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Problems for specific Toyota 4Runner years:

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Most reported 1997 Toyota 4Runner problems

 

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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.

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Front brake rotors can wear causing a pulsation felt in the brake pedal. Our technicians tell us this condition is best corrected by replacement of the front rotors and brake pads.

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The EGR System tends to get restricted or blocked with carbon after 100,000- 125,000 miles which will cause an emissions test failure for NOX. If the EGR system is equipped with an EGR temperature sensor it will trigger a Check Engine Light for improper EGR flow. The repair is to clean out the EGR passages and the EGR Temperature sensor. Our technicians tell this repair is pretty straight forward and takes about 1-1.5 hours. It is also wise to verify the EGR system components i.e. the Transducer, EGR Valve and VSV Solenoid at this time.

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On vehicles with a manual transmission, worn shift bushings can cause the transmission to pop out of gear, especially when coasting down in 1st or 2nd gear. Replacing all the shift linkage bushings is pretty straight forward and not expensive and will commonly correct this concern.

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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.

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The timing chain can develop a rattling noise caused by failing timing chain guides. This is often due to extended mileage intervals between oil changes that allows the oil to become dirty and abrasive which wears away the timing chain guides until they fail. The timing chain and guides should be inspected at each valve adjustment, otherwise serious engine damage may result.

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It is very important that the rear level sensor is properly bled after any brake work or the rear brake stopping efficiency may be compromised.
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The Throttle Position Sensor can get out of adjustment due to wear in the throttle body or due to carbon build up. This will cause the idle timing to advance more than 30 degrees which will cause very high HC and NOx emissions. Conversely, the Throttle Position Sensors can wear out and not properly advance the timing which causes a lack of power and poor fuel economy.

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At higher mileages (125,000+) the Mass Air Flow Sensor may cause the vehicle to idle rough, run rich and even stall. Our technicians recommended to replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor with a factory unit because the aftermarket units have very mixed results.
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At higher mileages (125,00+) the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor may intermittently stop working, especially when the vehicle is fully warmed up. This can result in illumination of the Check Engine Light and/or an engine stalling problem.

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A rough idle and even an emissions inspection failure for high HC and CO can be caused by improperly adjusted valves. Also, exhaust valves may become to tight which can lead to valve failures. Our technicians tell us that regular valve adjustment inspections are a must.

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It is important to regularly check the valve clearance as the exhaust valves may become too tight. This will lead to valve failures which are expensive to repair.
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Over the time the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system may become plugged with debris, the oxygen sensor may also be getting slow or 'lazy' around this time. When servicing or cleaning  the EGR system, it is a good idea to replace the oxygen sensor because it works in tandem with the EGR system.

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A loss of power on the freeway may due to an internally leaking fuel pulsation dampener. This commonly occurs on higher mileage vehicles.

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At higher mileages, an anti-lock brake system wheel speed sensor may wear out and illuminate the ABS warning light. It is recommended to replace the sensor with a factory part and be sure to clean all rust and debris from the mounting area because the mounting distance is critical. Failure to do so may result in the new sensor setting false trouble codes. Be sure to check the condition and runout of the front wheel bearings on the 2WD and 4WD vehicles and the CV joints on the 4WD vehicles since worn wheel bearings and/or CV joints can cause the ABS trigger rings to rub against the ABS sensors and damage them.

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