Toyota Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Toyota as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The Toyota 4Runner may develop a condition with the HVAC ducting system causing noisy and faulty operation of the blend doors. The blend doors are actuated by the selector button, and change the direction of airflow to the selected location, i.e. vent, floor, defrost. 

The correction is to replace the blend doors.

The fuel gauge may read incorrectly. A service bulletin has been released by Toyota regarding this concern. The fuel filler pipe or the instrument cluster may need to be replaced to correct this concern.

The idle air control motors tend to become carboned up at around 100,000 miles and can cause a start and stall and/or stalling at stop sign problems. Our technicians tell us that many times these motors can be cleaned, however, the sure bet is to replace the idle air control motor and clean the throttle body.

If the engine will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter. These will tend to go out at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

Cars equipped with an automatic transmission might experience a hesitation when accelerating. Revised software for the on board computer is available which may correct this problem. Software revisions are commonly most helpful on newer vehicles. once the mileage builds up a worn component could cause similar problems. Whenever major transmission work in performed, the transmission software should be updated as necessary.

One or more oxygen sensors may fail resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light.

One or more oxygen sensors may fail resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light.

Toyota issued a recall on the lower ball joint due to the possibility of premature wear from improper finishing in production. The ball joints will be replaced under the recall. This recall applies to 2001-2004 models only. Please contact you local Toyota dealer to see if your vehicle is included.

The timing chain tensioner is designed to use oil pressure to keep tension on the timing chain. When it develops a leak, it can no longer provide tension, and the timing chain will begin to make a slapping or rattling sound at all times.

If left in this condition, the timing chain may fail, leading to costly internal engine repair.

To correct this issue the timing chain tensioner must be replaced with the revised part.

One or more motor mounts may wear out on cars with high mileage. This will put extra stress on the other mounts, and the faulty mount(s) should be replaced.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) may function erratically or illuminate the warning light due a damaged wheel speed sensor. A wheel bearing and/or CV joint with excessive runout can cause the ABS trigger rings to rub against the ABS sensors and damage them.

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

Models with electric sliding doors can develop problems with the door mechanism. The cable in the door becomes frayed, which will damage the electric motor.