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Toyota 4Runner Warning Lights and Gauges

joshfjoshf Posts: 1
I have a 2003 4Runner with about 50k miles. All at one time, the check engine, VSC Trac and Trac Off lights all came on at one time. the car seems to drive fine. Do I need to get it serviced? Anyone else come across this?


  • We have the same exact problem with our 2002 with 52K miles. It happened to us on a road trip to the mountains from the beach last week. The problem seems to re-set itself after a while but then yesterday it came back on again. I think it is problem a sensor but would like to know which one and where it is located on the 4Runner.
  • I had the same thing on my 2004 4Runner at just 2800 miles. I took it back to the dealer under warranty. Looking at my invoice, regarding the check engine light, the tech notes say:

    OL2 sensor heater control circuit low.
    Wiring harness to 02 sensor shorted to body.
    Repair wiring harness.

    Regarding the VSC and Trac Light:

    Decel Sensor undone.
    Recalibrated decel sensor.

    I hope this helps.
  • rud1rud1 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem w/ my 03 after disconnecting the neg. wire to the battery to clean up. Both lights turned off after driving around for one day. However, the automatic roll down for the rear window doesn't seem to work anymore. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • pongo93pongo93 Posts: 1
    I recently had my 1999 4runner serviced (oil change, etc.). Now the gas gauge is all over the place. I get in to go somewhere the gauge indicates down a 1/4 tank, I get to the end of the block -- now its indicates down 1/2 tank, get to my destination -- now its back up to a 1/4 tank. what is causing this and what needs to be done to remedy the situation?

    All help is greatly appreciated.
  • 2002 4 Runner V6 Temperature guage is in the red
    Coolant and resavoir is at the proper level, belts and fan are working properly. Upper radiator hose is hot but not extremely. Lower hose is cold which indicates the thermostat has not opened. I can not locate temperature sending unit. Looking for a diagram and any information you can give, Thanks
  • I have the same problem with my 99 4Runner and my son with his 99 Tacoma. We both use odometer miles to indicate fuel level, kind of a pain. I've done quick searches to try to find information on a fix but no luck, may try to dig through Toyota corporate as well??
  • TSB EL01099 notes the problem, and there are tons of complaints filed. Not sure how this allworks but probably since not a 'safety' problem, we are on our own. Anybody know how these type things are handles? Where there is a documented problem with tons of complaints but not a clear safety problem?
  • I have a 2006 with 20k on it. I had the check engine light VSC and traction control lights come on. The dealership tells me that computer code read when hooked up to the computer it says that the O2 sensor in the catalytic converter is bad. Toyota will not replace just the sensor. So they replaced the catalytic converter. That was a week ago. The lights came back on this week and a new cat was installed today. Hopefully this time it works cause I'm tired of going to the dealership.
  • I've had the same problem with a previous car that I had. I found out that the gas censor (in the tank) was loose. I had to access the gas tank, remove the censor and make adjustments. Now, I'm not sure how the censors are on the 4Runner, but you might want to either buy a new censor and drop the gas tank and install it yourself or have someone else do it.

    Just a thought!
  • Joshf,

    I'm having the same issue, I will appreciate if you can tell me what happend to your vehicule.

    Thank you :sick: :confuse:
  • Hi, I'm having a problem similar to yours. Did this fix your problem. I don't want to have to get a catalytic converter if i don't have to . sheila
  • By replacing the converter did it work?? I'm afraid we'll replace it and it won't solve the problem. sheila
  • Hi everyone. Numerous folks including myself have had the VSC issue, but not all of us had the same fix. It's best to let your dealer diagnose and repair IMO. It could get very expensive swapping parts unnecessarily.
  • hello, I cant believe so many people have this problem. ( Me too) while driving all came on. I have jet to find what code it has. on 04/06 I had the same thing. took to dealer and they said it was the throtle body assy. car was still under warr. total was around 1,ooo &change. code went away but now it cameback. warr for work was for 1year (my lost)
    My miles now is around 75,ooo
    any thoughts?
  • vart69vart69 Posts: 1
    Well, at least I'm not the only one having this issue. Lights disappear when the brake pedal is depressed. By the way mine is an '03 with 80k
  • i have a 1999 toyota 4-runner, and last week the brake light on the dash came on and won't go off. anyone have any answers to this problem?
  • Check the brake fluid level. There is a float in the reservior that if your fluid gets low, the light will come on.
    Also make sure the parking brake lever/pedal is released completely.
  • My Toyota 4runner 1999 check engine light (CEL) came on five years ago. I paid the dealer $1122.00 to fix it after a few weeks it came back on for a few minutes and disappeared. The dealer told me to bring the car back when the light is on… it came on after a year and the dealer wanted to charge me another $1000. They wanted me to believe if I don’t fix it the car would break apart. I refused and took my car with me.
    I have driven the car like that for 4 years and the car always runs good. Several mechanics told me not to bother with trashing money at the dealers. The only problems were that red light on the dash, it can be distracting at night and I had to pay about twice the cost of inspection every year. After I spent a hundred dollars for inspection last year I decided to do something about it. I started to research online and within several forums, several contributors said they work or used to work for Toyota dealers and that most of the time the problem is caused by the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF), and it is easy to clean it to fix the problem. Some forums even document step by step, with pictures how to clean the MAF.
    To make sure the MAF is causing the problem you need to get you car scanned and get the error code. If you get P0171 System too Lean (Bank 1), then it is definitely the MAF. Most Auto Zone will scan your car for free. But I decided to buy the device instead from (Actron CP9145 AutoScanner Diagnostic Code Scanner with Live, Record and Playback Data Capability for OBDII (Post-1996) Vehicles) . The device is easy to use. I got the code, I followed the instruction on how to clean the MAF found here: , and I have not seen the CEL again since that time. I hope this help.
  • The mileage display in my 2006 4Runner seems to be getting more inaccurate. Driving a combination of city and highway it starts of at as much as 25 mpg and continues to go down to about 21 mpg by the time I have used 3/4 tank of gas. Then when I fill it up the calculated mileage is about 2.5 mpg less (18.5 mpg). Is there any way to correct this display and make it more accurate?
  • 2003 4Runner here. There is nothing that can be corrected. You'll eventually get used to rarely looking at it. Mine is off by about 2 MPG, although it was almost exact when new. I average 15.3 in mostly city driving, so be really happy with your MPG.
  • da4runnerda4runner Posts: 3
    Hey, all. I got a 94 4Runner 3.0 V6. This morning on my way to work, while I was driving, my e-brake light came on for a second, then turned off, then came on for another second, then went off again. This was while I was in motion and not applying the brakes. The brakes worked fine the whole way to work, and I did not notice any drivability issues. This did happen right after I was adjusting the air conditioner, but that may be cooncidence. What do you guys think?
  • da4runnerda4runner Posts: 3
    Looks like I may have been just a little low in the brake fluid. It was between the two lines, but closer to the MIN than the MAX. Hopefully, that takes care of it.
  • 1999 4runner gas gauge always stays on full even when ign. is turned off. I could use your great input on troubleshooting to lessen the brain damage I sustain when I think on my own!! Bryan.
  • Hey, all, first off, the brake warning light thing was cured with a little fluid.

    Now, there's another strange thing going on with my 94 4Runner 3.0 V6. Now sometimes when I make a right turn, especially when I do so at a green light (not stopped), my 4WD light will flicker real fast and make a "clicking" noise. No drivability issues have sprung up, it's just the light and noise. The flickering noise stops when I finish the turn, and doesn't happen every single time, but about maybe half the time. What do you guys think?
  • What causes the fuel gauge light to flicker on the dash. This is constant.
  • Hello-
    I have an 01 4runner V6 w/ 261K miles. These lights came on in Cape Hat as soon as I got off the Ferry. After about 1K miles they turned off again....7 months ago I had the left side of the engine rebuilt due to head gaket I think for $2700 and the lights remained on...Mechanic said they will turn off after I replace the o2 censor so I did'nt worry about it then. Now I've attemped to get the emmissions inspection 5 times. The first time it flunked was due to 1. Misfire on cyliner 1 and 6. 2. Faulty o2 censor. 3. Collant censor or something like that...This cost $500 to repair and I was told to drive the car 50 miles before I had it retested so after 50 miles it still flunked due to the "Readiness". I was told by Jiffy Lube to drive it another 50 miles and bring it back but would have to charge me $25 again, I said I would drive it 100 miles to make sure but they insisted on only 50, so after 50 they took my $25 and rejected me again for "Readiness". After about 150 mile the lights came back on again...This time it was rejected due to "Random Misfires" and the Check engine light. It appears the misfires occurred while the car was sitting still and rpms were at 0 ( Zero) The mechanic couldnt figure out anything as his diagnostic showed zero misfires while idling, while driving and while reving the engine with the brake depressed....I unhooked the positive cable to the battery at my friends request and the lights went off....Yesterdays inspection failed due to "Readiness" in 2 areas, "Cat Converter" and I think the fuel system or something...Any suggestions would be appreciated! The truck runs great but I cant get a tag for it... fieldsws
  • My 99 4runner ltd's gas gauge operates properly until it gets down to 1/4 then stops moving. I have run out of gas several times. I had the gauge replaced by the dealer and it still does the same. Then we replace the sending unit. Still have the same problem. Any suggestions?

  • My brake warning lights came on so I took my 92 Forunner to a mechanic , he bleed the brakes etc. but my lights are still on, what could be the problem ? there is no squeaking noise and brakes feel fine.
  • Maint. light is on and I am unable to reset. In the manual it states to turn the ignition key to the "ACC or LOCK position with the odometer reading showing, but the odometer does not come on in either of these positions. Only in the "ON" position. When I turn the igition key to "ON" while holding down the trip meter, it still remains on. Doesn't go off. What am I doing wrong?
  • My 06 4Runner has started kind of hiccupping or stuttering when it's running on the highway and in the city and now the Main Light is on. I originally thought it was bad gas and put some STP in the gas tank but I still have the same problem, it was also suggested that one of the plugs are bad. A friend suggested that I go to Auto Zone and get them to read the code and find out what the problem is. Has anyone else had this problem with their 4Runner.
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