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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair

steverstever Posts: 52,683
edited December 2013 in Toyota
Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair


  • I believe there have been some discussions about a rattling noise connected to the sun roof but has anyone actually been able to have the problem corrected and what was done. I have an 03 Limited with about 2000 miles on it. Thanks
  • Here's the TSB from Toyota on this problem. My 03 Sport has this problem and it's driving me crazy. I haven't brought it to the dealer yet. 01590-2488.pdf
  • 69mach1, thanks for the info on the sunroof. I'm going to bring my 4Runner to the dealer in the next couple week and will post the results.
  • tfm1tfm1 Posts: 5
    My brakes don't seem to work like other vehicles. They stop ok but there seems to be excessive pedal travel and the pedal is soft, almost as if the brakes need bleeding. Does anyone else notice this?
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    I've got 500 mi on 03/2WD/SR5/V6. Braking was strong initially but master cylinder had to be replaced because of an electronic vibration problem in the brake pedal.

    This cured the problem but afterward, I had excessive pedal travel with weaker braking. I took it back again. They said air was in the lines so they bled the brakes.

    Braking and pedal travel are normal now, but I still think braking was a little better the first couple of weeks. Maybe pads are a little dirty.

    One thing that still annoys me a bit is a faint "popping" feel in the pedal that occurs intermittently during braking (usually at slow speeds). Someone in another forum also has this gremlin and described it as a "snapping" feel. Don't know what it is and whether it's inherent in the design or not. I'll have dealer check it out next time.
  • I took my 03 4Runner SE to dealer two weeks ago. They did not know about the TSB!!! Thank God I brought a copy with me. After reading the TSB they ignored it! After a test drive with me, the dealer wanted to replace the entire Moon roof assembly. Naturally I refused, since it involved taking practically the entire car apart, and them keeping the car for over a day! As much as it annoys me, I am going to try to live with it. Other than this problem, I love my truck!! If they had the charcoal interior on 04 models I would have replaced it.
  • great4runner, perhaps you should contact a Toyota Representative and ask him for a reference to a new dealer familiar with the TSB.

    I'm like you, I don't want my vehicle torn apart by some mechanic, but at the same time I don't want that rattle, because it bugs me. I plan on contacting the Toyota rep before I take mine to a dealer, because I want it done right.

    Meanwhile I've actually started driving my old reliable 92 Honda more so that I don't have to listen to the rattle, sad isn't it
  • Any fix for the stink, besides pushing it off a cliff. Peeeyyyeeeewwwww
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Mine only smelled for a few days, which I described as a rubbery/sulfury type stench. Don't smell anything now, other than a fading "new car" scent. Granted, I'm still driving it like an old lady and keeping the back window up.

    400 miles to go and I'll treat it like a used car and drive it like I mean it.
  • I recently bought a 1988 4Runner and replaced the stock stereo with my own personal cd deck (aiwa 517). however, i've been having problems with wires shorting out the fuse box, which is causing my tail lights/parking lights not to work. the problem has been narrowed down to my stereo and the wires that were originally connected to the stock deck. ultimately, i'm curious if anyone might know the color codes for those wires so that i can figure out exactly which wire is actually causing the short that is blowing the fuse. thanks.
  • I had the headliner rattle. First time I brought it in for service they placed some foam tape in the most ridiculous places and said it was fixed. It wasn't. The second time, a regional rep worked on it...and fixed it. Don't know what he did though. When I asked, I got the "deer in headlights" look from the service mgr. Shortly afterward, my sunroof BROKE! The plastic guides jammed and prevented the sunroof from closing. Good thing it wasn't raining. They fixed that as well.

    I now have a creaking sound coming from the right side rear passenger area. Can't figure that one out.
  • We have an 03/V6 Ltd. We too have a creaking noise or popping sound that seems to originate behind the seat or under it. With only 1100 miles, I am trying to avoid a dealer "technician" performing a science fair project on it.

    If it helps, no one has even ridden in the back seat yet (i.e. no kid toys, etc...). Thanks in advance.
  • I just noticed this weekend that the paint on the roof of my 03 (built in July) is starting to crack. It's barely noticable and you have to look very closely to see it, but it appears that the clear coat is cracking/fracturing. I found one other person on another discussion forum that had a similar problem. Anyone else having this problem or do I have an isolated defect?
  • No cracks in clearcoat, but I've found debris in the paint on the hood and roof.
  • I had the same problem, A rattle in the back right area of my 03limited First i thought it was the headliner but later found it to be caused by the second shelf in the rear cargo area. there is a pivit joint that allows the shelf to lift and be put in place, In this joint there is a spacer that is allowed to slide and rattle, if you put a C clamp in next to the spacer that adds just enough space to keep the thing from rattling. I did this on both sides and havent haD a problem since.
  • The noise is from a loose rear seat latch (the latch that you release to fold the seats down)

    It is loose on one side and an easy fix for the dealer. A couple people mentioned this and fix.
    Or if you want to avoid the dealer, they have wrapped a strip of electrical tape around the metal U-hook and the noise disappeared.
  • I took my 2003 4Runner SE to the service department of the same dealership where I purchased it two months ago (Hempstead, NY). I go in at 8:30 am and ask them to:
    1) Change the oil
    2) Fix rattle in sunroof
    3) Fix brake pedal vibration (ref: Oscar)

    Pop quiz: Which one was completed in 5 hours? Just (1)

    I offer to provide the TSB# for the sunroof, but the assistant service manager vehemently refuses. Well, 1:00 PM rolls around and they can't find the correct TSB on their own. After I provide them with the correct #, they tell it will be an all-day job and I have to come back.

    As for the brake pedal vibration; the mechanic personally explains to me that the brake system on this particular vehicle has a hydraulic system that automatically re-pressurizes the brake lines every few pumps. That vibration I feel is the system pressurizing itself. Sounds plausible to me so I leave it at that.

    Oscar, you wrote about a similar problem that required the master cylinder to be changed. Let me confirm the condition: The vibration is a soft buzz that lasts for a few seconds, regardless if you're braking hard or soft, and even occurs when you are stopped. It occurs almost every other braking and is completely independent of road conditions. Is this correct? I refuse to believe this is normal.
  • I too have that annoying moon roof rattle in my 03 Limited. After downloading the TSB fix, I too fear a "science fair" project by a mechanic. If anyone knows how to short-circuit this with toyota for a dependable fix, please advise. It's very annoyng
  • john609john609 Posts: 10
    What paint color(s) were involved in the clear coat & paint problems in messages #14 & #15?
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    That buzz is not normal. I test drove several 4runners and none of them did it, except the one I bought of course and I only noticed the buzzing the following day. I'm certain that if they all did it, it would be driving people batty, like the sulfur issue.

    At any rate, they replaced the master cylinder assembly and there is no more buzz at all, not even during startup.

    However, there is a faint (intermittent) "pop" or "snap" that I can feel in the brake pedal every few times I brake. Don't know if this is what your mechanic was referring to but it annoys me. I'm taking the car in tomorrow for this and vibration in the steering wheel at freeway speeds.
    It used to have a shimmy but they rebalanced wheels and that took care of the shimmy but there's still a vibration.

    I feel your pain.
  • 69mach169mach1 Posts: 60
    My 2003 Sport is Stratosphere Mica with paint debris on the hood and roof. Debris on hood and roof is about the size of a sand grain.
  • 69mach169mach1 Posts: 60
    My 2003 Sport has the X-Reas System, but to me the vehicle doesn't handle very well. It really leans in the corners and becomes a handfull if you drive too fast. Any body with similar experiences, how about ditching the shocks and putting on KYB's?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    What speeds are hitting in the corners. I have the same vehicle and I'd rate it as extremely solid in handling, even in the corners. You may have a leaking shock.
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    Sounds like your truck is not handling properly. Assuming it is under warranty, bring it to a dealer and have them look at it. Get it handling like it should before you decide to spend money on aftermarket shocks.

    (Sorry pat84 - didn't see your post.)
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    Anyone know if the optional 17-in wheels will fit on a 3rd generation 4-Runner without modification?
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    Twice now I have been in park (motor running) on a slight uphill. When I shift to drive and transfer my foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal the car slips backwards and makes a grinding noise below me (transmission area). The fix was braking then trying again immediately afterward.

    called the service dealer who said its the first he has heard of this and since their were no alarms or lights it was probably a gear slipping. He also said that to fix it he would have to replicate the problem. I have had difficulty in replicating the problem myself....ideas?

  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    deloid, I think you may have (by rolling backwards when the transmission is in drive, if I remember correctly) inadvertently activated the "Hill Start Assist Control" function. If so, you should probably have heard some buzzing from the vicinity of the dashboard/firewall, and would have seen an indicator light in the dash. The feature is apparently using the ABS hardware to do its job.

    I've accidentally done this a time or two myself, and it's an odd feeling if you're not expecting it. Frankly, I don't remember the details of the feature, but it's covered in the manual. I'm sure it's useful in some situations, but I havent' actually needed it yet.
  • Does anyone have any information on how to remove a 2003 4 Runner Windshield with electrochromic/compass rear view mirror? I
    just received a stone chip on the windshield and the auto glass company will replace it tomorrow, just in case they are not familiar in removing the trim and the wiring connection from the electrochromic/compass rear view mirror. The rear view mirror looks like it is part of the windshield, just need info on the trim around the rear view mirror and the wiring connections.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    check out or other sources to see if the offset and bolt pattern are the same - I believe it is the same on the third gen as on the second, which has an offset of 8 (I have one).

    There is plenty of clearance in the wheel wells, so that should not be the problem if there is one. I have seen lots of third gens with oversize tires on them without lift.

    Don't forget, if you put on the 17s, you will be reducing the torque you can put to the ground. You might be a candidate for consideration of installing the S/C.

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

  • 69mach169mach1 Posts: 60
    Truck has 3000 miles on it and shocks don't leak. I've noticed a hose that goes into the shocks, I wonder if there's a reservoir for fluid that might be low, just a thought.

    I'm taking the corners at resonable speed, but it just seems to lean a lot. Maybe I was expecting too much after reading about the X-Reas System in the 2003 Toyota brochure.

    Guess there's another trip to the dealer in store.
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