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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair

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  • Search through the posts written by me and you can get a good idea of what the brake pedal buzz is all about. I've detailed it a few times.
    The moonroof rattle is subtle, you have to listen for it when you hit bumps in the road.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Congrats. My brakes do the "shhh" too but I believe it's normal. The other "pop" I described cannot be heard, only felt and is faint so I can live with it for now. I'll have it checked some other time.

    Right now, I'm concentrating on a more serious problem: vibration that travels through the steering wheel, seats, armrests, etc.

    It's at the dealer right now. I just called and my advisor said the tech balanced the wheels and drove it but the vibe is still there so he's got the wheels back off and trying to fine tune it.

    We'll see what happens when I pick it up. At least this dealer didn't give me a "could not duplicate" like the other dealer did.

    Will post again tonight.
  • fergy4fergy4 Posts: 3
    oscarz2,
    I had a bad vibration in my right front wheel that I felt through the steering wheel. I asked the dealer to re-balance the tire. They did, and they also re-balanced the other three -- then, the truck had a vibration through the whole thing. Since the dealer couldn't even get the oil change right, either, I went to a Mr. Tire store and paid a pro to balance the tires.

    They put all four wheels on some type of balancing machine and got them right. Now, it rides very smooth. They checked the balance job the dealer did before they took the weights off and said the dealer was not even close on three of the tires.

    Your problem may be the dealer doesn't know how to balance what you have.
  • fergy4fergy4 Posts: 3
    Message #60 says there are two TSBs for headliner rattles. I have TSB# NV003-03. Does this cover all the fixes, or is there another TSB?

    Also, in message #59 the moonroof rattle was solved by tightening the "pan screws" for the moonroof. Any clue where these are located, so I can tighten them myself?

    In response to how to test for the rattle, if you open the shade on the moonroof and hit (punch) the moonroof straight up repeatedly it will rattle. Or, drive about 25 - 35 over a rough road, expansion joints, small potholes, etc. Although, mine did not start rattling until it had 3,000 miles on it.

    Love the 4Runner, just don't like things making noise that shouldn't...that's why I traded my Explorer for a Toyota.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Just got back. This dealer didn't fix a thing, although they make the paperwork look like they did. What a sham!

    I'll be tied up for a while, so I'll have to deal with this later.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I'd suggest that you go to a good tire shop and have them balance it. A good tire shop will have a top notch balancing machine which can do a much better job. Also make sure they check for out of round tires. It will cost you a few bucks, but your time is expensive too and sometimes I've found I'd rather pay a few bucks than spend more time arguing with an incompetent dealer.
  • c44mec44me Posts: 1
    Hi,

    We have an '03 4Runner with the "stylish" instrument pods. I have found the instruments unreadable during the day, particularly with sunglasses, unless the lights are on and the instruments illuminated. So I always turn on the headlights when starting the car. Looks like Toyota recognized the stupidity of the instrument design and turns the lights on for you now. Nice!

    -------
    Gregg
    '03 4WD V8 4Runner
  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    For what its worth, the vibration problem has been reported by a few people. Someone on this board, or another Edmunds board stated they went to several different shops, and nobody could fix the vibration. Finally he stumbled into a tire shop that used the 'Hunter GSP9700' tire balancer. Problem fixed instantly.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    I gave the following written description to the service advisor when I dropped off my car:

    "There’s vibration in the steering wheel at various speeds. I also feel it in the seats, pedals, and armrests. If I put the transmission into neutral while driving, the vibration still occurs, so I suspect its wheel or tire related. I drove three other new 4runners and they each rode very smooth, so I’m certain it’s not normal.

    I’ve read that these “lug-centric” wheels can only be balanced correctly with a GSP9700 Force Balancer and Haweka flange-plate adapter? Also, please check drive-shaft balance, tires, and alignment."

    When I called during the day, I was hopeful because he said the tech recognized the vibration and was trying to fix it. At the end of the day, I was told there was a bad batch of weights and they used a new set. Was told tires checked out ok. I'm sure they didn't check drive-shaft or anything else. When I drove home, it was actually worse because they had the tires at 36psi. I put them back at 32.

    Paperwork states, "C/S vibration felt when driving at all speeds. Road tested to verify. Balanced wheels. Road tested ok."

    I'll have to deal with the Rep now but it won't be for a couple of weeks. What I'd like to do is get another set of wheels on there just to see if it changes anything. If it does, we know it's wheels or tires. If it doesn't, we know it's neither. Hopefully, the Rep will be helpful but I know this could be a long battle.

    by the way, both dealers have the GSP9700.
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    If you have the urge, you can take off your spare and move it to each of the front wheels in turn. The one that stops vibrating is the bad one. I still think it is a bad tire, but it could be other things.

    It is most likely a balancing issue if it gets worse the faster you drive (it is possibly also a bad belt in the tire). If it is variable and unpredictable with speed, it is more likely the tire has slipped a belt.

    While you have the wheel off the ground, you can try and move the tire in and out at the top and bottom. Both wheels should feel the same (They shouldn't have any play). If one of them is different than the other, then it is a hub or ball joint issue (or possibly something else I haven't thought of).
  • John609: I have a rattle similar to the one that zmoyota06 is describing. Could you be more specific on the location of the "hook/rod"? Thanks.
  • john609john609 Posts: 10
    Fold backseat down (forward) on the passenger side of vehicle. The metal bar is on the frame, behind the door. The seat was latched to it before you folded it forward. Wrap that metal rod w/ electical tape and see if that works.

    The other metal on metal is under the backseat cushion. Fold the backseat upright and lift (pull) the bench cushion up/forward. On the floorboard are 2 metal rivets (?); put tape over these. There are corresponding metal pieces under the cushion that could be rubbing.

    The primary driver believes the 1st fix is enough.
  • We just leased a loaded 2003 4runner Limited and were shocked to learn AFTER we took possession that Toyota -- unlike every vehicle we ever had -- offered no 24/7 Roadside Assistance. We've always had it FREE with our Jeep vehicles, with a VW VR6 and I know it's available on virtually every other new vehicle available in the U.S. we only ever had to use two or three times but it gives one confidence that's it's available. It's amazing that a major company like Toyota doesn't offer it. We;'d like to hear your comments.
  • To john609, thanks a million.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Try AAA. At least it's available on any car you own.
  • I doubt you'll need it. If you run out of gas, your fault. Dead battery-doubtful due to numerous computer controls that turn off any light left on. Flat tire is about all I could think of, plus if it really broke Toyota should pay for the tow for the first 3years/36 months whichever came first, to the nearest dealer (if I read my owners manual correctly). I wouldn't let it bother you. You'll probably like the vehicle so much you'll purchase it when the lease expires. I also have AAA plus, but haven't used it in 10 years since I've had a run of good luck with vehicles. Enjoy.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    about $70 per year and you get excellent free maps with it.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    AAA Plus is a little more, they will tow up to 100 miles anywhere you want to go. The manufacturer roadside assistance usually will only tow you to the dealer. Plus, the maps are awesome :)
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    john609, I think your suggestion (tape on the anchor bracket, post #75) is a good one. I wasn't getting a rattle, exactly, but did get the occasional clunk that appeared to be coming from that vicinity. I had noticed that it didn't happen when the rear seat back was folded down, and so I suspected the latch/bracket combination.

    A layer of electrical tape applied to the forward/latch side of the body-mounted bracket last night (I don't think tape on the outer or rear sides would help) seems to have eliminated the sound. Thanks.
  • I have a 97 Limited 4WD (~80K miles) that I took in to the dealer for a brake check. After flushing the brakes, he told me that they found oil in the brakes. Not brake fluid but 'oil'.

    He said that the Axle seals are broken and hence there's oil leaking, which could make its way into the brake drum and cause damage. It seems fairly recent and right now, all the oil that's leaking is burning away but it might get dangerous in future.

    He quoted a $700 job to get the entire axle seals fixed (said he has to replace the entire axle seal unit and not repair).

    Anybody else had this problem? Or any experience regarding this? Is the service technician taking me for a ride? Appreciate the responses.
  • My rear seals started leaking at 81K miles on my 97 Limited. This seems to be a common problem with 3rd generation 4runners. I had my dealer replace the seals on both the driver side and passenger side 3 months ago. I paid $425 and that included new rear drum brake shoes. You may have to call several dealers to get a better price. The first place I called wanted $900 because they were going to replace the axle bearings which is not needed.
  • lpm141lpm141 Posts: 14
    My sunroof exterior seal is lifting in a couple of areas. I was thinking of putting some silicone and pushing down the seal. Do you think that would be ok? Does anyone have the seals on the roof right above the driver and passenger doors right as it starts to go down the windshield pushing up? Regarding all of the windshield posts I do think the windshield is not as sturdy. My 97 Tacoma had many rocks come flying into the windshield without a crack or big loud bang. A couple times driving the 4runner I was shocked when I thought I was hit with a scud missile. Man when any road matter comes flying into your windshield be ready to think your windshield is going to instantly shatter. Does anybody know what that clear tube is for in the back compartment where the jack is housed? I think it is for water collected in the sunroof area. Overall I love my limited but I feel my Tacoma was built better. I just notice seals and cheaper looking parts and not to mention the sulfur smell. I was a devoted Toyota owner but next time I might look around a little more.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Your silicone idea on the sunroof seal sounds like a reasonable approach. I assume you're talking about the black rubber rim of the sunroof glass, and that it's lifting from the glass in some areas. I've seen this problem on other 4Runners. You plan to put a little silicone sealant beneath the rubber where it's lifted, and then you'll need to weight it down until the silicone cures.

    With respect to the seals above the driver and passenger doors, I think you're talking about the exterior "rain gutter" trim, and you should probably take this to the dealer--this appeared to be a common problem earlier this model year.

    The clear tube in the jack compartment is indeed a sunroof drain, by all accounts. There is probably another behind the dress panel in the compartment on the right rear side.
  • 3toyboy3toyboy Posts: 30
    Add me to the list of cracked windshields on the 4th generation 4Runner. I was up in No Cal this weekend, and sustained a rock hit that immediately went past "chip," to "crack." My '89 Hilux and '90 4Runner both have had bigger hits that only resulted in chips, which remain to this day, never having become cracks. Is there something about thinner glass? Be interested to know...

    At least the rock lost too. I literally saw it break into at least 2 pieces.
  • lukeglukeg Posts: 32
    I have a three day old 04 4runner v8 sport 4x4. I am getting a lot of vibration in the steering wheel and pedals when RPMs between 1800-2000 and around 3800. It seems and feels like drivetrain. Anyone with similar problem or suggestions. I have an oppointment with the dealer on Tuesday and wanted to be armed with information before I am told "drives ok and no problem found." -Thanks
  • I have a 99 limited w/75k miles with a button on the 4x4 lever for engaging the center differential (unlocked H4 mode)for better traction in icy/wet highway conditions. To engage I push in the lever button and the four wheel drive indicator light comes on. I usually have had to stop, shift into reverse with the brakes on to engage or disengage the front wheels and to get the indicator light to stop flashing; you can feel & hear it engage and disengage. Now,I can no longer disengage the front wheels and get the indicator light to stop flashing; I'm stuck in 4x4 H4 mode with the center diferential unlocked. I think I have the automatic disconnecting differential. I can turn off the button and it stops blinking briefly then starts again. Dealer service writers I've talked to act like this is a major expensive problem to fix. My manual indicates there is no problem driving in this mode at highway speeds on dry pavement. Is this a common problem, has anyone found an easy repair or trick to cure this. What has to be done and what repair cost have you experienced. I don't want to overhaul the 4x4 drive train to get the indicator light to turn off and disengage the front wheels.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153

    Troubleshooting Chart


    This makes me suspect Tire/Wheel diameter runout as the culprit since the vibration occurs about 20mph on up.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Just curious how high RPMs should go when cold starting a 2003 V6 4runner? Mine climbs to 1600 on initial crank, then settles a bit. Is that normal? It just sounds like too high a rev for starting. Can someone please make a mental note on your next engine start and post a reply? Thanks
  • My startup idle does the same thing. I'm accepting it as normal.
  • Before I declare my 3rd problem on my 2003 V6 4X4 4Runner, I gotta ask: are the nice lines in the right rear window for the defroster/defogger?

    I ask because unlike my rear hatch window, those lines didn't do a thing to my right rear window when I used the defroster/defogger. Neither Toyota's website nor my owners manual address whether or not it's part of rear window defroster/defogger. If it's not for defrosting-defogging, then are they for the radio like the left rear window?
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