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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • 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?
  • Maybe the right rear window lines are antenna for the optional NAV system? Toyota seems to plumb their Runners for all options from the factory if even you didn't purchase the option.
  • I remember reading (here, I believe) that the right rear window was a defroster-defogger. Now I'm more inclined to believe it's just the radio antenna just like the left rear window. I don't have NAV, & honestly don't think Toyota would plumb all their 4Runners for NAV when probably less than 10% come with it. Thanks 4 the reply.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    Canddmeyer is correct. Those lines are part of the integrated antenna for the stereo system and not for defogging/defrosting. Toyota has been doing this for years. My 00 LTD has them. There may be some mention of that in the owners manual but I'm not sure. I asked the same question 4 years ago.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Hmm, so where is the gps antenna for the NAV located?

    I wonder why the two rear cargo area windows with the "antennas" don't have the same appearance. Any ideas?
  • The antenna for the navigation system is located in the center of the dash. From that location, it has a clear view of the sky thru the windshield.

    The current generation 4Runner is equipped with an FM diversity antenna (older ones as well?). Both the right and left rear side windows have imbedded antennas, and the radio uses the one receiving the stronger signal.
  • Anyone have a problem with the front doors rattling/vibrating when the stereo system is cranking? I also get this when listening to talk radio (deep voices). Bass is not turned up past "3" and also get it at low volumes.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Has anyone had the recall work done on the rear air suspension on an '03 Limited? I took mine in a few weeks ago to have the recall work done, but the dealer didn't have the parts (even though I told them I was coming in for the recall when I made the appointment). That irritated me a bit since I took the day off to take it in. They told me when I bring it back to do the work it will take 4 hours. The parts are in now, but I am having second thoughts about letting the local mechanic spend 4 hours tearing apart the suspension. I think I might rather take a chance that the involved pin will not break (I don't go off road) and forget the recall. Any thoughts?

    Also, we too suffered a cracked windshield. We were camping on Galveston Island several days ago and found the 12" crack one morning. It wasn't there the previous evening and as far as we know the windshield was not hit by a rock--it appears to have just cracked on its own. Maybe a pelican flew into it during he night, but I doubt it!
  • Had the suspension recall done.Appeared to be a very simple job. No problems. The windshield is a problem. Replacing the second one in 4 months, and its not even winter yet. Glass appears to be extremely fragile. Road sand seems to mark it up easily. Same goes for the titanium paint job. Chips very easily. Been already touching up after only 7 months with the truck though already 32,000 km. Great vehicle to drive though. Wouldnt trade it, even with the rotten smell.Contrary to what someone has said, smell does not disappear with mileage. Cheers
  • 4rnr4rnr Posts: 25
    Can you describe what must be done to the rear air suspension please. I have an '03 Ltd. that sits a 1/2" lower to the ground(measured from ground up to base of fender flare) on the drivers left front wheel maybe the adjustments to the suspension may somehow correct this lean??
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93

    Sorry, I left the recall notice at the dealer. I checked a couple of recall web sites but don't find it listed. As best I can remember it had something to do with replacing pins that might break when driving in extreme off-road situations. Maybe somebody else can elaborate further.
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