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Toyota 4Runner



  • glb5glb5 Posts: 39
  • Try to start off with.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    glb5, the operating manual doesn't say anything about checking the transmission fluid level because they don't want ordinary customers attempting to do so. Since you're supposed to check the level with the engine running (after you run through the gears while stopped), they're apparently worried that folks will injure themselves or others. I guess I understand that concern, but I'm amazed at how few maintenance items are covered in the operating manual these days.

    The repair manual set describes how to check the level, and notes that the engine/transmission should be up to operating temperature first. There is a drawing of the dipstick and tube, but it's not referenced to a specific spot on the transmission or engine. I can guess a little from the drawing, and it looks like it's probably on the right side of the engine, back near the firewall. It should be farther back than the oil dipstick, but should be similar in appearance.

    As for the fuel filter, I can't find any mention of it in the repair manuals. The same was true with my previous Toyota, though it did indeed have a fuel filter. They never recommended changing it, and I never did (though I bought one anyway). I had no problems.

    As for the differential lock, it doesn't seem that you need to come to a stop before engaging it. If you find that it will never lock without first stopping, perhaps you ought to get the dealer to look at it. As I understand it, one purpose of the lock is to be able to engage it on the fly, as soon as you begin to experience conditions that are confounding the traction control system.

    As for the engine oil level measurement, they want you to measure the level with the engine warm, about 5 minutes after stopping the engine (per the repair manual). I've tried comparing this measurement to one made with the engine cold overnight, and sure didn't experience the major difference you did. But I've got a V6, and perhaps others with V8s can chime in with their own experience.
  • vman05vman05 Posts: 7
    Hi everyone. I was just wondering how people are finding the front leg room in these trucks. I noticed Consumer Reports lists the 4 Runners leg room at 40 inches which I think would be a bit tight since I'm 6'4". I did try a Honda CR-V which is also listed in CR as having 40" of leg room and I wished the seat could have moved back another inch or so. Surprising that a truck as big as the 4 Runner doesn't have a bit more room.

    Also what's the problem with the V6's in these trucks? CR seems to be rating them poorly while the V8 gets an excellent rating

  • Hey all,

    Been enjoying my SR5 V8 4WD for about 7 months now with nary a problem. Handled 12" of snow without a cough and hauls lots of cargo.

    Just one in-laws are buying a boat and being the nice guy I am, I offered to tow it for them. Also, we will be renting a U-Haul trailer and I was looking for some help on towing. I have the tow package and the tongue is sitting here. Where would I locate a suitable ball for towing? What class would most people use? The boat won't be more than an 18' (2-3k #), so I'm assuming a class III would be overkill.

    If anyone can educate me on the towing, please help! Thanks!
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I'm 6'3" and have plenty of leg room in front. In fact, I have the seat a couple of inches from the full back position for my most comfortable driving position. The real problem is head room even with the seat all the way lowered. I could not buy a 4Runner with a sunroof. While I don't like sunroofs anyway, I found it surprising that a mid size SUV w/sunroof couldn't accomodate someone my size, unless the seat was reclined furhter than comfortable for me. Hey Toyota, we Americans are growing in size - height and girth.
  • I've noticed that every couple of days I have to pull up the level a few times to raise the seat back to the height I enjoy. It always lowers itself in time. Anyone else notice this?

  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    vman05, I don't think you can make much sense of the low reliability rating of the V6s. The messages in these forums seem to indicate they've been reliable (and I've had zero problems in 8 months), but there was a recall early in the year to fix a fuel pulsation damper and that could be part of the problem.

    Search this and other 4Runner threads here and you'll see some discussion of the issue and speculation (by me and others) as to how the low rating came about. No real justification, though.
  • I bought my 7yr/100K mile extended warranty with ZERO deductible from an independent warranty provider with ~$1150 and an optional $195 Titanium package from the same provider, which covers tires, wheels (rims), windshield chips/cracks, small body dent/dings and locksmith/fuel/tow service just like AAA.

    My dealer gave me a FREE 7yr/100k mile warranty, but requires me to do ALL maintenance at their place. You may have to compare not only the price, but also the coverage. I got a couple of quotes before I made the final decision. I can share more details if you are interested.

    BTW, my runner is a 04 limited AWD. Good luck!
  • 3toyboy3toyboy Posts: 30
    glb5 - the dipstick is adjacent to the oil dipstick. Oil dipstick is the yellow one (as you have seen), tranny dipstick is the red one, with the locking feature.
  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    Well, the 03 Ltd 4WD is in the shop. I started the truck up for the drive home and about 2 minutes into my journey the 'VSC TRAC' and 'VSC OFF' lights both came on, and stayed on. This vehicle has never been in 4-Low, or had the differntial locked. The vehicle was in 4-Hi yesterday and for about 20 miles this morning, but was switched back to 2-Hi about two minutes before I got to work this morning. Nothing abnormal about the swithing, both were done under 30 mph while driving straight. Nothing was done during the drive home prior to the lights coming on. I did not experience any wheel slips that I know of that would have caused the VSC TRAC to trigger.

    I drove straight to the dealership so they could see the lights on. They admitted it was weird but stated 'anything' could cause that. One guy even said having a loose gas cap could do it. Im scepticle. I know a loose gas cap can cause an engine light to come on because of fuel system pressure, but kill VSC, come on. I am in a Camry LE loaner now, not nearly as fun as the 4runner, but it does have some get-up-and-go.
  • maybe some electronic glitch? Maybe nothing went wrong except the light?
    Glad you got it to the dealer with the light still on. Tell us what comes of it just in case something similar happens to others.
  • smg1062smg1062 Posts: 54
    Havent seen anything on AUTOSPIES.COM or any other site on the 05 4runners. Anyone know if Toyota will update the models, not body-wise, but options like offering NAV with 3rd row seats, or 3rd row seats with ANY color you want, or the choice of NOT having a sunroof. Toyota kind of got silly with their limitations on options this year. I'm waiting to see what the 05's bring to the table.
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    Tim Hooligan posted:
    <<Also, we will be renting a U-Haul trailer and I was looking for some help on towing. I have the tow package and the tongue is sitting here. Where would I locate a suitable ball for towing?>>

    A U-Haul rental center is where I got the hitch ball. They also stock the trailer wiring adapter (the one Toyota should include but doesn't) that replaces the old trailer harness. Take the tongue with you when you shop for the ball, as the shank diameters vary widely, as does the ball size. 1 and 7/8" and 2" are common to most trailer types you mentioned. Auto parts store sell a 2 ball kit that lets you easily convert from one ball size to the other. Good luck.
  • Yes, I too have found the readjustment in the driver seat on my 2003 V8 Sport to do exactly as you describe and was curious whether or not it was a "characteristic".


    Okay, maybe you can help me out here. Does your rear hatch seem to be tougher to raise after a year? I have to PUSH mine up (and sometimes it sinks). Seems like it sprung up when new. Do you remember?
  • Had a very weird event happen: closed the driver's door with the engine running and all doors locked. Had the remote in my hand, but it wouldn't activate. Just was dead in my hand (this had happened before - but not with the key in the ignition). Luckily, I was near my house and was able to run back for a spare key which I used to manually unlock the car. Turned off the engine - on restart everything was back to normal. Tried to lock myself out now to test - but the anti-lockout feature worked and prevented me from locking out. Fear that this could happen again at a most inopportune moment. Any ideas what's causing this?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    My 03 V-8 Sport's rear hatch works the same as it did new. It was 1 year old on New Years Eve with a little over 15K miles. I'd take it in to the dealer to get it fixed.
  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    In post 9104 I commented about my VSC TRAC and VSC OFF both coming on and staying lit. The dealer witnessed this since I drove it over immediatly for them to see. I got a call this morning stating they need to replace the VSC computer. This will be replaced Friday, since they had to order it. I am going to pick the vehicle up tonight. When I take it back in to have the computer replaced I will keeo you all updated to the results. Also, I requested the Sunroof/Headliner rattle gets inspected as well. The dealer mentioned the TSB and said no problem.
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    This vacation I took a trip from here in San Diego to Bend, Oregon to go skiing at Mt. Bachelor. Here are my thoughts on the 2000-mile adventure (750 each way plus daily driving to the mountain).

    First off, I have a 2003 Sport Ed. V6, with Dunlops, that previously only had 4000 miles on it.

    The highway driving, which including curvy roads, long straights, and lots of hills, was impeccable. The XREAS kept me flat in the corners, and I never lacked power when passing on the two-lane highway 97. The roar from the engine when you let it loose is pretty impressive considering I'm use to the silent clicky purr of everyday driving.

    The snow driving was also quite impressive. Considering Mt. Bachelor got over 50 inches of snow while I was there, I got a lot of test time. At some points I was using my front bumper as a snowplow and I still was plowing through (in 4-lo granted). At one point, coming out of the driveway, I went wide and put my front end into a hidden ditch; I first tried backing out in 4-hi with no luck at small revs (I didn't want to gun it and lurch) so I put it in 4-lo and it came out in a second.

    The most impressive moment from the vehicle was also my most exciting driving experience of my life (not good exciting, heart attack exciting). I was driving back from the mountain on a small two-lane road with snowplow snow (ice) banks on either side. I came up to a part in the road with a few cars parked on my left side along the road and a large hill extending out from the street. At this same time, little did I know that coming down that hill was a group of tubers who linked their tubes together to get more speed and excitement (they got it alright!). Since it was snowy and icy on the road, I was primarily looking straight, so I didn't see these people coming, and just at the wrong moment, these tubers hit the snow bank at the end of the hill that was intended to stop them, but instead they had too much speed and launched off the embankment. They ended up clearing the left lane while still in the air, and landing (guess where) dead in my lane. I now, about 15-20 feet away, going roughly 35mph (speed limit 50mph on this road) have three people right in front of me laying down. I slam on the brakes and thankfully don&#146;t think about my truck and steer it hard to the right and take it directly into the snow/ice bank on the right. I missed all three of them, but not by much. I was so close that I lost them from my view under the hood. When I hit the bank, a loud crunch let out and next thing I knew, I was up high on three wheels. Long story short(er) I was thanked for about 10 minutes for my reaction time from the wives of these idiots, (the would be victims didn't say a word, only stared at nothing, probably reviewing the life that just flashed before their eyes), I then frightfully checked the front of the truck (that was buried in the ice) only to find that there was no damage! What? Yes, it's true. After seeing about 4 trucks hit banks that week, mine was the only one that I saw that didn't dent. Instead the tire hit the bank first, climbed it and the skid plate took the rest. Unfortunately though, it ended up that I did scratch the cladding and I put a small crack (maybe 3/4 of inch long in the edge of the wheel well cladding). I didn't see this until I washed the car, and I didn't get the people's info, but all's good, I can live with a little crack. I backed out/off of the bank in 4-lo and noticed my quite impressive 4runner print in the side of the ice, and I drove home to let the poor truck thaw out (there was about 4 pounds of snow in the skid plate). When I actually hit the brakes and turned right, I could not believe that the truck didn't skid out, it gripped the road completely and took the ice like a champ. I know my old blazer or the suburban behind me would've ran right over those people. So, thank one driver and a great system for three lives. I know that otherwise them and I would've had a quite unpleasant holiday to say the least.

    So, great brakes, skid control and skid plates. Oh, and I am so so so happy that I have the cladding, it know the metal would&#146;ve dented in a second if I hit it going that speed. Score 1 for the cladding.

    Hope everyone else&#146;s holidays were lest eventful.

  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    Grey cladding rocks!
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