Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • Dear neumie2000,
    Thank you for the suggestion. I've had a sick feeling in my stomach since paying that much money and having two dealerships tell me "it's common" and "nothing we can do".

    The other issue which is annoying is a vibration between 55 and 70 mph. Can you offer a solution for this one? I've had the wheels balanced already.
  • WOW !!!! What did they charge you $3500 to repair ? I still have 4 years on my warranty, so i'm good for now ! I'll let you know what I find out here in Oklahoma...
  • Check out the reply to my message about the tranny problem from neumie2000 dated September 11. He/she says to grease the "slip-yoke". I have not tried it yet so I can't say it works or doesn't.
    Let's us know if you try it and what the results are.
  • No great ideas on the vibration unfortunately. I've heard of more sophisticated balancing called "road force" balancing or something like that. Basically, it is, as I understand it, a more detailed testing of tire balance and will correct issues other balancing tests will not find. Because the vibration is speed sensitive, I agree with your decision to get the wheels balanced. If your vehicle is still under warranty, perhaps you could have the dealership swap tires with another 4runner and road test. If the problem goes away with the new tires/wheels, you've at least identified the problem and can work with the dealership toward a solution.

    The "bumping" drove me nuts as well, and I was surprised that the solution was so simple.
  • My 98 4Runner V6 automatic with 250,000 miles has started to make, what I consider, a whining sound most notably during acceleration but also when sitting in drive. When I put it in neutral the sound stops. Any ideas?
  • ken_yken_y Posts: 1
    Bump. I found my way here because my wife has the same vehicle, same problem. Hope someone can give us a clue.

  • Hello,
    I took someone's advise and asked a dealership to lube the SlipJoint. They removed the existing grease and filled/packed it with a blue synthetic grease that is supposed to be super slick. That was done 10/12 and so far it fixed it. You should know the same dealership told me they couldn't grease it (the slip joint) because there was no grease fitting. Don't ask me what changed from then to yesterday..........maybe an e mail to the Southeast District Manager???.........I praised a couple of guys at the dealership for having a great attitude and genuine interest in solving the kidding. The shop foreman and the customer service guy that greeted me and wrote up the work order were great. As for the fix, so far so good, but I'm skeptical about how long the fix will last. I'm considering asking for something in writing stating they (Toyota) will be responsible for maintaining the lubrication to fix the condition for as long as I own the vehicle.
  • Hello,
    What did you say to the Southeast District Manager? Please let me know if you get anything in writing on maintainng the lube fix....
  • My 2001 4runner recently blew the transmission. Hose running from radiator to tranny for coolant blew out, sending coolant into transmission. Now I hear it's a common problem around 140,000 miles. No used transmissions available, about $4200 to fix w rebuilt transmission, radiator, labor.
    Does this sound right? And anyone else have same problem? I've always been very Toyota loyal, had corolla, celica, and supra, finally 4runner and loved all no big problems. Just don't know if this is worth fixing or should I get new car? Any info appreciated!
  • My 2000 Toyota 4runner V6 125k miles automatic transmission started slipping on cold starts especially in the morning. After starting up, putting in drive and pressing the gas pedal first gear doesn't immediately engage but slips with no real power reaching the wheels. Then after about 5-10 seconds of slippage in jumps into 1st gear and then seems to shift normally. On the latest cold started slipping, I then manually shifted to 1st, 2nd and then drive after which further automatic shifting was normal. I took it to the Toyota dealer today for a trans fluid flush and change, the fluid was brownish but the mechanic said he's seen worse. So far today no change still slips on cold start. The mechanic said it might help or the transmission might not last 5k miles. He said a remanufactured transmission might run $2500 or a new replacement $4000. Based on this what is your prognosis based on seeing this before. Is this the beginning of the end for this transmission, or could a flush & change fix the transmission problem.
  • weasewease Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 4runner and have just replaced my transmission because of rust problems inside the tranny. It was a major problem with cooling lines failing and coolant entering the tranny. Toyota covered the problem under waranty but a lot of dealers did not clean up the tranny properly and now they are failling big time.
  • I'm having the same problem with my son's 01 prerunner 2WD. I've been working on the problem with a very reputable trans repair shop locally. It seems that the trans is not actually slipping, it's starting off in 4th gear. My son drove the truck for about a month after noticing the problem and it got progressively worse. When I finally took it in to be repaired the torque converter had begun to come apart and had to be preplaced. After the shop put it back together and delivered it to me, it did it again, just intermittenly. I took it back and they replaced all the solinoids (sp). It still did it occasionally. I took it back again and they replaced the computer with a used computer. Still had the same problem. Took it back again and they bypassed the cruise relay. It's still doing it. This problem persists although it only does it every once in a while. I'm taking it back in tomorrow. This problem has us all baffled.My advice is to take your truck in ASAP before you burn up the torque converter. Hope this helps. If you get yours fixed, please let me know.
  • emakemak Posts: 1
    hi! i got the same problem with my car,did you find it what is wrong?? thank you
  • Nope, there were no responses to my question. I'll let you know if I hear anything.
  • We have a 2006 4Runner purchased 12/15/05 with less than 78k miles. Just found out our rear differential needs replacing. Not wheel bearings (hoped for this) but the whole rear differential. Confirmed by shop mechanic and dealership. They said not common event at this low mileage.

    Toyota corporate is not even offering any good faith toward coverage even though only 17k miles over 60k warranty. We have owned 4 other Toyotas but not consistent buyer so we do not "qualify" as valued customer. Also no dealership convenient so had basic repairs done at local quality shop.

    Anyone else have this rear differential problem and "customer service" response from National office? Local dealership from where we bought is helping some but still costing about $2k to repair!!! :mad:
  • You did not specify, but let's say the issue is pinion bearings (not unheard of, especially if you let the gear oil get low, say, due to leaky axle seals).

    $2k is absurd. It is because dealerships do less repair every year, instead replacing components. You can't blame them, but you do not have to pay them either.

    You have several options. You can find and have installed (or install yourself, it is not *that* hard) a used, junkyard differential from a similar truck. This should run less than a quarter of that.

    Don't fear used Toyota parts. My 4Runner has clocked over 200K reliable miles with them and I fully expect to make 500K with proper maintenance.

    Another option is to find a *quality* 4x4 specialty shop (there are lots of hack shops; ask for referrals on 4x4 web forums in your area) that works on Toyotas and is familiar with yours. Regearing Toyota 4x4s for larger tires, etc. is commonplace and routine. It involves also replacing differential bearings, including the pinion bearings, so replacing pinion bearings is not a mystery, nor all that expensive.

    Let's say you have a broken ring gear for some reason. Your options are the same.

    So you really are not SOL. An independent Toyota shop has much more flexibility than a dealer, with used parts or actual repair - and here's a hint: dealership mechanics often do side work out of their own shop, and this could easily be the sort of thing he or she could do at a great discount.

    Hope that helps,
    -Red Chili
  • Hi Shellmm,

    I had the same problem with my 2001 4runner .The transmission hose blew out a year ago and now this year the Trans went. Well AAMCO wanted to charge me $4200 but I told them no thank you so I went t to a local trans shop which saved me a few bucks...I'm in New Jersey. The dealer charge is $3500 for a remanufactured transmission not including labor. I’m in the process of having the Trans rebuild now with my fingers crossed. please email me at
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    please email me at ...

    Let's keep the discussion here so everyone will benefit.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Hey. well I did the rebuild also..wound up being 4200, for trans, radiator, etc. Also they had me come back in after driving it for awhile to flush all the fluids, apparently oil can come back out and cause more problems. Also checked all the hoses again for same reason. Actual charge for rebuild was 2875...labor is the killer. So far running fine, a little problem getting key out of ignition since? They lubed everything again. Probably have to have that checked again too, but seems to be better. Good luck! I'll keep you updated!
  • i have a 02 4runner with 169k miles nd now while in motion the whole car is having like a violent shake ....i think it might be the tanny slippin ...
    any Suggestions or others with the same problem??
  • Wondering if you got any feed back on this problem? I have a 95 4Runner with the same problem. It only acts up when its cold
  • I have the same problem on a 98 4runner. What was the fix ?
  • I have a 2000 toyota 4 runner and when put into gear, mostly in the morning after sitting, the does not want to go. You have to give it gas and then it clunks into gear on goes. This has been going on now for about a couple of month. I just had the transmission fluid replaced about 6 months ago. The car has approx 114,000 miles. It is now in Washington DC. with my daughter. Has any one had this problem?
  • I have a 94 toyota 4runner that will at times will not engage unless I put it in 4wdr low. it feels like the transmission is engaging but but will not move, when I take it out of low range it does the same same thing again until it sits there for a while at idle then it will engage and run fine. I have taken it and had the filter and fluid changed. seems to me the problem may be in the transfer case. any input would be helpful.
    The paperboy
  • I have serviced my car religiously at the Toyota place. Now after my 120,000 service check up I find a have a dead car due to a transmission problem due to mixing of the fluids. so my questions are as follows: Should the dealer have picked this up when they serviced my car? Also shouldn't Toyota have told us to replace the radiator after 80 or 100 thousand miles? Does the dealer or Toyota bear the responsibility?
  • Hi dongill9640: I also have a new 2009 with the same transmission problem. Have you heard anything from your dealership? My service dept. says they have never heard of the problem. I also experience the slipping at other times too, not only when making right turns.
  • I had the same problem, when the temperature dropped to about freezing, the car would not move, after shifting between drive and reverse, it would make a banging sound from the rear and then work fine. The problem turned out to be the parking brake. a$ 20 dollar fix vs a new tranny.....

    I never use the parking brake, however I had the car serviced and the mechanic engage it. I guess after not being used for ten years it stuck 'on'.

    I still cannot figure out why this only happens when the temperature dropped, the car ran fine in warmer weather. Two mechanics (?) thought it may be the filter in the tranny.
  • I had the same problem, when the temperature dropped to about freezing, the car would not move, after shifting between drive and reverse, it would make a banging sound from the rear and then work fine. The problem turned out to be the parking brake. a$ 20 dollar fix vs a new tranny.....

    I never use the parking brake, however I had the car serviced and the mechanic engage it. I guess after not being used for ten years it stuck 'on'.

    I still cannot figure out why this only happens when the temperature dropped, the car ran fine in warmer weather. Two mechanics (?) thought it may be the filter in the tranny.
  • i am having the same problem with my 95 4runner. just had it serviced, flushed the fluids, changed the filter, and it drove fine for a day. then when i got home it now has problems going into gear. won't drive in L, or 2, sometimes only D. most of the issues are when it is cold or when i am going up a hill. I am thinking they put too much Transmission fluid in it? or maybe it is just shot? my AT oil temp light would come on during long drives up steep inclines. I live in costa rica so that is a common issue. any help out there?
  • Hi. Have you heard anything back form Toyota about the transmission? I'm having the same problem My service dept says that it is normal, but it slips at other times too. Thanks for any help.
Sign In or Register to comment.