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Sulfur Smell from Toyota 4Runner



  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    why didn't you get the service manager involved? Could be they don't have any type of testing equipment - I'm certainly not defending them.

    Tape record the conversation where the service advisor says "but we won't find anything.." and "we'll put down 'no problem found'..".
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    I've also seen many sulphur complaints in the Toyota Corolla forum. According to some posts there, it seems the phenomenon has been corrected by Toyota in the 2004 models. I'm curious to see if this is also the case with 04 4runners.

    And to Zueslewis, even though I haven't purchased a 4runner yet, I appreciate your time and the advice offered based on your experiences. For the record, I never got the sense that by injecting some common sense into the debate that you were being condescending.

    And now for a brief question - what is the difference between lemon law proceedings and arbitration? It seems from past posts there are two ways to go. Why choose one over the other?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    depending on your state, several ways to handle things.

    There can be an arbitration at ANY level - dealership, a meeting with a regional manufaturer's rep and a mediator, with a judge, etc.

    An arbitration is just a fancy word for a meeting with a presiding person who will make a decision.

    They can be very informal.

    On the formal side, if you contact a lawyer and a complaint (lawsuit) is filed, like with what we do in my job, a formal arbitration is scheduled (4-6 months away, usually) and a panel of arbitrators hear the meeting just like a mini-trial. If you win at arb, the manufacturer usually appeals - if you lose, you can appeal. If either side appeals, a trial is scheduled.

    Most of the cases I deal with settle either before arb, or after arb and just before trial.

    I've looked at about 4,000 cases, and I've been "hands-on" with 3,349 cases to date, yet I've only had to go to arbitrations or trials 127 times. (87 arbs, 38 trials and 2 Federal trials)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    alfster has a good idea there...to ask complaintants to post their build dates. It would be very interesting if we saw them all clumped up, wouldn't it?

    forestergump seems to know the ULTIMATE consumer weapon, that exceeds the power of any form of complaint or legal process....the boycott. The mere word strikes terror in the hearts of the corporate world.

    Not saying a boycott is appropriate in this situation (as the facts are far from in) but it is a powerful weapon. Just ask the Big Three about the years 1975-1985 and what a boycott can do to you if your products are rejected by the consumer (consciously or indirectly).

    alan88 brings up a good point. Why do only some vehicles do this and....doesn't that rather undermine the case for "factory defect" and give credence to the fuel as the culprit-- or rather "sharing the culpability?"
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    As far as fuel goes, I usually buy whatever is the cheapest, 87 regular. I used 93 octane as well and haven't noticed any difference in smell, although performance was slightly improved. Has anyone considered using a fuel additive or treatment to see what effect it would have, if any, on the "Sulfur Quagmire?"

    Perhaps the Sulfur Quagmire occurs in clusters...Maybe the Toyota engineers were on vacation during that period of time and forgot to add a crucial part....You never know.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    a boycott is an organized consumer action against a company, product, or practice, which consists of a bunch of activists stirring folks to loudly refuse to deal with MegaCo until they settle such-and-such.

    a bunch of folks reading the boards, checking CR, sniffing tailpipes and kicking tires, and deciding to NOT buy the Belchfire V13, instead buying anything else from anybody else, is basically a choice to get something better than the V13.

    certain types of boycotts, "secondary" boycotts, are allegedly illegal. I haven't organized any, so don't know the rules.

    I would think, but don't warrant, that a secondary boycott would be something along the lines of... MegaCo makes auto light bulbs, and they also make atomic bombs under contract for the country of Nowhereistan. MegaCo only has Belchfire as a customer for their auto light bulbs. thus, if you want to support the Nowhereistanis in their fight against the corrupt and evil, murderous and unstable government, you raise hob against Belchfire, picket 'em, hassle 'em, and never ever buy or be seen in a Belchfire.

    which may or may not be fair to Belchfire Motors, but they aren't the worst villain in the piece, and all you apprentice boycotters out there should get after MegaCo instead.

    it's much simpler for individuals to know about the purchases they make, and the choices they have, and pick their own preference. toyota has eaten a lot of other outfits' lunches over the years on that basis. if they lose a few, and the potential customers write and say why, that could make a big difference in the way they approach things.

    do your own thing. I picked a 2000 explorer on other grounds, so I don't have a dog in this fight. other than, I like breathing without sulfur stink making me reach for my asthma inhaler, and I personally keep a blacklist in my own mind for my future personal purchase needs of stinkers I have been behind in traffic.

    for anybody who bought the home version of the Lawyers!! TV game, and is playing along right now, this does mean I don't think whipping up any sort of national boycott because you got a stinky car is going to get you anywhere. worst case, trade the devil off if you can't get any satisfaction on it... that way, you don't make any representations to anybody about how good or bad the car is, and you should have the warm and comfy feeling of knowing you have your tailbone covered.

    "boycott" is quite a loaded word, and I'm not going there. it has heavy baggage. "class-action lawsuit" is much tamer by comparison in the rooms where the brandy and cigars come out before business is conducted.
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    I dropped off the 4Runner for the following services this morning.

    1) Oil Change (I do these myself, but a coupon)
    2) Passenger mirror was loose (up and down)
    I suggest everyone see if their mirror does this as all the ones on the lot did this as well.
    3) Squeak in the right front.
    4) Exhaust smell in cabin.

    They drove me to work, dropped me off and said they'd call when it was complete.

    They never called.

    I called at 5:30PM. They said the truck was ready to be picked up. I said "great! pick me up". They said "that's going to be a problem because we sent the driver home". Honest mistake, I'm sure. Let's move on.....

    I arrive before closing and notice some items that were in the back of the 4Runner had been placed on the ground near a wall. Strange, but I didn't comment on that either. I proceed to the cashier and pay my bill. That was the only good part of the experience...it was $0.00.

    1) Oil change: No problems there.
    2) Mirror: they agreed to change it and put it on order. Now this problem I would have accepted since all 4Runners do this and not just mine. It's really not a defect, but it does show a lack of quality control though.
    3) Squeak: They told me this was fixed by replacing a bushing. When I drove off the Squeak was actually worse. I really couldn't believe my ears. I called the service guy out and had him listen. He retrieved a can of Silicon and proceeded to "fix" the problem. At this point it all started to "fit". I'm returning, again,in the morning to get this looked at, again.

    4) Exhaust: This one is very strange. I asked the service guy if they found anything and he replied "No, but I didn't check it. The Service Manager did." When asked him the expand on that he said "She had some device in the back of the vehicle and was driving around for some time with it." That explains why my items were left out against the wall.

    So Toyota is testing the 4Runner with an "instrument" of some kind without an explanation as to why or what it is to the customer. They obviously know something is wrong or they wouldn't be testing. When I asked to speak to the Manager who did the test, he played hush. He wouldn't say another word to me. What the heck is going on here?

    I can only say that this is like bizarro land. I mean who does this sort of thing? Toyota is definitely up to something.
  • rcgatorrcgator Member Posts: 22
    As much as I hate Toyota for selling me a stinker of a car (and I will NEVER buy Toyota again - everyone I speak to at Toyota, except for one service rep., tells me they've never heard of anyone complaining of sulfur smell in the cabin with windows closed and a/c on recirc...what a crock), what concerns me most is the safety of my children. Does the tailpipe extension solve the problem? If it does, I will buy it tomorrow and worry about Toyota later. Does anyone know if it works?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    you've contacted Toyota and they've entered info on your vehicle's warranty history - they know you're following the lemon law path - that's why they wouldn't discuss anything.

    Ain't sayin' it's right - just sayin' why.

    They wouldn't tell you if they found anything? I think I'd be standing on someone's desk until they told me the whole story, but I've been known to get a little crazy like that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Am I missing something here? I thought you WANTED them to investigate your problem!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    in on what they found!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    OH, yeah, there is that part....:)

    Well maybe it's a big secret and maybe the smell is GONE! Sometimes they do warranty work without telling the owner, right?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    secret squirrel stuff!
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    secret black ops missions.
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    You know, come to think of it, I tried reproduce smell but it was different this time. Not as strong, but still apparent.

    When people buy somthing for 30k, shouldn't it just work? I really don't understand the problem here. I paid good money for something and it doesn't perform to spec. Case closed.

    Try as I might, I can't convince myself that there is a grey area here. To me, it looks black and white.

    The things I need fixed, they can't. The things I could care less about, they fix. Maybe I should care less about the things I need fixed. All this effort is rediculous.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but "When people buy somthing for 30k, shouldn't it just work? I really don't understand the problem here. I paid good money for something and it doesn't perform to spec. Case closed."

    doesn't matter. It's a matter, once the dealer is lost to fixing your problem, of proving a warranty defect in court. It sucks.

    Many people I deal with get all hung up on "I had to take time off of work" and "the service advisor wasn't nice to me" instead of concentrating on the real issues.

    After all, they can't work on your rig while you're driving it and the service advisor's attitude really doesn't matter as to whether the job was done or not (your problem addressed and corrected).
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    What about dropping the vehicle off and telling them to keep it until it's fixed?

    You're right it does suck. But the flip side is that that's why companies in America usually prosper.

    Do they have to provide me data on any test they perform on my car? Can they keep it to themselves?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but most states require that the vehicle owner is informed of any and all repairs made - this really leans towards the private shops in giving accurate estimates and disclosing work done or not done, but we use it in court all the time against the manufacturer.

    Dropping off your vehicle and telling them to keep it until fixed is a waste. They'll see you as hostile, won't work on it, then will start charging you storage. You think you're angry now, wait 'til you get a bill for storage - and most businesses have the right to enforce the bill...

    I've seen people get repoed over dropping the vehicle off like that - that dealer calls the lender, tells them what you said, something like "I don't want it back unless it's fixed" and since they may say there is no fix, it can't be corrected, the vehicle gets repoed. Seen it happen.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Actually, to answer your question....no, it doesn't necessarily have to work if you spent $30,000 for it, any more than a ball point pen has to work if you spend $1.

    Why is that? Well, any manufactured product will, statistically, be defective now and then. For every 100 cars, maybe 1.3 of them will burp right out of the showroom.

    This is why the automakers offer warranties. If you expect perfection from an object made by humans (or their robot slaves) you will be perenially disappointed I think. And this goes for a Hyundai or a Rolls Royce. Some of them will screw up, and a couple screw up big time awful.

    What ISN'T right is to be tormented by the warranty process.

    So if you pay $30K, it's not the car that should meet your expectations, but the warranty, IMO. This is the area in which one could reasonably expect a high degree of perfection.

    Expecting a Toyota to be perfect because it is a Toyota (not saying this is your point of view) would be a bit naive I think.

    As for the warranty process, the dealer is like the book between two bookends. One end is you, the other is the factory. The dealer and the factory are not by any means "chummy". They can be quite adversarial, and you should take this into account. The dealer's bad behavior might be related to the factory's bad behavior against him.

    I think it is often a misconception to presume that the dealer and factory conspire against the consumer or that they are close allies at all time.

    If the factory won't pay for something the dealer simply will not fix it out of his own pocket.

    So if the Toyota factory isn't paying for "bad smells" this month, you aren't going to get your car fixed unless:

    1. You do it yourself

    2. You convince the factory to pay for it.

    Near as I can tell the dealer is just about out of this equation, in your case.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    reading this thread, it is apparent there is a population of vehicle owners that aren't experiencing the problem with this vehicle, and there is a population that is.

    presumably the placement of the vent and tailpipe is approximately the same in both populations.

    at least one person back numerous posts asked, if it were possible that the population experiencing a problem had an issue with the vehicle's fuel system running too rich, or perhaps a defective CAT convertor. why can't a dealership or another shop help with that determination?

    i wonder if the smell can be detected when you're outside the vehicle and if so, it seems to me that the vent/tail-pipe configuration is sort of a separate issue...i mean what is the true cause (root cause) of the strong odor?

    then, what is it about the vehicle configuration that is causing it to concentrate inside.

    both problems need solving don't they?

    i guess if this were my car, i'd be trying to determine if there is an emissions control problem, or fuel control problem if they could be contributing factors to the root cause.

    then i'd also be looking to see if I had a rear door/gate seal problem, a vent/pipe configuration issue, maybe a defective vent conduit issue, or the something like that.
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    Here's an idea I mentioned awhile back. 03 and 04 4Runner owners should post some info regarding their "Sulfur Quagmire" (or lack thereof) in a more standardized format. I suggest the following:

    v6 or v8?
    Build Date (month/year)
    describe specific problem with sulfur smell(if any)
    does it decrease with increased milleage?
    type of gas used (grade/brand)
    spoiler or no spoiler?
    What fixes have you attempted (dealer vs self)
    Any conditions that exacerbate the sulfur smell (weather, temperature, open cargo window, etc).


    Does anyone with an 04 4Runner experience the Sulfur Smell?
  • coranchercorancher Member Posts: 232
    klaudnyc (post 221), that clear plastic tube you see in the jack compartment is probably a drain for water that gets past the main sunroof perimiter seal. It's not big enough to serve as a significant air intake anyway, though the cabin air *exhaust* from the vehicle is in that vicinity on both sides. I posted more detail on this previously in this thread.

    As far as I know, the main cabin air intake is at the base of the windshield, as on most vehicles.

    On the subject of air intake, though, why is it that so many of us (including me) assume that one is less likely to get the sulfur smell from the exhaust if the air system is set on recirculate? Now that I've figured out where the air is supposed to come from and go to (see my previous posts), it seems obvious that it would be better to use the fresh air setting instead of recirculate. I'm not trying to be snotty here, I really do wonder why so many of us assume that recirculate would be better, and can't understand my own presumptions.

    Not that I'm expecting the kind folks here to solve my personal problems, of course!
  • coranchercorancher Member Posts: 232
    I was re-checking this thread for new posts and re-reading my earlier post #275 in the hope that I hadn't said anything too dumb. When I read "...that clear plastic tube you see in the jack compartment is probably a drain for water that gets past the main sunroof perimiter seal. It's not big enough to serve as a significant air intake anyway, though the cabin air *exhaust* from the vehicle is in that vicinity on both sides." I thought of something that that I hadn't before: What if the sunroof drain outlet on the right side is sucking in exhaust?

    If so, it could mean that the smell would come out above the heads of the occupants, and might come in at different times/conditions than expected.

    Anybody think this is even a remote possibility? I'm going to try to get time tonight to look under the right rear side and see if it looks possible. If anybody has the smell bad, a simple experiment would be to block the tube and see if it gets better. That is, if we can find the tube outlet under the vehicle.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    it seems you had an ahhh haaa moment.

    maybe you could use a perfume or something similar like an essential oil used in fabricating soaps and swab the end of that drain. if there is outside air being pulled back into the cabin via that path, it should be sented with that odor...

    that would be sort of the flipside of your experiment; blocking the tube to see if if the sulfur smell gets better.
  • coranchercorancher Member Posts: 232
    I poked around and found that the sunroof drains are apparently way up there in a hard to reach place, near the place where the cabin air exits (see my previous post on this subject). So far so good, as far as my theory goes, but it makes it tougher to block them as an experiment.

    On the left side one can just withdraw the clear plastic tube from the black rubber tube that takes the drain outside of the vehicle (in the area where the jack is stored). Unfortunately on the right side this is a storage compartment that has a liner, preventing easy access to the tubes. I hope to consult the repair manual sometime soon, to see what I might do. However, I don't have the bad smell (except with the rear window down under heavy acceleration) and don't have much time, so any further experiments may have to wait a while.

    My theory, by the way, would still indicate that a short exhaust extension to the rear or the side could really improve things. I'm interested to hear if anybody tries this.
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    I sold the 4Runner and bought an Accord. I got a good offer and jumped at it. I'll never buy from Toyota again. In fact, we didn't even consider them.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Member Posts: 189
    tacoviva: So now you can hang on the Accord board. The worst sulphur smell I ever encountered was on a '03 Honda Accord. C'ya.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    on Accords - sorry...

    Just messing with you.
  • renshorensho Member Posts: 42
    Must not have wanted a SUV afterall. Not even a mdx, pilot or crv?

    Accord is a great choice. It is no recreational vehicle or a stuff hauler. Gets way better mileage tho.

    Best wishes taco.

    Again, shame on you Toyota.
  • tacovivatacoviva Member Posts: 116
    It's for my wife. There really isn't another SUV that I'd take a chance with. I'm sure the Accord does have the smell as well, but on the OUTSIDE.

    Jeep, no
    Pathfinder, no (cost and outdated)
    Exploder, enough said
    Any GM product is out

    The accord was the only car that did everything well for a reasonable price.

    I have a Tacoma 4x4. So I can still have some offroad fun. The whole reason for the 4Runner was that in 5 years, after it was paid off, I figured the Taco would be on it's last leg and I could replace it with the 4Runner and get the wife a new car. I guess I'll just have to pick one up whenever the Taco bites it.

    Cheers. I'll drop in from time to time. Good luck with your 4Runner(s).

    For what it's worth, Carmax gave me almost 28k for it. I only paid 29.2k.

    If you need an out, I'd go let them look at it.
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    Here's an interesting post that I came across that shows that Toyota has had violations against the Clean Air Act before (not sulfur). Check it out.

    http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/69f88fa92e75411585256c- e200676104?OpenDocument
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    until they get the extra sulfur, candlesticks, and dino bones out of diesel fuel, it's dirtier to burn. the classic, where the stackpipe cloud is denser than the truck itself, was US vs Mack, the 1999 consent agreement appended below if anybody wants to read 81 pages of PDF.....

    http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/mackall.p- - df

    which basically said Mack trucks had engines designed to meet EPA requirements only in the desginated test, not on the road... and they have to be fixed or replaced when major rebuild time comes around.

    you can have lots of fun on dull days doing searches in the department of justice and epa news release areas on their websites, especially if you have an axe to grind with anybody you want to search on. make more than two of anything, and sometime, someplace, you are going to have Uncle Sledge on your doorstep.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Diesel fuel has its moments...it has more BTUs per volume than gasoline.

    And Scott you should know this---fossil fuel is 99.9% old plants, not animals. Gee, when I think of all the old houseplants I killed from not watering them, and just threw them out.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    thousands of tons per inch, under heat, through time, and you've got something ;)

    the original proof of concept engine Rudolf Diesel made used coal dust. that one would be as dirty in the fuel line as in the exhaust pipe!
  • bv4runnerbv4runner Member Posts: 6
    I took advice and wrote a letter to the EPA regarding the obnoxious sulfur smell/emissions entering the cabin of my 2003 4Runner. I received a written response that I would like to share parts of with this forum.

    U.S. EPA, National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions
    Chester J. France, Director, Assessment and Standards Division
    Office of Transportation and Air Quality
    Laboratory, 2565 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105-2498.

    From the 10/8/2003 letter:
    ...we have recently seen an increase in complaints about this problem in vehicles from several manufacturers, including Toyota, even though other manufacturers are not having the problem....We have told Toyota staff that we would like them to correct this problem for both vehicles manufactured from now on and, also for the earlier 2003 model year vehicles experiencing the problem. Toyota has informed the EPA that they are working on a solution to the problem and that vehicle owners experiencing the is problem should periodically check with the customer service hotline provided in the their owner's manuals on the status of the fix...We are investigating the potential for adverse health effects from exposure to the hydrogen sulfide in vehicles experiencing a problem with emissions of this pollutant....

    Please note: What Toyota is telling me and all other 4Runner owners and the EPA differ. Emissons are entering the cabin of the 2003 4Runner. I advise anyone who wants Toyota to own up to their responsibility to recall and correct the emissions defect to write the EPA at the address above. Contact for Mr. France at the office above is Rich Cook, ph: 734-214-4827

    Don't give up,Toyota will be held responsible for this defect.

    Best of luck everyone.

  • renshorensho Member Posts: 42
    An organization that gives honest answers to the public. What a concept.
  • watson12watson12 Member Posts: 3
    I live in the midwest and had planned to purchase an '03 LTD V-6 this weekend at a local dealership. I am a bit hesistant now that I have read all these posts re sulfur smells in the cabin. Could you guys offer up some advice on what we should be looking for during the test drive? Is this something that may not be noticeable during the test drive but may worsen as we put miles on the rig? Should we look at '04's?

    Help! Lots of questions and not sure what to do now. I'm wondering if I can get something about this put into the purchase contract that will force the dealer to take the vehicle back if this occurs...?
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    A great idea from a previous poster was to post the build dates of those 4runners suffering from the sulphur smell. Maybe there is a correlation. If so, this certainly would help those of us debating a 4runner purchase, like the poster above. PLEASE, let's see some build dates! Thanks!

    Also, I would like to hear from any 2004 owners!
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    v6 or v8? --> V8
    Build Date (month/year) --> 6/03
    describe specific problem with sulfur smell(if any)-->Only presents when cargo window is opened.
    does it decrease with increased milleage? -->Slight decrease (currently at 3000mi)
    type of gas used (grade/brand) --> (regular 87, various brands)
    spoiler or no spoiler? --> Spoiler
    What fixes have you attempted (dealer vs self) --> n/a
    Any conditions that exacerbate the sulfur smell (weather, temperature, open cargo window, etc). --> open cargo window

    It seems, from prior posts, that most people with the sulfur problem have v8s built in 2003. I haven't see any posts for 2004 with this problem yet. There are a few V6s with this problem.

    When you testdrive either v6 or v8, be sure to try making various adjustments and combinations of the climate control settings to see if you smell the sulfur (ie. recirc, a/c, heat, etc). Also, try driving with the passenger windows down and/or moonroof. According to the manual, you should not drive with the cargo window open. Of course, to test all of these things, you might need to ask the dealer for an extended test drive.
  • atruantatruant Member Posts: 2
    My response is identical to post #292, except that I have no spoiler. I live in British Columbia, and purchased the vehicle in August 03.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've had no recurrence of the sulphur smell with the back window closed.

    I intend to re-attack Toyota Canada on this issue to see if there will be a fix (other than dissipation over time!). I'll post their response.
  • watson12watson12 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for all the tips. My wife and I went to the dealership this weekend to drive an '03 LTD V-6. I tried all the recommended tips from this board to detect sulfur - even went as far as having my wife follow behind in our car to see of she detected anything. Here's what I found-
    Only detected the sulfur smell immediately after a heavy acceleration WITH the back window down. However, the smell quickly dissipated after the initial acceleration. Only smelled this with the back glass down - tried with the moonroof open, other windows down and didn't detect anything. Played with the cabin climate controls a bit and again detected nothing. Wife didn't detect anything following on the highway...only after a hard acceleration. I drove with the back window down quite a bit and only detected the odor during heavy acceleration. The rig is now in my garage (ansd what a beauty it is!)...here is my info...
    Engine = V6
    Build Date = ? (where do I find this?)
    Specific problem = Sulfur smell only present with back window down during heavy acceleration, then quickly dissipates.
    Type of gas = ? (dealer filled the tank)
    Spoiler? Yes
    Attempted fixes? No
    Conditions that exacerbate smell? Only with back window down is smell detected

    Thanks to everyone for their help - I'll be glad to field any other questions...where can I find the build date???
  • coranchercorancher Member Posts: 232
    watson12, you'll find the build date on a sticker on the lower front edge of the pillar between the front and rear doors, on the driver's side. Just open the driver's door, look down and to the right. I think there are a couple of stickers there, telling you about tire pressure and build location, too.

    BTW, your experience with trying to provoke the smell seems similar to my own, and to almost all of the V6 owners that we've heard from.
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    One experience I had with my tires was that the dealer overinflated them! They had over 40psi, and none of the tires were all of the same pressure.

    The proper pressure is 32psi.

    Congrats on your new 03 4Runner purchase. Sounds like your 4Runner is operating within specs (at least according to Toyota). I hope you will get the most out of it :)

    What type of gas do you plan to give it?
  • klaudnycklaudnyc Member Posts: 36
    I was at my Toyota dealer this morning and I noticed they posted several TSBs on the wall, all from different manufacturers, about the sulfur smell from the exhaust. The manufacturers included Mazda, Volvo USA, Porsche, Subaru and Toyota. ALL of them said it is attributed to the fuel and there is nothing they could do about it.

    Guess this particular dealership was tired of hearing complaints from people who think their car is a lemon.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
  • coranchercorancher Member Posts: 232
    After all the discussion on this topic I am beginning to wonder just how serious this problem really is (in relative terms) on the 4Runner. Seems like a small minority of vehicles smell lots of the time, and in a few of these the smell gets into the cabin, at least under certain conditions.

    But what makes me scratch my head is why we haven't had even one report from someone (who has the bad smell inside frequently) who is willing to spend a few minutes and a few dollars experimenting with a tailpipe extension. tacoviva wouldn't try this as a matter of principle, but surely there are other perspectives out there among affected owners.

    If the number of people with the (inside smell) problem is significant at all, I'm having trouble understanding why we can't find one who reads these discussions and is willing to try a fix. Yes, I know that the extender fix wouldn't actually fix the smell, but it would sure improve the driving experience.

    I'm not exactly *forced* to conclude that the problem percentage is tiny, but I'm being nudged that way. Now I don't mean to minimize the problem, and I do not doubt the honesty of those who've reported it. But I would sure like to hear from someone (a second person after tacoviva) about their attitude to a tailpipe extender fix.
  • alan88alan88 Member Posts: 7
    Congratulations on your purchase. I'm in the market for one myself. When you get a chance to fill up the tank, could you please do some test again and let us know? I'm trying to figure out if it has anything to do with the fuel. I could not smell anything myself during testdrive, even when accelerating very hard. It was a V8 and I live in eastern PA where the gas is already re-formulated. BTW, which area do you live? My only concern now is that a smell-less 4Runner start to stink during a long trip because the difference in fuel across regions.
  • rcgatorrcgator Member Posts: 22
    I asked earlier in the discussion if anyone knew if this would work or not. I got no response at all.

    I know less than nothing about cars and wouldn't even know what kind of tailpipe extension to get, how much it should cost or where to get it installed. Any advice would be appreciated 'cause I don't know where to start.

    I am one of the people that gets the smell in the cabin (I have a Sequoia, not a 4Runner), and I was told by one of the technicians at the Toyota dealership that he hears this complaint all the time and that he just copies the TSB for people and gives it to them. I asked him if he meant that people complain all the time of the smell being inside the cabin with the windows closed and the a/c on recirculate and he said yes, that is exactly what he meant. This may not happen to the vast majority of Toyota owners, but it doesn't seem to be an isolated incident either.

    By the way, I have driven two 2003 Sequoias - we ended up trading one in after three days because we wanted to get leather seats - and BOTH of them had the sulfur smell inside the cabin (yes, with all the windows up and the a/c on recirc.). What a coincidence that I should get two cars that do the exact same thing if this is apparently a non-issue. I don't mean to get huffy, but I'm tired of Toyota acting as if I'm the only person alive whose ever complained about this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I was in the Reno/Tahoe area this weekend and had to rent something so I got a 2003 4Runner with a build date of 03/03.

    No sulphur smell under any conditions on this one. Tried everyone's suggestions with windows up, down, a/c on, off, etc, but nothing. I would have thought at high altitude I'd get something for sure, given that engines dont' run as well up there, but....
  • alfster1alfster1 Member Posts: 273
    Hmm, how many miles were on the odometer?
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