1999 Toyota 4Runner Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1999 Toyota 4Runner 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

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.

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.

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 2001-2002 models only. Please contact you local Toyota dealer to see if your vehicle is included.

The evaporative emission (EVAP) system may illuminate the vehicle's Check Engine Light due to intermittent failure of the charcoal canister purge control solenoid valve or canister failure. Upon failure of the charcoal canister, debris may circulate around the EVAP system causing other emission control problems.

When a mass air flow sensor problem occurs, resulting in a loss of power or hesitation on acceleration, the Check Engine Light will illuminate, perhaps indicating random cylinder misfire. The mass air flow sensor may respond to cleaning, but replacement of the sensor is best.

On higher mileage vehicles, an engine misfire may develop and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a failed ignition coil. It is not uncommon to replace all the coils when the first one fails in order to prevent return trips to the repair shop.

If the car will not start, the most likely problem is worn or corroded solenoid contacts in the starter. Usually, these parts can be replaced without purchasing a new starter.

The heater circuit for the oxygen sensor tends to have a higher than normal failure rate. Failure of the oxygen sensor heater circuit will illuminate the Check Engine Light. The internal oxygen sensor heater cannot be repaired, the failed sensor should be replaced to correct this concern.


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.

By 100,000 miles the ignition key tends to wear out and should be replaced or it may not work as well in the door locks or ignition lock cylinder.

At higher mileages (125,000-150,000) the input shaft seal to the power steering gear may leak. It is recommended to replace the steering gear with a quality rebuilt or new unit rather than attempt to re-seal the original unit.

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.