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Toyota 4Runner



  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    I recently changed my oil on a 2001 model 4Runner. I bought a Toyota filter (#08922-02011). I noticed the filter in the truck was a little tight and needed a special wrench. I matched up the filter with a "Type B" oil wrench and started to change the oil. But the wrench did not fit the existing oil filter. I had to use the brute force method and a screw driver and hammer. It would of been easier if there wasn't a canvas side attachment by the engine. Can the canvas attachment come undone? It turns out the 1st filter is a different filter made in Japan and replacement filters are made in the US and use a different wrench. Bottom line; if you change your own oil you may want Toyota to change the first filter and oil, or have 2 different size oil wrenches.
  • mikeg444mikeg444 Posts: 17
    I am considering purchasing a 96-98 4 Runner and wondering what sort of real life gas mileage people get.
  • johndoe6johndoe6 Posts: 12
    I have a '98 Runner SR5 v6 and I get about 15 in town and 20 on the highway. It has an automatic transmission. I really like it!
  • alotawattsalotawatts Posts: 44
    FYI I used a self adjusting /metal strap type wrench and had very little trouble pulling my 2001 original factory filter.
  • hiluxsurfhiluxsurf Posts: 34
    I agree with Peter78. My first oil change on my 2001 Runner, I had to do the same thing, screw driver and a hammer. I should have bought a matching filter wrench from Toyota before I did that first one(I recommend this if you're still up to the challenge of the first one). I had the aligator type wrench which has teeth and tightens as you turn but to no avail. The filter actually just caved in 'cause it was so tight. I know next time. =)
  • llslicellslice Posts: 15
    I love my 01 4Runner,but one thing bothers me.It shifts a little harsh from a dead stop from 1st to 2nd if I baby it(3rd to 4th is smooth),but shifts seamlessly when I accelerate a little more aggresively.Also on occasion it feels as if someone bumped into me from behind when breaking semi hard to a dead stop,and then take my foot off the brake.As if the tranny never fully shifted down into 1st,and once the truck starts rolling it down shifted.It's got 5k miles right now and about to bring it in to the dealer to have a look.I own a 88 Celica w/140k hard city miles and am not used this by a Toyota.Anyone else have similiar quirks or suggestions?
  • jf01jf01 Posts: 88
    Besides the jerky early shifting, another quirk that I have with the transmission is a "hesitation." Sometimes after decelerating, then accelerating again, my 4Runner seems to "hesitate" and not want to accelerate, but then does it. It's not jerky, it's smooth, but it's still noticeable. It seems like it starts accelerating, slips off gear, then accelerates again. Anyone with a similar problem?
  • harry0harry0 Posts: 42
    I have the same hesitation problem with my 2001 4Runner. Sometimes when I accelerate from a red light or a stop sign it happens. It feels like the throttle response is off by 1/4 sec or so. It feels like the car wants to think about going then jumps. I find myself "feathering" the gas pedal when I start going. It doesn't happen all the time though. (10 to 20 percent of the time)
    My car is going in for a oil change in a couple of weeks. I'll ask the service dept what they think it might be then.
  • cevans2cevans2 Posts: 23
    I just picked up a 98 4runner SR5 w/ running boards, roof rack, and moonroof and 32K miles. So far, love it. The dealer wanted 25K, I got out the door for $23,666 and 6.4% finance for 60mos. , including bumper 2 bumper warranty - 3years 67K. Does that sound like a good deal? Any info would be much appreciated. Keep in mind that is in NY where sales tax is 8.5%
  • johndoe6johndoe6 Posts: 12
    Was the '98 a 4X4? If so then not a bad deal. You will like the truck regardless if it is a good deal or not. I like my '98 a lot!
  • henmobilehenmobile Posts: 13
    I have the same problem (see my postings #297 and #301). It seems to happen at about 12-14 mph when accelerating from a stop and again at around 40 mph. One dealer finally acknowledged that other customers had complained about the same thing, but he said not to expect a fix from Toyota. If anyone has any additional information, it would be greatly appreciated!
  • senlamaisenlamai Posts: 2
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for a 2001 Toyota 4Runner SR5 2WD in the Midwest region, particularly, Michigan, with either the SP or the LA package only. Does anybody know a good price and dealership in this area? The invoice price is $24,996 for LA package or $25,530 for SP package. Thanks for your help!

    Also, are there any factory-to-dealer incentives available on these cars.
  • pilot16pilot16 Posts: 10
    I am very interested in the 2002 model so if anyone knows anything please post. I have an 89 4Runner with 177K miles and may want to trade it in someday. I drove a new Pathfinder today and agree Toyota must have a bigger engine coming. The Nissan was xk but my 89 rides better.
  • pilot16pilot16 Posts: 10
    "ok'" not xk - what is with the spellchecker on this site?
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    No hits on the maintenance board so I figured I'd try this here. You guys are more active over here.

    I have a 2000 4Runner Limited with 16000 miles. I took it in for 15000 mile maintenance and when I got it back the brakes would shudder at highway speeds. I took it back and they said the brake drums where warped. The service advisor said that the mechanic may have put the brake pads on too tight. These are covered under warranty of course but I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    If the rear brakes were warped, it wasn't the pads. Pads go on discs, shoes go on drums and the the rear brakes on your Runner are drums. Get a better answer from your service advisor.

    BTW, warped front rotors are not rare on the Runner.
  • johndoe6johndoe6 Posts: 12
    Is there any brand of shock that would make the ride of the Runner smoother on the road? My wife doesn't like the ride because of the pitching and jolts over bumps. It does not bother me that much.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I'm the wrong guy to ask. I wish I could help.
  • llslicellslice Posts: 15
  • cevans2cevans2 Posts: 23
    Yes, it is a 4X4. From the research I did, it looks like a good deal. Only thing is, does anyone have any experience changing the shocks on 4runners to get a better ride? The ride is quite smooth when the road is smooth, but you do get every road irregularity transmitted to the cabin. I mean, it is a truck, and I expected it to ride as one, but I would like to smooth out the bumps a bit. Off-roading is not in my forseeable future.
  • johndoe6johndoe6 Posts: 12
    That is the question I am asking of cliffy1, Steve Clifford, the Toyota salesman, about the shocks. He said he is the wrong one to ask (thanks Steve). I will ask around and let you know.
    Hope you are liking your '98 4X4, I like my 4X2 even though it can get rough on bumpy roads!
  • jf01jf01 Posts: 88
    I've seen a lot of 4Runner websites where the owners used Bilstein shocks and said that the ride and handling were both improved. Anyone have any experience with Bilsteins on any vehicle? I also looked at Edelbrocks, but thought that gas shocks are better than ones with a "rebound circuit." Is this incorrect? I've been looking around for opinions on Bilsteins and have also been looking at prices. The best prices I've found so far are from the performance products catalog from at $79.95 each for the fronts, and $64.95 for the rears. Another place I asked told me about $320 for all four. Is there any real difference between the fronts and the rears? Also, any opinions on the Bilsteins would be appreciated.
  • jparentejparente Posts: 9
    Hi, I purchased a set of Bilsteins for both front and rear on my 2000 4Runner. I checked around and was told these are the best $ can buy. I too wanted to smooth out the ride. Well, let me tell you it really doesn't do much for that; it does seem to stick to the road a bit better over washboard surfaces.

    I do notice that it corners much better and when I have 4 people aboard, towing my boat, the ride calms down a bit and the handling seems much better with the added towing weight. It also appears to corner pretty flat.

    I'm not 100% sure this really helped my daily driving impressions. Every bump is still transmitted into the cabin and I remind myself "this isn't a car, it is a truck". So I'm a little unhappy with the results but like I said, it is a truck. I paid $280 for my set and $100 to have them installed...YIKES! So check around on install. But don't expect this to totally change your Runner's smoothness.
  • jq3jq3 Posts: 52
    I've tried 2 sets of shocks. My wife and I were(are) totally disappointed in the ride of our '97 4-Runner SR-5. First, I tried a set of Gabriels from Sears, but these shocks caused the truck to sort of bounce after it hit a bump. So, then I tried a set of Bilsteins and though they stayed steady after a bump they did NOTHING for the ride on rough roads. I still have the Bilsteins and will stick with those until we get another SUV.

    Yes, I know it's a truck, but this day and time many people use their SUV's as "big cars". They rarely see any off-road activity, besides that's what my Tundra Limited is for, and to ask for a smooth ride isn't too much to ask for. Any market analysis will inform the auto makers that most people want a car-like ride with the flexibility of a truck, hence, the new hybrid vehicles.

    Hopefully, the '02 4-Runner will address the ride issues which I've read owners complain about since we purchased ours new in '97. If not, we'll be forced to go elsewhere. I informed Toyota of this in a couple of surveys I filled out over the past 4 years of ownership. I hope they're listening because my wife really likes the 4-Runner and I like Toyotas!
  • djprezdjprez Posts: 1
    I have been test driving some SUV's for a couple of weeks now. They have been mainly new ones. I came across a 98' 4Runner Limited, 68K miles, it was loaded, very clean. The dealer was asking $22,888 for it. I thought it was a little high $$$ for the milage so I questioned it. He said "Oh, these things just break in at 55,000" -- is this BS?

    I know Toyotas are reliable but, I don't want to get into something that won't last me another 7-10 years.

    I test drove a Santa Fe and a Tribute -- I know that these are not in the same class as a 4Runner but for the same price I can get brand new. I plan on testing the Jeep Liberty, Escape and a Pathfinder

    Suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.
  • ochsskochssk Posts: 52
    If you are not doing off-roading and Bilsteins are a bit pricey you might check out KYB Gas-A-Justs. I put those on my '88 4Runner and am pretty happy with them. I've heard the Bilsteins can be a little stiff onroad. Also 4Runners are made to go offroad and to last forever. This coupled with a truck frame leads to a fairly stiff ride no matter what the shock. If you want a soft onroad ride try a Highlander.
  • ochsskochssk Posts: 52
    I am starting to research a replacement for my '88 4Runner and I am considering the same vehicles you are. The longest lasting vehicle, Toyota 4Runner. Unfortunately they are $$ but may be worth it in the long run. Rumor has it they will redesign it in 2002 on the Tacoma frame with a hopefully more powerful and fuel efficient engine.

    The Tribute/Escape has some first year recall issues and safety (crash test) leaves much to be desired. (check out

    The Santa Fe seems to be very well received by new owners. It has ok ground clearance for limited off road use, though with the independent suspension you will need to be careful. Their safety rating is very impressive but long term reliability is a question which only time will tell. On the other hand the 10 year 100K warranty offers some assurances.

    I will not touch a Jeep especially first year- I don't want to make my mechanic rich.

    I think the pathfinder is a good vehicle. I would say the reliability is close to the 4Runner.

    If I can afford it the 4Runner would be my first choice. If I can't afford a 4Runner probably a Santa Fe, if I can find one (they are becoming very popular)
  • dbabbledbabble Posts: 13
    It is possible to improve the ride and handling to some degree with better shocks. Just like tires, OEM shocks may not be as good as what you can get for replacement. And yes, the 4Runner is bouncy over the small bumps. On the other hand, it's smooth over bumps that would've ripped the undercarriage right off my old Honda Civic. That's why you've got 11 inches of clearance, and a suspension with several inches of travel, so you can hit them big rocks.

    However, as jq3 pointed out, it's still a truck. I would point out that Toyota has listened to the surveys, and that's why their two newest 4wd offerings are both car-based SUVs; the Sequoia and the Highlander. They will likely keep the 4Runner much the way it is, because there still is a market for a legitimate off-road vehicle, as opposed to a "big car" with 4wd.
  • cevans2cevans2 Posts: 23
    I have heard a few members mention the TRD
    super-charger. I know the performance specs, but what kinda mileage would you get? Can Toyota also mod the suspension to handle all the power? Also heard about people installing K&N air filters and mod chips for the computer. On one board someone said they get their 4runner from 0-60 in 6.5 secs with just the filter and mod chip. WOW!! If that's true, that's gotta put some extra wear on the engine, right? Personally, I'm not looking to do 120MPH in a 3700 lb. truck, and my 4runner has plenty power for its purposes, but some extra pop would be nice. Any info/prices/websites would be appreciated.
  • dbabbledbabble Posts: 13
    There was a guy (unfortunately, his website is gone) who did just about every modification to his 4Runner that you can think of (supercharger, fuel system, air intake, ignition system, etc.). In fact, he went through several rounds, trying different things. He kept pretty good records of what he'd done, and he'd put his rig on a dynamometer to measure performance. What I found from his website, and others, is that the supercharger will do more than any other single modification. Most people claimed the hit on mileage was on the order of 1 mpg - not too bad. The bigger hit is that you have to go to premium fuel. I wouldn't modify the suspension. If you want something that corners better, buy a car.

    The improvement from a K&N filter depends, in part, on how bad the original filter works. Most people say that the difference is marginal. Basically, it's probably worth doing when it's time to service your filter, not before.

    Those high performance chips you see advertised typically void your warranty. Cliffy1 can probably answer that one. If you change the operational regime of the engine without upgrading valve springs, cams, etc., then you could very well be shortening the life of the engine by installing one of those things.

    It's tough to drastically improve the performance of an engine without extensive modification. A new oil filter or performance chip are quick and easy, but they may either not do much, or do harm.
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