Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota 4Runner



  • On a scale of 1 to 10......1
    '03 SR5 4x4 V8, 1800 miles
  • I too have the sulfur smell,3500 miles ,also only when stomping on the gas pedal ....1-10 Id say a 3,but damn toyota its about time to own up to these problems( I have the exhaust manifold tapping too) and take care of your loyal customers.or is it worth it to lose us in the future for poor care now
  • Here's my 2 cent's worth with regards to the Sulfur Smell.

    I have a v8 2003 4runner with about 2000 miles and the rear spoiler. The only time that I personally smell any sulfur is when the rear cargo area window is open. Having the rear cargo window open while driving is not recommended, according to the owner's manual. With the rear cargo window closed and any of the OTHER windows open, I do not smell any sulfur.

    If you smell sulfur and your rear cargo window is closed, then I would try going back to the dealer to address this issue.

    I agree that it should not matter if you drive with the rear cargo window open or closed, but I guess there is some aerodynamic reason that causes exaust to enter through the open cargo window. It may be interesting to note that other SUV owners of other brands do not notice this problem as TOYOTA 4Runners are one of the few SUVs out there with a sliding rear cargo window.


    A possible fix? Perhaps add a tailpipe extension that directs exhaust towards the right of the vehicle. Has anyone tried this? I am interested in knowing the results.
  • stoes, open the driver's door and look below the strike plate on the door frame. You'll see a big sticker or two telling you where and when the vehicle was built, along with tire pressure and other things.
  • I've had my new 4Runner Limited (V8) for 2 weeks now, and have logged ~1300 miles in that short time. (Had the oil changed today, just as a precaution during the break-in period. Some may think this is unnecessary, but I'm more comfortable doing it this way.) So far, no obvious sulfur, exhaust odor. But you know, my 2002 Explorer occasionally produced a very noticeable sulfur odor, and I did a couple of things (which may have no basis in reality, but I digress...) that largely eliminated the problem. First, I made a strong effort to buy only Shell fuel, rather than filling up with whatever brand was convenient. (But, I NEVER use BP products.) Second, at every oil change interval, I made it a point to run a tank of Shell fuel treated with Chevron Techron. Third, during most any "cold" start-up, I try to allow my vehicles to idle and begin warming-up for a couple of minutes, prior to driving away. Now, whether any of these measures actually had any real benefit, I don't know, but one or more of them seemed to help a good deal. But, if I had to pick one as being the most likely to help, I suspect that choosing and consistently using a single brand of high quality fuel (whenever possible) is preferable to just filling the tank with whatever brand (and grade) of fuel that's most convenient and cheap at the time of fill-up. With my new 4Runner, the manual recommends high octane fuel, and since I can afford it, that's what I'm feeding her, but your opinions and experiences may differ. With my new 4Runner, I plan to use the Krex products ( recommended by my dealer.

    Best regards to all. KH
  • Hand someone else the keys and then drive behind them. You'll really smell the sulfur and it won't be a matter of open or closed back windows.
    Oh the poor people behind us, or caravaning with us...(I guess they'll just have to use recirc the entire drive)

    Lukily for me, being in CA, I have not smelled the sulfur issue since the first day. And it had nothing to do with heavy throttle. That was my initial drive home, and I can tell you that if i use less throttle, the truck would not have moved past the parking lot. It was an extremely easy/slow drive home.
  • oscarz2oscarz2 Posts: 153
    Took my car in today and gave them a written description of the problem with copies of sections of the manual dealing with ABS, Traction Control, noises, vibrations, buzzers, etc., and I underlined, drew arrows, highlighted and made comments on those copies listing what I was describing and what I was not.

    Now let say up front: "I'M A WEENIE" but I just didn't want to battle over this so I figured if I left no room for confusion, I wouldn't spend time later trying to pursuade them something was wrong.

    To make a short story shorter, they special ordered me a new Master Cylinder Assembly. That's all the ppwk stated and my service advisor was gone for the day so I don't know if it's actually a cure or if it's part of the troubleshooting process but it's obviously an acknowledgement that the recurring vibration isn't normal and that's my main concern.

    As far as the sulfur smell goes, I can't really tell. I haven't floored it yet or driven with the back window down but when the car is in the garage, there is a somewhat funky aroma that seems kinda sulfury but rubbery as well. I would attribute that more to new materials being heated than I would fuel but maybe it's both? At any rate, it's not an issue for me (yet). Time will tell.
  • Oscar - I have the same problem. It used to be more scarce, but now it happens 50% of the time I brake. It doesn't really interfere with the actual braking, but the pedal definitely has a vibrating/buzzing feel for a few seconds whenever I touch the pedal. It's quite annoying. I'm a little dismayed to hear that a new master cylinder needs to be installed.

    This is problem # 3 for me. #1 is blurry sideview mirror and #2 is sunroof rattle.
  • ALL first-year models have problems. Some less, some more. 4Runner seems to have less. But, I must say, sulfur smell is not just "an inconvenience," it's a great embarrasment. It's like loudly farting in an elevator packed with people. How many friends do you think you'd make that day? The same with the vehicle. If you drive around smelling like a skunk, people would simply laugh at you (at best). I smelled sulfur driving behind a vehicle only once (it was an older Camry), and I had to roll my windows up, and then drove past the Camry as soon as I could, since the smell was unbearable. I realize that otherwise 4Runners are fine vehicles, but you should raise stink with Toyota about stinky V8's, IMHO

    BTW, how come Tundras and Lexus's with the same V8 don't stink? Or their owners don't complain as much?
  • Just picked up an 04 sport edition. I have the JVC radio - no cd changer. Anyone have any idea if you can hook up XM radio to the stock radio. I would rather not use the FM modulator setup. Any connectors that would work?
  • Please let us know if the master cylinder replacement helps the brake pedal vibration. At least, then, if I take my 4Runner in for the problem, I can tell them what the fix was for a fellow WEENIE!
  • I am looking at explorer, trailblazer, and 4runner and other suvs. Ford has 0% financing as does gm along with 4000 rebates. 03 4runners only have a 750 rebate with 3% financing. I have a quote from a dealer as follows limited 03 msrp 38,177, invoice 34,369 and internet price of 33,999. They say price is 300 over invoice less the 750. Is this a fair price or think they can go lower? Should I pay more for toyota or go for the ford or gmc or chevy. Are you satisfied with you choice of the toyota? Help me decide. My email is
  • You get what you pay for...
  • There is a reason that Ford and GM have those rebates. Rogers12 is right, you really do get what you pay for.
  • It's looking like to get the features I really want (like side air bags and X-REAS) I'll be "forced" to a Limited, all of whose current 2004 builds in my region (Central Atlantic) come with JBL Synthesis Audio, BUT that means that those Cargo Area Back-up Mirrors are gone, as a pair of speakers take up the space where the mirrors normally go.

    (1) Are those mirrors good/important? [I'd think so.]

    (2) Has anyone removed those speakers and put the mirrors back in?

  • They're NOT that important. Enjoy your tunes!
  • I may be wrong here, but doesn't the 2004 model with the Navigation system come with the back up camera? As far as I thought, as soon as you put the truck in reverse, the Nav screen changes over to a view from the back up digital cameras. Im assuming that is an option though, and probably quite costly.
  • I was more excited about the mirrors during the test drive. Having driven just under 2000 miles, the excitement has diminished. For me they are taking some getting used to, partly because their position in the cabin is so far back. I thought it would be just as accurate a sight line as the right hand mirror, but in practice, the natural distortion due to the mirror shape takes some getting used to. Bottom line - a good idea, but the driver has to work a little to get comfortable with the outward view. If you are a huge audiophile, stick with the stock setup.
  • Yes (I think) the 2004 with Nav does have the camera. The Limited I'm looking at does not.

    3toyboy - I'm not much of an audiophile. But glad you say that those mirrors are not fantastic. However, I REALLY want someone to tell me how they ditched those speakers and slipped those mirrors back in. [My dealer says the speakers are "permanent."]

    Part of my reaction is that I'm annoyed that to get basic safety and a good ride (side bags and X-REAS) I may need to get so many expensive things I don't want: Limited, moonroof, JBL, and Leather.

    I'd be most happy with a Sport and side bags (the Sport comes with X-REAS).

    Also, I was told that one could wait 6 months for a special order.
  • Apparently not all dealerships are equipped for, or capable of performing the work required for the headliner rattle TSB. I made an appointment with the local dealer today and took my 4Runner in, only to learn that they needed to take it to a local auto interior trim shop that was more familiar (and likely better equipped) with addressing this type of problem. I was told I would be without my vehicle for at least 2 days. I guess it's better to have an interior pro do the work than some tech who's clueless. Dealership agreed to furnish a rental car which turned out to be an ugly Toyota Echo. Upon going back to the rental agency, I requested an upgrade to a larger class vehicle and ended up w/ a Sable because they were out of Camrys. Worst part is that I had to pay the difference -- but the Echo was way too small for my needs. Just a heads up if you need to have the work done for the headliner rattle. Ask if they'll do the work and how long it'll take!
  • I agree with you. I'm in so cal and wanted a 5Runner with XREAS and side airebags. Can't be found. (Actually, I found one, but it was 4wd and w/ air suspension) XREAS is standard in the sport, but it just does not come to dealers with side airbags. The Limiteds come to dealers with the side airbags, but no XREAS. So I had to order mine. In so call, orders take about 4 months. The nice thing about the order, though, is that you get exactly what you want, or don't want. I'm glad I waited.

    Good luck.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I've only got about 1500 miles on my 03 V8. A couple times on the highway, with the windows rolled up, while accelerating up a hill, I've smelled a very slight bit of sulfur. The smell went away quickly. On your scale of 10, I'd rate this a 2. Not a problem for me, so far.
  • what about those driving behind you? And in Texas it's legal to shoot at anyone whose car emits sulfurous discharges
  • asdfasdf Posts: 9
    With the windows rolled up, and the exhausted gas gets into your car! The sulfur won't be that much to harm you, but other will.
  • At this point, who cares! There are a lot of other cars out there with the sulfur smell. It may be the gas. It may be the exhaust. If you don't like to the smell of your own vehicle, or are 'embarrassed' by it, there are several options to avoid making a stink: walking, biking, or taking the bus. Either way, there will be someone else out there, maybe a Toyota, Ford, Chevy, etc. who will be in front of you and may leave something behind for you.
  • I get rental cars all over, and I think there are regional differences. I can get Corollas in PA to smell awful, but not in CA. YMMV.
  • Personally, I have driven 4runner w/ and w/o the back up mirrors. Trust me, you won't miss them, even though they are handy in tight quarters.

    If you are concerned about driving in reverse, you might want to consider purchasing an aftermarket reverse video system, similar to one available on the 04 4runners with the optional NAV. There are also aftermarked sonar systems available.
  • If you think that you are not bright for buying a vehicle that will probably last 10+ years, with over 200k miles, go buy a Ford, Chevy, or some other quality vehicle. That way you can consider yourself an extra-sharpy.
    The smell is what it is. The smell is here in our Toyotas and with other vehicles. And the other auto makers aren't fixing theirs either, so bad-mouthing Toyota for not fixing the problem is a waste of time. We all just have to sit tight and wait for the low-sulfur fuels in 2005. From what I can tell in the posts, those low-sulfur fuel states like California don't have the smell problem. If we still have the smell at that time, THEN lets complain.
    In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my truck, and put a lot of miles on it, just like my last 3 4-Runners. And in the end, I'll get a great trade-in, just like my other 3.
  • 4rnr4rnr Posts: 25
    Has anyone tried driving around with a portable Carbon Monoxide detector to check what CO levels may be present?
  • I lived all over the states and Canada and do not remember cars smelling all that badly in any of the places I lived. Many old cars stunk of unburned gasoline, but not sulfur. Can only remember the Camry in front of me stinking of sulfur, but don't remember which state it was in. So, I don't think it's the fuel, I think it's Toyota's desire to have a low emission huge truck and get a decent mileage at the same time. I think that could be the reason. No other companies have trucks so heavy with V8s which get close to 20 MPG
Sign In or Register to comment.