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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • tvulich80tvulich80 Posts: 2
    Good to know. The one I am looking at has 43k miles, navi and JBL system - for $17000 asking price. Obviously the market is taking it's toll on these vehicles. The V8 doesn't seem to get much worse fuel economy than the V6. I figure there will be more to come, so I will offer $15k out the door. Thanks for the response!
  • glb5glb5 Posts: 39
    Believe me this works
    Remove both ft and rr drive shafts and throughly clean both the male and female splines.
    apply liberally GM part number 12345718 grease ,cost, about $50.00 for 16 oz can from a GM dealer parts counter.
    Reassemble and your clunk will be gone.
    It has worked for me sofar for 15000 miles.
    I hand packed the grease in an inexpensive small grease gun and will pump in some when or if the clunk reappears.

  • trent6trent6 Posts: 1
    How much should it cost me (including labor) to replace the front rotors and the brake pads of my 99 4runner limited? They are asking for around $330. As well, when my car is on but in park of idling at a stop light, sometimes the engine shakes the car a bit and the rpm's seem to dip. The engine has even shut off a time or two. But for the most part I just rev the engine and it stops shaking. The engine acts like it would as if it was out of gas. What could be the possible causes of that problem? Thanks for any help you can offer me, I'm really lost here.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    RPMs go up and down with the air conditioner clutch coming on then switching off.

    The $330.00 for front pads and rotors is not an unfair price. Very important...make sure they are OEM pads.
  • Same problem, anyone know the solution?

    Please help!
  • Have a '96 4Runner 4x4 (I think it's a v6). Was having trouble with it starting rough (chugging and shaking the whole chassis) last winter, so took it in and had it fixed. Recently it has started up again, but in addition now needs a little extra throttle to get started, and the exhaust is white and smells like something burning for the first few minutes. But, once warmed up, runs fine and the exhaust isn't visible or smelly. It's not running hot, and the check engine light isn't on. We've had the routine maintenance done, and have just moved to a new town (Oregon City, Portland area), so I'm trying to get some idea of what's going on before I take it in so I don't get "taken in" myself. It has only been driven a very small amount since this started happening (we also have a Honda minivan). Man, am I missing my old repair shop right now . . .

    So, any ideas? Any further info I need to add to clarify? I don't know a lot about engines, but can follow directions and have a reasonably good head. ;o)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Sounds like you have one or more injectors that are resting open, and flooding your cylinders while the engine is not running. Then, when you start it up, you are combusting a lot of leftover gas and it will smoke and chug until everything is right again. You're gonna need a mechanic, and soon before you wash a lot of gas into your oil, which you may want to check right now. Pull the dipstick and smell it. If it smells gassy, you already have a problem, and should change the oil immediately, and get this fixed. You will burn out the engine soon if you don't.
  • Thanks so much. I've smelled gas when standing next to it, so that makes sense to me. I'll check the oil today. There's a dealership close by; I'll get it in and get this taken care of. Is it worth having it towed, or should I just drive it there? (It's less than 10 miles.) I've never changed the oil myself, and so am hesitant to do it now.

    Thanks again . . .
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Oh, I would drive it there. Probably won't hurt it any more than it already has, if any.
  • We got it in yesterday, and word came back that it was a leaky head gasket. {Gulp} When I called our trusted repair place back in Idaho (we live in Oregon now), that was their guess, so I'm not completely surprised. We have yet to hear back on if anything else needs fixing.

    Thanks again for your help!
  • donselldonsell Posts: 27
    I bought a new 4Runner yesterday and had the standard underbody/rust talk. They also were selling Clear Coat protection saying that without it you need to wax 2 times a month because all of the clear coats are soft. I asked for their records showing where they've done that all the months that my 4Runner was on the lot and of course they hadn't been. I turned it down.

    Has anyone heard of this?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Yep, it's yet another type of "mop & glow." That stuff is worthless and is simply a profit center for the dealer.

    You were smart to turn it down and it was especially clever of you to ask to see proof that the dealer had been waxing the cars on the lots twice a month.

    A lot of owner's manuals just recommend washing of cars and don't even recommend that you wax them, much less spend big bucks on some kind of aftermarket paint protection (which ultimately is just some sort of wax). link
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    You don't have to wax the car twice a month. As a matter of fact, if you wax your car once a month you will be doing more than most owners. Generally speaking, most paint jobs on new cars will last the life of the car with just regular washing, either by hand or through the commercial car wash.
    Enjoy your new 4Runner!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I wouldn't buy a car from a dealership that will be that eggregiously dishonest with me to sell me that crap in that manner. Highly insulting. That would have killed the whole deal for me, not just the clearcoat wax.
  • I've never had a dealer not offer me rust protection. At least this one didn't offer me the $250 scotch guard!

    The worst I ever had was in finance when the payments were $50 more a month than I expected. When I asked him he said that was the life insurance. I told him I didn't want the life insurance, he said everyone takes it. I pointed out that it was because he doesn't tell anyone it's tacked on to the price. i was 23 and it was my first new car purchase. If it happened today I would walk out on the deal.
  • How do you reset the system? They came on once a year ago, and I found the reset answer on a Toyota forum somewhere. Involved unplugging one of the connectors attached to the brake control assembly under the hood either when the engine was running, or after engine start. Can't remember the exact plug or sequence with engine running (perhaps only ignition sw on or off). This happens when I go downhill on a rocky hill, while braking. Seems the system is working OK, but then kicks off line with the lights coming on. Can't seem to reset them as my RAM memory doesn't contain the exact plug or sequence of events any more. Anyone have a clue? Thanks
  • Got a call today from the dealership shop where we took it. They got down to the head gasket, and found cracked heads on cylinders 2 & 3. Replacing the heads is quoted at $6,500; or we can buy a used motor through them with a total repair "starting" at around $5,000, which should make it run for a "long time".

    This is a '96 4Runner with about 175,000 miles on it. We bought it in '98 with about 40K, and thought we were having all of the maintenance and repair done properly. The tech says that there has been a coolant leak for quite some time, which contributed to the current problems.

    Long story short, we simply can't/aren't going to pay that much to fix the rig. If it was significantly less, there might be a chance. I'm going to try calling around to see if anyone else can give me a reality check . . . do those numbers sound really high, or is it just a ridiculously hard repair? (I'm nearly clueless on engine construction, although I know the basics of how they work.) Our current bill is $700 just in tear-down time. I know that replacing a head gasket is a big job, but it was done in an afternoon back in '98 when they had the head gasket recall.
    Unless we wanted to tow it out of there, we're up to $2,300 to put the new head gasket in and put it back together. Then someone else will need to tear it down again to fix it.

    Do we have any other viable options? What will happen if it's driven with cracked heads? I'm frustrated that our last shop didn't see the coolant leak when we had it in earlier this year, and it wasn't mentioned at any of the oil changes we had done locally.

    If we did pay the big bucks to get it fixed, is there any chance of selling it to make up the cost? :confuse:

    I know these are a lot of questions, but I don't know who else to ask. Being new in a big city seriously sucks. :mad: So does being dependent on others to take care of your transportation . . . but with a passel of children and a business-owner husband, that's how we've got to do it right now. :(

    Online resources would be great, as well as advice and experience. Thanks so much, anyone, for ideas and help.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I believe the useful life of the vehicle is at an end. Used late model 4Runners are readily available. I would try to work a deal at that particular dealership to buy another 4Runner (or another vehicle of your choice). Have them discount the $2,300.00 repair. They should be able to take off 20% without any problems at all. Do your homework here on edmunds and other online resources and buy yourself another car/SUV.

    Either pay the balance on the repair or roll it in to the new loan.

    Keep us posted!
  • Thanks for weighing in. I thought that might be the case. We have another vehicle, and so as hard as it is to swallow the $700 (which I'm hoping will be discounted), it looks like we'll just have to scrap it. We're not looking to replace it right now.

    Maybe we can get it towed and sell parts on Craigslist. ;) Or maybe the dealership would buy it from us. I'll have to check 'round and see.

    Thanks again . . .
  • Has anyone had a drain/fill or flush/fill service done for a 2004 (or newer) V8 4Runner with 5sp automatic transmission? The service manual states that Toyota World Service (WS) transmission fluid is required and to replace "only as needed". Does the computer somehow monitor the transmission fluid?
  • The temperature gauge on my 1996 4-Runner is reading very cool, in fact when
    the engine is totally warmed up it only reads 1/4 to 1/3 warm. In the past it has
    alway read almost to 1/2. I thought that my thermostat may be stuck open
    making it hard for the engine to reach optimal operating temperature but after
    replacing the thermostat there is no difference. What else could be contributing
    to this other than a faulty temperature gauge???
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I have a 2002 4Runner, 96K+ miles, V6, 4X4, - I've been the only owner, all routine maintenance (minus a couple of oil changes) done by a dealer.

    I have been hearing noises coming from stock one-CD CD player. When I do not have any music playing, the cd player makes noises (not too loud) that sounds almost like the cd is moving back and forth in the player like a DJ moving an album but less noise. It even does it when a cd is not in the player. It doesn't do it every time I drive it, but it does it most times I drive it.

    Any ideas beyond my CD player will probably break soon? :)

  • The door ajar light on the dash of my 1996 4Runner Limited has been on for over a week. I believe it is the tailgate sensor that is malfunctioning. It may have something to do with the handle and latch sticking, not sure? The main problem is that the key-less entry will not work because it thinks a door is open, more of a nuisance than anything...Call me lazy I guess. Any help on how to fix this or some guidance on to who can is greatly appreciated.

  • glb5glb5 Posts: 39
    Anyone out there know what is involved with the instalation of this toyota anti theft device?
  • Hoping someone here can offer some advice before I go back to the dealership for round 3.

    I'm having some issues with my 2006 Toyota 4Runner SR5 2WD with 29,000 miles which I've had for 2 years. It's driven perfectly up until about 22,000 miles. It started with a steering wheel vibration at highway speeds. I initially thought the steering wheel vibration was an out of balance tire. Tires were rotated and balanced by the dealer - it seemed to go away for awhile but came back intermittently. On a whim after a few thousand miles, I stopped in at Discount Tire to have them check the tires and thinking maybe I lost a wheel weight. About this time, I started to get noticeable creaking/popping from the front end when turning while braking (into driveway, parking spots, etc.- slow turns).

    Took it back to the dealer stating all the same issues again. They kept my car for the whole day and only applied some lube to some bearings or bushings on the front end in addition to rebalancing for the third time in four months. Well the creaking stopped for about 3 days and now I'm getting an odd clunking up through the steering column when I hit rough spots in the road - like the whole steering column shakes and rattles - not just the steering wheel. The highway speed steering wheel vibration is still there and is more of a shimmy - not a resonance/buzzing. This doesn't seem like the same vibration that a whole thread is devoted to.

    I will be going to a different dealership for this next attempt because I don't want to hear it's just the road anymore or that I just need to get used to the ride of an SUV (I've driven SUVs for the past 7 years). Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be? It seems like it's getting progressively worse and this isn't normal no matter what they say. :mad:

    Would appreciate any help/insight/advice....
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Has anybody done a road force balance on the tires?

    A mechcanical problem is remote. Something that goes away and then comes back will not be mechanical. Most likely it's one (or more) of your tires.

    I would not let the dealer handle the balance. You need to take it to a wheel tire shop that understands how to correctly balance a tire.

    Is the dealer using the "lug centric" adapter? The tires cannot be balanced correctly without using this. What tires are on the vehicle? The Dunlaps are very poor tires.
  • I can't say for sure a road force balance was done but I do know that Discount Tire and the dealership showed up as places who have the GSP9700. Now if they actually use it is another thing. Same for the "lug-centric" adapter. But both are things I will ask specifically about next time.

    The tires currently on the vehicle are Bridgestone Dueler H/T 840s. I've read quite a few reviews on them that they are poor tires - especially in wet conditions. So I'm thinking about new tires. I had Michelin LTXs on a Pathfinder before the 4Runner and they were great. But they were 16" and I have 17" now. What's your opinion on Michelins?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I have the Michelin Cross Terrains on my 4Runner-great tire and expensive. The Bridgestones while having poor performance reviews, generally don't have balance issues. Check the weight of the LTX's vs. CrossTerrains. Remember, heavier tire equals poorer gas mileage.

    It doesn't matter if they have the right machine if they do not use the lug centric adapter. If they balance the tires using the center hole in the wheel-it does not balance correctly. Also at this point you must demand a road force on the tires.
  • I own a 2006 V8 Limited with 56K of primarily highway miles, dealer maintained with no problems at all and have a couple of questions;

    1) How long do the Michelin Cross Terrains typically last? I might have another 6k left.
    2) How long do the original brakes last? I have not had any brake work done
    3) When rotating the tires, one dealership rotates all 5 (spare included) front to back and across as well as "Force Balance" the tires. The other dealership closer to home rotates the 2 front tires with the 2 back tires, does not include the spare or cross the tires left to right. Which method is correct?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Tire should be re-balanced and rotated every other oil change or so. As far has the brakes are concerned, there are reports of the 4Runner brakes going a long time before replacement. This depends on your driving style. You need to make sure you or your mechanic are inspecting the brakes at the time of the tire rotations.

    Cross Terrains should go a minimum of between 40,000 and 60,000 miles. Remember, when you get down to 2/32nds or so this really handicaps your wet traction and stopping ability.

    Either rotation sequence is correct. Most shops don't want to bother lowering the spare, and then putting the other tire on that "little round thing" and cranking it back up. It's a tedious process. Obviously, your will get a little more wear rotating in your spare. And after 5 years you will not have to by a new spare (due to aging) when you didn't even use it.

    Hope this helps.
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