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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • I've a 04 sport v6 2wd. I stopped while going up a steep hill just to test the hill assist thing and an alarm went off, which is normal. But then the car started rolling backwards and the transmission started grinding. I called Toyota of Plano service and they said I needed to release the clutch slower??? When I informed him that ALL 4RUNNERS ARE AUTOMATIC he went into panic mode. Is it supposed to grind like that?
  • I previously posted wheel vibration problem of my 2004 V8 SR5. I drove the car a couple of times since then and noticed that the problem is gone. Looking back, I had the problem when I was on a long trip. Is it possible that a steering wheel starts to vibrate after extensive driving or something is heated up?

    I've been hearing about the warped brake disk problem. Is it related to this problem? I would appreciate your help.
  • hdawudi, I think the behavior you describe may be normal. You should read your manual in detail on this, since your Toyota service folks are worse than no help at all!

    I don't have my manual with me but IIRC, the feature is designed to hold you from rolling back for several seconds after you take your foot off the brake. After that, the system seems to be letting you roll slowly backward, and that's the "grinding" you hear. The system is activating the brakes to keep you from rolling backward too fast.

    That's my best guess. Post again if your questions aren't answered.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    At idle (park or neutral), motor makes a cyclic vibration about every 4 seconds and it shakes the vehicle. Not severely, but very noticeable.

    It doesn't do it when put in gear (as rpms drop to 500) but as soon as it's put back into park or neutral it starts again.

    Does anyone else have this symptom or know what might be causing this?
  • I have a 1994 4runner, manual transmission, 22R-E engine, four wheel drive with the ADD (automatic disconnecting differential). It's snowing here today and I can't engage the 4 wheel drive. The front drive contol lever moves ok but the 4 wheel drive will not engage. Can you help?
  • If I read my manual correctly, my comments in post 159 are correct. The system is only active if you're in a forward gear and your foot is neither on the brake or accelerator. It will hold you from rolling back for 5 seconds, and then it gradually stops operating. This gradual stop is probably what creates the chattering/grinding/pulsing that is heard and felt. That sounds like what I've felt a couple of times anyway.
  • tangmantangman Posts: 127
    Has any one also had problems with PIAA extreme whites failing within less than a year in 96 through 99 4-Runners? I have had 3 bulbs fail in mine. Also, are there other equivalent aftermark bulbs just as bright that are more durable?

  • ohelloohello Posts: 27
    The only really bright bulbs for which I have found durability measures are the Sylvania Silverstars - and they give a life estimate of 6 months to a year. It seems that you can either have super bright or long life, and that there is a direct tradeoff between the two. I think that someone mentioned that Sylvania has some bulb (vision plus?) that has almost as much output as the brighter bulbs but much longer life.

    If you CAN find a bright bulb with long life, please let us know.
  • Why did Toyota design the new Runner to be shod with such off-the-wall size tires!? 265/65/17 is only offered by three manufacturers and these three each only offer one tire. Sure I could upsize to 265/70/17, but I feel when I stuff bigger tires under the fender w/o rising clearance I will be setting myself up for rubbing, etc. Not to mention, IMHO, I think a bigger tire stuffed into a tight wheelwell looks goofy. I like the 265/65/17 size, but don't like th tread offered on this size tire. I would love to have Michelin LTX M/S in 265/65/17. Why did Toyota lower the ride height and then offer basically non-existant OEM sized tires? I would have liked Toyota to add about an inch to the clearance and run a normal sized tire. The Dunflop AT20, Michelin Cross Terrain and the Bridgestone whatever are all street tires. I need a more aggressive lug!
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    The 265 /70/16 was offered on the SR5. It has the same diameter as the 265/65/17 and offers many different tire combinations. I believe 1 Canadian poster in the 4Runner forum bought the 16 inch wheels from Toyota and mounted snow tires on them and uses them in the winter. He had a Sport model with larger front rotors and said the 16 inch wheels had no problems. You may want to do a search on snow tires , etc to find the post. It was about 2 months ago as I recall.
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    The truck is new enough that there is little or no demand for new tires to replace the originals. Once people start wearing out the tires (3 years I guess) then you will see alot of options as the demand will have tire makers designing new tread patterns for this size. I bet this is always the case when a new tire size is introduced on a popular vehicle.
  • pat84, thanks for the suggestion. But purchasing five new wheels and tires is not an option. I like the 17" wheel, just not the 17" tire selection.

    My tires will need to be replaced before year 2 (two). The Dunflops, already filled to 36psi, ride very loose and sloppy. At the recommended 32psi, they ride even worse.
  • Regarding the '03 moonroof rattle repair in the TSB: When examining the moonroof assembly I notice felt pads already in the locations spelled out in the TSB. I assume the repair is to put additional pads on top of the existing ones and doubt the repair would have been done prior to my buying the car new (april/may '03). It doesn't seem sticking felt on top of felt would last very long. Does anyone have experience with doing the repair themselves or have guidance regarding this procedure? Thanks! - 2walker
  • cmajcmaj Posts: 4
    2walker - If your dealer is familiar with the TSB for the rattle repair, my advice is to let them do it. It took them slightly more than 1 hour to complete mine and the vehicle is now perfectly quiet.
  • While keeping the front wheels straight , lightly take your foot off the accelerator and then back on it. This often helps to engage and disengage the ADD system.

    It could also be the fuse for the ADD.
  • tangmantangman Posts: 127
    Thanks for the response on the after market replacement bulbs. I did not realize that their operational life was usually a year or less. Has anyone change the bulbs in an 04. Is there a significant difference?

  • the PIAA bulbs, which are recommended by Toyota, are extremely expensive in terms of light bulbs...a single pair will fetch you over 80 bucks!
    sylvania silverstars are not AS bright, but darn close, and for 60 bucks cheaper per pair, i'd say that is the way to go.
    i will be purchasing bulbs this weekend (the silverstars), but i have seen pictures with the bulbs replaced, they look incredibly origional on the 4runner!
    shorter bulb life is expected on replacements, just keep you're OEM bulbs safe and clean, and replace them when they wear out, it also depends on pure luck, as some bulbs last a couple months, some over a year.
    i plan to replace my high and low beams as well as fog lights, that is ALOT of bluish-super white light pouring out, i imagine they'll look awesome!

    pep boys, o'reily, and autozone all carry sylvanias (19.99/pair), a little over $60.00 should replace you're entire light set.

    ...any one heard of replacement bulbs for the interior or signal bulbs, license plate bulbs, etc??

    just my .02 guys, have a good weekend!
  • New 2004 Limited:

    Has anyone experienced a dull repeating humming/vibration type noise at speeds around 70mph and up?

    Sounds like it is in the lower front, possibly rotors.

    Other than that car has been flawless....performed beautifully in recent snowstorm. Travelled the worst roads in the US from CT to Philadelphia (9 hours). Traction was excellent and the seats still felt comfortable.
  • scootnyscootny Danbury CTPosts: 8
    Probably trivial, but I noticed that at the bottom of the dash, near to the fuel door release, there is a small tab with a hole in it, kind of sticking out. It looks like there should be a bolt or something screwed in there, or it should be connected to something. Has anyone noticed this or have any information on what it might be? I'm just concerned that something might be missing or gotten loose there. Thanks.
  • I've noticed it too... but only since the weather has gotten cold. You'll notice that it stops as soon as you let off the gas or shift into 4 (from 5 if you have a V8). It's some sort of harmonic vibration related to the engine or transmission. Could possibly even be exhaust mounts.
  • We are having trouble with our 4 runner in the snow. My wife had an episode where it went out of control and slid off the road. Then later, I was driving that night when it went out of control and went into the ditch. I was going VERY slow and was not accelerating or braking when it went totally out of control.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Has anybody else experienced problems similar to what wtmccoy did?

    tidester, host
  • Never experienced anything like this with my 4Runner's.


    Sorry to hear about you unfortunate driving experience. Any vehicle including a snow mobile can be dangerous in snow. Although you were you driving slow, on hilly roads that are ice covered, most every vehicle will skid.

    Just a few questions, do not take offense to these, just trying to understand why this has happened. Hope this forum will help, this is a serious problem.

    > What model year is your 4Runner?

    > Did you buy this new?

    > Has it even been in an accident?

    > How long have you owned this vehicle?

    > If this is a previously owned vehicle, what condition are your tires?

    > If used, has this truck been modified in any way, extra large tires, suspension changes, been rebuilt?

    > Is this your first SUV?

    > Is your 4Runner 2 Wheel drive, 4 Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive?

    > If 4 Wheel or All Wheel Drive, were you in 4 wheel high or 4 wheel low?

    > Have you driven in snow before?

    > If you have driven in snow before, ever had a problem?

    > How deep was the snow?

    > Did you notice other vehicles in ditches and having problems on the road surface?

    > Was there ice on the surface under the snow?

    > Were you ascending or descending a steep hill?

    I ask these questions because I am now on my second 4Runner. My first, a 2002 SR5 was a V6 4WD, my current is a 2004 V8 AWD. My 2002 has been driven in many snow storms, the worst in depth was 26". And I have driven this in all conditions including ice, I have never had a problem, the VSC (vehicle skid control) saved me once on ice from going off the road. Driving in snow I have never had a problem. My new 2004 AWD was out last week in 8" of snow with some ice. That AWD system is outstanding, worked flawlessly. No problems at all.

    If you are an experienced driver in snow and ice conditions, even a rear wheel drive 4Runner will do fine if driven carefully.

    I owned a rear drive Miata for eight years and occasionally drove it in snow. The only time I had problems is when there was over 6" on the road, the ground clearance on that car was less than that so it began plowing the stuff. The 4Runner has about 10" - 12" of clearance depending on which year. If I could drive a Miata in 6" snow, then I feel I could drive a 4Runner up Mt. Everest.

    Maybe there is a problem with your 4Runner. All the technology with VSC, ABS, DAC, HAC may be causing something to malfunction.

    Possibly someone on this forum can help you. You need to discuss this with the service department at your Toyota dealer as soon as possible. This is not a normal condition for this vehicle. At least never one that I have heard about.

    So be careful, I would get this checked before driving in snow and ice.
  • We bought the vehicle with about 15 K miles on it. It is a 2000. I have driven in snow all my life. My ford pickup in the similiar conditions didn't have any problem. It was "slide" but once let off the gas it would straighten and not slide. The 4 runner was OUT OF CONTROL. The rear end seems to slide around without any warning. My wife is ready to get rid of it. It has scared her too many times. The tires are all ok-- recently checked out. I think it would be wise to get it checked out at Toyota-- something is not right for a vehicle to not be able to stay on the road. It drives fine on dry or even wet roads...
  • If you purchased this from a Toyota dealer they may have the vehicle history on file in their computer database.. Otherwise you may need to use carfax: to find any unknown history of this truck.

    If this was purchased on a private sale you may have a problem getting information. If so, try to contact the previous owner about its snow traction history. Unless you get an answer and solution from someone on this forum, you most likely need to take this to a Toyota dealer to be checked as to why it is having a problem.

    I believe the 2000 Limited has VSC, not offered in the SR5. Is yours a SR5 or Limited, does it have 2WD or 4WD?

    If this was my first 4Runner and it slid into a ditch while the other vehicles on the road were having no problems, I too would think of getting rid of it. I have never had this experience, for me this is the best tracking and performing vehicle in snow and ice that I have ever owned.

    Please advise this forum what you find out. Hope you are able to find out why you are having this problem.

    Good Luck!
  • Are your tires slightly over inflated?

    How much tread is left on the tires?

    Putting it in standard 4WD, it should be very sure-footed.
  • You cannot crack any window on the 4th generation while it is raining! Water pours into every window that is slightly cracked open to assist in ventilation. I would recommend Toyota put rain gutters along each window, like American cars, to eliminate this aggravating situation. I bought the $120 WeatherTech window vents and one of the vents fell off the window and was run over(cracked). So, I don't think the aftermarket window vents are a good solution.
  • toyboxxtoyboxx Posts: 150
    I had a '97 that scared me a few times in the snow and ice. It was definitly one of the reasons I couldn't wait to trade up to the '03.

    Maybe it was my tires I don't know. But I never felt that confident in that truck on slick paved roads.
  • I read from post#112 that someone else has had this problem. There is slight rattle originating from the front passenger door. It is noticable when you go over a bump. If the 4Runner was not SO quite, it would likely cause me no problem. But now I am listening for the rattle.

    Anyone have this same problem? Solution?

  • I had a few scary incidents in my 99 Durango, none yet in my 03 4Runner. You have to remember that while these are 4WD vehicles and for the most part do handle great in the snow, if you hit a patch of ice going at a decent speed, no matter what SUV you're driving you're bound to have a problem. I have driven my 4Runner for a few hundred miles in pretty heavy snow and never had a problem at all. It is very good at corecting itself... no problems yet! Be careful out there!
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