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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair

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  • silorsilor Posts: 6
    I am beside myself with what has been an ongoing problem with my 2003 4runner 4WD Ltd (V8). When I come to a stop, it has a noticeable thump. When I accelerate, it does the same thing. Not every time, but enough where it is noticeable to passengers in the car. The toyota dealership has been of little help over the years. I did have a Toyota "master mechanic" tell me it was my slip yoke and that it needed lubing. That worked for a while, but eventually the clunking came back. Every time I go in for an oil change, I tell them to lube the yoke, but the problem has persisted for years. Either they aren't doing the work or are using the wrong product to lube. Where else, besides Toyota dealership, should I take my car? Oh yeah, just had my car in the Toyota shop for 2 days because of an oil leak that turned out to be a "shifter actuator leaking O-ring that was deformed". (Huh?) Fortunately it was a warranty item. Did I mention I've had to replace the brake rotors? This car doesn't even have 50,000 miles. I do love the friggen car and it's reliability for the most part, but am very disappointed with the problems I am having.

    Any advice would be appreciated! :)
  • I bought a 2006 SR5 used about two months ago. In the first few weeks, the alarm would randomly go off after unlocking and opening the driver side door. I took it to a Toyota dealership and the remote/key fob was re-programmed. I was told this is an aftermarket alarm installed by Toyota when they are brought into the country but not in the factory. It's the red LED switch on the lower left hand side of the dash.

    Everything was fine for awhile and it has begun to randomly go off again. This is so frustrating and embarassing as it seems to do this at all the worst times (ie: parked next to a cop or at 2 in the morning in my driveway). Does anyone have a similar problem or suggestions to stop this? I'm about to get the whole thing uninstalled or disconnected. :mad:
  • I have met the my Regional Customer Service Representative on this issue and on the drive train vibration and moaning sound.
    The rep told me Toyota considers these issues "normal operation characteristics" of the 4Runner. The rep also indicated that new company 4Runner they were driving had the same issues. Read "Truck Trend" January/February 2007,pp 88 re:"Good Vibrations Gone".
    If you happen to get a dealer that can fix the problem please post info as to what they did and how you convinced them.
  • Hi there,
    I have a 98 4runner that has 118k miles. About 3 months ago, there is a whining sound or high whisping sound became to be bothersome. It only happens when the car is in motion no matter if it is in gear or not. It has becom more and more. I recently changed rear differntial and transimssion oil but nothing seemed help. Could anyone help? Thanks.
  • silorsilor Posts: 6
    I am so surprised with how Toyota's service department is handling this obviously ongoing problem they are having with many of their V8 4runners. I am going to have my slip yoke lubed one more time, track the miles it takes until the problem starts up again, then take it to an independent garage to get a diagnoses. Then I am going back to Toyota to give them one more chance to fix this problem. If they give me the run around, I guess I will have no choice but to go to corporate.

    I will keep you posted on my progress!
  • So now it gets stranger. I have had a past issue with the EFI fuse blowing. First was told it was an exposed wire- fixed this and it seemed to solve the problem for a while. Started doing it again after a trouble free interval. Was told it was a bad relay. This was replaced. Now the same EFI fuse keeps blowing- with no consistency. :cry:
  • This issue was posted a bunch early on. My 2003 V6 SR5 also made the same driveline noise. I accepted it as normal until I read Edmunds. Resolution: I used my grease gun with Mobil1 synthetic grease. Problem gone. I greased it again a few months ago when I noticed the driveline appeared dry. I don't know where the grease goes as none of it is on the undercarriage of the vehicle. I've been to two different dealers and neither lubes the driveshaft as near as I can tell. My vehicle has about 25,000 miles and has been mostly dependable. The interior being noisy while driving is my biggest disappointment.

    I agree the dealer should be more proactive, but I'll do whatever I have to do to protect my investment. Thankfully the vehicle still has superior resale and trade-in value. I wish I had the V8.
  • silorsilor Posts: 6
    It seems unless you specifically request Toyota to lube the yoke, they just ignore it. I have even had ocassion when bringing it in for maintenance where the service guys don't even know what a slip yoke is! It is obviously an ongoing problem. I did look at past postings relating to this problem. It was helpful. Thank you for the advice.
  • Suggest you smack both rear interior panels with the palm of your hand. I had the gas door release cable come loose on the drivers side behind rear trim panel.
    Seat problem is more of a rattle sound and if so could also be the drop down rear center cup holder assembly. There is a TSB on that one.
  • The problem is fixed. Found a good mechanic (Tony) at City Toyota in Daly City (SF Bay Area). He found that a bushing on a brace (maybe not the right term) on the right rear (drive) wheel was bad. This caused the wheel to wobble at high speeds when accelerating. Tony said he had never seen this before. Hope this answer can help someone else in the future.
  • af160af160 Posts: 1
    Noticed that my Check Engine light and VSC lights came on on my drive home. When I parked I turned off the ignition and tightened the gas cap (thinking pesky O2 sensor.) Turned engine back on and lights were still on. Anyone have any thoughts? I looked at other posts but didn't see a true fix.
    It's due for 45,000 service soon anyway so I am bringing into the dealer...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    If the CEL was caused by the gas cap, it will take several cycles of the engine to turn the light off.

    The gas cap wouldn't trigger the VSC light though.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • My 1994 Toyota 4Runner (165K) also is making some strange engine noises. The most problematic noise sounds like a "tapping" sound. The noise increases in frequency the faster the throttle (e.g. less time between taps the faster I go). The noise can still be heard when the car is at a stop and/or in neutral. I had the shims on the engine valves replaced ($700) and it did not correct the problem. Anyone have similiar problems?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I have had my 2003 V8 Sport dealer maintained. I've never had any weird noises starting, stopping or running. Maybe some dealers do grease the drive shaft. They told me they have to remove one of the skid plates to service the vehicle.
    I replaced my OEM Dunlop with Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo tires.
    I air them down to 20 psi and go out on the beaches on the NC Outer Banks.
    They get really good traction :)
  • I have a 94 4-runner with the same type of problem. I have already replaced the turn signal/headlight switch assembly and it helped for a couple of days but did not fix the problem. I have noticed that my problem seems to be worse when the outside temperature is really cold. This morning was really cold and I lost power to my radio and lights and my car almost shut off completely while driving to work. I would love to know if you ever found the problem with yours or if anyone else may have some advice. Any help would be greatly appreciated...
    Netabeer
  • My 2002 4Runner is having a couple problems. There is a clunking noise that sounds in the back underneath the car. The noise occurs whenever turns are made. I thought it was my spare tire loose, but I've tightened it and the noise is still occuring.

    Also, I was up at Mammoth Mountain not too long ago and had chains on my car. I'm not sure if it was the chains, cold weather or all the slipping on the ice that caused this to happen, but after I tookn my chains off and was leaving Mammoth my engine check light came on as well as the TRAC OFF & VSC lights. What could be causing these problems?
  • I have a 1997 Toyota 4Runner, SR5 with 90,000 miles. While driving yesterday, and as i accelerated, the car stuttered and turned off. Tried cranking it, with no success, with the check engine and other lights on the dashboard on. Lights and power is all on, so i do not think it was an electric problem. Waited 15 minutes, pumped the gas pedal, and then started, it started fine. Drove it around yesterday & today, and it drives fine.
    Just worried this will happen again. Friend tells me it could be a fuel/fuel injection/fuel pump problem, and to try using a fuel injection cleaner in the gas tank.

    Mechanic said he can not tell, "bring it back when it breaks"

    Any ideas, any one?
  • I've had the same problem on my 2003 4Runner. It took me 9 months, 3 driveshafts, and alot of persistance. Type "Clunk" on Edmunds Search.

    I eventually had a Lexus drive shaft put in, and it was fixed.

    I really don't think it has anything to do with slip yokes, and all that grease crap. The driveshaft was out of tolerance. Apparently, Lexus has a actual service bulletin for the same problem.

    Good Luck- I mean it!
  • silorsilor Posts: 6
    Wow...this is a real pain. I guess I'll find a good mechanic to fix this. I'm assuming the driveshaft is out of warranty. Maybe I'll try Toyota's maintenance department one more time and tell them "driveshaft" and see what happens. I'm a woman, by the way, which makes it all the more interesting trying to get mechanics to take you seriously! Thank you for the advice.
  • Check your warranty, I know the Drivetrain Warranty is usually longer than the bumper-to-bumper.

    I don't believe the driveshaft is an expensive item. The actual work involved removing bolts and replacing the shaft. I would say, it takes less than 15-20 minutes to make the swap (including putting the car on the hoist).

    Just to make sure you have the same problem: I have a 2003 or 2004 4 Runner-V8 Limited.

    The clunk feels like someone has rear-end you when your in traffic. Or it feels like your pulling a trailer, and the ball hitch has some slack. The feeling is hard to reproduce, and occurs randomly. But mostly when you are slowing down or accelerating from a complete stop.

    I just found this in my Files: Here is the Lexus Service Bulletin:

    For Lexus Model GX470 Year: 2003
    Service Bulletin #: 00104, Date of Bulletin: Apr.13, 2004
    NHTSA Item Number: 10007096
    Component: Powertrain Drive Line Drive shaft
    Summary: Rear Drive shaft Clunk/thump Noise

    Be very careful. I had 3 other Toyota 4 Runner shafts installed. The first time, my dealer didn't take down the Code, and likely replaced it with the same shaft. The second time, they had a different code, but it didn't completely eliminate the thump. I can't remember the 3rd time. Oh yeah, the third time, they took the shaft off and reversed it. They said it was recommended by head office. That threw me completely off, I didn't ralize the part could be reversed so easily, especially since the part was tapered differently at each end.

    Try doing a little research on www.clublexus.com (search: Thump or clunk- You'll have alot of interesting reading)
    Be very critical about what you read. Alot of other people have grease problems. They either have different problems or they are Secret Toyota Spys trying to misinform people about a little grease will fix a bigger problem.

    Also, If you complained about this prior to your Warranty running out, perhaps it is still covered since it was not yet fix. My Dealer's standard phrase, was "I'd fix it if I knew what the problem was. Then he'd say I don't have a problem" Also, the dealer took me more seriously when I opened a file through Toyota Canada- Customer Service.

    Let me know how you make out.
  • I have a 2003 SR5 V8 4WD with a starting problem. Sometimes when I turn the key nothing happens. The battery is not dead and if I move the shifter it will start. I'm sure it's something to do with the neutral start safety switch. I've had it to the dealer numerous times and they cannot duplicate the the problem so they will not replace the switch.

    I've contacted Toyota and they said the same.

    Has anyone else experienced the same problem?

    I also have the driveline clunk, piston slap, driveline vibration @ 70MPH; and no heat from the driver's side vent under the dash problems in which Toyota has told me is normal for the vehicle.
  • I have an 03 V8 Limited with 40 thousand miles and no problems yet. I bought a Toyota for dependability and quality and so far it has lived up to my expectations. The only problem with it is my wife thinks it is too big and will not drive it. I am thinking of selling it and buying a RAV-4, but that would be a real let down from my quiet, smooth running (bad gas mileage) 4R. Good luck.
  • I had a similar problem, the remote keyless would activate "unlock" and the lights would flash and alarm beep but nothing would happen when you keyed "lock". The drivers door toggle would activate "unlock" too but not "lock". I pushed the drivers door toggle HARD forward to the lock position and back to unlock a few times and eventually the lock engaged. After that the remote keyless lock worked too. I think either the toggle was hanging up or the contact was not quite working. In any event the remote would not lock as I think the misaligned toggle somehow inactivated the locking feature.
  • dan90dan90 Posts: 1
    I just took my 2004 4-Runner in for its 30,000 mile chcck up. When it went in the AC was working fine. When it came out, the blower would not work. The dealer denies any blame. Says that the blower was not operated -- and they could not have caused the problem. They say that the motor is burned up and will need to be replaced. Service included changing the cabin filter. Motor is a V-8. Can any mechanic out there tell me if the service could have contributed to the problem?? It seems strange that it was working going in and was burned up comming out of service.
    I keep the thermostat set on 72 and it was on 69 when they parked the car in the service area for pick-up. Yet they say they did not operate the A/C. Comments??
  • I intend to buy a 10-16 mile radius walkie-talkie. The 2006 4Runner V-8 manual states the following on Page 79:
    "Do not perform any of the following changes without consulting your Toyota dealer. Such changes can interfere with the proper operation of the SRS front airbag system in some cases.
    *Installation of electronic devices such as a mobile two-way radio, cassette tape player or compact disc player..."

    Questions;
    1. Does a pocket walki-talkie would fall into this category? Would it interfere with the ignition/ alarm system?
    2. Does one need a license to operate a walkie-talkie that qualifies to communicate beyond 3 miles? (How to get it?)
    3. Is there somebody who tried to operate a walkie-talkie in a 2004-2006 4Runner/ or Rav-4?

    Your help will be highly appreciated! =Andrew
  • Andrew, are the walkie-talkie's you will be using be portable? Takes batteries?
    If so, you'll be fine.
    What the manual is referring to is a "hard wired" two-way radio device. Meaning that you actually wire the radio into your truck, positive...negative...etc.
    Question 1; No, the pocket walkie-talkie does not fall into that category nor will it interfere with ignition/SRS/alarm systems.
    Question 2; You will not need a license.
    Question 3; I've used my portable walkie-talkie in my old '04 Highlander and currently in my '06 4Runner with no problems at all.

    Hope this helped. ;)
  • I have a 1990 4runner. It idles high at 1200 rpms when warmed up. When I am on the brake the engine starts to surge. The rpms drop to 900 then right back up to 1200 this continues on in 2 second intervals until you take your foot off the brake. Any ideas on what causes this?
  • Dear Bobgordon!
    I intend to buy a shir-pocket size, battery operated walkie-talkie for a cross-country trip, possibly the same you have now in your 4Runner. If it works for you - will work fine for me. Were you able to run it on stand-by a whole day? Is this a Motorola or other brand?

    Thanks for the great info! =Andrew
  • Hi Andrew,
    No, I can't last a day on stand-by, will go through batteries.....
    The brand I have is V-Tech with a range of about 4 miles. But I want to replace it with another brand (more powerful) that I can use either battery mode or plug into the cig. lighter socket.
    I'm going to look at the Motorola radios.
  • It could be a vacuum leak, could be carbon build up around the throttle plate.
    Start with removing the air cleaner intake hose and inspect the throttle plate for carbon.
    Take a can of carb. cleaner and spray down the throttle plate. Of course engine "off" and throttle plate closed. Let the cleaner sit a bit then wipe and carbon off with a clean rag.
    Next soak a rag with carb. cleaner and hold the throttle plate open and wipe the inside of the throttle housing down.
    Try this easy fix (hopefully) first....
    Good luck!
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