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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
186,600 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. cutt out bad area and replace (1 reports)
1997 Toyota 4Runner body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1997 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 012019

4Runner SR5 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,315 miles


I bought a Toyota 4 runner 1997 thinking this thing would last well over 200,000 miles and at 163,315 the right rear shock has rusted from the frame! Such a shame as everything else is in good shape. SO DISAPPOINTED! Now to fix or get new car?? Can it be fixed and safe to drive ? Is there more frame rust? In process of getting estimates and if not fixable for reasonable price my next new car WONT be a Toyota for sure. I am thankful it happened around town and not on the parkway it definitely has sway to the vehicle now.

- tamarie, Jackson, US

problem #4

Jan 242016

4Runner SR5 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

No rant, just rust. Too bad, because rest of car is in great shape. Runs well. Rust on the underside, seems to be a common problem on 4Runners. It would be nice if manufacturer would address in some way.

- James M., Westford, MA, US

problem #3

Aug 062014

4Runner SR5 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,557 miles

My brother in law had his Toyota Tacoma recalled , but nothing is being done for the 4runner owners. I will never purchase another Toyota nor will anyone when I post this on every media network in Canada and US.

- Denis R., Moncton, N.B, canada

problem #2

Sep 302013

4Runner SR5 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 240,000 miles

There was absolutely no warning that this problem existed, whereas the frame rusted from the inside out. My mechanic (also a good friend) was caught completely off-guard, not to mention embarrassed. He regularly took customers in his shop on a tour of my truck with the exclamation, "can you believe this truck has 250,000 miles"? When I called him to my home, having described the loud bang and the wandering all over the road, he was flabbergasted.

Many of the posted photos show the area of concern around the lower control arm, so there is no need for more. My truck is garaged nightly and weekends and was washed regularly. I did not let debris accumulate and I never had buildup of mud. It is otherwise a fine and reliable vehicle and I am distressed that I need to replace it. It's the perfect vehicle for a unforgiving commute for which a newer vehicle is not warranted. And now that I am aware that nearly every chassis-based model in the Toyota lineup (EXCEPT FOR THE 4RUNNER) has been recalled.

I am very unlikely to purchase another Toyota. I've been a loyal Toyota owner for 40 years, starting with a Land Cruiser FJ40 in 1975 and this run may curiously end with my present Land Cruiser FJ40 restoration project (speaking of rust buckets!). IMHO, the third-generation 4Runner was a home run for Toyota and probably won over many new to Toyota. These legions are now, just as easily, turned away forever. Even ardent fans like me are treading very carefully around the showrooms. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of us are leaving and not looking back. In the meantime, and before my 4Runner kills me (I've welded a patch), I need to make a decision. I test drove a 4th-generation 2005 with 54000 miles and it was already Swiss cheese, so it will NOT be a 4Runner. Hey Toyota, ARE YOU LISTENING?

Update from Jun 13, 2014: Follow-up to my suggestion that 4Runners were not included in the frame rust recall: Searching AutoTrader recently, I came across a classified add for a 4Runner (I was searching 2006 and up) with a decription that included, "New frame replaced by Toyota." Apparently I was wrong about the exclusion. So, it appears that the 3rd generation 4 Runners, out of all Toyota trucks, was the only excluded model!

- Robert L., Taunton, MA, US

problem #1

Apr 232014

4Runner Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles

I own a 1997 4 Runner Limited, have been told the frame is rusted out & will not pass inspection - there are no recalls on this - I want to fix the frame because I love the car and nothing else compares to it.

- jrollins, Fairport, NY, US

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