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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • Ok so I own a 87 toyota 4runner and recently I have begun to have problems shifting in and out of 1st 2nd and 3rd gear. I have also had it get stuck in reverse. While listening when I last drove it I did not hear any strange noises, however when it has been stuck in a gear I could hear it affect the sound of the engine idle. One more thing that happened when it was stuck in gear is that I would have the clutch all the way in and the 4runner still crept up hill and I had to apply the breaks while the car was on. I checked the transmission fluid, drained it and changed it out but this didnt fix anything. any suggestions? just trying to avoid rebuilding it if possible.
  • I own a 2000 4Runner SR5. Today {02-04-10} it decided not to go into reverse. It will still go forward though. Runs good, drives good. Just won't go backwards.
    Any ideas?
  • Wow I am reading all of these posts and I gotta laugh a little because I too felt the BUMP after stopping at a red light and I remember actually looking in the rear view mirror to see if someone bumped me from behind and no one was there. Also I am disappointed to see so many 4runners with so many trans problems and frankly it scares the hell out of me cause I am Toyota and 4runner loyal. The way everyone talks about how the dealers have no interest in helping is scary especially with the recent Toyota recalls etc. Makes me wonder where I would go next if I were to quit on Toyota. I came from Mopar and I lost count on those blown trannys. No way I would buy GM-Maybe Ford but not likely. Any thought?
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    What do think about Honda? I have driven Honda Civics in the past and loved them but they are too small. Maybe a Pilot? I drove a Ford Sport Trac for 10 years and had virtually no problems with it. Just wanted to try Toyota. Now I'm liking the SUV type vehicles so don't want to go back to a car the size of a Civic. I have been trying to call Toyota customer care for days now, and get put on hold forever. I guess they're busy with all the recall stuff, but they should still repond to customers who don't have the recall cars in question. Very discouraged with Toyota.
  • I'm still waiting on the district manager to call me about the tranny slippage. I understand they are busy with the recalls but, I took my 4-Runner into the shop the week of Christmas. I guess another trip is in order. Probably get another brush-off. Both of our cars are Toyota's (05 Tacoma and 09 4-Runner) and we've had 4-Runners for years and haven't had any problems till now.
  • I have 07 4Runner Ltd V8 (bought new less than 3 years ago) with just 20,000+ miles now. Couple of weeks ago parked it in the cold weather downhill on the sloppy street for several hours. When start driving it several hours later heard very loud banging under the car. Pulled to the gas station near by, inspected weels, foreign object under car. Drove slowly 5 miles to home and brought to dealer next day. They inspected brakes, took car to the highway and did not find anything.

    I drove car anothe 50-60 miles the following week. No problems. But week later parked car (again downhill on sloppy street in the cold weather) and banging came back when start driving. I had to pull off highway very slowly followed by police car for protection. Any idea what it could be? Problem is gone again when I keep car in a garage and start driving from there and I am afraid to have another useless round trip to the dealer. Tips or/and advices are appreciated.
  • Not sure what it might be but the drive shaft on my 07 V8 has grease fittings on each end and the U joints have fittings as well. If they have not been greased it may be sticking and causing the noise?
  • Hi Beck: I too am still waiting for the proverbial call back from the service mgr. The latest from my dealership is, make an appointment and we will run some diagnostics and see what happens. Well even I can figure out that this excerise in futility is one computer talking to another. And until my cars computer recongnizes there is something wrong (ie. a dash light comming on) the explanation will be 'we can't find anything wrong' I think Toyota has proven from the recent recalls they are more than reticent to recognize faulty engineering. But is it not interesting how quickly they can come up w/a fix when enough pressure is brought to bear. That thud you just heard was the resale value dropping for the second time in four days!
  • Hello again edpole and beekerluvmu: In the 'for what its worth department' light of the recent recalls and litigation against Toyota I think its really important to call Toyota cust. care (1-800-331-4331) and file a complaint and get a case number. I know our problem is not whats on the front burner right now, but I have read that lawyers, insurance companies and Toyota are now paying attention to these complaints. So obviously the more complaints, the better chance of someone paying attention to it. Ours are new cars with defects. Because that defect has not injured anyone yet should not negate the fact that the defect should be fixed. I certainly don't mean to sound like a cheer leader, but if all of us have been blown off by the svc. mgrs.then maybe the Toyota cust. care is one of the few venues left. I'm also going to check out NHTSA & I'll let you know how that goes. Also there is an interesting tort action now being filed that says in essence ...Toyota misled people and there are many people out there who would have never bought a Toyota if they'd known about the unintended acceleration issue. You can cross out those last words and insert 'transmission slipping issue'
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    I was calling the customer help number (800-331-4331) for days and each time was put on hold for 20-30 minutes and had to hang up in frustration. Finally, went to under contact us and e-mailed them with my story. Monday, I actually got a reply from Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Toyota Customer Experience. It was a lengthy e-mail in which he apologized and stated that he has contacted our Toyota hometown dealership manager about my problem (don't know how he knew since we never put the dealership's name in the e-mail??) . He suggested we also contact the manager because he feels that a "two-pronged" approach would get better results from the dealership. Anyway, he went on to say the manager would contact me by the end of the business day on Feb. 11, 2010 which is tomorrow. They assigned a File# in the e-mail to reference when I contact them if I don't have a response from my dealership by Feb. 11. Will keep you updated when and if anything actually materializes! I agree with you that the more people that contact Toyota, the better chance we will be heard.
  • Today I contacted NHTSA via computer and filed a claim. After reading the site I believe that someone just might pay attention. I felt it was well worth my time to contact them and hope that those of you with transmission slipping problems will do the same. There is strength in numbers and what have you got to loose?
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    My dealership manager didn't contact me on Feb 11 like the representative from Toyota said he would. I'm contacting Toyota again to let them know. Don't know what good it will do. Thanks to Mitch for your message. I went to the NHTSA site and filed a complaint today. Like you said, it's worth a try.
  • Hi everyone-

    I just got my 4Runner fixed at my local Toyota dealer. Since I still have it covered I got it fixed for 50 Bucks. (Deductible) They said they did feel the slipping (around the 30-35 mph range) and said it was the Torque converter that was failing. The converter sits between the transmission and engine and does the gear changing between the two. It rides SO smooth now. Like brand new again. I hope this helps anyone. :blush:
  • Thanks for the info. I still haven't heard from the Toyota district manager. Big surprise. I'll file a complainy after this post. Thanks again Becky
  • Hey guys, would like your imput on something. My wife and I are "thinking" about buying a new vehicle. I have an 07 Avalon XLS and love it but since her vehicle is paid for, she wants to get something else, but it has to be able to pull a pontoon boat. Anyway she narrowed it down to two choices, The GMC Acadia and the Toyota 4-Runner ( SR5 Version ) between the two what do you guys think is the 'better" vehicle. As far as asthetics go, I think the acadia is easier on the eye, especially inside, but I test drove one this past weekend and while it seemed to have plenty of get up and go, the inside components seemed to be made of cheap material. also, when you lay the third row of seats down flat, the cargo area also has a cheap look to it. Have not driven the 4-runner yet, plan to do that next weekend but wanted to know how you all felt about both vehicles before I go to the dealership. Thanks in advance for your help. Oh by the way, I'm one of those guys that believes the color can make or break the look of a vehicle.. with the 4 runner, I think thier two "strongest" colors are black and salsa red. alright what do you all think? thanks again.

  • OMG - I have the same problem "When I slow down (but don't stop completely) to turn a corner, either right or left turn, and then accelerate, the transmission doesn't respond, engine revs a few seconds, then the transmission catches up to the engine." And ALL the things you guys have said - I've experienced, heard, been told, etc. I bought my 2009 4Runner in October. Last on the lot. Bought it because of my concern for other brands and thought Toyota was worth it. Beginning to regret my decision now. Who knew?!?
  • larry150larry150 Posts: 1
    It is an anti-lock brake problem.
    Scared the heck out of me when it happened to me.
    Every once in a while when you are on a hill with your foot on the brakes, the anti-lock starts to bang. Turn off the engine - get on the flat ground and re-start.
    Had it happen twice, then sr5 was totalled by 10 ton truck. Bought another one and it appears to have the transmission slip problem.
    Service rider at dealer thought I was from Mars when I asked about the problem.
    Hey, he's on commission for work done, not answers given.
    I think that one is a software problem of sensors getting out of sync and the computer not knowing what to do, so it failsafes to pump the brakes. I suspect the trans slip problem is the same. Don't have much respect for the software people or managers comming out of school for the last 20 years.
    The only way we will ever solve this is to force manufacturers to publish honest component failure rates. For 8 million cars, a failure rate of 0.1% is 8000. How much do you want to pay for a 0.001% ( NASA rate) failure rate of a car?
  • I have a 92 4/runner with about 145k on it. The new motor has about 35k now but the problem is that now if the truck sits for about 8 hrs when i go to drive it , it wont shift into 3rd gear or overdrive for at least 2 miles.It is an automatic, and the other problem is that when im sitting at a light at idle it starts to run a little rough aand when i go to accelerate from the light it feels like im trying to take off from overdrive. the only way to get momentum is to push the gas pedal to the floor and then it feels like just kicked in the turbo boosters on and the the tranny downshifts to 1st geat like it should. Once it accelerates it starts to go through all the gears right away causing me to loose power right away.. can anyone answer this puzzle for me cause its really got me completely puzzled..
  • Never had a problem til now. Transmission started to hang up in 1st gear when starting out, lights came on and went straight to the local dealer. Dealer 1st said they couldn't figure out what was wrong because they had never seen the codes that were coming up. They are giving me 2 options, replacing the transmission for about $3,800, plus an additional $1,200 for a pipe that runs along the bottom, if it breaks when they try to remove it. (Apparently the bolts holding it on are rusted and he doesn't know if they can get it off w/o breaking it.) 2nd option is to have the "brain" replaced (I believe he is talking about a solenoid) at a cost of $2,000, plus that $1,200 pipe-if it breaks. Then he admitted that if they did open up the transmission there is a chance they could actually identify the problem and it could cost a lot less. (Somehow I don't see that happening.) Shouldn't they be able to identify the problem from the codes? There are two codes on the handwritten estimate. "P0771-shift solenoid "E" performance or" (can't read the rest) and P0776-pressure control solenoid "B" performance or . . . stuck off."
    Are the quoted costs reasonable, especially for this pipe they may or may not break? Somehow I am not getting a cozy feeling about this dealer.
    Any info or suggestions are welcome.
  • This sounds like Hill Assist.

    Basically when you're on an incline and it begins to roll back, it will do whatever it takes to keep it from rolling back.
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