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The 4Runner is among the best off-road-ready SUVs in this price range. Despite retaining a body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner rides better than some car-based SUVs. While its cabin is very roomy and quiet, the 4Runner doesn't provide the nimble, carlike handling of car-based models. Still, it is sound and secure. Side- and curtain-airbags are standard.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available; standard from 2001. ESC standard from 2001. Side and head protection air bags available from 2003, standard from 2008.
Road Test

The 4Runner is among the best off-road-ready SUVs in this price range. Despite retaining a body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner rides better than some car-based SUVs. While its cabin is very roomy and quiet, the 4Runner doesn't provide the nimble, carlike handling of car-based models. Still, it is sound and secure. Side- and curtain-airbags are standard.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4-liter V6 (239 hp)
  • 4.7-liter V8 (235 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

“4Runner has unique ABS system which combines in one set several units. You must replace the whole assembly if only one small part is fail. In my case the attenuator had failed. Other brands will charge $200 for this repair. TOYOTA charges $2500!!! Ri”

Serguei D., TN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Problem with brake system that disabled ABS and VSC. Misdiagnosed at dealer as ABS ECU needing replacement ($2,000 part + labor). Actual root cause was the failure of a mechanical part in the brake system that cost ~$500 in parts and labor”

Anonymous, KY (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)
Calipers

“Only had 30000km on Calipers and was told after that the brand was not suitable and they would use a different brand at no charge apart from labour”

Wm P., BC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“one front caliper failed after 240k miles. I replaced both front calipers”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Calipers were hanging and wore out the brakes”

Mark F., FL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Calipers occasionally freeze and need to be serviced or replaced”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Calipers froze due to rust or corrosion”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“May have been due to previous repair having been done improperly”

Jeff F., OH (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Both calipers were frozen and not working (only the rear breaks were stopping the vehicle). I am now on my 3rd set of calipers on this vehicle”

Anonymous, HI (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“One side on each of the front calipers had frozen up”

Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“front calipers froze up at 100000 miles or more”

Edward K., VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Calipers seize after 48000km. regularly. Brake service does not seem to mitigate the seizing of the front calipers. I bought the truck with 86K and I have replaced the front brakes Caliper/disk/pads 3 times”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“One set of calipers did not release completely”

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Spent $4000 on breaks on the vehicle - not sure why that should be”

Anonymous, SK (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“Spring and holding mechanism broke”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Probably just need to resurface or replace the rotors”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“same”

Jeff F., OH (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“premature break wear and caused damage (warping) to the Rotors”

Richard M., CO (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Spent over $4000 on brakes on this vehicle - not sure why”

Anonymous, SK (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“Factory brakes are the Achilles heel of this 4Runner. I feel bigger discs, and bigger pads all around would improve things. In slippery conditions one must be conscious of the size & weight of this vehicle and drive very defensively”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Brakes almost completely replaced after only about 50K miles”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“using vehicle with limited mileage, the brakes would not pass inspection”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Had to replace brakes continually”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“cheap noname breaks from a brake company”

Richard M., CO (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

“CV boots failed. Upon replacement the seal connecting to the transmission failed 3 times before it was fixed properly”

Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)
Electronic or air suspension

“simply needs replacing after so many miles. normal wear and tear”

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“Had to replace the system”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“rusted/holes in x-reas system led to very poor ride; repair scrapped that xreas system, installed std sr5 shocks and struts, ride bck to normal now”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Corroded line leaked and all fluid went out. Very hard to steer”

Terry B., ON (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Shocks or struts

“One of the struts leaks and needs to be replaced, but they are all inter-connected and all must be changed if one goes bad. The cost of over $4000 is prohibitive for such an old vehicle”

James R., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“Original shocks leaked badly and had to be replaced”

Kenneth M., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“shocks are worn and need replacement”

Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Shocks wore out”

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Shock or strut leaked had to replace the whole system. Shocks, struts, & Electronic system”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Xreas suspension system fluid leakage caused shock failure(s), resulting in steering shimmy when hitting any bump”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Failure of XREAS system; replaced with conventional system”

Anonymous, AL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Vehicle became hard to steer. Rack and pinion were replaced”

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“the tie rods where bad”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Pep boys indicated bearing was bad. Replaced. Had to take back 6 months later to have replaced again”

Paul M., NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Every day wear over years this was time service required”

Rosalie M., MB (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)
Steering wheel vibration

“Caused by the Xreas suspension system failure”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“The clear coat on all plastic body parts (all fender trim parts and front & rear bumpers)”

Bill A., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“In the past 12 months the clear coat has started bubbling pretty badly and is now cracking and peeling off. This is happening on bumpers only. Also the paint surrounding the air intake on the hood is getting dull/chalky. It looks very different from the rest of the paint on the hood making it very obvious”

Becky S., AZ (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited Unsure)

“On the wheel well fender flares the paint has faded significantly as opposed to body paint”

Gayle D., NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“clear coat lost on top 3 years ago. repainted. hood paint faded, oxidized very bad. retreated”

Michael B., UT (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“clear coat failure in patches with peeling & fading”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Fenders faded and had to be repainted. area in the front intake area need to be painted due to fading. Hood needs painting because of cracks”

Brian C., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Rust

“toyota acknowledges the rust issues with tacomas of the same period but won't for 4 runners, same frames”

Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Tiny spots of rust on roof”

Warren L., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“The underside of my toyota 4runner which I bought new and still looks great is unacceptably rusted. I only drive it in winter. I bought it new. Before picking it up I asked if I should get undercoating because I intend to drive it only in winter and was told it was a waste of money because the new vehicles dont rust. Just my luck, in Connecticut and New England they now treat the roads in winter with some new mixture which is cheaper for municipalities but completely corrodes vehicles. SO”

Peter P., CT (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Rust blisters on rear tailgate”

Richard F., VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Rust spots appearing on tailgate”

Nancy P., WV (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“I am a second owner; original owner lived in New England; the chassis and frame had significant surface rust in some areas. I spent about 20 hours wire brushing and coating the underside with a rust converter product”

Anonymous, KS (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“transmission lines rusted, exhaust system rusted,”

Edward K., VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

“Turn signal light bulb out”

Michael A., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Right front turn signal socket went bad. Search on line shows people having trouble with these shorting out. Replacing socket and bulb”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Turn signal module has failed twice”

Nancy P., WV (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Interior lights

“All the lights on climate controls blew. Replaced”

Paul M., NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Dash lights burn out and are difficult to replace”

Sam D., KS (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Some dash lights are out $1500 if fixed”

Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Couple of internal lights died on the dashboard which makes it unUSble at night. Dealership has failed to provide repair/replace/replacement”

Serguei D., TN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“lights came on after a smog check and remained on for over a year until service person discovered they could be turned off by using a paper clip touched to the electrical panel”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

“Often does not settle correctly after use. Hard to start again after this happens. Have to turn on and off several times to get it to work”

Anonymous, NM (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

“Intermittent engine immobilizer failure caused engine to crank, but not start”

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)
Clock

“The clock , temp setting, mpg screen backlight bulb burns out. They think it is an issue in the board. If it happens again (happened twice so far) they recommend a $2000 board”

Kristina G., OH (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)
Gauges

“The gasoline gauge does not give an accurate indication of actual fuel remaining below 1/4 tank resulting in our running out of gas several times when the gauge still shows 1/4 tank remaining”

Donald S., IN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-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

“Had to replace raditorand got them to check a/c and they had no lusk tracing the problem and needed more time”

Wm P., BC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“The A/C control button does not remain engaged when depressed. It blinks an orange light but does not produce cold air. Dealer mechanic cannot diagnose problem without ripping into entire dashboard”

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“The backlight failed on the left half of the display”

Douglas P., IL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Needed a new fuse/relay Easy fix for $20”

Anonymous, CO (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“the air that was coming out of the vents wasn't cold - even when it was supposed to be 72 degrees. If I put it all the way to low, then it would start being cold. More refrigerant was put in the vehicle, but they said there were no leaks at that ti”

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Blower (fan) motor

“design flaw causing water to leak into the blower motor from the wiper shaft. dealer replaced the blower motor but would not replace the design flawed part which caused the problem”

Anonymous, ME (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

“air conditioning turned off, indicator light blinking. Shop recharged and it worked for a while, but again stopped. Later diagnosed as electrical relay was bad”

Michael B., UT (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“AC relay quit functioning, replaced myself after diagnosing via internet and buying part online”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Refrigerant leaks

“required additional coolant. Could not find leak”

Kenneth M., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Hole in line which cost $600 to replace! I do not go to that dealership (Honda) any more”

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

“Water collects in rear door and drains when the door is raised -- directly onto whatever is being loaded or unloaded”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.7-L V8)

“The exterior window "wipes" have degraded and come apart”

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Wind noise”

Kim G., CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

“HAs a squeak I cannot find in one of the doors”

Jim R., TX (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“The moon roof has rattles and I was told it needs to be fixed before it starts to leak”

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Real hatch squeaks a lot now. This is new - it was always a very solid and quiet vehicle before”

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Overall rattles when driving it”

Arlin S., KS (2003 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)

“Some minor rattles in the rear of the vehicle”

Paul C., MA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“interior rattles someplace in headliner quite annoying”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Heat shield on exhaust rusted through and fell off. Needed to be remounted. Right after that the muffler mounts rusted through and were replaced”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-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

“"thump /clunk" feeling when braking and occasional when I let go of the brake just before stepping on the accelerator. Requires lubing the slip-yoke on the rear drive shaft at regular intervals, every 5,000KM”

Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
4WD/AWD components

“Needed 4 wheel drive replaced just after warranty period”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)
Differential

“worn bearings causing vibration”

Anonymous, NV (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)
Transfer case

“Worn seal between actuator and transfer case. Seal cost $3.00 but the labor to get to it was $1050.00 plus tax”

Laird M., NM (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
CV joint

“broken boot & bad bearing”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“replaced L CV boots and axle shaft seal”

Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

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

“The seat belts do not retract properly”

Douglas P., IL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“There was electrical feedback through trailer wiring harness that caused lights to short out and that cost almost $400 to repair”

Gayle D., NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Electric tailgate latch system failed, requiring total replacement $700 to $800”

Thomas M., BC (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Windows

“The rear window on the tailgate came off the track inside the body and when I took all the molding apart to have a look the entire assembly was rusted and one of the two arms had completely disintegrated so that the window was only being held up by one arm instead of two. A family member helped press theup ? down button and I held the window up on the side that had disintegrated so we were able to get it back up but its only being held up by one arm as of now. I need to get it repaired but hav”

Peter P., CT (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Locks and latches

“Drivers electric door lock/latch failed. Replaced by owner. 30 min job after obtaining replacement part”

Anonymous, OR (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Coolers and lines

“Trans cooling lines rusted through causing loss of fluid”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Transmission leaks

“Trans pan rusted through causing loss of fluid”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Crack in the casing. It was wekded, No problems since”

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)
Gear selector or linkage

“The shifter solenoid was failed and consequently broke. Only the Overdrive gear could be selected manually. Could not downshift manually to 3rd gear and the entire assembly needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

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)

“One of the Catalytic converters went out at 175,000 miles. This is the only real expense I have had on this vehicle since buying it new. Cost was $1,200 so can't complain given it's a 2003. About to by new vehicle and it will definitely be a Toyota or Lexus due to the outstanding reliability of this vehicle”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Both the O2 and A/F were replaced "5" times on both the left and right banks during an 18 month period ending in the spring of 2014 Toyota had a service bulletin issued on this problem around 2008, but it was never resolved. The dealership replaced”

R D., TX (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“There is a light that comes on the dash, "VSC." It has something to do with a vacuum control. We've had it to the dealer 7 times, including one visit with a factory rep & they can't solve it. Another mechanic told us it was a $500 canister part t”

Elizabeth R., FL (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Had to replace the same sensor twice in one year”

Harold J., NC (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Pipes

“areas involved are accumulating excess amounts of rust that are causing deterioration and interfering with proper function”

Anonymous, VT (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Catalytic converter

“Engine Light comes on and Safety Systems like Stability Control and Traction Control Stop working because of this unrelated problem - ie: When the Catalytic Converter failed. This is a very poor design feature. My safety is less important for Toy”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Cracked exhaust manifold is a common and known problem, and costly to replace as it is attached to catalytic converter and requires 10 hours labor per side”

Anonymous, AB (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Loose/rattling heat shield

“I have to have two heat shields removed due to coming loose and causing noise or completely coming off in the road”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-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

“failed to operate. CD stuck in drive”

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“multi cd player jammed. replaced it with a crappy pioneer unit”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Is never accurate, often times showing you are at a location hundreds of miles from you actual location. GPS module ap[apparently not functioning”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

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

Electronic ignition

“Intermittent failure to start”

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)
Starter

“Intermittent failure to start”

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“The starter teeth jammed into and broke teeth on the flywheel, causing the need to replace both starter and flywheel. Battery replaced same time, all for about twelve hundred dollars. Month later replaced the belt tensioner and serpentine belt, for”

Donald K., IN (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Head gasket

“Engine developed a rough idle. The next day the check engine light came on. Blown head gasket. I took it to the dealer for repair. Still had a rough idle, but they assure me it's ok. We'll see”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The dealer service rep recommended replacing the timing belt and water pump due to the age of the vehicle. After reviewing comments from other owners online we opted to replace both as a preventative measure”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

“I brought the car to a mechanic to have the timing belt replaced (scheduled maintenance). Since the radiator needed to come off for this work, I asked them to check the radiator and hoses for a small leak. A leak in the radiator was found, and I re”

Anonymous, LA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Radiator leaked and was corroded to the point of needing replacement”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

“Since I was having the timing belt replaced, I also instructed the mechanic to replace the water pump, serpentine belt, and hoses”

Anonymous, LA (2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Reseal oil pan gasket”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)
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