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Toyota 4Runner



  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    And I think that's the most important category, as it makes no sense to have a "comfortable" car, which constantly break down. What a joy it is to wait for a tow truck sitting in amazing comfort! But, I think it is fair to say, that pretty much for every new vehicle subsequent model years are more bug-free, and it should also be the case with the new 4Runner
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Several possibilities come to mind, in no particular order: Have you tried a different gas station or a different pump. Could be the meter on the pump is wrong and you're just paying for fewer gallons than you should. Try a different grade of fuel, since lower grades (as long as you're above the 87 minimum) should give slightly better mileage. Could be that you drive with a heavy foot or in more traffic or up/down lots of hills. Could be that you're always hauling around cargo or passengers. Check your engine temp reading on the dash, since a stuck thermostat will have the engine running too cool/rich.

    How much lower than 20 MPG are you getting? If you're pretty close (19 or better?), you may be doing about as well as anybody in similar conditions. On the other hand if your driving is mostly highway with mild hills and not hauling heavy loads, you should have something to complain about. Unfortunately I don't know who you'd complain to (other than the rest of us here!) because manufacturers don't warrant any MPG performance. Of course, if you're ever getting check engine lights, that's another story.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    will become more and more common in the next few years, so Toyota will have to offer them to remain competitive, and as has already been pointed out, they already do on several models. All of the celica GTSs are sold with them now, around here.

    By the time these things are standard across the line for vehicles like 4Runner, Lexus will have moved on to to new fancy and exclusive gooides anyway! :-)

    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
    the best I could ever manage with a V-6 I had for an extended period was about 19 mpg, and that was more highway than city, so if you do mostly city driving, you could call 16 or 17 reasonable. Unless you are doing much worse than that, there is probably little to worry about.

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

  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    Also keep in mind that some people simply don't know how to correctly calculate their gas mileage(no disrespect to anyone here). If they are getting 20+ on the highway exclusively, that's ok, but in mixed driving anything between 16 & 20 should be considered ok. The EPA numbers for a 2003 LTD 4wd are 15 city and 19 highway and EPA numbers are typically high for some vehicles.
  • yomolsyomols Posts: 24
    I live in Denver Co. and have a 2003 V6. I've read past posts and am sill not clear on using 85 or 87 grade gas. I would prefer to save the $ using regular unleaded (85 octane) but not at the price of harming the engine. My dealer is little to no help. Would really appreciate opinions from other 2003 4Runner owners especially those from higher altitudes. Many thanks.
  • 4runtexas4runtexas Posts: 31
    what does everyone think about purchasing Xenon bulbs (9006/9005 are the correct size for the '03 4Runner)??

    i was thinking of purchasing the bulbs for the foglights and normal beam headlights. what are yalls thoughts on this?

    also, from what i understand, toyota will ONLY install PIAA bulbs that are sold at the dealer where the installation will take place, i called for a price, they asked $212.62 for 4 bulbs and installation, a REDICULOUS price if you ask me! these same bulbs can be purchased for 30 dollars a peice!

    but, just checking on what you guys think, ive heard lesser quality bulbs burn up the sockets and can cause damage to the engine harness from the dealer, but i think this may be something they say to get me to buy their bulbs...

    plus, has any body put them in? or does anyone know safe bulbs that wont overheat...
  • suvowner1suvowner1 Posts: 33
    I have a 2001 grand cherokee and I installed the xenon 9005/6 xs by eaglight that I purchased for 7.50 per bulb, and are as bright as the 50 dollar per bulb by sylvania and others............the differecne is they are slightly overwatted.....I think 80w and 100w, and they have a blue coating on them to block the yellow light and makes the emitted light appear slightly blue but def much brighter and whiter. Supposedly this is as close as you can get to hid, but my friend has a volvo xc90 with real hids, and it really is alot better light than the xenons. Most wiring harnesses can handle the minimal increase in amperage draw from the slighty higher watt bulbs, if heat becomes too much of a problem then the lights simply shouldn't last as long, but at 15.49 a pair, who cares ???

    her is the link to the web site where I ordered mine :
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    The coating on the bulbs to absorb yellow will make the bulbs burn hotter than the same bulb with no coating.
     I once had a Dodge Caravan that I put the same bulbs in that you have (mine didn't have the coating). The bulbs were higher wattage than OEM. As for burning out a wiring harness, that would only happen if the fuze was bad and didn't blow. Not very likely.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I live in Denver too. A couple of days ago, I was in a large Toyota dealer (Elway on Arapahoe) and asked several of the techs and service employees, independantly, about the fuel grade question. I got several different answers as one would expect, but none said that 91 octane premium was necessary. Some said 87 was the grade to use, others said you can use 85 around town, but might want to go up to 87 in the mountains or under heavy load. One tech said to use the lowest grade as long as the engine did not ping. If it pings, immediately move to a higher grade. Note that I was asking relative to the V6 engine.

    I've been using 91 octane premium so far in my 4Runner for the first 1600 miles. Now I am planning to run a couple of tanks of 87 octane, and then run a tank or two of 85 octane. I will see if the performance or the gas mileage suffers as I move down the line. I also stay away from the cheaper brands of gasoline - I ususally use Amoco or sometimes Texaco.

    Another strange fact is that the higher the elevation the better my fuel mileage gets. At least that is something positive that offsets the loss of power at elevation.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Another strange fact is that the higher the elevation the better my fuel mileage gets"

    Well, higher elevation = less available oxygen. O2 sensor detects less oxygen, injectors inject less fuel. Less fuel and oxygen = less power. But also, less fuel = better mileage.

    I know that is simplistic but it kinda makes sense to me....
  • yomolsyomols Posts: 24
    thanks bmw323is for your response.Your approach of going from 91,87 and 85 octane makes sense to me.I had similar experience in talking to service people at Stevinson East although they mostly felt 87 octane would be fine.After you run a few 85 octane tanks I would love to hear your reaction. Thanks again. Real smooth truck isn't it.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Another strange fact is that the higher the elevation the better my fuel mileage gets.

    You didn't specify how much better your mileage becomes. I suspect you're just driving slower when you get to higher elevation! :-)

    tidester, host
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Maybe the good fuel economy is from coasting down from higher elevation. :-)
     I think higher elevation may be anywhere in CO.
      I once drove a rental up to Pikes Peak.
      It's something like 14,100 feet. It's near CO Springs which is about 6000 feet high. So it's only an 8000 foot change in elevation.
     I had a DC Sport Caravan. I had it floored going up Pikes Peak. It was gasping for breath doing about 15-20 at best near the top. On the way back down there was a Park Ranger with an IR detector and he would point it at your brake disks. If it was too hot, he made you pull over.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I've done the Pike's Peak run!

    It's a little more gruelling than driving over Teton pass on the way to Jackson, WY up here but you can see the toll it takes on engines. Some of those RVs can barely do 10 mph and they have to take it real slow on the way down! I like the IR sensor idea.

    tidester, host
  • Thanks to all who responded to my post on my mileage issue.

    Corancher, I do use different gas stations-usually the cheap ones though- usually pump 89 grade -premium sooooo expensive- sometimes 87. The heavy foot thing ...well I don't think so, but my husband might :). I very seldom have passengers-and if so, maybe one or two. NO HILLS...only overpasses. I noticed yesterday that the computer calculated 19.8- when I manually calculate it (if I'm doing it correctly-maybe aggiedog can educate me just in case I'm not) I never come out with 19 ! My drive to work each way is approx 22 miles- about 11 of this is hwy . Maybe I'm worrying over nothing! Again, thanks.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Recent posts inspire a few comments from me:

    If one is doing highway miles at higher altitudes, mileage may be better because of lower air resistance. Seems like I read somewhere that air density (and thus resistance?) in Colorado is about 15% less than sea level. Since the biggest load at highway speeds is often air resistance, this might make some sense.

    Mileage may be lower in some cases if the fuel you're buying is oxygenated, such as gasohol or MTBE. Those additives help the fuel burn better, but they aren't as potent a fuel themselves. Sometimes it's hard to tell if stations are selling these fuels at a particular time or not. Often, the pumps just say that the fuel *may* be oxygenated.

    I wouldn't suggest using octane less than 87, especially in the V6. It's a high-compression engine (around 10:1) and using fuel below 87 octane is contrary to the manual if I remember correctly. Lower octane fuel would tend to cause knocking, though the engine computer will presumably hear (via the knock sensor) this and further back off the timing. But I'm not sure it can back off the timing enough, or that such a dramatic retarding of the timing might not cause other problems. On such an expensive and complicated part as the engine, I wouldn't disregard the manufacturer's instructions on something as important as fuel grade.

    BTW, I think the biggest consequence of using premium (as opposed to the minimum recommended mid-grade 87) is that you can get the max peak HP out of the engine of 245 or so.

    mrshenry2002, you never said just what MPG you were getting, but you may be 1-2 short of what I'm getting for equivalent use. I'm at sea level, though, and don't know what elevation you're at. If you're using oxygenated fuel, I think the MPG you're probably getting is typical.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    Here you go: The next time you fill up, set your trip odometer to zeros. When you've finished that tank of gas and you go to fill up again, note the exact gallons it took to fill up your truck and divide the number of miles you've driven by the number of gallons you just put in the truck. For example, if you've driven 400 miles and you just put 21 gallons of gas in the truck, your mileage for that period would be 19.04 (400/21). Where some people mess up is that they divide the entire tank of gas into the miles driven. 2003's have a 23 gallon tank / 18.5 for some previous years. If you divide by the entire tank, you just short change yourself, because there is still gas in the truck. Hope this is clear.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    especially on a highway. My Bu consistently gets 19-23 MPG in he city, but on one long interstate trip it once got 38 MPG between two fill-ups, fully loaded, and it was not in Colorado either. The rest of the trip (about 3K miles), the mileage varied between 26 to 34 MPG between fill-ups. Maybe they had something in the gas at that station? Should go back a couple thousand miles and ask :-)
  • mca2mca2 Posts: 20
    Well, the shop just changed the plugs on a 2000 4 runner v6. They said that one of the tip of the spark plug came off. They told me that I did not need to worry about it. Is this true?

    Also, I hear a clicking noise from engine during accelation. What can cause this?
  • beer47beer47 Posts: 185
    I sat in one yesterday and felt like I was in an old MG or Triumph. By that I mean like I was sitting on the floor with my legs splayed out in front. I have a Trooper and the seat is more upright. From a side view your body would look more like a capital "S" than in the 4runner I felt like I was a capital "L" (if that make any sense to anyone!). Perhaps I am just used to my current truck. The 4runner was absoulutely beautiful and well screwed together. If I could put my wife's Sienna seat in there, I think it would be a real nice truck. Oh Well, maybe I'm just getting picky, but I have sat in more comfortable Toyotas.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Yeah, I've read in some reviews the seats aren't that great. Could the owners confirm or deny that?
  • leej2leej2 Posts: 7
    Thought that I would check in on a number of posts.
    I find the seats comfortable in my 03 SR5 although maybe a little soft. Maybe leather would be more firm though. It's actually more pleasant than my wife's MB though, driving that is like sitting on granite blocks. My one big gripe though is with the cloth seats, every time I exit the vehicle I generate enough static electricity to power the entire Western power grid. If I do not hold on to the roof (or something else that is grounded) I zap myself when touching the door.
    As far as mileage, make sure that the tank gets completely full. If the pump shuts off prematurely you will not get an accurate mileage reading as you will be dividing a lesser number of gallons by miles driven giving you a false (higher) MPG calculation.
    For all that find the flip up luggage thing in the back as useless as I do, it can be removed. It requires a 10mm socket. Just behind the rear seats there is a panel held down with 2 capscrews (that are in the tie-downs). Remove the two tie-down assemblies and remove the panel. There will be 2 more capscrews holding 2 black metal brackets. Remove these and the flip up storeage "thing" will come right out. I recommend that you replace the 2 bolts in order not to lose them. Replace the panel and re-install the 2 cargo tie-downs. It truly does not buy you much as you will now have a 1 1/2" high ledge (with a gap) there when you fold the seats down. It will be helpful though if you need to haul something really heavy (such as BIG rocks for landscaping) as I occasionally do as it will not crush the cargo thing.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Just returned from a trip through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah. I now have just over 20000 miles on my '03 V8 LTD. Something around 4800 miles of that have been with a Coleman Santa Fe pop-up tent trailer (about 2400 lbs or a little more). I have used nothing but regular fuel (87 octane--85 octane in the mountains). On the recent trip with the trailer I mostly drove the speed limit, including lots of 75 mph interstate driving. When my wife drove she usually drove a little slower--she probably averaged 65-70 on the interstates.

    Average MPG on 61 fillups without the trailer: 16.48
    Average MPG on 15 fillups with the trailer: 14.30
    Average MPG on 3 fillups with some trailer/some without: 17.56 (don't know why, but this may have been mostly mountain driving after we left the pop-up in a campground).

    All MPG figures are computed.

    The Runner, by the way, towed great for the most part. We hardly knew the trailer was back there, except I noticed somewhat increased stopping distances (even though the Coleman has trailer brakes). The only thing I don't like about the Runner is that it downshifts out of OD and even into 3rd too much at highway speeds. My perception was that it did much better at slower speeds (30-50 mph) on mountain passes--the torque seemed to be there to do the job. On several occasions I was able to easily pass motorhomes chugging up the hill at 20 or so. I mostly drove with OD on, although if the tranny was hunting up and down I turned OD off. Also left it in 4th when descending steep grades.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    a 22 mile one way trip trip(1/2 highway) isn't going to result in the highest potential gas mileage, as opposed to a 'run the tank dry' trip.
    1 mpg difference between what you calculate and the trip computer, is probably within the norm.
    you might want to check your tire pressures to verify they are in the normal range. if low, a little bit higher pressure can improve your gas mileage without compromising the ride very much.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • 4runtexas4runtexas Posts: 31
    i just got my '03 SR5 back from the dealer, they told me they would fix it, they did a great job!

    i havent heard even the slightest hint of any noises or squeeks coming from the engine, ive hears reports from people who claim to have had their vehicles "fixed" and then a week later, the engine squeeks again. ill let you know, but as far as i can see, the engine is as good as new!!
  • suvowner1suvowner1 Posts: 33
    A physics professor once explained to me that octane simply refers to the "ignitability" of the older vehicles without electronic ignition and timing and knock sensors you would hear the engine knocking when under a load when the fuel octane was too low.....this happened b/c the fuel is supposed to ignite the moment the piston is at the top of the stroke, which then explodes and drives the piston back down, with a low octane fuel this explosion does not occur at the right time, and the pressure in the combustion chamber may be too high b/c of a late explosion and the engine makes a knock sound on the upstroke of the piston, which is very stressful on the engine. These days there are knock sensors, that when it senses a knock it slows the timing to compensate for the delayed explosion, but when doing this you loose some power. Too high of an octane can supposedly cause problems with incomplete burning of the fuel in the chamber, and another variable is the compression ratio of the engine, in general a higher compression ratio prefers a higher octane rating, good examples are aviation and racing engines. The end result based on these variables, is you have to get the octane as close to the optimal rating as possible for the particular engine you are using, which will give you the most complete burn of fuel, and at the most optimal moment in time, resulting in the best performance for that engine. Constantly running an engine at too low of an octane rating, will adversly affect the life of the engine, the knock sensor minimizes but does not eliminate this problem.
  • joanvbjoanvb Posts: 8
    We have a Limited, with a little over a 1000 miles so far, and both my husband (6'3, 185 lbs.) and I (5'9, 135 lbs.) are very happy with the comfort of the driver's seat. We're leaving on a 2500 mile vacation tomorrow...Hope we'll still feel that way after the trip :-)
  • jagsdadjagsdad Posts: 56
    I was checking out and saw the TRD supercharger for the 03 4Runner V8. Of course the V8, or the V6 for that matter, doesn't really need any additional power. But it is still a bit tempting--%50 increase in HP and torque. Does anybody out there know how superchargers effect milage, maintainance, and engine life?

    Does anybody know if the supercharger is always on or can you turn it on and off?
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Amazing! Your mpg figures almost exactly duplicate what our '03 4WD Limited V-8 has delivered over the 13K miles now on it. We do a few tenths better, but that might be because I've checked our odometer and plugged in a correction factor (+2.5%) to my calculations. My highway cruise is 70 mph and I mostly use premium or midgrade fuel

    I tow a Porsche on a light open trailer, about 4,000 total, and I've been very pleased with the towing performance, except for the tranny's frequently unlocking the torque converter or shifting down to 4th (not 3rd). Toyota recommends you tow with OD locked out, but I don't do that unless it's hilly where I am.

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