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Toyota 4Runner Transmission Problems



  • weasewease Posts: 4
    I had to buy a different transmission. The problem is there was a coolant leak in the trucks when they were new and there was a recall. The coolant leaked in to the transmission coolant lines and ended up contaminating the transmission. They replaced the lines on recall but a lot of the trucks never got flushed out very well and after 10 years the transmission is completely rusted inside and is no good even to rebuild.
  • baldimanbaldiman Posts: 3
    The check engine light comes on and the code is Neutral safety switch. And the Reverse light comes on no matter what gear it is in. Dose this sound familiar?
  • weasewease Posts: 4
    No I did not have that problem , my problem was sometimes it would just loose drive and would just rev up until I put it back into drive 2. But you should have someone look inside the transmission and see if it is rusted ,it is quite a problem with these trucks. I tried the battery repplacement thing and all it did was work for a bit and then started slipping again.
  • 964runner1964runner1 Posts: 1
    edited May 2011
    95 4Runner when I accelerat from 0mph at a stop light it speeds up very slowly. Its as if its in second gear not first. the O/D light blinks on and off.
  • dfrizdfriz Posts: 1
    My son has a 99 Toyota Forerunner 4x4 with automatic transmission and while his girl friend was driving it the other day the trans went out and the vehicle would not move in any gear, one mechanic told them to purchase a used trans to keep it original Toyota parts, they are worried about going to AAmco due to aftermarket parts. Now the first mechanic thought the car was bumped into reverse or park while she was driving because of metal shavings but the second mechanic said that shavings are some what normal and he thinks it might be something else due to the fact that when in park the vehicle rolls freely. I do not know much about automatic transmissions so any answer would be appreciated.
  • schlaneyschlaney Posts: 2
    i have a 93 with 198,000 on it v6. if i stop at a light at bottom of hill when i go start out it doesn't want to shift into 2nd, then it will hit. I have it flushed, tuned up. it does this shifting whenever it wants. but it will always happen on and incline. the od light will come and off as it pleases. it does seem to been using more gas than i think it should. Now after it does this for awhile, it seems to act like its not running on all cyl. I took it in a couple of times for the same problem, someone suggested a trans shift sensor. Anyone had similar problems and have any suggestions or answers for me.
  • schlaneyschlaney Posts: 2
    i am having the same problem with my 93, flushed tranny, full tune up, the light will go off for about 50 miles and will run great during that time, then the light comes on, right back where i was. It is at the garage right now...did you find the answer, cause we are guessing right now, and i can't really afford to keep fixing the wrong problem
  • sherid590sherid590 Posts: 7
    ok, well since my last post we have moved from Kentucky to Utah. I finally got in contact with the Toyota dealership here in Utah to see what they had to say about this lagging problem between 1st and 2nd gear. After 2 visits and having the regional or district person drive the vehicle, they acknowledge that there is a problem and it is most likely a computer problem but until Toyota Corp comes out with a fix there is nothing they can do about it. I still don't understand why Toyota came out with a fix for the 2010 model but nothing has been released for the 2009. The dealership did say that Toyota won't come out with a fix until there is enough evidence to prove its happening with a huge number of the 2009s. Not exactly what I wanted to hear but at least this dealership acknowledged the problem with is more than I can say for the dealership in Kentucky.
  • c130bumc130bum Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 05 4Runner. It was something very simple and cheap. A good friend of mine, a mechanic in NY, told me to buy a bottle of "Limited Slip" transmission additive. There are several types on the market. I put about 4 ounces in the tranny, and the transmission shudder stopped immediately! I had changed out the tranny fluid with the "WS" type 3 times, and it did nothing. This additive worked great. The three Toyota dealerships I brought it to had no idea what was causing it. My friend explained the reason the tranny would do this... acting similar to the way a clutch works. Apparantly, the fluid had lost its viscocity, and just this little bit of additive worked great. First, I would drain the fluid and refill with "WS" type fluid to restore some of the viscocity, and while that service is being performed, just add the additive with it. The tranny holds a lot more than what comes out. Only about 4 quarts will empty out from the drain plug, the rest stays in the tranny. So you never actually drain all of the fluid. Therefore it would take multiple servicings to change out all 12-14 quarts in the unit. So just get a special size socket to undue the fill port, and add the additive yourself if you are mechanically inclined. If you search on line, you'll find some pdf documents with photos of the fill port. The bolt says "WS" on it, so you'll know you have the correct bolt. You may need to buy a pump unit to pump the additive into the tranny. You can get these at Wal-Mart or any auto store. They are the same thing as your dish soap dispenser in operation, just built to pump much heavier fluid. If you are adding only a 4 ounce bottle, don't worry about it affecting the tranny. It dillutes into the 12-14 quarts but adds the grip that the tranny clutch plates need.
    Hope this helps. It worked for me. I had about 145K on mine when it started happening. It was like I was driving over a rumble strip under light acceleration between 2-3, 3-4, 4-OD. I've put about 10K on the vehicle since, with no rumbling at all. Simple $5.00 fix. One dealer told me I neede a new Transmission! lol Of course he did.
    Again, hope this helps.
  • jonartzjonartz Posts: 2
    It sound Like it was put in to park while the vehicle was still rolling and broke the park pin. That broken pin probably wasted the tranny when they tried to drive it. Your call on Used, Re-manufactured, or trying to get it rebuilt. It usually cost 150 bucks just for them to open it up to see if it can be rebuilt.
  • jonartzjonartz Posts: 2
    Oh make sure its not just the linkage first. I'd hate to see someone buying a trans and have it be the shifter. Have someone move the shifter Back and forth (With the parking break set) while someone is underneath looking to see if the shifter is moving the lever on the trans. It could be stuck in Neutral with a broken shifter. Then again it could be the transfer case. Make sure the Its not just the 4x4 lever just got kicked into neutral.
  • my 92 4 runner can't decide if it needs to be in drive or OD first it wont shift into OD then it keeps shifting between drive and OD all other gears seam to shift fine and tranny isent sliping just wont pic a gear whats up?
  • when I put my 4runner in reverse it feels like its in neutral. I checked the tranny fluid and it looks too full. Can this be as bad as too low? The truck has 244,000 miles on it.
  • I have a 2006 4runner 4.7 8 cylinder engine, 125,000 miles. I starting to get a high pitch whining noise on acceleration. Will fluids help my problem? I really need the advice please, I don't have 4,000 dollars for a new transmission.
  • I'm sorry I forgot to ask, do you have exact Web sites that I can find help on how to add fluids to my transmission, and info on sensors and other things for this closed automatic transmission? I have to drive 50 to a 100 miles a day and it's my only car.
  • My 4runner has been perfect until lately. I try to put the car in drive and it does not seem to go into gear. Sometimes when I am driving it I will push on the gas and only rev the engine instead of accelerating. Does anyone know what the problem is or has had the unfortunante experience. It happened a few months ago and then stopped. Now it has started and seems to be worse.
  • My 09 4-Runner Sport Edition has the same transmission problem that apparently a lot of us are having. I back out of a parking space, put it in drive and rev the engine and it goes nowhere for several seconds until it lunges forward with a jerk! If it doesn't do that, the traction control kicks in on perfectly dry pavement with vehicle sitting still and still goes nowhere. The ABS when engaged also acts a little strange. I bought it in Jan and had it at the dealership in Feb. Have had it there two more times since. First 2 times, they could not find anything wrong of course. The third time, I told them to keep it for a week and not to give it back until they got it to act up and FIX it. I also told them I didn't trust the computer to alert me or them with any codes whatsoever. They told me that all 3 issues were related. When I picked it up a week later, they said Toyota told them to download new software in the computer and they will leave the ticket open to wait to hear from me. Said if that didn't work they would replace the computer. It has now been 3 weeks and at first I could tell a definate improvement but has gradually gotten back to it's old tricks. I called today and had them check with Toyota to get the computer ordered. They told me to bring it in Mon and that they couldn't order it yet. Toyota wants them to get it back in and see if they can get it to act up. I told them they could have it for 2 days. If they don't replace computer, I am going to trade it. They know they have a problem and should stand behind their warranty!
  • You're wasting your time. My 09 4-runner does the same thing. They all do it! Also, when trying to merge it hesitates when you accelerate and starts searching for the next gear - much like a standard transmission would do with a bad clutch. It revs to around 3500rpm but goes NOWHERE! The dealer reset the computer and she ran perfectly for 2 weeks and then went back to the way it was. It's a dangerous machine when the computer tells you when you can accelerate and when you can't however Transport Canada Safety Division don't think so.
    I went as far as I could go with Toyota Canada and I took them to arbitration. I had a board of 3 Toyota Canada reps and an arbitrator. After 60 minutes he decided that the truck was running as it should and sided with Toyota. That's as far as I can go with it. Just waiting for the esp warranty to expire so I can get rid of it. Piece of junk! I would have been better off buying 2 Kia's for $47,000.00 that I paid, at least they can accelerate when you want them to!

    BTW: I told the Toyota Canada rep that the internet is FULL of people having the same problem and that he should investigate. He told me that he's not wasting his time following up concerns on the internet. So, there you go. If you can trade it now you should, if you don't you're just wasting your time. I'll never buy another one and I've had 4 of them, brand new off the showroom floor. Never again!

  • Thanks for the info. I had read all of your earlier posts. Mine also does the hesitant acceleration thing. I am going to take it this week for the last time. I have already decided to trade it. It has 39K miles on it and is worth more right now than it will be in the next 6 months. I put lots of miles on it in a short period of time. This is my second 4-runner and I guess my last. I LOVED my 2002 Sport edition. I traded a 2005 Highlander for this 4-Runner. It was beginning to have tranny problems too. Although it had 170K miles on it. It always had a tiny bit of hesitation but I thought it was because it was a 4 cyl. which I hated. Anyway, thanks again for the info. Good Luck.....
  • I took my 4-Runner to the dealer again last Thursday 9/15, and they kept it for 2 days this time. I was very reluctant that they would get anything accomplished this time either. They decided to check the fluid level this time and it was low! How on earth is a sealed transmission low unless there is a leak? They flushed and refilled the fluid and sealed back to factory standard. I asked how this could be and the rep thinks it was low from the factory. Could be.... Well, so far, so good. The truck drives better than it ever has and has not messed up. I have 40k miles on the truck and warranty is good til 60K so I will be watching it closely.
  • the problem you are having with you 4runner making a clank sound when going into or out of gear is the result of bad U-joints on ur drive shaft..will cause unusual vibrations at driving speeds
  • when I'm in 4 high or 4 low, it sometimes make a grinding noise when climbing steeper hills. Is this normal?
  • Hello bmurad,

    It is now December 26,2011. I have a 1998 4Runner with 170,000 miles. I am having identical intermittent problems with my truck. When starting the car on some mornings, the idle will hesitate and the car will stall out if I do not hold the accelerator pedal down. I let it warm up with the accelerator depressed and the problem seems to be resolved. This problem happens every month or so. On top of that I am starting to have transmission problems. I have experienced problems putting the car into reverse on three separate times over the past 2 months. It will refuse, then grind and back up slowly. Not good. In addition I have a clicking and clacking noise in behind the glove box. Could this be the mass air flow sensor? I suspect that it is time to rebuild the transmission. However my forward gears shift perfectly. Power in the Sierra Mtns around Lake Tahoe has gone downhill. I find that I need to shift down to low drive to get up the steep grades with power. Did you find out what the issue was with your tranny? With the click and clack noise behind the glove box?
  • I saw your post on the Edmunds forum. I have a 2001 toyota 4runner and the transmission has gone out. The mechanic has quoted me $2000 for a used or $3200 for rebuilt factory. Just wondered if you have any advice. Im not sure if I should invest the money or get a new car....

  • HELP!

    I saw your post on the Edmunds forum. I have a 2001 toyota 4runner and the transmission has gone out. The mechanic has quoted me $2000 for a used or $3200 for rebuilt factory. Just wondered if you have any advice. Im not sure if I should invest the money or get a new car....
  • I have a 2001 toyota 4runner. I bought the car in 2003 and have babied it. I love it. The transmission has gone out. The mechanic has quoted me $2000 for a used or $3200 for rebuilt factory. Just wondered if you have any advice. Im not sure if I should invest the money or get a new car....
  • Hi- Did you have Ammco rebuild your transmission or did you get a new or used one? I have heard that they should not be rebuilt. I have a 2001 that the transmission just went out in.
  • I have a 2001 toyota 4runner. I bought the car in 2003 and have babied it. I love it. The transmission has gone out. The mechanic has quoted me $2000 for a used or $3200 for rebuilt factory. Just wondered if you have any advice. Im not sure if I should invest the money or get a new car....
  • fox_bfox_b Posts: 8
    You say it went out. What does that mean? Have you had it diagnosed? Is it just low on fluid or is the battery old and the tranny is not getting enough juice? Have you had it serviced regularly? All of these things will affect it.

    On keeping your truck, how valuable is the truck to you? Have you babed it or is it just another vehicle to you? I baby mine so I would want to keep it since it has a lot more value to me and so I would put in another tranny, used or rebuilt I am not sure. What are the warranties of each since that is important? I guess with a used one you are taking chances. I would want to know how many miles on the used one. I am not sure about rebuilt ones.

    I hope this helps and good luck.
  • fox_bfox_b Posts: 8
    I just wanted to reply to you message even thought it has been awhile ago. I now have 15k more miles since I changed my battery and I still have not had any more problems with my tranny. I do run AMSOIL tranny fluid in it which I believe is better for it. It is a universal fluid and lasts 3 times as long.
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