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The 4Runner remains a sound choice among midsized SUVs, especially with its available stability-control system. The pickup-truck ancestry is still apparent though in its jittery ride, tight cockpit, high floor and low roof. On the other hand, improved emergency handling and capable off-road ability do help offset those flaws.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2002 Toyota 4Runner has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
02
03*
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05
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10*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“charcoal canaster”

Sam P., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Despite having replaced the Evaporative Container devise on my vehicle TWICE....at a cost of almost $600 per event, I still have three dashboard lights that remain permanently lit...telling me it's time to get yet another Evaporative Container. Toyo”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Catalytic converter”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“For the third time since original purchase, this vehicle required a new Evaporative Emissions Charcoal Canister...at a cost of over $400”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Front Catalytic Converter”

Tom T., VA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace the catalytic converter -which with 160,000 miles is not unreasonable”

Eddie C., TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Fuel tank cap gasket was cracked from 12 years age”

Mike F., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Fuel pump

“Fuel filter was plugged. Replacement allowed passing CA Smog”

Mike F., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Check engine light went on”

Stephen W., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“The engine light came on, as soon as I replaced the O2 SENSORS, the light went off, then the engine light came back on again, this time it was a fuel sensor that needed to be replaced”

Claude C., WI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“it still not fit”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Needed to replace one”

Foley K., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“When replacing the catalytic converters, it is a common recommendation to also replace the O2 sensors, which I did”

Niel L., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“sensor was revealed with computer”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“just needed new brake pads for front end, nothing out of the ordinary, wear was good, possibly exacerbated by rotors”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“At about 236,000 miles the brake caliper kept the pad against the rotor and all parts needed to be replaced. This is only the second set of front brakes on this vehicle”

Mary H., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Brakes continue to have problems with premature wear and giving vibration upon braking. It has been to the shop several times and they claim they've fixed it, but it has continued for years, even with new brakes (pads, rotors). Dealer shop problem?”

William M., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had the brakes redone at a shop and then had to have them redone in less than 3 months”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Rotors

“The vehicle developed an extreme vibration under breaking, happened suddenly, rotors had to be turned and ground”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“This is the first set of front rotors needed to be replaced”

Mary H., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Braking system in general requires excessive pedal force. The rotors in particular overheated and warped repeatedly. I upgraded to larger tundra brake parts with better success but still not up to typical Toyota performance standards”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Warped”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“New rotors installed by dealer 60000 miles ago are warped and vibrate considerably when braking. Had rotors resurfaced, which was a temporary fix. I don't believe that these are genuine Toyota parts, but cheaper aftermarket parts installed by the Toy”

Jeffrey L., WI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Brakes are undersized which causes over heating leading to warped rotors. I'm on my 4th set in 230k miles”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“Plastic trim coming loose. Latch for sun visor breaks multiple times”

Anonymous, IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“weather stripping came loose”

John F., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rubber molding on passenger and driver side, that is attached to door frame, seems to have schrunken, and is partially detached from door frame”

Gerald M., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Rust

“Under body rust, trailer hitch rust, replaced bumper, gas tank shield oil pan shield, all do to under body rust. I can not tow with the hitch safety issue. I filed a complain with NASTA, never received a reply”

Anonymous, NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace rear bumper”

Stephen W., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Rust bubbles on door sills. Rust on frame and undercarriage, not currently structural. Rust on factory trailer hitch”

Anonymous, IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“chassis frame is rusting through in many places. shield over gas tank is almost rusted away. mechanic says both need to be repaired. rear bumper is rusting through. It was replaced once already”

Carl B., NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rear bumper completely rusted thru (not used for towing or in salt water) I replaced rear bumper”

Gerald M., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“This car appearantly is famous for a Rusty Bumper, both front and back. Everytime I see this year on the road, the bumpers are rusting. There is a hole rusting through the front one and the back. I had the back one replaced a few years ago because i”

Anonymous, CT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

“Normal wear”

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 3.4-L V6)
Ball joints

“Warranty work from National Recall for Toyota”

Paul V., HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Bushings

“was causing steering to wander. Replaced for $250”

David S., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“The shocks and struts finally needed replacing after 100,000+ miles”

Andy W., IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“The rack and pinion had to be replaced due to rusting out and thus leaking”

Anonymous, ME (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Tie rods

“Normally worn out”

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 3.4-L V6)
Power steering leaks

“Leaking on ground . Trouble steering”

Gary V., PA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Engine light come on and off, Now having trouble with the state inspection”

Anonymous, NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Got OBD error 0420 indicating catalytic converters were bad. The car has two and the recommendation is to replace the O2 sensors (2) as well. I bought California CARB approved replacements on the Internet and put them in. With the exception of one ba”

Niel L., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“I had the engine light and two other lights come on the dash. The error code was 402 which is the cat efficiency was below 95%. Toyota wanted $4100 to repair the cat problem. You tube said to replace the spark plugs, do an engine cleaning, replace engine air filter and ONLY use top tier gas, I had it all done at VIP auto, And the problem has been cleared for two months”

Anonymous, ME (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace it”

Anonymous, MO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rust”

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“loose and rattless”

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Engine oil leaks. Not work fixing, but it does leak a lot”

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Valve cover seal has developed a leak which got noticeably worse after the last oil change I got at the dealer”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace the valve cover gaskets -which for 160,000 miles maybe reasonable”

Eddie C., TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“The valve cover gaskets hardened to the point that they allowed oil to ooze down the sides of the engine. A new gasket set fixed the minor problem”

Brad M., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Engine computer

“Ever since ethanol has been added to the gas back in 2009 or 2010 the check engine light has been on along with 2 other lights. When I had my mechanic take a look he wanted $75 to disconnect the sensor. I refused and have been driving it with the engine lights on ever since”

Derek B., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

“The head has had the gasket replaced multiple times. Now I may need to get a short block as the whole engine is suffering from the vacuum leaks”

Hal R., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“head gasket needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“They needed replacement. Cost including labor was about $400.00 in May of 2017”

Derek B., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

“Normal service requirement based on mileage”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

“Changed due to excessive mileage and poor fuel economy”

Richard B., OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Weather stripping on doors wears permaturely”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“door weatherstrips have shrunk, creates wind noise when driving”

Michael C., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“I have a loud rattle in the left rear side which only occurs at idle with the transmission in fwd or reverse. Once the car starts moving the noise stops (not just "not noticeable")”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Wind noise

“air coming thru door seals”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“tailgate oor lock broke”

John F., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Seat belts

“Driver side seat belt retractor does not work and so the belt ends up getting slammed in the door upon exit of the car”

William M., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Seat belts are the Achilles heel of Toyota 4-Runners. On this one the front ones have not consisently fully retracted for years. The metal tongue frequently rests in the bottom of the door frame and gets hit by the closing door. Most annoying”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Tranmission was slipping and grinding as it went into overdrive (4th gear). Required removal and replacement of transmission”

Surya F., UT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Gears slipping needed new transmission”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“3000 rebild”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“When playing a CD, it periodically skips. At first I thought the CD was bad, but it does it on all CDs even new ones, even when the car is sitting still. So it's not being bumped or bounced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“stuck CD's”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)
Radio

“The automatic antenna quit working. Does not extend up or down”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“Despite my 4Runner being in truly showroom condition...with NO rust whatsoever, my rear axle rusted to the point that its mounting rusted through, mandating an entirely new axle be mounted at a cost of almost $4,000. This vehicle is in mint conditio”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“When I took the car to the dealer for an oil change they discovered the axel seal on the right rear wheel was leaking”

Peter T., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

“water pump failed ,it was replaced 3yrs ago”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Clock

“Power rear window wasn't working, had a switch replaced and now the clock isn't working”

Anonymous, MT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

“Complete failure of 1 of the 3 coils. This caused extremely poor performance (only 4 of 6 cylinders could fire), reduced gas mileage (~30%), and catalytic converter failure”

Hal-Audrey R., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Noisy - screeching. Still not fixed, but continues to work”

Paul V., HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2002 Models

No Data Available
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
May 24 2006
WITHOUT THE AMBER REFLECTORS, THE VEHICLE WILL BE POORLY ILLUMINATED, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
Summary:
CERTAIN CK MOTORSPORTS COMBINATION HEADLIGHTS, CLEAR CORNER, BUMPER, AND SIDE MARKER LIGHTS SOLD AS REPLACEMENT LAMPS FOR USE ON THE PASSENGER VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. SOME COMBINATION LAMPS THAT ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS FAIL TO CONFORM TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.
What should you do:
CK MOTORSPORT WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE NONCOMPLIANT LAMPS FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 1, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CK MOTORSPORT AT 1-909-610-7211.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES MANUFACTURED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS.FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LAMP MODEL NUMBERS, CLICK ON DOCUMENT SEARCH AND VIEW DOCUMENT TITLED "LAMP MODEL NUMBERS."CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06E049000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 27176
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Mar 23 2006
WITHOUT THE AMBER REFLECTORS, THE VEHICLE WILL BE POORLY ILLUMINATED, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
Summary:
CERTAIN PRO-A MOTORS CORNER LAMPS, TURN SIGNALS, AND HEADLIGHTS SOLD AS REPLACEMENT LAMPS FOR USE ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. SOME COMBINATION LAMPS THAT ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS FAIL TO CONFORM TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.
What should you do:
PRO-A MOTORS WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER TO REPURCHASE THE LAMPS. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 3, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT PRO-A MOTORS AT 323-838-2988.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO PRO-A MOTORS AFTERMARKET LAMPS AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE LISTED PASSENGER VEHICLES.FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LAMP MODEL NUMBERS, CLICK ON DOCUMENT SEARCH AND VIEW DOCUMENT TITLED "LAMP MODEL NUMBERS."CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06E026000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 61944
SUSPENSION:FRONT:CONTROL ARM:LOWER BALL JOINT
May 17 2005
THE LOWER BALL JOINT MAY SEPARATE FROM THE KNUCKLE CAUSING LOSS OF STEERING CONTROL AND A CRASH COULD OCCUR.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, DUE TO A MANUFACTURING ISSUE IN THE FRONT SUSPENSION LOWER BALL JOINT, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE SURFACE OF THE BALL OF THE JOINT MAY HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED. THE BALL JOINT MAY EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE EXCESSIVE WEAR AND LOOSENESS, RESULTING IN INCREASED STEERING EFFORT.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FRONT SUSPENSION LOWER BALL JOINTS FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 5, 2005. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331.
For more information:
TOYOTA RECALL NO. 50J.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V225000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 768379
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