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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • If it's a chip, I would strongly recommend getting a liquid repair by a reputable shop. It is invisible and very simple.
    Replacing glass is often done improperly which can lead to leaks, windnoise, less impact protection (windshield is a part of the structure). It is also often not glued in properly. If the edges of the glass are touched, it's not going to be glued properly.
    You need Toyota glass, not aftermarket glass. Cheap glass can have distortion, inferior quality, fit and longevity. Also, regluing the mirror almost always leads to it falling off in the future.
    Toyota 4 runner glass also is water repellent and UV protected. Aftermarket glass is not.
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    Thanks for the thought but I did consider that possibility. There was no audible warning sound and no lights going off on the panel....other ideas?

  • I am looking to buying V6 Limited 4X4. I want to know about 4 Speed vs 5 Speed that how much it makes a difference machanically and how?
    I am aware the 4 speed is with V6 and 5 speed is with V8.
  • The stone chip received a few days ago, but just started to crack yesterday. I heard a loud bang on the windshield, but I have heard louder without any windshield breakage before on the 1998 4 runner. I even cleaned and inspected the glass after the incident, never noticed a chip or crack. I made sure that the windshield was OEM Toyota, called Rite-Way Auto Glass to order and change the windshield. I spoke with the installers, they do a lot of Toyota dealership windshields, (can you image taking your vehicle to a dealer repair shop and they farm it out to the contractor and pay more for the I decided on this company and used before since they specialize in this type of work. The electrochromic/compass rear view mirror was removed with a star tool at the base and wiring disconnected. The wiper arms and the plastic underneath was also removed. They had to open the hood to do this and popped opened the gas filler panel by mistake too. They used a chisel tool to remove the sealant from the bottom of windshield, then lifted the window shield off, applied glue and sealant for the new windshield, took around 2 hours. Hopefully no water or wind leaks!
  • 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.No lights on the audible alarm.

    I called the service dealer who said its the first he has heard of this and since there 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?

  • John, mine is Titanium metallic that is cracking
  • Yesterday, my AM & FM broadcast nothing but static. I suspected the antenna had been disconnected somehow. Then next time I go to use the radio it works as good as the day I got it. Today, while MLB & NFL are in full swing, my radio craps out again. Then I get a weak FM signal but no AM. Now everything works fine again. Obviously I'm going to the dealer for this, but I gotta ask, who's had radio failure issues & what has been your solution? The CD & Tape Deck work fine. The only thing I can relate this to is the ignition. Once I lose it, it's gone for good til the vehicle isn't restarted for awhile. I cannot induce the trouble by cycling the ignition. Start it & sometimes I have a radio, sometimes I don't, but its usually two hours or more since the ignition has been cycled before the condition goes away. Anyone know if the radio, A/C, & ignition is somehow on the same computer, resistor, or ground? Is this a computer reprogramming issue or an electrical issue?

    I mention A/C bcuz this a.m. the auto-program decided (for the 1st time) that the floor was where the A/C was going, then it blew hot air. After pushing the mid-level button more than a few times I finally got my Auto-A/C back where it belonged. I hate electrical issues.

    Thanks for any input.
  • asif1asif1 Posts: 49
    Sadly my 2004 4 runner got stone ship on the windshield right after i was driving back from dealer. got it fixed with liquid repair and it is hardly noticeable. the stone did'nt hit very hard and i had my other vehicles (99 camry) being hit by stone many times but never got a chip or crack. Does the new 4 runner have brittle windshields due to extra treatment for clearity or what ever....mine was a seed size chip.. which you usually get on brittle materials like tungsten carbide....The windshield should have fair balance b/w strenght, and brittlnes. i know the wax treatment for water drop should'nt have any impact on brittlness..
    i hope my chip wont spread....but Did you use original Toyota Windshield and how much it cost you?. Do you feel any difference b/w factory fitted and what you have now.?. i hope they did'nt mess with your dash board from inside..
  • Sorry to hear about the stone chip, it's a bummer when it's so new. Seems like they don't make windshields like they use to, looking at the windshield after it's off the vehicle, it looks thinner and lighter, then again, I'm no expert on windshield technology. I know it looks awful when I try to clean and dry it with windex, now I just use a wet paper towel on the windshield and let it dry naturally. I replaced it with a original OEM Toyota Windshield, in the state that the vehicle is insured, it's 100% windshield damage coverage, I did not ask for the cost of replacement, maybe I should have out of curiosity. The windshield installers had to go inside the vehicle to use a chisel tool underneath the windshield to loosen the seal where the front of the dash meets the windshield, they did not have to remove any part of the dash, they were very careful since I was watching the whole So far so good, no water leaks, wind noise or rattles.
  • Does anybody notice or hearing any ticking sound coming from the engine on their 4Runners? Also, I have this annoying rattle somehow coming from the front passenger side door, either on the door or the vertical bar where the seat belt is attached to. I've been to the dealer twice and they said they fixed the problem. It's still there. Can anybody help me on this one? Appreciate it.
  • The radio is defective. I started the vehicle today with the radio already on. I turned off the radio, then turned it back on & had no AM. Dealer confirmed radio is defective & ordered a replacement. As for the A/C issue, who knows, maybe I screwed up, but it works fine now.

    As for the windshield issue mentioned by other posters, mine got chipped the 2nd day I owned it when something flew out of an uncovered garbage truck container. Its maybe an 1/8 of an inch diameter circle, & I'm contemplating as to whether or not I should have it repaired since its so small & not star shaped.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    My auto insurance (and it's not alone) pays 100% for a glue repair. I think they figure the glue will prevent the chip from spreading and will save the cost of replacing the entire windshield.

    I've had 3 done in the last 2 or 3 years with good results, and all free (no premium increases either).

    Steve, Host
  • I would rather have the windshield repaired than replaced if the stone chip on the windshield did not start cracking and in the line of vision. Repairing a stone chip on the windshield as soon as possible due to vibration could cause it to crack, then it's a replacement.
  • Another bit of info many of you probably already know...

    If you live in an area that gets cold during the winter, the transition of tempatures between below freezing level and above freezing level will cause a chiped window to crack... very quickly. (especially if there is any moisture on the window).
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    is correct, as I've unfortunately found out...
  • Why does the owners manual tell you not to use this feature that often due to the possibility of causing problems?

    I tried this once and after 5 seconds the 4Runner rolled backward and then it sounded like the transmission gears were getting stripped out. Is that was Hill Assist is supposed to do? All my previous vehicles when in Drive without foot on the brake would stay in place on gentle slope while my 2003 4Runner rolls backwards after 5 seconds and sounds like it's stripping the gears in the transmission.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Does anyone out there have a vibration problem felt mainly in the steering wheel? I initially had a shimmy (shaking steering wheel) at freeway speeds but they balanced the wheels and that fixed it.

    I still have a vibration though and it's present at just about any speed. Of course last visit to dealer was a "could not duplicate" scenario so now I'm stuck with an annoyance with no apparent fix.

    The dealer does have the GSP9700 Force Balancer but that's about all I know. I'm gonna see if I can get them to move the wheels around and balance again but I have to see the Toyota Rep first. It might be another cause altogether but if I can't get them to acknowledge an abnormality, I'm stuck.

    Wheels are the 17" alloys with Michelin Cross Terrains. Had 35psi in them and tried 32 with no difference. Also, I've slipped the gear into neutral when driving and the vibration doesn't change.

    I just can't figure it out but I'm thinking either they didn't do it perfectly the 1st time (based on what I've read, perfection is a requirement in this area for 4runners), or I've got a tire defect somewhere.

    Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks
  • urbsurbs Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2004 4runner, within the last week. The new instrumentation panel is is set up in a recessed tripod manner. Although it is sleek looking, i was wondering if it was standard that these gauges were illuminated at all times, even without the lights on. No, I do not have daytime running lights. Is there anyone out there with a 2004 4runner that can help me out.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    If you are referring to the red instrument needles that glow, then yes, that is standard and operating normally. If you are referring to the white/yellow illumination for the speedo and tach, then no, they should not be illuminated when the headlights are turned off.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if you have the vibration even at very low speeds, that does sound like a bad tire.

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

  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    That's what I'm thinking, and kinda hoping too. I'd hate for it to be hidden somewhere in the suspension or drivetrain never to be found.

    At least if I can get another set of wheels on there I'll be able to tell. The tricky part is getting the dealer or rep to go along with that.

    I might not be able to pursuade them there's a problem because it's not severe. The thing is, I drove 3 other 4runners during my shopping (V6 & V8) and they were smooth as glass, so I know how it should feel. I knew the one I bought needed the wheels balanced but I didn't think it would be an issue. Maybe it won't be. Too early to tell.

    It was the only car in the state (at the time) in the color/trim/options that I wanted and I didn't want to wait. Too excited I guess.
  • Well, my dealer finally heard back from the Toyota Field Service Technician who told him what I was expecting - replace the master cylinder (or booster as they called it).

    I can understand why there was so much hesitation - the part costs $2050 and must be special ordered from Japan!

    I'm just glad something is being done. Hopefully this will be the last time I bring my truck into the shop. My thanks to Oscar for posting about his experience with the same problem.
  • john609john609 Posts: 10
    see message 14 to me (john609). the rattle is from under the rear seat - you must lift up the seat to see a metal hook / rod. use the electical tape suggestion (wrap around the metal). it worked like a charm.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Keep us posted on the results. I'm curious to see if afterward, you feel a faint/mild "pop" or "snap" in the pedal every few times the brakes are applied. I read about this in another forum, so I know it's not a completely isolated issue, but apparently a rare one like the "brake pedal vibration". I'm wondering if there's a connection somehow.

    I don't know if I had this before the replacement because that buzz was so distracting. Just hoping to pinpoint what might be the cause.

    I'm sure if it's a quirk in the new booster, that $2K pricetag will make Toyota fight me on it since the brakes do work good.

    It's frustrating to have these annoyances because it really is an awesome truck.
  • Hi guys- I own a 03 SR5 V8 and noticed a rattle comming from the moonroof which I found Toyota had a TSB regarding this problem. I took the vehicle back to the dealer and they corrected this problem on the same day. The tech said that the pan screws for the moonroof assembly were loose I have been driving the car now for the past 2 weeks and no more rattle from the moonroof, however I have now noticed a rattle coming from the front interior dome light when I close the doors anyone else with this problem that knows a fix or is it back to the dealer I go?
  • JPR - The other rattle you hear is coming from the headliner. Toyota issued 2 TSBs for rattle - 1 for the moonroof and 1 for the headliner. When I took my truck in to fix the headliner, the mechanic suggested that he also fix the moonroof for preventative measure.

    The annoying part about fixing the headliner rattle is that the entire thing must be dropped - all day job :(
  • I wonder if anyone can help with my '98 4Runner. I was towing a lightly loaded trailer for a first time a couple months ago. Weather was hot. I was going 65-70 mpr for 2 hours. Stopped by a gas station and noticed trans. fluid dripping. That was on Saturday afternoon. All shops in the area were closed. Added 1.5 quarts and finished a trip (dropped speed to 45). I kept losing fluid at slowing rate for another 2 hours for the remainder of my trip and just kept adding it. Drove back at night with empty trailer and had no loss. Ever since has no problems whatsoever. My tranny stays squicky clean. When I looked at it during first discovery the fluid was all over a rear part. Did not seem coming from a gasket. I wonder if there is any pressure release valve in case of overheating? Could someone comment on that?
  • The dealer replaced my master cylinder and the vibration is gone. Fortunately my brakes are not making that snapping sound that Oscar reported. The pedal does make a whooshing or a 'sshh' sound whenever it's depressed. Sort of sounds like air being forced through a small opening. My dealer called the Toyota field service tech to ask about this and he said it's nothing abnormal - some cars do it and some don't. Oh well. Driving without the buzz is much better though.
  • amheckamheck Posts: 37
    I am expecting a 2004 Limited V8 4x2 one of these weeks now - whenever it gets to the dealer. Can anyone who's dealt with these problems recommend an easy, specific way to test drive the truck to see if my truck exhibits these problems?

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