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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • 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
    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

    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!

    '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.
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