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Toyota 4Runner Maintenance and Repair



  • Yea you are right. Only wished I had bought a black 4-runner. Then when all the paint comes off, it would match the fiberglass.

    Besides I would have preferred to have a more exotic problem, like low tires, bad seals on the moon roof, auto shifting problems. I guess you get the idea.

    Thank you for the assist.

    El Sobrante, CA
    on the left coast
  • Don't be silly. Even a black 4runner won't solve your problem. The so called nail scratches (by Toyota dealer) on my black 4runner's handle well show white color. Toyota does know how to put a thin layer of paint on, but doesn't know how to make the paint stay.
  • is I guess I am really confused. I thought the base was the same on all vehicles. Are you saying on the Black 4-runner is white, while on the White 4-runner it is Black.

    Sorry to be a cynic, but the dealers I have encountered think all car buyers are idiots. They are probably right.

  • Can you tell me what tool you used to get your oil filter off? I have two filter tools neither of which will work.
  • My 05 LTD has exact same pblm.... I can drive around all day w. seat heater on MAX - and I live in south florida. I only have 2K miles and will add it to the warranty pblm list.
  • I have 2K on my 05 LTD v8 in South FLA. When the ac compressor engages (ac always on) the engine idle increases 200-300 rpm which is really annoying when stopping because the brakes are sensitive... as I'm slowing to a stop the compressor disengages and the brakes grab OR the compressor turns on and I must stab the brakes because the car accelerates. Makes driving smoothly challenging and annoying.
    I asked the Toyota service dept if this can be adjusted and they said NO, ITS A COMPUTER PROGRAMMING ISSUE. sounds like bs to me - does anybody know if this can be adjusted so that the idle increase is a little more subtle??
  • G'day - I'm considering a 4Runner for my next vehicle. I have read that the traction control system is quite 'conservative', and quite difficult to disengage. While I don't do any serious 'wheeling', I do ACTUALLY go off paved roads quite a bit in my job, and have read other comments that the system prevents a lot of people from going anywhere in off-road conditions (mud, sand, snow). Any comments?
  • 2toyotas2toyotas Posts: 104
    The 4Runner will go farther than you will ever take it. The traction control system works great, unless you do serious off roading, and I mean really serious where you need locking differentials, the system works incredible.
  • "have read other comments that the system prevents a lot of people from going anywhere in off-road conditions (mud, sand, snow). Any comments?"

    If you have 4wd, locking the center diff turns off that portion of the traction control system that cuts the power back. I wholly agree with 2toyotas as to the capability of the 4Runner
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    That's normal. My 2003 does it too. Consequently, when I'm stopped at a traffic light I usually put the truck in neutral.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The traction control system is quite conservative, unfortunately. When offroad, you can lock the center differential. That turns off the over-active spin control. It doesn't turn off the traction control. Sigh.

    I take my 4Runner offroad regularly, though not serious 'wheeling', as you put it. I take it out on the beach on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard in the summer. The beaches I use don't have any steep hills, but they do have plenty of soft sand.

    On Sunday, I drove through 12" of snow out to the outdoor range at the gun club. Even though it was dragging 3" of snow, it made the several hundred yard trip without any problem whatsoever. Even dragging the undercarriage over the snow bank at the edge of the road wasn't a problem. Of course, my Nokian snow tires probably helped.

    For moderate off-road conditions in mud, sand, and snow, it will do just fine.
  • During my first long drive, which happened to be ~800 miles straight from a dealer in Maryland to my home in Georgia - I drove at 50-55/56 mph. My milage was 22.5 - 2005 V8 4x4 with AC on. No cruise contril

    Oh - I was asked not to drive fast or with cruise, because the car was in break-in period (it had only 100 miles when I started).
  • Thanks a lot guys for your responses - sounds like it isn't as bad as some had made it out to be.

    All the best!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    How did you calculate that mileage? Did you use the computer or did you divide miles driven by gas put in the tank?

    My experience is that the computer is 1-2 mpg optimistic.
  • I have been told the " computer mileage" as listed on the "HUD" display is calculated beween " start ups".

    Be careful in figureing your mileage

  • Hello,

    I have another dumb question for the list (my last dumb question, i promise, sorry just bought a new 4runner last week). I was playing (ok testing) around with the H2/H4/L4 dial (while parked in my driveway) on the dash, and accidentally put it in L4 without stepping on the brake or putting in neutral beforehand. Would this cause any kind of damage to the 4wd system, even though I was in park and wasn't moving? Everything seems to be fine, but just checking...The owners manual is very vague on this and I wanted to see if anyone knew on here...thanks in advance for your help...
  • my 95 4runner engine blew this past tuesday. i came from the gas station and it started sputtering and blowing white smoke out the tail pipes. once i got going the noise would go away but stopping and accelerating again would make the sputtering and white smoke come back again. got it to work and looked under the car and coolant had shot to one side. had it towed and taken to the shop where my mechanic is and he said that water was coming back out the radiator. he said my motor was shot but my thing is this is the second motor that was put in this car from toyota when the headgasket campaign was going around. the motor had 50-80 thousand miles on it. every toyota mechanic that i spoke to said people are putting over 300-400 thousand miles on theres.what would be the easiest way to go about fixing this problem.should i replace the motor my self or should i go and talk to toyota myself
  • Gas Mileage by the computer is calculated between "start-ups" So each time you start up the engine, it re-computes your mileage according to a dealer tech I spoke with a year or so ago

    I personally use the gas tank method. I keep track of every fill up and the mileage, and mileage between. I calculate the miles driven divided by the number of gallons put in the tank.

    Unfortunate for me, I can't seem to get a "consistent" fill. One time my mileage is 22 mpg, the next is 16.5!! That is for local driving. Long distance 300 or so miles at about 60-65 mph my fill ups tell me I am getting 18.0 18.5 with the full time 4X4 V/8.

    I am happy with the mileage. If only I could keep the paint on the vehicle. Paint is coming off.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If I got everything straight here, you had a problem with your radiator, but not knowing that you drove it with no coolant and steam coming out of the tailpipe and killed the engine?

    I think it will be hard to demonstrate satisfactorily at this point that the problem was ever the head gasket (if, in fact, it was - it could have just been the coolant leak and then running with no coolant). I don't think you should approach Toyota, no. I think you should decide if you want to spend a couple of thousand $$ putting in a used/rebuilt engine, and another $300 getting a new radiator. On a '95, I would probably do it if everything else is in tip-top shape.

    OTOH, for $8-10K you could get into one a few years newer, which has the bigger engine (which makes a world of difference, I have had both). Imagine actually maintaining speed on long or steep highway grades....

    Toyota trucks in general will go 300-400K miles, this particular one (the V-6) requires extra care with the engine, which tends to eat valves under the best of circumstances. Mine (a '90 V-6 4x4) needed a valve job at 175K, which I did happily, figuring to get many more years out of it. At 220K it was still running, but making unfriendly sounds from the lower end (predictable, right? Rebuild the top, puts more pressure on the bottom). The guy who bought it from me planned to put in a new engine, as it was in excellent shape apart from that.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I know this is going to be a tough one as you would have to hear it, but my 4runner (160,000 miles) is making a "whirling noise", particularly at startup. The 4runner is running smooth with this exception; just afraid something is about to go. Any advice?
  • grahmmgrahmm Posts: 28
    The idle is contolled by the computer of the vehicle and cannot be adjusted. The modern systems reset to the o.e. spec's if anyone tries to tamper or change. The idle is adjusted to compensate for the drag the system puts on the engine and 200 - 300 idle increase sounds to be within range. The computers are still programming and with only 2,000 miles on the vehicle but chances are this setting will not change.
  • tangmantangman Posts: 127
    Has anyone experienced an engine ping (ticking noise) when you first start the truck for about a minutes. It is worse if the vehicles has not been started for a week and the weather is cold. Otherwise, the vehicle is great. Similar experiences out there????
  • I have an 05 V8 and it does the same thing. It only occurs, as you said, when it is cold (below 30 degrees) and I only notice it when the rpms jump to about 2000 upon startup. My first winter, I was running conventional oil....this winter, I have changed to full synthetic and the tick has been reduced noticeable....likely because the synthetic oil is better in colder conditions. Try some synthetic to see if the noise is lessened, but I believe that the noise is completely normal.
  • I have the same vehicle, and it does the same thing, occasionally, when it's cold. It sounds like a fuel injector clicking. Every so often, I try to put a tankfull of Chevron gas with the "techron", which seems to help keep the injectors clean. May be "snake oil", but it seems to work.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The "whirling noise" you hear is the radiator fan - it is normal for the clutch to engage for a minute when you first start the car, in fact it is a great way to tell the fan clutch is still working. If you ever stop hearing that sound at startup, it will be a bad sign!

    I am surprised you have only just started hearing it at 160K miles though - did you just get this truck recently?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • grahmmgrahmm Posts: 28
    What you are probably hearing is the fuel injectors firing/snapping. They act like electric squirt guns. Since the engine is built to run warm the cold enrichment system cuts in meaning the fuel injectors are working harder delivering more fuel to make the engine run rich (to keep it running) until the engine is warmed up enough and the mixture leans out for normal driving conditions. This is normal and not to be concerned about.
  • (FWIW, a little disappointed that noone replied to this post -- to see why, read below).

    After all of the diagnoses, I went with the advice of the Toyota dealer and replaced the transfer case. I have a friend in the parts business locally, so he got me the new transfer case for *only* $2,000 *rather than the $3,000 the dealer quoted). This did not fix the problem. The car is back to the dealer who has offered to "re-diagnose" the problem for free (the first, incorrect diagnosis cost me $400!!).

    If ANYONE out there has any ideas on what would cause a 99 4Runner Ltd to become stuck in 4WD with the indicator light flashing, I would love to hear from you --

    This is getting expensive (and even though it is a Toyota, it is a 6 year old car).

    Thanks :sick:
  • grahmmgrahmm Posts: 28
    Contact Toyota directly. Explain what was diagnosed by dealer and the out of pocket expense based on their diagnosis. They will usually try and assist. Also might want to contact whatever agency governs auto shop practices in your state (it might help recoup some of the loss). Toyota (company not dealer) might have a tech team that could assist. If you bought a Toyota part have the part number available.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "This is getting expensive (and even though it is a Toyota, it is a 6 year old car)."

    If they can't tell you for sure what is wrong with it-get rid of it. To put more money in to a 6 year old car is a bad thing to do.
  • I had the same problem with my 2004 Limited. I had the issue fixed as well but was told to use premium gas every other tank. It fixed the sulfer smell problem. No more cheap gas for me. It was a small price to pay for not being stinky anymore.
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