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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...


  • 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!

    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.

  • 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.......
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