Notes: Although it has a stellar record in terms of vehicle problems, initially the 4th generation (2003 - 2009) 4Runner didn't earn our top "Seal of Awesome" rating because it received poor crash test ratings for rear impacts. However it's proven to have one of the lowest driver death rates out of all vehicles (not just SUVs), so we've bumped it back up to our top award.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
175,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace oil pan (1 reports)
2003 Toyota 4Runner engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 032012

4Runner SE V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles


I brought my 2003 Toyota 4 Runner in for an oil change. When the oil change place screwed out the oil pan plug, the thread of the oil pan came out as well.....

They told me that it's an obvious sign that the previous oil change place had over-tightened the plug.

When I contacted the previous oil change place (Kearny Mesa Toyota in San Diego), they told me that the threads inside the oil pan getting weaker and weaker every time the oil drain plug is tightened. So basically they were saying that it was worn out, not over-tightened.

They also mentioned that they see it a lot with Toyota vehicles that have higher mileage and that has been tightened down many times...

Well, in other words it's a weak design!!

I have had other cars with even higher mileage and never run into this problem and never heard about this kind of problem from friends driving other cars.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

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