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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • Hi mitch903,

    I didn't see what year 4runner you were posting this transmission issue for. I'm curious to see if its a 2010 because im having similar problems.
  • WOW.. I have a 2010 4runner and am experiencing the same issue. I took it to to different dealers and they cant find a problem. Mine also makes a slight rattle noise when in gear at a stop light. When in neutral or park the noise goes away.
  • I have a 2010 model that does the same exact thing. Same experience with the dealer saying everything is normal.

    I slow down but dont stop completely and then lightly accelerate and the engine revs up but the truck does not accelerate. (for example: coming off of the freeway slow down then turn. after the turn when i accelerate the engine rpm goes up but the truck does not accelerate for 2 seconds)

    There is also a secondary issue where when in drive or reverse with the brakes on, I hear a light rattle noise coming from under the car. Further inspection of the noise made it obvious that the noise was coming from around the transmission / rear of the engine area under the truck.

    Do I have regrets YES!
  • mitch903mitch903 Posts: 9
    My 4/runner is a 2009, purchased last November. I currently have about 2200 miles on it, however the problem started at 400 miles.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    edited April 2010
    It's been awhile since I last posted. I took the 4Runner to my dealership a couple of weeks ago because they said that the field rep told them to try shutting the computer system down completely and bringing it back up. This made absolutely no difference. The car still has the same problem reving and rpms increasing but going nowhere for a few seconds when slowing down to turn corners. I remain frustrated at this problem since it seems to be getting worse. I keep in close contact with my dealership, bugging them to no end. There has to be a fix for this problem, and, yes, I have heard the 2010's have the same problem. I also asked about a reported upgrade to the computer which was to come out in Feb. that might fix the problem. They never heard of it. My brother-in-law bought a 2010 Tacoma that did the same thing. He is presently dealing with the dealership about it.
  • I met with the regional field rep for a day about the problem. Our 09 has only 6500 miles and I was told we didn't drive it enough for the computer to have enough data points to correct for certain driving conditions it couldn't recognize. He assured me that the transmission was fine. Go figure. Told him I wanted the computer from our 06 installed. We had no problems with it, should have just kept the 06 but wanted to get a new one before the body style change. I asked about upgrades to the computer also, but he said the same thing about there not being one. Hope your brother-in-law can get more done. Keep us informed.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    Not to discourage you, but not sure if waiting longer will do any good. Ours did it from the start and it now has 12,000 miles on it and we bought it new in May of 09 and the problem is still there. But please pass on any info you get about the problem. I know we are getting the run-around but don't know what to do about it. A new car should not be having these problems!
  • sherid590sherid590 Posts: 7
    edited May 2010
    I am having the exact same problem with my 2009 4Runner. Dealership just keeps telling me that its the way the new electronic transmissions are. Also had a 06 and wish now I had kept it. I did do some more research and found some info worth passing along on another website blog. Here's what 3 other owners had to say:

    "I have the same hesitation (Shifting) problem with my 2010 SR5 and I just spoke to the technician at Toyota about the hesitation (SHIFTING) problem and was told there was no Flash out yet. He told me to bring the car in and a complaint would be filed. He said if enough people complain then they would come up with a flash. so everybody who has a problem with this hesitation please bring your car in! Thanks. "

    "Had the same hesitation problem with my 2007 Camry and they did a transmission computer flash and now there is no problem. My New 2010 4Runner now has that hesitation but they say a computer flash is not yet available but I will bring it in as soon as it is."

    They are talking about a couple different vehicles here but it looks like the Tacoma and 4Runner have the same transmission (A750 Transmission). Would think that if its a problem on the Tacoma, it would also be a problem on the 4Runner. I found a TSB (Toyota Service Bulletin) #0373-09 which appears to address the issue with the Tacoma. Called Toyota Corp to see if there was a TSB for the 4Runner as well. Had to file a complaint with them and was told it would be turned over the a account manager who would call me within 2 days. I printed out the TSB and am tempted to take it to my dealership and tell them here is how you fix it.

    I would encourage other owners who are having this same issue to contact Toyota and file a report with them. The more people that notify Toyota the better. Here is the number 1-800-331-4331.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    Thank you for the response. It is very interesting!! I have filed complaints to Toyota and the Transportation Highway Safety Assn and have given my dealership copies of these complaints. I have taken copies of all of the blogs to my dealership who asked me to keep sending in everyone's comments to her and she is forwarding to Toyota. I am sending her yours right now. In the mean time, my car seems to be getting worse. Thanks again.
  • ik123ik123 Posts: 2
    Hello everyone. I am glad I've found this forum. I have exactly the same issue with my 2010 SR5. Once I turn a corner and start accelerate, transmission slips, which is very annoying. I haven't talked to my dealer yet (I am in NJ) as I figured that it would be a waste of my time. I have also noticed that problem disappears if I shift transmission into 4WD. Has anyone been successful addressing it with your dealership yet? Is there any point in contacting my dealer right now? I am also going to file a complain with Toyota and NHTSA. I hope Toyota fixes it as I am very upset that this otherwise great car has such issue which should've been easily caught and fixed as early as Toyota factory testing

    Thank you
  • sherid590sherid590 Posts: 7
    I have another appointment on Tuesday with the Service Manager at my dealership. I also got a call from Toyota Corp about the report I filed with them. I'll report back after my appointment on Tuesday but I don't have high hopes of anything happening. He wants to ride with me with a Tech's computer hooked up to my car to see if it registers anything when the transmissions lags. Toyota Corp rep is supposed to call me on Wednesday to see what happened on Tuesday. Still not thinking anything will be accomplished but figured I'd go ahead with it.
  • sherid590sherid590 Posts: 7
    Well I've been working with the dealership regarding the transmission issue on my 09 4Runner. They had a tech ride with me with a computer connected to my vehicle. What they were seeing is that when you slow down from a higher speed to make a right hand turn, it is going from 5th gear down to 1st gear. I was told that it appears that the trans is thinking that I am going to stop so it doesn't know what to do. I have an appointment this Tuesday for them to do a "computer flash". I found out that what this does is it will wipe the computer memory. Kind of like wiping a hard drive back to original settings. They can not tell me how long it will last though. Once the vehicle becomes familiar with your driving habits again, it could start having the problem again. My case manager basically is telling me that at this point Toyota has not determined that it is an issue at this time but they could in the future. My thought, if I have to have the computer flash done every couple months until Toyota comes out with a permanent fix, that is what I will do.
  • lee363lee363 Posts: 3
    I'm being told they need to test the transmission fluid level and to do that they need to keep the vehicle overnight to get the fluid temp down to a certain temperature. Then if it's not the problem, they will write up complaint. Judging from all your posts, I'm thinking the fluid level is fine and has absolutely nothing to do with this problem.

    This is not the way the vehicle should run, plain and simple, and if this "Computer Flash" is their solution and needs to be done every few months, I'm going to sell the vehicle and never get another Toyota again. This is all a huge inconvenience.
  • sherid590sherid590 Posts: 7
    Actually Toyota didn't even mention anything about doing the computer flash. I decided I wanted it done after reading some of the messages out here. My dealership is basically handling it as if there is no problem. That this is the way the new electronic transmissions are and there is nothing they can do about it. Between me and my husband, we have owned Toyotas all the way back to 1976 and have never had any kind of problem like this. It is extremely annoying and frustrating. I also feel like the dealership is just humoring me because I'm a female but that I don't actually know what I'm talking about. I had a 2006 4Runner SR5 that I traded in for this 2009 and never had a single problem with it. Wish now I had just kept it. Will report back on if there is any change once I have the computer flash done.
  • bandit714bandit714 Posts: 2
    sounds like you need to check the codes in the computer it sounds like the TPS sensor
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    I continue to contact my dealership service manager to let her know when some writes about the trans problem with the 4Runners. I also have e-mailed Ask Toyotafor the 4th time and received this response."It is through correspondence such as yours that we are able to continue to improve Toyota dealership services, and we sincerely appreciate the time you have taken to bring this matter to our attention. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us. Your email is documented at our National Headquarters under file #1002112939." I appreciate their response but in my case it is not a dealership services problem, it is a problem from the factory. My dealership manager is very responsive and she contacts Toyota when I bring other complaints that I hear about to her attention. Maybe if we keep on Toyota about this problem we can get it corrected and get on with enjoying an otherwise great auto.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    Wondering if anyone has had any resolution to the trans problem with the 09 4Runner? I still haven't heard anything.
  • check out the following forum for more information. The next time I'm at the dealer I'll make sure they apply the update. xes-2.html
  • pking67pking67 Posts: 4
    Help! I was taking in trash today using a trailer going up a slight incline @ 58mph when the entire truck thudded, about three times then smoothed out, came again at the top of the incline, then nothing on the down side. Happened again, same way on next incline. Return trip I accelerated on the flat and the same thudding again, about 2-4 thuds then smoothes out. No change in rpm except by my slowing or accelerating. I am going out again now to try and reproduce the feeling. No trouble at start up, nor at constant easy speed, only when accelerating. Oh, I also cleaned off the battery terminals yesterday to clean up corrosion. It is 2000 4Runner 5vf series engine I think with 147K miles. Any suggestions would be great. I will check back if I make it back...
  • I'd like to know if you got any answers regarding your problem. I'm having the same with my 1990. thanks
  • I new my trans was going to go out. I have had similiar if not the same problems as a lot of you here. The delayed shifting, won't drop to passing gear when going up hill, to hard shifting. There was always fluid in it and figured since it had over 256k on it, it was probably time. I preformed all filter and fluid changes as recommended since I bought it at 234k. The trans fluid was dark when I first bought it. When I flushed it everything seemed and worked fine. I had to service it 8 months later and the fluid wasn't that bad. Recently I left my house and drove about a mile and a half to end of road and stopped. When I took off it shifted hard. But it shifted. Got about 1/2 mile and stepped on gas and the engine just revved. Steered to side of road and and put it in park. Went through all gears and the same even in reverse. Turned it off. called for ride. when my husband got there, I started it up and dropped it into drive to show him and it engaged. While engaged it makes this awful metal grind/rattling noise sounds like coming from transmission. I was able to drive it back to my house and park it. I guess my question is should I try to fix it or give up on it and sell it to someone for a parts truck? Its my only vehicle and I need to figure out something fast. Don't have a lot of money to spend. Does anyone know about how much I should sell it for if I should decide to go that way?
    Thanks, Crystal
  • I met with the regional field rep for a day about the problem. Our 09 has only 7500 miles and I was told we didn't drive it enough for the computer to have enough data points to correct for certain driving conditions it couldn't recognize. He assured me that the transmission was fine. Go figure. Told him I wanted the computer from our 06 installed. We had no problems with it, should have just kept the 06 but wanted to get a new one before the body style change. I asked about upgrades to the computer also, but he said there is not one. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Good Luck
  • fox_bfox_b Posts: 8
    My 2000 4Runner just started experiencing this same problem at 140k miles. What ended up being the problem? I am trying to diagnose it with the least amount of out of pocket expenses. Is it a soleniod or have the seals gone bad?

    Any help appreciated.
  • I have the same problem with my 2000 4Runner. In fact, my previous "00" 4runner had this issue. I had the dealer flush the trans and replace the radiator. After driving it a few hundred more miles I had the trans flushed again due to milky looking fluid still on the dipstick. I sold that unit for fear the trans would be dead soon. Bought another "00" model because I loved the style and was satified with the reliability. Have been driving it for 4 yrs now with hardly any maintenance except for a leaky differential cover. Liked it so much, I bought a third "00" model that was wrecked and rebuilt the whole thing. Just yesterday my wife said she broke down and car was overheating. Checked it out and sure enough, The same thing happened...."strawberry milkshake syndrome" pulled the dipstick and it was covered with antifreeze/trans fluid combo. I think toyota knows their radiators are faulty and just figure they'll ignore any TSB's or recalls. Kinda shady when you promote your company with ads of this one and that one getting 400K+ miles on their cars and then have an issue like this and just ignore it. This is an extremely costly fix if it's not caught soon!
  • bknippabknippa Posts: 1
    Got a 94 4runner...was driving fine then i got in it one day and it acted like it didn't want to was like the front tires were locked and the back ones would just spin. Eventually it started going i had to make it to work so i drove it anyways. eventually it wouldn't let me go any furthur. i could smell what i thought was the clutch so we replaced it and its still doin the same thing. now when i drive it, the rpms increase very fast and force me to shift...eventually i'll be driving in 5th gear and only going 20 mph or so....can anybody help me here?????
  • What the Heck
    My 2010 Toyota 4runner has been to two different dealerships a total of 4b times and I am getting the same [non-permissible content removed] from them.
    Toyota has to know there is a major problem and is covering it up.
    I am about to go to a third party and sue them.

    I even gave them the TSB # to correct the problem and they ignored it.
    They have been told to hide the problem.

    A 32,000 vehicle should not shift like a tractor
  • I have an 09 4Runner. The dealership kept the vehicle overnight to check the transmission fluid. They said it was low and topped it off. The hesitation in shifting diminished significantly but has not gone away entirely.
  • edpoledpol Posts: 11
    I agree 100%!! Mine is a May, 2009 4Runner and had what feels like trans problem since day-one! I have been in close contact with my dealership service manager and e-mail her all of the comments I read so she can keep record. I have file a complaint with the national highway assn and Toyota and sent the TSB# also. I got some form letter from Toyota thanking me for my concern. Something has to be done. I was told at one point that, with time, the problem will get better, but that isn't what happened. If anything, it's getting worse. Now it bogs down when I have to accellerate quickly not just when turning a corner, and I can't get out of the way fast enough. This happened to me in heavy Houston traffic the other day, and scared me to death. I guess an accident has to happen before they take serious notice. Please continue to comment on this site about any results you get. I refuse to give up! Like you said, a $32,000 vehicle should run perfectly, period. For them to keep telling me that's just the way they are made, is insulting.
  • I have a toyota 4runner 2001, however it has as I have been told 2000 trans. less than 3 years ago the trans went out. It made a noise as if something was broke lose inside. As the cost of a new was not economically possible, found a used one. Thats when we found out it was 2000 transmission. The mechanics we talked to including dealer specialist said " you don't rebuild, you buy used or new". Two weeks ago, the same thing happened again, it just stopped moving and had a sound as if something was free floating inside.
    There was no concern from the company rep about my issue even after i said I have owned Toyotas for over 30 years. I told her about my reactions from different mechanics including Toyota Dealers she did confirm the dealer answer. I was told "you don't rebuild These transmissions you buy new or used. They just trash them and this
    is something understood. I was a major Toyota fan until this.
    How many people here have had a similar problem with this model and year? Please contact me here or at
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please don't include your email address in postings to the Forums. Thanks!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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