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Sulfur Smell from Toyota 4Runner



  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Yeah, but my question is, why do they even need to replace them on 2006 models? This problem has been around for a while and the new cc's have been available for several years to correct the problem. Why not put the new cc's in right on the assembly line? Something else is at play here.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    an astute question. perhaps margin / profit?

    if the part number is the same then the issue is manufacture / quality control. it would be interesting to know if the part is being replaced with a different part number.

    if the part number is not the same, while it could also be manufacture / quality control, most likely it is expense because of superior design, tolerances, materials, size, etc etc.

    the number of TSBs across a range of models... perhaps its a matter of manufacturer / supplier lot related QA issues...

    outsourcing issues?
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    I was told it is definitely different part number.
  • I was hoping someone could help me here -- is there an acutal TSB for a 2003 4Runner V-8 SR5 with the sulfur smelling exhaust problem? I found it for the V-6 model but not the V-8.

    I was at the dealership today and I feel like I'm getting the run around. I was told to change gas stations -- been there, done that. The dealership has known about this problem for at least two years and I told them I would remind them every time I came in. My service advisor said he'd provide me with the TSB that acknowledges the existence of a sulfur smell but that there is no fix for it. When I checked out with the cashier she did not have the TSB and said my service advisor did not provide her with one. She said I could check with another service advisor because mine had gone out for lunch. :mad:

    Thanks in advance.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Backing up / then "moving forward" ;)

    TSB EG003-03

    Some owners of Toyota vehicles may experience a sulfur like or rotten egg odor from the exhaust system. Sulfur is a natural component of crude oil from which gasoline is refined and the amount of sulfur can be decreases through the refining process. The amount of sulfur in fuel in CA is regulated, however gasoline sold in other states can have substantially higher sulfur content. Sulfur content also varies considerably between gasoline brands and locations.

    Applicable vehicles:
    All models

    Repair procedure:
    A sulfur odor emitted from the vehicle tailpipe does not necessarily indicate that there is an issue with the engine’s condition, but is most likely directly related to the fuel. If the vehicle is exhibiting an excessive sulfur odor, the following checks should be performed:

    If the MIL light is ON, check for DTCs and repair as necessary

    If no trouble is found after performing the above check, recommend the customer try a different source of fuel.

    Replacement of oxygen sensors, air/fuel ratio sensors or catalytic converters will not reduce the odor and therefore will not be considered warrantable.

    That was amended with:

    And for the V8 there is this:
    TSB: EG020-04:
    Title: Excessive Sulfur Dioxide Odor
    Models: '03-'04 4Runner (2UZ-FE)
    Date: June 14, 2004

    Google with the following to get a copy:
    +"4Runner (2UZ-FE)" +sulfur
  • Thank you very much -- next question:

    my VIN# is not in that range. I have a 300 series VIN


    I bought the 4Runner in VA but now live in Southern California and I still get the sulfur smell -- which I describe as an ammonia smell - it's acrid - burns my nose. My dad had a Buick Regal in the '70s that had that rotten egg smell which is different then what I'm smelling from my truck. My service advisor had the nerve to tell me to close the windows when I'm driving uphill to which I replied: then why do I have windows that open and close? so that I can keep them closed?

    Thanks again.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I believe the last TSB which I suggested you google (read and print it!) indicates that the applicable vehicles are those with that engine, V8, 2WD and 4WD which were produced BEFORE the VINs listed (the word BEFORE being important to you).

    Are you sure sure your VIN doesn't fall into the range convered by the TSB? It implies that for vehicles of the provided VINs moving forward in production, there is no issue (implying they caught it and fixed it or had otherwise switched parts), but for those *BEFORE* the VINs listed, there is the issue.

    OK, I'm not a VIN decoder expert. I may be wrong. ;)
  • Is there such a thing as VIN decoder expert? :-)

    OK - I re-read the printed TSB you provided and yes, I would think my 300-series VIN would come before the 400-series VIN but without my decoder ring I can't be sure.

    We have a new Toyota dealership here in SoCal so maybe I will give them a call for my next service.

    Thanks again.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    umm, yeah - anybody in the biz of buying, selling, or insuring cars is probably pretty good at it.

    here is some information:

  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    I thought after replacing both CCs the smell of SO2 will go away, but to my surprise it is still there. I placed a call to the Toyota dealership where I had the dual CCs replaced and he told me if I still use the same gas... waiting to hear back from him if there is anything else that can be done...

    My conclusion is either dealership did not do the job right or the gas brand Murphy USA is causing this issue.

    Has anyone else experienced the bad smell SO2 on a 2006 4Runner LTD V8 4WD even after replacing the CCs?
  • Hi -- wanted to let you know I contacted Toyota 1-800-331-4331, and questioned them about the TSB and I was told that my vehicle does not fall within the parameters of it but they would go ahead and open a case where the dealership needs to respond to corporate within three business days. My dealership called me 4 hours later and they've ordered the new catalytic converter and will replace it once the parts have arrived. The service manager was very helpful and polite. He'll also be ordering my new visors since my 4Runner is part of Campaign 30G where certain vehicles did not receive vanity mirrors on their visors. I thought it was kind of weird there were no mirrors but I never questioned it -- but Toyota Corp in California did and now I get my mirrors -- I'm so vain!! :blush:
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    well, i told you i was no VIN master! ;)

    it's nice to see the company is doing right by a good customer, vain or not. ;)
  • nj4runnernj4runner Posts: 3
    Where do you get the TSB from? I'd like to get a copy before a go to the dealer. From reading earlier post I believe it's TSB EG004-06. Anyone have a link? The trunk only has 550 miles on it and I smell it already.
  • nj4runnernj4runner Posts: 3
    Thanks alot for the info.
  • The tail pipe is too short, and should be have a right-angled piece added on the end of it.
  • ktoddktodd Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm having a huge problem with my 4runner smelling like eggs. The Toyota rep is coming out to talk to my husband and I on Wednesday. I'm sure that he is just going to give me the run around like every other Toyota rep, so I plan on going to arbritration. Do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it. Did you get your 4runner repurchased or replaced? Thanks for your time!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    ktodd, did you read the messages in this forum? there is a TSB on the 4runner (and on other models) calling for a reprogramming of the ECM (Engine Control Module), and replacement of the Catalytic Convertor.
  • dedheddedhed Posts: 6
    just one question... were you driving anywhere near the Whitehouse???? ;)
  • i have a 2006 4runner that smells every time i drive it, it is so unbarable i get sick from the smell. the dealer keeps telling me to change gas and it is a normal thing for new cars. well the b.s. keeps changing they changed the exhaust front pipe subassy r&r and 2 weeks later the smell is back.$30,0000 truck and they think I am going to smell this everyday you're joking right? furthermore what about the enviroment and health issues this could potentially cause some serious side effects that i don't want to take.
    please reply if you're experiencing the same smell with your 4runner
  • loganslogans Posts: 2
    Merolle - I too am having the same problem. Every time I accelerate, the smell is so obvious that I get a big head-ache. The dealership replaced the catalytic convertor but the smell resurfaced 2-3 weeks later. Also, my average mile per gallon has decreased by 2 miles. I'm supposed to drop it off this Wednesday. Probably get the run around. Let me know your status or anybody else having the experience, please share with us. Thanks

    Logan s
  • dadof6dadof6 Posts: 61
    You need to make sure that your dealer used the convertors from the TSB. Do you get the odor with all 5 windows up while driving down the road?
  • my4my4 Posts: 1
    Hi...Are any of you still having issues with the sulfur smell, and if so, how have you handled it. I have a 2003 4Runner and have notice the smell as well.
  • If you still have the vehicle, take it to lemon law arbitration. There may be a time limit so you may want to check. I got all my money back plus interest on my 2003 runner.
  • Hi this is really bob443, I started this over three years ago, but I did a login id and password that I do not remember. Any way lets update everyone on what the situation is with Toyota and your options with the sulfur mell:

    Basically there is nothing you can do. It's a matter of them using a different Catalytic converter (a cheaper one). I took this trough the Arbitration court and lost. I tried hard and based my issue with the fact that the smell was putting my child's health at risk. It didn't work. So here is what you can do:

    1. Buy the attachment that pushes the exhaust pipe out to the side and then it won't come into the windows as bad.

    2. Your best bet if you don't like the smell hook up your car to run E85 and you will smell french fries instead.

    3. Buy a Honda.

    I don't mean to be harsh but I am so fed up with Toyota and I have since sold the 4Runner.

    Good luck, sorry I don't have any good news to report.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    There was a TSB that called for the dealers to replace the Catalytic Convertor and reprogram the ECU.

    EG020-04, EXCESSIVE SULFUR DIOXIDE ODOR, 2003 – 2004 model year 4Runner vehicles equipped with the 2UZ–FE engine produced BEFORE the Production Change Effective VINs listed (see the TSB for the VIN #'s).

    see message 808.

    Factually, Toyota had issues with a number of models with CAT Convertors that were probably defective.

    Good luck.
  • Oh ya we took it in and had the Catalytic Convertor changes and re programed but I am just a consumer who can't tell one Catalytic Convertor from the next but it looked like they put in a new one but it must have been the same type that they are using when they build the 4Runners because the smell was still there. That's when we took it to Arbitration and lost.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341

    did you do this BEFORE the new cat was available? replacing it with the same CAT and just doing a reprogramming probably wouldn't help.

    did you try taking it to another dealership? because the new P/N covertor and the reprogram should have helped you.
  • Is there a VIN search I can do? Driving with the windows down is tough in MI when it is 20 degrees out.

  • loganslogans Posts: 2
    I have an automatic 2006 Sport Edition 4 Runner. Most time when I shift the gear to drive, the transmission takes awhile to engage; It's let driving a manual when you're trying to push the gas and it just sits there until you release the clutch then all of the sudden (4-6 seconds later) the transmission catches. It's been a year since I have the car and it is happening more often and now takes even longer for the transmission to engage.

    I had this problem ever since I bought the car a year ago. Every time I take to the dealership, a mechanic will drive the vehicle and he does not see or feel the problem. They plug a computer to it and get no reading. It's getting very frustrating because friends who ride with me are experiencing the problem and the dealership don't. Not sure what to do or if anyone else is experiencing this as well. Sounds like I have a bad transmission but cannot prove it.
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