I wrote a blog on a Toyota site the dealer contacted me to try and resolve the problem and ended up replacing the Bridgestone tires with Yokahama tires (at 16k miles under warranty). The new tires are much better but it still vibrates. The vibration range is 65 to 75 MPH. If I would have know about all the people with these vibration problems there is no way I would have spent close to 40K on this vehicle. Missing my Trailblazer.
  • iwant12iwant12 Posts: 269
    I had an '03 SR5 2WD (V8) with 16" wheels that developed bad vibration problems, never could figure it out. It was very frustrating. I now have an '07 Sport (V6) 2WD with 17" wheels with 34K on the clock and no vibration whatsoever. It's like a totally different animal compared to the '03. Hope you figure it out.
  • 4runners4runners Posts: 6
    The design concept for older model and new are not that much different, but for new vehicle, everything is torgue to spec when it comes out of the factory, but after a while it get loosen up and required re-tighten thing up or you may brought your vehicle in to a local shop for service and the machanic take parts out and do not put them back in at correct torgue or spec. which can cause problem like you mention. What you need to do is check your engine mounts and make sure that they are not damaged. I think the main cause is the needle bearing on your wheel hub is not tighten to spec and it causes vibration. You need to re-tighten the nuts that hold the bearing in place. See attached for instruction.

    Sorry, I figure how to attach the image file, but you can also it in the Chilton's Repair Manual under wheel bearing.
    good luck
  • Mike,

    I am having a vibration issue with my 94 4Runner. The car idles file but when I accelerate I get a vibration through out the car. The vibration stops when I take my foot off of the peddle. I had front end work 4 months ago and all went well with that. I had plugs replaced a month ago and all went well with that. I have 2 new tires on the back but older tires on the front. Besides that I can not think of anything that would be causing this vibration. Did you ever get a good solution? I ask because I have heard everything from tire rotations, to U joints, to engine mounts, but I have not seen any good solutions. Please help
  • 1. what was done to the front end?
    2. At what speed does it vibrate? or it just vibrates when you step on the gas.
    3. Check you timing or your timing belt and see if it is loose or damage.
    4. I don't know the design of the engine, but if it is possible, remove the timing cover and turn on the engine then check if the belt is loose or deflect at amount. It should not deflect much. Sometime the belt tensioner came loose or the bolt broke off and it cause engine vibration or not run smoothly. I have seen it happened. It is hard when diagnose when you are unable to hear or see the car to determine cause of the problem, but try checking what mentioned above.

    I hope that help.

  • Re Q1: I basically had my front replaced earlier this year...So this is not an area of focus with regards to this most recent issue

    Re Q2: The vibration starts as I accelerate. There isn't a defined speed.

    Re Q3: My timing belt is not the issue but that was a good suggestion. I had my timing belt replaced last year. So we are good there.

    What I ended up doing was I took it to the shop. The shop explained that I have a "U Joint" issue. They also explained that I need to have my front barings replaced and greased. I pick up the truck today and will give an update when I know more.

    So this is to be continued...
  • I have owned an 05 4Runner 4WD/6cyl - it had Dunlop tires that wore out a bit too soon, however it had no vibrations or issues for the 45,000 miles I had it.

    Now, I have an 08 4Runner. It had really frightening vibrations, especially when weight was added in the cargo area, and when making turns that had a bump or two. But on a smooth freeway, half full of gas, no corners - it was smooth. The car only has 21k miles on it.

    So, one shop trip they did an alignment. That did help make the car track nicely (not vague or twitchy on the freeway), but of course, the shimmy was still there. I had my Michelin tires balanced by a tire shop that had a nearly new Hunter (and all the claims of how they calibrate it often). They said they didn't need any special adapters to balance the wheels, and suspiciously, they had very thick weights on just the outside of the wheels (not a good sign). The tire shop balance job did improve things a bit, however the car still had some bad vibrations - the steering wheel bounced / rotated side to side nearly 2 inches at times. Very unsettling.
    Once one part of the suspension was vibrating with the road speed, other parts of the suspension and drivetrain seemed to "chime in" and resonate with each other .

    Today, I got my car back from Bob Smith Toyota in La Crecenta. I left it there and just told them to please fix it, even if it takes a week. Good news! They balanced the tires very carefully, using a newer Hunter. When arrived to pick it up, I noticed that the weights were in the middle of the rim, on the inside, not those big weights on the outside. They also replaced both front shock absorbers because the left one was faulty. The tire balance was not enough by itself.

    Now the car drives great - tracks well, no "fluttering", just right on, on bumpy freeways, around corners, whatever - all good now. It is odd that a nearly new car could have a bad shock absorber, but it obviously did. Cool that somebody actually checked things!

    I'm not saying that there are no other issues that happen with other models, or other people's 4Runners, or that what fixed mine will fix yours. On this forum (I was lurking, wishing somebody could come up with a fix for me!) people mention 4Runners that have completely different suspension designs, tire sizes and age/condition. What I am saying is that taking the car to somebody who cares , who at least actually does balance the tires and look at the suspension, plus drive it and work with the Toyota reps made a huge difference in my case. After reading this forum, I thought that Toyota would just shine me on. Hopefully, this good experience was not just luck - they got it done this time.

    Sadly, I was unable to convince anybody there to make the 2010 model more appealing to me - I'm probably going to keep my 2008.

    I hope that this helps somebody who has issues with a newer 4Runner, or is as frustrated as I was.

    See ya on the trails.
  • I have a 2000 4Runner Limited. Bought 7 months ago. Vibrates at 65 MPH...This seems to be a huge problem!!! I've bought new tires, new rims, transmission mount, and had the tires balanced 50 times...Toyota needs to own up to this! I've gone to three Toyota dealerships and they can't figure it out! Contacted Toyota Customer Service, didn't do much, so I opened a BBB case. I recommend every one doing that. I will try the u-joints, and needle bearing. Thank you!
  • bogchiebogchie Posts: 1
    I have the same problem, when i drive on a freeway from 55 - 70 mph. it start to vibrate , it feels that it's in the transmission or wheel bearing to me .when i tried to observe it . the engine runs smoothly . I have 4runner 96 limited. I hope it's only the u-joint ..

    Any help or good advice?
  • My friend has a 1996 Toyota 4 Runner that does this weird vibrating when we drive on the highway. It starts when he gets up to speeds of 73+ and continues when he sets the cruise control at 80 MPH. When he cancels the cruise, the vibrating stops. He said it started doing this about 3 months ago.

    I have a 2007 Toyota Tacoma that JUST started the same weird vibrating under the same driving conditions. It has about 76,000 miles on it and I noticed it today (8/6/10) when I drove to Lake Charles, about 80 miles.

    His sister has a 2006 Toyota Camry that makes similar vibrations under the exact same conditions. She noticed it a week ago.

    I'm going to ask them about it when I make my appointment to fix the recalled accelerator. Does anyone know what the warranty on Toyotas are? Sounds like a Toyota conspiracy going on...
  • Wow

    I was thinking of buying a 95 to 2000 era 4runner, thinking toyota is a can't miss.
    Found many in my area, mn. All ads mentioned new tires brakes rotors etc.
    I thought that unusual so I googled. Found vibration issue.
    I've read 100's of complaints from most veh. With 50k to 200k miles. The issue
    Seems to cover at least 15yrs. Of 4runners.
    Now I know most owners don't do prevent. Maint. Like grease wheel bearings etc.
    But this seemed more than that.
    A lot of owners had firestone tires. Some replaced more then once. Many went
    With diff. Manuf. Name brand ie. Goodyr. Etc. Same prob.
    A bad lot of tires from same comp. Maybe but not so many different ones with
    Tire separation bulging etc.
    What caught me was the severity. These virations are shaking the suspension and
    Related parts so much they prematurly wearout and cause accidents.
    I wonder about or if toyota went cheap to save money per unit.
    I wonder if the spindles and axels and hence their bearings are under sized for the
    Weight of the vehicle. If the bearings are cheap and with 16 and 17 inch wheels
    And off road tires the road vibrations from the tires wobbles the bearings
    Then all the related suspension fails. Wheel hub seals fail which caused brake failure. I wonder if the shocks are undersized for the veh. As well.
    These issues are in the tacoma and camery as well.
    Those are both much lighter vehs. Then a 4runner and no way are parts
    If toyota saves 5cents on 1 part used 4 times in a million or more veh.
    You do the math.
    Would be interested to know what you find out or your thoughts on my

  • I was thinking of buying a 4runner.
    I did some googling.
    If I had a vibrating veh. I wouldn't drive it much till it got fixed.
    The 100's of complaints I've read none were good out comes before accidents.
    Normal cars require front wheels be repacked every few yrs or more freq.
    Dep. On conditions. If bearings or spindles are worn replace them.
    A bigger rig 4runner might be anually or so.
    Tires are supposed to be higher qual. Then they were 50yrs ago.
    Tire tread separation bulging etc. Not acceptable.
    Most front end align. Shops have an electric motor with a
    Rubber wheel attached.
    They jack your car up wheels off the ground and use the elecric motor
    To spin your wheels up to speed. If you have wheel issues it should find it.
    Dyno shops can test the veh. Performance at all speeds with the hood up
    And drive wheels spinning under all types of loads.
    If you have tires with a large counter weight or combination of,
    Over 1.5 to 2.0 oz. Get another tire there is probably a defect in it.

    I want to get a toyota but not with these serious issues
    If I helped your issue post what you tried. Maybe it will sway me

  • you really need to check your u-joint. I have the same vibration problem at 70mph. visual looking at the u-joint and shaking the drive shaft, but seem to look and feel tight and a few months of continue driving I heard scrapting noise - come and go. I re-check and notice that the u-joint has a bad metal seal ( near the transmission output side. I replaced it, but the vibration was still there, but at 60 mph this time. I took it for a wheel alignment because it was drifting and my new tire is balling unevenly. It still vibrate after the alignment. I was upset and decided to change the rear u-join bearing near the rear differential out too. This time I check to make sure that my shaft and joint are assemble correctly and it was. I also decided to change the rear differential fluid this time. I used 80w90 gear oil . The old fluid look dark compare to the new. I geased the end of spline shaft and it's mating part well and connected it back to the transmission and the other end to the rear differential. This is my wife car. I didn't test drive it after a week I re-assemble the shaft. She did most of the driving and she does not take the vehicle on the freeway. if she did, she wouldn't know anything even if the tire come off. I have re-built the engine twice - thanks to her. Anyway, I took it on the freeway today and notice that the vibration was gone. i tested at 80mph and no vibration.

    Conclusion: changed u-joints (front and rear), gear fluid did it.

    I fixed 4runner error code 71 (egr system check engine) It was annoying, but I finally fixed it by replacing the modulador. A stupid piece of round plastice device with vacumm port and cost almost $300 at the dealer, but I stoleone from one of the vehicle at the junk way and it worked.
  • I am having the same issue. Did replacing the U joint and bearing fix the issue?
  • boseedboseed Posts: 1
    Did you check rear driveline for straight and balance after accident if not I would check there!
  • 2000 4Runner SR5 2wd
    Original owner, 200k miles
    Brakes done a month ago
    Just replaced all 4 tires + struts & shocks
    Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A P265/70R16

    Had serious vibe problems at 60 > 80 before this work.
    Mostly went away but first fwy speeds today and still have have a pretty noticeable vibe at the same speeds when I coast.

    From what I've read here it sounds like my first step is to have the U joints checked.

    Any other recommendations?

  • 4runners4runners Posts: 6
    Determine the where the vibration is coming from. If you feel it at the front, check your tire balance, re- balance if neccessary. Check your control arm bushing and steering linkage. If it come from under where driver is then i would say it is the universal joint. You have to remove to inspect or replace. When it on the truck it feel tight because it lock to the rear differential and the transmission.
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