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Toyota Land Cruiser Maintenance and Repair



  • I have 1988 LandCruiser with a recently installed new engine. The engine was put in about 2 years ago by a Toyota dealer in Columbia SC. It has operated fine for about 2 years it burns a lot of gas but otherwise it has been great.

    The trouble began when I bought a new trailer to haul my ATV's. I wired the tail lights/turn signals up to the trailer (correctly), and they worked for about 2 minutes, but I blew a fuse on the tail light circuit. I replaced the fuse twice even with the tail light harness unplugged but as soon as I turn the light switch on the fuse blows.
    I tracked the wire fron the fuse box up behind the instrument panel to a junction connector and it had obviously melted. I replaced the wire but now the engine will start but runs incredibly bad or rough. Here are some of the strange symptoms that are now occuring.

    If the rear wiring harness is not plugged in to the main harness the engine will not start.

    If you take the signal light hot wire and tie it to the negative or ground the engine starts and idles smoothly( but it will not run at highway speed)
    While the engine is running if you press the brake pedal the engine will imediately die, unless you remove the brake light bulbs.

    FYI The ac compressor quit working about 2 months ago.

    I have driven myself crazy trying to figure this problem out and I am afraid to take to a pro because I am sure the repair charge would be astronomical.

    Your help would be deeply appreciated.

  • I just purchased an '03 Cruiser with 32k miles on it. Where can I obtain an extended warranty for it? The original warranty just expired.
  • I located in Union County, New Jersey. I have a 96 Land Cruiser. Does anyone know of a good independent mechanic to work on my TLC?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I lived in England for a while and did some reasearch on brining a Landrover Defender 110 back. If the vehicle is older than 25 years which in you case it is, it is relatively easier as you are excempt from man of the safety and emission certifications. Any vehicle newer than 25 years is a pain and will cost you a lot of money. If there is a similar model certified in the US it is slightly easier but still a pain.

    The US Customs has some good information on this.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291

    I used to live in Hudson County. I tried a number of dealerships for my 2002 LC. Rt 22 Toyota in Hilside ripped me off for a 30K service on my RAV4. Manhattan toyota was a rip off too. However, I have done the last couple of services at Hudson Toyota and I am really satisfied. What I like most about my service adviser Fortunato is that he NEVER tries to sell me crap service that I don't need. My 2002 LC will be due for a 60K servie in the next couple of month. I am debating weather to use an independend mechanic or not, but I don't want to mess up a 30K car to save 200 bucks and I might just end up going to the dealer.

    I have also heard that in dealerships they have a few senior techs but most of the work is done by new trainees so I am a bit concerned of that as well.

    If you really want to find a good independend mechanic, I have used's mechanic files to search by zip code. Again this is based on feedback from posters so you have to take it with a grain of salt and use your own judgement.

    Steve/Host it will be great if you guys could get a thread going on independent shops.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Let's try this for rating independent (and dealer) shops. May as well try to spread the word!

    Land Cruiser Dealer & Service Experiences
  • Thanks for the feedback. I also went to Hillside Toyota and felt that I got ripped off. Wouldn't go back. I recently went to a foreign car mechanic in Cranford who owns a 4 runner. Felt good about the job. If I don't hear of anyone better, I'll stick with him.
  • My 96 LC has had the check engine light on for several years for the EGR code. We have taken it to a few dealers over the years to have it checked out. One saying it needs a new computer chip, we've had one or two valves replaced but the error code returns. Most recently my current mechanic says the hoses and valves are fine, but maybe there could be carbon in the manifold. Has anyone had a similar experience? What was your solution?
  • I have an '03 purchased new and got a $0 deductible, 100k miles, 7 yr Platinum plan from Toyota that was purchased through Toyota of Greenfield (MA) for $1,390. Couldn't recommend them any higher; much lower than other dealers I contacted. Make sure you mention you heard of them via the internet. Sorry, rules say I cannot give name or telephone number.
  • Changed my fluids yesterday and thought I'd post the "how to" for others, plus a few other items to do while you're under the vehicle:

    First: You'll need a sutiable floor jack, and jack stands, gear lube oil per owner's manual specs (note: I just switched over to Redline synthetic 75-90 API GL- 5 in TCase and both differentials: reference Redline customer service or call toll-free at (800) 624-7958)

    Capcities: Front diff 1.8 US qts, transfer case 1.4 US qts, rear diff 3.5 US qts
    Torque specs: drain/fill plug F&R diff 36 ft lbs, TCase, 27 ft lbs

    Jacking: There are two "under engine" covers in the front of the vehicle. One is metal and the other is "plastic". In the center of the metal one, at the rear edge of it, is a large circle. This is between the two front wheel suspension components. I put a rubber insert in the jack saddle, but a piece of wood will work as well. Place the jack saddle here and raise the front end to the desired height and place your jack stands where you want them. I place mine just behind the back of the plastic engine cover on the frame rails. The rear jacking point is the rear diff. Again, jack to desired height and place the jack stands on the frame.

    Once jacked and on stands you can see the rear diff, but you'll need to remove the plastic under engine cover to get proper access to the front diff and tcase. Once you remove all of the bolts, it drops down exposing the front diff etc. With front jack stands in place, I find it easier to slide the cover to the rear, then remove it from under the vehicle.

    This is a good time to lube your propeller shaft sleeve yokes at each end-one to the diff and on to the TCase. There are grease fittings at each end of the propeller shafts. I put about a haf of a pump in to each fitting for the differentials, but only about quarter pump or less in to the ends that go to the tcase. While it's all right to pump until you see some grease come of the fittings on the ends to the diffs, you DON'T want to do that for the TCase fittings. Lubing these points gets rid of or greatly reduces the drive shaft "clunk" mentioned on this forum from time to time. Also, while you're under there, you might want to spray some silicone spray or other suitable product on exposed suspension mountings (e.g. sway bar attachement points etc) to address any squeaks or prevent them if you don't have them.

    Since the rear is the larger of the diffs and most accessible, it's a good one to do first, to get the feel of draining and changing the gear lube. If facing the diff from the front, you'll notice one 24mm nut directly in front of you and another 24mm to the lower right. The top one is the fill plug and the lower one is the drain. Note: loosen the drain plug FIRST. You don't want to drain the oil and then find you've got a problem with your fill plug! Then undo the drain plug and drain the old oil. Replace the drain plug and re-fill the diff via the fill hole. A simple hand pump is all you need to pump the new oil in. As the oil reaches the proper level, you'll noitce the oil starting to drip from the fill hole, when it does, remove the tube from the hole and re-install the fill plug. (You can double check the level by putting your finger in the fill hole.) One down and two to go!

    The transfer case drain and fill plugs are to the front and left. As with the rear diff, these are also 24mm. And, as with the rear, undo the fill plug FIRST. Drain, re-fill etc as with the rear.

    The front diff uses 10mm hex plugs for draining and filling. The fill plug is up and to the right, the drain is on the bottom right. Undo the fill plug first and then the drain. Re-insert and tighten the drain plug, then add the new oil and re-insert the fill plug.

    That's it! Re-install the plastic under engine cover. Remove your jack stands and lower the vehicle. After draining and filling the diffs and tcase, it's a good idea to do drive a short distance and turn the vehicle to the right and left: i.e. weave back and forth a bit.

  • Edit to my post above. In discussion of loosening fill and drain plugs, I incorrectly emphasized doing the drain plug first. Should read fill plug! Always do the fill plug first.

    Sorry for the confusion
  • gkazgkaz Posts: 7
    I'm having a problem where the DVD magazine in the center armrest of my 2002 Land Cruiser won't eject. When I push the Disc button on my radio i get a "DVD Error" message. All I want to do is remove the cartridge but it appears stuck. I shine the flashlight down there and I can see the disk is halfway inserted. Anyone have the same problem or suggestions how to fix? Thanks!
  • You may try pushing down on the cartridge while pushing on the eject button. Don't force it though.

    Any way for you to slide a narrow bladed implement in there and push in the disk that's protruding? A standard table knife?
  • rshtrsht Posts: 277
    If anyone is interested in getting a set of Service/Repair Manual (Used, but kept both volumes in like new condition) for the 2000 Land Cruiser, please let me know via e-mail at "". I'd like to sell mine for $95 or BO, as I have recently traded my 2000 TLC.
  • Help! Recently I noticed a damp smell inside my 99 LC and whenever the vehicle sat in park for a period of time, the windows steamed up on the inside (LOL--and no, there were no people in the vehicle at the time!). Upon further investigation, I noticed the back cargo bay carpet to be soaking wet. I lifted the carpet back and found standing pools of water between the carpet padding and metal frame. Water is not coming in through the windows, as I checked the seals during a rainstorm. The interior back walls are dry. However, water is obviously leaking in somewhere...has this ever happened to anyone? Can I expect a costly repair?
  • While I can't guess as to the source, have you tried removing the seats and all of the carpet and padding? If you can do this, then let the vehicle sit or drive it as you usually do, you may have a better chance of locating the source.

  • I am having the exact same problem in my 96 LC. I have narrowed the initial wet area to between the 2nd and 3rd row seating, and I am eagearly awaiting our next decent rainstorm while the carpet is pulled. I'll let you know what I find.
  • I had the wet interior problem on my '94, but it was "self inflicted" (don't ask!). I removed all of the seats, carpeting and padding. Wiped everything down with alcohol and let it dry out for about two days. Did another alcohol wipe down and let it dry one more day. Cleaned and vacced all the carpet and mats. Put it all back together and it was fine. Haven't had any issues on the '02 like this.

    I no longer have the '94 or its service manuals, but I seem to recall the sunroof drains can get clogged and lead to some interior moisture issues. Sounds odd, but IIRC the drains travel a rather convuluted route with in the body structure.
  • This does sound like a sunroof drain plug being clogged. Check around the sunroof and clean out any debris. Make sure the exit holes by the running boards are unobstructed also.
    Side note:
    A common leakage problem on some FJ80 models is that the seams of the body will allow water to seep in when raining. The seams in question are above the doors. Some have used silicone sealant as a workaround solution.
  • edsel4uedsel4u Posts: 39
    Perhaps a car-wash or a weakened tail-gate seal flooded your LC.

    I have a 2000 LC and water from a self-serve automated car wash will poor in past the top seal of the upper tail gate and soak my cargo area. This is the only car wash in my area that will do this to my LC. I've tried this car-wash three times (with a cargo liner in place) and each time a high pressure wash nozzle will align perfectly and force water past the seal. All of the other car washes in my area, including similar self-serves will not do what this one particular car wash will do.

    All I can figure, it's a fluke that the wash equipment at this car-wash, my vehicle dimension, and the car-wash's guided parking all align perfectly to give my LC the "Perfect Storm" of a car wash :)
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