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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    This has been on the market for awhile so I'm thinking something has to be wrong.

    Well, yeah, it has 140,000 miles on it! How much they want for this jewel? Who is selling it? Private, Reputable dealer, metal lot?
  • I own a 98 4Runner. It has around 90K miles on it. I recently have trouble starting it in the mornings. It doesn't start during the first 3 or 4 tries. It starts during the fifth or sixth attempt. And after that it has no trouble starting during the day. I am looking for some pointers on what could be the problem before I bring it into a mechanic for repair.
  • I have a '95 4Runner and it had occassional problems turning over. The teeth on the starter are worn and sometimes they catch and sometims they don't. Look at replacing the starter. Not too expensive. If this does not work, then move onto bigger problems. I am sure your mechanic will tell you the same.
  • Hi,

    I have a 97 Limited with that i bought new and its still my daily driver today (~160k miles now). In 2000, i prepped it so i could go wheeling with my buds in the So Cal. Jeep club; 3 inch lift front and back, onboard air, etc... Its cool when i run in the desert with my buds, especially the ones with the open tops. They razz my but they eat dust while i'm crusing with my Big Gulp, A/C and CD.

    I can honestly say that this is the least problematic vehicle i own. In fact, i had to take my new GS430 back to the dealer a few times to fix NHV problems.

    Give me a shout and i can go over all the details regarding maintenance and issues with you.

  • noel3noel3 Posts: 4
    bent the vertical frame around tailgate window while towing old boat - (enjoy the laugh)
    need to by junk tailgate - mine is a 1998 - what other year tailgates would fit.
    (old work truck - anything works)
    and/or - how would i go about straightening out the bent frame around the window.

  • i have a manual 4runner with 124k miles, it recently started popping out of 1st gear frequently and 3rd gear now and then. is it time for a new clutch altogether or is there and alternative (less expensive) answer to it?
  • Can you tell me where the ODB2 connecter is hiding on my wifes 2003 V6 4Runner?

    I looked around the dash and under the hood but must have missed it.
  • ecsims04ecsims04 Posts: 2
    Hi Everyone,

    I have something of an intersting question to ponder regarding radiator flushing.. Tonight (yes, I know, big Friday night) I flushed the cooling system in my 2003 4Runner V6. I've done this before of course in the past, but tonight something occured to me. So you drain the radiator, thoroughly flush the system with distilled water, run the engine so the thermostat opens and circulates the water through the block, etc etc. Fill, circulate, drain.. standard stuff, right? Okay, so now to add the coolant. What do you add? 50/50 mixture of course, everyone knows that. But hold on, you're only going to be filling the radiator. Yes, you're going to run the engine to get the air bubbles out and do a little more topping off, but volume wise just the radiator. What about in the block? That's 100% water now from the flushing process. I did a little experimenting and researching online and found that my radiator capacity is about 1 gallon and the total cooling system is almost 2.5 gallons. So I'm adding a 50/50 mixture to less than half of the total system volume. After all the fluid mixes, I now have at best a 20/80 coolant/water ratio. What am I missing here? Heck, even the back of the coolant container gave me the usual drill about flushing, running water through, running the engine, blah blah, and then filling (the radiator) with 50/50. I can't seriously be the first person to think of this. I even called my car buddies and they were equally "huh, didn't think of that" Everyone just thinks 50/50, 50/50, 50/50.

    So I ended up filling my radiator with full concentrate coolant. If I really wanted 50/50 whole system mix, that was the thing to do. Right? I know I over think things (a lot), but I know cars faily well, and I can do the math here..

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm really curious to know. So much so, that its 1am on Friday night and I'm still thinking about it!

    Thanks in advance. --Eric
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Given that the radiator capacity is 1 gallon and the block contains 1.5 gallons (of distilled water) then one solution is as follows. Fill the radiator with pure antifreeze. After thorough mixing, the antifreeze concentration will be 40% (1 / 2.5). Next, drain your radiator and add 1 gallon of 65% antifreeze. That will bring the concentration up to 50%. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • My transfer case check plug hole is missing threads.

    Grease Monkey took me down underneath my 04' 4-Runner to show me that whoever changed my oil last put the wrong plug back in the transfer case plug hole and stripped the threads. My transfer case has also been leaking because of this. I called my dealer and they said $3,500 to fix, because there is no way to repair the hole. One plug. Unbelievable. I called a japanese repair shop and they said that there has got to be a creative way to fix it. Grease Monkey said I'm ok as long as I stay out of 4-wheel drive. I'm taking it to this japanese repair shop on Monday but wanted to see if anyone had any similar experiences, thoughts, or suggestions...Thank you...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I haven't had any similar experience but I don't see why a decent machine shop wouldn't be able to rework (i.e., enlarge) the hole to create new thread and work with a slightly larger plug.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • aseenjaseenj Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 4Runner SR5 Sport Edition with the standard 17" 6 spoke Sport rims. The outside has a shiny aluminum finish in perfect condition, but the sides of the spokes appear to be a painted aluminum and the paint is bubbling up and chipping off in several areas on all 4 rims. I took it up with the Toyota dealer during my last oil change and he blamed it on possibly the car cleaner I use. To be honest I don't clean my truck that much and when I do I use the Meguiars Gold.

    I had a flat this week and swapped the tire out with the spare which is also the matching rim. The spare that has never been exposed to car cleaner is the worst rim of all, so it can't be the car cleaner.

    Is there anyone else out there with this problem and/or any recommendations for getting the dealer to replace my rims? The truck currently has 45,000 miles.

    Thanks! Alex
  • ecsims04ecsims04 Posts: 2
    Hi, Thank you for the reply. I completely agree with your solution, but how does everyone else (eg - you) normally do this, or is the above what you do every time? I'm thinking about redoing it, since I dont know what conc is in there. Thanks a lot, Eric
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Actually, I don't do it myself. The one or two times I've had my radiator flushed I had other work being done on my car and the dealer did the flush for me. We'll have to wait for others to chime in. Anyone?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • 4wlthru4wlthru Posts: 1
    My 95 4RNR drives great and has been well maintained for all of its 102,000 mi. I do have one concern about when I drive on the freeway and have the cruise control set at no more than 70 mph, no AC, OD on, ETC off and I approach even the slightest incline, the tranny kicks down and stays down long after I have crested the top of incline and begin my desent. Most of the time I don't have the patience to see exactly when it will shift back up and I cancel the cruise control. The moment I cancel CC, it shifts up instantly. Q: Is this a trans problem, converter problem, valve body problem, solinoid problem, computer problem, sensor problem or is this even a problem at all?? Trans temp is always within range, the same with both diffs and transfer case. Any advice or input would be great.
  • mud7mud7 Posts: 6
    I've got a 2003 V8 with 80,000 miles on it. Does anyone out there know what the recommended interval is for changing the timing belt on this beast ?
    I've gotten some vague answers from a couple of dealerships.
    ( I know this 'aint inexpensive to do !)
    Also, How many '03 and '04 owners reading this have actually had their timing belts replaced already ?
  • mud7mud7 Posts: 6
    Yes, folks, I was writing about the timing belt in my '03 4Runner w/ 4.7L V8..
    I didn't specify that in the previous message !
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Posts: 306
    I am pretty sure the 4.7L V8 (at least my '05) has an internal timing chain.
  • mud7mud7 Posts: 6
    OK I'm back with the straight skinny..
    The V8 engine used in the 4Runner is known as the 2UZ-FE..
    It uses a timing belt, and Toyota's recommended interval for changing
    this belt is 90,000 miles, which means I've got about 10,000 miles left to go
    before I have to shell out those bucks..
    ponytrekker, you've got a ways to go before you hit the 90k mi. mark, I would assume. But don't assume you're engine has a chain.
    If the belt goes (and there's no warning when it's about to) you will be doing some fairly costly damage to your top end.
    The (newer) V6 uses a chain, though !
    Heck, if I had known that when I bought my truck, it might have swayed my decision between the two engines. But the V-8 is sweet.
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    Would it be possiable to retap and retread the hole and get an oversize bolt to mate with the tread? Ben
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    Hello, can anyone reccomend a reliable source for a CD Repair Manual for 2WD SR5? The one I have is a Mitchel CD. And it worked great on Windows XP. But my computer fried and I bought a Windows Vista system, and the CD won't load. I tried eBay but to no avail. These CD's are an invaluable source of information. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Ben.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I get mine online - just open a free site when I want to look something up and maybe print off a page or two (Online Repair Manuals).

    Did you ask Mitchel1 if they have an update or know some way to get the CD to load? Does the CD still load in other XP computers? There's a compatibility tab in Vista for running older programs, but it helps if the CD opens in the first place!
  • duns22duns22 Posts: 1
    The oil change problem is eliminated on the newest 4runner generation. On the old ones the oil filter sits up so when you unscrew it all the oil runs out on your hands and on the frame. On the newer ones they added a drain cock so you can drain the excess oil in the filter before you take it off. Everything else (drain plug and oil filler) are pretty much as standard as any other vehicle.
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    Thanks for the info about online repair manuals. Yes the CD will work on my friends XP system. I'll also go to Mitchell directly and see if there are any updates for Vista.
  • jerbojerbo Posts: 1
    The "check engine light" has been on constantly for about two weeks with no sign of problems (125K mi). Two days ago it became difficult to start in the morning only, and today it will not start at all, although it turns-over. Batt & Alt appear fine; connections have also been checked. A buddy of mine mentioned the O2 sensor, but that was just a guess on his part...HELP!

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Not sure where you are located, but most "do it yourself" auto stores will loan you a scanner to read the code(s). If the light came on, something is wrong.

    Read the code. Spending money to try to "guess the problem" is pointless.

    Good luck!
  • rneufeldrneufeld Posts: 1
    Hello dcam47,
    I am Canadian working in Africa. I have a small company here. A friend brought his 2005 V6 4 Runner to me having come back from a dessart trip.
    His remarks the engine gauges first showed loss of oil pressure, then overheating, the radiator blew, there is mixing of oil and water in the radiator.

    He had the same problem 6 months ago in Apain. No parts available here. We will order parts parts through his dealership in Spain.

    I found your comments helpful.

    - need to get both head gaskets and full head overhaul kit
    - you recommeded Ishino head gaskets designed for this problem
    along with new Corteco head bolts and washers

    -we will check the head for warpage. It was already planed once the last time the headgaskets were replaced.

    Does this also apply to the 2005 model Toyota 4 Runner?
    The engine ID plate shows the model to be B1717 (fuel injected) (has Air conditioning)

    Any suggestions how to most easily dismantle the exhaust to get the heads off.

    I have no engine manual. What are head torque specs for the vehicle.

    What is the best way to get ahold of a repair manuel?
    Thanks for any advise you have.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    There are some online manuals you may be able to get access to:

    Online Repair Manuals
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I have a 2002 V6 4X4 4Runner SR5 Sport with 88K miles. I am the original owner, and have had all of the routine maintenace performed on it by Toyota dealers (minus about 3 oil changes done by quik-lube type places a few years ago). I just had the 90K mile service performed, plus replaced all belts, the timing belt pully (?), plus all fluids not replaced routinely as part of that service, as well as the water pump (worked fine, but the dealer recommended it and gave it to me at cost plus an additional $50 install after haggling). I also replaced the battery myself about 2 weeks ago. Other than that, I replaced the tires about 30K ago and the current Michelins still look new. Now that I've shared the vehicle's history...

    I currently have the original brake pads & rotors. The brakes were cleaned & adjusted at the time of the 90 mile service, and I was told I had 30% left in the front pads, and 60% in the rear. When stopping prior to the service, I would feel a slight pulsing of sorts under most stops. To me it felt like the rotors needed turned, but I am a little rusty on that feeling as I haven't done it to a car in over 10 years. After the service, the pulsing feeling went away for a few weeks. I forgot to mention it to the dealer at the time of service. Now the feeling is back, although usually only when slowing down more slowly - I had a panic-type stop last week when someone pulled out in front of me and I didn't notice anything beyond the anti-lcoks then as best I can recall.

    Do you guys think I need my rotors turned, or is it something else? Is it time to replace the front pads or at least close enough to time that I should look into it now? I would like to keep the truck for at least 3 more years, and it is my daily driver as well as our primary vehicle for trips.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    If you turn you rotors it is only "stop gap" measure. They will start to "pulsate" again in a few thousand miles. I would suggest new Brembo rotors and dealers pads. If you go with after market pads you run the risk of "squealing or grinding noises". You can look at or elsewhere to find out about Brembo rotors.
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