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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • Is there anything you can do to protect your windshield from chips? After reading the message board, everytime a rock hits my windshield I'm looking for chips or cracks. It has not happened a lot. One hit the other day. It looks like I got a small scratch or chip. I know there is clear films and stuff for your headlights, but is there anything you can do for your windshield, besides crossing your fingers ever time a rock hits it?
  • Has anyone experienced a problem with engine startup hesitation first thing in the morning? I have the a late production 2003 SR5 V6 and it seems to take a little longer than necessary to crank up after it has been sitting all night. Then this morning it took at least 4 seconds for the engine to crank over and the weather wasn't even cold.
  • cmajcmaj Posts: 4
    When travelling over a small bump at slow speeds, I notice a clear sounding "clank" or metal on metal rattle. It sounds almost as if it could be the towing hitch attachment. Not sure if it is coming from outside or inside the vehicle. Again, this is a heavy metallic sounding "clank" (for lack of a better term) that seems to originate from some type of metal objects jarring against each other (I do not believe that it is the rear seat latches). Can someone please comment or provide a best guess?
  • nmf51nmf51 Posts: 2
    Sound most likely comes from right rear seat latch. Try taping the latch with electrical tape
  • nmf51nmf51 Posts: 2
    I have an 03 LTD with a V8. Not all the time, but fairly regularly, I notice that after coming to a stop, when I take my foot off the brake pedal and before I put it on the gas pedal, I feel a slight thud which kind of feels like the drive shaft engaging. Once I feel this and start moving, everything is fine. Has anyone noticed this condition, is this normal of characteristic of the 03 V8s?
  • cmaj, in addition to checking the right rear seat back, you might also check your jack etc. in the compartment in the left rear. Also be sure the knobs securing the roof rack cross bars are all tight. Also also, make sure the spare tire is cranked up tight.

    nmf51, you might need to lube your driveline. There are many posts about thuds and thunks in the "Toyota 4WD Systems Explained" thread, and some good explanations/remedies.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Early on, I had a rattle from right rear and it sounded like it was coming from the right-rear seat latch area. It was and they lubed it. That worked for about 2 days so I used tape and haven't heard it since.

    Later, I began hearing a heavy-metal clunking from what I thought was outside the vehicle (left-rear), like maybe spare tire area, or suspension. Turns out it was the left rear seat latch and they lubed it and that fixed it. I will tape it soon because I'm sure the lube won't do the trick for long.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Anyone having vibration problems? Mine are still present, mainly in the steering wheel. Starts about 20mph. Wheels balanced 4 times and rims are getting scratched. Dealers no help.

    Also, when truck is at idle, motor makes a throb/bounce type vibration about every 5 seconds. Anyone know what that is? If I sit still, I can feel it bounce the whole truck a little.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The dealer? You might want to try a good tire shop with a Hunter balancing machine. Also have them check for bent rims and out-of-round tires.
  • The Hunter 9700 is a must. On my previous 4Runner, there was vibration from day one. I spent 6 hours at the dealer the next week, and they actually made it worse. Nobody could figure out what the problem was.

    After visiting 3 other tire stores and spending way too much $$$, I decided to bring it to a Toyota dealer that is literally 1/5th of a mile from my office (didn't buy the truck there bc the sales dept. is full of idiots). The service guys were great, very helpful, and they suggested that they try their new Hunter 9700 to diagnose the problem. Immediately, the machine found 2 slightly warped wheels. They ordered 2 for me under warranty. Problem solved.

    I will never again have my tires balanced by any other machine.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Each time, a GSP9700 was used w/adaptor. 2 toyota dealers and discount tire. Toyota finds nothing defective and discount tire says tires are within specs. They said at last visit the road force variation was less than 15lbs on all wheels.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I have that same thud once in a while while releasing the brake pedal. It doesn't happen often and I thought is was actually the brake caliper releasing from the rotor. I don't see it as a problem unless it gets worse. I really feel it more that hear it. I have the V6 engine.
  • lukeglukeg Posts: 32
    I am having in my 4Runner (2004 4x4 Sport v8) light vibrations in steering wheel and pedals (floor) at various RPMs. Most noticeable when driving at a steady speed around 30mph. RPM affected is between 1800-2000. I have also noticed at higher RPM. 1800-2000 vibrations happens at various speeds of the car as long rpm is in that range. The most noticeable when going up to hill with rpms in that level.
    Any advice as I took the vehicle to two different dealers and they say that this is normal, all new 4Runners do that. Because rpm falls in that level in most driving situation, I find this very enoying.
  • Normal? I don't know about that. I test drove 3 different vehicles and didn't notice any vibration in any of the models, and each test drive took about 20 minutes over a variety of terrain and speeds.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Just wondering if you can check if this is happening in your ride:

    When vehicle is warm, and your parked at idle, in drive, with foot on brake- rpms at 500 or so... no vibration... put it in neutral and rpms climb a little, then every so many seconds there's a throbbing vibration that bounces the truck some.

    I'm just wondering if this might be part of the problem or is it a wheel/tire issue or a combination of the two. I just can't figure this one out and I'm not getting any help from dealers or Rep.

    My next step is test drive another 4runner and if it's smooth (I'm sure it will be) try to get them to swap the wheels out briefly (I'll pay for the labor) and see if that eliminates the problem. If it does, I know it's a wheel/tire defect, if it doesn't, obviously the problem is elsewhere but at least some progress will have been made.
  • I also have the problem with the 4WD engaging.

    I purchased the vehicle used (May 31, 2003) and the first time I used the 4WD, I had to call the service department about how to get the flashing wheel lights to stop blinking and to get the 4WD engaged. The lights were blinking for blocks. Well, I got it into 4WD and after that it wasn't bad for that trip. I used it again tonight (3 weeks after the previous experience) and drove for blocks with the flashing 4WD indicator lights flashing. The vehicle has 28,000 miles. Any suggestions?
  • My expirence is with a '94 4x4 Toyota truck with shift on the fly.
    When shifting into H4, make sure you are driving in a strait line, shift the lever, and then (at the same time) modulate the throttle up and down and it should engage. I belive this loads and unloads the linkages, and allows the gears to engage. It is not necessary to depress the clutch, (if it is a manual).
    Hope this helps,
  • bmw323: Have your emergency brake adjusted at the dealer. Mine made that noise, the brakes overall started squeeking. The delaer said the brakes from the factory were not adjusted properly. I would hear a click when I released the e-brake.
  • I've been hearing about complaints of rocking/moving driver seats in the 03/04 4Runners. The G35 that I currently own has the same problem, and that is the main reason I'm getting rid of it and buying an 04 4Runner.

    Anybody have this problem or have heard of it? I'd hate for this to happen with another vehicle.

    Any info is certainly appreciated.
  • My 03 Sport front driver's seat base is loose and I can feel the seat shift underneath me when I go over a bump. As usual the Toyota dealer says that it's "nornmal".
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