Is my 4Runner a clunker? Help me decide.

scottlscottl Member Posts: 109
edited April 2014 in Toyota
I'm trying to decide if I should "Cash for Clunkers" my 4Runner.

I have a '97 4x4 4Runner with 230K miles that I bought used at 180K miles with a completely unknown maintenance history . It is actually a pretty great vehicle, but I am looking at the following in the next six months: brakes($200), tires($700), windshield($200), shocks/struts($450), timing belt($600). In addition to the maintenance, I have a miss that I believe is a plug wire, and my transfer case is leaking, which my mechanic says is probably $300. So, it you add it all up I have at least $2500 worth of fixing to get it to go another 50K miles. The other big ticket item I am worried about is the clutch. It feels fine, but I have no idea if/when it has been replaced.

I live in CO and 4Runners sell for a premium here, but even at that, if I sold it private party I'm guessing I'd get $4000 at most.

A wild card in all this is that my son also has a '97 4Runner, and we could swap several parts off of mine onto his before clunkering mine out. His crossover exhaust pipe is leaking, and that part is $400 from Toyota. He could also get my stereo and front and rear bumpers (his have small dents, mine are perfect).

If I could find another '96-2000 five-speed 4Runner with under 100K miles, I'd just take what I could get for mine on a sale and buy another, but low mile 4Runners of that era are really hard to find now. I refuse to go with an automatic, so the newer ones are out. Toyota killed the 4Runner when they killed the 5 Speed, IMHO.


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You may want to post your question in the Cash for Clunkers - Does it Work for You? discussion.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I'd dump it. Too many miles. What if the cat goes next? $$$. The clunker program may be a one shot deal.

    If you can't live with an automatic, get a Forester.

    If you had half the miles, then maybe keep driving it, but cars that old will always need something. New cars are expensive but what you'll save on repairs and the voucher will help ease a good bit of that pain.

    That said, I have a '99 minivan with 132k miles and I'm still on the fence about spending that much dough on a new rig even with the voucher. It's easier spending your money than mine. :D
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Member Posts: 410
    Most of the fixes are normal maintenance. You just let it go too long. I'd keep it.
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