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Toyota 4Runner



  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    In message #9071, I got on my soapbox and voiced my opinions regarding how critically important I believe it is to find a highly reputable dealership/service shop to do business with. After the initial sale, it's the quality, professionalism, and level of customer care of the service shop that will most influence one's ownership experience.

    Before I made the final decision to buy a new 4Runner, I visited Toyota's web site on many occasions, and I paid close attention to the section that provided a list of the local dealerships, which in my case can be found here: n=collate&forwardToTemplate=/html/shop/dealers/results/dealer- _results.jsp When I then clicked on each of those dealerships, I saw that Toyota Direct has won Toyota's President's Award for the 4th time, and along with their strong "word-of-mouth" reputation, this honor really caught my attention.

    It seems that many of you have perhaps bought your vehicles from a dealership that offered you the lowest price, and if that dealership subsequently proves to have lousy service, you may then begin taking your vehicle to other local dealerships in the hope of finding better service. While this might be a good strategy in some cases, keep in mind that your vehicle's service and complaint history (as well as a given dealership service center's invoiced comments, etc.) are recorded and documented in a database that will follow and track the vehicle's history, regardless of which dealership service center you next choose to do business with.

    I've learned from prior experience with Ford dealerships that regardless of the validity of one's complaints about a vehicle, the act of repeatedly bouncing from one dealership service center to the next (in search of satisfaction and good service) may lead to the creation of a service and complaint history in which certain "red flags" might be subtly implied about the OWNER of the vehicle, rather than about the vehicle itself. In other words, the more we hire-and-fire various dealership service centers in our search for satisfaction, the more the service database might covertly or overtly paint us as being unreasonable, insufferable, and undesirable customers who seem impossible to satisfy.

    As I said in message #9071, I'm fortunate to have a dealership that has thus far offered outstanding service and customer CARE and ATTENTION, but I also agreed to pay this dealership a higher price for my '03 4Runner Limited. Among those of you who've had to endure Toyota dealerships that don't seem to give a damn about you or your vehicle, I hope you can find a better dealership to do business with.

    I'm saddened to hear that many of you are receiving shoddy service and care from your local dealerships, such as receiving your vehicle back from service in a filthy and/or damaged condition; or being told that an obvious problem is "normal" and nothing can be done; or feeling as though you must write a letter of complaint directly to Toyota Customer Service, rather than being able to rely on your chosen dealer's service manager to be an advocate for you when it comes to appealing directly to Toyota for help.
  • slandyslandy Posts: 46
    A tsb is issued from Toyota when toyota had discovered a problem in the vehicle and they have discovered a fix. Tsb's were first just info to help the technician correct a customers complaint. With all the customers access through the web and independent shops, they have become more open to people.
    When a tsb is issued for a problem, they issue it by the vin#, if your vehicle falls into that range, and you experiencing that problem , then they will try to correct it. Toyota does not perform tsb's after the warranty for free. It is not a recall, that is a totally different animal. It states very clearly on Toyota's tsb's they will only reimburse the dealer if it is still under the manufactures warranty. I have access to toyota's official tsb's if anybody needs info.
  • Thanks for the clarification slandy. So how does one go about finding out which TSB's relate to their personal VIN #? I note that the TSB's have a number (ie. AC003-03) and an issue date, but where can one find out if their VIN falls within the appropriate time to be fixed?
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    It's been about 0 degrees F here in Boston the last few days. I've had no problems with my 4Runner. I would be surprised if the problems that you are having are due to the cold.
  • slandyslandy Posts: 46
    Hotelseven--If you are having a specific problem, then call your local dealer and ask them if there is a tsb regarding that issue that your car would fall into. If you would like I can look it up for you. Email me your vehicles info. 03 or 04 v6 or v8 etc and the vin. Email is
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    We had temperatures here in British Columbia, Canada between -27 C and -35 C earlier this week(-35 C is about the same as -35 F). My 04 4Runner V8 performed well, although fuel economy was quite poor. The only issue was that my tire pressure warning light illuminated, and I later determined that tires were at 27 psi rather than 32 psi - inflated and lamp went out.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    Oddly enough, I was on my way to my dealership this morning to sign over the extended warranty on my Ford Explorer trade-in, and for the first time I found that the audio system in my 4Runner Limited wouldn't play. The navigation system worked fine, and when I tapped the steering wheel-mounted "mode" button, the screen would display audio playback mode, but there was no sound. (I didn't notice any other electrical problems.) Since I've read of similar accounts at this forum, I tried shutting the vehicle off, then back on again, and the problem went away, and hasn't yet reoccurred.

    I then stopped by the service center, described the problem, and the first thing the service advisor did was to check the 4Runner's TSB files. He said he's not yet received any TSBs on this issue, nor had he yet heard of this problem until I mentioned it. He offered to take my vehicle in for service and to put me in a loaner vehicle right then and there, but I said I'd rather wait and see if the problem reoccurs before proceeding further.

    I've otherwise been quite pleased with my vehicle's audio system, which I believe is one of the better stock systems currently available. I listen to a lot of public radio and AM, and I find the radio to sound quite good. I'm also very pleased with the sound of the CD/DVD player, tape deck, amplifier, and speakers. My truck's sound system has thus far been very quiet (i.e., no obvious hiss, amplifier hum, speaker buzzing/rattling, etc.) and it sounds very musical and non-fatiguing, with great dynamic range, transient response, stereo separation, and clarity. The DVD/CD player is quite musical as well, without the annoying hardness, obvious digital "clock-jitter", digital clipping, and edginess ("digititis") heard with lesser CD/DVD players.

    The premium sound system's speakers and subwoofer seem to do a very good job of resolving and reproducing the low, middle, and high frequencies; and the critically important midrange frequencies seem especially well reproduced considering that this is, after all, a car/SUV audio system.
  • By any chance, did you you try changing the way the power locks work in conjunction with the "P"ark gear? Did you hold down the power lock button for 5+ seconds in the last day?

  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    Has Toyota increased the front ride height on the '04 models? My '03 sits raked slightly to the front, but in noticing a new Runner the other day in the parking lot it seemed to sit 'level'.

    Anyone else notice this? I know many people have complained about the lack of ground clearance and the raked stance. Maybe I am seeing things...
  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    does mobil 1 make a oil filter for the 2004 4-runner v6 or v8?? Plus does anyone know the best oil filter to use? Every oil & lube place here uses fram. I read a study that said fram is the worst filter on the market. Mobil 1 is the best followed by amsoil. Don't want to order on-line if I don't have to, but that is the only way to get the amsoil filter(I think).
  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    sorry but I don't know how to put a link on here. One of the oil filter studies I saw was:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Usually it suffices simply to precede the URL with "http://" as in

    If you want to make it look like a regular link then you have to do a litte more work: <a href="">a regular link</a>

    tidester, host
  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    thank you tidester
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    I recently drove my 03 4Runner across MN, SD, and WY, where the temps were well below 0 F. About -12 when I pulled into Rapid City. The vehicle performed quite well, but I did notice the fuel economy seemed to tank at those temps. Interesting to see other people getting poor economy in low temps. Anyone know what causes this?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I had a physics professor in college who had a great sense of humor. He often said, Tell me what the empirical data is, and I'll tell you what physical law applies."

    I used to do spelunking in college. I noticed that all caves are 55 degrees F. It doesn't matter which State, Summer or Winter, always 55 degrees F. From that experience, I suppose that underground gasoline storage tanks are at 55 Degrees F. Filling your tank with 55 degree gasoline and then have it shrink due to cold temperature may make it seem that the gasoline disappears quickly.
      The cold temperature may also cause the air in your tires to shrink, also. Your tires may be under inflated, making for more rolling resistance.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    I've dropped about 2mpg since the temp has dropped consistently below 32*.
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    <<I've dropped about 2mpg since the temp has dropped consistently below 32*. >>

    Me, too, but I thought it was the lousy aerodynamics from the 30" of snow sitting on the roof. ;-)
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Anyone know the reason why Toyota dropped the telescoping steering wheel on the '04 SR5's? They had it on the '03's.
  • kscotttkscottt Posts: 18
    Anybody know of a good body shop in the Long Beach/South Bay area? Some guy hit me and my initial estimate of $1600 for a few little dents and scratches seems a bit inflated.

  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    No snow on the roof, she is garaged, but dirty as a 2 yr old at Chucky Cheeses.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    I have a 2004 SR5, with the 'B' package, that includes the telescopic steering wheel. Mine is a Canadian model, it that makes a difference. Neither the 2003 nor 2004 base model ('A' package) came with the telescopic wheel.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Thanks for the info.

    It is strange, a friend of mine has a base model '03 SR5 with it, but on the '04's, it's been dropped. They even state it in the brochure.
  • So after sending a long letter to Toyota Head Office (Customer Service) outlining the numerous problems I have had to date with my 03 V6 Sport, and being told basically that there was nothing they were prepared to do, I emailled the managers at my dealership. Within a couple days the VP from the dealership responded and I was put in touch once more with the Service Manager. I advised him of the further problems I have had and they are going to need my vehicel for another 3 days to do the following:
    -check VSC computer
    -replace sunroof
    -replace stereo components
    -check / replace front seat
    -replace chipped silver paint from interior / exterior

    They are giving me a Corola as a rental (how nice). That will mean in 9 months of owning this vehicle, it will have been into the dealer for service a total of 9 times....This is the second time I will be requiring a rental.

    I requested a completely new vehicle stating that I feel I have a lemon. He was quite honest and replied that unless the vehicle is unsafe, or has considerable "down-time" where it is undriveable (ie. drivetrain problems, etc) then they would probably not replace the vehicle. He also stated that if the dealer could repeatedly not fix a problem then they may consider. I advised him that it has been in 3 different times to have the loud engine noise checked out (even a Toyota Engineer came in to check it out and there is still no fix). He said that that is the only issue that MAY be working towards getting a brand new vehicle.

    Just thought Id keep you all posted as to my dealings with Toyota and the Service Dept.
  • Lemon law states, if memory serves me right, that if your vehicle is in the dealer shop for 30 days in the first year, then they have to buy it back at the purchase price minus the mileage cost. You will likely need an attorney to push this through if this is the case. In any case, you will need to produce proof that the vehicle was indeed in for 30 or more days.

    Could someone confirm this ?
  • Unfortunately there are no such laws that exist in Canada (at least none that I am aware of). Anyone know what chance of winning a Civil Suit against Toyota one would have here in Canada?
  • I was just on the Toyota Website and saw that they now have an option for Borla exhaust system, where the fumes are exhausted out the SIDES of the rear of the vehicle, not directly out the back.

    If Toyota has recognized that so many people are complaining about the rotten egg smell with the 2003's, does that mean they may change them for us if we are still under warranty (by us I mean us who have the rotten smelling rear exhaust)?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Anyone know what chance of winning a Civil Suit against Toyota one would have here in Canada?

    I don't know but isn't that the reason Toyota is able to sell their vehicles more cheaply there than in the states - fewer and less costly civil suits?

    tidester, host
  • Now that the Canadian dollar is at 0.8 of the American (used to be 0.62 a year ago), it is cheaper to buy cars in USA.

    I don't think cheaper cars have to do much with lawsuits. More likely, it's all about labor costs involved, since Canadians get paid less, in relative terms
  • Anyone with any experience completely replacing seats in an suv (or a new 4runner!). These seats are like sitting on a park bench!
  • This is my first post!. I have 2003 Sport V8. I like to know any experience with San Antonio,TX Toyota dealers regarding their service (like oil changes etc). Please share your experience.
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