Toyota 4Runner Electrical Problems

joe149joe149 Member Posts: 8
I have a 97 4runner Limited that I'm having trouble with. The rear wiper , rear defrost, and window for the hatch are all inop. These all happened at pretty much the same time. The wiper was working very slowly but now not at all. Also the license plate light will sometimes stay on all the time after I shut off vehicle. The only way to get it to go out is turn the ignition switch on and then back off, then light will go out. This seems to happen more frequent when I use the key fob to lock doors and set factory alarm. Ihave checked all fuses and they are ok. I also checked the wires where they come through the roof to the rear hatch for rubbing. No problem found there either. It seems like all the problems could be related to maybe a relay? I dont know, anyone have any thoughts or know where I might find the relays related to these items? thanks.


  • roscoe32roscoe32 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all;

    I just encountered a problem I hope someone can help me with. My 97 runner doesn't seem to want to start. I have enough power to turn on my head lights, interior light and move the power seat. However, the dash warning lights do not come on when I turn the key, nor does the radio, and the power windows will not close either. The ignition lock turns but there is absolutley no sound from any of the accesories. All the fuses look good is there a "secret fuse block somewhere I am neglecting?
  • oxidationoxidation Member Posts: 1
    i bought a 2005 toyota hilux dual cab ute (utility)in November 2006
    i am from downunder
    the car was well looked after ( i examined it before the dealer had time to have it detailed for the lot)
    i went for the "defence pack" after market protection.
    ie,paint,upholstry,and electronic RUST PROTECTION.

    I had some accessories fitted before delivery.
    towbar,rear step and a heavy duty roof rack.
    I had an operation that month and the vehicle was rarely driven over the next six months.
    I had a stainless steel nudge bar and spotties fitted before a 6 week trip to europe.
    on return i noticed extreme rust on the spotlights and
    the 2 stainless steel ratchet tie downs on the roof rack.
    the suppliers had never seen such corrosion on either of these products.they replaced them under warranty.
    i then had stainless steel side steps fitted.

    within 2 weeks,all the offending items as well as some painted screws on the sidesteps are rusting out.

    took the vehicle back to the roof rack supplier and was told he had heard sometimes these electronic systems actually seek out accessories somewhat like a sacrificial anode.he offered to replace the ratchet device again.

    took the hilux back to the inspection centre for the rust prevention the run around.
    he eventually just took the fuse out to disconnect it from
    the vehicle.

    has anyone out there had any similar experiences.

    no kidding,the rust that forms looks more like what you would expect after 2 years,not 2 weeks!
    :( :mad:
  • tripp2gatripp2ga Member Posts: 2
    hey I have a 2000 4 runner limited ed. and a phone charger got plugged into the cigarette lighter instead of the power outlet and my stereo and clock popped and now they wont come on. Im guessing I blew a fuse but ive checked the power outlet fuse under the hood and its fine and now Im stuck and dont know what to do next and my radio still doesnt work, is there a fuse in the back of the radio maybe?? its the factory one that came with the vehicle, can somebody please help it would be much appreciated thanks.
  • ndianajndianaj Member Posts: 2
    I have a 96 4-runner that does the same thing...been wishing I could find an answer to this very same issue. Any Clues?
  • joe149joe149 Member Posts: 8
    Hey, good luck getting any info on this site. I've never got a response from anyone that knows anything. I still have the same problem with my 4-runner. Thinking of taking to the dealer.
  • abadrjabadrj Member Posts: 1
    2005 4runner, seat belt warning light blinking when it fasten, odometer blinking,tachometer, speedometer, temp gauge not working it happened all at the same time, all fuses good or maybe a relay ?. Help to locate problems.
  • drcarladrcarla Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 4 runner. After shutting the vehicle off and letting it sit for a few minutes, when I try and start it, it cranks over and over without starting. When I turn it off and start again, it works. I only have 11,000 miles on it and it is still under warantee.

    Any ideas?
  • gschautgschaut Member Posts: 1
    1994 Toyota 4runner. I connected a jumper battery in reverse polarity. Blew the 80 amp breaker and the fuel injection fuse. I replaced both and started the car, drove two blocks. Truck ran fine for first block as if there was no problems. Then it seemed to have a heavy electrical power shortage, dashboard indicators lit up and truck began to bog down towards a stall. I shut it down and parked it. I checked fuses under the dash and all seemed to be intact. To replace the fuel inj. 15 amp fuse, I pulled the hazard light fuse and used it. I was just going to drive to the parts store and buy the replacement fuse, but now the car sits and I don't want to try to run it until I know what else is wrong. CAN ANYONE HELP PLEASE. THOUGHTS, IDEAS, POSSIBILITIES.

    THANK YOU. [email protected]
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You may have damaged your alternator and/or fried some electronics (e.g., ECU).

    And, by the way, we advise against posting your email address in public postings.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bassnvoxbassnvox Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1990 4Runner 3.0 V6 4WD. The car bogs out, makes a metal grinding sound, and loses power at 2000 rpm, it has minimal power until about 2600 rpm, once I pass that it is fine. Also in 4th and 5th gear, the pedal will be floored and I will have no power and be unable to pass 2000 rpm, the only way around this is too down shift and tach up the engine so that I will go into gear higher than 2600 rpm. I have recently replaced the max sensor, fuel filter/pump, all gaskets inside the block, and cat converter. I also have a clean K&N intake system, and I run high mileage synthetic blend valvoline oil. I don't know what else I can repair or replace to fix this and it's becoming very expensive. What can be causing this?

  • 4runnernj4runnernj Member Posts: 1
    I have a '98 4runner with about 137,000 miles. Just recently the front passenger side power seat stopped working correctly. when you try to move the seat up or back only the right side of the seat moves. The left side remains still. I looked under the chair and found a single wire loose and reinserted the line. When I tried it after that the chair wouldn't move at. I pulled the line again and the right side would again move but the left remained in the same place. Any suggestions?
  • vetteman_42vetteman_42 Member Posts: 2
    1988 4-runner w/400k miles, was running great until it died suddenly on highway 2 days ago. A highway guy tested & said no spark. I've replaced both the Coil & the Ignition Module on advice from various people - it still cranks fine but no spark. I'd already checked fuses under hood, but have no diagram for under-dash breakers & relays. Can someone tell me what, if any, other fuses or electrical/electronic components are involved & likely to have failed suddenly, & where are they?
  • slashmanslashman Member Posts: 1

    I'd like to thank you for taking the time read this email! I have a 1990 4-Runner V-6 4wheel drive 3.0 Liter engine. The stock 60 AMP alternator just went out and I had heard that you could upgrade to a higher alternator with an out put of 130 AMP. The 3.4 liter Toyota years 95 1/2 to 2004 but, that it must be the alternator that supports the tow-package? I had also heard that you may have to shim it to make it fit ? I have offroad lights that I plan on installing onto the 4-runner. Do you think that the switch from 60 AMP to 130 AMP will damage the electrical system in the 4-Runner?I can't find anyone that will give me any real information on the subject and I hope that you might have some answers to my questions? I really look forward to your reply and hope that life is treating you and your family GOOD
  • vetteman_42vetteman_42 Member Posts: 2
    I appreciate the kind thought. If you live in the Tidewater area in VA, contact Browning's Alternator in Va.Beach. They know their stuff & are honest people, and should be able to help you. I had them rebuild the alternator in my '88 4Runner recently; it works great! I've also had them rebuild my 4Runner's heater-blower-motor, & previously they helped me with a problem on an '85 Vette. They can fix anything that's electric & spins in anything that moves on land or water.
  • armadill0armadill0 Member Posts: 5
    I have a similar problem but in a gigantic proportion! 2000 4runner 6 cyl. My son installed a new stereo and it worked fine. Then we decided to pull the unit and install another and the next unit did not work at all. I checked all connections and everything was fine, but the 12v. constant line to the radio only was 8v. When I ran a new 12v the radio will work fine. In addition the car has the following: The clock is very dim and inside cabin light don't work. The parking lights on the front don't work. The bright lights don't work, but the brights light in flash mode. When you turn off the ignition then turn on the lights all the relays click,click,click but lights won't come on. blue Brights indicator light on instrument panel won't light.

    I have spent two days following circuits on the thing and have the following: Constant voltage line to the radio tests at 8v. and drops to 2v. when any cabin lights or door switch goes on(lights don't come on)
    I have checked all light switches and circuits for shorts.
    Relays for running lights and brights ok.
    Light control switch (low,flash,brights) ok.
  • nourah123nourah123 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Toyota 4Runner V6 Four Wheel drive with 140000K. While driving at night both headlamps turned off. I replaced the headlamp relay located in the engine bay, checked all the other fuses and unhooked the battery cables then reconnected. Now the headlamps are staying on when I turn the engine off and off when the engine is turned on. Can you please help me figure out what seems to be the issue. Thank you.
  • armadill0armadill0 Member Posts: 5
    After three days of tracing circuits , I finally found the problem for this toyota's voltage problem. Under the hood where the mini fuses are located there was one fuse that was to the interior cabin lights as well as other things. this particular fuse had a led in it that lit when the interior lights were activated. This was the first fuse that I checked but it seemed to be the light lit when doors were opened. I pulled the fuse and checked for continuity and it ohmed out at no resistance on an ohm meter. later i found that the fuse was blown but the light allowed voltage into that part of the system flowing through the light itself,but the fuse was :mad: blown. later, when i put a volt meter on the fuse it was only putting 8 v. into that part of the circuit. When I changed to a new regular fuse without the fancy light built in, all voltage was restored and my multiple electrical problems were fixed. I don't know how this applies to your problem, but if you've got any of those mini-fuses with lights built in... get rid of them.
  • flgatorswomanflgatorswoman Member Posts: 1
    I have an 88 toyota 4runner. I have tried diagnosing this and I am dumbfounded. Nothing seems to be a common connection. It can happen when I first start it or more often, its as I am driving. On my dash the Battery CHarge light, AT Oil light, and Brake light all flicker on and off and then stay on. I have figured out that when they flash and when they stay on..this is when my altenator is NOT working. When the lights flash off or are off completely...the altenator is working perfectly. All 3..altenator, battery, and starter have checked out to be in working condition...when the dash lights are off. Only difference when the lights flash on is the altenator stops. I checked ground and even cleaned them. I have replaced both the positive and neg battery cables and a new connection from the positive to the fuse box. ANY ideas or suggestions will be VERY appreciated! I cant afford to take it to be diagnosed or I definately would!!
  • eransomeransom Member Posts: 1
    enginestarts,must use override button to put in gear,no dashlights,gauges,pw,ht fan,rear defroster,tach.checked all fuses,need help
  • armadill0armadill0 Member Posts: 5
    I don't know about the 90 4-runner. But mine was an 00 4-runner and I had a different set of meltdown electrical symptoms. I had pulled and checked all fuses by continuity (-ohm meter check), but there was one 15 amp dome light fuse in the box under the hood that had a little led built right into the fuse that lights when the dome lights were energized. The fuse checked ok by ohm meter but was still blown. The led in the fuse was letting only 8v. into the system and causing all kinds of unrelated electrical problems. Hope your answer is as simple as this.
  • may62may62 Member Posts: 2
    hey i have a 97 as well and i had the same problem and it was my battery post they were all messed up no matter if they look good they could have a bad spot in them thats what my problem came out to be
  • may62may62 Member Posts: 2
    well i have a new cd player i put in my truck with the whole system two kicker 12 and an 1000 watt amp but wen i 1st hooked it up it played for ten minutes then shut off. its not the cd player i put it in a friends truck and it worked perfectly fine. i check the voltage to my wires and im not getting 12v to my power wire at all idk what the problem might be i need serious help
  • armadill0armadill0 Member Posts: 5
    See post #17 and 23. My problem started with the installation of a new radio just like yours... turned out to be a fuse with a light built into it in the box under the hood.
  • jbizmjbizm Member Posts: 1
    I too have this problem with the radio not working plus inside lights. i checked under the hood but i'm still not sure which fuse to change. do u remember what fuse it is? thanks
  • armadill0armadill0 Member Posts: 5
    I think the fuse was marked "Dome" or maybe it was interior. If it's the same type of fuse, you'll be able to tell because this one was the only fuse that had a little light built right into the body of the fuse that lit every time someone opened a door and activated the circuit.
  • 4beaster4beaster Member Posts: 1
    I took my 97 4runner to the shop to have the ignition switch replaced along with some wiring. When I got my truck back the power locks, dome lights, stereo and dash clock were all inoperable for some reason. Any thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
  • iwanna4runnaiwanna4runna Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I recently bought a '97 4Runner, I drove it home and now the starter refuses to turn over. The car has 215k miles on it. Any tips or ideas on how to get it running again?
  • jeff160jeff160 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 94 v6 4 runner. i went to start it and when i turned the key i heard a click and all the lights went out and car didnt even turn over. it is totally dead, no lights nothing! i cant even get it out of park to push it out of the way. did i blow a main fuse? did i totally fry the electrical system , please help!
  • jeff160jeff160 Member Posts: 2
    battery checked ok, connection ok, alternator fuse ok, someone said starter wire?
  • japfanjapfan Member Posts: 4
    The electrical problems on this vehicle can drive you nuts! :confuse: I have a '98 that is giving me fits right now. I lost my radio and weird things going on with the AC, (stays on all the time). I am going to have to pull the fuse for the AC and drive without it for now until I can figure it out. My dash lights are doing crazy things also. (sometimes they work, sometimes not).I just put money into tires and shocks so it is a real bummer if this car is going to die on me now. I have 205000 mi. on it and it runs good otherwise.
  • supertoyota1supertoyota1 Member Posts: 1
    Friend has one for sale.Good shape.Is the supercharger an advantage or not?Plse advise.Thx a lot.
  • jiggsf112jiggsf112 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 4 Runner w/11000 mils and the radio does not come on, both fuses (15 under hood & ACC under dash board works.) help?
  • alright1114alright1114 Member Posts: 1
    I'm guessing this is probably coming from a bad battery, but it's pretty weird and I'm not really sure. Here's what's happening:

    A couple of weeks ago, I drove across town and stopped at a local business. In the middle of the drive, I heard a noise that sounded like a rock hitting one of the wheel-wells along with a "twang," sort of like a guitar string breaking. When I stopped at the business, I turned the key off and noticed that the power antenna didn't retract. I didn't think much of it at the time, just figuring that it was an antenna motor or connection problem. I went inside the building and came out about 30 minutes later. When I got in, the battery charge was very low- not enough to turn the engine over or operate the power locks. However, I could hear a motor-noise that seemed to be coming from the power antenna. I jumped the vehicle and drove it home without a problem. I was sick over the next couple of days and didn't start it. When I tried later in the week, it was totally dead again.

    Thinking that a connection might be bad in the antenna motor, I disconnected it, jump started it again and drove it for a while to build up a charge. The next day, it was completely dead again.

    After this, I decided to take the battery to a shop to have it tested. The shop had a computerized tester, which indicated that the battery was okay. I asked them to charge it and when the charging process was finished, the cold cranking amp level showed just below the original factory rating, which I think was 530 (I believe the CCA level indicated by the charger was about 480 or so). However, the charger also said, "REPLACE BATTERY," which I chose not to do. I brought the battery back home and reinstalled it. Over the following week or so, I didn't have any problems, driving the vehicle (I think) about 5 out of the 7 days of the week.

    Today (the beginning of the following week), I drove the vehicle about 15 miles or so and shut off the engine. I had not experienced any further problems since having the battery charged, but when I tried to start it again, it started and ran for about 7 seconds and then the motor shut off (I didn't shut it off, it just cut out on its own). I tried to start it again and it was completely dead... AGAIN! I jumped it and drove it home without any problems. After I arrived at home, I shut it off and then immediately started it again. It did start without a problem.

    However, I'm not sure what's causing this to happen. Since the battery charger/tester at the local shop said to replace the battery, I'm thinking that might cure the problem, but it doesn't make sense to me that the current battery would be the source of the problem because it seems to work fine, then completely die, then work fine, then completely die, etc., etc. Also, since the vehicle has been running fine a couple of times and cut off on its own, unable to restart, that seems like it might be something other than a battery problem. I don't know, though, whether or not a battery can cause that.

    Could anyone tell me whether this seems normal for a battery problem? If not, does anyone have any suggestions at to what MIGHT be causing it?

    Any help/suggestions would be REALLY appreciated!!


    - Alan W.

    PS- I'm not sure, but I think the battery is about 3 years old.
  • dhannumdhannum Member Posts: 1
    I have an 88 and am having the same problem, you have any answers yet??
  • tdbabajantdbabajan Member Posts: 1
    My 94' 4runner has an issue. I was driving along at night when all the dash lights came on. The rear antilock, brake, battery. Everything. Altornator stopped keeping the battery charged and I noticed the headlights getting dim. The battery gauge showed that it was low. The runner started bogging down, the tac dropped to zero, few seconds later the car died altogether. Battery was dead. My friend jumped me and I drove a few miles with no accessories running to save power. Then it all happened again. He jumped me again and we let the battery charge, drove a few miles then it all died again! Did this a few times in order to get it home. Unsure what was wrong I called a friend. He said to take the main wire going to the alternator off while the vehicle was running. So after removing the nut holding it on, then while trying removing the whire the headlights got brighter! I left it where it was at and let it idle for a bit. The battery didn't seem to loose any power. Then when I tightened the nut back down it went back to draining the batter. Is it just a connection problem? The alternator was also really hot after being ran for only 20 minutes. No idea what this all means...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 216,417
    Sounds like you need a new alternator..

    Edmunds Price Checker
    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • ruger17ruger17 Member Posts: 1
    When I turn on the headlights the green "D" light goes off and the orange "R" light comes on and it's like it goes into neutral. The car slows down and the tac goes up. Turn the lights off and it's normal again? Any ideas?
  • dougsupradougsupra Member Posts: 2
    I have the same exact issue with my 2000 limited, but it only happens with high beams on mine. The code being thrown is for neutral safety switch, not sure what that has to do with headlights though. If you find out anymore on the issue please let me know this problem is kicking my [non-permissible content removed].
  • christy63christy63 Member Posts: 1
    My seat belt light is working backwards, the speedometer, tachometer, odometer are not working. the radio and A/C are working fine. This all started after I got my vehicle back form the repair shop after being rear-ended last month. What is going on? The repair shop can't figure it out and the dealer did a "health check" and the computer said nothing was wrong! Can anyone help?
  • charity5charity5 Member Posts: 1
    I drive a 2000 4runner sr5 and my symptoms are exactly the same as the ones you mentioned. I've taken it two shops for opinions. The first one said it popped for neutral safety switch. Then I took it to a Toyota dealership and they are telling me that I need a new ECA and wiring harness to the tune of $4500+. Please tell me you found a way to fix your car without replacing everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated. -Zach
  • wimike3wimike3 Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2013
    I have a four runner in which I replaced the battery, rebuilt the alternator. When I use turn signal radio goes off yet signal works. My battery gage drops. After it runs a while if I shut it off needs jump to restart. Starts immediatly with a jump. Any and all input is welcome.
  • boats3boats3 Member Posts: 42

    I have a 2005 4Runner Limited with the V-8 and air ride. When I step on the brake, the GPS and 12volt charger go out but come right back on. This happened only when I stepped on the brake until today. Then the problem happened at idle in park. Also yesterday the engine seemed to be searching for an idle. Lastly as I was driving down the highway today with the cruise control on the car did the same thing but took the car out of cruise control, then the cruise control indicator started to flash. It only stopped after I turned the cruise off and back on. I have 165k on the truck and use it to tow our camper. What a great tow vehicle and I am just not ready to get rid of it yet, still have another 200k to go. Any helpful suggestions are appreciated.

Sign In or Register to comment.