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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • 67gp67gp Posts: 5
    I've also had rain/dew from the roof drip down directly on the seats(especially the back)when opening back door when the roof is wet because there is no rain gutter & and the roof/door interface is directly over seat. I think I may give the 'rain vents' a try despite Sacstates bad luck with them.
  • 67gp: I had the WeatherTech VentVisors. They were the 'in-channel' variety, not using adhesive tape. They worked fine, except when it was cold and I rolled down the window at the Post Office and the visor plopped out of the channel, dropped to the ground and the car behind me slowly rolled over it! I wasn't happy enough with them to spend another $50-70 bucks on a replacement. But then again, having water pour uninterrupted into your cracked windows is frustrating and a major maintenance concern.
  • xgridxgrid Posts: 7
    I bought the same weathertech vent visors as sacstate1 and haven't had any problems with them so far, other than binding at the top which causes the one touch up to reverse direction as it rolls to the top. Vent visors are an absolute necessity on this vehicle, as previosly mentioned rain seems to fall right into the car if the window is cracked even a millimeter. I'm surprised that one of the vent visors popped out of channel since it seems to form a rather tight fit when installed.
  • Thought i'd chip in on the current discussion. Whenever I open my door and my 4Runner is wet the left side of my drivers seat always gets a few drops on it. And yes, when it is raining out don't even think about opening the windows up front (haven't tried in back).. it seems like the truck siphons it right into the window for ya like a jet stream. I don't like the look of ventvisors so I think i'll pass on that. Oh well.
  • If the moonroof was eliminated as a source of the rattle, you may try the back seat cup holders. A simple remedy for that rattle, is sticking self-adhesive felt to the bottom area. Bottom area = the plastic flat on which the cups bottoms would rest. Cut it to fit. When the back seat center arm is folded up, (vertical), the cup holders "fingers" tend to rattle against the plastic bottom. That particular rattle may sound to the driver as coming from the area of the passenger door and the "B" post.
  • I too am experiencing a rattle in the area of the door pillar on the driver's side door. I have a 2003 SR5 4X4. It seems to come from the area of the pillar where the shoulder belts are stored. Only notice it if I hit a bump. Very annoying. Notice that BManner in his #185 post mentions the same type of noise. ckdexter #191 mentions that it may be the rear cup holders. Anyone have this problem and any suggestions. If I take it back to the dealer how the heck do I get them to track it down? Thanks in advance
  • darbowdarbow Posts: 30
    Hi, I would like to know what are the good years to buy for a used 4runner? I have a 01 Tribute i want to trade but can not afford a new one. I dont want older than 1996. Thanks everyone! (oh, V6 and 4x4 models, auto tranny)
  • xgrid: I guess the weathertech visor popped out based on an ambient outside temp of 32*(hard weatherstrip rubber) and drizzle(lubrication). When the window channel rubber is soft, during the summer, the vent has enough tension to 'wedge' into place. I guess when it is cold, the window weatherproofing becomes slick and unable to retain the leverage to remain in the window channel. BTW...another frustration was never getting the drivers window to accept the visor in auto-up function. It was like playing 'whack-a-mole' when trying to crack the window. They were not worth the $75 I paid for front and rear visors.
  • I recently experienced the same problem in my 02 4Runner when the weather got REALLY cold. It sounded like it was coming from the left pillar or speaker area on the left door. Couldn't pinpoint it but I rolled down the window, folded the mirror against the car and back out again, the noise went away. Since it's been FREEZING here in Chicago I assumed it was ice or something frozen inside the mirror causing a rattle somehow. I haven't had the problem since doing that. Hope that fixes it for ya, it'd sure be an easy one.
  • Correction, 03 4Runner
  • "Contact Toyota directly."

    Good advice -- Toyota Corporate said they'll forward my question ("What can cause 4WD-only and flashing indicator lights besides bad transfer case motor...").

    I hope they have some inexpensive possibilities to share. The dealer is very apologetic and seems cooperative so far ("Mea culpa...") so my fingers are crossed.

    Still, if anyone here is knowledgable about 4Runners and has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You have 30 minutes to make any changes or fixes after you post a message. Just click on the Edit button that follows your message after you post it.

    And are you sure it wasn't a turtle in the door panel that went into hibernation? Anyone else remember that old Detroit urban legend?

    Steve, Host
  • I have a new 2003 Limited 4Runner with 3K miles and have a very annoying rattle coming from the sunroof. Has anyone else had this problem. Does anyone have any recommended solutions?

    It doesn't rattle when the roof window is open or tilted up. It rattles while driving or sitting at a light and is very annoying.
    Thanks, gobutler
  • gobutler, if you go back and look through the forum you will find this to be a common problem. I have not had this problem yet with my 2004 limited yet(knock on wood). the only problem I have had is the noise coming from my front passenger door. I have been trying to figure out where it is coming from, but I still can not find it.
  • I'm interested in any information/experiences concerning 2003 or 2004 4Runner's (4WD or AWD) performance in snow and slippery conditions.

    I saw separate thread indicating problems, but there were only two messages posted. I'm considering 4Runner vs Mitsu Endeavour (no traction control available). TIA...
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I have the 03 Sport V-8. It is full time 4WD. As far as I know all 4Runners are 4Wd not AWD.
    My wife is a nurse and has to get to work on snow days. I got her to work in about 2 feet of snow in our sub-division. Some of the more major roads had been plowed down to 6 inches or so, with big plowed up mounds of snow at intersections. I had no trouble getting my wife to the hospital.
      I learned to drive in the snow having learned to drive in Chicago back when all cars were big old RWD sedans. I got my driver's license in 1961.
  • Do all 1999 4-Runners have timing belts or do some have a timing chain? I have about 108K miles and have not changed anything? One person told me i have a belt and another a chain! Any suggestions?
  • My 03 V6 4Runner runs very silent, but I have noticed a light click or tapping noise coming from the front windshield. It could be coming from the dash, but it's tough to pinpont. Sort of sounds like rain hitting the windshield, but softer and with less frequency (and it's not something hittng the windshield). Happens sometimes of rough terrain, and sometimes just driving along. Could it be that the apoxy holding the window in place is improperly seated? Seems to be coming from the bottom of the windshield. Doesn't seem to be an issue with temperature outside or in the vehicle. Anyone else? Thanks.
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    The 3.4L V6 (predominant engine) has a timing belt. The 2.7L inline 4 has a timing chain. Hard to find a 2.7L engine.

    Change the 3.4L timing belt every 90K according to Toyota. Evidently, some last longer than that. :)
  • I bought a 2003 4Runner Limited V6 in August 2003. For the last 3 or 4 times I have filled up the gas tank, I have noticed that the truck's actual fuel economy does not match the MPG displayed on the trip computer. The trip computer below the radio has read somewhere between 19.0 and 19.8 MPG for the past 3 tanks of gas. But I have manually calculated the fuel economy to be somewhere between 14.8 and 16 MPG. I calculate the fuel economy by dividing the number of miles driven on the tank of gas by the number of gallons of gas I add to the truck. While I recognize city versus highway driving will affect fuel economy, this should not affect the trip computer's calculation. Is anyone else having this problem? Am I calculating the fuel economy correctly? Has Toyota committed fraud by representing false fuel economy number?
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I have found my trip computer to calcualte MPG about 1-2 MPG higher than the real number as calculated by me.

    I had a rattle that I thought was coming from the front passenger door. My girlfriend thought is was coming from the front drivers door. It turned out to be my sunglasses in the holder. Just shows how deceiving the sounds of very slight rattles can be.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    My computer is also 2-3 mpg optimistic. I get about 16 (V6), mostly city and computer displays 18-19.
  • asif1asif1 Posts: 49
    The logic behind MPG display in trip computer is as follows.

    The Computer detects the fuel amount in the tank and it is multiplied by max MPG you can have to display no of miles you can drive. In the Trip Computer Software a Linear relationship talbe is stored b/w Speed and MPG, this table is obtained by plotting a graph b/w speed and MPG to determine MPG at different speeds. This must have been done by toyota at pre-production testing. The Trip computer keeps on averaging the miles driven to find out which current MPG value it should use from linear relation b/w MPG and Speed.

    (However the graph is not linear all the way as it starts declining after 55-60 MPH, Also while determining relationship b/w speed and fuel usage, the engine is not tested at every single mile, the graph is extended or extrapolated to find out MPG in certain mile range, which by itself induces some room for error)

    The only way to get very acurate MPG from trip computer would be if you going on long trip and burn the whole tank. In that case you can see mileage exceeding 22, 23 MPG for V6 2WD, because the averaging error is lot less at cruising speeds.

    If you really want to check out MPG before every trip you have to reset the MPG and Avg Speed every time. However with combination of in-town, highway driving you should expect 2-3 mpg error. I am not sure what accuracy Toyota post for their MPG ( +/- ?) but there is always a second column with Observed MPG in most car magazines and discussions.

    Plz correct me if i am wrong in my theory anwhere.

  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    The 2004 4Runners have this feature as standard equipment. Has anyone changed rims (such as winter rims), installed conventional rubber valves, and had to deal with a flashing or steady illuminated dash lamp indicating a malfunction in the TPMS system?

  • I've also heard rattle on passenger side near door in 04 V8 Ltd. With people in the rear seats a rattle seemed to be comming from the rear of the truck on the drivers side. Has anyone taken to a dealer for similar problems?
  • Has anyone experimented with regular unleaded compared to premium unleaded on V8 4runner? I tried a tank of premium and seemed to run a little smoother, but gas mileage wasn't much different than on regular.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    "rattle seemed to be comming from the rear of the truck on the drivers side"

    - you may have a rattle coming from the rear left compartment housing the emergency tools. Check to see that all items are properly stowed. You may wish to wrap any exposed metal tools with a shop towel to reduce any rattling.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Could be the rear seat latch, a common issue on the new 4runners. Dealer may lube or replace it but a piece of tape works too. The latch clamps onto a metal hoop (seen when pulling seat-back forward). Wrap a piece of tape around front of metal hoop, so when the seat latches onto it, it wont move around.
  • I have an 03 SR5 and the seats are painfully hard... any recommendations for car seat covers, seat cushions that add cushioning without being too ugly? Thanks.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    We've had several large snow storms here in Boston, so I've had a chance to drive my 2003 4Runner in the snow. Mine has the Dunlops, which aren't great tires.

    In general, I haven't had any problems with it. It does have a tendency to be a bit tail-happy under acceleration, but then the skid-control comes in with a bit of a heavy hand. One morning we had an ice storm and the back started to come around on me in a corner. It came back very easily with a bit of counter steer. If you don't know how to counter steer your way out of a skid, then you don't know how to drive in snow...

    Acceleration from a stop (both on level roads and going uphill) on snow-covered roads was just fine. In fact, a bit too good. The traction in snow is good enough that it is very easy to not realize just how slippery it is. You'll find out just how slippery it is when you try to stop and or corner. Like many SUVs, I think it is easy to get over-confident in the snow in the 4Runner and get yourself into trouble. Slow down, leave yourself plenty of room, and use smooth, gentle inputs to the throttle, brake, and steering wheel.

    On a couple occasions I had to drive over and through 1 1/2 foot snow banks left by snowplows. The 4Runner went through without any problem at all.

    Next year I will probably spring for dedicated snow tires. Your brakes stop the wheels, but the tires stop the truck. Dedicated snow tires certainly aren't necessary, but will give an added factor of safety.
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