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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • daisykdaisyk Posts: 2
    I have a '97 4Runner with about 117,000 miles that lately is reluctant to go into Drive when it is cold. I can back out of the garage OK, but when I put it in Drive, the transmission doesn't engage. I need to rev the engine a bit, and then it "slams" in with a jolt and big noise. It only does it when cold, once it is warm, it is fine. I have added transmission fluid but it wasn't very low, and didn't make any difference. I am afraid it will not go in at all sometime and I will be stuck. Suggestions?
  • My 2008 4 Runner had only 1800 miles on it. Car would not engage drive after backing up for about 5 seconds, long seconds. Seemed to do it more when hot. Took back to dealer. Had to drive with a tech before problems was "seen". They adjusted the netural safety switch. So far the car has been good. I have my fingers crossed as the problem was not constant.
  • Hi..see my response on 10/30 or let me just tell you. I took to dealer again and finally while driving with a tech, the problem happened. Drove backwards, place into drive and 5 second delay before the trans engaged. The tech called HQ Tech Support. Was told to adjust the netural safety switch, which does make sense. So far the trans seems to be responding correctly without a delay. I have my fingers crossed. If it happens again, I will advise this forum. Wish you luck with yours. Jean
  • My Toyota has 210000 miles, in need of help to figure out whats going on. The gears are taking longer to engage, and feel slugish when I am doing 50-60 miles per hour as if the RPMs are going over 3500. I also hear a "clicking sound" when idle at 20 miles per hr. My mechanic could not pin point the problem, and chnged the oil & filter with out solving the problem however when it first happened the needle to check the fluid did came out, but could not get it back in, (persistent problem) as if s/thing was stuck.
  • Hey Bandit10,

    Sorry it took so long to answer. Replaced complete clutch Assy and am running strong. Up to 275,000 miles the other day and yea, driving 90-105 everyday is great and even better since gas has gone down. Wish you could do the same. Big thanks for the info, great forum.

  • I am having this exact problem with my 1997 Auto 2WD 4-Runner. Brakes have been checked and they are fine.

    I will presume the automatic transmission is in need of repair/replacement. Without taking a look at the shop manual, can the transmission be removed *without* pulling the engine as well?

  • I also am having the same problem and was wondering what the answer to yours was as i am going to be bringing mine in to the shop next week (i hate having others work on my stuff!) and was wondering what to expect. thanks!
  • daisykdaisyk Posts: 2
    The final diagnosis was not the transmission at all. The rear bearing seals were leaking so the rear brakes were binding. They aren't effective in reverse which was why it went backwards OK. But when I put it in drive, the brakes bound and I had to give it a lot of gas to overcome it. Replacing seals, brake pads and emergency brake cured the problem.
  • Well, I was able to resolve my problem with it not moving forward by simply adding a container of Lubeguard. Once I add the Lubeguard, the transmission never did it again. Give it a try before having work done on your transmission. It surely doesn't cost as much and it worked for me.
  • teggarteggar Posts: 1
    my son has a 91 6cyl 4x4 4 runner, it has an automatic trans. He is have issues with it and wants to know if he can drop in a 94 4runner auto transmission. Are they compatible or do we need to look for something else?
  • I have a 94 v6 4runner that hesitates to shift into overdrive.
    This problem occurs on cold mornings only. I generally have to drive from 2 to 10 miles, depending on the cold temperature outside, before the transmission will shift into od. Once it shifts the first time into od then it does just fine until the vehicle is parked in cold weather again. Do you think this is a trans. problem or some kind of engine or sensor problem?
  • I have a 1998 toyota 4runner, automatic, 175,000 miles on it. My transmission seems to be going out. Heres the deal. When the car is in park, the car hesitates about every 10 seconds where the rpm drops and goes back up. When I shift from park to drive, or from park to reverse, the transmission makes a constant weird noise, almost like something is rubbing in it... I think its a dirty bearing. Anyways, as I pick up speed, the noise goes away. When I hit a red light on the street, same thing, the car hesitates when idleing, and when i start to drive, the transmission makes that noise again. I have notied a huge loss of power, and when I start to drive, the front right of the car (where the air filter is located) make a loud vibrating noise (maybe thats another problem). I took it to AMCO for a free diagnostic test, they said it was the tranny, I took it to toyota, they said the same thing.

    My question is this. I have a few options. I change the bearing and hop this is the problem, chang the tranny with a used one with 72,000 miles on it, or do I get it rebuilt? Anyone else have this problem? What would you do? HELP ME PLEASE!!!

    All maintenance has been done... its not spark plugs, its not any hoses, its not a dirty fuel filter, etc, etc, etc.
  • I have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner, SR5, 5-speed manual transmission that I just replaced the transmission in a few weeks ago. The problems all started about 1.5 years ago. First the clutch failed. It was replaced three times before the transmission finally went out. The mechanic who replaced the clutch several times did a few things to the trans to keep the vehicle running without replacing it, but the clutch kept getting screwed up. Finally, the trans blew out while driving down the interstate and it has now been replaced. The vehicle feels much better for obvious reasons. However, I've noticed a few problems, and I'm not sure of their severity. First, since the first day I drove the car after having the transmission replaced, the gears seem "tough" to shift into. LIterally it's tough to get the stick into each position. I should also mentioned that I live in Chicago and it is winter time. The gears seem to ease up after 10 minutes of driving or so. Also, I notice that the gears grind quite a bit when going into 3rd. But it is avoidable if I shift slowly into 3rd. The next problem I've noticed is a slight rattling that seems to be coming from underneath the vehicle. This was not noticed until after the transmission was done. Its difficult to determine exactly where the sound is coming from, but it seems to be beneath the gear box. Should I get the vehicle back to the mechanic?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • I have a 98 4runner v6 2wd auto 175,000. Makes a loud clank noise when shifting from park to drive or reverse or vice versa. Makes a bad vibration at high speeds (50+) but only when accelerating. Looks as if some fluid is leaking from rear-end and also fresh oil looking fluid from the rear of the trany around where the drive shaft connects and where looks to be some sensors. No check engine light. Runs fine and shifts good.
  • were you able to fix the overheating issue? I have the same problem on the exact same model 90 v6, mine actually overheats only above 2900rpms, can drive for hours in city and everything is fine, it overheats only on the highway when driving above 2800-2900 rpms, usually up hill.
  • sfzabsfzab Posts: 1
    Topic: Automatic transmission losses strength sometimes

    I am the owner of a 1995 Toyota 4Runner, 4 doors, SR5 V6 with a 3.0 EFI engine. About a year and 3 months ago, its automatic transmission began to lose strength occasionally even though it was accelerated. The vehicle might run apparently well sometimes, and then unexpectedly lose strength and not be able to pass a speed rate of some 30 mph.

    When this has occurred I have noted that the speed revolutions meter moves up then very fast. However the motor vehicle will not move much more faster even though one accelerates it. The problem described is not something that happens all the time, but rather unexpectedly.

    I took the car to a few reliable mechanics that were knowledgeable of Toyota motor vehicles although they were not Toyota employees. Three of them scanned it, and they all informed me that they could not detect the cause of the failure. One of them made a full repair of the automatic transmission, but unfortunately that did not solve the problem.

    I will appreciate your kind feedback on the matter in terms of other possible solutions that might exist or may have been overlooked.
  • :cry: Our 01 4runner is in the shop, complete transmission rebuild. Our first sign, a whine during acceleration. Had Jiffy Lube flush and change the fluids. Whine didn't go away...back to our local shop, they couldn't find an issue. Then a new noise popped up, a knocking noise (louder in reverse)....Back to our local shop, then to a transmission shop. Upon draining fluids and finding metal pieces in the drain pan it was determined that the transmission was in need of repair $$$

    I'm very discouraged with mechanics these days - - - I feel this should have been determined months ago.
  • Hello, I’m new here! This has been going on now for quite a while, if this has been ask before please forgive me. I have a 02 4Runner 2wd and when the motor is cold summer or winter it won’t shift out of second gear until I reach 35mph about 2500 rpm , fluid is fine. My son had a 02 Tacoma 4wd that did the same thing. Am I looking at a big repair bill or worse?
  • Hi I have a 95 4Runner and had this same thing before and after I had my transmission rebuilt for other problem(overheating). Anyway, this is normal and a Toyota design I guess to keep your transmission from working too hard to pump cold fluid into the overdrive section of your vehicle. No problem as far as Toyota and Ammco are concerned. More noticeable in winter as it takes longer to warm so more noticable. Been two years since the tranny was rebuilt and have not had any more problems.
  • Not too sure if this answer is mechanically correct. I recently had the same issue arise in my 1995 Toyota 4runner. It did not have this issue previously, by me or the other owners. It is not a "design" by Toyota. According to Toyota Manufactures, (not the dealer who is just a franchise of Toyota) this is not a design by them.

    Quoted is a reply from Toyota Corp:
    "It would be unsafe to design a vehicle with such behavior. This could create unsafe situations for drivers and undo wear on engines operating at high RPM's. If you are having such issues with your Toyota Transmission we highly recommend having your vehicle serviced at your local transmission repair shop."

    I am currently in the quest for answers as this problem began part way through the winter, after the cold snap and my driving patterns are the same today as they were then. Some have replaced stuck Thermostats, others have bad solenoids, my friends was a Coolant Temperature Sensor. Mine is still a mystery.
    Some other solutions have been transmission fluid issues(dirty, low, too thick), wiring(corroded, loose, and bent/cracked)

    Good Luck too everyone
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