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Toyota 4Runner



  • toyboxxtoyboxx Posts: 150
    jealous of my awesome 8 cyl. sport THAT DOES NOT STINK?
  • toyboxxtoyboxx Posts: 150
    Do they have this option for 4runners?
  • brestlebrestle Posts: 22
    About 10 months ago, my wife was on a road trip with the new '03 4Runner Limited and when she returned she informed me that the tailgate wasn't staying in the up position. She'd open it and it would fall halfway down. Upon tinkering, we realized that if the window is down, the tailgate would not stay up. Thought this was just a slight design flaw (didn't have it with my '96 4Runner).

    This past weekend was the first time we had the truck in cold conditions (10 to 20 degrees). This time the tailgate refused to stay open even with the window in the up position. Sure enough, when the afternoon hit and the temps raised to about 45 degrees the tailgate worked fine again. That night and the next morning, same issue. Cold outside = tailgate not staying open. I actually had to stick a ski pole between it and the bumper to keep it open.

    Has anyone heard of this problem? Better yet, do other people's tailgates stay open with the window down? I'm thinking my original assumption about the flawed design may be incorrect...maybe I have a defective tailgate. Thoughts?

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I'd guess that you need to replace the struts that hold open the tailgate -- it sounds like they've lost pressure. It should be an easy fix by the dealer.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    When I logged on to this forum tonight, I noticed that someone had posted a comment about the new 4Runner with the title "Garbage", implying that this vehicle is "garbage". The brief message that followed was quite bitter and said something to the effect of "enjoy the stink..." or something like that, undoubtedly referring to the "rotten egg" exhaust odor that some are unfortunately experiencing with the new 4Runner.

    Please note that my '03, V8 4Runner has nearly 9500 miles on it so far, and to date there've been only a FEW occasions when I detected only a FAINT sulfur odor coming from the exhaust, and those RARE occasions have always been in my garage, after shutting off the engine and exiting the truck. (I've yet to ever smell this odor in the cabin.) In fact, my truck's exhaust almost always has the usual and rather pleasant odor I would expect.

    So then, am I just lucky here? Maybe so. But then again, might there be something I'm doing (or not doing) that's helping to keep my truck's exhaust from reeking of sulfur?

    I routinely use high-octane (i.e., 91-93 octane) fuels from reliable name-brands such as Shell, Sunoco, and Chevron. Since I've yet to have a problem with this particular odor with my 4Runner, I have speculated in one or more of my previous postings as to whether this widely reported "rotten egg" exhaust smell complaint might be related to not only the overall QUALITY of the brand of fuel being used, but perhaps equally or even more importantly, whether it might also be somehow related the OCTANE rating of the fuel being used. So far, it seems my previous speculations regarding this matter have been largely ignored, and those who've responded have merely opined that unless engine knocking develops, using a premium high-octane fuel is surely unnecessary at best, and a waste of money at worst.

    After reading the "garbage" and "enjoy the stink" comments earlier tonight, I decided to do a bit more on-line digging on the this subject. Here's a link to a discussion about gasoline from Sunoco's web site: Pay close attention to Table 4 (especially), and you will see some interesting figures regarding the sulfur content of their fuels, with respect to octane rating. In brief, a perusal of this data would seem to indicate that their 93/94 octane fuels are reported to have a >50% reduction in sulfur content (measured in parts-per-million) when compared to their 87 octane fuels. A further examination of this data would seem to suggest that at least for Sunoco fuels, the sulfur content may be (roughly) inversely related to octane rating. That is, the LOWER the octane rating, the HIGHER the sulfur content?? While I could not find similar on-line data from Shell or Chevron, I can't help but wonder if the Sunoco data might well be generalizable to gasoline coming from many refineries?

    For those who would scoff at Toyota's recommendation to use high-octane fuel in the 4Runner unless knocking develops, Chevron's web site had this to say (A quote from this last link is as follows: "Your car's octane requirements are mainly determined by its basic design. In addition, variations in engines due to manufacturing tolerances can cause cars of the same model to require a different octane of several numbers. Also, as a new car is driven, its octane requirement can increase because of the buildup of combustion chamber deposits. This continues until a stable level is reached, typically after about 15,000 miles. The stabilized octane requirement may be 3-6 numbers higher than when the car was new. Premium or midgrade fuel may be advisable to prevent knock..."

    In my opinion, it would make no marketing sense for Toyota to recommend more costly high-octane fuels if they didn't believe it would necessarily result in the best long term performance of the engines in question. I welcome your thoughts here.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    vodgut, you can probably tell which capacity hitch you have just by kneeling down and examining the underside of the receiver. I wrote a more detailed comparison a while back, but the short answer is that the receiver of the lighter hitch is bolted to the rear frame crossmember by two bolts, while the heavier hitch (the one on the newer V8s) has a receiver which is attached to a cross bar. This cross bar is bolted to the fore/aft frame rails on each side.

    It looked to me like you could easily buy the heavier hitch and swap out the lighter one. I think there was even a post from someone in Canada who had bought the heaver hitch from Toyota and done just that. I don't know if the heaver hitch receiver mount is the only difference between the 5000 lb. and 7000+ lb. towing ratings, but I wouldn't be surprised.
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    corancher - I'd love to see pics of the two. I tried looking for the sticker, but nothing's there. The owner's manual (which also states that my towing capacity is 7000lbs) states there's a sticker in the driver's door that lists stuff about towing, but it only had GVWR numbers, nothing about towing.

    Of course, I could probably always take pics of the underside of my hitch and post them here. I'll probably do that if it's inconclusive. If worse comes to worse and I want to tow more than 5000lbs, I suppose I could always contact Toyota directly with my VIN....hopefully they'd know.

    Thanks everyone.
  • 4wlow4wlow Posts: 1
    I have been doing alot of test drives and researching the 4th gen toyo. The out come was 04' sport 4W V8.I have read all the concerns about the wheel shake and the most important sulfer problems,Or the cold effecting any doors,hatches,or motor,With 900 miles on her,no problems.Only 100 more miles to go until breakinn period is finished,I'm eager to see what she can do here in the northeast.My opinion,this is the best information boad for toyo. Thanks for listining.
  • 69mach169mach1 Posts: 60
    Hotel7, do you know where the JBL amp is in your 4Runner? Is it a part of the radio/CD/tape unit or is it separate and installed somewhere else?

    It looks like a big job to remove the JBL unit from the dash, so I was hoping the amp was in a more accessible location. Thanks for any input.

    PS. I've had absolutely no sulfer smell since I purchased the vehicle, I use 87 octane fuel, which in Colorado is mid grade, regular is 85 octane.
  • Recently I test drove both a 4R Limited and a Lexus GX 470 (its upscale cousin). Both hanfled similarly but the GX felt more spacious inside, When I checked the dimensions and specifications they were nearly identical. Anyone have an idea what may be happening here.

    Sulfer smell; I have a 93 Grand Cherokee in which I use premium (91\92) gas, because performance and mileage are better with premium. Rarely, I will get a sulfer smell. It comes and goes unrelated to anything I can figure out. My assumption is that it has to do with the gasoline used. I used to use exclusively Texaco, now Shell; same station but merger forced them to change. Perhaps slightly different formulations or whatever. It also seemed to happen more when going uphill. Hope this may provide some clues.
  • mrsuremrsure Posts: 2

    Just wanted to see if there are others out there in my situation. I have a 03 4Runner, and its been nothing but a problem since I bought it. It has a lot of small issues which I won't waste your time going into, but it seems to be a very "dainty" vehicle.

    After only 11500 miles, the all wheel drive made terrible sounds and had to be replaced. Now the vehicle has a very bad gas odor coming from where the new differential case was installed. Its going back to the dealer again. During the latest cold snap, the engine apparently won't run when its under 10 below zero. Its starts but keeps stalling when driving because of a "lean mixture" code detected by the engine. Tried premium gas, dry gas, but it has something to do with going up and down hills too. Dealer had no solutions for me. Had to tow it twice!

    Also, I may add, the vehicle skid control system appeared to freeze up as well, and I got some exciting braking vibrations and lights on indicating the anti-skid was on even though I was it Park. Doesn't Toyota test its vehicles in cold weather??
    Now granted it was damn cold out, but my 89 Toyota pickup with 200,000 miles on it, started and ran fine.

    Bottom line, I never expected this poor of vehicle from Toyota, and I will probably never buy a new car from them again. I know its a new model, but I also bought the new 2001 nissan Pathfinder when it came out, and there were zero recalls with it and I did not have one problem with that car.

    Maybe I am just an odd case that got a bad car, but I am wondering if there are more of you out there?

    At any rate, I cannot reccomend the new 4Runner to someone that NEEDS 4Wheel drive, it just doesn't hold up.
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    The difference is in the headroom. The GX470 is 3" taller than the 4Runner.
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    Hi, my name is KJack100 and I drive(drove) a stinky '03 4Runner. It only happened when I got heavy on the gas see, but it was good fun when the kids were in the car. Random kid quotes: "Who cut the cheese?" "Whoever smelt it, dealt it," etc.

    I always bought gas (92 octane) at the Amoco around the corner from my house and Amoco gas whenever I could when on the road. My Dad raised me this way. One day early last month I go to pull into my beloved Amoco and the wrecking ball is coming down on her in order to build a bank. Old man Lewis finally sold out. OMG, I thought, the world is coming to an end. I limp over to the Chevron around the corner, and begrudgingly fill 'er up with 93 Octane. Well, let me tell you, me and my 4Runner are stinky no longer. I try to make her stink; can't do it. The kids are bummed, too. Oh well.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Sorry to hear about your problems, I have a V-8 Sport. with no problems at all.
      BTW I think you have 4 wheel drive, not all wheel drive. In the V-6 you have to switch to 4 WD from 2 WD.
      If your 2001 Pathfinder was so good, why did you buy a 2003 4 Runner ? Just curious.
  • I would have thought the height made the difference but the front headroom in the 4R is listed at 39.7 and that of the GX at 40.2, only a half inch. 4R also felt narrower though its shoulder room is listed as slighty more than the GX.
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    I read somewhere on here months ago that the seats are higher in the GX470 than the 4Runner and that made for a different feel. I do know that the '03/'04 4runner seemed much more spacious after driving a '98 4Runner for five years, especially in the interior width.
  • Automotive News indicates that Toyota has a $400 factory to dealer rebate on 2003 and 2004 4Runners which expires February 2, 2004. Under dealer incentives it does have the caveat that "[p]rograms may vary by region and model."
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That incentive is not in effect here in the Central Atlantic Region. We currently have no incentives on the Runner.
  • scnamescname Posts: 296
    $750 in the Gulf State region. I want more.
  • I've got an '03 V8 Limited that I'm happy with, however it appears that I've got at least one bad tire. The dealer has balanced the tires 3 times and is convinced that at least one tire is bad. They are the OEM tires and are from Dunlop.

    It feels "wobbly" in slowish turns and the behavior can be stopped by swapping F<=>R (like when you rotate the tires).

    The dealer says they can have Dunlop warranty the tire(s) but ONLY for the one(s) that are bad. My problem is that my car has 20,000 miles on it. So getting 1 or 2 new tires and using them with 2 or 3 existing tires with 20,000 miles on them seems rediculous for the following reasons:

    1. Harder on the drivetrain
    2. Worse traction on ice/snow
    3. Worse gas mileage

    I was thinking that short from giving me 4 new tires, that they should at least give me a pro-rated credit on the tires that are still good. That way I could get 4 new tires and not feel like I was being forced to throw away tires that still have life in them.

    I don't even want Dunlops anyway. I'd rather have the Michelin X-Terrains.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice in dealing with this type of an issue?

  • Yes, they do make Side Signal Mirrors for the 4Runner. If you do not currently have them, the dealer can install them for you. They just need to know whether to order heated/unheated.
  • I'm not sure how many dealerships are doing this in the Dallas area, but Toyota of Irving is offering $750 back or 0.0% for 36 months on ALL 4Runners. Can't pass up on the 0.0.. that'll save me a good $3300.
  • slandyslandy Posts: 46
    You need to check on the history of the Pathfinder. Between the recalls and service bullitens it was like 60 items. Compare resale values also while your at it.. I cant take your comments with much education when you dont even know what type of drive train you have.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    My '03 4Runner Ltd. is shod with Michelin Cross Terrains, and they are indeed superb tires. That said, before you chuck your Dunlops, you may want to consider whether it might be cost effective to have them analyzed and balanced on a "road force" balancer such as this:

    As the information at this web site describes, this process basically involves In other words, tires and rims are never perfectly round, and there are occasions when a given tire's high spot has been inadvertently seated over the high spot on its tire rim. (A similar misalignment may occur with the low spots on the tire and rim.) If this sort of mismatch occurs between a given tire and its rim, the result will be an elliptically shaped "wheel" that rolls along rather like an egg, and even if a given tire and rim are otherwise correctly COUNTERWEIGHTED, no amount of conventional tire balancing will solve the problem because the underlying problem rests with the overall "wheel" (i.e., tire+rim) being too "elliptically" shaped. Conventional tire balancing methods can only detect and attempt to correct problems related to counterweighting; it does nothing to address the potential underlying problem of the tire's shape being mismatched to the shape of the metal wheel rim it is mated with. Only "road force" balancing can address this rather common problem, but unfortunately, many service shops do not own road force balancers because they are expensive, which is really no excuse since these machines tend to quickly pay for themselves and bring in lots of revenue over the long term! (Expect to pay ~$70.00 to have your tires "road force" balanced.)

    So how do road force balancers work? Basically, the tire and its rim are placed in the balancer, which rolls the tire and also applies a "squeezing" force or an amount of "road force" pressure (on the order of thousands of PSI) to the wheel in order to simulate the actual stresses and weight being seen by the wheel in real world conditions. At the same time, suffice it to say that as the wheel rolls, relative changes (dips and spikes) in PRESSURE are measured and recorded. Once this is accomplished, any marked high spots and low spots within the tire and rim are identified, and the tire is then resituated on the rim in such a fashion that "...matching the stiff or high spot on the tire with the low spot on the rim cancels vibration caused by radial force variation and provides the smoothest ride..." On the other hand, if you truly have a bad tire or rim, then replacement would be the best solution.

    From what I've learned through experience, when a competent service advisor hears of persisting complaints like yours (that are not solved by conventional rebalancing), they should next recommend road force balancing, even if this requires sending you to another shop or tire dealership that has a road force balancer. They may not be willing to foot the bill to have this done, but if it solves the problem it will still be much cheaper than buying new tires. And by the way, I've learned that when buying new tires, it's often worth it to have them road force balanced at or shortly after the time of installation, especially if there've been previous problems with ride quality. Opinions may vary here.
  • I have been shopping for a few days for a 4Runner. I've always liked them and the Toyota brand, but needed an 8 cyl. for the towing capacities ( I pull Mastercraft Ski Boats)..While checking tonight, I found a 2004 Limited V8 4x4 with everything on it. It is the gold color (which would have been my choice) It has 8740 miles on it. The salesman said that it was one of the regional managers demo trucks. The sticker is 43k and some change. I would not have gotten the Nav. system if I ordered one, but this has it and the backup camera is really nice. What would be an appropriate price? The invoice is near 37k. Kelly blue book says that an 03 with 9k miles would retail for 35000. The trade-in value from Kelly for the same car is 28500. Several 03 trucks are on CarMax with near the same mileage and options. Their price is 34000. Would 31000 be insulting? It does come with full factory warranty. It has never been titled. Should I buy an extended warranty since it has the nav/camera system? Any advice would be helpful. I live in Nashville,Tn. This is the Cincinnati region.

  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    I think $30k is a reasonable offer, especially if you go for the extended warranty, which I would recommend. The NAV alone is a very expensive option that would cost more than the price of the additional coverage. Air suspension and X-REAS are also expensive and previously unproven technologies in Toyota vehicles for the long term.

    Good luck.
  • How much off-roading capability does the 2WD version have?

    If you 'air down' the tires, can it perform in sand?
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    My Canadian 2004 V8 4Runner came with the factory hitch. The manual rates tow capacity up to 7000 lbs. My hitch has two bolts to the cross-member. I looked at a few other vehicles, and they seem to be equipped the same.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I drive on the beach on the NC Outer Banks. They have entrance / exit ramps that are maintained by the Beach Patrol. There are signs on the way in that say 4WD is recommended, and to air down your tires to 20 PSI. I saw 2 different 4WD Chevy PU's having a difficult time of it ( the Ford 4WD PU's had no such problem). The sand is very dry and drifts. It is not the easiest to drive on.
      You may do OK, depending on how well packed the sand is, but I can't recommend it. If you do go out on the sand, I would recommend you get the number of a beach tow service, have a cell phone, have some extra bottled water, and carry a tow strap. The people I meet out on the beach are extremely friendly and would help out anyone stuck in the sand.
  • toyboxxtoyboxx Posts: 150
    Is this a Toyota product or aftermarket. If Toyota, do you know the part number? If aftermarket, do you know the brand name?
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