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Toyota 4Runner



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Congrats Burner!

    Please take a couple of minutes and provide some details about your deal in the Toyota 4Runner: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion. Thanks!

    Steve, Host
  • I purchased my '03 4Runner Limited as new in 9/03 (it currently has 45,000 miles on the odometer) and it is the finest vehicle I've ever owned, with no problems until its moonroof recently began acting up.

    The first signs of trouble were intermittant and involved the moonroof not always tilting, opening and closing properly. Until recently, I could fiddle with the switch and eventually get it to function properly for a time, but last Friday it finally gave out and became stuck in the fully open position. (Thankfully, it was not raining at the time, I was on my way home from work, and I own a home with a fully enclosed garage.)

    Anyhow, last Saturday I drove my 4Runner to my dealer (it was raining lightly at the time!) and they said that until they could speak with Toyota today, they wouldn't know whether my Toyota Platinum (100,000 mile) extended warranty (~$950.00) would cover the cost of repairing the moonroof. However, the service advisor mentioned that to the best of his recollection, Toyota's standard factory warranty has tended to provide rather poor coverage of moonroof problems, and that the extended warranty would be an open question until they could consult Toyota about this issue.

    Well, today I received a call from my dealer (Toyota Direct in New Albany, OH.) and I was informed that my Platinum extended warranty does indeed cover the entire cost of repairing my 4Runner's moonroof. The problem reportedly involved several cables, pulleys, etc., and the necessary parts are now on order.

    Now then, on to my real point: Here at this forum, I've previously recommended purchasing Toyota's Platinum extended warranty, depending on how long one plans to own the vehicle. In response, several forum members have opined that given the legendary reliability of Toyota's vehicles, the Platinum, 100,000 mile, extended warranty is probably unnecessary, particularly if one doesn't plan to own the vehicle beyond the terms of the factory warranty. (My experience here would seem to indicate that the Platinum extended warranty covers potentially costly items not included in the factory warranty!)

    Thus far, my dealer has logged ~3-4 hours of labor (at a cost of ~$75.00/hour) just to diagnose the problem and to begin ordering the necessary parts; even more parts and labor may be required to fully fix my truck's moonroof, not to mention any storage fees required to keep my vehicle stored in the shop, protected from the weather. Moreover, my Platinum extended warranty is once again providing me with a free loaner vehicle for as long as it takes to complete repairs on my truck.

    So, begin to think about how much money it would otherwise end up costing me to have all of this service rendered and completed (ie, labor, parts, shop fees, loaner vehicle, etc.) and I'll bet that my extended warranty will have paid for itself with this problem alone, and I still have another 55,000 miles of excellent, extended warranty coverage coming to me, should I need it.

    I rest my case.
  • mstemmstem Posts: 113
    I have to admit that I am in the same corner with Kurt on this one. I too have an '04 4-Runner, which I picked up on Christmas 2003. It has given me zero problems, and it was purchased after much research on this forum. I remember reading many posts by "kheintz1" and appreciate the wisdom that he and others provided to me and all of the readers here. I also will admit to NOT purchasing the Toyota Extended Warranty, as I bought into the theory that their vehicles were reliable and enjoyed an enviable reputation. As my 4-Runner is less than three years old and has less than 36K miles I think I can still add the extended warranty. The vehicle has now been "taken over" by my wife and she absolutely loves it, after driving a Highlander for many years.

    Here is what changed my mind about the Toyota Extended Warranty: just two weeks ago I took delivery of an '06 Toyota Avalon Limited. I spent a lot of time over on the Avalon board, and they are a very active bunch just like the 4-Runner fans. I put all of the toys on the Avy, including NAV (my first NAV system...) and Remote Start and Laser Cruise, etc etc etc. I still wasn't going to buy the warranty until we started signing all of the papers. Have to admit, after they made me a little deal on the 6yr/100K version that I changed my mind. This vehicle has so many electronics and gadgets and features that I really worried about the possible repair costs down the road. Some folks have mentioned the $4K replacement cost for the NAV system, for example. Ouch! So I bit the bullet and bought the extended warranty, and I don't regret the purchase. A lot depends on how long you project the vehicle will be kept in the family, and both the 4-Runner and the Avy will be keepers. That's why I am thinking about buying it also for the wife's 4-Runner.

    Your mileage may vary, you may have a different view and that's great... I just think for me the piece of mind is now worth it, and Kurt's experience with his moonroof just underscores that point. Just wanted to share my changed view! :) Mike
  • In the past, I think that it has been said that the warranty is not worthwhile if you won't keep the vehicle past the manufacturer's original warranty. That's a no brainer if you are going to trade the vehicle back in, but you might get some money back out of it in a private sale if the warranty is transferrable.

    Otherwise it buys piece of mind. However, the average buyer will not get his/her money back out of the purchase price of the warranty. It is like any other form of insurance in that, in the aggregate, the manufacturer makes money on the warranty and thus does not expect to make repears equal to the purchase price. The average buyer loses some money on the transaction and a (un)lucky few actually come out ahead.

    Also, those electronic gadgets are likely the most reliable thing on a new vehicle -- that is unless its a German vehicle. For some reason the German vehicles have very poor reliability with their electronics. Probably has something to do with their tendancy to go overboard on complexity.
  • I also have an 04 4Runner, now with 30k miles, and am agonizing over an ext warranty. I'm, looking at a 7yr/100k warranty, from Toyota for $700+tax, which a dealer in upstate NY, who posts here occasionally offers. I plan to keep it for 6 or 7 years, and tend to put on a lot of miles. Mine is a Sport model, with the XREAS suspension. I'm told that if a shock goes out, it requires a whole system replacement, which could be as much as $2000! My problem is, my dealer is part of SE Toyota, which sells a 3rd party warranty, which is probably ok in the SE, however, when outside this area, the owner pays the bill and then tries to get reimbursed from the insurance co.. I have misgivings about this arrangement. My dealer has been terrific is all respects, and I frankly don't know if he can sell the standard Toyota warranty, but I'm going to ask. Any thoughts? :confuse:
  • mstemmstem Posts: 113

    A lot of the folks over on the Avalon 2005+ forum have addressed this issue, with good results. You can buy the "official" Toyota Platinum Extended Warranty from most any Toyota dealer, regardless of where you bought you new Toyota. Some of the dealers even sell through the Internet, and they sell the Platinum 100K mile warranty for around $995.00, which retails for $1695.00. I would check into that option. In my opinion, I would NOT buy any third party warranty, especially one that makes you pay up front and then beg for reimbursement. Go with the official Toyota version. If you need a source let me know. The Avalon crowd seems to like a dealer in Maryland that sells a lot of Platinum warranties for the low buck price of $995.00 or so... PS I used this dealer and his Web sale to get my local dealer down to close to the $995.00 price. Might help you out also.

  • I own a 2005 SE V8 and am wondering if it's possible to purchase the Toyota Platinum Extended Warranty when the basic factory warranty is nearly up (36 months/36,000 miles)? What would be the point in buying it earlier? How much less would it cost?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    If it's like all the other car manufacturers, you can purchase at anytime up to three years of 36,000 miles. There is really no-need to purchase it at the same time you buy your car. Some people will finance the amount in with their car payment. That is about the only reason I can come up with.
  • Has anyone been able to find a 2006 4 Runner with NAV? I live in Southern CA and have called several dealers and they all have told me that it is not easy to find one as it is not a "normal" option for our region. I read the brochure and it said that the 2006 had a back up camera, voice recognition and bluetooth. I'd really like to see one or hear some of your opinions before I start hunting all over CA to find one. I realize that it is early in the model year and some may turn up somewhere, but I'd like to know if they are good systems. The last dealer told me to go and look at the one on the Highlander or the Sequoia-that they'd be the exactly the same thing. Does anyone know if they really would be the same? Thanks in advance.
  • I know that they up'd the power in '05 from 235 hp to 270 hp in the same engine. Now it looks like they dropped the hp down by 10 hp to 260 and the torque down a whopping 27 lb-ft to 303.
    It's almost better to get a 2005 V8 now with the huge rebates or the 2006 V6.
  • Power is exactly the same, they are just using a different method to measure (rate) it.
  • I went to the dealership yesterday to get my first look at a 2006 model. I was very surprised, but I think I like the 2005 better. The lights seemed bludged out as well as the grill. The 2006 model was a sport, the tubular rails are cool, but I think the old rails look more smooth. The grill was chrome and it was huge. LED tail lights were cool, but the projection head lights did not impress me. Will they work better at night, b/c I have a hard time seeing, they didn't seem very bright? I think that the 2005 models look more refined vs. aggressive for 2006. I will really miss the ipod connection and thicker glass, but I found a new 2005 for the price of a used 2005.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    As biglatka posted, there is no difference in the engine between 2005 and 2006. What changed is that the SAE changed the way horsepower ratings are determined. The horsepower rating of the engine is less using the 2006 methodology than it was using the 2005 methodology. But the engine itself is unchanged.
  • How does the Ipod connection work? Does it charge the ipod, do you need to buy a cord to connect it? If so what cord? Does it play on it's own setting on the stereo or is transmitted to the radio??
  • "are we to believe (as the Toyota rep was trying to convince me) that the V6 doesn't provide enough power for towing or "serious" offroading? "

    Well that's totally crap. Some of the best offroading vehicles on the planet are '85 yotas with a 4 banger in it. He doesn't know anything about serious offroading. Engine has little to do with it. Lockers, proper gearing, and good transfer case has *much* more to do with it.
  • Once you are in low range, the V6 provides tons of torque, especially since it is always mated to an automatic.

    In low range, it is hard to imagine the slightly more powerful 8 having any noticable advantage.

    Now, if you had 35 inch swamp tires on and you're going mud bogging, that might be a different story, but don't worry 35s won't fit on a runner without major modification. A 3 inch lift and minor modifications (cutting) will only get you to a 33.

    I wish Toyota had given us a little more ground clearance and slightly larger wheel wells.
  • It is a BS statement on the towing front also. The towing rating on the V6 is 5000 lbs. As long as you're under that it'll do fine.

    You might have to drive up the 6% grade on I70 at 55 mph instead of the 62 you could do with the V8 since it makes a whopping 12% more power. People need to realize it isn't safe to pull their huge horse trailers at 85 mph down the interstae anyway.

    If I were dragging something around heavier than 5000 lbs, I'd be more worried that the 4Runner isn't heavy enough and doesn't have a long enough wheel base to handle well with the load. Braking and turning are more important than top speed.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I tow a 21.5 foot trailer at approx. 5,000 pounds w/ an '05 4Runner with the V8. It handles fine. It is properly equipped for towing. I wouldn't recommend going much longer.
  • audreymaudreym Posts: 103
    I am dying to know this also. We went and looked at an '06 ltd tonight (after having my mind made up on a Lexus RX) and we were pretty impressed, but I could not find where they hid the aux port! The sales guy didn't know, and I didn't want to tear the console apart then & there. I guess once you pack your CDs in mothballs in favor of digital music, there is no going back!
  • burner7burner7 Posts: 17
    Hey, I just found the aux port in my 4runner. It's inside the center console armrest,below where you can put your change in. It's not very visible, but it's there. I'm going to get the connector cable to test out my ipod tomorrow.
  • I haven't heard anyone mention the fact that the "sport" now comes with power seats std. Until now I think only the LTD's came this way. Am I correct? :confuse:
  • Hi. I was just reading your post and wanted to tell you something. I have a 2003 4Runner which I bought new. It's completely loaded - Navigation, Air-ride suspension, etc. However, I too noticed that the headlights were only truly effective when I switched on the fog lights. I had wished that Toyota had put xenon lights in but they didn't. Therefore, I went to "" and ordered an HID kit for it. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! It's made all the difference. However, the only reason I did it is because the truck has an autoleveling suspension. Otherwise, you'll blind oncoming traffic.

    Lastly I just outfitted it with an aftermarket bluetooth setup...doesn't it figure that the 2006 has it built in? Doesn't it also figure that they finally put voice-activated navigation in it? lol

    - Chris Ducharme
    Rhode Island
  • I found the following post from last May. I have not received anything in the mail from Toyota nor have I been able to find anything searching the internet/recalls. I have a 2001.
    Does anyone know the skinny on this ?
    #2165 of 2171 4Runner Recall by transpower May 18, 2005 (11:24 am)
    | E-mail Msg
    Tsk, tsk, a 4Runner Recall: 2001-2002 4Runners (along with other Toyota models) have been recalled to fix potential steering/suspension problems. See p. D4 of today's Wall Street Journal
  • I have found that 'transpowers' post about the Recall for potential steering/suspension problems is not a recall but there is a TSB.
  • vurvur Posts: 1
    I am sorry for posting it, since I couldn't find a definitive answer on this or other forums (I guess I am not the first one who asked this question).

    I have Toyota 4runner V6 4WD year 2000 with ~92K miles. I have heard that starting from certain year 4Runners doesn't need a 90K timing belt change.

    Is it true ?

    Thanks a lot for your help
  • goltgogoltgo Posts: 54
    I can't speak to the 2001 model, but I did get a recall notice (#50-N) for "steering relay rod replacement" on my 1995 4Runner. It's going in tomorrow. Since your Runner is a different generation, this probably doesn't apply, but I thought I'd mention it.
  • I am currently waiting to buy a 2006 V8 SE 4Runner. I am also a muli-ti era military veteran. I have tested the dealer waters here in Pennsylvania to see if any of them would provide any kind of military discount ( college grads get one, and have never been shot at) some gave me the song and dance that they could, however, Toyota does not have such a discount. Are there any other veterans in this forum who have any experience in obtaining any kind of military discount from dealers or Toyota?
  • gurgs24gurgs24 Posts: 10
    I have a 2005 V8 Limited 4x4 that I just got about 2 weeks ago (I love it so far!). I have only put 130 miles on it though so I haven't had to put any gas in it yet.

    I was wondering though what do most people use in their 2005 V8's? I know the manual says 87 is fine, but 91 will get better performance. I would be really interested to know if there was someone using 91 or 89 and swiched to 87 when gas prices skyrocketed. Do you notice any degradation in power and mileage, and if so, how much?

    Just trying to figure out when I fill up if it is worth it to go premium or stick with regular unleaded. Thanks!
  • mstemmstem Posts: 113
    gurgs24, I have a 2004 Toyota 4-Runner Limited V-8 which I have owned since purchasing it new in December 2003. It's used for daily commuting, a few trips a year and some horse-trailer towing in the summer months. I have routinely used 91 octane but lately (due to those gas price increases you mentioned!) have been using regular 87. I can't say I notice any difference at all, to tell you the truth. The engine seems to accomodate it just fine and doesn't complain. When towing, I try to always put the mid-level or premium grade in, but again I am not sure that it really matters much. It is a fantastic vehicle and seems to adapt to any situation. My wife liked it so much she sold her Highlander, took over the 4-Runner and I just purchased a new Avalon. I miss the 4-Runner and try to drive it every chance I can on the week-ends! :)

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I haven't noticed any difference. But I've been driving more gently lately. With more gentle acceleration and driving 65 mph on the highway instead of 75 mph, my gas mileage is approaching 19 mpg.
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