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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • Just recently the tire pressure monitor light came on and I checked all 4 tires' pressure and one did have less air than the other three which I added more air to. The light still comes on, when will it go off or is there another tire issue that I am not aware of? Thanks in advance.
  • It takes 3 things to make an engine run; spark, fuel and air. (It's the control of those things that gets complicated). High probability this is not air related. When an engine runs very rough that's an indication that one or more cyclinders aren't firing at the right time or not firing at all. That's usually spark or fuel. You need to test them starting with the easiest first. I'd start with spark. Without the engine running remove each spark plug one at a time, check both ends for burns or damage, check the length of the wire for burns or damage then put it back before removing the next one. If you're lucky you'll spot a bad one. If your car needs new plugs replace them all anyway (one at a time so you don't get confused) and you'll probably fix the issue. For a 6 cyclinder you should have 7 plug wires, the extra one goes from the ignition coil to the distributor. Start with that one first since it is responsible for all spark going to each of the other plug wires. If it's not the plug wires, check the distributor cap and rotor. If it's okay, I'd move on to fuel. With fuel injection you'd want to check fuel pressure to the fuel rail. If that's not it then your fuel pump is probably fine. Then its on to oxygen sensors, get a computer diagnostics tool and start having more fun. Or take it in, but I'm betting on the plug or coil wires.
  • iontrapiontrap Posts: 139
    Since you've checked the other four tires, it's the spare that is causing the TPS light to come on. This just happen to me last week.
  • You are low on brake fluid. Trust me.
  • I just bought a 1985 4Runner, which needs an entire front left turn signal assembly (already ordered). Is the absence of this assembly the likely reason for the rest of the turn signals, and the hazards, not working? Could it be blown fuses? or both? Where in the fuse box are the hazard and turn signal fuses located?
  • No, shift into park, no out of park. Read the manual more closely. You must leave the lever in Park.
  • Check the pressure on your spare tire. It is monitored as well. This happened to me and adding air to the spare corrected it.
  • Urgent! Please respond ASAP. I have a 1995 4Runner and have been having the same starting problem for the past 6 weeks. I replaced the battery and it was fine for a while. I have to turn the key 5-6 times before it starts up. I never know if I am going to get stranded somewhere. I called the dealer and am bringing it in 9/24 but they always gouge me cuz I know zero about cars and they can tell me whatever they make up! What was the outcome of your situation? It does this to me several times a day- then not at all for a week, then start doing it again. I have been trying to pinpoint if it has something to do with how much gas is in the tank etc. sometimes after slightly moving the automatic shifter it starts up but that could be a coincidence. Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys!
  • I have the same problem with my 2005 V6 SE. Now has 8k miles.
    Thats the least of my problems though.
    I have a horrific sulphur smell that after 2 trips to the dealer in winston-salem NC, I was just provided with a tsb that says nothing can be done, try different gas, which I have done with no improvement. So I cant drive with the windows or sunroof open, and am supposed to accept that its a gas issue, not the car, but no car I have ever owned has had this problem.
    Then there is the wobbling/unbalanced tyre issue on the Dunlop AT20's. At 65-75m/h the steering shakes like the wheels need balancing, then goes away after about 15miles of highway driving (tires warmed up). It has been like this from day 1, and at 2500 miles the dealer replaced the front tires but after 500 miles the problem came back and persists. I drive highway everyday and this is an issue for me.
    Thirdly I also have trouble modulating the brake pedal. It either grabs or is weak so coming to a stop smoothly is the exception to the rule.
    I am really disappointed as a result of these few issues which make my blood boil, its unacceptable at any price, but on a $35k truck!?
    Other than that I love it, great looks, excellent build quality/fit and finish, fantastic jeckyll and hyde V6 (quiet and smooth or race it to the red line like a sewing machine), and the smooth and refined ride really sets it apart from its competitors.
    My previous vehicle was a 2004 Jeep GC I-6, good ridence
  • Sorry to hear about your troubles. You are the first (to my knowledge) owner of a V6 to complain about the thud. Normally it is associated with the V8 4Runners, having something to do with being in four wheel drive all the time. Some have reported that a good greasing of the slip yoke has taken care of it, so I'd recommend trying that. I've never liked the dunlop tires.....mine has Michelin, and I've never had a problem. As for the smell.....there is an entire separate board on here devoted to the sulfur smell. There is a TSB to "fix" it, and if you look in that board, you'll find it. Mine smells, but only very occasionally, and I only ever notice it when I have the back window down. So mine is an easy fix, just put the back window up. What brand/octane gas do you use? I've notice that premium from Hess seems to make it better. Maybe give that a try?? The 4Runners are great vehicles....but they do have their issues!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
  • Thanks for the tip. I used to use Shell regular, then switched to 89, then tried BP, so I am up for anything now.
    The transmission thud is intermittent, most notably after spirited driving, when it had low miles it used to downshift too early when coming to a stop producing a tug, this now too seems only intermittent.
    I just remembered another transmission issue - at 40-50mph on a gentle throttle and in 5th the drivetrain shakes like it wants to lock up, but wont, this persists unless you lift of the throttle/give it gas to downshift or manually shift it into 4th.

    I just returned from a trip to the Outerbanks where it did its 1st beach driving, engaging Drive or Reverse in low range gave a solid thump (much like any gear selection in my Jeep!), though I dont think this is something that needs attention since low range use is so limited.
    Something that bothered me was that in the soft stuff following previous tracks the VSC beeps and there's a crunching sound like you're bottoming out at the same time, locking the centre diff eliminates both these issues, weird (I do know that locking the diff switches off VSC, but can something explain in simple terms what sets off the beeping?)

    On a new note I wonder what the obsession with needing a V8 to tow is. Unless you are living in mountains areas doing regular towing of something really heavy I dont see the point of the extra upfront cost and fuel cost (2mpg actually adds up, per tank, per month etc)
    Ofcourse you may just buy it because it sounds great, so maybe its worth it!
    I recently moved and used a 6x12 UHaul trailer which I was amazed at how easily it pulled it, and was expecting sluggish pull aways at the low end of the revs, but not so.
    On the highway it look like I was getting around 15.5mpg at around 70mph, not bad.
    By contrast I am South African, only having been in the US for 18months and the average size of car (and engine) is alot smaller than here, and back there we towed a double axle horsetrailer with my VW Caravelle 2.6i (updated Vanagon with Audi 5 cylinder engine-about 100kw and 200NM torque) and they were lauded as very good tow vehicles.
    Anyone else share my perspective and curiosity at how much car and power people feel they need to accomplish the task, or is there something I am missing here?
  • Wulffman
    For me the big difference with the V8 is how much quieter and smoother it is to drive. I drive approx. 800 miles a week on freeway and found the V6 to be a rougher ride. Mine is a V8 sport edition. Gets on ave about 19 MPG (real) and has all the thuds and groans in the driveline.

    I am doing okay on the Dunlops (16K), no sulphur smell and really enjoy the truck. I will be towing soon and it will be over a thousand miles so I am pleased I have teh bigger engine. (also South African and used to the smaller cars)
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "On a new note I wonder what the obsession with needing a V8 to tow is. Unless you are living in mountains areas doing regular towing of something really heavy I dont see the point of the extra upfront cost and fuel cost (2mpg actually adds up, per tank, per month etc)"

    I just bought an '05 Sport with the V8. I am towing a 22' trailer that now weighs probably about 4,000 pounds. Now mind you, the towing capacity is 7,500 pounds. The way it pulls with the V8 towing 4,000 pounds I can't imagine towing 7,500 pounds. That's why I got the larger motor, even though according to the spec on the V6 I would have been OK.

    Hope this helps!!
  • I am having the same problem with my 99 4runner as you describe. What did you finally do to fix the issue?
  • I have been driving my 2005 Limited for about 2 months now, and only now finally realized what I dont like about it compared to my previous 4runner - the REAR VIEW MIRROR ON THE FRONT WINDSHIELD CREATES A HUGE BLIND SPOT (Looking 45 degrees to the right).

    For me, this is most irritating when approaching an intersection or stop signs. When stopped at a 4-way stop sign for instance, the rear view mirror blocks out the car to my right entirely. It also makes it difficult for me to see people crossing in the crosswalk when making right turns. Has anyone else experienced this same problem?

    I think the main culprit is the lowered windshield of the current model. It's field of view is smaller than previous 4runners and therefore any obstructions placed on the window (ie - rearview mirror) are that much more significant.

    Any feedback if others have the same problem, or how they resolved this is appreciated. Would a new rearview mirror help?
  • Hi, my check engine light and both vsc lights just came on in my 2002 4Runner today... can someone pleae help me. With all of the gas shortages... I think that I've probably gotten some bad gas. About six months ago, I had the same problem and Toyota charged me $50 for a diagnostic test only to tell me that I needed two catalytic converters, I refused to pay the $1100 they were asking and just kept driving my truck... two days later, the lights went off. Now they are all back on... What could be the problem? Someone please help me...

    -Signed, "Clueless about cars in Atlanta"
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Most auto parts stores now do free checks and will look up the codes that are thrown off by your check engine light (not sure about the vsc light). That should get you started without costing you anything initially.

    Steve, Host
  • mstemmstem Posts: 113

    You are very coorect; this is an issue. I also think if you are a tall person (I am about 6'3" or so...) it aggravates the situation somewhat, as your eyes are already high on the windshield. I have an '04 Limited, which I drove for a year and a half before turning it over to my wife. She is rather short so it doesn't seem to bother her as much. I have had several close calls (a couple of very close...) at intersections, just as you described. It got to the point that any 4-way stop would set off imaginary alarm bells for me! I don't know if there is really a solution, rather than forcing yourself to be very careful at intersections, etc. I think changing the mirror would be problematic, and I don't know how much that would really help anyway. As you stated, the problem is most likely due to the fact the 4-Runner windshield is not very tall.

    BTW, I now drive an '06 Toyota Avalon Limited, which has a huge windshield and the difference is amazing. It's like having a picture-window compared to a port-hole!

  • cushcush Posts: 1
    I had this happen with my '03 V8 Sport Ed while away from home. I took it to the nearest dealer who said the code was related to the cat. He reset it and told me to drive it and see if it comes back on. It came back on and I went to my local dealer who said it was a wheel speed sensor and ordered the part for me without asking. I am off factory warranty and have an extended warranty through the dealer where I purchased it. I took it to them and they replaced an O2 sensor and sent me on my way. 75 miles down the road, check engine, VSC Trac, etc lights come back on. They run another check and tell me I now need a new cat.

    I paid a $50 deductable for the O2 sensor, hope they give that back since it was likely the bad cat that set it off in the first place!
  • Hi Mike -

    Glad to know im not insane. Though Im not as tall as you, (Im 6'0") I have a longer torsoe and think this is probably the main problem (my head is close the headliner/sunroof sunshade). I tried lowering the seat and it seems to have helped SLIGHTLY, but it is not a comfortable driving postion (being so low in front of the dash). I like sitting up high which is the main reason im a big fan of SUVs. Otherwise, I would have bought a sedan or wagon (and saved on gas too!!!).

    Now that I've recognized the problem and still after 2 months I wish i was back in my '93 4runner, I have the same alarms when I come to an intersection. I make a very noticable effort to peak around the rear-view mirrow before I accelerate. Its kind of annoying, but im afraid im going to run over a kid or someone I dont see coming. I would love to just rip the rear view mirror off and throw it away, but that wouldnt be safe either i suppose.

    This is probably the one time in my life I wish i was a tad-bit shorter. I hope this doesnt turn out to be a $37K mistake.

  • Anyone having a problem with the hood protector coming loose on the ends? I have a 2005 4Runner Limited and the hood protector was installed by the dealer. First time the driver side came loose. The next time both ends came loose. A month later the drivers side was loose again. It is fixed under warranty but I do not understand why this is happening. The service writer made a comment that my 4Runner is the only one having this problem. I had a 97 Limited and for eight years never had a problem with the hood protector.....thanks.
  • I recently bought a 1996 4runner 4wd Limited and put new floormats in it. As I took out the old ones I noticed the carpet was damp...not soaking wet, just damp on the passengers side. It was only lightly damp but it was spread over most of the bottom of the floomat and not just in one small place. I first thought it was the heater core but it didnt smell like anti freeze and when the heat is turned on it doesnt smell like antifreeze either. I looked behind the carpet toward the front of the floorboard and up into the firewall but saw no signs of leaking from back there either. Any ideas?
  • It could be that a windshield replacement job was botched. I had a similar problem. There was a tiny leak and it had to be re-replaced at the glass company's expense. Check to see if the windshield has the original Toyota logo on the glass. I'm guessing at that age of vehicle, it has been replaced at least once or twice already. You might be able to run a hose over the windshield and look up in the dash with a flashlight for a leak.
  • I will check it but there has been no rain here in a long time and I havent been thru the car wash lately. Is there anyway it could be making the moisture...maybe the ac condensation leaking in someway? This baffles me.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    when people note a damp floor board they should immediately consider that their A/C evaporator has a clogged or crimped drain tube.

    of course, it could be a faulty window or door seal or weld.

    the AC evaporator drain theory can be verified if the car is left running, placed in park (brake also applied) with the AC running... one looks under the front of the vehicle (from the side, you don't have to nor should you be looking underneath the car from the front of the vehicle) but one doesn't see water draining to the road surface, or perhaps it is draining at a very slow rate.

    in some vehicles, because of the location of the evaporator and the depth of the evap pan, with the AC on, i believe as they make right- or left-hand turns, they often hear what sounds like water running onto a hot skillet. perhaps this is the water in the pan getting super cooled by the evap coils.

    if you've got a really bad problem, when you make your turns and you glance down at the foot well area, you're likely to see water running onto the mats and carpeting.

    if you suspect your issue is with improper AC evaporator drainage, you can have someone with a compressor shoot a blast of compressed air up through the drain line. often this is sufficient to clear blockage and stop moisture from reaching the floorboards. sometimes the problem returns though.

    it depends on how much debris is blocking the drain, or if the drain line is re-crimping, or if the drain line has become disconnected from the pan.

    always keep the vent area under your windshield wipers (seen with the hood up) free and clear from pine straw, leaves, acorn shells and other stuff comming off trees which might get into the inlet to your vent system. this will eventually make it to a low-point, probably near your drain.

    hope it helps.
  • That might be it. It is cool down here now and I havent run the a/c in a couple of days but it may be left over from the last time. I guess I will take out the floor mat and not run the a/c and see if it dries. That just about HAS to be it...if not, who knows? Thanks for the advice.
  • I am having problems with my 2005 4Runner that I purchased brand new in March of this year. My indicator lights kept flashing on periodically, and when I brought it in the first time, they told me that they couldn't duplicate the problem and I left with it...according to them...fine. Two weeks car literally died. It wouldn't drive....the indicator lights came on again...and my car felt like it was stuck in 1st when I tried to accelerate. Turns master cylinder was replaced. I have 10,000 miles on my could I possibly need my master cylinder replaced??? It was covered under warranty...but I'm upset that my car wasn't working properly the fist 6 months I owned it. Now my breaks actually work...well now I know what ABS feels breaking is sooo much smoother. I used to think the abrupt breaking feel was typical of a "sport" edition. Any thoughts? Have you heard of anyone else with this type of problem?

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    When you look at the thousands of parts the typical SUV/Car has, is it really inconceivable that a bad part could make it through? I really think it's nothing to worry about....... Just be happy it was taken care of under warranty!
  • I have a 2005 Sport with 8k on the clock. On a couple of occassions exiting a sharp offramp and climbing on the brakes, has resulted in the inside front loosing grip on uneven surfaces, this would be expected. What is not expected is that once the ABS kicks in the brake pedal pressure dissappears and you are left holding onto the steering hoping to make the turn. The first time this happened most of the ignition lights came on and it fealt as if the car had died as I also lost some power steering, talk about fright of my life. This cant be normal and I first thought that cutting power etc had something to do with the VSC.
    Any comments?
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