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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • I get the feeling this is a super easy problem. I looked through the owner's manual and the one thing it does say is that doors will not lock if either front door is open and the key is in the ignition. I checked to make sure the "buttons" that the doors depress when they are closed are indeed travelling and everything seems to work. There must be a sensor out of something to that effect... However, wherever all these signals and such travel too (the brain perhaps?), it is not disconnected at that point? Who knows... I guess this entails a trip to Toyota.


  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    I suggest looking back at message #777 for some starter information. As far as disconnecting the battery, all you end up losing is your presents on the radio and you have to reset your clock. Past that, no problems. Also, no problem with auto-theft protection.
  • willie4willie4 Posts: 2
    My '98 4Runner has about 102K miles on it and is just starting to lose its pep. Also I'm hearing some diesling when I accelerate. When I try to go uphill the engine sounds like a go-kart (high pitched and it is really struggling). It eventually gets up to speed but not without a struggle. :sick: Admittingly, I need new spark plugs which I hope to do this weekend. Do you think this will fix the problem or am I looking at something more serious? Any guidance you good folks can provide would be greatly appreciated.
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    If you can afford it, just take it in. Tell them your symptoms and let them do the rest. The diagnostics may recommend something other than a tuneup. If you do need a tuneup, then expect to spend a good chunk of change for spark plugs, maybe wires, cap & rotor if yours has them, definitely an air filter, and maybe a fuel filter, or do it yourself. The parts are expensive enuf, and dealer labor runs $95 hourly in my area. Dealer would probably insist on an oil change, tranny fluid and filter (where applicable) change, and new transfer case and rearend fluids.

    On the other hand, take a look under the hood & see if it looks like something you want to burn half a day or more on, provided you got the right tools, especially for the plugs. I’d pay someone to do the fuel filter if there is one to do. Myself, I no longer work on my current vehicles as they’re getting too complicated. Be careful of foot pounds and foot inches if you torque anything. You'll save yourself big $$$ obviously. Also consult your owners manual for recommended maintenance. If you still got problems, then take it to the dealer or a shop specializing in Toy's. Good luck.
  • willie4willie4 Posts: 2
    Thanks Canddmeyer. It didn't take me but about 10 minutes under the hood to determine your advise was right on target. I'm taking it in to the pros. Like you said, the newer ones are just too complicated.
  • I have a 2004 4runner with the same brake pulse. Had it in at the dealer, and was told that they have no other reported brake problems or recalls from Toyota Mfg. They will keep me informed. I tried the dealers 4runner and the brake pulsed a little, not as much as mine.

    The technician said it was normal. I'm still unsatisfy with the answer. There is something fishy with the brake system. I just can't figure it out.

    I find also that in stop and go traffic, sometimes when I release the brakes, I'll get a clunk as if the calipers are letting off too quick. It almost feels as if I've been rear ended by another car.

    I'm wordering if anyone else out there have notice this.

    In any case, the fact that other have my problem indicates I'm not special. That is a good thing I think?
  • polartoypolartoy Posts: 18
    Charlie4runner: Your problem in traffic is not the brake, but the driveline binding up at the slip yoke. I have had 3 4runners so far, the latest 05, and they all do it. Feels like rear ended by someone. The driveline has to be lubricated continuously and toyota is supposed to do this at every oil change ( they told me they do it even if not asked). Poor design of drive shafts and not likely to change. Once lubed properly, it may not occur for thousands of kms. Sometimes they dont do it properly, and once I was back there the next day to have it relubed again. This will solve your problem.
    Never had any pulsing of the brakes, in fact, they are the best of any truck I have ever had. Got 80,000 km on 2003 4runner same pad and rotors and no vibrations.
    The only big vibration problem I encountered was the Dunlop tires, pure junk. Usually out of round and you can feel this on highway speeds above 80 km or so. In fact on the ten tires with my two -2003 4 runners, I think 5 were out and could not be balanced. On my new 2005, I made sure it had the Michelins, and boy, what a difference! Vehicle is eerily silent up to 160 km/ hr so far.
  • rvalc43594rvalc43594 Posts: 31
    The pulsing of the brake they are referring to is the brake booster buzzing. It's an annoying sound for it gets louder in the winter when it's cold and hums in the summer when it's hot. Toyota claims they made this system that way because the 4runner is a heavy truck. Also claim it's part of this new system the EBD (electronic brake distribution) The booster on the 05 model is made out aluminum as a pose to the metal one in 03-04 model. You can see this right away when you lift up the hood and look at the left on the braking resurvior. :confuse:
  • drehawaiidrehawaii Posts: 1
    do dealers do recall work for owners other than original owner (bought it used)
  • hartsharts Posts: 2
    If you have a 2005 4Runner, please let me know if the words PASSENGER and AIRBAG are both illuminated in orange when you turn on your park and/or headlights. Right now, when I start my vehicle and turn on my park lights or headlights, only the word AIRBAG will illuminated in orange. However, I thought when I first purchased the car that the both words PASSENGER and AIRBAG illuminated in orange. The OFF and ON lights for the PASSENGER AIRBAG are working fine. Just need to know if the word PASSENGER should be illuminated in orange when lights are on.

    Tried contacting several dealers and got varying answers. Please help!!

  • juliennbjuliennb Posts: 1
    Okay what do I try next?

    If my 4Runner sits for about 24 hours or longer then I have this problem. If I am running errands I don't have this problem.

    I start the engine. It starts fine. Even while not in gear I can tell when the engine is running rough. When I start driving it is a rough ride. But after about 1/10 mile it stops and runs just fine.

    I've just had all the wires and plugs replaced. The mechanics tested the fuel injectors and they are all working in spec. The mechanic even replaced one that was close to being out of spec, but the problem is still occurring.

    What are other things I should have the mechanic check? (I am clueless when it comes to vehicles - and I'm beginning to think my mechanic is too!)

  • alfred5alfred5 Posts: 2
    My '95 4x4 V-6 man. trans. 4Runner with 110,000 miles does this while braking:
    RPMS go from 1000 to 250 when I start braking, then jump right back to 1000 again when fully stopped. During these few seconds the power brakes and air conditioner malfunction
    and I've smashed a bumper or two because of this malfunction.
    Mechanics tried everything (so they say) but no one has been able to pinpoint
    the problem. I'm guessing it might be the knock sensor. Anyone has some ideas?
    HELP!!!!!!!! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you mean you clutch out and when the engine revs drop it almost stalls? It's some kind of sensor, probably, you are right. That is going to be a hard one to pinpoint, I am sorry. Turning the idle up a bit would be an easy but temporary fix.

    juliennb: you mean it hesitates like crazy for a second then gets going strong? I would check the condition of the "snorkel" feeding air to the FI. If it is cracked (a common problem), then when you take off and the body flexes, it allows the intake to flood with air which causes the computer to go crazy trying to compensate, and you get all kinds of driveability problems. Once you are moving along in a steady state, the crack closes and it returns to running normally. Check that the large rubber piece feeding air to the FI has no leaks and is making a snug tight connection. Those things crack all the time.

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

  • 4rfan4rfan Posts: 1
    YES, my brake pedal makes the same sound and I asked a NON-dealer mechanic, who specializing in Toyotas and is great, to test-drive the car before I did the final paperwork, he drove it around the block and on the highway, said it was fine and great and about the "hissing" brake pedal said, Yeah, some cars make that sound and some don't, he said :) , "after a while you won't hear it." Most of the time I forget about it but it is annoying at these prices!!! I try to think of it as a sign of "tightness" and general excellence of the car (which I find is true!) but these posts can be unsettling!!! :)
  • tobertober Posts: 1
    This is my very first post, so bear with me...Ok, we have an sr5 (2003, automatic v8) and while it has alot of fine features, you do know that the "warning (buzzer) for headlights left on" was omitted in design. We do not have the delayed automatic shut-off -- so the potential dead-battery for any absent-minded driver/operator goof is there. Well, when Toyota did their customer survey, we cited this; i see that others (car analysts) reflected on this in the initial release....we didn't notice this until later in the ownership cycle...just expected this sort of basic feature it would be there....
    BUT, but what to do...are there any work-arounds, mods that are worthwhile (eg, w/o "unintended consequences" worse that this annoyance). Thanks in advance for any help, insight, etc.

  • 2001 SR5. 90,000 miles. Had Check Engine Light, VSC Off Lights come on. In the owners manual the only info I could find said vehicle was still safe to drive and take it to a Toyota dealer. Read several posts on here, where Toyota changed computers, and various other fixes. One person said they disconnected negative battery terminal and lights went away. I did the same, diconnected negative negative battery terminal and lights went away and truck runs fine. Mechanic friend of mine asked if I had topped off gas tank, and I had that day the lights came on. Not a good thing to top off fuel tank. Something to keep in mind if your lights come on.
  • Is the 05 Aluminum any quieter? I still think Toyota should do something about it. I read way back about 8 months ago, someone had the same problem and brought it back to the dealer. And the Dealer changed out his master cylinder or something like that. (or brake booster). Who knows.

    My dealer told me to get off the Internet and spend my time doing better things. The buzzing does bug me. I don't care how heavy the car is. There are alot heavier things on the road than my 4runner.

    In any case thanks for the info. I think everyone is in agreement it is this hi-tech Brake Booster System. I still prefer the lo-tech design that I have in my Highlander.
  • Thanks for the info Polartoy. Glad to see other Canadians here. I'm due for an oil change next week. I will definetly mention it to them.

    If this works, I'll have to tell the dealer I got the info off the Internet. The dealer thinks these chat pages are people looking for imaginary problems to [non-permissible content removed] about.

    That's odd some people have the buzz and others don't. It is noticeable. I'm wondering if there is something that can be adjusted. I'm actually hoping the brake system falls apart, so I can say "I told you so". I better not think this, my brake might actually give out.

    As far as tires, I think I lucked out. The dealer was surprise to see Michilens on my 04 when I picked it up. I couldn't figure why. I've always had good luck with Michlens on any vehicle.

    What is your thoughts of Winter Tires for a 4Runner. Are all seasons aggressive enough.
  • alfred5alfred5 Posts: 2
    your absolutely right, my friend. It is when I clutch out and yes, I turned the idle up
    to 1200 so it only goes down to 700 for a few secs. and this keeps the brakes working. I already scanned it and no code showed up. Please let me know if you find something out before I go ahead and buy that new knock sensor by pure guessing. Thank you. Alfed5 :sick:

    TO: juliennb:
    Yeah buddy, the "snorkel" was a bit cracked and I replaced it for a new one (88 bucks). It didn't solve the problem. I appreciate very much your good intent to help me. I'm open for more suggestions before investing again on my guessing. Please help.
    Alfed5 : :sick:
  • I am having trouble with my 1994 4Runner rear drivers side brake locking at slow speed. Between about 1 and 4 mph when the brake is pressed just lightly it almost feels like you were rear ended. The brake will stay on at times and I have to go backwards slightly to release it or go forward but it feels more like I am forcing it to release that way. I changed the wheel Cyl. didn't help.
    I just bought this vehicle recently it is in great shape and seems to have been well mantained and only has 110,000 miles on it.

    :lemon: ?
  • gis2gis2 Posts: 2
    Has anyone had problems with their 2005 Toyota multi function display, such as avg. mpg, avg. miles per hour indicating wrong? Thanks GIS2
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Like most such displays, the avg. mpg is optimistic by a couple mpg. Same was true on my last car, a 2000 VW GTI.
  • gis2gis2 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply nedzel. The miles per gallon show about 2 miles/gallon more than actual. The avg. miles/hour indiate 30-40 mph even though I'm doing 65+ for over an hour.
  • robbdrellrobbdrell Posts: 1
    I just bought 2005 4runner. I would like to get a bug reflector for it. What's a good brand? Advance carries Bug Guard but i see other brands out there like Lind.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Congrats on the new Runner. I think there are a few deflector posts over in the Car front end protective bras & film discussion you may want to scan while waiting for responses in here.

    Steve, Host
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I believe it may be working as designed. I believe it is computing the average miles per hour over the time since you last reset it. For example, suppose you have never reset it, so it is computing your average MPH since you bought the truck. Suppose then you've driven the truck for 500 hours total. Driving on the highway for 1 or 2 hours isn't going to move the average much at all.

    Check the manual on this.
  • rvalc43594rvalc43594 Posts: 31
    The buzz bother me too. The new aluminum booster is a little quiet from what I heard at the dealership, but you can still hear it on a cool morning or cold day. It's hums in the summer and buzz in the winter. I don't know why toyota would built this system that way. I think the land cruiser has it,but not the sequoia. I also did read other post of owners having their master cylinders replace and that stop the buzzing. Toyota is not going to replace a $2000 master cylinder because we think that will stop the buzzing in the brake booster. Other then that it's a pretty nice suv for the price. :surprise:
  • mechengrmechengr Posts: 4
    It sounds to me like you have a vacuum problem- either a leak, or much worse, low manifold vacuum due to a worn engine. Your power assist for the brakes work off vacuum. Your heater/air conditioner mix doors also work off vacuum.
  • mechengrmechengr Posts: 4
    Have you changed your brake fluid? It is hygroscopic, that is, absorbs water from the atmosphere over time, and sludge can build up in your system. You have to flush out the sludge with clean brake fluid.
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