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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • In general Michelin's last the longest but are usually the most expensive. However, you should not purchase tires just because it is a Michelin. What you need to do is determine what type of driving you do, highway, off-road, both, etc. and determine the best tire for your needs and your wallet. I personally like Michelin's but the price always makes me look at other options. Depending on what is in the market place guides my decision. I have Michelin's on my wife's Pilot, but on my last car I had BFG Long-Trails and loved them, did a ton of highway driving. On my 4 Runner I have the Bridgestones until they need replacement, won't go with them as a replacement tire. Keep in mind that Michelin's, BFG's and Uniroyal are marketed by Michelin Small American Tires or (MAST) for short.

    Check is correct though about the rotation so no need to repeat.

    Also, every tire comes with a Tread Wear Indicator which is 2/32". It is located in between the treads. But, if you wait until the tire reaches that indicator you are putting your life and everyones elses in danger when the weather is anything but sunny.

    Also, have your truck aligned to prevent uneven tire wear, you should do this at least once a year, others recommend twice.

    Brakes life cycle depends on your driving habits as well as how far your typical drive is. City traffic will wear brakes more quickly than highway traffic.
  • 1) Cross Terrrains can last 80,000+, but there are variables so 56K is good just the same. My OEM Dunlops had only 18,000 when they wore out. Get them replaced before the weather changes.
    2) Toyota puts great brakes on their trucks. The only time I've read of people doing brake jobs on 2003+ 4Runners is because the rotors warped.
    3) I haven't heard of a dealership rotating the spare since the 80's. Time is money these days. Front 2 for back 2 is my experience with any brand of vehicle nowadays.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yep, those Dunlops are one bad tire. Many reports on these tires not lasting on other forums.
  • I think that one of the hiccups of the 4runner has. I have a 2004 4Runner SR5 w/ customized tires & rims (22" rims) and I have the same problem (clanking sound infront everytime i turn my wheel, even when backing up the applying the breaks it makes that sound) really annoying huh!, but I have stopped bringing it to the dealership coz its costing me money everytime I go and they still cant find any solution. Instead i went to a local mechanic here in hawaii and i asked them to check it. They told me that’s its just the break guards. he just shoved the guards a bit to give it an extra clearance, and the clanking stopped , they told me that if the clanking will return coz the guard is just a thin sheet of iron a eventually it’ll be deformed.
  • Driving in snow on the Dunlops is pretty dangerous. Akin to climbing Everest in Converse Chuck Taylors.
  • Thanks for all the advice regarding the "Tire Rotation/Brakes" I'll probably look for new tires in a month or so, which will be well in advance of the tire wearing to the tread line as we use the 4Runner for skiing trips in northern New England. I want some good skins on the rim before our first trip. The forum works!
  • Have 2008 4Runner, do not know if a rigid tire cover is available after market.
    If not a good custom fit this may cause problems with water puddles, corosion and rotting.
    The Lexus RX 350 has a plastic molded spare tire cover, it isolates the spare tire well. Is there something similar for 2008 4Runner?
    Would a FJ Cruiser rigid ABS cover fit?
    Southwind Plastics has released a new material Polypro-2(TM) in its new line of tire covers which is clear/transparent, this would allow inspection without disassemble.
  • cwappscwapps Posts: 2
    Can anyone tell me where to find the re-torque specs on the propeller shaft bolts of a 2004 4Runner (SR5 4WD) 4.7L engine, 5 speed auto transmission? There seems to be little info out there for the do it you selfer without a set of factory repair manuals.
  • glb5glb5 Posts: 39
    65 foot pounds for the rear and front driveshaft flange bolts.
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    I have a 2006 Limited 4 Runner, why in the world would Toyota put "H" Rated Tires on a SUV? The size is P2655/60R18 109H. Just does not make sense on a SUV. Anyone have any insight inot this? :confuse:
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    There have been many complaints about Toyota putting the cheapest tires possible on the 4Runners.

    My '05 4Runner Sport (and other models) can with Dunlop tires.

    Those were REALLY BAD.
  • I live on long island and my family enjoys taking our SUV to the beach and riding till we find the right spot. There are areas of packed sand and soft sand. I was told by one Toyota dealer that I could take the Highlander on the beach and another said it was possible if I let the air out of the tires (not something I want to do). Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of taking the Highlander on the beach?
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    Chuck, not a matter of the tires being good or bad, Toyota put a performance tire on a SUV, that is what does not make sense.
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    If you are going to go on the beach I suggest that you purchase an air compressor for the car and let 10-15 lbs. per tire out. This will provide you with the best traction possible on the sand. This is true for any car not just the Highlander.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    If you don't lower the air pressure in your tires, you will get stuck.

    I take my 4Runner on the beach at Cape Poge every year. The signs say "lower your tire pressure to 15 psi or you will get stuck." The signs don't lie.

    Most such beaches have air compressors were you can add air once you get off the beach.

    You will also need the usual required recovery equipment (strap, tow hooks, jack, jacking plate, shovel) and a tire pressure gauge.

    As for adding a compressor to the car, cheap plug-in air compressors don't have the volume to efficiently pump your tires. If you really want your own on-board compressor, you are looking at something like an Oasis compressor (on the order of $1000).

    Before you get all of that, check with the organization that runs the beach. Some of them do not allow AWD vehicles on the beach.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I figured I could at least answer some of your questions using my 2002 4Runner 4X4 V6 Sport that I purchased new.

    1) How long do the Michelin Cross Terrains typically last? I might have another 6k left.
    A: 44K miles on mine so far. I was told they could last 75K miles if taken care of properly.

    2) How long do the original brakes last? I have not had any brake work done
    A: My truck flipped 98K miles yesterday, and was in the shop for an oil change, tire rotation, and "free" safety inspection this morning. My original brake pads on the back have 60% life left in them. The front pads and rotors were replaced at 93K miles due to the front rotors warping and being too thin to turn.

    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?
    A: Not sure, but for me the 2nd dealer would be correct as my spare is still the crappy Bridgestone that came with the truck.
  • I am thinking of purchasing a 2000 SR5 4Runner. One owner, all records, oil changed regularly, all maintenance done. New Michelins, brush guard, sun roof. Vehicle is in excellent shape and I think it could be had for a fair price. What should I be looking out for in this truck? Timing belt was done at about 80K. It has 118K on it now. Rides very tight. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Jay
  • Thanks, but what I was looking for was specific technical issues that I should be looking for on this model ie timing belt replacements, CV boot wear, etc. Any input would be welcome. Thanks, Jay
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I don't recall any issues that keep reappearing on the 4Runner. You can skim this and the other 4Runner discussions but my guess is that the problems will typical of those you'll find on most any used car. No smoking gun like Subaru headgaskets or Odyssey transmissions to pay particular attention to.

    Any owners out there who can weigh in?
  • Just want some thoughts. I have a 2004 V8 Limited, which will be 5 years old in Feb. 09. I still have the original battery. Should I seriously consider replacing it before the cold weather really sets in? Or save my money and keep watch on the indicator? I have not been having any problems.
  • boats3boats3 Posts: 42
    Get it tested if you are concerned. Your local mechanic can do it for you. Also, the heat does more damage to your battery than the cold.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I wouldn't get it tested. I would just replace it. At 5 years it is time. Why bother for less than a $100.00?

    After all, the battery never goes out at a bad time...does it? :) :)
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Steve, there are not any serious issues that the past few years of the 4Runner has had. These things are pretty much bullet proof.

    There is an occasional power train "clunk" on this last generation that doesn't affect anything, but a few find irritating.

    Also, If anyone buys new with a model that has the X-Reas suspension, I would highly suggest buying the Toyota Factory warranty. This system is covered under the platinum warranty offered by Toyota.

    There have been isolated issues of this system leaking and needing work. It happened to me but I had the warranty. Total cost for one shock was $300.00 plus labor. Toyota paid for two days of a rental car while locating the part. Total invoice around $500.00 BTW-total suspension replacement of the X-Reas runs $3,000.00!
  • durangojay....

    Did you get the Toyota? I'm thinking of buying the same year, same mileage. What was the asking or sale price of yours?
  • Regarding eventual repair issues, on my 2003 I had warped rotors replaced recently (plus new pads) at almost 60,000 mi. (Thanks to folks here, I knew exactly what was wrong!) Seems this is a pretty common repair with the 4Runner. Also had one leaky front strut, & had to get front & diagonal back replaced - cost $1000 for labor plus parts -- Toyota mechanic said he'd never seen the diagonally linked struts before, which was a bit alarming, since they're standard on the Sport. Second set of tires (Dunlop? only 2 years old) were out of tread, replaced all four with Continental CrossContact LX. Maybe these will last a while.

    Nothing else has been a problem, other than the glove box pneumatic hinge came off when I had the cabin filter replaced, and won't stay on anymore ... no big deal that it drops open. Didn't even realize it had that hinge until it stopped working. Next - 60,000 service.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    That was my point a while back, if you buy the 4Runner new or slightly used, and it has the X-REAS like you have-it's a must for the extended warranty.

    I would NOT BUY A USED 4RUNNER with the X-REAS from a private party. I do not believe they are eligible for the TOYOTA EXTENDED WARRANTY. I could be wrong though.

    I also had the leaky front (X-REAS) strut. Repaired under Toyota platinum warranty. But oddly enough, the dealer said I did not have to replace the opposite strut. Also, elsewhere on the net, if the opposite one is not leaking it has been confirmed it need not be replaced.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I have a 2002 4Runner 4X4 Sport that I also purchased new. I have had similiar experiences, although it would seem I am getting more out of my Michelins.

    1) I was also told 75K miles. I have 35 - 40K on mine now, and they have just started to look like they have some wear (verses brand new looking), but look to have many miles left on them.

    2) I also had my front brakes/rotors replaced at 93K miles - rotors warped and were too thin to turn. I was also told at the time that I had 60% left on my original rear pads

    3) My spare is also still my crappy Bridgestone, and I do not include it in the rotation. It is a good idea to check it a couple of times of year to make sure its tire pressure is still where it needs to be.

    My problem with mine is the door seals. They keeping coming loose and sagging down - especially the rear doors. I had them replaced while still under warranty, but the new ones did/do the same thing. It is annoying, but also my biggest complaint, so I can't complain much. Will flip 100K miles this month with no problems beyond the door seals!
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