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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    While I am aware that Sears has some good sale prices on tires and services, this is a chance you take when you take your car to such a place.

    The breaking of the sensor by the "technician" is nothing more than poor workmanship and carelessness.

    Here is a general rule to follow - "Never take your car to the same place where you can buy clothes".
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    The story gets worse. I took it to the dealer this morning and after 2 1/2 hours and $142, the TPMS light is now off. The dealer said he had to 'break down all 5 wheels, get the numbers from the sensors and reseed them into the computer. HOWEVER, now both the VSC OFF and TRAC OFF lights come on as soon as I put it in drive and let off the brake. The dealer wants me to come back tomorrow AM but insinuates that this was a problem before I brought it in this morning. Believe me, neither of those lights have EVER come on before. I am sure this new problem was created as part of the Toyota technician's reprogramming of the computer. Now, we'll see if Sears reimburses me for these costs and if Toyota will fix at no cost the problem that I think they created.
    More later, I am sure.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It is very likely it was caused by the computer reprogramming. Most dealers when they reprogram the ECM for ANY REASON usually test drive the car for just these circumstances.

    After all, how many of us install new software, clean our hard drive only to affect something else on our own home computers?

    Same thing.
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    UPDATE: You are exactly correct. The ASC and TRAC OFF lights were caused by reprogramming error but was corrected the next day at no charge. Also, Sears did reimburse the entire $142+ charge to have the dealer 'reseed' the new TPMS serial number into the computer - but did question a suspicous $13+ 'environmental' charge (which I agreed was questionable) but he paid it anyway.
    If I had it to do over, I would have tried to get a price for the tires with mount/balance from the dealer or have bought the tires only from Sears and then had the dealer handle the mount/balance. Even the dealer's tire people can accidently break a sensor (and have, per the dealer's assistance service manager) but they have the know-how to replace the part and handle the necessary reprogramming - which not any other tire dealer is likely to be able to do.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I had my tires that I purchased elsewhere mounted at a "Big O"
    Tire Store (West Coast area tire places) and they were familiar with the TPMS.

    They mounted and balanced 4 tires and didn't break anything!

    Glad everything worked out for you!

    P.S. - that environmental charge...when no solvents, rags, oil, was used?

  • Okay, here's my problem: My 2000 4Runner engine threw a rod last week. I have over a hundred thousand miles on my car, but it has not been abused. The oil is changed on a regular basis. I may be grasping at straws, but after hearing about Toyota's problems with oil gel sludge in a lot of their other engines, I called Toyota 1-800-331-4331, and was told there are no complaints about 4Runner engine problems. I also called NHTSA 1-888-327-4236, and filed a complaint at My dealer wants $9000 to replace the shortblock. I have seen several posts about similar cases involving 4Runners and oil gel sludge. Please if you have a similar incident, call these numbers and file a complaint. Get a case number from Toyota, so if there is a recall you may be reimbursed. My first car was a 1986 4Runner and it had 300,000 miles on it when I got rid of it. I wish I kept it, now. That was back when you could drive two and three hundred thousand miles with no problems. This is why I bought another one. :mad:
  • newdavidqnewdavidq Posts: 146
    I think the Camry had the sludge problem. In any event 9k for a short block seems way high. You probably could buy an entire 2000 4runner for 9k. Depending on the condition of the rest of your truck a used motor might be the way to go. Best of luck with it.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    There has not been any sludge problems reported with the 4Runner. While I understand your frustration, sometimes these things happen. I do agree with this poster that states another 4Runner might be in order instead of a new motor. Also, those freebie "Green sheet" "Penny Saver" etc. newspapers are usually full of ads for used low miles motors from Japan. You may want to look in that direction.
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    I spoke to the dealer's customer relations manager to express several concerns including the environment charge. She tried to pass it off as a 'shop charge' but said that in the future if I don't agree with an environmental charge to say something and they would take it off the bill.
  • amiramir Posts: 97
    i have a 05 4runner sr5.i noticed that my power window switches are not illuminated.i took to a local mechenic and he says that it should have it and it could be a blown out bulb or so.can someone tell me if 05 4runner sr5 came with illuminated switch or without. thanks
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    I've researched this board and found good information on how to do oil changes on 4Runner V8s, but haven't had much luck finding the same for V6 engines.

    The filter is on the top, so that looks fairly easy. I'm curious about the oil drain plug. Do you need to remove any of the skid plates to get to it?

    By the way, I don't own a 4Runner, at least not yet. But I'm real serious about buying a new one.
  • I have a 2003 model. Only the drivers door switch is illuminated. The other three doors are not. My 1997 Blazer had all the switches at all the doors illuminated. Eventually, you'll get used to it, but your guests won't like it.
  • Hi folks

    My dummy light came on in my 2000 4Runner. Coolant sensor malfunction. Can anyone point me to it's exact location? I thought it would be near the gooseneck, but I am not seeing it. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
  • I'm having the same problem with my 2003 4Runner SR5 (64K) and I just got it back from the dealer and they say they lubed it, AGAIN (3rd time). I feel it when coming to a complete stop or right when I let off the brakes, which makes it feel like the brakes are doing it. But, the first time they greased the drive shaft the problem was gone for about a month. Like I said I just got it back so I'm sure it'll start clunking again soon.

    Did you ever get the Lexus part installed and did that fix it?
  • Hi all,

    Just bought a 1998 4runner 4cylinder with 120k miles. Everything seems to be working except for a slight rattle in the rear end (any ideas? ).. Also I got the extended warranty, but was wondering if it is really necessary for a 4runner at this mileage?

    All std. maintenance was done on the truck through the dealer (got records).. Anyway, it I got a 2 year 24k warranty on everything (not just powertrain), a level II through western general, for about $2k...

    Any experience with this company? Is the warranty really needed? Reading this board suggests otherwise as a lot of people seem to have high mileage late 90s 4runners that are still running with minimal problems...

  • I do have this problem as well. I have a 94 4runner SR5 V6 4WD. I've thought about having a compression test, cause I'm pretty sure I have an oil leak of some kind, but other people have told me it could be the lifters. Have you had any luck with discovering what is causing the clicking noise?
  • drex1drex1 Posts: 41
    The AC/Heater control buttons on my 1999 4Runner Limited has become intermittent. The display has also has a few issues. Unfortunately, the dealer wants $850 for this front panel. Any ideas of how to fix or other Toyota models that have this same control panel and display?
  • Does anyone know the thread size for the 07 4Runner Limited with factory 18" wheels? I have done several searches and have failed to find an answer. I want to buy a set of locking lug nuts and the ones offered by Toyota are for 16" & 17" wheels, thread size 12x1.5. I cannot seem to find out if the 18" factory wheels are the same thread size? There is no mention of the lug nut size in the owner's manual (at least I couldn't find it).

    While I am at it, how does one determine the thread size?

    Thanks for any help

  • I'm going to make an educated guess and say that since the 18" wheels will fit on the studs presently on the truck, that the locks for the 16 and 17" wheels will work fine. I've got an 07 4R too and am very happy with it.
    Regards, DQ
  • I have a 96 4runner SR% and the rear wiper, rear defrost and rear window are all inop. All happened at about the same time. Everything was working fine, then the wiper started working real slow. When I push the button on dash for rear defrost it does not light up or stay 'in' and it makes a buzzing noise. Also the license plate light will stay on all the time along with the Emergency Brake Light. Even with vehicle turned off. The only way to get it to go out is to turn ignition on and then turn back off. This happens here and there. I have checked all the fuses I know to check and even checked wiring from roof to rear hatch and found no obvious problems. It seems like they must be related. Is there some Censor somewhere that I can change out that would correct this problem? Anybody have a clue? Trying to avoud a buttload of money to the dealership.
  • uscxvuscxv Posts: 8
    I own a 2003 with the V6 engine. The oil is very easy to change. There is a guard over the drain plug that is very easily removed with the flat end of the screw driver. Once removed the drain plug is very accessible.

    Honestly a piece of cake to do.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Dear USCXV,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm new to the Toyota brand. For some reason I had it in my head that the dealer had to change the oil and do the various inspections outlined in the maintenance schedule in order to keep the warranty valid. But the dealer assured me such is not the case.

    I've enjoyed changing the oil in my own vehicles for years, not necessarily to save a few bucks, but because I've heard too many horror stories from friends who took their cars to quick lube places.

    I'll still take it in to the dealer from time to time, especially for things like checking the differential, but it's nice to know I can do the oil changes myself when I feel like it.

    So as I was writing this, I wondered if the dealer sells a "how to" maintenance manual specific to 4Runners, and gave the Parts Department a call. The "manual" they sell is actually a group of about 10 maintenance manuals put out by Helms in California (not by Toyota) at a cost of about $300-$400. He suggested I try to find a more general purpose Haynes manual, or something similar, at a retail auto parts store (like NAPA).
  • Ughh, I just take mine to the dealer. I cannot be bothered doing such dirty tasks.
  • Just read your thread and am having the similar and additional problems on my 07
    V8 Limited. Problem with clunking stopping and starting, along with hard shift after stopping and when starting. If you would be able to forward any additional info you have reguarding your researched info on the driveline replacement it would be very helpful when I return to the dealership. They told me that the tech drove it and it felt fine, even with the computer hooked up - thanks for listening.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    This has been discussed here and other places on the net. This is usually an isolated instance and does not happen all the time. Toyota insists that when it happens it doesn't hurt anything. There is an Lexus model drive train replacement solution, but it has not (and probably won't) be issued on the 4Runners.

    Good luck!
  • I am looking at buying a used 1997 4-runner with 140,000 miles. Can someone tell me what questions I should ask before I take it to my mechanic (who is very busy...don't want to take it unless I'm serious.) This has been on the market for awhile so I'm thinking something has to be wrong.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    First of all, find another mechanic who has the time. Don't know where you are located, but there are some "National Chain" type places that will check the basic things (brakes, hoses, etc.) for a flat fee.

    In addition to that, I would make sure it has a complete compression check and make sure you or some one who is qualified put it up on a rack and have a real close look at the frame, etc.

    In short, this is basic stuff you should do to any high-miles used car before you buy it.

    Good luck!
  • I have a 2006 sr5 4wd with 30,000 miles that has done the same thing. It seems to be random, and doesnt happen often. It sounds like the transmission doesnt shift properly when it happens. I thought it was weird too. Let me know if you find anything else out.
    ty .
  • loi177loi177 Posts: 10
    When a Toyota Dealer sells a Certified vehicle.does it still need to be checked by independent mechanic?. there is 2005 4Runner with 80,000 mile on it and it is certified warranty for 2 years. Does the certification includes agianst drop in mileage.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683

    "Our advice is to always have any pre-owned vehicle you intend to buy inspected by both a mechanic and a body shop. The cost of these inspections is cheap insurance and will give you piece of mind that what you are buying is actually worth your hard earned money, and is a safe purchase."

    Certified Pre-Owned: Don't Let The Label Fool You

    Obviously not all horror stories will be as bad as this one, but buyer beware.
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