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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems

I bought a 94 Toyota 4-runner 3 months ago, about 3 weeks after buying the transmission seemed to go out but started to work fine again after sitting for about 10 hours, it ran strong for alittle over a month after this incident and while driving it just wouldn't move... I was told by a shop that I needed a new Transmission but a friend said it was just a dirty screen. Anyone know what could be going on with it? I love this truck and really don't want to have to give her up...
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Comments

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Hi, J_T_G!

    I changed the title of this discussion just a bit to make it a little more general and improve your chances of getting helpful replies.

    Good luck!

    tidester, host
  • Hi,
    I saw you are a host for the Toyota 4Runner. I was wondering if you could tell me where to post the following question? Thanks much!

    Hi,
    I own a 1990 Toyota 4Runner, 4WD, 6V, that has 250,000 mi on it but the engine was completely rebuilt 90,000 mi ago. The clutch is about to give up, while the transmission still works OK (some problems shifting into 1st gear). I was wondering if I should have the transmission looked at while getting the clutch work done, or if I should simply have the clutch replaced. The car is in great shape besides those problems. Thanks for any help.

    Thorsten
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Hi, Thorsten!

    You just posted the question in a suitable location and, with a little luck, it may prompt a response from someone who can answer your question.

    You may also want to try Transmission Traumas? or the general 3rd Generation Toyota 4Runners ('96-'02).

    Personally, I don't think it would hurt to have the transmission looked at while getting the clutch work done unless you are acutely apprehensive about what they may find. :)

    Good luck!

    tidester, host
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if the clutch is totally worn out, that alone can make first gear more difficult to engage. It may be that all you need is a new clutch. The manual transmissions in these cars are as close to bulletproof as you can find in the auto industry.

    On the flip side, "checking out" a manual transmission with 250K miles on it is going to get very expensive very fast.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Hi, Hard to say without seeing the problem, transmission work is expensive, it is possible that the filter is screen is clgged, but unlikely, usually is a waste of money. I just realized you posteed this in July, so if you haven't fixed it and still need help let me know. I would recommend pulling the transmission pan and see if you have metal in it, small particals can be from normal wear, but lots of metal or pieces are a bad sign. I do recommend on newer vehicles to have the transmissin fluid exchanged with a machine that replaces the fluid, it really can extend the life of your transmission on todays vehicle with all the aluminum valve bodies and electrical solenoids and their higgh cost of repairs. Also Lubeguard additive can save your transmission used to lube and allows the valves to move freely, sometimes a stuck valve can burn up the transmission. Lubeguard can be hard to find mostly used in trans industry and transmission parts suppliers, very seldom stocked in parts stores.
  • Does anyone know if a 2002 Toyota Tacoma 5sp Transmission will work on a 1996 Toyota 4runner 2.7L 4 cylinder...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the Tacoma has the 2.7, it is the same transmission. However, if the '02 is a regular or extended cab 2WD, it has the 2.4L, which is different.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I have a 94 4Runner SR5 v4 an when i put into 4wd the front wheels wont kick in. now why wouldnt it shift into 4wd
  • vdtyvdty Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 Limited V8 4Runner and am required to replace the transmission already. Not only am I extremely disappointed that the tranny went out with only 70k miles - I am completely surprised that I am required to invest so much money into my Toyota so soon. I regularly serviced the vehicle and have no problems until recently. I'm curious if any one has had transmission concerns with this generation of 4Ruuners as well???
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The front hubs are electrically operated when they engage (replaced the old system of getting out of the truck and turning them by hand). They may have stopped operating for some reason, or just gotten stuck (I found on my '90 that they would occasionally get stuck if I was doing a lot of driving in heavy snow, and they were getting iced up). That's my best guess as long as you have the green 4WD light coming on in the dash? You do have that, right?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I have a 2000 Limited with 2wd auto with 87k miles. I have have a delay when trying to enter reverse when the vehicle is cold. It doesn't engage the gear until pressure is built up (giving it gas) and then it pops into reverse. All the forward gears are perfectly smooth though all the time. However, once the car warms up (30 secs) reverse works fine. The problem is worse on cold mornings. What could be happening here?
  • yeah i have the new electric hubs but i dont have a 4wd light come on but also my wirings alittle messed up (previous owners) all i know is that when i put in H4, H2 or L4 my fronts just wont kick in
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    old trans fluid - time for a flush and a change. That's what COULD be happening here. Hopefully, that's all it is.

    saviorazz101: you've answered your own question. If you don't have a 4WD light coming on in the IP, you don't have 4WD. It's an electrical problem, probably from when that wiring got messed up, it has nothing to do with the front hubs. Check under the dash - I kicked loose the connection once, and my 4WD stopped working too.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I have a 2002 4runner w/ 91,000 miles. The vehicle engine noise became louder at approx. 42mph, when the vehicle shifted down to approx 2000rpm. I took it to the dealer and they stated it needed a new transmission. The dealer stated it was worn out and needed an overhaul or replacement. The vehicle seems to run ok. wondering what to do as i like the vehicle. This is my seconde 4runner. previously had a 1997 4runner, with no problems
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If it seems to be shifting OK, I would get more details from the dealer, or better yet, a second opinion. Especially if it's driveable - that makes it easy to get a second opinion.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • i have a '92 4runner w/ a V6 & 4x4. i need a new transmission and i was wondering if their was anybody yall would recommend to get either a rebuilt/new one
  • I would be interested in knowing what the symptoms of your transmission problems were.
    I have an 04 Limited V8 4x4 with 40k miles. I've noticed some delay in engaging 1st gear after backing out of a parking space when the vehicle is cold. The transmission is completely sealed, no dip stick. I have not had it inspected yet.
    I too am curious if anyone can report any Transmission issues on '03 or newer 4Runners.
  • I too own an 03 V8 Limited with 40k miles. I am pretty easy on it, but I do gear down a lot, but have had no problems with my 4R at all. My only problem is the bad gas mileage.
    Good Luck.
  • My 95 4 runner just had the transmission rebuilt, now it most times will not go into low after a stop unless I manually pull it down to low. Pulling it down and then putting it back in drive will not work. It must be in low when this problem comes up or it tries to pull in high . My dealer drove the car for 4 days and said he could not duplicate but it happens to a dozen times a day. Also when this happens many times my O/D OFF light will blink and continues until the ignition is turned off.
  • I just recently purchased a 1995 4runner sr5 v6, automatic trany. it had 119,00 when I bought it two weeks ago, the 4x4 worked fine and performed awesome off road, I changed the oil and just drove to the coast and back with no problems, now only 1,110 miles later, this morning I back out of the drive way and it was acting like it was in neutral, I put it in drive and still would not go, I put transmission fluid in and still nothing, it sat for about 7 hours then I tried again, I messed with the 4x4 settings and it jumped forward about 4 feet then nothing again, the engine runs and sounds fine but when I push the gas it just revs up, I had it towed to the transmission shop and they wont be able to get to it till tomorrow, what can I expect to hear? the only troubles it had was a vibration at 70+mph but after reading these boards I realize most 4runners do, is 120,000 miles about due time for transmission problems for a 95 automatic? I will for sure have to get this fixed, can I expect more problems now? any ideas?
  • I purchased a 2007 4Runner last week with 8 miles on it when I drove off the lot. I placed 500 miles on it over the weekend and then the check engine light came on. I took the car into the dealer and they told me that they were going to have to pull the transmission and replace it. I don't want this situation to snowball and have repeated problems for the life of the vehicle. How do I get Toyota to replace the 4Runner?
  • moorejadmoorejad Posts: 2
    Having same problem with my 89 4runner. Have you had a diagnosis yet?
  • moorejadmoorejad Posts: 2
    89 4runner that doesn't go into reverse. When the automatic transmission is placed in reverse you can feel it engage but only inches forward. When engaged into 4 low I have better luck. It seem like it almost may be a clutch problem within the automatic tranny. When diagnosed by the local shop they stated I needed a new transmission. I have checked the linkage. Any advice?
  • mikkijonesmikkijones Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problems. What did you end up doing? What was the problem? I'm looking at $1300 for a used transmission and labor.
  • atorresatorres Posts: 1
    I believe the transmission on my 4x4 4 runner is breaking down. The vehicle feels like I am being hit from the rear whenever I come to a stop and take up drive again.It feels like the vehicle is jumping into gear. This only happens when I stop and go. This is beginning to get frustrating. Is this a genuine tranny problem or is this normal.
  • I have a 1995 Toyota 4-Runner. When I shift from Park to D (Drive) everything works fine. If I pull back about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the shift lever, without pushing down on the interlock button, and without going into 2, the engine will rev up a small amount and go into what feels like 2. If I leave it in this position and take off from a dead stop it feels like I am taking off in 2. The transmission was recently serviced at a Toyota Dealer and they said they adjusted the shift lever but there is still a small amount of backward movement which causes the engine RPM to increase. Anyone have any ideas?
  • seus22seus22 Posts: 1
    I have been experiencing this too! Sometimes after the stop and the feeling of being hit from behind, I have hardly any acceleration. Have you ever had this problem?
    The toyota dealership relaced my transmission - they found metal shavings in the transmission. The car was driving great and then recently it started all over again. So is it the transmission?
  • My tranny blew out unexpectedly last thursday and the repair or new transmission is $4000!!!!! I thought I had bought one of the best/reliable SUV's on the market. I'm looking to hear from people who have had he a similar problem. I too maintained the my 4Runner often. No sympathy from Toyota, just told me it happens. Yeah right. 03 4Runnere SR5

    [email protected]
  • michealfmichealf Posts: 7
    OK I did have my transmission rebuilt,. It cost 2800 at AAMCO with a 1 year warrantee. This is now 1 year and no problems with THEIR work although I did have a problem with the Tranny that I believe caused the original problem. The problem was a failure of one of the servos(#2) in the transmission. It had an internal failure of the ground which held the tranny in a higher gear resulting in an overheat condition causing tranny failure. The transmission hit 480 degrees and should run about 180 degrees. Finally convinced the Toyota dealer to change the valve body at a cost of around 400 dollars parts and labor. So far so good. Lesson, tell your dealer to PAY ATTENTION to the codes for the transmission. These tell a great story but are seldom read or followed up on. My dealer argued with me for three months before I finally had an outside source give me the codes and readouts and I took them to my dealer and lo and behold there they were right in HIS code reader. Damn, I don't know how we missed that. Yea, I do! Anyhow good luck folks.
  • What have you found out about this problem? I'd like to hear from you.......
  • Hello, I have the same issue with my 2007 4runner. Each time I come close to a stop, boom. I feel a bang as the car downshifts. Sometimes this happens after I come to a full stop. Othertimes it doesn't happen. Then when I take off again, boom, a release or something. Very Very Very annoing. I took it to the dealer last week, and they said, thats the transmition shifting and its normal. Any advice as to what you or anyone else found? Be great to know.

    thanks,
    Paul
  • Ok I've answered my problem before But it's worth repeating. My truck had a bad #2 solenoid inside the valve body of the tranny. The original indications of no problem(I'm assuming Yea, I Know)was because the problem was intermittent. Later as the problem became worse and of course after the transmission finally cooked, the codes indicated a loss of ground within the electrical system. The problem showed as a loss of ground on # 1 solenoid when in fact the # 2 was bad. The dealer looked deeper into the codes when given a little push from outside sources and more info. 1 year and two months later and the transmission works like a charm. As for the slamming in the transmission as you stop and \or take off I would be very suspicious of a torque converter being dry. and usually that happens right after the tranny has been services. Had it serviced lately? If this has been going on for a while I think you'll probably being rebuilding the transmission and replacing the torque converter. If it is fairly recent w/o much driving time you might just get by with a converter. I'm never that lucky, I hope you are. Find a reputable transmission shop(one that offers a warrantee that you can take with you when you travel), and have them ride with you. You drive just like you always do and let them experience what you are feeling. I'm surprised your dealer has not done that. I insisted that my service manager do the trouble shooting and test after several times of hearing that they could not duplicate. It worked! Good luck!
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    I have a 2004 4Runner Sports Edition with V8 and the 5sp automatic with just under 50,000 miles. I do not drive off road and rarely towed a trailer. I recently felt a 'bump' like someone bumped into me from the rear - but one one was behind me. I have no other symptoms of transmission problems before. However, I have never had the transmission serviced (as the maintenance manual didn't say the transmission fluid needed to be replaced until 60,000 and that was 'driving while towing' from what I read. However, when I called the local Toyota service department and spoke to one of the order writers, he said I should have had the fluid replaced at 15,000 miles, 30,000 miles and 45,000 miles and by now I would need a FLUSH as the fluid would be DARK by now. (Funny, I had it serviced at this dealer last week and the inspection checked off the transmission fluid as good.) I am going to take it in for a fluid flush in 2 days, but is this transmission supposed to have the fluid changed every 15,000 miles? I have never had a check engine light come on. Do the transmission codes turn on the check engine light, or how would I know if it has stored a transmission code?
  • Hi. First let me say I am not a transmission or Toyota expert. OK, Having said that, It sounds like you are the original owner of this vehicle so you should have the manuals Toyota gave you. If so, the manuals should state the servicing intervals as well as the mileage requirements. If for some reason you don't(mine didn't) my dealership posts and will provide me with a maintenance schedule from their database. I have owned a ton of vehicles and many of them are and have been Toyota and I have never heard of a transmission servicing requirement every 15000 miles. The least I have seen is 30000. If your dealership is regularly servicing your vehicle and just happened to notice that your vehicle is WAY overdue a basic servicing I would be inclined to talk to the service manager and maybe find a different dealership! I do not think the check engine light is tied to your transmission unless your torque converter would stall. I have never owned a 94, but there is no reason your dealer should not be able to hook up a reader (this is not a full diagnostic so you should not be charged as such) and get any stored transmission codes. Ask to watch the reader and ask the mechanic to explain what he is seeing then ask to see the codes in has book. If your mechanic is offended by this then most asuredly it is time to shop for a new service dept. Also AAMCO or most major transmission shops have the readers and can also check it and most will do it for free. Again ask questions and don't get talked into something you don't need. Cross check to see if the dealer and tranny shop get the same codes. Are they telling you the same work needs to be done? Unfortunately, you can't always trust everyone so protect yourself, your money and your investment. I can't explain the one time bump you felt, but if was just one time I wouldn't worry about it. I stated in another post that most "bumps and clunks" in conjunction with a stop and\or start are torque converter related.
    Good luck.
    Mike
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    Thanks for the comments and insight. I am the original owner and have the manuals. While the maintenance manual says to 'inspect' the transmission fluid for the intervals prior to 60,000 miles, that is the first time it says to replace the fluid (and even then only under the section for vehicles used for towing). I did call AAMCO and another local recommended transmission shop and both said I was 'due' for a fluid replace at 50,000 miles but neither suggested that was I 'overdue'. However, AAMCO said they recommend it every 30,000 miles. I had checked the fluid level and judging by the color on the dipstick, it looked and smelled like new, so I am confident that it has never been overheated. Still, I intend to keep the 4Runner for another 50,000 miles, so I am going to let the dealer do the flush procedure tomorrow even though his price is $30 more than either AAMCO or the other shop quoted - mainly because the '04 4Runner's warranty includes 5 years/60,000 miles and on the outside chance a serious problem would surface within the next year, I might be better protected. The local shop mechanic did tell me the 4Runner needs a special fluid and an additive, so I want to make sure the right fluids get put back in during the service. I don't see how Toyota could complain that I had not had the fluid replaced sooner since the manual does not list it as required. I am sure you are right that the 'bump' I felt was nothing to worry about.
  • rsmith8rsmith8 Posts: 47
    I took my '04 4Runner to the local Toyota dealer for "recommended" transmission service. The order writer was sticking to his earlier story that the manual was written for all of North America and did not take into account the hot conditions here in Texas and that I needed the transmission flush. I authorized that service plus the differential service and went to the waiting room. About 30 minutes later he came to get me and explain that the '04 4Runner with V8 and 5sp automatic transmission came from the factory with "world standard fluid" and that 'service was not required'. He went on to say that the differential had 'regular' fluid and that it should be replaced. Of course, he said I also needed to replace the serpentine belt and that I needed a throttle body service, so the total bill came to $282.21 WITHOUT the transmission service. So.... IF you have the V8 engine, it is LIKELY that you also have the 'world standard fluid' in the transmission, so make sure that is the fluid that is put back in if you let someone service your transmission.
  • My '92 4runner transmission is overheating after about 45 minutes of highway driving under normal load or moderate uphill driving. These simptoms have remained even after I've had the transmission replaced a second time (waranty). The dealership claims that all systems pass their tests and the latest response was to replace the fluid with an older fluid type, which they said would dicipate the heat better. This also did not work. Does anyone have any similar experience? What can I do?
  • Brett Read my earlier post on transmission overheat. aybe they will help. Mike
  • vrsickvrsick Posts: 1
    Hi
    I have a 91 4runner, my problem started with a clicking sound coming from under the dashboard, it would immediately be followed by a grinding sound coming from the transmission, as I would come to a stop than it felt like I was driving over a speed bump. I thought the rear differential was at fault, so I had it replaced. That did not fix the problem.
    Next thing I did was investigate where was that clicking sound coming from. It was a relay switch located above the brake pedal. The relay switch says (Fuel Relay Pump). I went to the dealer to get another relay and they where puzzled, the guy there said that relay works in conjunction with the 4x4. He recommended that I try to drive the car without the relay on it, so I did. To my surprise the car drives fine, but I can't use the 4x4. I ended up getting another relay but that has not fixed my problem. I don't know what else to do.
  • My 06 4runner has the same problem. It started around 8k miles and I took it to the dealer and they said it was the slip yoke in the drive train and said it was binding. They said they greased it. It fixed the problem, but only for about 3000 miles. Now it seems to be slightly worse. I'm taking it back in to have them re grease it or figure out what exactly the problem is.
  • I am experiencing the same problem with my 2005 4runner. Try looking under the 4runner maintenance and repair board. Some of those guys have found a fix for this problem. I wanted to be arm with some info to be able to explain this to the toyota dealership. Hopefully, since they are a 5 star dealership, they will listen to me and take me serious. :(
  • There is no fix, been through the entire thing with my 2007. Put together arguments, logged my complaint with toyota, pulled TSB's from Lexus, etc.. etc...

    The facts are, they won't do anything about it other than lube it.

    They will listen to you, and take you serious, they just won't do anything about the problem.
  • So, does anyone know what will happen down the line when the warranty runs out? Since they grease/lube the vehicle while it is under warranty for free, will there be a charge after the warranty is done? And will something eventually break down? Transmission, etc. (after the warranty).
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    It's part of the normal lube and oil change process. Any decent shop will do it at the oil change. It's just a couple squirts of grease. Not a big deal.
  • New here. 2000 4-runner 4wd
    My tranny started to slip, topped off to get it home. Found radiator loaded w/ the tranny fluid blowing out rad overflow tank.
    called 1 toyota dealer, tells me rad shot and soon tranny will be. another tells me to drain tranny pan and rad (since I cannot get into shop/vacation) and they will change rad and use some T-tech thing to flush out system a few times.
    Anybody w/ experience on this problem, what am I realistically looking at here.
  • I recently purchased a 2008 4runner limited-2wheel rear drive.In reviewing my owners manual I could not find anything referring to the location of the automatic transmission fluid fill or the dip stick. I've searched the engine compartment with negative results. Can anyone tell me why this is?
  • hi i have a 1990 5speed 4runner and it will not let me shift into 1st or 2nd gear i dont know what to do! does any one have any ideas
  • The last few weeks occassionaly when I shift my 2000 4Runner into Drive and attempt to take off there is a hesitation, and then after giving it a little more gas, a jolt forward accompanied by a rather loud thud coming from underneath the rear section of the vehicle. My first thought of course was my transmission was going, but I'm not sure. It usally doesn't do it, but when it does it tends to happen after it has been sitting awhile, at least overnight. Otherwise it's fine. Also, twice in the last two weeks only my right rear tire has engaged and spun and my left rear time has remained locked up. When I gave it a little more gas the rear tire spun and my rear end slowly slid to the right. Once I barely got it out of my garage because it would only move sideways! It happended again at a stop sign, and when the left rear tire finally engaged I felt the same jolt and was quickly propelled forward. After this initial jolt it usually drives ok. Sometimes it feels like it doesn't want to go right away too at stops, almost as if my emergency brake was stuck or something was blocking the wheels from turning. Is this just my tranny going, or is something else going here? I would appreciate any help anyone could give me. Thanks
  • lee62lee62 Posts: 1
    I just read the last message about the Toyota 4Runner jolting forward. I'm having the same trouble but it happens when I have to make a hard stop. It's as if the back wheels are locking up and won't move. My truck is also a 2000 with few miles on it.

    I didn't see a response from anyone regarding this issue.....hoping my message might prompt someone to give their ideas on the problem.
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    The only thing i could suggest is that when this occurs, put your shifter in manual low 1 and see if that helps the take off, but try it several times to see how the vehicle reacts when the problem occurrs. If it helps then the vehicle is probably starting out in a higher gear than 1st after a stop which in turn makes it feel like its dragging or being held back. I've seen quite a few of these units having thrust bearing failure in the o/d section contaminating the fluid with metal particles causing valves and solenoids to stick in turn causing shifting problems. Not sure if you have an open diiff or a limited slip in your vehicle but typically differentials do not cause problems of that nature.. I would be looking more to a brake problem if it's not the transmission. But hey...anything is possible!
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