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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • sebongiesebongie Posts: 2
    My 2003 4-Runner has this problem also, sounds like a diesel when cold, sounds fine when warm.
    Have you made any progress? My dealer changed the serpentine belt (of all stupid things) with no change in the noise.

  • sebongiesebongie Posts: 2
    I also have this me at & we'll chat.
  • I am having the exact same problems and now the buttons are not functioning at all. Did you find a solution to this problem? We are thinking of taking the dash apart and starting on wires to see if there's a short. Let me know what you found out. I thought I was crazy for awhile when they just quit functioning properly - mine gets stuck in circulate mode, etc.
    Please respond.
  • udsavudsav Posts: 11
    I have a 2005 4-runner and i want to add the wiring harness. i have a pre-installed round connector already on the back... with the hitch (included with the car) has another harness in it. im looking for what that harness plugs into or attached to. the two harness i have mentioned do not go together.. any help will be great!
  • sheppysheppy Posts: 1
    A few months ago, my check engine light came on. I brought it to a local mechanic (friend of the family) who specializes in foreign cars. He hooked it up to the computer and found that the catalytic convertor was below threshold. My 4Runner has California Emissions Control, so I have 2 convertors. Only the front was bad.

    My mechanic, as well as other mechanic I know, said that I could still drive the car, but as soon as I noticed performance issues or a drop in gas mileage, I need to have the cat replaced.

    I noticed about 10 days ago that I started having hesitation issues at traffic lights and stop signs. I did not have any problems after getting started. I brought the car in last week to have the cat replaced ($800 for the part alone, the rear cat is $1,100). Anyway, after having the cat replaced, the hesitation became worse. The mechanic will not give me the car back until he finds out what is wrong because he said I will damage the new cat. He has checked the vacuum lines and cleaned the sensors. The check engine light does not come on anymore and the computer indicates that there is no problem.

    I remember working on my 1994 Cherokee where I needed to reset the computer by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, and even still, had performance issues for a couple hundred miles until the computer re-learned everything. Then everything was fine.

    Any ideas before I have it towed to a dealer.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You may check to see if the emissions warranty covers the cat; occasionally you'll read around the forums that someone got one replaced at no cost. But you'd have to get the dealer involved and you may be over the miles (8/80 iirc).

    Steve, Host
  • I own a 1996 Toyota 4runner and would like to start doing my own lube jobs at home. Could someone please tell me how many grease serks there are and where they are located. Also, what kind of grease and grease gun to use.

    Thank you,
  • hello. i am looking to "lift" the tail of my 4runner (99) just about 1/2". the smallest lift kit available is 1" and i tried that, it's too much. this is a stock suv, and i am not looking for a radical modification, just to get that sagging look from the car...especially if there is a little wieght back there (as little as 50#'s) it looks like i am carrying a ton.

    hyperco spring co. might have the solution for me but needs the spring specs (i.e. rate, freelink, inside and/or outside diameter). is there anyone who could tell me the specs on these springs? -- the OEM,stock,factory springs.

    this is just for the rear, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    if i got lucky enough to have someone who got tired of this with your 4runner and solved the problem a different way, let me know, i am open to all options.

    this is my wife's car, she couldn't care less, but i am a car nut and it's been driving me crazy for years - i drive it on the 'family trips' :D . now i am changing the rear shocks (for the ride quality) and figure do the ride height change while i am under there ... that's if i find some solution that doesn't make my truck look jacked-up like the torino in Starsky & Hutch. :shades:
  • lazzarichlazzarich Posts: 37
    I have a 2005 V8 4WD with 4,000 miles on it. It has developed a leak at the Pinion Seal (per Toyota Dealer). According to them this is not under pressure and I can keep driving it till they obtain the part. Question: Is this going to create a long term problem? and 2.) What would cause this to go.
    I have not driven the vehicle as I was concerned.
  • jeff193jeff193 Posts: 29
    So....i did a little off roading today..... maybe you guys can help me with something..

    First the switch next to the steering with the X in the middle whats that for?...

    Secondly..everytime like i go up some thing a curb or on a hill...the car first makes this KRRRRR sound like some metal grinding together...seems like its comming from the area where the race and brake pedals are??? any idea?

    Thirdle i backed up down an incline and the damn muffler fell of its clip...went to the toyota dealer...YOU wont beleive what the guy said..Firstly he said...that you should off road in that its more like a 4 wheel drive grocery getter...then he says if some one rests their foot on this it would fall off the bring it in on monday..

    Basically im posting to say be carefull with inclines..and please please tell me what the switch is...and what the metal clunking is ???

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    First -- I suggest that you read your manual. It describes what that button does (locks the center differential and turns off spin control).

    Second -- that sounds like the traction control, spin control, or ABS engaging.

    Third -- did you hit the muffler or exhaust pipe on the ground while backing down?
  • lazzarichlazzarich Posts: 37

    I am sure this has been asked and answered hundreds of times, but what is an open differential and what is a closed differential (limited slip/positrac). I understand the basic operation of the differential/CV joint allowing different rates of speed in turns. It is always described as a distribution of power when one or other wheel slips.

    In a non limited slip diff - what happens when one wheel is on soft sand?
    In a limited slip diff - what happens when one wheel is on sand?
    In a 4Runner with an X switch - what happens when one wheel is on sand?
  • I posted a message, what for me, seem's like entirely toooooooo looooooonnnnnngggg ago about needing help fixing my truck.
    So I get a message from the host saying,"patience". "ok". Maybe I didn't write my message clearly or... I don't know. I hope you all have better luck here on this message board than I. Thank you for putting this message board together. Have a great life with your toyota everyone! I don't intend to return :lemon:
  • cadamcadam Posts: 1
    hi i got this 4runner just a while ago . its raised plus the body is like new no rust nothing.. the only problem with it.... is . once the car gets warm from driving around and i turn it off ... it wont start the second time when its warm ......... and i dont know why .. any comments would really be appreciated.. thank you .i look to hear back
  • Hello all
    My runner starts fine 9 out of 10 times...occasionally when I start it, it sputters out and the idol speed is too low. Once it happens, it takes up to 10 tries to get it to finally stay running. I just bought a new battery and had the alternator checked, that is not the problem. A mechanic said that ofter times with 4runners the idol motor parts need to be changed costing $400 plus.
    Anyone ever heard of this? Advice greatly appreciated.
  • dpalaudpalau Posts: 20
    I have a 2004 SR5.

    I don't suppose there is any way to 'buff' out a scratch in the clear plastic covering of the mileage/clock display is there?

    This weekend I noticed a small scratch in it, and thinking that it was some sort of foreign material, tried to scratch it off. Unfortunately I did this while driving over a bumpy country road and long story short: ended up putting even more scratches in it.

    Assuming there is no way to get rid of these scratches, I wouldn't think replacing the plastic covering from the dealer would be a big deal, would it?

    On a related note, I put a few scratches in the inside passenger door plastic, above the speaker grill. Any way to get those out either?

    I'm afraid not and have just told my wife that it makes the 4Runner look 'tough'. But any answers would be appreciated.
  • lazzarichlazzarich Posts: 37
    My SE V8 came with a scratch in the mileage/clock display. The dealer is seeing if they can replace it. As regards scratched plastic - enjoy them, they don't come out.
  • jmtreetopjmtreetop Posts: 130
    I don't know how to fix your scratches without replacing the parts but I agree that it makes your 4runner look 'tough'
  • jmk8888jmk8888 Posts: 1
    My 1994 SR5 is leaking coolant rather steadily. I just replaced the seal on the water pump and thermostat housing as well as changed the timing belt. Once it was all back together and started up, the drip began once again. Either the seal on the water pump was bad or that was never the origin of the drip. Any suggestions as to what the problem is or any other advice would be great.
  • milkbeanmilkbean Posts: 2

    I have a 2000 4Runner Limited and while my clock has been working intermittently the last few months it finally went completely dead. I am assuming it is not an electrical/wiring problem. Can anyone suggest a good place to purchase Toyota parts? I would rather not go to the dealer....Thanks!
  • dpalaudpalau Posts: 20
    Thanks for the replies. If your dealer can replace it, would you mind posting? Thanks again.
  • del25del25 Posts: 1
    I have read this board and have seen a couple posts about this but no answers yet. I have a 2000 4runner limited 4wd. Recently my Auto Climate Control buttons are acting weird. I will push them and they will not work then 10minutes later they will. The mode and off always works it is the auto,AC, defrost,etc...that do not work? When they are all working they function fine...What is happening? Is this a common problem. I have searched the web and cannot find any info on this at all. If anyone has any information please respond, thank you for your time... :)
  • Mothers has a Plastic polish that will fix the scratch in the guage cover. Just be aware the plastic is very soft so take your time .As to the speaker grills etc sorry have the same problem myself :shades:
  • iontrapiontrap Posts: 139
    A few months ago, I saw a car that had a pretty serious coolant leak. After several minutes trying to find out where it was coming from, I found a small pinhole in the bottom of the reservoir. You might want to check this if you haven't already.
  • I have a 2005 4Runner.

    I want to remove that useless cargo shelf, so I can put in a cargo liner.

    Does anyone know how to remove the shelf?

  • Hi Gang:

    I have a 1994 4-runner that will not start when it is warm. It runs great and has a lot of life left in this engine! It gets spark at each plug. Each cylinder has good compression. I have had the fuel injectors tested...each one has juice. The 02 sensors have been replaced a while back. I also changed the rotor and rotor cap when it first did not start. It seemed to work for a while but then would not start when hot.

    A trusted shop did diagnostics to no avail. We also checked many wires and such for good ground. This is really a mystery. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    my guess on an older truck like that would be heat soak, which would point to electronics: something in the primary ignition is overheating after you turn the engine off (the very hottest time under the hood is right after you turn the engine off) and won't start working again until it cools off. OR it is a relay - something like the fuel pump relay perhaps? They can become unable to close as they age if they get really hot.

    My real question would be why any decent shop would be stumped by this - does it do it every time the truck is hot? If so, a simple check with a voltmeter should be able to find the problem, because it is easy to repeat.

    cadam: the same thing is likely true for you, if what you mean is it just won't run at all, once it is warm and you try to start it. I am assuming both you and wolflover DO hear the starter cranking when this happens.

    lazzarich: "In a non limited slip diff - what happens when one wheel is on soft sand?
    In a limited slip diff - what happens when one wheel is on sand?
    In a 4Runner with an X switch - what happens when one wheel is on sand?"

    In a situation where one wheel can spin freely (no traction at all), that is exactly what it will do if the diff in the center is open. If it is a limited slip, then the diff will send some small portion of the power to the non-slipping wheel, to give you a little traction on that axle. With a locking diff, you can manually force it to send 50% of the power to each end of the axle. Obviously you don't want it to leave it locked once good traction surfaces resume, or you will begin to drag one tire every time you turn even slightly, and on surfaces with veru good traction you will also damage the hardware this way.

    countchocula: the creaky crunchy sounds your truck makes when you turn hard left is most likely because the zerk stops are broken - they are essentially the hard stop the steering hits when it is cranked all the way over. If the caps are broken, they make terrible noises when you crank it all the way over. The solution is...DON'T crank it all the way over. They are not doing any other damage and are a hassle to replace.

    This explains the steering stops biz:

    As for the O2 sensor - is your engine the 22RE? If so, it should be in plain sight on the exhaust (driver's side of the engine bay).

    samstylee: I have never heard of such a thing as an idle motor - I need some enlightenment there. Some older 4Runners get sticky throttles, which causes a flaky idle occasionally when you start it warm. Is that what you are describing? If so, try this: next time it does it, hold the gas pedal halfway down and crank it until it starts. It should start on the first try, although it will crank for a few seconds first. If it is that, try cleaning the throttle body.

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

  • 57peach57peach Posts: 1
    With Extreme turns, I think you hit a limmiting knob and the 4Runner squeaks to all get go...this was normal on all 4Runners i have driven...sounds bad, but is OK
    Good luck at school
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    When you removed the water pump, if it had been seeping, you should have seen discoloration from the leaking coolant - did you? If not, the leak was elsewhere. Is it a leak you see on the ground in the morning, or is it actually a drip-drip-drip you see while the truck is running?

    If it is a stained driveway, it is probably the radiator (common to leak after this many years), or it might be a hose. If it is a drip-drip-drip, it is definitely a hose, and pressure testing the system will cause whichever hose it is to blow amd you can replace it. Again, at this age, any of the heater hoses are prime suspects, as are loose and/or rusty clamps.

    You can tell if the radiator is leaking, again because it will be stained where the coolant is coming out. The most common places for it to leak are the seams, but by no means the only possible places.

    Oh yeah, and check the overflow reservoir as mentioned above too. They tend to get old and leak (they are just plastic after all), as does the little hose that connects it to the radiator.

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

  • OK...the shop tested each fuel injector with a volt meter and showed me the printouts....ALL OK. There is no error code. The dang thing will NOT start after it has has been running for a while. It turns over great but will not fire. After it coosl off...easier and quicker in the winter....Vroom...starts right up!
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