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Toyota 4Runner Vibrations



  • alloboallobo Posts: 2
    Yes. I have a 2007 4 runner SR5 V6 2wheel drive and the right rear body panel vibrates at highway speeds. Dealler says the vibration is normal on 4 runners and they cannot find any problem.
    It is best to stay away from Toyota. Try Nissan instead or even GMC.
  • go_dawgsgo_dawgs Posts: 1
    My 2000 4Runner Limited (not a 4 wheel drive) has developed a vibration that feels like it is coming from the front end. It is vibrating so bad that I can't see anything in the rear view mirror while driving. It starts at around 20mph and continues through freeway speeds. If I take my foot off the gas and just coast, the vibration stops. It does not vibrate while sitting idle. Any ideas on what this could be? The tires have been balanced and rotated twice in the past two weeks because we first thought that may be the problem. Any help would be appreciated!!
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Well, I have the same problem exactly! Mine is a 2003 full time 4WD, high end model, over 40k new. At about 6,000 miles I started to notice the vibration on acceleration at certain RPM's. Dealer fixed it by 're-torqueing the exhaust manifold'! No change, after about 20 tries to get fixed, I filed a claim under Mississippi's Lemon Law and finally went to arbitration. Toyota did not even show up but had their 'experts' on speaker phone at the dealer with service manager present along with the "indepent" arbitrator. Now get this: he would (could) not drive the vehicle. He did ride in it but would not drive it. He said if he caused an accident that he would be liable! (duh) Anyway, long story/short story, we lost because he could not detect the vibration! I appealed but Toyota laughed at me. Said go ahead and sue. I found an attorney in Georgia who specialized in it and they refused to take the case so guess I am stuck. I did visit another dealer and drove 3 new 4 Runners and they ALL had the same vibration. Toyota reps said it was a "characteristic of that model". I think if everyone who had this problem would complain, we could make Toyota recall them all and have to eat those words!
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    I think the ones who post that they have had no vibration problems do not understand what the vibration actually is. It is NOT a wheel balance issue or drive shaft either. It only does it at certain ENGINE speeds and in all gears! The heaver the load (uphill), the greater the vibration BUT the vibration is more like a buzz than a wheel shaking from left to right. My dealer did not even understand what I was complaining about because they kept trying to balance the tires. Real stupid in my opinion BUT they did tighten the exhaust system bolts to try to fix it so they in that, acknowledged that it was there. After months of letters and phone calls, I did talk to a regional service rep who said that they did have an issue with that and were currently working on a cure. However, after I requested replacement under Mississippi's Lemon Law, NONE of the reps were ever available for my phone calls and NONE ever called me back. Toyota knows about this for sure, and they know what will fix it but it will cost them mega bucks to do so they are hiding under the 'characteristic of that model' excuse. Let's keep after them to force a recall. . .
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    ALL 4 Runners vibrate! If you can live with constant buzzing of the steering wheel, go for it but my hands get numb after a few minutes of this. I had heard that it was in the steering system rather than drive shaft but I wonder why Toyota keeps putting them out knowing that the defect is there?
  • Have your transfer case and drive shaft checked by a competant mechanic. Also, make sure that all lube points are being properly greased at each servicing.
  • I refute that. All 4Runners do not vibrate. My 2004 V8 Limited does not do anything that is being discussed in this thread. I did not even know what you were talking about when I started reading through this cause I had never experienced it with my vehicle. This should offer hope to those of you who are having problems.
  • md4runnerman:
    I agree with you that "All 4Runners do not vibrate". My 2006 SR5 4WD does not vibrate at any legal speed, at least not yet with about 12,000 miles on it. I've had a number of trucks, and had a new Ford Explorer and a new Olds Bravada before the 4Runner. I'm happier with the 4Runner than I've been with any other truck or SUV.

    I understand disappointment when a new vehicle has problems that aren't quickly fixed. My Bravada was in the shop almost monthly with serious problems until it had about 60k miles on it. The Olds dealership gave up on it just before they went out of business. Finally, a team of technicians at a Chevy dealer fixed the problems and from that point to around 110k, it drove like it should have when it was new. My problems didn't mean that all Bravadas were/are lemons. Neither do the problems with a few 4Runners, no matter how frustrating they are to the individual owners.
    IMHO, bad dealer service usually is a greater problem than defects in a whole production series of a particular vehicle. I hope those of you with problems get resolutions and satisfaction. But all 4Runners are not problem vehicles.
  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    I have experienced similar problems, brought it back to the dealer during warranty several times, but he could not find the problem and only tried to rebalance the wheels - helped some, but not completely.

    Yes, there is a defect in design and Toyota has a Technical Service Bulletin (ST001R-05) concerning steering wheel vibrations. The problem has several causes/solutions. First, the P265/65R17 110S Dunlop AT20 original equipment tires produced in Japan before the production week 0905 (9th week of 2005) may experience flat spots - can be checked by the dealer. Second, involves replacing the steering control valve. The third solution involves replacing the steering wheel with an increased mass steering wheel.

    So, yes there is a problem and Toyota appears to admit this, but only if your car is in warranty will they fix this problem.
  • bobgordonbobgordon Posts: 156
    QUOTE from batmanscts; IMHO, bad dealer service usually is a greater problem than defects in a whole production series of a particular vehicle. I hope those of you with problems get resolutions and satisfaction. But all 4Runners are not problem vehicles.

    100% correct!
  • jokol2jokol2 Posts: 27
    Bob: I have been posting here and reading your various posts and you have always given GOOD info to lots of people. However, I have to disagree with your comments regarding 4runners. I bought 2 2006 4runners last August and they both have constant vibration in the steering column when accelerating. The service manager at the dealer I purchased from drove 3 other brand new models on the lot and they ALL!!! vibrate. This is a constant problem with Toyota 4runners.Every time I see someone in a parking lot or a gas station I ask them of they have this problem and without exception, they do. I solved my problem this way; I just traded both of these "vibrators" in on 2 2007 Infiniti FX35's. What a difference!!!!!!!!!!!! I lost my shirt on both deals and I can tell you that although I have been a life long Toyota fan, they will never get my business again. I received the old "Natural Characteristic of the Vehicle" excuse from the Toyota zone rep. I can understand those of you who have these junkers defending them.After all, why bad talk a vehicle that you own and thereby lower the resale value? I do not intend to post here on the Toyota forum anymore, but want to thank you for the constructive posts that you have made in the past. You apparently are a very knowledgable individual and it would seem that many of the people posting here can use your expertise, but I respectfully suggest that you are definitely sideways on this vibration issue. Regards, Joe
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Sorry to hear about your problems. No vibrations on my 2003 4WD V8 Limited.
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Well, some of you are missing the point on my problem. The vibration is not a wheel issue, as in out of balance, etc. The vibration is better described as a resonant vibration that is sensitive to the engine RPM both under load and while coasting. The vibration can be felt ONLY in the steering wheel. The "Independent Arbitrator" who rode in the vehicle would not touch the steering wheel to feel the vibration during our Lemon Law hearing. If one were to describe the problem as a buzzing in the steering wheel, then it might make more sense. I encourage anyone who has a 4 Runner to check this out because I drove two other vehicles, a 4 x 2 with a V6 engine and a 4 x 4 with the V8 like mine. The 'buzzing' is so bad that on a long trip, my hands go numb from holding to the buzzing wheel. There is no noise noticeable and the buzzing cannot be felt anywhere but the steering wheel.
    I hope we can encourage Toyota to recall these vehicles since they know of the problem as a 'characteristic of that model'.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    "Well, some of you are missing the point on my problem."

    I've had no such vibrations during the 50,000+ miles I've put on my 4Runner.
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Just a comment on the arbitration hearing. . . The "independent" arbitrator showed up at the dealer where the hearing was held. Toyota did not even bother to attend but did have two people on the speaker phone. I presented my case along with all my data and the idiot did not even remember all the details of what I said as referenced to his reply to my accusations later in letter form that he did not conduct a fair hearing. The test drive was a joke. He said that the arbitration firm did not allow them to drive the vehicles!!! If you can imagine that, that they are not allowed to DRIVE THEM? What kind of opinion can they obtain by just riding in the vehicle? During the 'test drive', he did place his hand on the top of the steering hand and then immediately removed it because he did not want us to wreck! After we lost the hearing, I appealed it to Toyota and the arbitration firm only to be ignored. The individual who made the decision, had a statement that I obtained a copy of, which was full of errors and misrepresentations which I refuted in detail with photos and written proof, all of which was refused to be made part of the file because he had made his decision and there was no appeal. They said the only appeal was through the legal system which I found out would cost about as much as the $40,000 I spent on this Lemon.

    I say, don't buy a 4 Runner until Toyota recalls all of those with this problem and fixes them. I do own a Tundra which I love to drive and have over 80,000 miles on it with only a battery replacement being needed. I will not own another Toyota unless they fix this problem which they admit is "characteristic of this model". Yeah, right!
  • climb14erclimb14er Posts: 1
    I've got only 1500 miles after five months and at approx 900 miles, the resonant vibrations through the steering column and gas pedal began.

    The basically new 4Runner sits in my garage as it's 'damaged' from the factory due to poor design.

    Let me say that I've owned Toyotas for 30 years and I was under the assumption the new 4Runner for $36,000 CASH would be like all the others.


    Toyota IMHO is becoming like GM, Ford and Chrysler in that they say they're big on customer service but when it comes to handling this resonant vibration, all I got from virtually everyone at Toyota, top to middle to bottom was NOTHING!

    DO NOT buy a 4Runner until they do a TSB (technical service bulletin) to fix the problem! Toyota has the means to fix it and they do so with the LX470 but they won't fix the 4Runner because it's much less expensive and less profitable than the Lexus counterpart.

    This is the first time I've ever posted anything negative about Toyota but they have been running me hard, trying to b.s. their way into having me 'go away'.

    But I will not!

    I'm here to tell you to NOT buy the vehicle!
  • bdemarco38bdemarco38 Posts: 2
    I bought a Brand New 2005 4Runner Limited ($42,000)which rode smooth as glass until the 10,000 mi mark when the Toyota technicians felt the need to balance the tires. Ever since then it has been a nightmare..{{{VIBRATIONS}}}.They tried 3 times to balance...nothing. Steering wheel still vibrates. Just bought a new set of Yokohamas to replace the Dunlaps...still vibrations...worse actually. I too have always owned and loved Toyotas...NO MORE. I think it's time to switch to German automobiles! :mad: :lemon:
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    I will keep checking back here to see if you get your problem resolved and I will try the same if you are successful. As I posted, I finally filed for arbitration and got nowhere. The independent' arbitrator was so much pro Toyota that it was not worth the effort. In the 'test drive', he would/could not drive the vehicle!!! Now my question is, why is an arbitrator for a car problem not allowed to drive the car?? Does not make any sense at all but of course, that keeps in line with Toyota's policy on this problem. They all know they do have a problem and the service manager told me so at first, then after we lost the hearing, he never heard of such a problem. I am sure the Toyota district reps told him to shut up. I have a file about 4 inches thick of correspondence to and from Toyota and their so called independent arbitration company. They all seemed so eager to help solve the problem that they never heard of before until I lost the hearing. Then they completely refused to reply or take my phone calls. I tried an attorney who specialized in these type cases but he refused my case I think due to the pile of paperwork he would have had to sort through to determine how to file. Anyway, I am now approaching nearly 40,000 miles and still have the problem which is getting worse. All the posts I see on this blog seem to refer to the vibration as a wheel balance problem which IT IS NOT! The problem is more of a buzzing than a wheel shake and I cannot feel it anywhere else except in the steering wheel.

    So, if anyone is successful in getting Toyota to fix this problem, please post it here.

  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    I've read many posts on vibration issues through the steering wheel. I have the same problem in my 03 4Runner. Might want to check a Toyota TSB which addresses this issue:
    "ST001R-05 050908 Steering - Highway Speed Steering 'Flutter'". They list three possible fixes/causes: Flap spots on the Dunlop Tires, Increasing the Preload on the Steering Rack Assembly, or an Increased Mass Steering Wheel.

    Hope this helps!
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Thanks for that tip. What exactly is the "preload on the steering rack assembly"? Again, the problem is not a 'shaking' wheel as in a tire problem(I'm on my 3 set of tires) but a buzz of sorts, as if a grinder was held against the wheel, but only at certain engine RPM's.

  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    I called three local dealers and asked about the TSB. No one could tell immediately what it was about but one service manager did tell me that my vehicle was made PRIOR to a production change that changed the gear box to cure "a problem with vibration". He could/would not tell me more.

    Apparently Toyota DOES know about this problem and is trying to fix it without having to do a mass recall.

  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Followup: After talking to the NEW service manager at the dealership where we bought the 4 Runner, I found out that there must be something in that TSB mentioned above that they don't want the public, especially me, to know! I asked for a fax copy of it and the manager said he would have to consult with his boss first. When I called back this morning, he was very cocky and said he was NOT faxing me anything!

    If anyone has a copy of this TSB Number ST001R-05 050908 Steering , please email it to me at or post a reply here with phone number and I'll call you. This is beginning to look like another big coverup of something that could cost Toyota big bucks!
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    I check with the NHTSB (I think that is right), anyway the National Highway bunch and found out that if they had enough complaints filed with THEM on the same model, they would start the process to require a recall of all those models!

    SO Folks, if you are as irritated at Toyota's irritating policy of ignoring this problem, please log on to their site and let's stir up enough complaints to cause a fleet wide recall! I would love to be the one to get to have my vehicle fixed finally after 4 years and almost 50,000 miles of driving with this steering wheel vibration. The web site for them is The lady I spoke with was very helpful and stayed on the phone with me a good 30 minutes trying to get me the information I needed.

    Again, please log on to and post your complaints and let's get a recall on these vehicles.

  • dennisvdennisv Posts: 1
    I just bought an 07 Sport Edition 4x4 V8 and of course it has the vibration at 378 miles. I guess I bought into the Toyota quality spiel. Anyway, before spending hours messing around with the dealership I thought I would check the web for a message board such as this and look what I have found....

    Here is what I am going to do and would recommend others to do as well. First go to the NHTSA site and file a complaint, then I am going to print up fliers and leave one on every 4runner I come across in a parking lot advising them to log a complaint if they are experiencing this issue. It seems drastic, and I'm not big fan of leaving this kind of "junk" on someone's car, but the only way to get a "grass roots" movement is through information dispersion.

  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Dennis, that's an unique idea, worth a try for sure. According to the NSTHA, they will start process for a recall if there are enough complaints! Also, yesterday, my wife was in another city and I had her carry the vehicle by the local Toyota dealer there. This service manager probably had already been tipped off by Toyota higher ups what to do as when he drove the vehicle, he said he could NOT feel the vibration. This is the same SM that checked my serial number against the TSB to discover that it was built before a change that was supposed to stop this steering wheel 'flutter'.

    I asked what the breakdown of charges were and it was about $700 for a new steering wheel (yeah) and about 200 for a relief spring and all day labor totaling $1200! My intent was to have the work done and if it fixed the problem, then go back after Toyota to pay me back but after the test drive fiasco, I decided not to fool with it. I Googled for Lemon Law Attorneys and got several links to see if one would take my case. I'll post the results but I am not dropping this yet.

  • plippyplippy Posts: 1
    Because of this forum I immediately went to some highway driving and, lo and behold, had the "shimmy" that you guys were talking about. I immediately emailed Toyota on and they emailed the local dealership who then called me to set up an appointment to check this out. They replaced the Dunlops with Bridgestones and now the problem is gone (plus the Bridgestones are much better tires according to my brother who used to work in the tire business). I will keep my eyes opened to all of this and let everyone know how this progresses in the future. It is the least I could do. It makes me wonder how many people are just dealing with the vibration instead of complaining about it. You don't spend that kind of maney everyday - Toyota needs to get it right!!
  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    The procedure for fixing the steering rack assembly is about 46 steps. The TSBs are not normally available on the internet, but sites like and others have all the TSBs and repair procedures. I have found them useful. Unfortunately, I found this TSB after the warranty had expired. Like everyone else, I do plan on making a complaint with the NHTSA.
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Yep, the lady at the NHSTB ?? was real nice and encourage me to file the complaint against Toyota. She said at some point if they had enough, or enough within a certain time frame, they would start recall requirement action!! In the mean time, the vibration (buzzing) on my steering wheel keeps getting worse. Again, I see some postings here that are clearly tire balance problems. Believe me, I've had my share of them over the period of the last 30 or 40 years but this IS NOT a tire problem. If it was a tire problem, the whole vehicle would shake and again, this is felt ONLY in the steering wheel.

    From all the posts here and what I have found elsewhere, Toyota is aware of this but trying to avoid a very costly recall or less, having to fix all the vehicles that were reported in warranty. If they have to recall, then all of us will get their cars fixed, maybe!

    Keep supplying information here, I have since referred my stuff to a local attorney to see if there is a case we can pursue against both Toyota and the arbitration company. . .
  • mike805mike805 Posts: 33
    I realize there is a TSB on this but also some have fixed the problem by changing tires. One possibility may be the balance of the wheels and tires. Most places only place weights on the outside of the wheel which does not dynamically balance the wheel. Try having them balanced by a dealer that dynamically balances with weights on both inside and outside of the wheels on a machine that can sense the imbalance in this axis. This is especially important with the wide wheels we have now.
  • jim58jim58 Posts: 20
    Mike, thanks for the post but again, the problem I have is NOT in the tires. I read back and see that I left off the comment that the vibration is still present even when the brake is held and the engine rev to the normal vibration points. (Yeah, I know, but Toyota's own senior service rep told me to try it)
    I have tried everything I can think of and any good ideas others have offered and nothing fixes the problem and nothing points to the tires being the problem.
    There is a real coverup going here since the arbitration hearing was lost. Now Toyota service managers in other dealerships, once they log in the VIN number, all at once switch sides, from wanting to help the consumer, to protecting Toyota. They have driven the vehicle and claim that they cannot feel the vibration!!! Now, it is not just me and my wife but anyone who drives it can feel it, EXCEPT Toyota employees. Go figure.

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