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Toyota 4Runner



  • rickwil61rickwil61 Posts: 23
    I just wanted to confirm something about the odor. Judging from some of the posts this thing is pretty bad, I mean like "gag a maggot" bad where it almost makes you sick to be in the vehicle, is this correct? I'm sort of like cliffy where if I have fresh air coming in and I get on the throttle pretty hard I can pick up an odor. I wouldn't describe it as rotten eggs but it does smell exhaust related. It's not something that would make you sick and most of the time I don't notice it.

    I'm just trying to gauge how severe the problem is for people who are experiencing it. Is it something that literally makes you sick or is it something that doesn't necessarily drive you out of the car but you feel that for 30K there shouldn't be any odor at all. (Which I wouldn't disagree with)
  • reddfishreddfish Posts: 54
    I believe the problem is widespread in the 03 4runners, but I don't know exactly why. I don't think Toyota knows either. If you have an 03 4runner with no odor problems, consider yourself lucky. We didn't want this problem and we have over 3000 miles now and we still experience this horrific stench. I also believe it to be a health problem. I have never had a vehicle, new or used, that ever had a problem like this. This is a smell that can (and has) made us sick. Puke sick. I do not have to jump on the throttle to creat it either. It can happen anytime, even at cruise.If anyone is thinking of filing a lemon law claim also, my advice is not to delay and document everything. I waited 10 years to buy this truck and I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am because of this situation. I think there may be something unique to the 03 4runner that is creating this problem. Again, everyone's comments and posts are appreciated.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    even if you dig amongst the Toyota threads, you will find this complaint widespread among the corolla and camry owners as well, in the 49 states. And Nissan owners have had a lot of problems with this.

    I don't know what changes Toyota has been making recently in engine management software, but these are all the most recently redesigned vehicles that have this smell.

    Don't forget, the gas sold in the 49 states has some of the highest sulfur content around (and I mean, internationally).

    I say 49, because California mandated the low sulfur gas a couple of years ago, so that our gas here has less than 1/10 as much sulfur in it as everyone else. I have been asking people in the threads, and I have yet to find anyone with this complaint that is driving in anyone here with a rotten-egg smell a CA driver?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    gas is mandated to have the same low-sulfur content as CA by 2005.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Picked up an 03 Limited in January. No sulfer smell, ever. It would be interesting to find out if this thing is regional. Any chance a certain additive is in our gas in the Northeast during the winter? I also test drove 2 other 4Runners before I decided and neither one had that sulfer smell. I also have not heard of this problem from any GX470 owner on their message boards.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I believe the "rotten egg smell" is sulfer di-oxide. Anyone who took chemistry in the 60's at the U of MD would recognize that smell. The whole Chem building reeked of it.
      I live in the DC area, on the other side of the DC Beltway from Cliffy. I have an 03 with the V-8.
      MD requires "oxygenated" gas sold in the State during the Winter months to reduce pollution. North East states may also do this. It may reduce sulfer emissions.
    I have noticed a very mild sulfer di-oxide smell when I used Amoco gas. I do not notice it on CITGO. Maybe CITGO has a lower sulfer content. I did notice that It seemed worse on Amoco after I accelerated faster than usual, then parked and got out. I have never smelled it inside with the A/C on, or with the windows open.
       No way was it so bad as to cause my wife or two daughters to even remark about it, when we got out of the 4Runner. They are no strangers to complaining, either.
       I am very satisfied with the vehicle. I would buy it all over again, even with the snow almost all melted. I'm going down to the Outer Banks of NC this weekend to play with my 4Runner in the sand.
  • vaughn4vaughn4 Posts: 106
    Regarding my earlier post...I called four of the area dealers this morning, two didn't know (or claim to know) of what I was talking about. The other two attributed the odor to the catalytic converter being so new and undercoating and that it would eventually get better - I'm not so sure as they didn't seem too convincing - What a bust!! Again, the smell is so strong that my kids blame each other for it. Once after the parking the truck you could smell it on the outside. When I got back in it a couple of minutes later the smell was still inside the cabin. It is actually like a sewer smell. Toyota better rethink how they are engineering the emissions on this truck because this will create a problem for them if people continue to complain. I don't think people will chance the purchase of a $30K vehicle if it may smell like rotten eggs. Take your chances...
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    My parents had an 1983 Buick LeSabre station wagon that stunk up everything when it's emissions system had a problem. Sounds like an emissions problem. That car lost all sorts of power with that problem, though.

    Interesting, though, that this isn't limited to the 4Runner. Sounds like you'd be taking your chances with getting a stinky vehicle no matter what you buy.

    Our gas here in CO is oxygenated, too.

    I'd imagine they put the 50 state emissions on all the vehicles sold here in the US. It's a no-charge option.

    I'm glad my 4Runner doesn't stink. It kicked major @$$ this morning in our big snowstorm. The VSC kicked in a few times in parking lots and the side roads. We've got probably 6 or 8 inches of snow already, looking for 10 to 20 more over the next 36 hours.
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    I want to second nippononly's question. Are any of you that are having this smell in California??
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    Yes on a Hyundai, but it was early days - maybe "Kosmo" burning off?

    ariellyn "Hyundai Santa Fe problems" Aug 6, 2001 5:29pm

    Never in CA:

    nippononly "Vibe and Matrix Maintenance & Repair Concerns" Mar 12, 2003 8:32pm

    I seem to remember a post, maybe in that M&R Rotten Egg board, where one refinery in Michigan was already meeting 2007 standards for low sulfur gas and that was supposed to cure the problem.

    Steve, Host
  • sovangsovang Posts: 56
    I have an 2003 4runner SR5 and I live in CO, and YES, I get the stinky smell. However, it only comes inside the truck when I have the rear windows down or when I come to a quick stop. Other than that, I don't smell it inside the cabin. The point is, the smell is there.....and it is not limited to Toyota..

  • kstittkstitt Posts: 9
    I have a V8 2003 4runner. I have not noticed the smell. That's a small consolation for the higher gasoline prices here.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    and I even had it bookmarked:

    h109 "Mazda MPV Problems" Jan 29, 2003 11:47am

    It links to a Mazda TSB about the smell, and applies to all Mazda models.

    Unrepairable Foul Emission Oder In New Camry is a whole 'nother discussion about the smell (Toyota! and Saabs) and some more suggestions.

    Steve, Host
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    The Crosslander built in Brazil, due this summer. Looks cool. Link:
  • mdjeepmanmdjeepman Posts: 21
    Is it true that the 2003 4 Runners REQUIRE PREMIUM gas (according to edmunds)? Just wondering, as I am considering buying one. I don't think Sequoia requires premium tho, just regular (per edmunds). So what do your owners manuals say, 4 runner owners?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I have been running my 03 V-8 on a steady diet of 87 octane. It runs just fine in MD.
  • beercoll1beercoll1 Posts: 88
    I recently went over the 1000 mile mark on my 2003 V8 Sport 4-Runner. I had not noticed the smell. Just as an experiment, I tried flooring it. Just as Cliffy stated, the smell was present. I did have my windows open, and a little of the exhaust came in. However, when I went back tto my normal driving, the smell was not present. I live in the northeast, where the gas is oxgenated during the winter months.
    I have had cars in the past where the smell has been a lot worse, especially in my '79 Mustang. That was a real stinker, in more ways than one.
    I can live with this issue. The truck runs great. I am getting aroung 17.3(my calculation) MPG doing about 75% city driving.
    Knowing that the problem only occurs when I gun the engine can be useful. If someone is tailgating me, I can always gun the engine and let them have a whiff. Maybe that will back them off.
  • dumeeldumeel Posts: 2
    I am looking for a SR5 V6 4x2 4Runner with Appearance package in Phoenix, AZ. I am being told that this area (along with 6 surrounding states )does not get v6 SR5 with Appearance Pkg. Is this true? Is it the same case in other regions?

    I tried website for 4Runner configuration and could not locate "Appearance Pkg" even after using different zip codes!!!

    Thanks in advance
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    They are all over California. I have noticed the Toyota web site doesn't always come up accurately. It should be available.
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