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Toyota 4Runner



  • Would like to hear more details. does it affect both Toyota and Lexus?
  • Don't put too much stock in JD Powers initial quality survey. It is the long term reliability that counts more. If you go by initial quality then the Crown Victoria is the best full size car and the Chevy Malibu is the best mid size car. Most people know better
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    I've been reading some posts on the problem board about 4Runners and am now reading here. It seems my fear of Toyota building cars in the USA has come to reality. I have owned 3 previous Toyotas without any problems, but they were 83, 86 and 90 models. With all the negative feedback I keep reading, I'm nervous about purchasing. Don't get me wrong, I think I would still put my trust in the 4Runner than say a Trailblazer, but I'm wondering if Toyota recognizes that and has cut cost with a little slide in quality. Just my 2 cents.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    The new Toyota 4Runners are built in Japan on at the same assembly plant as the Lexus GX470.

    I have about 9000mi on my 2003 4Runner V8 Limited with nary a problem. I consistently use 87-89 octane and haven't smelled any sulfur even under hard acceleration for the past 4000mi. I have no problems mentioned under prior TSBs and am satisfied. In the spring, I'll try driving with the rear cargo window open just to see if any sulfur enters the vehicle.
  • No problems either.
    You must remember the internet is skewed to enthusiasts who can't get enough of their cars and people looking for solutions to problems.

    The vast majority of 4Runner owners, it seems, have positive experiences
  • gutiguti Posts: 10
    I agree with Terrafirma. I own an 04 4Runner, v8 4WD, and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience with the truck. I traded in a Lexus GS300 and I find the 4Runner extremely quite, powerful, well detailed inside and out, and very smooth in its handling.

    To top it off, the 4Runner is a tough SUV than can take you anywhere.

    By the way, no smell problems, no vibrations, and I find the JBL to be fantastic. The navigation system is extremly user friendly, the back-up camera is very useful, and the seats as comfortable as my old Lexus. I am extremly satisfied with my 04 4Runner.

    Anyone who is holding back on the purchase based on the postings on this board should relax, take several test drives of the vehicle, and be assured that this is an awesome vehicle.
  • I too am very satisfied with the latest version from Toyota. This is my 4th 4-runner, and I am very happy with this one. This one is roomy, and can haul. More importantly, if it is like the other 3 I have owned, it will be reliable and last a long time.
  • bmc5bmc5 Posts: 16
    Help! I just purchased an '03 4 Runner LTD V8 w/ 10,000 miles and was quite surprised this morning on my commute that my radio was not working. The radio turned on and showed the volume level at 32 but no sound and then when I tried to adjust the level nothing happened at all (no sound, but all functions seemed to be working via the display)??? Is there an easy solution or did I do something wrong, it sure doesn't make sense to me. Please help if you can share some insight on the cause & remedy of this problem. I'm hoping this is not a start of other problems to come. Thank you in advance.
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    In general, I've been very impressed with the quality of my '03 V8 Ltd. I have heard the headliner rattle (though curiously, not for a while. I was gonna just have 'em fix it when I next took it in for service at 15K miles), I get an occasional whiff of sulfur, though nothing really bad. This vehicle has been as good as or better than any other I've owned.

    bmc5 - I had the exact thing you describe happen to me once. It went away as soon as I shut the vehicle off and turned it on again. Haven't seen it in the 10 months since. Go figure.

    Now my biggest pet-peeve (other than stuff sliding out of the rear cargo area due to the double-decker system, which I've solved with how I unload the area now...) is the remote keyless system FOB. It seems to me all my other keys on my keyring always hit the 'unlock' button when I'm just holding the ring in my hand, or taking it out of my pocket, etc. It seems way too easy to hit those buttons with the design of the FOB. Never had that problem with the keyless on my Audi. Grrrrr. It's minor, but annoying.
  • bmc5bmc5 Posts: 16
    Thanks for the info and advice. I'll send a post
    later and hope that the radio will work for my commute home from nyc. It will be a long quiet ride without being able to listen to my favorite radio station 95.5 WPLJ. So far I really like my vehicle and hope this is just a minor system glitch that doesn't continue. Thanks.
  • jcla7jcla7 Posts: 18
    bmc5, Had the same problem you describe. Called the dealer, and they knew about the problem. I am told they will put in a new amplifier to correct the situation. I haven't had it done yet, but that is what I'm told. There is a service bulletin on this, and it's listed a few posts back, around Jan 17 or so. I don't think it's the start of more problems to come...the general concensus (and I agree) the Toyota has built a really solid product.

    Regards, JC
  • bmc5bmc5 Posts: 16
    jc thanks, i purchased my vehicle as a used vehicle from a non-toyota dealer and was wondering how i should have the radio amp. replaced? the vehicle is under the 3yr-36,000 miles warranty and should be covered. is this a recall item that should be replaced/fixed at no charge. thanks
  • Hello. Just a quick question regarding the 2003 4Runner Vehicle Skid Control System. I was driving today on the highway (really crappy and slippery conditions) in 4High. The vehicle several times, would start to lose control, then it would beep at me. I am assuming this was the VSC kicking in, but usually when it kicks in it does not beep (all I usually see is that little icon with the car and skid marks behind it on the instrument panel). What does the beeping mean? Also, does the VSC work while in 4wheel drive mode or does it only work while in 2wheel mode?


    Oh ya and I took mine into the dealer to get the JBL system checked out and they advised it was the amplifier and that they will replace it.
  • hotelseven, the beeping means that the system has detected a major difference between what you are asking the vehicle to do (mainly the direction you're pointing it) and what it is actually doing. This is explained in the manual, but not very clearly (in my opinion).

    VSC works in both 2WD and 4WD modes.

    I did a long post a while back (around the first of the year) describing my experimentation with this sort of thing, including more detail on what the manual says. That post might be useful to you in this case. Good luck, and post again if your questions aren't all answered.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    "...The vehicle several times, would start to lose control, then it would beep at me..."

    Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TC) are separate but closely inter-related safety systems. As I understand it, TC can be thought of as a last line of defense mechanism to bring the potentially careening vehicle back to a safe attitude when certain parameters are met or exceeded, such as a serious loss of traction as well as a marked deviation from the "intended" path of the vehicle. [The onboard computer constantly monitors, compares, and even calculates a multitude of data, including the position of the front (steering) wheels and any deviation from this intended path; as well as other parameters such as angular momentum; yaw; wheel slippage, etc.] If I'm correctly remembering the information I've read in the owner's manual, the beeping you described is an alarm telling you and warning you that the vehicle's onboard computer is sensing sufficient "loss of control" conditions to kick in the *Traction Control* function. when the TC kicks in and we hear this beeping alarm, it is an indication to proceed with more caution. (I do believe that VSC and TC can be disabled by locking the center differential.)

    Try taking the vehicle to a wide-open and icy parking lot, and with the VSC and TC engaged, try to get the vehicle "out of control" and you should get a better sense for how the system works. If you do this, you may find that TC may essentially bring the vehicle to a halt despite the driver's throttle, brake, and steering inputs. It's important to know this information, since it can guide the more advanced driver to know when locking the center diff. (and thereby disabling VSC/TC) might be a good idea.
  • Thanks for the detailled responses, but Im still a tad confused....

    When I accelerate from a stopped position (for example) on and icy road, the vehicle chugs a bit and the icon with the car skidding pops up (Im assuming that is the Traction Control)???

    It does not beep at that point. It did beep when I was going at a much greater speed on the highway and appeared to lose control.

    So I guess Im a bit confused as to the difference b/w Vehicle Skid COntrol (VSC) and the Traction Control....
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    The traction control warns you if the wheels are spinning and it cuts power to the drive wheels. It also makes a funny little noise (not beeping) until it regains traction.

    Vehicle Skid Control is activated when it senses the vehicle losing control (skiddig sideways, etc.) and it tries to bring the vehicle back into control by applying separate wheel brake force and/or cutting power. When VSC kicks in, it beeps because this is more serious. It is warning you that the vehcile is losing control, not just losing traction.
  • So the beeping isnt a sign from the vehicle that it HAS lost all control, it is a signal that the VSC is kicking in, and the beep just lets you know that...Is that what I'm hearing (please excuse my ignorance)...?
  • hotelseven, the beeping is specifically a warning to you that the vehicle computer thinks that things are going badly. The other sounds and sensations are mostly signs that vehicle systems like traction control, skid control, and antilock brakes are working as intended.

    If you've got beeping, I'd say that you are going too fast or attempting turns that put you in danger of a real spin, where the vehicle is sliding sideways or spinning around. This is definitely stuff to avoid. For stability control, the vehicle computer looks at vehicle motion (from wheel sensors and accelerometers/yaw sensors) and which way you are pointing the front wheels. It figures out what you are trying to do and does things like braking individual wheels (or both wheels on one side) and backing off on the throttle to get the vehicle to do approximately what you want. If you're on a really slick surface or traveling too fast, or if you make large and sudden steering changes, there may be too big of a difference between what you are asking for and what the vehicle (assisted by VSC) can do. When the computer detects this it beeps to tell you that it thinks you are losing control.

    In general, leave the vehicle in 4WD and don't use the center differential lock button if you don't have a specific reason. Some occasional sounds and sensations (including the blinking light on the dash) are normal for slick roads, whether accelerating, decelerating, or turning. But if you've got beeping, you're in danger of having a very bad day, and should either slow down or avoid the conditions that produce it. Unless you change to better tires, beeping means you don't have enough traction for the vehicle to do what you're asking.

    For a vehicle with all these features I think it really makes sense to go to a slick area that's open, so you can experiment. That's the best way to learn what to do and not to do. This VSC/TC/ABS system is a superb one for most conditions, but it's not magic.
  • What suggestions does everyone have for the proper way to break the vehicle in when brand spanking new? I've always owned sports cars, so I'd appreciate some feedback on how to handle breaking in my first SUV. Thanks
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