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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • I've got a squeaky noise coming from the front bezel of the radio. A slight push with a finger and the noise can be reproduced and/or heightened. I'm thinking that if the radio is removed then I could do something to eliminate the noise where the front face of the radio contacts the mounting area. Does anyone know how the radio has to be removed so this can be accomplished. Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided.:surprise:
  • At times I'll get a sound like 2 x 4 boards banging together in the back cargo area. I'm not sure if its within or outside the truck. I've looked and tightened just about everything visible. Currently I'm waiting to get the sound to sustain long enough to take it to the dealer.
    The sound can be eliminated or minimized at times by opening and slamming the rear hatch door closed. This however doesn't make a whole of lot sense because of the electronic latch, unless the latch isn't closing as tightly as it should or doesn't remain tight over time. (The dealer's service rep. said its not the rear hatch.) Anyone else have or had this problem? Any suggestions. :sick:
  • You're going to hate this. If you are still in your 3yr/36month warranty, I'd recommend taking it in. I had my radio replaced at 1100 miles because it failed to power on. There are 10 steps to removal, but I don't have any diagrams except for the last 3 steps. The dealer accidentally left me a page from their shop manual.

    1) Remove instrument panel finish plate
    2) Remove instrument panel finish plate sub-assy lower
    3) Remove instrument cluster finish panel sub-assy
    4) Remove console upper rear panel sub-assy
    5) Remove console panel sub-assy upper
    6) Remove air conditioning control assy
    7) Remove instrument cluster finish panel sub-assy center
    8) Remove radio receiver assembly w/bracket (2 bolts)
    9) Remove radio bracket No. 1 (4 screws)
    10) Remove radio bracket No. 2 (4 screws)

    Sounds to me like one of these 10 items is loose. Last but not least, you'd think with all this redundancy that nothing would squeek !?
  • paranavsparanavs Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply.
    Could you also post the brand name of the grease you use and where it is available? Like AutoZone, Pepboys?

    Is it synthetic?
  • Do you Tow? This sounds exactly like what happened to my 2003 V-8 4Runner SR5. Toyota told us we had a defective torque converter. Apparently the lining inside the torque converter goes bad and it slips roughly until the torque converter locks up under gentle acceleration. Problem never occured under hard acceleration and it disappeared when taking foot off gas.

    Toyota dropped a new transmission in our 4Runner. The problem recurred in the second transmission within 24 hours -- believe it or not! Toyota told the dealer to try a synthetic transmission fluid and flush the new transmission. Problem went away.

    However, the same week Toyota put the second transmission into the car they had to put a third catalytic converter in.

    What I learned from this: Toyota quality is just a bad as everyone else.

    My suspicion is that something is really wrong here, the service manager admitted seeing our transmission problem in 5 previous 4Runners and Sequoias with the same engine.

    My theory is that the 5 speed transmission is not really up to the tow rating Toyota posted for this car. We decided to buy a SUV with a 8,000lb tow rating... a Durango that has a 70,000 mile warranty, a larger engine and a tow/haul mode on the transmission. No, I don't have a theory about why our 4Runner ended up with 3 catalytic converters in only 48,000 miles.

    We were very disappointed with this vehicle. :lemon: The main reason I bought Toyota was it's tow rating and reliablity ratings. :mad:
  • Maybe cause they did like we did. We gave up on Toyota! We traded ours in for a used 05 Dodge Durango ! For about $5,000 less than we paid Toyota in 2003, we now have an SUV with a "real" third row seat, a DVD player, satilite radio and navigation system, 2,500 more lbs towing rating and one additional liter in engine size.

    Or maybe Toyota really did fix the problem.... NOT! Well at least not in ours. Our vibration started again within 24 hours of the second transmission installation.
  • I've had only two problems with our 4Runner. Only two, but very extensive transmission and catalytic problems. A 2003 V-8. Enough to make me think about whether the monthly payment was really worth it. It wasn't.

    I used CR as the main basis for buying the 4Runner. Something I'd never done before, something I will never do again. CR's ratings of the Toyota 4Runner, esp the positive review of the 03 V8 was important in deciding to buy the V8 vs the V6. Now I think there is something wrong with CR's ratings. I suspect that there is some sort of self selection bias. They survey CR customers only. I wonder how that affects their results. I know I will never buy another Toyota. More expensive and no more reliable than anyone else.
  • ggoinsggoins Posts: 57
    Has the problem repeated in 04-06 v-8 4Runners? anybody....anybody....=)
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    No transmission or cat converter problems on my 03 V8. I've got ~40k miles on it. The problems that I've had are as follows:

    1. On very cold mornings I do get some piston-slap noise for about 30 seconds on cold startups. It's annoying, but harmless.

    2. Around 2000 miles on the odo, I started to get a driveline noise while on the highway going 60-65 mph. It went away after a couple thousand miles.

    3. The drivers seat started to squeak. Dealer fixed it with a shot of grease.

    That's it. Overall, I'm very pleased. YMMV.

    As for the fellow with the Durango, I wish you well. I hope your experience is better than that of my two friends with Durangos.
  • gostrosgostros Posts: 10
    300 miles on mine. no sulfur smell here, neither inside nor outside of the vehicle.
  • ggoinsggoins Posts: 57
    thanks for the list....1st year of the change was the 03...a few bugs to work out I guess...
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    No issues with my "beast" 2006 Toyota 4Runner V8 4WD with less than 1000 miles so far...

    I used to own a piece oh junk 05 Odyssey (1st year generation model... and after 1 year of issues, oh boy am I glad I got rid of it, never ever again HONDAs) and traded it in for a 2006 Sienna and have no issue so far...

    My point is, besides the fact that HONDAs are cheaply made, as a rule never risk to buy first year generation of any make...
  • tribstertribster Posts: 20
    I have a 05 Toyota 4Runner with 4K miles. It pulls to the right when starting from a stoplight under normal load. And, it pulls to the left when coming to a stop (normal breaking). The steering wheel seems overly soft at center. I have to constantly adjust it to make the car go straight. It seems to be better at highway speeds but in city driving it is very annoying. I have taken it to the dealer twice and they claim there is nothing wrong with it. Right! The dealer mechanic said that the 4Runners only use one rear wheel to propel the car forward (no positraction or something) I don’t buy it… I think he is full of it. What can I do? Please help. :(
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Mine doesn't pull in any direction. The truck does have poor on-center feel. It wanders about a good bit and can be tiring on a windy day. I believe that is endemic to the vehicle. In other words, they all do that and I don't think there really is much you can do.

    If you find a really good alignment shop, it may be possible to improve it.
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    Tribster, if your 4Runner pulls at any speed, then search the internet for the Hunter9700. They have a list of shops that have this machine. The machine will match balance all 4 tires & wheels and give a specific recommendation for placement. This should cure your pulling issues. My selling dealer finally used this on my vehicle after I brought it in the SECOND time for pulling to the right. I've been problem free for 20,000 miles now.

    If your 4Runner only pulls starting and braking, then I dunno. My steering, like yours, was overly sensitive, but as the vehicle accumulated more mileage my steering improved. Don't have a clue as to why, although I suspect the tires were breaking in. I have Dunflops, but I've got Revo's on order. In prior threads, Michelin Cross-Terrain equipped vehicles had the happiest owners, but aftermarket Revo owners claim the best traction.
  • biglatkabiglatka Posts: 78
    Well, you're in the minority then, both on Toyotas and CR. Although no auto manufacturer or automobile is perfect, I've found, and others on other forums including this one, are of the opinion that their Toyota is a most trouble free vehicle, especially when comparing it to other makes (read the owner review comments and ratings in Edmunds). I've owned Toyotas for the past twenty odd years now and completely agree with the high marks CR always gives them. Funny thing, the Dodge Durango has been found to be rife with problems. I sincerely wish you luck with it.

    Consumer Reports takes no advertising money from manufacturers, and they buy their cars independently. Can that be said for other auto testing magazines? I'm sorry for the trouble with your Toyota, but can all those people CR surveyed be wrong or did they just make it up when they highly rated their 4Runners??
  • Hi, My 2000 4Runner's antenna goes up and down but the motor keeps running after the antenna comes up or goes down. It does stop after a minute or so. But, it's annoying and I don't want to make the problem worse if I keep using the radio. I cleaned the antenna but it still happens. Is this fixable by me? I need a step-by-step though. Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
  • tribstertribster Posts: 20
    Thanks Nedezel and Canddmeyer for your quick responses. I think I’ll look up “Hunter9700” to see if there is one nearby. According to the manual, wheel alignments are covered till 12K miles. Too bad I have to shell out money to get this done on my own. The dealer (mechanic) where I bought the 4R is very incompetent. The mechanic was practically having a shouting match with me because he thought I was wrong and he was right. Talk about customer service… My 5K service is coming up soon…. Guess where I won’t be taking my car. Thanks guys for your input. I’ll let you know what I find out. :(
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    I hope the info helps. I'm going on the premise you might have some kind of tire issue. Hopefully you don't have an out of round wheel, steering system issue, brake issue, or once again, an alignment issue.

    When the next generation 4Runner debuted in 2003, several owners posted about wheels having to be replaced, while a few complained about steering issues. I recommend searching the 4Runner forum with 'steering' as your search word. There are 10 pages to review.

    You might try another dealer, especially if you can find one with the Hunter equipment. Last but not least, you can escalate to Toyota or grudgingly fork out the $$$ on your own to see if the Hunter 9700 will cure your 4Runner. Good luck.
  • bula3bula3 Posts: 1
    I bought my 1999 sr5 new. It has 73000 miles at the present. I had front rotors resurfaced twice already. I was informed that the next time it will have to be replaced. Do you think that the rotors could be defective in material?
  • ggoinsggoins Posts: 57
    I have a 1997 SR5 with 135K. no problems with rotors...could it be a terrain issue? commute car etc....
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    Well, there is always a chance the rotors to be of defective material, but I believe the issue is with excessive/improper torquing of wheel lug nuts... make sure the torque setting is correct to avoid any chance of over torque...
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    Followup. My original reply was meant to advise using the StraightTrak equipment by Hunter, which is what my dealer used to correct my alignment. The GSP9700 is a balancer. The StraightTrak is for alignment. Hopefully you caught this on Hunter's website. Sorry if I led you astray.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    If you've gotten 73,000 miles out of your rotors then you're doing great. Defective? No, absolutely not. Resurfacing the rotors is basically taking material off them. After doing that once or twice, the rotors are too thin to meet specifications.

    73,000 is excellent life out of a set of rotors.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    I agree, 73K on rotors is outstanding.

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  • yalkeryalker Posts: 2
    Has anyone purchased the Service Agreement?

    My dealership offered me 7yr/75k for $760. Seems like a pretty good deal and am tempted to purchase it...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    Be sure to read over the 'exclusions'.

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  • yalkeryalker Posts: 2
    The finance shark told me its a bumper to bumper deal (minus normal wear and tear paint/uphostry/fluids/hoses/breaks/belts) with 24 hour road side assistance.

    The crazy thing he told me is that I could have work performed at a mom and pop shop and they can directly bill Toyota for the work.

    Thing I would get it for is things like all the computers/electronics that seem to set you back a grand everytime something happens to them.

    Am I nuts? I have always steered WAY clear of extended warranties.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    Well STILL read the exclusions. This isn't a warranty actually, it's an insurance policy. They are betting your car doesn't break down, you are betting it does. The exclusions give them better odds, so they are worth a read.

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  • I have a friend that has a 2003 Toyota Corolla S she changed brands of gas no more problem
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