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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • Maybe the right rear window lines are antenna for the optional NAV system? Toyota seems to plumb their Runners for all options from the factory if even you didn't purchase the option.
  • I remember reading (here, I believe) that the right rear window was a defroster-defogger. Now I'm more inclined to believe it's just the radio antenna just like the left rear window. I don't have NAV, & honestly don't think Toyota would plumb all their 4Runners for NAV when probably less than 10% come with it. Thanks 4 the reply.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    Canddmeyer is correct. Those lines are part of the integrated antenna for the stereo system and not for defogging/defrosting. Toyota has been doing this for years. My 00 LTD has them. There may be some mention of that in the owners manual but I'm not sure. I asked the same question 4 years ago.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Hmm, so where is the gps antenna for the NAV located?

    I wonder why the two rear cargo area windows with the "antennas" don't have the same appearance. Any ideas?
  • The antenna for the navigation system is located in the center of the dash. From that location, it has a clear view of the sky thru the windshield.

    The current generation 4Runner is equipped with an FM diversity antenna (older ones as well?). Both the right and left rear side windows have imbedded antennas, and the radio uses the one receiving the stronger signal.
  • Anyone have a problem with the front doors rattling/vibrating when the stereo system is cranking? I also get this when listening to talk radio (deep voices). Bass is not turned up past "3" and also get it at low volumes.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Has anyone had the recall work done on the rear air suspension on an '03 Limited? I took mine in a few weeks ago to have the recall work done, but the dealer didn't have the parts (even though I told them I was coming in for the recall when I made the appointment). That irritated me a bit since I took the day off to take it in. They told me when I bring it back to do the work it will take 4 hours. The parts are in now, but I am having second thoughts about letting the local mechanic spend 4 hours tearing apart the suspension. I think I might rather take a chance that the involved pin will not break (I don't go off road) and forget the recall. Any thoughts?

    Also, we too suffered a cracked windshield. We were camping on Galveston Island several days ago and found the 12" crack one morning. It wasn't there the previous evening and as far as we know the windshield was not hit by a rock--it appears to have just cracked on its own. Maybe a pelican flew into it during he night, but I doubt it!
  • Had the suspension recall done.Appeared to be a very simple job. No problems. The windshield is a problem. Replacing the second one in 4 months, and its not even winter yet. Glass appears to be extremely fragile. Road sand seems to mark it up easily. Same goes for the titanium paint job. Chips very easily. Been already touching up after only 7 months with the truck though already 32,000 km. Great vehicle to drive though. Wouldnt trade it, even with the rotten smell.Contrary to what someone has said, smell does not disappear with mileage. Cheers
  • 4rnr4rnr Posts: 25
    Can you describe what must be done to the rear air suspension please. I have an '03 Ltd. that sits a 1/2" lower to the ground(measured from ground up to base of fender flare) on the drivers left front wheel maybe the adjustments to the suspension may somehow correct this lean??
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93

    Sorry, I left the recall notice at the dealer. I checked a couple of recall web sites but don't find it listed. As best I can remember it had something to do with replacing pins that might break when driving in extreme off-road situations. Maybe somebody else can elaborate further.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93

    I agree about the windshield problem. Besides the sudden crack which appeared this week I got a chip (in a different location) before getting the truck home from the dealer and many very small pits. The windshield seems to pit extremely easily. I had the same experience with a Subaru Forester. OTOH, I had two windows break in a Chrysler minivan for no reason--one rear window while driving down the street and one of the rear side windows exploded while parked in the garage one Easter morning. I just seem to have bad luck with glass. I carry a high comprehensive deductible, but am thinking about lowering it to help pay for auto glass.

    Fortunately we don't have much of a stink problem so far (just turned 30,000 miles). I have smelled it a few times when driving hard, but it was pretty minor. Guess we have been lucky in that regard.

    Overall, I really like the truck. I have never had a vehicle that I didn't have a few complaints about. The 4Runner and a Honda Accord I once had are about the best vehicles I have owned.
  • Sorry guys, I gots ta vent. This is coming from a forgiving and patient sort of person having survived the Saturn ownership experience for 8+ years with creaks, rattles, and cheap plastic parts poorly assembled. I bought a Toyota, renown for its build quality and long life. I’m doubting both of those qualities in my new vehicle. I must admit, I love the ride of this truck, both on pavement and off. (It has seen all of 20 miles off road, mostly graded dirt) It has a quiet ride, comfortable seats, feels solid and looks sharp. Heck, the dog loves it and it is the perfect sized vehicle for my lifestyle. BUT, that being said, here’s my chronological list of complaints about my 2003 SR5 V6 at 7800 miles:

    Squeaking “belt noise” (cold engine) at 700 miles
    (diagnosed and 'fixed' by dealership with new belt tensioner and belt at 2000 miles)
    Squeaking “belt noise” (cold engine) returned at 2500 miles
    (Dealership didn’t acknowledge problem, seemed like new belt wearing in was the culprit so I let it go – “belt noise” went away by 3500 miles – woo hoo, problem ‘solved’ w/o doing anything)
    Fuel pulsation dampener recall at about 3000 miles
    Faint headliner rattles started at about 4000 miles, have gotten worse over time
    Gutter trim coming loose above front doors at about 4000 miles.
    (dealership glued the rubber back down very poorly and it is now permanently protruding, though protruding less – the thing is supposed to snap in place, not be glued almost in place)
    Suspension squeaks starting at about 4500 miles (ie 5-10 mph going over speed bumps – front shocks?)
    Moonroof rattles starting about 5500 miles. Rattles loud enough now I can’t tell how bad the headliner rattle is.
    Ventilation system seems to leak starting at about 7500 miles (it will allow hot air through vents when the system is off – seems to remember the temperature setting prior to being shut off. For example if I manually set it at 82° with the fan on any setting, then turn the fan off, air at the same hot temperature continuously comes out the vents even if it is 60° outside). Maybe I’m missing something about how it is supposed to operate. I would think if it let air through under these conditions, it would be ambient.
    Squeaking belt noise (cold engine) has returned (cold weather related?) at 7800 miles.
    All along I have heard the ticking sound folk here have mentioned, however, I only hear it if I listen for it. It is not that bad in my book. Saturn had timing chain as well – maybe I’m used to it.

    I’m not saying this truck is a piece of garbage or a lemon - yet. These problems are annoyances, but they are adding up, not making the ownership experience what I had wanted/expected, and I had hoped to avoid such things by steering clear of GM, Yugo, Daiwoo, and Hyundai.

    I’m wondering if any of you can recommend a dealership in the north Los Angeles area that will take my concerns seriously. Hamer Toyota doesn’t seem to care about the “minor nuisances” I’ve brought to their attention – I’ve given three different service teams a chance to prove their mettle. Meanwhile, I’ll go back and read up on how some of you have dealt with these issues.

    If you have new thoughts, I’d be happy to hear them - particularly with the ventilation system.

    I’m taking it to a dealer (Frontier in Valencia?) in a few weeks for it’s 10000 mile oil change/tune up and plan to bombard them with this list. I want stuff fixed and fixed right. I still plan to own this truck for a long time, but if I can’t get this stuff cleared up or if the list continues to grow I won’t be afraid to ditch it. Sure, I’m a picky new car owner, but for $28+k, I feel entitled to a vehicle that is not falling apart within 7 months and well in advance of 10000 miles. That’s what I got (and was prepared for) with the Saturn. If I wanted these issues I’d have bought a VUE for $8k less.

    My apologies for the length of this post, thanks for help/suggestions y'all have

    (initially this login name was a pun on my conservative driving habits and 2 wheel drive SUV... now it seems accurate for how it works!)
  • lpm141lpm141 Posts: 14
    Any recommendation for the best Toyota service department for the San Antonio area?
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    The ventilation system on my 2000 LTD does the very same thing. It must be inherent with Toyota's.
  • lukeglukeg Posts: 32
    My 04 4runner v8 sport 4x4 is getting vibrations in the steering wheel and pedals when RPMs between 1800-2000 at various speeds. I went to the dealer and they said that they drove other new v8 and all of those do the same "drove other 2004 4runners all felt the same, no problem found". Anyone with similar problem or with suggestions?

    Also, I have 3 second vibration in break pedal when breaking which goes away. The solution offered on this board was to replace the booster. I went two dealers and all of them said that this is normal and 2nd one told me that "vehicle equipped with power assist brakes not break booster system, normal operation no problem found"

    Does anyone have any recommendations or solutions.
  • gutiguti Posts: 10

    I have special-ordered a 2004 4Runner V8 Limited, which should be getting here in 2-3 months. With respect to the sulphur smell, it seems to bother different owners very differently, or maybe it occurs in varying degrees depending on the specific vehicle.

    In your case, it seems like your 4Runner does have the smell, but it doesn't bother you too much. At least not enough to make you have a bad overall opinion of the truck. Would you please let me know whether the smell is something to worry much about? How frequently does it happen? Does it happen only when you rev up the engine to an extreme, only when the car is stopped, etc?

    My only experience with the smell was while test-driven a 2003 model and really flooring it. Soon thereafter, while stopped at a light, I noticed the strong smell, and it went away as soon as I got the car moving again. I test drove the car 4-5 other times, and noticed no smell.

    Thanks a lot in advance.
  • Hello Meemo. It is strange, but just today I went to the dealer with almost the problem you describe. I hear this rattle from the front passenger door at lower speeds over cracked pavement. Dealer already put a lot of packing inside the door, but the problem persists. Anyone with idea on this ?
  • Did the fix for the back seat work? I thought I heard a rattle distinctly from the from passenger seat area. Please let me know if this probel is fixed as I have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow and need to get some input on this.
  • You will enjoy your new Ltd 4 runner. It is the best driving 4x4 I have ever had. Excellent feel both on highway and off. The 4 wheel drive system is outstanding in traction in all conditions and totally silent. No a hint of gear whine, even in low gear. I would have to rate the 4 wheel drive system the best I have come across ( had 9 -4x4's last 15 years )The engine and transmission are matched perfectly. Slight sensitivity to cross wind buffeting only complaint. The sulfur smell was bothersome in the beginning. Only occurs in city driving, under modestly hard acceleration,even with windows closed. Never happens on highway, no matter how hard I drive. Disappears quickly. It happens noticeable less often with high octane fuels which I now only use. Also probably it is also happening less often with higher mileage. Dont keep it from buying the vehicle. It has many minor quirky problems and designs which will have to be improved upon but nothing serious. You should enjoy you new 4 runner, it is fun to drive. Cheers
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    Someone mentioned a recall for the 2003 model suspension....can't find a thing about it in my internet search. Is this not a 2003 problem.

    I also want to note that my vehicle vibrates at around 1600RPM at any speed or gear. Most noticable when going up a hill at 30 MPH (since gear doesn't change).

    Anyone else notice the same?

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The only recall that I heard about was for a portion of the 2003 models with the rear air suspension. If you have a 2003 with rear air suspension, your truck might be affected by it. If you do not have the rear air suspension, then your truck is not affected by the recall.
  • I washed, used the shop vac and generally cleaned my Runner inside and out this weekend. On the instrument panel glass I used compressed air and a soft, clean cotton shop towel to wipe down the gauges. Well, in sunlight today, I noticed hairline, small scratches in the plexiglass used to cover the speedo, tach and gas/temp gauges. Irritating, after I spent and went through so much delicate trouble to not scratch the glass. I have read other posters who have scratched their glass. Any remedy other than replacement?
  • mfjarvind69, I think you are talking about an issue that has appeared here (this thread, I think) before. Someone suggested wrapping a layer or two of tape around the metal hoop that works with the latch in the right rear seat back to lock the seat upright. Wrapping a bit of tape on the front part of this hoop fixed the problem for me just fine. The latch will probably scrape this tape off eventually, but it should be no trouble to reapply. Just 1 or two wraps with vinyl electrical tape worked for me. More wraps than that might interfere with proper latching.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    I wrapped a little masking tape around the front of the hoop and haven't heard the rattle since.
  • Mine scratched too & I used a feather duster. I remember seeing previous posters complaining about the same thing. The interior has stained & marred a lot easier in 2 months than my '97 Blazer did in 6 years. While off-roading I've already permanently scraped the surface of a door panel just from items moving around & rubbing, & dirt sets very easily in the upholstery (mine is silver/gray). Guess we gotta live with it, although I hope my interior isn't trashed in 6 years due to inferior materials.
  • gutiguti Posts: 10
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am trading in a gorgeous Lexus GS 300, which has been a pleasure to drive for the last five years. I am now looking forward to a very different off-road truck experience. I think I will enjoy it.
  • canddmeyer: A feather duster! You would think Toyota truck glass would be tougher wouldn't you? My only other interior concern is the headliner. It is made out of a moleskin/cloth type material. Very easily scratched, scuffed and stained. I would have preferred the nice, soft textural feel of the vinyl/plastic used in the dash as a headliner, very easy to clean and protect. But I am sure cost, weight and sound proofing were in the current headliners favor.
  • On my 04 LTD V8 w/ NAV I've noticed a rattle when going over washboard roads coming from the rear right.

    I sat in the rear area while a buddy drove up and down a washboard road last night and eliminated what I thought it was: The dbl deck, tire jack, cargo cover and now it appears it’s actually in the rear hatch door on the left side. Seems the electric-rear-hatch-easy-opening system is not pulling the hatch in tight enough on the left side.

    Has anyone else heard this?

    Is the “tightness” or travel of the rear hatch adjustable?

    Any and all advise very much appreciated...

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    sorry, mine is quiet
  • mtnrunner, the door is adjustable in a couple of different ways. The latch strike plate in the floor can be moved a little to change how tight the door latches. The angular position of the door can be adjusted by loosening the hinges.

    It might be pretty simple to try slight adjustement of the strike plate, but I suspect it would be tricky to loosen the bolts and adjust the hinges. I'd be inclined to have a reputable dealer attempt a warranty repair/adjustment.
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