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Toyota 4Runner



  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    Well, the 03 Ltd 4WD is in the shop. I started the truck up for the drive home and about 2 minutes into my journey the 'VSC TRAC' and 'VSC OFF' lights both came on, and stayed on. This vehicle has never been in 4-Low, or had the differntial locked. The vehicle was in 4-Hi yesterday and for about 20 miles this morning, but was switched back to 2-Hi about two minutes before I got to work this morning. Nothing abnormal about the swithing, both were done under 30 mph while driving straight. Nothing was done during the drive home prior to the lights coming on. I did not experience any wheel slips that I know of that would have caused the VSC TRAC to trigger.

    I drove straight to the dealership so they could see the lights on. They admitted it was weird but stated 'anything' could cause that. One guy even said having a loose gas cap could do it. Im scepticle. I know a loose gas cap can cause an engine light to come on because of fuel system pressure, but kill VSC, come on. I am in a Camry LE loaner now, not nearly as fun as the 4runner, but it does have some get-up-and-go.
  • maybe some electronic glitch? Maybe nothing went wrong except the light?
    Glad you got it to the dealer with the light still on. Tell us what comes of it just in case something similar happens to others.
  • smg1062smg1062 Posts: 54
    Havent seen anything on AUTOSPIES.COM or any other site on the 05 4runners. Anyone know if Toyota will update the models, not body-wise, but options like offering NAV with 3rd row seats, or 3rd row seats with ANY color you want, or the choice of NOT having a sunroof. Toyota kind of got silly with their limitations on options this year. I'm waiting to see what the 05's bring to the table.
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    Tim Hooligan posted:
    <<Also, we will be renting a U-Haul trailer and I was looking for some help on towing. I have the tow package and the tongue is sitting here. Where would I locate a suitable ball for towing?>>

    A U-Haul rental center is where I got the hitch ball. They also stock the trailer wiring adapter (the one Toyota should include but doesn't) that replaces the old trailer harness. Take the tongue with you when you shop for the ball, as the shank diameters vary widely, as does the ball size. 1 and 7/8" and 2" are common to most trailer types you mentioned. Auto parts store sell a 2 ball kit that lets you easily convert from one ball size to the other. Good luck.
  • Yes, I too have found the readjustment in the driver seat on my 2003 V8 Sport to do exactly as you describe and was curious whether or not it was a "characteristic".


    Okay, maybe you can help me out here. Does your rear hatch seem to be tougher to raise after a year? I have to PUSH mine up (and sometimes it sinks). Seems like it sprung up when new. Do you remember?
  • Had a very weird event happen: closed the driver's door with the engine running and all doors locked. Had the remote in my hand, but it wouldn't activate. Just was dead in my hand (this had happened before - but not with the key in the ignition). Luckily, I was near my house and was able to run back for a spare key which I used to manually unlock the car. Turned off the engine - on restart everything was back to normal. Tried to lock myself out now to test - but the anti-lockout feature worked and prevented me from locking out. Fear that this could happen again at a most inopportune moment. Any ideas what's causing this?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    My 03 V-8 Sport's rear hatch works the same as it did new. It was 1 year old on New Years Eve with a little over 15K miles. I'd take it in to the dealer to get it fixed.
  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    In post 9104 I commented about my VSC TRAC and VSC OFF both coming on and staying lit. The dealer witnessed this since I drove it over immediatly for them to see. I got a call this morning stating they need to replace the VSC computer. This will be replaced Friday, since they had to order it. I am going to pick the vehicle up tonight. When I take it back in to have the computer replaced I will keeo you all updated to the results. Also, I requested the Sunroof/Headliner rattle gets inspected as well. The dealer mentioned the TSB and said no problem.
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    This vacation I took a trip from here in San Diego to Bend, Oregon to go skiing at Mt. Bachelor. Here are my thoughts on the 2000-mile adventure (750 each way plus daily driving to the mountain).

    First off, I have a 2003 Sport Ed. V6, with Dunlops, that previously only had 4000 miles on it.

    The highway driving, which including curvy roads, long straights, and lots of hills, was impeccable. The XREAS kept me flat in the corners, and I never lacked power when passing on the two-lane highway 97. The roar from the engine when you let it loose is pretty impressive considering I'm use to the silent clicky purr of everyday driving.

    The snow driving was also quite impressive. Considering Mt. Bachelor got over 50 inches of snow while I was there, I got a lot of test time. At some points I was using my front bumper as a snowplow and I still was plowing through (in 4-lo granted). At one point, coming out of the driveway, I went wide and put my front end into a hidden ditch; I first tried backing out in 4-hi with no luck at small revs (I didn't want to gun it and lurch) so I put it in 4-lo and it came out in a second.

    The most impressive moment from the vehicle was also my most exciting driving experience of my life (not good exciting, heart attack exciting). I was driving back from the mountain on a small two-lane road with snowplow snow (ice) banks on either side. I came up to a part in the road with a few cars parked on my left side along the road and a large hill extending out from the street. At this same time, little did I know that coming down that hill was a group of tubers who linked their tubes together to get more speed and excitement (they got it alright!). Since it was snowy and icy on the road, I was primarily looking straight, so I didn't see these people coming, and just at the wrong moment, these tubers hit the snow bank at the end of the hill that was intended to stop them, but instead they had too much speed and launched off the embankment. They ended up clearing the left lane while still in the air, and landing (guess where) dead in my lane. I now, about 15-20 feet away, going roughly 35mph (speed limit 50mph on this road) have three people right in front of me laying down. I slam on the brakes and thankfully don&#146;t think about my truck and steer it hard to the right and take it directly into the snow/ice bank on the right. I missed all three of them, but not by much. I was so close that I lost them from my view under the hood. When I hit the bank, a loud crunch let out and next thing I knew, I was up high on three wheels. Long story short(er) I was thanked for about 10 minutes for my reaction time from the wives of these idiots, (the would be victims didn't say a word, only stared at nothing, probably reviewing the life that just flashed before their eyes), I then frightfully checked the front of the truck (that was buried in the ice) only to find that there was no damage! What? Yes, it's true. After seeing about 4 trucks hit banks that week, mine was the only one that I saw that didn't dent. Instead the tire hit the bank first, climbed it and the skid plate took the rest. Unfortunately though, it ended up that I did scratch the cladding and I put a small crack (maybe 3/4 of inch long in the edge of the wheel well cladding). I didn't see this until I washed the car, and I didn't get the people's info, but all's good, I can live with a little crack. I backed out/off of the bank in 4-lo and noticed my quite impressive 4runner print in the side of the ice, and I drove home to let the poor truck thaw out (there was about 4 pounds of snow in the skid plate). When I actually hit the brakes and turned right, I could not believe that the truck didn't skid out, it gripped the road completely and took the ice like a champ. I know my old blazer or the suburban behind me would've ran right over those people. So, thank one driver and a great system for three lives. I know that otherwise them and I would've had a quite unpleasant holiday to say the least.

    So, great brakes, skid control and skid plates. Oh, and I am so so so happy that I have the cladding, it know the metal would&#146;ve dented in a second if I hit it going that speed. Score 1 for the cladding.

    Hope everyone else&#146;s holidays were lest eventful.

  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    Grey cladding rocks!
  • I too have experienced the audio "freeze up" on the JBL system noted by others. This has occurred only one time and cleared the next time the engine was started. Given this one time event I assumed that the dealer would not replace the audio system if they could not replicate the problems but it would appear this isn't uncommon. I've had these higher end radios show random "quirks" early only to go stone dead after the warranty runs out. Advice?

    Another annoying problem I'm just now noticing (1,800 miles) is the front seat seems to move slightly and makes a discernible "pop" which is felt more than heard. This occurs on the left side of the sitting portion when the brakes are applied/hard decelleration. It can be manually reproduced by hand or rocking in the seat. Could this be a function of the seat position controls or looseness of the seat on it's mounts? Picky stuff, but for $30K and smelling like a carton of rotten eggs half the time I thought I should make the most of my trip back to the dealer.
  • slandyslandy Posts: 46
    The V8 5 speed does not have a dip stick. You must check the fluid in the same manner in which you would check the fluid in a manual transmission. Which is of course by the fill hole on the side of the transmission. Toyota states that you should never have to add fluid. Kinda like brake fluid etc, if ever have to add brake fluid or coolant then you have a problem somewhere.

    As far as the fuel filter is concerned. There is a fuel filter. It is part of the actual pump assembly which is inside the tank. It is a life long filter. I have 100k miles on my 01 Lexus Rx300 and I have yet to have any problems with fuel delivery.
  • kscotttkscottt Posts: 18
    I've got the same thing happening in my 04 SE. It hasn't bothered me enough yet to do anything about it, but I think I recall reading something on these boards about it a couple of months ago. I think they had a solution of some sort, I just haven't bothered to check. Search the 4Runner forums (incl. the problems and solutions one) and I think you'll find something.
  • jfegerjfeger Posts: 38
    I probably missed this and I am way late, but I just now noticed that there was a TSB on the sulfur smell thing.

     EG003-03 FEB 03 Exhaust System - Sulfur Smell

    Shoot me for repeating old data. :)
    PS - Shoot me for cross-posting to the sulfur forum.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    If you are speaking of the lower seat, I also have the slight wiggle. I ususally feel it when turning sharply or quickly. Told the dealer and they said that is normal for the seat because of the height control and the way Toyota mounted it to the chassis. Not that big of a deal, but it shouldn't be normal for a good seat.
  • beanctrbeanctr Posts: 99
    SMG1062 - I agree with your assessment of how Toyota has decided to package their options on the 04 4runners. You say silly, I say they have gone off the deep end. Not that they did a bang up job of packaging the options on the 03's, but I fail to understand why they did what they did in 04. My primary complaint: why don't they offer side curtain airbags on the 04 SR5 or Sport models after offering them in 03 (this is the way it is in Northern Calif., not sure about other parts of U.S.) . I can't afford to pay $36K -$40K for the limited model just so I can get side curtain airbags. I love the 4runner, but my next vehicle is not going to be without this safety feature.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    slandy, are you sure about the lack of a transmission dipstick on the V8s? The V6s have them and the repair manual for the V8 shows them (both the stick and the tube it goes in).

    BTW, I had my wife drive the 4Runner in a snow-slick parking lot today, both 2WD and 4WD, to see how she did with the traction and stability control. She's experienced in snow, but not at all with 4WD or traction or stability control. She had no problem at all, everything was comfortable and predictable for her, and she need no specific training, except which knob to use for 4WD. It was useful, though, for her to experience the sounds and sensations of these systems. In the end, she found it to be a lot of fun, and wants to go out and do it again!
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    I've checked my 5 speed auto tranny using the dipstick. Hard to find, but it is there.
  • kscotttkscottt Posts: 18
    i've heard a few of you mention the repair manual. how does one go about purchasing one of those? i've looked online and at my local auto parts stores and they dont have the 03-04 4runners available?

  • toyboxxtoyboxx Posts: 150
    The best one (and pricy) is the Toyota one and you can get that from your Toyota parts department. I believe it is around $200. You can also find these on ebay for cheaper.
  • I bought a new one via Ebay for $105. Search for the seller known as "jcmanuals1"

    Here's a current auction for that manual: gory=34233&item=2452348776
  • I've had my 4Runner < 2 months, but no issues with rear hatch.
  • Blasted thing did it again Monday night.

    I think I may be onto something. I was trying to change the way the door locks when the transmission is put into "D" -- it locks the doors. According to the manual, we have to press the power door lock one way or another for 5 seconds to change that mode. To change it to unlock when put into Park for example. I had tried this again (in vain) on Monday night, and immediately after starting the engine, the radio was froze. Power off and restart reset it.

    I know that I've tried to change the way the locks work in conjunction a few times in the past and I'm beginning to think the two are linked.

    How about you? Did you try to change the way your locks work around the same time as the radio froze? Seems like a bug in the computer program.

    BTW, If anyone can explain exactly how the door lock automatic function can be changed, it would be appreciated. I followed earlier posts to a "T", but no luck. Tried with no key in ignition; with key in column, but not started; key turned to accessory node; and lastly with the engine running. All efforts fail. Either my computer system is hooped or I'm missing some simple step. Maybe it's time to visit another dealer.

  • xgridxgrid Posts: 7
    Hi, I'm going in for my first scheduled maintenance. Are there any specific checks I should request in addition to the usual oil change?

    I'm also looking for a dependable, experienced service center in the New York city area. Anyone have any experiences with good Toyota service centers? My original dealer is about 75miles away and I wanted to find another dealer closer to home if possible. Thanks.

  • kscotttkscottt Posts: 18
    this may be a dumb question, but do they change much on these manuals per model year. i know the 03s and 04s are pretty much the same, but will they come out with an 04 manual that has different info?

    basic question: if i have an 04, is the 03 manual the one i need?

    thanks again
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    The main Toyota repair manual set (2 volumes) lists at well over $200 for the V8, and you'll need a V6 supplement manual (about another $100) if you've got a V6. It looks like all the V6 info wasn't included in the V8 manuals because that engine wasn't introduced until a couple of months into the model year. Maybe the situation is different in 2004.
    It's tough to find them discounted much new, as the markup on them is apparently lower than most parts.

    kscott, I think very little has changed in the vehicles between 2003 and 2004 model years, so the changes in repair manuals should be similarly slight. If they've wrapped the V6 info into the main set of manuals and done away with the supplement, that may make the total cost lower for V6 owners.

    BTW, it seems that Toyota doesn't actually produce these manuals themselves. They contract with a 3rd party company for the writing and production of the manuals, and then everybody (including dealers) buy the manuals from/through this 3rd party. My guess it that it allows Toyota to shed the whole writing operation and employees, and shift the cost. Now the entire cost of writing repair manuals is broken out from the cost of designing the vehicles, and this is why these repair manuals are so expensive.
  • dogwingdogwing Posts: 11
    Have a 2003 4Runner, SR5, V6, 4X4... I am experiencing a constant rattle in the driver's side shoulder belt retractor unit that is mounted in the door pillar. When I hit a bump, it gives an annoying rattle. I can press on the unit with my hand and I get NO noise. Any suggestion or solutions? All help will be appreciated....
  • scootnyscootny Danbury CTPosts: 8
    I have a '03 V8 Limited and have noticed that after starting the engine and attempting to move off slowly, I hear the engine revving but the vehicle hardly moves.

    This has occurred a few times. I don't want to jam on the gas out of fear that the vehicle will just rapidly accelerate and I may hit something.

    Any ideas?
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    "Have a 2003 4Runner, SR5, V6, 4X4... I am experiencing a constant rattle in the driver's side shoulder belt retractor unit that is mounted in the door pillar. When I hit a bump, it gives an annoying rattle. I can press on the unit with my hand and I get NO noise. Any suggestion or solutions? All help will be appreciated...."

    See your dealer, that is a warranty item. I wouldn't attempt a fix yourself for such an important safety feature. Does the belt 'grip or tighten' when you start the car and 'release' you when you turn it off? That is part of the SRS system working.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    "I have a '03 V8 Limited and have noticed that after starting the engine and attempting to move off slowly, I hear the engine revving but the vehicle hardly moves.
    This has occurred a few times. I don't want to jam on the gas out of fear that the vehicle will just rapidly accelerate and I may hit something.
    Any ideas?"

    My '02 did it and my '03 does it sometimes. It is really noticeable at between 10-30mph, like in a parking lot. If you drive up to a speed bump, slow down, roll over and then press the gas to accelerate, the engine races and the vehicle doesn't move to the speed in conjunction with the RPM's. Kinda like it is gear hunting. I've written it off as Toyota specific. Same scenario as in the morning the tranny will hold 1st gear longer than usual to warm up the emission equipment, irritating, but Toyota typical.

    Also, the 4th generation has a 'learning' transmission. Meaning, the tranny will develop a pattern, or mean, of your driving habits and corresponding speed, RPM, etc. If you vary your driving habit, it takes the tranny some time to learn the new style of driving.
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