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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • The feel stills bother me. I have my vehicle scheduled for an oil change in a few weeks. The first one. My Dealer says they are looking into it. They have seen no other complaints or repairs on Toyotas lists. I feel a little better that you have this also. I took the dealer's demo for a drive and didn't notice much of the same feeling. However, I did not drive it long. They think I'm crazy because they can't feel it at all. Let me know how you make out.

    The ABS I've been told is design differently. It has something to do with electro hydraulic something. There is a reservoir that occasionally has to regen. Step on the brakes a few times, when the car is parked. You'll get the same sensation. I have a 2004- 4Runner Limited 4WD

  • Hi all. I own a 2002 4Runner with about 45k miles, and the fog lamps have quit working. I replaced the bulbs, checked the fuse and the wiring leading into the rubber fog lamp assembly housing. Any other ideas?

  • dfc1946, Please notice my prior post concerning these lights. I would find a reputable dealer though. As the one here told me when my gas cap was loose, that the lights stay on once the computer has registered a fault code and the only way to get the to turn back off is if the computer is reset. As far as the $$$, again find a decent dealer. The dealer here adjusted the sensor and reset the computer for 1 hours labor charge. Mine is a 2001.
  • 4runnerfan, have you checked the switch on the dash to make sure that it is sending power to the harness? Also, make sure you have the parking lights on or low beams on. I believe there is an interlock switch that shuts the fogs off if the high beams are on. Let me know if that helps.
  • jsjjsj Posts: 1
    the service tech should have corrected the problem and reset the computer codes... did this happen? Some dealers would have charged a small fee.
  • My 98 4runner has been perfect (105K), but recently the cruise control will disengage intermittantly for no apparent reason. Some days it will work flawlessly and others it will disengage a couple of times within my commute. My original thought was that the shocks may be going and that a bump may speed up/slow down the wheel emough to disengage the cruise, but it happens on perfectly smooth roads in addition to expansion joints... etc

    Any ideas? It is very frustrating.
  • lfitzlfitz Posts: 1
    Just bought a new 4 runner and when I was leaving the dealership, my salesman advised me NOT to put young kids in car seats in the 3rd row. Does anyone know about these or have had any experience with the 3rd row? Are they unsafe?
  • I have the above and while I was attempting to replace the power antenna, I must have crossed the wires on hook-up, on the new aftermarket antenna from, and I believe I blew the relay for the stereo/power locks/clock and dome lights. I checked the fuse and it is fine, but none of those items get juice. Do you know how I can find out which or if it is a relay?

    Thanks so much.


    Wife's Without Tunes (and not very happy about it)
  • Did the lights stay off? I've been having the same problem since July. My 4Runner has been to the shop about 10 times, I've spent $700+ and the lights came back on this morning on my way to work. Getting very disgusted.
  • My 2001 4Runner has had the 2 VSC lights and the check engine light on since July. Have been to 2 different dealers. Have spent $700+. Can't seem to resolve the problem. Lights stay out about a week after each visit to the dealer. This is so aggravating!!! Any suggestions? I've read the other posts, but can't seem to find where anyone has had the issue resolved. I bought a Toyota to avoid problems like this, but am quickly falling out of love w/ Toyota.
  • We've got a 2004 w/3rd row seats. We love them but I have to wonder, how could you put anyone but a young person back there? They've got fully approved seat belts and no air bags, which some argue are not good for very young kids. I worry about the safety of my kids more than most might - and I have no problems with the 3rd row seats. We love them.
  • The lights have not come on since the dealer fixed it back in July.
  • Just bought an 04 4 Runner and the check engine & VSC off & VSC trac lights came on. Had an oil change and the dealer reset the computer, lights came on again later that day. 24 hrs earlier had a dvd player installed they noticed the check engine lights engine. They ran an OBD and came up with 2 codes (p0156 O2 sensor malfunction & p2118 TAC motor current range). Anyone have insight into this ? I'd like to go back to the dealer and tell them what to fix vs let them fumble through the trial and error
  • lpm141lpm141 Posts: 14

    In a reply to your post I have a 03 4runner v8 limited. I have the same issue with my front seat it makes a very irritating cracking noise in different driving conditions. I finally after listening to this noise for 10k+ miles took it into the dealer for a warranty repair. Since I read other posts on this forum with the same related seat issue and found a TSB I felt it would be an easy repair. So I drop it off and tell the service tech all of the details. Well he calls me today and states I am sorry can not fix the seat. So I ask him why this is he states that Toyota finds the play in the seat in a acceptable range. I told him I have no movement in the seat just an irritating cracking noise. He replies with well I am sorry. Basically "go fly a kite." I Wasted a day and half with out the vehicle. Oh by the way I asked him about the TSB for the seat and he stated there was no TSB. I really believe Toyota service is not there anymore. I owned a Tacoma for 10+ years and hardly anything went wrong with it. With this 38k rig it is a rattle box with my sunroof making noises and seat it is just flat out unacepptable. I have been searching for a post with some solution to this issue but it seems either the dealer would not help or the track was replaced. Then some folks stated the noise came back after the track or seat was replaced. If anyone can offer any suggestions I would appreciate it. Also does anyone recommend what dealer is the best for the San Antonio Texas area?
  • Klaudnyc you posted a message about having your master cylinder change. I would like to know which dealership you went too. I still don't think that the brake booster should buzz. If changing the master may change that fact i am willing to try, but toyota is still fighting me on that fact especially the brakes still works.
  • Got new 2004 4 Runner with about 13K and considering purchasing warrenty up to 100,000 miles any suggestions or recommendations


    Thank you
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Check out the Extended Warranties discussion while waiting for replies in here.


    Steve, Host
  • I have the same problem. In my case they seem to come on when you go over 80 MPH, and they usually go out about week later, I mentioned this problem to Toyota, and they have no explanation. Quite annoying but what can you do?
  • I own a 2004 Toyoto 4Runner. I seem to be having a problem listening to the AM radio. When I drive the car there seems to be alot of static especially when I accelerate. The static seems to decline upon braking, but increases when I accelerate could this be something related to the spark plug wires? BTW When the car is off the AM radio is just fine. Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • stevenl721, this sounds like a classic case of electrical interference from the ignition system. The 4Runners now have an ignition coil for each spark plug, and it's mounted at the top of the plug. I'd guess that you've got a bad spark plug or coil or connection (it's very short) between the two. There are other possibilities, but that's the first stuff I'd check.


    However your vehicle is in warranty and this sounds like just the kind of thing the warranties are made for.
  • I just bought a 4Runner in Los Angeles but will require maintenance in San Diego. Are there any locals who are highly satisfied with a particular location? Thanks if you can help.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    Hi guys, I'm fed up with Ford and my '99 Explorer, and I'm pursuing the Toyota/Nissan venue. Tonight I drove 2 4Runners, an '01 with 59k miles on it, which I liked, and a '99 SR5 Sport that I fell in love with. Only thing is, it has 138k miles on it, but it's "Certified". I know these things are made for 300k, but will it go that far without anything major? I've only got 50k on my '99 Explorer, but it's having problems that one with 100k would be having. Would any of you be leary of buying one and committing to spending 5 years paying for it, if it had 138k miles on it? It's in EXCELLENT shape, and has been babied tremendously. The price on it is pretty good too, $12,650. It's the cheapest 4Runner I've found.


    What are the known problems with these, things that happen to most all of them? I heard a kind of knocking sound in the front end and the dealer told me it was "slack in the driveshaft, at the universal joint. Happens to all of them, but won't be a problem." Is this so? Or is he just trying to make a sale? Unfortunately, I can't get an extended warranty on it because of the mileage.


    Also, what is the service schedule for 4Runners? For example, my Explorer had to have the transmission fluid changed at 30k. The dealer said that this one was just serviced, new timing chain, water pump, etc. I know it was gone over pretty well since it's "Certified," or at least I'd like to think it would be.


    Bottom line, would this be something I can rely on for the next 5 years or better to only have to change the oil and put in gas? Or will major things start happening to it around 150, 175, and 200k? All your comments, suggestions, ect are greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


  • Hello tangman:

    I have the same problem with my '94 4Runner.The antenna motor is making "grinding" noises. Both the manuals (owner and Chilton) show it is located on the passenger side. I looked underneath the dash boad, I don't realy see how to get access to it. Would you tell me how?



  • I have an '04 Sport Edition and just replaced the stock sun visors with a set of Limited sun visors which have lighted vanity mirrors. The installation was fairly simple, but I'm VERY disappointed with how dim the mirror lights are! The lights turn on just fine, but even at night they hardly provide enough light to see your face. They could never be used for checking makeup or looking to see if your teeth are clean! Would some of you Limited owners look at your lighted mirrors and see if they seem to be as dim as I described? I checked the hot wire voltage before connection and had 12.17 volts, so there should be enough power. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    The vanity mirrors in my 03 4Runner are pretty bright. I don't have any complaints with them. Perhaps the bulbs in your visors are not correct or they are not receiving enough "juice." You may want to consult a Toyota dealer or a local shop.
  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    The weather turned very cold recently, when I noticed a slight hesitation when starting my '99 Toyota 4Runner a few weeks ago . . . it hesitated, but it started fine. Then, just recently I would turn the ignition key to START and it sounds like the starter does not turn (like it hits a dead spot), then I turn the key again and the starter catches and turns the motor just fine.


                I don’t think it is the engine, because when the starter turns, the engine starts just fine. I also don’t think it is the battery because the battery is only 6-months old and they lights/clock never drain down while starting. I also believe I can hear the solenoid click initially when I go to start, so I am inclined to think the starter may be dirty or has some dead spots internally. Also, this does not seem to happen when the car is fully warmed up, but tends to happen when the car is sitting for a bit (and the weather is pretty cold). Does this sound an issue with the starter? Is there anyway to verify it is the starter that is not working properly?


    I have not repaired a starter in about 20 years, is it difficult to repair?
  • stove1stove1 Posts: 53
    The descriptiom matches my starting problems and every time its the battery. There are some trashy replacement batteries out there.
  • I had a similar problem with my 98 limited at 70K miles or so. I first have problem only during cold start. Problem persisted and got worst. A later stages, some times the starter would continue to crank (grinding noise) afer the engine had started. At one point, the engine continues to crack even when the (ignition) key is removed! I suspected and over time, replaced the battery, the ignition switch, and starter relay. In the end it was the starter. The starter solenoid plunger and contacts were worn down and the body cavity full of dust. I replaced it with the 1.8KWat heavy duty starter (Toyota PN 28100-6030-84). It was fairly easy job to do.
  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    Thanks for the information. I first had the battery check--it was fine. Next, I talked with the Toyota Dealer today and he immediately knew the problem immediately on the '99 4Runner--the starter (obviously fairly common). I plan to replace it myself. Yes, according the to NAPA, the 1.8KW starter is the prescribed starter for the 3.4L automatic. Did you use the Toyota part or other (NAPA)? Any gotchas in the repair procedure?


    Again thanks for the help!
  • The starter I used is a Toyota part made by Denso. It was around $200-250 with $30 core charge from the dealer. The originally one was a 1.4KW starter which came standard on the with 2WD limited. The Toyota parts listed both 1.4K and 1.8K as replacements. I opted for the 1.8KW heavy duty one. The coil body was a little longer but no problem with clearance. Everything else between the two parts is the same.

    No gotcha's in in the installation - at least on my 2WD.

    Good luck.
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