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3rd Generation Toyota 4Runners 1996 to 2002

jshoes51jshoes51 Posts: 4
I just bought a '96 4runner with 150k miles. It's a 5 speed and I noticed right off the bat that in order to start the car the clutch has to pushed in very hard to get the engine to crank. Is there an adjustment of the switch that won't allow the engine to crank unless the clutch is depressed? I know I can override the clutch-in-to-start feature with the button on the dash.


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    mine is the same way. I have wondered the same thing idly as long as I have owned it, but it has never been a problem to start so I never got beyond the idle wondering stage.

    If it were replaced, I wonder if the new one would be the same way. Certainly on other models that I have worked on with clutch safety switches like this one, there has been no adjustment for the switch.

    Wow, so we 3rd-genners now have our own thread and everything? Cool. :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • bolucaboluca Pittsboro, NCPosts: 30
    99 4Runner Limited, v6.
    The check engine light keeps coming on. I had the codes read and it came up with a PO171 which they said was 'System Too Lean Bank 1'. The parts store said to replace the oxygen sensor before the cat. I changed it and the light comes back on after about 20 miles. The truck seems to run fine. It has 77k miles. Any ideas what this could be. I don't want to keep changing parts.
  • bobgordonbobgordon Posts: 156
    I think your parts store was too eager to sell you an O2 sensor. Some further diagnostics are in order.
    Granted, O2 sensors are the most likely component to fail, there is still other things to look at.

    Clogged/dirty injectors can create all sorts of drivability problems even though the vehicle seems to run OK.

    Have you ever had the injectors cleaned? If not, go to your local Target or auto parts store and find a product called Chevron Techron Fuel Injection Cleaner. It's the best out there! Run your tank almost empty and add the cleaner (per instructions) and fill your tank with a good premium gas; Amoco Ultimate works well. Drive till the tank is close to empty and see if this corrects the problem.

    An "open" or a "short" in the heated O2 sensor (sensor 1/bank 1) circuit can cause this code.
    Mass Air Flow meter can also generate this code along with a faulty or weak Engine Coolant Temperature sensor.

    Find someone with a decent scanner that can read the wave pattern of an O2 sensor to make sure it's operating correctly. Also check the circuit for "opens" or "shorts".
    Do the same for the Coolant and Mass Air Flow sensors.

    Good luck and hope this helped! :)
  • bolucaboluca Pittsboro, NCPosts: 30
    Thanks, I have run 2 cans of injector cleaner through the truck. I guess I'll have to have someone trouble shoot the system.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I don't have that problem with my AT 4Runner, but I did have that problem with a MT Chevy Truck I used to have. In that case, the pressure plate on the clutch assembly was going bad. It lasted about a year, then I had to replace it and that solved the problem.
  • ijust replaced my clutch in my 98 runner with 113,000 5 speed ive had it for two years and same problem until last night i blew up the clutch it seems as tho i dont have to push it down as hard now but now i have a chatter when im at idle or in gear and not on the gas but as soon as you touch the pedal it goes away any ideas my guess is the throw out bearing is hitting but ??????
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I can't quite follow you because you wrote one continuous line with no spaces. However, it sounds like you have had your truck two years, and recently the clutch finally wore out and you replaced it. It sounds like you either had a problem for those two years that continues now, this noise it is making, OR the noise is brand new since the clutch job - can't tell which.

    I also wonder why you don't have to push the clutch down as hard now as before - is it because you didn't use a Toyota clutch kit? And what did you repalce in the clutch job? Just the pressure plate, or other stuff too?

    Lastly, you say it chatters when you are out of gear, or "in gear and not on the gas but as soon as you touch the pedal it goes away". If you are in gear but not on the gas, you must have the clutch out, right? So you are already touching the pedal. Or did you mean the gas pedal?

    I have noticed that when mine is idling in neutral, no feet on any pedals, the transmission (specifically the clutch throw-out bearing, I suspect) is not totally silent, but I wouldn't call the sound it makes a "chatter". It is more like a slight whistle, for lack of a better word.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • bolucaboluca Pittsboro, NCPosts: 30
    UPDATE: cleaned the MAF with contact cleaner and the CEL light has stayed off for 2 days.
  • abbylouabbylou Posts: 33
    Has anyone out there ever replaced their 3rd generation Limited 4Runner stock brake pads (has ABS/VSC) with the TRD pads? I have approx 55k on this vehicle and the breaks don't seem to be warped, but they just dont seem to stop as quick as they used to. We occasionally tow a 3000 lb boat and it gets kind of scary. I was just wondering what qualifies as heavy duty usage as I am thinking most of us do not take our $33K rigs offroad.
  • lkklkk Posts: 2
    I own a 99 4-runner w/ 5speed manual 4 wheel dr. I would like to know if i can tow my 4 runner behind my motor home without ruining the tranny or drive shafts, and differential's as long as i put the 5 speed in neutral and the transfer case in neutral. thx, ts
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    yeah, you should be able to do that with no problem, as that completely disengages the drivetrain. However, since I do not tow myself, I would also advise you look in the manual, which spells out all that towing stuff in some detail - it is like the longest section in the book!

    abbylou, mine sure isn't worth $33K (2000 SR5 V-6 4WD), but I do take it offroad. Haven't done too much serious yet, am thinking of lifting it later on. Anyway, point is when it comes to the brakes, "heavy duty" means towing like you do. I can imagine that the brakes in this thing feel a bit scary on high-speed downhill grades with 3000 pounds behind you pushing you forward. The TRDs should do one really important thing much better than the stock brakes: dispel heat. The stock rotors tend to warp a bit too easily and fade more than I would like if you stand on them repeatedly down a long fast grade (coming out of Tahoe or Yosemite on the east side is what always makes me take notice of this).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jkuojkuo Posts: 1
    Anybody know how to reset check engine light on a 01 runner 4wd?
  • I have a 99' 4Runner and the brakes have been replaced 5 times, 3 times for the rotors. There are only 96,000 miles on it. It seems the brakes heat up and warps the rotors causing vibrations when I brake. Are there better rotors out there that won't warp?
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 127
    Need help with my '99 SR5 4Runner. It's a V6/Auto. I'm trying to get my trailer lights to work and am not able to get the driver's side brake and/or turn single light to work on the trailer. Before I re-wired the trailer lights , I had the same problem with the trailer lights not working in the same way. All the lights/turn signals on my Runner work ok and when hooked up to my trailer both driver and passenger lights/turn signals work ok on the Runner. But, when I plug in the trailer, the driver's side part of the trailer doesn't work. The trailer package came with my Runner and I haven't used it until now - only owned my truck for about a year. Any suggestions on what to check and how to go about it? Thanks everyone. :)
  • seedscaseedsca Posts: 1
    96 4Runner v6/auto. I'd like to be able to use the car lighter and radio without the need to use my key. this would be to leave my phone charging while away and for camping and listening to music.

    Also slightly unrelated to the title. my stock alarm has a range of about thirty feet at best. Has anyone had this problem? I've already replaced the battery to no avail.
  • Hi there i have a 2000 4runner limited edition with a v6 engine i have purchased two oem keys with transpoders and two remotes they have given me the programing instructions but nothing is working anybody could help? thank you all
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    Glad to see the popular 3rd gen 4R with it's own topic. :-) I have taken my 2002 SR5 4WD off-road several times. Once was actually pretty tough for a stock vehicle like mine It was the Brown Mtn ORV Area near Morganton, NC a couple of years ago. A lot of rutted trails and puddles of mud at first, but then you go around a bend and there are some serious rocks!!! I needed my friend to spot me and everything. It was a little nerve-racking, but I made it through without a scrape. I learned that the 3rd gens are quite capable vehicles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Hi there! I used to have a 2nd gen with a small lift, and it was fantastic offroad. I have not yet had a chance to do much to my 2000 (SR5 4WD manual), so I was wondering if you had lifted yours or made any other changes from stock. Mine is totally stock, and all I have done so far is some ski trips, but I would love to get back out there on the trail and off.

    I am going to put it through its paces in a couple of weeks, the first available weekend. :-)

    fadymoussallem: sorry, wish I could help, but I had mine programmed by the dealer. :-(

    If it's any consolation, they didn't charge much - maybe you might want to do the same.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    Mine is totally stock but differs from yours in that its an auto and has the ATRAC system for off-roading, which works quite well for most situations I think (in others, a rear locker might be better). On road, I like that I have multi-mode 4WD, so I drive mostly in 2WD, but under heavy rain or snowy/icy conditions I have 4WD (center diff open) and skid (VSC)/traction control(TRAC) to assist me. I am by no means and experienced off-roader, but I'm a skilled driver in general, and in the right hands, I think the 3rd gen 4R is right up there with the most capable stock vehicles for off-roading.
  • jack9jack9 Posts: 1
    Go to the web site. you will find some thing you wanted.

  • fmonkfmonk Posts: 1
    I'm hoping someone can shed some light on an issue
    we've been having with our 2001 4Runner. After
    switching off the ignition, the car refuses to
    release the ignition key. The key can be turned
    almost but not quite all the way to the left, and
    cannot be removed.

    I believe that I am being tripped up by some sort
    of safety device--although the transmission is in
    park and the dashboard indicator agrees, some sensor
    thinks the car is in gear and won't allow the
    ignition to turn all the way to the left.

    I am able to release the key by removing fuse #35
    (AM1) which controls part of the starting system.

    Is anyone familiar with this problem? Is it indeed a
    sensor, or the ignition itself, or what? And is
    it fixable by an incompetent shade tree mechanic
    (yours truly) or do I need to take it to a shop?

    Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is covering
    old ground.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If removing a fuse cures the problem, I have to agree with you that the problem is the mechanism that stops you from removing the key until the gearshift is in park. If it were the ignition itself, I would think that removing a fuse would make no difference.

    This is probably a sensor somewhere, rather than a hardware problem, I would guess. It is probably the kind of thing you should take to a shop, rather than trying to fix yourself.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • markamo1markamo1 Posts: 2
    My 00 4runner with 130k miles,has no external leaks. The problem is that I am using a ridiculous amount of oil. My oil was filled at a garage on thursday, drove about 400 miles over the weekend and on sunday was 2quarts low...

    Once in a while at start up, there is a huge puff of smoke,(big enough that people nearby would think it was the biggest clunker on the planet), that goes away in a few seconds. Never smokes while driving.

    Other than that the truck runs perfectly

    I changed the pcv valve last week and had no improvement. I was also told that I do not have sludge in the engine...

    Other than replacing the engine, what are my options?

    Please give me some hope!!!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that sounds a lot like worn rings. I am surprised, given the thing only has 130K miles - have you owned it since new? Did you follow proper break-in procedures?

    And that huge puff of smoke? That is where your oil is going, every time you start the thing, even at the times when it does not puff or smoke during driving.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • markamo1markamo1 Posts: 2
    I have only owned this car for 6 months, so I am a little cranky about it.I really don't have much info on service for the vehicle. From it's overall condition I would say that it has been cared for. Is worn ring something that can be fixed without replacing the engine? thanks
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if it is the rings, they can do a ring job, but sometimes if there is a used engine available, that is a cheaper option.

    They can test it to see if in fact that is where the oil is going, but short of you missing a MASSIVE leak, there really aren't many other places it could be going...

    And by the way, I should add it is quite likely it was already doing this when you bought it, and in fact that's probably why they were selling it. This isn't a problem that comes on overnight. So if you bought it from, like, a family member or something, you should go give them heck!

    Did you ever check your oil before you noticed the problem last week or whatever? If not, you may have been running around almost dry at times.

    Oh yeah, and before anything else, be sure you are following proper form. The truck should be level when you check the oil, and if you have just run the engine, you should let it sit a couple of minutes so that the oil can drain back into the sump. Lastly, if you had a recent oil change, check that the drain plug is properly sealed, and that the oil filter was not improperly installed and is not defective. If either is leaking at the kind of rate you have described, there will be fresh oil all over the place near those items.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    I know the FJC has the advantage in engine power, departure angle (30 vs 28 I think), tires (32" vs 31") and 4WD traction goodies (4R had either ATRAC or rear locker, but not both like FJC). They are both similar dimensions, but the 4R is narrower, nimbler, lighter, has 4 full doors, more storage space, and is arguably more attractive. Thoughts?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Go for the classic! :-)

    The 3rd gen Runner is more versatile for carrying cargo, has proper carpets and insulated panels instead of hard plastic or rubber everywhere, and is much more maneuverable in tight spaces. Plus it has timeless good looks, where the FJ will be "Look at me. No, really, LOOK AT ME!" for a few years and then will be a fad past its prime.

    The only serious advantage of the FJ is its Torsen vs the center locker or ATRAC of the older Runners.

    And hey, despite the 31" vs 32" thing, didn't the Runner have better static ground clearance than the FJ does?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    I'm not really considering the FJ, as my 02 4R is nearly paid off. I just wanted to gauge people's opinions. For me, it's tough to justify forking over another big chunk of change for the FJ, when I have a rock-solid utility vehicle already. I've never had a single issue in 51k miles. I would like to have 32s and rear locker (I know I CAN get one added on from an old 97-00 4R though) and I actually like the idea of plastic floors, as it much easier to clean! (I have the Husky liners, which work very well, but still leave some carpeted areas that can get muddy.) The 4R might give up some stats to the FJ, but I do like the classic look, visibilty, cargo room, manuverability, 4 doors, and I have the auto + multimode 4WD that I can use in 2H for normal driving, 4H for heavy rain or snow, and 4H locked (cntr diff) and 4L locked for off-road use.

    No doubt the 3rd gen 4R is a great truck. :)
  • vanhalenvanhalen Posts: 1
    Just recently purchased a 2000 4R - I love it!
    But I've got a problem with the electric antenna. I know what the problem is - but I want to disconnect the motor feed for now so that it remains up all the time. Does anyone know how to disconnect the power to the motor. I checked the fuse scematics - but could not find one for it.
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