Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota 4Runner



  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Both tire sizes are equivalent in terms of size. The 17" wheels will slightly make your ride a bit rougher...SLIGHTLY (more alloy and less rubber/air). The 16" wheels are not as pretty...the current trend nowadays is toward more allow and higher profile tires. Handling will SLIGHTLY favor 17" wheels.

    The MOST important difference between the tire sizes is aftermarket availability. Most SUV tire companies do not offer many choices in 17" wheels...however, that is starting to change. There is a whole bunch in 16" wheels.

    Hope this helps.
  • Here is my non-technical 2 cents:

    I have been shopping for a 4-runner. Last Friday, I got into a 2003 v6 4 x 2. Salesman turned on the A/C after we took off and a bad odor filled the truck and was blowing out of the vents. Now, I have test driven many new cars/trucks and they will have some "burning" odors when brand new--but nothing like that odor! The salesman turned off the A/C --opened the windows and commented that he has never smelled anything like that--that it was not normal and they can't sell trucks with that--he said he would find me another one if I was interested.

    I asked the SALESMAN what that odor was and he commented that in Japan, they spray the engine and components with a chemical under the hood before shipping to prevent rust and corrosion while on the seas. He said that when it arrives in port--they are supposed to "wash it down" with another chemical that removes the first one. He thinks they forgot to wash this one at port and said that they can wash the chemical off at the dealer later.

    When we got back from the test drive, the Sales Manager approached to see how I liked it and without warning to the salesperson, I asked him about the odor. He responded with the following: Same story about how they apply a thick corrosion prevention chemical in Japan BUT he says that for some units--they are forgetting to wash it off at the Port--prep facility in Long Beach, CA and that the dealers have no ability to wash it off--he said that if I buy that particular truck, I will just have to drive it until it burns itself off eventually or just find another one that had it washed off properly at the port. Manager says over the last few months, Toyota Japan has been applying the compound in heavier quantities that usual because due to the terrorism alerts, ships have been held off the coast longer than normal for inspection and documentation before being allowed in and there is more risk of corrosion.

    I don't know if that was the same smell that some are experiencing, but this was what I experienced on one test drive. [I test drove another 4-runner a couple of weeks ago at another dealer and do not remember any bad smells on that one--but we did not turn on the A/C either]
  • rob222rob222 Posts: 49
    Anybody have a link to a 03 4-runner screensaver?
  • meemo87meemo87 Posts: 17
    There are three different head units for the JBL system in the 4runner. One for NAV, One for the 6-disc in dash and the other is a single disc. In Indiana you can get the 6 disc in dash on the Limited V8 but not the V6. There aren't any Limited V6's with the JBL set-up around here. The Sport V8's have the JBL system but not the 6 disc head unit. All the SR5's are equiped without the JBL stereo. This varies greatly by where you live.
  • fngfishfngfish Posts: 9
    I live in arizona and bought my 4runner at larrymiller for 500 over invoice. talk with mike cameron in fleet sales. He was the best there was no haggleing. He went out of his way to get the vehicle I wanted from another dealer. I didn't get good vibes from some of the other big dealers here in phoenix. good luck chris
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Hi all. I'm posting this to give ammunition and reassurance to those fighting odor problems.

    Our '03 4Runner Limited V8 10/02 build has no odor problem whatsoever. It had none when it was new, and has none now at 5200 miles. it produces no rotten egg smell, no burning smell, no unususal odors at all. I've used Shell, Mobil and Marathon gas ranging from 87 octane regular through 93 octane premium. I live in Lansing, MI.

    They DON'T all do that. Bad odors are NOT a normal feature of 2003 4Runners.

    Best of luck in your negotiations. I'm sorry to hear that Toyota and some of its dealers have chosen to address a problem by denial rather than action. This is SO short-sighted!

  • mb0526mb0526 Posts: 11
    This is in response to the write-ups on the stinch that the new 2003 V8 4Runner is producing. I posted about 1 1/2 months back on this issue but no-one really responded. I too bought a 2003 V8 Sport Edition 4Runner in November of 2002. I have told the dealership many times about the horrific and embarassing smell but they also gave me the run around about fuel additives/spray from Japan. They just called me about a TSB put out on the subject saying that is was fuel additives causing the problem and they could do nothing about it. I have never owned a vehicle with this type of problem and I have owned a lot of cars over the 20 years I have been driving. I have also thought about going through the lemon law. Please let us all know how your case turns out.

  • reddfishreddfish Posts: 54
    Thanks to Michael, Karl, rokink, and carattorney for your input. It is appreciated.
  • reddfishreddfish Posts: 54
    thank you to anybody else I may have missed
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    The coating they put on the vehicles to prevent corrosion during transport is called 'cosmoline', I believe. Every new car I've purchased (given they were all foreign - 2 Japanese and 1 German, I imagine they were all shipped) has had this and it does emit a smell when the car is new and the engine gets warm. It's somewhat sulfur-like, but nothing like the rotten egg smell described.

    I've got about 590 miles on my V8 LTD, and the burning cosmoline smell is mostly gone now. No other bad smells coming from it, so I'm with Karl on this, it doesn't sound normal at all to get awful rotten egg smells.

    As for where to buy one, I know Arizona is in the same region as Colorado. In fact, my vehicle was originally allocated to AZ, but got diverted here from the port by a dealer trade, because it was the only V8 LTD in Pacific Blue allocated to any dealer in the 6 state region at the time. Sounds like options will be pretty much the same through an entire region, and dealers can trade allocations within the region to get a specific vehicle, as long as it has the option packages you can find on Toyota's website. Otherwise it's special order and 4-6 months.

    There are dealers in the Denver area that were willing to sell me one at invoice plus doc fee.
  • asdfasdf Posts: 9
    Hi all,
    My friend bought his automatic 4runner in 99 new. He always shift to N position (from D) while slowing down approaching redlights, stop signs, while waiting on traffic or going downhills (when it's ok, he knows about engine break). He says that it helps saving fuel and a bit on transmission, and also feel like stickshift! My opinion is that doing so will somehow kill the transmission faster (too many shift between D and N positions).
    Please let us know what you think. Thank you.
    (His 4runner still runs like new now!)
  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    I do the same ONLY when I stop at the traffic light for long period, not so much to save fuel or AT, but to rest my leg. I believe it will actually hurt the AT for other situations your friend mentioned.
  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    Never thought about that unless I was low on gas and I was coasting down a long hill? But, at stoplights (when they tend to be long waits) I do tend to put mine in park to help save on the brakes (especially when it's hot outside) and rest my leg too? I had a mechanic once tell me that some folks tend to ride their brakes and if they do and they come to a stop, it's a good thing to let it roll forward a few ft in order to cool the pads/rotors so it will help prevent excessive rotor warp??? Does this sound weird?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I know I am late to this party and many of you have a pretty good grasp on what is going on. There are two different odors. One is the cosmoline burning off. That goes away rather quickly. The worst I have ever seen took 200 miles to dissipate. The sulfur smell is different. I'll defer to Toyota's TSB on it being a fuel additive thing, but I have also noticed that I only get it on my V8 Tundra if I am VERY heavy on the throttle. If I ease up a bit and am not concerned about beating everybody else to the next red light, I never get it.
  • Thank you for your explanation of what the chemical is that is sprayed prior to shipping. If that burn off within 200 miles or so, it should not be the problem some are haveing with long term odors.

    If a TSB is claiming that a fuel additive is causing the repeated odors, then why is this not a problem in more vehicles. I have driven/owned many different makes an models of car/trucks, all seasons of the year and have not had that problem? If fuel additives were causing odors in many vehicles, this would have come to the attention of the NTSB a long time ago and changes would have been made. Manufacturers know what is in fuel--they would be the first to complain to Washington and the the oil companies if it was causing a widespread problem with their vehicles. The story would be on 60 minutes.

    What is it about the design of the new 4-runner or the engine that is causing that problem. It seem as if the V8 is afflicted. That same V8 engine has been out in the Sequoia for some time? What is it about the new 4-runner that creates a problem?

    Just some questions for everyone to ponder?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683

    Official Petition to Ford/Mazda - Escape / Tribute gas odors II


    2001 Suburban exhaust odor

    VW, Nissan, Infiniti, Pontiac, BMW, KIA, Buick (and more!):

    Rotten Egg smell exhaust

    and that's just from a quick 2 minute search of Town Hall...

    Steve, Host
  • vaughn4vaughn4 Posts: 106
    I have read all the posts about the odor from the 03 4Runner. My 03 V8 Sport 4Runner has this same rotten egg smell. It permeates the cabin sometimes even with all windows closed and the A/C in recirculate. I'm concerned this is harmful to my occupants. I called Toyota and they blame it on the gas. I use the EXACT same gas in our 98 Expedition and NO SMELL at all. This is a shame! A $30K vehicle that smells like this. I too am thinking of filing the lemon law. I have had at least 20 different cars since 1987 and NON have ever smelled like this.

    Also, this is the first vehicle I have ever owned that did not achieve the posted EPA gas mileage printed on the window sticker. I have not been able to manage over 17 mpg at any time.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Your Expedition has a V8 that meets ULEV standards for 2003? Of course it doesn't. Back in the "old days", sulphur smells were attributed to catyletic converters gone bad. I suspect they still play a role in what we are smelling. If that is the case, it most likely has something to do with the emission control devices and it is very possible that fuel additives have a lot to do with this.

    This issue is NOT exclusive to the Runner. Beyond those links that Steve provided showing other affected car lines, this has been discussed in the Sequoia topic and I have it in my Tundra (again, I only get it when I lead foot the thing).
  • I've got a V8 in my 2003 4Runner Sport, and don't have the smell problem.

    I remember on the window sticker that I DO have the "50-state emission" feature. Maybe that's got something to do with it.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    The story of the transmission reminds me of a story I read in Road and Track. A husband made the wife open the hood of her car to cool off the hoses, so they can last longer. The response from Road and Track would be much as what I am about to say, Yes, putting the transmission in neutral may help in mileage, but you could cause damage and it is much ado about nothing.

    I have also heard about moving a little to save the brakes. The theory is when you brake hard and stop the pads are very hot and at a stop, the heat is just one area of the disc. If you move a little the heat moves to another part of the disc. Once again much ado about nothing.
  • rickwil61rickwil61 Posts: 23
    I just wanted to confirm something about the odor. Judging from some of the posts this thing is pretty bad, I mean like "gag a maggot" bad where it almost makes you sick to be in the vehicle, is this correct? I'm sort of like cliffy where if I have fresh air coming in and I get on the throttle pretty hard I can pick up an odor. I wouldn't describe it as rotten eggs but it does smell exhaust related. It's not something that would make you sick and most of the time I don't notice it.

    I'm just trying to gauge how severe the problem is for people who are experiencing it. Is it something that literally makes you sick or is it something that doesn't necessarily drive you out of the car but you feel that for 30K there shouldn't be any odor at all. (Which I wouldn't disagree with)
  • reddfishreddfish Posts: 54
    I believe the problem is widespread in the 03 4runners, but I don't know exactly why. I don't think Toyota knows either. If you have an 03 4runner with no odor problems, consider yourself lucky. We didn't want this problem and we have over 3000 miles now and we still experience this horrific stench. I also believe it to be a health problem. I have never had a vehicle, new or used, that ever had a problem like this. This is a smell that can (and has) made us sick. Puke sick. I do not have to jump on the throttle to creat it either. It can happen anytime, even at cruise.If anyone is thinking of filing a lemon law claim also, my advice is not to delay and document everything. I waited 10 years to buy this truck and I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am because of this situation. I think there may be something unique to the 03 4runner that is creating this problem. Again, everyone's comments and posts are appreciated.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    even if you dig amongst the Toyota threads, you will find this complaint widespread among the corolla and camry owners as well, in the 49 states. And Nissan owners have had a lot of problems with this.

    I don't know what changes Toyota has been making recently in engine management software, but these are all the most recently redesigned vehicles that have this smell.

    Don't forget, the gas sold in the 49 states has some of the highest sulfur content around (and I mean, internationally).

    I say 49, because California mandated the low sulfur gas a couple of years ago, so that our gas here has less than 1/10 as much sulfur in it as everyone else. I have been asking people in the threads, and I have yet to find anyone with this complaint that is driving in anyone here with a rotten-egg smell a CA driver?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    gas is mandated to have the same low-sulfur content as CA by 2005.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Picked up an 03 Limited in January. No sulfer smell, ever. It would be interesting to find out if this thing is regional. Any chance a certain additive is in our gas in the Northeast during the winter? I also test drove 2 other 4Runners before I decided and neither one had that sulfer smell. I also have not heard of this problem from any GX470 owner on their message boards.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I believe the "rotten egg smell" is sulfer di-oxide. Anyone who took chemistry in the 60's at the U of MD would recognize that smell. The whole Chem building reeked of it.
      I live in the DC area, on the other side of the DC Beltway from Cliffy. I have an 03 with the V-8.
      MD requires "oxygenated" gas sold in the State during the Winter months to reduce pollution. North East states may also do this. It may reduce sulfer emissions.
    I have noticed a very mild sulfer di-oxide smell when I used Amoco gas. I do not notice it on CITGO. Maybe CITGO has a lower sulfer content. I did notice that It seemed worse on Amoco after I accelerated faster than usual, then parked and got out. I have never smelled it inside with the A/C on, or with the windows open.
       No way was it so bad as to cause my wife or two daughters to even remark about it, when we got out of the 4Runner. They are no strangers to complaining, either.
       I am very satisfied with the vehicle. I would buy it all over again, even with the snow almost all melted. I'm going down to the Outer Banks of NC this weekend to play with my 4Runner in the sand.
  • vaughn4vaughn4 Posts: 106
    Regarding my earlier post...I called four of the area dealers this morning, two didn't know (or claim to know) of what I was talking about. The other two attributed the odor to the catalytic converter being so new and undercoating and that it would eventually get better - I'm not so sure as they didn't seem too convincing - What a bust!! Again, the smell is so strong that my kids blame each other for it. Once after the parking the truck you could smell it on the outside. When I got back in it a couple of minutes later the smell was still inside the cabin. It is actually like a sewer smell. Toyota better rethink how they are engineering the emissions on this truck because this will create a problem for them if people continue to complain. I don't think people will chance the purchase of a $30K vehicle if it may smell like rotten eggs. Take your chances...
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    My parents had an 1983 Buick LeSabre station wagon that stunk up everything when it's emissions system had a problem. Sounds like an emissions problem. That car lost all sorts of power with that problem, though.

    Interesting, though, that this isn't limited to the 4Runner. Sounds like you'd be taking your chances with getting a stinky vehicle no matter what you buy.

    Our gas here in CO is oxygenated, too.

    I'd imagine they put the 50 state emissions on all the vehicles sold here in the US. It's a no-charge option.

    I'm glad my 4Runner doesn't stink. It kicked major @$$ this morning in our big snowstorm. The VSC kicked in a few times in parking lots and the side roads. We've got probably 6 or 8 inches of snow already, looking for 10 to 20 more over the next 36 hours.
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    I want to second nippononly's question. Are any of you that are having this smell in California??
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Yes on a Hyundai, but it was early days - maybe "Kosmo" burning off?

    ariellyn "Hyundai Santa Fe problems" Aug 6, 2001 5:29pm

    Never in CA:

    nippononly "Vibe and Matrix Maintenance & Repair Concerns" Mar 12, 2003 8:32pm

    I seem to remember a post, maybe in that M&R Rotten Egg board, where one refinery in Michigan was already meeting 2007 standards for low sulfur gas and that was supposed to cure the problem.

    Steve, Host
Sign In or Register to comment.