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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • I new my trans was going to go out. I have had similiar if not the same problems as a lot of you here. The delayed shifting, won't drop to passing gear when going up hill, to hard shifting. There was always fluid in it and figured since it had over 256k on it, it was probably time. I preformed all filter and fluid changes as recommended since I bought it at 234k. The trans fluid was dark when I first bought it. When I flushed it everything seemed and worked fine. I had to service it 8 months later and the fluid wasn't that bad. Recently I left my house and drove about a mile and a half to end of road and stopped. When I took off it shifted hard. But it shifted. Got about 1/2 mile and stepped on gas and the engine just revved. Steered to side of road and and put it in park. Went through all gears and the same even in reverse. Turned it off. called for ride. when my husband got there, I started it up and dropped it into drive to show him and it engaged. While engaged it makes this awful metal grind/rattling noise sounds like coming from transmission. I was able to drive it back to my house and park it. I guess my question is should I try to fix it or give up on it and sell it to someone for a parts truck? Its my only vehicle and I need to figure out something fast. Don't have a lot of money to spend. Does anyone know about how much I should sell it for if I should decide to go that way?
    Thanks, Crystal
  • I met with the regional field rep for a day about the problem. Our 09 has only 7500 miles and I was told we didn't drive it enough for the computer to have enough data points to correct for certain driving conditions it couldn't recognize. He assured me that the transmission was fine. Go figure. Told him I wanted the computer from our 06 installed. We had no problems with it, should have just kept the 06 but wanted to get a new one before the body style change. I asked about upgrades to the computer also, but he said there is not one. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Good Luck
  • fox_bfox_b Posts: 8
    My 2000 4Runner just started experiencing this same problem at 140k miles. What ended up being the problem? I am trying to diagnose it with the least amount of out of pocket expenses. Is it a soleniod or have the seals gone bad?

    Any help appreciated.
  • I have the same problem with my 2000 4Runner. In fact, my previous "00" 4runner had this issue. I had the dealer flush the trans and replace the radiator. After driving it a few hundred more miles I had the trans flushed again due to milky looking fluid still on the dipstick. I sold that unit for fear the trans would be dead soon. Bought another "00" model because I loved the style and was satified with the reliability. Have been driving it for 4 yrs now with hardly any maintenance except for a leaky differential cover. Liked it so much, I bought a third "00" model that was wrecked and rebuilt the whole thing. Just yesterday my wife said she broke down and car was overheating. Checked it out and sure enough, The same thing happened...."strawberry milkshake syndrome" pulled the dipstick and it was covered with antifreeze/trans fluid combo. I think toyota knows their radiators are faulty and just figure they'll ignore any TSB's or recalls. Kinda shady when you promote your company with ads of this one and that one getting 400K+ miles on their cars and then have an issue like this and just ignore it. This is an extremely costly fix if it's not caught soon!
  • bknippabknippa Posts: 1
    Got a 94 4runner...was driving fine then i got in it one day and it acted like it didn't want to was like the front tires were locked and the back ones would just spin. Eventually it started going i had to make it to work so i drove it anyways. eventually it wouldn't let me go any furthur. i could smell what i thought was the clutch so we replaced it and its still doin the same thing. now when i drive it, the rpms increase very fast and force me to shift...eventually i'll be driving in 5th gear and only going 20 mph or so....can anybody help me here?????
  • What the Heck
    My 2010 Toyota 4runner has been to two different dealerships a total of 4b times and I am getting the same [non-permissible content removed] from them.
    Toyota has to know there is a major problem and is covering it up.
    I am about to go to a third party and sue them.

    I even gave them the TSB # to correct the problem and they ignored it.
    They have been told to hide the problem.

    A 32,000 vehicle should not shift like a tractor
  • I have an 09 4Runner. The dealership kept the vehicle overnight to check the transmission fluid. They said it was low and topped it off. The hesitation in shifting diminished significantly but has not gone away entirely.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    I agree 100%!! Mine is a May, 2009 4Runner and had what feels like trans problem since day-one! I have been in close contact with my dealership service manager and e-mail her all of the comments I read so she can keep record. I have file a complaint with the national highway assn and Toyota and sent the TSB# also. I got some form letter from Toyota thanking me for my concern. Something has to be done. I was told at one point that, with time, the problem will get better, but that isn't what happened. If anything, it's getting worse. Now it bogs down when I have to accellerate quickly not just when turning a corner, and I can't get out of the way fast enough. This happened to me in heavy Houston traffic the other day, and scared me to death. I guess an accident has to happen before they take serious notice. Please continue to comment on this site about any results you get. I refuse to give up! Like you said, a $32,000 vehicle should run perfectly, period. For them to keep telling me that's just the way they are made, is insulting.
  • I have a toyota 4runner 2001, however it has as I have been told 2000 trans. less than 3 years ago the trans went out. It made a noise as if something was broke lose inside. As the cost of a new was not economically possible, found a used one. Thats when we found out it was 2000 transmission. The mechanics we talked to including dealer specialist said " you don't rebuild, you buy used or new". Two weeks ago, the same thing happened again, it just stopped moving and had a sound as if something was free floating inside.
    There was no concern from the company rep about my issue even after i said I have owned Toyotas for over 30 years. I told her about my reactions from different mechanics including Toyota Dealers she did confirm the dealer answer. I was told "you don't rebuild These transmissions you buy new or used. They just trash them and this
    is something understood. I was a major Toyota fan until this.
    How many people here have had a similar problem with this model and year? Please contact me here or at
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
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    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • ik123ik123 Posts: 2
    edited September 2010
    Hello guys,

    Update on my 2010 4Runner transmission lag - After looking through this forum and provided links, I scheduled appointment with my dealership in NJ and insisted (first, my dealer was trying to give me a hard time telling that they can't replicate the problem) on applying TSB # 0166-10 (my VIN met the criteria). The issue with transmission lag is now completely gone and car drives perfectly normal. Thanks a lot everyone.
  • Based on the Vin #'s that were put out on this forum, my 2009 doesn't match for the TSB #0166-10. Not sure what I should do now. Any suggestions??
  • Yes, I did get the transmission problem fixed. I believe it came down my battery. When I replaced the battery and made sure the fluid was topped off then I have not had any further problems. I dot think there is something though to what one person mention this forum regarding corosion build up some where maybe on the solenoids then the electricity will have a hard time getting through. So with replacing the battery there could still the same problem lying in wait to happen again.
  • Problem continues to get worse. My 2009 4-runner (39000km) will rev to almost 3000rpm and not go anywhere when shifting gears. I'm in Eastern Canada and brought it to my dealer twice. They reset the computer the first time and the problem went away. I couldn't believe how quick it was and it was a pleasure to drive it again. Within' approx 2 week it was back to lagging on gear changes. Brought it back to dealer and they tried another reset but this time it didn't work. The dealer don't have a fix because Toyota Canada hasn't acknowledged a problem. I've been told that this is how they are and it's a computer controlled accelerator that I have to put up with. I have had a close call in traffic where I can't accelerate fast enough to merge into traffic. I apply the gas and the engine revs loudly and doesn't go anywhere. I have notified Toyota Canada and have 2 case numbers for the problem. If I get into an accident because of it I will be calling a lawyer.
    This is my 5th 4-runner and it's probably my last. I hate driving it now and I only drove it out of the showroom 14 months ago.
  • i have a 92 4runner automatic v6 i have full power in reverse and none in forward gears? any help is appreciated thanks
  • I have a 2005 Toyota 4-Runner, 4WD, V6 automatic with barely 49K miles. The right rear wheel would spin coming off a speed bump. One day whiled driving to work I stopped at a stop sign when I started to go forward the vehicle jolted forward
    and then I heard a very loud banging noise and the rear wheels locked up. Afterwhich, the vehicle had to be towed because I could not drive forward.
    After the mechanic looked at the vehicle I had to have the ring and pinion in the rear differential replaced because four (4) of the spokes had broken off.

    Drives fine for about a week, on couple of times the same thing happened with the right rear wheel spinning off speed bumps. And now the transmission (??) is acting up. When I stop or hit the brakes, I believe the transmission isn't engaging properly- the vehicle jolts forward like I've been hit from behind. Just yesterday, I had someone pull out in front of me and I had to hit the brakes fairly hard the vehicle jolted forward. When I tried to drive forward the loud banging noise
    returned. At this point both the mechanic and I are at lost. Unlike the first time, I was able to drive very slowly with the banging noise to the mechanic work area.

    I'm in Africa so finding an actual licensed Toyota mechanic is out of the question. So any assistance you can provide would greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 03 4runner with 167k miles on it. 6 months ago the check engine light came on. I read the codes and 2 transm solenoids were stuck. I replaced them myself. Now the problem is occurring again. It slips in 1st gear and it will not go into O/D. On a whim I erased the codes and it still slips but O/D worked again.
    Is there a transmission ECU? If there is, could that be it?. If there isn't one, could it be the main ECU? Help? :confuse:
  • UPDATE: My local dealer now has a TSB fix for the 2010 Toyota 4-Runner but it doesn't work on the 2009's like mine. I've contacted Toyota Canada to advise them that if I don't hear from them regarding a solution by Friday I will be calling TRANSPORT CANADA VEHICLE SAFETY AND RECALLS. I've had enough! More bad press for Toyota coming right up!
  • Can you tell me which TSB # you're talking about? Is it the #0166-10? I also have a 2009 so am just wanting to know if I shouldn't bother to waste my time trying to get my dealership to do the #0166-10.
  • Yeah, it's the same tsb. The -10 means it's only for 2010 models. It won't work on the 2009 I've been told by my dealer. There is a fix for the 2010 but they're not working on one for the 2009 I've been told. I'm calling Transport Canada safety if I don't hear anything in the next 2 days. I'm fed up.
    You in Canada?
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