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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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
    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!
  • I have two 4runners both 1999 Limited model. For all those who own it, this is just a warning and you should check with your mechanic to confirm this.
    About two months ago my transmission broke due to faulty design on the radiator connection. Supposedly Toyota made a line that connects the transmission with the radiator out of aluminum but they used a fitting out of metal which over time corrodes and caused the radiator fluid to mix with the transmission fluid. This will create huge problem and you will not notice it until your transmission will start to act weird and after a while your engine will overheat (coast to fix is about $2200 + if this happens)
    The easy fix to it is to replace the radiator which will cost from $220 to $280.
    I’m doing this in my second truck just to prevent the same problem and to avoid spending $2200 for new transmission.
    I also spoke with couple of the Toyota mechanics and they told me that in the past few months they have seen several 1999 models with the radiator and trans fluid mixed.
    They said that they contacted Toyota and advised them of the problem with this faulty design, but the response they got was that this is an old vehicle and warranty is long gone.
  • mokesmokes Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 toyota 4 runner with approx 145K miles auto transmission. Over the past few weeks, it stalls when at a red light/stop sign, etc. Starts right back up but then stalls when put into gear. If I put it in low gear, it doesn't stall. I've brought it to 2 mechanics. Just got it back last night and happened again. Last mechanic ran diag tests, electrical - everything seemed fine. He flushed the transmissions - said there were several metal particles but now clean. Did mention that might need new transmission as fluid was dark. At our wits ends with this.....has this happened to anyone?
  • I have a couple of questions about the electronic transmission controls of my 4Runner. One the O/D on the shifter. I leave the O/D on at all times, I have 61,000 miles on it. And have had the Trans. fluid changed thru the transmission cooler lines at 47,000 miles. No problem, she shifts very well. My real concern is the ETC button on the right side of the console. I think it means Electronic Transmisson Control. But I really don't know. The ETC's purpose. Can anyone please tell me how and when I would use this feature, also used with O/D off. Also I don't Tow anything.
    Thanks to all, Ben
  • rollins2rollins2 Posts: 2
    "> :D I post back in November re: trans problem and as usually the service manager could not duplicate the problem. Well I found out later that the hard jolts were getting worse. The hard jolts were not my only problem, my trans also started slipping so I knew that I had to take it back. I went back to my toyota service department this week and my problem has been solved. The service manager took a test drive with me and immediately got a taste of what I was talking about. He was in the middle of a could be the transmission statement when I told him to brake hard and the truck jolted forward. The trans was inpected and they found that I did not have a drain plug gasket on transmission and the drain plug had been loosen. I was also low on fluid but not to the point that damage was done.(so they said) The service manager emphatically told me to never never let anyone touch the filter(gasket) on the trans drain. He kept asking if I had ever had my oil change by walmarts, local carwashes/oil changer or anyone similiar. He seem to think that someone mistakenly unscrew the drain plug didn't tighten it back up which resulted in some fluid loss and took the filter off because they just didn't know what they were doing. I did use a quick change lube place once and that was because I was in a hurry. The replacement of the gasket and tighten of the plug helped me, so what do you have to lose by asking your mechanic or service department to look and see. I wasn't charge for the labor or part. :D
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    I firmly believe if you don't or can't change your own oil & filter. Bring it to the dealer. Some years back I brought my Mustang 5.0 with double sumps. and 2 drain plugs to a quick oil change place. The guy underneath the car didn't see the the second oil plug and drained the fluid from the rear plug only. And gave the go ahead to the guy on top, who promtly put 5 qts. of oil in. I waited untill they finished and started the car up, and shut it down. I watched the guy read the dip stick, and couldn't believe how far past the fill mark on the dip stick was reading. I asked their service boss to look and see for himself. And he said the guy on top proberbly wasn't watching the amount of oil he put in. I said do you know this 5.0 has a double sump with 2 drain plugs. He said he never heard of that before. So he and I went under the car and I showed him the 2 drain plugs. I said I want all the oil changed again and another oil filter. Because you put 5 qts. of fresh oil and left about 2 1/2 qts. of old oil in the crankcase. They did change the oil properly then. I will always continue to go too the dealer for these simple services. The cost differance is very small, and I automaticlly get synthetic oil with the dealer.
  • I 'm the original owner of 1995 4Runner bought new here in Germany Aug 28,1995. I have 265,000 miles, so far it's been great, I've driven all over europe and with highway speeds here I drive about 90-100 mph everyday. Now I have a whining noise when I accelerate from one gear to another. If I stop accelerating it goes away or let it coast down hill in gear, there is no whining. When I'm stopped and take it out of gear and remove my foot from the clutch pedal there is a light noise like grinding, until I push the clutch in and it goes away. Last year I had the complete clutch set replaced. Some of my friends say it is the throw-out bearing and toyota doesn't know unless they tear it apart. I'. wondering if anyone has had the same problem. Other than that it a great SUV.
  • michealfmichealf Posts: 7
    Everything you are telling us is classic to a worn throwout bearing. At 265,000 mile I would certainly expect that. Since you are going to replace the throwout bearing I would advise just redoing the entire clutch group, the clutch plate, pressure plate,pilot bushing and throwout bearing. The labor cost will be pretty much the same for all as just replacing the bearing.
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    I'm not sure why just the Throw Out Bearing was the only part replaced with a manual Transmission. Because it still reqiures a complete tear down of the clutch assembly. It's unfortunate to say, but your going too have to go thru the whole clutch assembly. Re-face or replace the Fly Wheel, Another throw out bearing, Pilot bearing, pressure plate. There all vulnerable, and a complete clutch assembly you Toyota will last another 265,000 miles. Just to get the mileage you've gotten says a lot about you and your maintaince of your vehicle. It must be nice driving 90 to 100 miles an hour on your daily commute. At those speeds the engine stays so clean with little to no carbon build up. And hardly any sludge. Injectors stay clean also. I hope this was of some help. It's no fun having to another repair on the same part of the SUV. But yours is worth it. Let uuse know how it works out when you've finished, all readers will be inspired. Good Luck, Bandit.
  • mexicomexico Posts: 1
    1990 v6 auto transmission is overheating. Never used to, it is something new. Identical load, temperature, weather, traffic on the same route. Used to be fine, now it will overheat and not cool down while driving.

    With that said, 3-4 weeks following this, transmission died. It has since been replaced, HOWEVER, the temperature is still a problem. I am confident the temperature caused the initial transmission to die. What could be causing this? Faulty radiator? I do not have an external oil cooler, think one will fit on this 4runner?
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    I read your post and I have to laugh at the dealer comment. Odds are, your dealer screwed up and pulled the tranny drain plug during an oil change. If it happened at Folsom Lake Toyota where my issue occurred, I wouldn't be surprised. "FLT" left my engine two quarts low and tranny two quarts over. I'd bet dollars to donuts your dealership caused the problem.
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